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

Javier Rua javrua at gmail.com
Mon Jan 15 17:07:59 UTC 2018

1. I’m Javier Rúa-Jovet, from the ALAC. I’m a very recent member of this WG.

2. My contribution at this point is a general suggestion regarding the possibility of considering a mechanism that could take into account the interests of recognized subnational cultural/linguistic and/or indigenous groups during the process of reserving a geographic name (which presumably is linked to that aboriginal culture in a substantial way). The actual form of any mechanism, if this idea were to gain any traction, is obviously an issue best left to Community-wide discussion. Maybe it could be a general reflection of that aspiration, or could take more concrete form like a specific validation of the ability of existing States to factor-in subnational indigenous interests when they review a geo-name request, or even something much stronger, like a procedural step enforced by and aboriginal authority (when such local or autonomous indigenous public institutions actually do exist), not unlike like the process that today pays due regard to the concerns of States and/or public authorities.  Please excuse my ignorance If the above is a topic that has been discussed and/or settled before. I am also cognizant that this issue might be more a province of those working groups dealing with the meaning of “international Law” and of “Human Rights” in the ICANN context as per its by laws.  

3. Over the last 20 years Indigenous Peoples’ rights have been increasingly recognized through the adoption of international instruments and mechanisms, such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in 2007 http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/DRIPS_en.pdf , the establishment of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/ , the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (EMRIP) http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IPeoples/EMRIP/Pages/EMRIPIndex.aspx , and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNSR) http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IPeoples/SRIndigenousPeoples/Pages/SRIPeoplesIndex.aspx .

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (adopted by a majority of 143 states in favor) establishes minimum standards for the survival, dignity, well-being and rights of the world's indigenous peoples. It addresses cultural rights and identity, language, and others which can be deemed relevant in this geographic names discussion. https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N06/512/07/PDF/N0651207.pdf?OpenElement 

Although the Declaration is still legally non-binding, Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which is indirectly related to the cited Declaration, does constitute binding international law on member states. (“In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, or to use their own language.”) https://treaties.un.org/doc/publication/unts/volume%20999/volume-999-i-14668-english.pdf .  

Javier Rúa-Jovet

skype: javier.rua1

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From: Martin Sutton
Sent: Monday, January 8, 2018 6:12 PM
To: gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org
Subject: [Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] Action for WT5 Members - Definition ofGeographic Terms

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:
i. it is an alpha-3 code listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.
ii. it is a long-form name listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard, or a translation of the long-form name in any language.
iii. it is a short-form name listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard, or a translation of the short-form name in any language.
iv. 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.
v. 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.
vi. 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
3. 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.
4. 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].
9 See http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm[unstats.un.org]. 
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

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