Famous Four questions panelists decision in .sport community objection.
In case you haven’t heard yet, SportAccord won a community objection against Famous Four Media’s application for the .sport top level domain name.
It was a surprising decision, as it’s pretty hard to argue that “sport” is a clearly delineated community. I personally don’t know anyone who has never participated in a sport or watched a sport. It seems like anyone who breathes is a member of this “community”.
Famous Four issued a statement this morning finding fault in panelist Dr. Guido Tawil’s decision. You can read the full comment here (pdf).
The company says that SportAccord used the community objection process to “game” the system:
The decision strikes right at the heart of the concept of freedom of expression, and significantly erodes transparency and predictability in the gTLD programme. In particular, it confirms the
concerns expressed by the NCUC at the time of the formulation of the ICANN Final Report in 2007
and the subsequent rules in the Applicant Guidebook, that the community objection process could
be hijacked by competing applicants….
…Famous Four Media is disappointed that the Panellist fails entirely to take into account that the
objector is a competing applicant merely trying to game the system, and avoid the more rigid
scrutiny of the Community Priority Evaluation process.
Famous Four concludes its statement by saying it will “pursue rigorously all available legal avenues available to it to have the decision independently reviewed by ICANN and/or others as the case may be, and reversed.”
It doesn’t appear that ICANN’s request for reconsideration process will be a successful avenue. So far ICANN has rebuffed all such requests.