Thursday, March 5, 2009

ICANN Mexico

Interesting speech from Victor Hansen at ICANN Mexico.

I strongly recommend to read the whole transcription, so nothing gets misunderstood.

Joint AC/SO
I'm Victor Hansen, Brazilian representative to the Governmental Advisory Committee.

(...)

>>VICTOR HANSEN: Thank you. I would like to come back to the distinction between gTLDs and ccTLDs.

I cannot agree with this idea that the frontier is blurred between both things, and I would like to present a very clear example.

80% of Brazilian registrants go dot BR. What does it mean? Well, it means that Brazilians are not only interested in low prices, are not interested only in best price for registrations, but they do want to show that they are Brazilian Internet. And since the Brazilian Internet steering committee does a good job in preserving the being faithful to the Brazilian culture values, and so in having a registration policy that meets the targets and expectations of our registrants, then people are faithful to this label, dot BR.

So I think choice has more -- is not only -- is not only linked to market value, linked not only to pricing but is linked also to the sort of image you want to get your domain name associated with.

So I would like to talk of how does this distinction between gTLDs and ccTLDs translate in the expansion of the root.

We are just talking about new gTLDs now, so as to understand of course we will have new IDN ccTLDs. But I would say that geographic TLDs, and now I move to the second point here in the list, shall have much more to do with ccTLDs in terms of the values that are embedded in their management than to gTLDs, generic names.

They are more linked to geographic values, country values or regional values than to market value. And I think in the PDP, this distinction should be reflected.

Thank you.

(...)

Just to answer the question on whether a city could like to become a gTLD instead of a ccTLD against the will of its government, now I think we are entering in a very dangerous terrain here, which is the issue of sovereignty and the issue of legitimacy of local governments.

In this regard, I must recall as all here that when ICANN had to decide which would be the countries, it considered it was not capable -- it was not competent to decide on that, then it relied on a table that was built by ISO.

And I think when it comes to cities and geographic areas, this questions become far more complicated.

I think it's beyond the scope of ICANN's competence to decide who is the legitimate authority to speak on behalf of a particular region, city or state.

So I think, as ICANN has searched for help of ISO for ccTLDs, as it has searched for help of WIPO when it comes to trademark clearances, and it should rely on a body which would be capable and competent to define who can -- who is the legitimate authority in a particular region.

Thank you.

(...)

To mention about this issue, I would like to make it clear about the need for geographic names was raised by the GAC for the first time in the São Paulo meeting in 2006. So this question is not new. And I think something that cannot be affirmed here is that the GAC is trying to on strategic anything. I think our position we've held in this regard is more or less the same as we held in São Paulo in 2006.

But, of course, the GAC is, as we know -- and whether we like it or not -- an advisory committee to the board. So we provide advice to the board. We do not participate in PDP. And we have Bertrand here who feels very strongly that GAC should be involved in PDP. And if we got GAC involved in these issues in an earlier, maybe it would be easier to address it.

Coming to this question, I think we had some good suggestions in a joint meeting the GAC had with the GNSO Council yesterday. I think what we could think about that is, instead of trying to -- because the current recommendation of the GAC with respect to geographic names is that there should be a list previously elaborated by the GAC that would represent geographic names that should be protected either in the first, in the second level. This is the recommendation, the present recommendation of the GAC.

But as there might be problems in implementing that, we could evaluate other solutions to this problem. One of them, I think, would be trying to have a working group, perhaps with people from the GAC and from GNSO, perhaps, which would define a set of criteria that would be considered reasonable for the blocking of particular TLDs. So this group would work on that. And then possible presentations of new gTLDs could be checked against these criterias.

Of course, then we should seek to define which four of these criteria would be set. And we -- and I recognize we do not have an equivalent to, say, WIPO, which would verify names.

But it does not make -- the fact that we do not have such an institution does not make this request less legitimate. Thank you.


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