Domain Name Supporting Organization
Working Group B - Famous Trade-Marks
REPORT TO NC of current status on WG B
February 15th, 2000 From: "Philip Sheppard"
REPORT TO NC of current status on WG B. ---------------------------------------------------------- 1. WG B chairman Michael Palage has posted the following: The upcoming ICANN meeting in Cairo will be an important milestone in connection with the efforts of Working Group B (protecting famous trademarks) and Working Group C (additional top level domains). The ICANN Board has expressed an interest in helping to facilitate the consensus building process. Please review the excerpt from the December 9, 1999 ICANN Board teleconference listed below: "The status of policy development by the DNSO concerning gTLD expansion and famous names was discussed. At its May 1999 meeting in Berlin, the Board referred the recommendations of the World Intellectual Property Organization concerning gTLD expansion and famous names to the DNSO (Resolution 99.48). The Names Council established two working groups (WG-C and WG-B) to analyze and report on these issues. Despite considerable work, both working groups have had difficulty developing consensus on significant sub-issues. Given the scheduling requirements of the bylaws, it will be impractical for the Board to adopt a policy in either of these areas at its March 2000 meeting. Nonetheless, the Board felt it was appropriate to schedule these issues for substantive, detailed discussion at the public forum in March, so that the Board might become more familiar with the various viewpoints and so it might contribute to progress toward consensus". I have informed Andrew McLaughlin that Working Group B intends to have an interim report available for consideration by the Names Counsel and the Board at the Cairo meeting. I am currently drafting a ballot based upon the issues discussed in the position papers and Alvestrand's "points of agreement." After voting on these issues, myself and the two Names Counsel facilitators, Kathy Kleiman from the Non-Commercial Constituency and Philip Sheppard from the Business Constituency, will begin drafting an interim report. It is contemplated that this report will be circulated for public comment sometime around the beginning of February. Near the end of the 30 day comment period and prior to the Cairo meeting, I will attempt to coordinate with Eric Menge from the US Small Business Administration a roundtable discussion. Eric recently arranged a similar roundtable discussion, with a telephone bridge, for the Working Group C report. I believe it is important that this Working Group B focus during this crucial time period before us. For those of you that may not be familiar with the history of Working Group A (Uniform Dispute Policy), after a contentious meeting in Santiago, Chile the final drafting of the UDP policy was left to a small drafting committee of five or six people. I would like for this Working Group to follow the bottoms-up consensus building ideal that ICANN is based. In order for this to happen there will have to be some movement on behalf of ALL participants in this Working Group. In an effort to facilitate this "movement" I call upon Kathy and Philip to rally their respective constituencies and help find a middle ground in this debate. I remind everyone to review the position papers submitted to date to expedite the consensus building process at http://www.alvestrand.no/icann/wg-b-position-papers.html END OF PALAGE QUOTE 2. Kathy and myself have recently posted the following to WG B designed to refresh the path to consensus: Reaching common ground on new gTLDs and the treatment of famous names. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- In taking on leadership positions with WG-B, Philip Sheppard, Names Council member for the Business Constituency and Kathryn Kleiman, Names Council member for the Non-Commercial Constituency, find that many people feel that there are differences of views which cannot be reconciled and cannot be bridged. We do not share that view. The following is a set of ideas that we wish to share with you as a basis for finding some common ground and moving forward together. We look forward to discussing these ideas, and the principles, with you on this list. History -------- One group of stakeholders, the"IP advocates" are all shell shocked from the wars in dot com. They were given a situation (the monopoly of dot com) and forced to ensure that off-line name protection would be no worse on-line. The failure of this is that off-line is more diverse and better understood by consumers than on-line but that the dot com monopoly prevents diversity and so leads to consumer confusion. Given this experience a not unreasonable view of the future is as a set of similar battles - a series of land rushes. A second group of stakeholders, the "freedom to name" advocates are also shell-shocked with many small businesses, individuals and non-commercial organisations losing domain names. This group recognises that although e-commerce is big and getting huge there is more to the Internet than commercial interests and that there is no reason for trade marks to have a priority status in areas where they do not belong. Registries and registrars do not want to get caught in the crossfire. Common ground ---------------------- 1. The IP advocates do not have IP as their objective but as their strategy to achieve an objective. The objective is the protection of their own consumers from confusion with other good faith commerce or from bad faith commerce (pirates, fraudsters). 2. The freedom advocates do not have no trade mark priority as their objective but as a strategy to achieve an objective. The objective is to allow a net user to use a name that is appropriate to the rationale of their domain. The two objectives are the same once you look at them from the perspective of the net user and NOT the domain name holder: "When someone wants to find me, they should be able to do so" . And it is possible once you remove the monopoly of dot com and the future on-line world becomes more like the off-line world, both groups should live more easily together. WG B and famous names ----------------------------------- This harmony exists off-line because it is usually clear when you want to buy a Coke (go to a supermarket) or coke for a power station (phone a coal supplier). This is where the link to new gTLDs and WG C comes in. The common objective in domain naming is: to create clarity for the net user by a controlled and responsible growth of top-level domain names. Would the following principles allow us to open a range of new domain names for all forms of speech, and make it easier for Internet users to find what they are looking for -- from famous e-commerce sites to political speech? 1. Trust – a gTLD should give the net user confidence that it stands for what it purports to stand for. 2. Semantics – a gTLD should be meaningful in a language with a significant number of net users. 3. Findability – a gTLD should assist a net user to find a particular domain name. 4. Differentiation – a gTLD should differentiate from all other gTLDs so as not to confuse net users. 5. Honesty – a gTLD should not unnecessarily increase opportunities for malicious or criminal elements who wish to defraud net users. 6. Simplicity - a gTLD should not impose an overly bureaucratic procedure on a registry. 7. Competition – new gTLDs should foster competition in the domain name space. 8. Diversity - new gTLDs should foster the expression of views, both commercial and non-commercial. 9. Multiplicity - new gTLDs should become available as needed to meet the needs of an expanding Internet community. Next steps -------------- Phase1. We invite comments within WG B on these principles and we hope to all work towards a common agreement on them (revised or otherwise). Phase 2. AFTER that common agreement there can be discussion on the implementation of the principles in conjunction with WG C. END OF SHEPPARD / KLEIMAN QUOTE Philip Sheppard AIM - European Brands Association 9 av. des Gaulois B-1040 Brussels Tel +322 736 0305 Fax +322 734 6702
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