Developing Countries Perspective Regarding wg-b and wg-c process


YJ Park

Name Council of Non-Commercial Constituency

May 8, 2000

1. Introduction

This position paper has been initiated to clarify "where developing countries are" in the ICANN process, "Internet Policy Making Process". Having gone through the conflicts and various voices even within the same constituency has prompted to go back to the fundamental question such as whether ICANNs constituency-divided structure without any further concerns in the different Internet development economies under DNSO is right or not.

If there are gaps among different constituencies who have been situated diversely, it is natural to witness the differences among different stages of Internet economies in the world.

2. Developing countries commercial interests

  1. They have been under-represented in this process.
  2. Basic position on WG-B, Famous Marks:
  3. Famous marks should be protected within the national sovereignty rather than world-wide rules where many of those commercial entities from developing countries have found not much rooms for themselves.

  4. Basic position on WG-C, New gTLD:
  5. They agree to create new gTLDs where they might have more chances to secure their cyberspaces. Since most commercial entities in the developing countries could not be aware of its importance until recently, they would be happy to hear this.

    However, there are subtle conflicts between US commercial party and Asia commercial party.

    One of IPC Lawyer suggested the following

    "I don't see why ICANN cannot define a "famous mark" for the sole purpose of an exclusion from the domain space. For example, a famous mark could be defined for this limited purpose as one that has been registered in at least 50 countries for at least 5 years and has had worldwide sales of at least US 1 billion dollars for each of 5 of the last 10 years. While I don't suggest that the 5-year/10-year period and US$1 billion are the right numbers, or that additional or alternative criteria are more appropriate, a domain name exclusion based on such a definition of a "famous mark" strikes me as reasonable and workable."

    If this strict rule applies to the developing Internet and Intellectual property economies, how many of companies can get included in this famous marks category?

    3. Developing countries non-commercial interests

    3.1.They have been under-under-represented in both the national and international level.

    3.2.Basic position on WG-B Famous Marks:

    Famous marks should not be protected. However, if these organizations are facing which recourse to depend on for their own sakes between the external protections, such as international organizations, ICANN and their national sovereignty, they seek in nature the international organizations’ protection which in general more generous than that of national authority.

    1. Basic position on WG-C New gTLD:

They disagree to create new gTLDs since they are poorly informed of the development of new gTLDs.

4. Differences between Non-Commercial of Developed and Developing Countries

There have been fundamental discrepancies between those two.

NORTH Non-Commercial Organization have been equipped with fully ready human-resources, well-trained lawyers, to represent their voices, enough financial support, and strong influences in the political process

SOUTH Non-commercial Organizations have been struggling from lack of human resources, depending on volunteer basis management, lack of financial support, and impacts or controls from the governmental body.

Rich non-commercial organizations have had strong voices and influences which have been associated with political liaisons within political processes. On the other hand, most poor non-commercial organizations is mere name itself. NO POWER, NO INFLUENCE literally they are interests group rather than muscle-showing group.

Some countries are about to secure non-commercial organizations influential position in the political process. However, Asias observation culture is quite different from westerns "STAND UP" culture, therefore it would take far longer than the western non-commercial organizations have achieved.

5. The Proposals of Developed Countries Non-Commercial Organizations

    1. Famous Marks: proposal by Hans Klein

"ICANN should not introduce restrictions on the registration of new top level domains (TLDs) based on their connection with famous names


Property concerns should be addressed outside of ICANN.  Institutions with relevant authority already exist for such matters: national governments.
An example of this regulation includes the Anti Cybersquatting Act of the United States, which has been ruled to include "in rem" jurisdiction for all domain name disputes based on the location of the registrar.  This type of national mandate clearly supercedes regulation by a private corporation."

This would go with developing countries commercial sectors rather than NCOs. Therefore, I would like to suggest that this concern should be explained somewhere in the proposal.

5.2.New gTLDs:Proposal by James Love

"ICANN should accept proposals for new domains specifically oriented toward civil society.


A "civil society TLD" model could include a chartered gTLD that specifically hosts communications for certain kinds of non-commercial, civil society institutions."

Its charter may specify criteria for use of its domain name that relate to the character of the corresponding civil society group

The specific character strings of the csTLDs are not addressed here. Specific strings can be defined by the registries proposing a new csTLD, in consultation with the relevant civil society groups.

Given that new gTLDs are coming to the NET are factual even though there have been silent oppositions to this, it would be more constructive on how to implement this.

According to the proposal, the non-commercial gTLD is expected for the registry to recommend the specific names in consultation with the relevant civil society groups. However, if this proposal was intended to involve more diverse opinions from all over the world, could you change this into "the members of non-commercial organizations and other relevant groups"?

  1. Summary

The following table shows similarities and differences among four groups.

[Table] The Similarities and Differences









1. New gTLD


1.1. How many

The less,

the better

More & many Non-com only gTLDs


Not ready to respond to new spaces

1.2. When to introduce

Slow down

As soon as possible

As soon as possible

Slow down(1)

2. Famous Marks


2.1.Range of protection

All gTLDs


Protection should be limited (2)

All gTLDs


Famous Marks Protection should be limited

2.2. How many FM?

WIPO 1000

As small as possibl

More Marks list(3)

As small as possible

2.3. What criteria?





3. Govt vs Intl Org

Either OK



International Organization

4. Any other factor?

Open end

6.1.Ironically, the concerns between the US commercial and Asia non-commercial turned out to be the same from the totally different perspectives; US commercial party prefers little space to manage this conveniently on the other hand, Asia non-commercial party prefers little space realizing that they are not ready to grab the appropriate names for the time being.

6.2.Such protection should be limited to protect the freedom of speech and the right to criticize

6.3.Asia Commercial party has been quite complicatedly positioned so far from its definition to its position. Withstanding this contradictory environment, those who can be listed up in the Fortune 500 international companies are this table is dealing with. Not surprisingly, some of those companies couldnt occupy their names due to their unpreparedness. Thats why they still want their new spaces just like US non-commercial entities however, they prefer strong name protection as long as they are included in the list.

6.4. It has not been clarified yet.

6.5.US non-commercial party and Asia commercial party have some concerns in common such as new gTLDs should be introduced as soon as possible and their preference for Government umbrellera rather than international organizations. This result has been historically related to the development of each democracy and economic stability.

So far we have divided into the constituencies according to the commercial or non-commercial interests in the DNSO frame. However, as soon as we get down to the decision making processes such as new gTLD creation and famous marks issues, within constituencies, the fact that even the same constituency could have totally different
views and opinions on the same issue is becoming more obvious.

If we review this table, we see some similarities and discrepancies among those four players which are newly designed by two criteria constituency and the level of "Intellectual property" economy rather than GNP economy. i.e. Some countries in Asia, such as Singapore or Japan they can be categorized as one of most developed countries however, their awareness of IP or IP protection has been as little as most developing countries in Asia.

Comparatively, in the famous marks we have more common grounds between constituencies however in the field of new gTLDs and the authority's issues, there are distinctive discrepancies even within the constituencies.

|(B:NCC-USA)                 (D:NCC-ASIA)
|                              <E>
|(A:Commercial-USA)                (C:Commercial-ASIA)
USA(Developed)          à               ASIA(Developing)
[Diagram] : The different four players in the ICANN process

If we look at the diagram above, so far the ICANN process has been led by mainly by A in the middle of B's counterbalance effort. There has been not enough voices of C and D in this process yet. The equilibrium point such as "E" should be reached unless the ICANN is possessed by those two entities, US commercial and non-commercial ones.

Note 1)

This paper is using US as one of representative model for the Internet developed economies and Asia as one of representative model for the Internet developing economies. This can be expanded into the other regions and more detailed statistics are expected to come out soon.

Note 2)

Regarding the definition of "developing country" vs "developed country" can be very controversial even among who has been regarded as a developing country here. However, this paper is trying to narrow down its criteria such as first, "how actively a country has been involved with Internet-policy making process" second, "how deeply a country have been aware of all these "Intellectual Property Issues and Famous Marks" third, "how strongly a country has contributed to Internet infrastructure development and devoted to expanding to the others".

Note 3)

This paper will be continuously elaborated further among those who have sympathized with this points. If you are interested in this effort, please dont hesitate to do so.

Note 4)

This has been vetted by Asia Internet community.