Governmental Advisory Committee continues push for control of domains at top and second levels.
One of the more disturbing debates about the launch of new top level domain names is a land grab by Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). Think of GAC as a United Nations scheme for domain names. They were given a voice at the table to prove that ICANN isn’t just a puppet of the U.S. government.
GAC wants to protect both top level domains and second level domain names that contain a number of place names. For example, they’d protect both .france and france.wines. (Makes me wonder, would they want to protect france.domainnamewire.com?)
ICANN seems to have acquiesced on the top level domain consideration, and is still debating second level domains. Internet Commerce Association provided feedback on the second draft of the new gTLD handbook stating:
Any suggestion that governments have any ability to object to second level geoâ€domains on any grounds outside the scope of the UDRP should be rejected outright. The direct search industry created by domainers offers consumers an alternative to search engines when they seek information, and geographic names are one of the chief means by which consumers seek relevant information about providers of products and services associated with a particular locality. The GAC continues to press for control of geographic and other names of national significance at the second level of the DNS and ICANN continues to entertain this overreaching. Subjecting second level names to noâ€cost, onâ€demand blocking by countries and other entities would be a major policy error detrimental to consumers and entrepreneurs wishing to serve them.
My feedback to ICANN about city names apparently included a bad example. I said the process seems to favor larger cities over smaller ones. For example, Paris, Texas would lose out to Paris, France.
This was a bad example because Paris would have special rights as a capital. Indeed, even someone wanting to register .paris for a completely different purpose would have to get France’s approval:
This requirement means that an application for .paris, regardless of whether the applicant intends to represent Paris, Texas; Paris, France; the fragrance Paris: or Paris Hilton, will require documentation of support or nonâ€objection from the relevant government or public authority, which, in accordance with the capital city requirement, in this case would be France.
Seems like a classic land grab to me.