13 November, 2010

Guidebook proves that ICANN needs to grow a pair

Caving in to WIPO demands, ICANN has extended "protection" to the acronyms of IGOs (Inter-Governmental Organizations) through its new gTLD Applicant Guidebook.

The issue of IGO acronyms re-surfaced after the 1 November WIPO letter that re-iterated the long-discredited position that "The names and acronyms of IGOs are protected under international law within the scope of Article 6ter of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property".

This argument had earlier been definitively put to bed in the process of considering the .biz application by former ICANN General Counsel Louis Touton.   As we all know, BIZ is the acronym protected under Article 6ter for the "BANK FÜR INTERNATIONALEN ZAHLUNGSAUSGLEICH"  (otherwise known as the Bank for International Settlements) -- and ICANN allowed that TLD to be entered into the root even though it was a (sic) protected acronym. 

...yet now a completely spineless Staff has reversed ICANN's long-standing position on this matter.

Does ICANN even know which particular acronyms are protected? Of course not...they have never bothered to even look them up... but here is the list for those of you that want to know (see the attachment at the bottom of that page).

If ICANN proceeds down this path it will need to totally abide by the Paris Treaty Convention and formally take .biz out of the root (international treaties don't allow for convenient exceptions).

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