Thursday, April 11, 2013

The GAC Communiqué was published... (.wine & .vin)

...and: "what a surprise", there is a paragraph for .VIN and .WINE applications.

The awaited GAC Communiqué was published today and will probably delay the ICANN new gTLD program again. Is it good, is it bad? I have an opinion of course.

I was negative about the GAC (Governmental Advisory Committee) a few weeks ago and only saw a group of members trying to slow down the new gTLD program for wrong or unnecessary reasons. I even watched some of its members "doing their jobs" and was amused to see them pushing papers. I guess it was not the case for all of them after all.

Many of us have been complaining about delays but looking at the population complaining, the "most of us" are service providers and applicants who have an interest in new gTLDs, not Registrants:

  • Some applicants are struggling and need to sell domain names for profit as fast as possible;
  • Some are brands who want to use their domain name extension;
  • Some are investors who need to please their board;
  • Some are service providers who start to look like imbeciles because they can't provide a dead-line to their clients (and I know what I am talking about, I was one of them in 2011);
  • and I forgot, some are domainers who can't wait to grab the best domains names;
  • I guess there are other examples.
I have not heard about any Registrants (particulars and brands): those concerned who will be buying these domains names. We have not heard about them because most of them don't know and have a very hard time following the process. It is like sometimes, when listening to politics: you just don't get it, so you drop it.

This is were I believe the GAC is important. It brings more common sense in the ICANN new gTLD program. The GAC, even if it wants to be the voice of Governments, is also a voice for end users: they are this huge population which is going to buy domain names. I thing it is important to remind those who lobby ICANN that Registrants are the one going to be affected if ICANN does not do its job.

For example, representatives of wine Geographical Indications are concerned by the GAC action. Only the GAC can protect wine GI representatives not to have their names thrown in the jungle of future new gTLD launching. Apparently, the GAC has looked into the problem of protecitng wine GIs:

The Communiqué says (page 3 of the document):
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
c. Strings for Further GAC Consideration
In addition to this safeguard advice, that GAC has identified certain gTLD strings where further GAC consideration may be warranted, including at the GAC meetings to be held in Durban.
i. Consequently, the GAC advises the ICANN Board to:
not proceed beyond Initial Evaluation with the following strings :
  • .shenzhen (IDN in Chinese)
  • .persiangulf
  • .guangzhou (IDN in Chinese)
  • .amazon (and IDNs in Japanese and Chinese)
  • .patagonia
  • .date
  • .spa
  • . yun
  • .thai
  • .zulu
  • .wine
  • .vin
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The same applies to other Communities and Industries where an applicant submitted a Standard application when it should have been a Community one (endorsed by a major representative). According to the recent GAC Communiqué published today, I feel users will be better protected.

If wine GIs are not safe yet, it gives us more time to find solutions, until the next ICANN meeting in Durban.

The GAC Communiqué can be downloaded here.
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