[Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] Action for WT5 Members - Definition of Geographic Terms

Martin Sutton martin at brandregistrygroup.org
Wed Jan 10 09:40:26 UTC 2018

Dear Dessalegn,

Thank you for your comments. As stated in the instructions, could you please include a rationale for any changes (additions or deletions) to the AGB definitions.  A clear explanation of the rationale will be helpful when we review the full set of responses amongst WT5 members and will help avoid any misinterpretations.

Kind regards,


Martin Sutton
Executive Director
Brand Registry Group
martin at brandregistrygroup.org<mailto:martin at brandregistrygroup.org>

On 10 Jan 2018, at 09:29, Dessalegn Yehuala <mequanint.yehuala at gmail.com<mailto:mequanint.yehuala at gmail.com>> wrote:

Thank you for initiating the discussion.
Here are a few items that relate to IDN which may need considerations at this stage.
1. Cross script issue- geographic names applications submitted in different scripts with identical semantic meaning.
 2. Variant issue- treatment of geographic names applications that use variant code points.


On Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 11:11 PM, Martin Sutton <martin at brandregistrygroup.org<mailto:martin at brandregistrygroup.org>> wrote:
Dear WT5 Members,

One of the key areas identified during the WT5 TOR discussions related to the definition of geographic terms. This will be a priority focus for us as we begin the substantive work in WT5 and has been highlighted in recent exchanges on the PDP WG mailing list. Defining geographic terms for the purpose of top-level domains will help us to frame our overall work within WT5.

To ensure that all WT5 members are working from the same set of assumptions, we would like to have discussions about the working definition of geographic names at our next meeting on 17 Jan and request input from members prior to the call.

If you are not familiar with the history and context of how the GNSO policies and Applicant Guidebook evolved in relation to geographic terms, the final report of the Cross Community Working Group Framework for the Use of Country and Territory Names as TLDs (CCWG-UCTN) provides a good background https://ccnso.icann.org/sites/default/files/field-attached/ccwg-ctn-final-paper-15jun17-en.pdf.

The 2012 Applicant Guidebook states the following in relation to geographic terms: Geographic Names Review

Applications for gTLD strings must ensure that appropriate consideration is given to the interests of governments or public authorities in geographic names. The requirements and procedure ICANN will follow in the evaluation process are described in the following paragraphs. Applicants should review these requirements even if they do not believe their intended gTLD string is a geographic name. All applied-for gTLD strings will be reviewed according to the requirements in this section, regardless of whether the application indicates it is for a geographic name. Treatment of Country or Territory Names6

Applications for strings that are country or territory names will not be approved, as they are not available under the New gTLD Program in this application round. A string shall be considered to be a country or territory name if:

  1.  it is an alpha-3 code listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.

  2.  it is a long-form name listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard, or a translation of the long-form name in any language.

  3.  it is a short-form name listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard, or a translation of the short-form name in any language.

  4.  it is the short- or long-form name association with a code that has been designated as “exceptionally reserved” by the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency.

  5.  it is a separable component of a country name designated on the “Separable Country Names List,” or is a translation of a name appearing on the list, in any language. See the Annex at the end of this module.

  6.  it is a permutation or transposition of any of the names included in items (i) through (v). Permutations include removal of spaces, insertion of punctuation, and addition or removal of grammatical articles like “the.” A transposition is considered a change in the sequence of the long or short–form name, for example, “RepublicCzech” or “IslandsCayman.”

vii. it is a name by which a country is commonly known, as demonstrated by evidence that the country is recognized by that name by an intergovernmental or treaty organization.
Geographic Names Requiring Government Support
The following types of applied-for strings are considered geographic names and must be accompanied by documentation of support or non-objection from the relevant governments or public authorities:

  1.  An application for any string that is a representation, in any language, of the capital city name of any country or territory listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.
  2.  An application for a city name, where the applicant declares that it intends to use the gTLD for purposes associated with the city name.

City names present challenges because city names may also be generic terms or brand names, and in many cases city names are not unique. Unlike other types of geographic names, there are no established lists that can be used as objective references in the evaluation process. Thus, city names are not universally protected. However, the process does provide a means for cities and applicants to work together where desired.
An application for a city name will be subject to the geographic names requirements (i.e., will require documentation of support or non-objection from the relevant governments or public authorities) if:
(a) It is clear from applicant statements within the application that the applicant will use the TLD primarily for purposes associated with the city name; and
  (b) The applied-for string is a city name as listed on official city documents.7

  1.  An application for any string that is an exact match of a sub-national place name, such as a county, province, or state, listed in the ISO 3166-2 standard.
  2.  An application for a string listed as a UNESCO region8 or appearing on the “Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings” list.9

In the case of an application for a string appearing on either of the lists above, documentation of support will be required from at least 60% of the respective national governments in the region, and there may be no more than one written statement of objection to the application from relevant governments in the region and/or public authorities associated with the continent or the region.
Where the 60% rule is applied, and there are common regions on both lists, the regional composition contained in the “Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings” takes precedence.
An applied-for gTLD string that falls into any of 1 through 4 listed above is considered to represent a geographic name. In the event of any doubt, it is in the applicant’s interest to consult with relevant governments and public authorities and enlist their support or non-objection prior to submission of the application, in order to preclude possible objections and pre-address any ambiguities concerning the string and applicable requirements.
Strings that include but do not match a geographic name (as defined in this section) will not be considered geographic names as defined by section, and therefore will not require documentation of government support in the evaluation process.

6 Country and territory names are excluded from the process based on advice from the Governmental Advisory Committee in recent communiqués providing interpretation of Principle 2.2 of the GAC Principles regarding New gTLDs to indicate that strings which are a meaningful representation or abbreviation of a country or territory name should be handled through the forthcoming ccPDP, and other geographic strings could be allowed in the gTLD space if in agreement with the relevant government or public authority.
7 City governments with concerns about strings that are duplicates, nicknames or close renderings of a city name should not rely on the evaluation process as the primary means of protecting their interests in a string. Rather, a government may elect to file a formal objection to an application that is opposed by the relevant community, or may submit its own application for the string.
8 See http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/worldwide/[unesco.org]<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.unesco.org_new_en_unesco_worldwide_&d=DwMGaQ&c=FmY1u3PJp6wrcrwll3mSVzgfkbPSS6sJms7xcl4I5cM&r=UAy6fqdE7uFkRCc7uzN4yui8bwTtqofadZHiQEIO1vw&m=xkyKkaMrpFHC2Y7bYkg2dZgFxuTEPoPOyK6Gp8VdOjo&s=BFlNnYVG3cWU8E7WYL8IM3sAhljIgoJIlNXg7FOY0ZE&e=>.
9 See http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm[unstats.un.org]<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__unstats.un.org_unsd_methods_m49_m49regin.htm&d=DwMGaQ&c=FmY1u3PJp6wrcrwll3mSVzgfkbPSS6sJms7xcl4I5cM&r=UAy6fqdE7uFkRCc7uzN4yui8bwTtqofadZHiQEIO1vw&m=xkyKkaMrpFHC2Y7bYkg2dZgFxuTEPoPOyK6Gp8VdOjo&s=OUphKkFDZowCxK0Owp9DX4kk3oafMaWuFbNFUpKV-CE&e=>.

For a potential new applicant guidebook, we need a consensus driven common understanding of geographic identifiers to provide clarity to potential applicants. We would like to gather input from WT5 members, specifically whether the current definition is fit for purpose or not.  If you think there should be changes, specify what these would be (additions, deletions) and the rationale for adding or removing any elements of the definition.

Please submit your comments, ideally by 15 Jan, to provide an opportunity to discuss the input during our next call.

To submit your comment, please use the following link to the document or submit via email specifying:

1. Contributor name
2. Addition/deletion/amendment to definition
3. Rationale to support the change

This will then be added to the google doc which is available here (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ooKmb576MQJvpHyDYOlJE3M2-Ssnv-SSgVfroT3D7Fc/edit?usp=sharing) for those that may wish to populate the document directly.  Please do not amend any other entries as this document will not track changes.

We look forward to receiving your input.

Kind regards

WT5 Co-Leaders
Annebeth Lange
Christopher Wilkinson
Martin Sutton
Olga Cavalli

Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 mailing list
Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org<mailto:Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org>

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mm.icann.org/pipermail/gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5/attachments/20180110/2550eec8/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 mailing list