ICANN Board Forecasts Special Brand Protection To High Profile Non-Profit Organisations

ICANN New TLDs logo[ICANN news release] The ICANN Board’s New gTLD Program Committee has approved two resolutions with the goal of providing interim Domain Name protections to certain non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs).

One resolution would specifically afford temporary protection at the second level (that part of a domain name to the left of the dot) for certain names associated with the Red Cross, Red Crescent and the International Olympic Committee. The Board Committee passed the resolution with the expectation that the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council will next month approve a similar recommendation to protect the names and acronyms of IGOs and certain NGOs.

“The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is pleased by this decision which will put ICANN in conformity with universally-endorsed regulations about the protection of the red cross and red crescent names,” said Charlotte Lindsay Curtet, Director of Communication and Information Management for the International Committee of the Red Cross. “These names have a distinct humanitarian function, in particular in times of armed conflict. Protecting them at the first and second level of a domain name is important, as this protection upholds their purpose and helps us to fulfil our humanitarian mandates.”

The second resolution lays out a course for placing the names and acronyms of IGOs into a Reserved Names List, which will afford second level protection for those names and acronyms.

Specifically, the New gTLD Program Committee asks the GNSO Council to let it know by 28 February 2012 if there are concerns with the action that would fall into the specific areas of global public interest and security or stability of the Domain Name System (DNS).

“We received many comments on this issue,” said Cherine Chalaby, the Chair of the Board’s New gTLD Program Committee. “This is a case of the multi-stakeholder model working well. We listened to the community and in the end, we obviously felt that these organizations needed some temporary protections while ICANN develops more thorough policies which will afford possible long-term protections.”

In approving the resolutions, the New gTLD Program Committee made it clear it was taking a conservative approach, noting that restrictions on second-level registration can be lifted at a later time depending on the scope of the GNSO policy recommendations approved by the Board.

“The name of my organization, and other Intergovernmental organizations must be protected in the online world generally and Domain names specifically,” said Janis Karklins, Assistant Director General of Communication and Information for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). “The IGO and governmental representatives have made a proposal to the Board of ICANN and GNSO that will help assure that names and the acronyms that represent our organizations are properly protected online as they are off-line or in the real world.”

The New gTLD Program Committee expressed appreciation to the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) for its ongoing work to afford permanent protections for the IGO and NGO names and acronyms.

The Board resolutions will be posted to ICANN’s web site by 29 November 2012.