International Olympic Committee threatens legal action against ICANN over new TLDs.
In a sternly worded letter to ICANN (here), International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it reserves the right to “take action against ICANN for damages resulting to the IOC or the Olympic Movement from the implementation of the gTLD proposal.”
IOC is concerned about the time and expense of protecting its brand as ICANN rolls out new top level domain names, such as .web.
That IOC is threatening legal action shouldn’t come as a big surprise. In my comments to ICANN I noted:
I am very concerned that this process will open up ICANN to a wave of lawsuits, frivolous or not, that may undermine the organization. From a risk management perspective, this could put the entire internet at risk.
But what’s also interesting about this is yet another organization is stepping up and requesting special status with ICANN. IOC’s letter is full of statements that its trademarks have special status and are more important than corporate interests. The organization even goes so far as to suggest that ICANN should reserve its trademarks in domain names, similar to what ICANN currently does with some of its common marks.
We’ve seen the Pope ask for special considerations of religious top level domains. Nations and cities think they should get special rights to their location names. Everyone thinks they’re special. If you give these groups even an inch then you open up the floodgates.
I’m beginning to realize ICANN CEO Paul Twomey is one smart guy. He’s quitting before the you-know-what hits the fan.
[Thanks to George Kirikos for the link.]