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Fears Greet ICANN's New Plans

Jul 21, 2009, 04:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Alex Goldman)
"The new TLDs are generic TLDs, known as gTLDs. According to reports, some have celebrity endorsements, with chef Wolfgang Puck endorsing a .food TLD and Shaquille O'Neal endorsing a .basketball TLD.

"But if today's events are a valid sample of world opinion, stakeholders are not pleased. Some expressed concerns involving trademarks -- both in their defense and in their abuse.

"A lawyer speaking for several U.S. major league sports and the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) asked ICANN to consider the burden of new domains on the major league sports clubs and also the proportionally heavier burden of these domains on those colleges that may have several teams, each with valuable logos and properties."

Several groups are concerned that business interests are over-represented:

We believe the Final Report puts too much emphasis on obliging registries to enforce trademark rights, in place of requiring ICANN to devote more resources to enforcing its contracts with registrars...

"Domain names don't match up with trademark law -- DNS is about giving symbols one universal address. Language is not. You don't trademark "Apple" -- you reserve the use of that trademark to market a particular kind of goods or service. Thus we have Apple Computers and The Beatles' Apple music company. Or Sun Oil in Canada, a completely separate company from Sun Oil in America -- and certainly not the same as the Sun computing company. And trademark is also subject to fair use and of course free speech."

ICANN gTLD Consultation NYC - Kathryn Kleiman:
"The IRT fears trademark infringement, but not trademark lawyer abuse."

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