ICANN Board Rules .AMAZON Canned

ICANN new generic Top Level Domains logoThe ICANN Board ruled last week the application for the .amazon gTLD, including its related internationalised domain names in Japanese and Chinese should not proceed.

The decision came about after the board accepted the advice of the New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC). And while it is possible the applications could proceed at some stage in the future, this is very unlikely.

The applications had been vigorously opposed by the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Uruguay, with the full support of the Amazon basin countries.

In a statement to the 47th ICANN Durban meeting, the “involved governments … expressed serious concerns related to public interest. In particular “.amazon” is a geographic name that represents important territories of some of our countries, which have relevant communities, with their own culture and identity directly connected with the name. Beyond the specifics, this should also be understood as a matter of principle.”

In making its recommendation, the NGPC took into account the issues raised by the applicant, the GAC advice and an independent, third-party expert commissioned by ICANN “to provide additional analysis on the specific issues of application of law at issue, which may focus on legal norms or treaty conventions relied on by Amazon or governments.”

The Expert Analysis considered “whether the consensus advice issued by the GAC is of such nature as to oblige ICANN to reject the application filed by Amazon, or to the contrary, whether the rules and principles cited by Amazon in its response of 23 August 2013 to the GAC’s advice oblige ICANN to approve the applications for .AMAZON (and related IDNs). The Expert Analysis concludes the following:
As regards the application for assignment of the new gTLD ‘.amazon’ filed by the Amazon company:
i) there is no rule of international, or even regional or national, law applicable in the field of geographical indications which obliges ICANN to reject the application;
ii) there is no rule of international, or even regional or national, law applicable in the field of intellectual property and in particular of trade marks or in the field of fundamental rights, which obliges ICANN to accept this application.”

The ICANN Bylaws require the Board to take into account the GAC’s advice on public policy matters in the formulation and adoption of the policies. If the Board decides to take an action that is not consistent with the GAC advice, it must inform the GAC and state the reasons why it decided not to follow the advice. The Board and the GAC will then try in good faith to find a mutually acceptable solution. If no solution can be found, the Board will state in its final decision why the GAC advice was not followed.

The board decided to “accept the GAC’s advice to the ICANN Board contained in the GAC’s Durban Communiqué stating that it is the consensus of the GAC that the applications for .AMAZON (application number 1-1315-58086) and related IDNs in Japanese (application number 1-1318-83995) and Chinese (application number 1-1318-5591) should not proceed.”

More details of the NGPC advice are available from:
www.icann.org/en/groups/board/documents/resolutions-new-gtld-14may14-en.htm#2.b.rationale