No acronym protections if IGO protections not resolved by Buenos Aires.
One of the Governmental Advisory Committee’s (GAC) requests for new top level domain names is that both the names and acronyms of intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) be protected from second level registrations.
This is, I imagine, because of the grave damage that would be inflicted on the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts if ECMWF.baseball were to be registered.
The GAC’s Durban Communiqué reiterates its demands for these protections. It’s asking for a cross between the Trademark Clearinghouse and a preemptive UDRP for anyone who wants to register one of the nearly 200 IGO acronyms. If you tried to register las.vegas at GoDaddy, your registration would be halted to give the League of Arab States a chance to express concerns.*
Even some IGOs realize this is absurd. The International Sugar Organization wrote to ICANN and said it would be perfectly content with ISOSugar.string instead of ISO, noting that its website is ISOSugar.org.
ICANN’s New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) passed a resolution in Durban that says it will continue to work with the GAC to figure out if it can (and should) meet its demands.
But The Committee also placed a bit of a time bomb in the resolution:
If the NGPC and the GAC do not reach agreement on the issues, and subject to any matters that arise during the discussions, the NGPC would require registry operators only to protect the names, but not the acronyms, identified on the GAC’s IGO List posted as Annex 1 [PDF, 541 KB] to Resolutions 2013.07.02NG03-2013.07.02.NG06.
The NGPC is placing a deadline of the next ICANN meeting in Buenos Aires to resolve the issue.
This would be much more palatable to registry operators than a restriction on (potentially lucrative) short domain names.
*It occurs to me that some members of the GAC have not registered domain names in 20 years, and are not aware that registrations happen in real time now. You no longer have to email Network Solutions and ask them if the domain is available.