[Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] Notes and Action Items - Work Track 5 Meeting - 2 May 2018

Emily Barabas emily.barabas at icann.org
Wed May 2 08:54:57 UTC 2018

Dear Work Track Members,

Please see below the action items and discussion notes captured by staff from the meeting today. These high-level notes are designed to help WT members navigate through the content of the call and are not meant as a substitute for the transcript or recording.  The MP3, transcript, and chat room notes will be provided separately.

For reference see also the attached slides.

Kind regards,

ACTION ITEM: Get additional information on the .spa example to include in discussions for the next meeting.

  1.  Welcome/Agenda Review/SOI Updates
  2.  Meeting Schedule

  *   The leadership team held a doodle to get input from WT members on the meeting rotation. The majority of respondents preferred to meet weekly for 60 minutes. The weekly rotation will begin next week on a trial basis.

  1.  Discussion of cities

Capital city names:

  *   One WT member expressed that there was some good discussion on this list and encouraged the group to build on the list discussion during the call today.
  *   Key points from contributions on the mailing list are captured in the working document: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1FuPEq0y-cdSUQ1nvhWKhVnG8PLaC2RYXsCpQu91FDqo/edit#gid=358523414
  *   On the text on slide 6 summarizing the 2007 policy with respect to capital city names:
     *   “Available, but challenge mechanism to governments to initiate an objection. Applicants should be aware of GAC Principles. Applicants must represent that the use of the proposed string is not in violation of the national laws in which the applicant is incorporated.”
     *   A Work Track member expressed that there should be a clear set of objectives used to evaluate all applications that is equitable. Capital city names are at times contested (example: Jerusalem). There are also different linguistic representations of such names.
     *   Some applicants may want to do something with the string that is not in the purview of governments or not agreed to by governments.
     *   A government stakeholder expressed that governments base their positions regarding strings and the attribution of those strings in national law, but national law only helps us to a certain extent.
     *   We need to think more carefully about how we come up with objection procedures.
     *   “Applicants must represent that the use of the proposed string is not in violation of the national laws in which the applicant is incorporated.” – according to this WT member, this is not a practical provision.
     *   An applicant can be located anywhere in the world, so this does not help us with decisions about the use of a string. We need be more careful about the treatment of this issue.
     *   There is a big difference between letters of support and non-objection. Non-objection is not only about non-objection from government authorities. It is superficial to think that the only possible legitimate expression of support or non-objection should come from national governments.
     *   Example from the mailing list – “Perth” was raised again. Different countries may have cities named Perth. There are different representations of a single string. This could be an opportunity for collaboration
     *   From this WT member’s perspective, there should be a broader conversation about place names. Focusing specifically on the capital city names for this conversation is too restrictive.
  *   Question raised: Objection could be explicit or implied. Which are we talking about on this call?
  *   Position expressed by a WT member: Discussing the right of objection is the wrong way to approach this. Basing this on a sovereignty context is ill-advised. In the 2012 round, Tata had to seek a letter of support of non-objection from a small province in Morocco, even though this province had not expressed any interest in this TLD. We should be careful when we talk about objections that we address the basis of the objection. We should make sure we discuss what right is being violated before we decide if there is an objection to be had.
  *   Changing the discussion to place names – in the 2012 context, the capital city names had stronger protection than other city names. If we discuss these in a broader context of place names, we need to consider how to approach this issue.
  *   Position expressed by a WT member: You need to respect the concerns of the people of a country who have attachment to a particular string. This is not just a matter of government, it is about consulting the people of the country. Capital city names should be treated differently that city names.
City names:

  *   Many city names are also brands.
  *   A WT member raised that one possibility is to share a top-level domain among different groups that have an interest in the string.
  *   Position expressed by a WT member: Idealistic but impractical that different geographic locations with the same name and brands could all share a TLD. If we created some sort of hierarchy of rights, we are getting into a huge can of worms.
  *   Question raised: going back to the comment that citizens of a place have the right to provide input on the use of the that name, where does that right come from?
  *   Position expressed by a WT member: It should not be the case that everything must be written in law. It is not appropriate to use geographic names at the top level without the permission/agreement of the government.
  *   Position expressed by a WT member: It would be helpful to get suggestions for models where we can manage different perspectives and develop options for a path forward that take into account the different needs.
  *   Position expressed by a WT member: It may not be the place of WT5 to figure out how different geographic interests could “share” a TLD. This was raised more to indicate that there could be benefits to groups coming together to cooperatively manage at TLD.
  *   Question: What issues are we trying to solve that came up in the previous round?
  *   Idea raised by a WT member: One way to work through this is focusing on context – using the example “Springfield.” If someone wants to use this string for a non-geographic use, for example the Springfield rifle company, and make this clear in their application (could be generic or a brand) perhaps this is a path forward.
  *   Spa is an example from the last round where there was an applicant who wanted to use the string in a non-geographic context.
  *   Idea raised by a WT member: In the 2012, for city names, if you were using the name in a non-geographic context, you did not need to go through the support/non-objection process. This may be a path forward.
  *   Position expressed by a WT member: This path cannot be generalized, it should be a conversation between the applicant and the other groups involved.
  *   Clarification by WT leadership -- In the 2012 round, the applicant specified the purpose of the application in the application process. Objections were also built into the application process. If we need to make the application process clearer, that is something the WT can explore.
  *   Example raised by a WT member: Spa was used as an example of a string where the applicant wanted to use it in the non-geographic context. In the 2012 round, the applicant applied to use the string in a non-geographic context, but the application was held up by geographic concerns raised by the Belgian government. Tata was a similar case.

  1.  Continue Discussion of Non-Included Categories

  *   What is meant by additional categories of geographic names?
  *   This is a discussion of possible types of geographic names not covered in the 2012 AGB. Some examples have been raised on the mailing list, for example rivers, mountains, names associated with cultural and linguistic community.
  *   In the working document, we have collected suggestions about other areas that members would like to discuss. This is the opportunity to raise these topics. WT members are encouraged include rationale about why these strings would need special treatment if you think they need it.
  *   Perspective raised by a WT member: Geographical indications should be a distinct category. They are based on local law and should be discussed in this Work Track.
  *   Suggestion by a WT member: Perhaps it is worthwhile to think about geographic names as a brand. What if we looked at “Sydney” as a brand. Part of our problem statement is that in many cases, geographic terms are brands. What is the brand value of a geographic term – look at cases like camembert cheese or Bordeaux wine or other terms where the geographic association has economic implications.
  *   Question/issue raised by a WT member: We need to have a clear definition of the term “community” in the context of these discussions. How do we decide what the economic interests are?
  *   Response: In the 2012 round, strings that passed CPE had priority over other applications in a contention set. This specific context of the term community, which it may not be appropriate for this WT to discuss.
  *   Suggestion raised by a WT member: We could look at what rights brands have in the TLD context. Brands cannot insist on letters of support or non-objection for an application. Brands cannot stop other applicants from applying for strings – for example, Apple the brand is not in a position to stop an association of apple growers from applying for a string related to apples.
  *   There is no rule at this time that a community cannot also be a geographic term, so that is the intersection. But the treatment of community applications will be handled by another Work Track.

  1.  Any Other Business

  *   None.

Emily Barabas | Senior Policy Specialist
ICANN | Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
Email: emily.barabas at icann.org | Phone: +31 (0)6 84507976

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