ICANN extends protections to Red Cross, Olympics, and IGOs

New gTLD Program Committee approves two measures designed to protect big non-profit brands.

ICANN Board’s New gTLD Program Committee has approved two resolutions granting added domain name protections at the second level to special interests the Red Cross, Red Crescent, and the International Olympic Committee, and lays the framework for protecting IGO names and acronyms.

The resolutions come after the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council gave a thumbs down vote on the Red Cross/Olympics measure this month, but with the expectation that the GNSO will reverse course at its meeting next month.

The measures would also protect the names and acronyms of IGOs and some NGOs.

Although this leads ICANN down a very slippery slope — both in adding protections to special interests as well as in its bottom-up, consensus based process — the resolutions were designed as interim such that they can be revoked later depending on GNSO policy recommendations.

The full resolutions haven’t been posted online yet, but the acronyms measure should be of great concern. It could eliminate a large number of three letter domain names.

The International Olympic Committee has been threatening to sue ICANN since 2009 unless it received preferential treatment.


  1. says

    If you look at the .int policy, this can be gamed by two governments, who can setup treaties in order to place on “reserve” coveted strings.

    For examples, let’s suppose you want GAME.*, find two cooperative governments (e.g. banana republics, lots of easy candidates, esp. ones who have already given over control of their ccTLDs to outsiders), and have them write a new treaty between themselves, creating the new IGO called “Governments Against Magic Elephants — GAME.” Split the profits. Rinse, repeat!

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