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7038NY-ers Needed to Stop Trademark Abuse at ICANN

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  • Seth Johnson
    Jul 9, 2009
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      Hello all -- anybody in New York who wants to call out the ICANN's
      "Implementation Recommendation Team" for their attempt to provide
      tools for abusing trademark while they roll out the new Global Top
      Level Domains, needs to REGISTER BY TOMORROW here:

      > http://www.registration123.com/ICANN/GTLD/

      And then show up THIS MONDAY (sorry for the shouting, but those are
      the key terms in this message) at the Millenium Hotel, 145 West 44th
      Street.

      See the blurb below my signature from Kathy Kleiman, among those who
      have been there from the inception of ICANN and watching out for all
      of us.

      (Others in other cities, check out the schedule of meetings and get
      ready -- they are hitting several cities in a rapid fire fashion this
      month.)

      The MPAA and International Trademark Association have had a hand in
      ICANN from its inception, when they prevailed in establishing the
      Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy. Now, along with rolling out new
      global Top Level Domains, trademark holders are ramming through a new
      process that goes well beyond that. They are pulling out the stops to
      get ICANN to implement what will in practical terms amount to a huge
      revision in the nature of trademark, backed by strong action on the
      part of ICANN. Along with a new "Uniform Rapid Suspension System" to
      shut down sites quickly, they are establishing ICANN as playing the
      role of policing trademarks -- which by law is the trademark holders'
      responsibility.

      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.

      While of course this becomes a tool for draconian action in the area
      of domain names, it also sets the stage for a major revision in the
      basic conception of trademark policy, allowing this to extend further.


      Seth Johnson
      (Random Internet Activist)



      ICANN Public Consultation: Should New Top Level Domains Include Broad
      New Trademark Protections?


      On Mon, July 13, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and
      Numbers (ICANN) will hold a public consultation at the Hudson
      Theatre, Millennium Hotel, 145 West 44th Street, to discuss the
      "rules of the road" for new generic top level domains (gTLDs), future
      competitors to .COM, .ORG and .NET.


      A group of trademark attorneys, representing large brand owners, in
      May wrote a report calling on ICANN to create broad new trademark
      protections before opening up new gTLDs.

      A. IP Clearinghouse: a massive database of registered and
      unregistered trademark rights created by ICANN (IRT
      Report, pp. 12-16

      B. Globally Protected Marks List: a list of global marks
      created and maintained by ICANN (IRT Report, pp. 16-
      22)

      C. Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS): A ultra-fast
      takedown service with little notice or time to respond
      by domain name registrants (IRT, pp. 25-37)


      These proposals have been criticized as outside the mission and scope
      of ICANN, a technical body, and outside the protections and limits
      of trademark law. ICANN's Noncommercial Users Constituency writes "We
      fear the impact of the IRT Proposals on free speech and fair use
      online. Trademark owners don't own strings of letters, they have a
      trademark for specific goods and services. Basic words like APPLE,
      TIDE, SUN and TIME belong to all of us. Many important domain names
      will be lost, or worse, blocked before they can be registered."

      Approval of the IRT Report is being rushed through ICANN with minimal
      opportunity to comment. It is vital that ICANN hear comment as soon
      as possible, and Monday is an opportunity to speak.

      ICANN's Noncommercial Users Constituency will be hosting a breakfast
      at the Millennium Hotel on Monday morning. Please contact NCUC
      Co-Founder Kathy Kleiman, kathy@...
      <mailto:kathy@...>, for more details.


      Registration to speak on 7/13 at this link (deadline 7/10):
      http://www.registration123.com/ICANN/GTLD/


      IRT Report:
      http://www.icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-4-29may09-en.htm

      IP Justice Comments:
      http://forum.icann.org/lists/irt-final-report/msg00210.html

      EFF Australia Comments:
      http://forum.icann.org/lists/irt-final-report/msg00179.html

      Noncommercial Users Constituency Website with comments:
      http://icann-ncuc.ning.com/