ICANN Publicizes GAC Early Warnings

ICANN held true to its word today and made GAC (Government Advisory Council) Early Warnings public on its website.

If you applied for a new TLD and your application for a new gTLD has a GAC early warning, you can back out for an 80% refund. For those who need more information you can write to:
[email protected]

I’ve read through some of the early warnings and here are my thoughts:

Australia filed the most early warnings with a total of 129, followed by Germany with 20, and France with 19.

After reading through the Australian government’s objections, I’m happy to see that someone is on the ball. They targeted the applications by companies (especially Amazon) whose applications seek to gain monopoly rights to TLD strings in which they have no trademark rights. I wrote about this earlier this year. So did a few other prominent bloggers. For Amazon to own complete control over .book or .author should terrify publishers and writers across the English-speaking world. That’s too much power in one powerful company’s hands.

The Australian government should be applauded for catching this and calling the large corporations out on their intentions. Privately held gTLDs, controlled by one large interest is not in the spirit of ICANN’s charter and does not “promote competition”. Why is the U.S. Government so laissez faire on this? These are the exact kinds of things where governments need more involvement and here they ignore it. I’m surprised and disappointed, but I’ll end my political discussion right there.

There was an interesting advisory filed by the US Government about Radix Registry where their only warning was that the applications included a reference to an FBI email address. This had to simply be an oversight on the part of Radix and should be simple to correct.

There were a about 18 Early Warnings on .hotel. France made what seems to me to be a self-serving and over-reaching argument that .hotel should be limited to hotels with justification that their hospitality industry is very large and that their tourism agency, “About France” uses a tourism code, etc.

Germany suggests that various strings like .hotel/.hotels/.hoteis be treated together by ICANN’s evaluation process.

Australia rightfully hit the .hotel applications where the applicant was trying to keep it to themselves rather than allow the general Internet population to register them.

Several governments issued warnings about .health as a string. These contained some possibly valid concerns about the potential for fraud or abuse in the health sector, especially in certain countries where consumers are vulnerable.

Overall, this is an encouraging day in the life of new gTLDs. With few exceptions, governments acted ethically, responsibly, and with proper restraint. If you’d like a copy of the GAC Early Warnings in a spreadsheet, go here.

I did this just for my own understanding. It’s nice to be able to sort and categorize things.

Review the Early Warnings at ICANN Website… | Source: ICANN | Date posted: 11/21/2012

Other blogger’s comments about new TLD applicants keeping their TLDs all to themselves:

Read the story… | Source: CNET | Date posted: 11/21/2012

Read the story… | Source: Circle ID | Date posted: 11/21/2012

About Joe Alagna

Joe Alagna is a Director of Business Development at the leading Registry Service Provider, Afilias. He is an expert in all aspects of the domain name business, including domain name investing, new gTLDs, registrars, and registries. Before the domain name business, he negotiated national accounts contracts for AT&T Wireless. Joe can be reached by phone at +1 (909) 606-9175 or via email using the contact form on this site.
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