--PROPOSED MEASURES FOR PROTECTION OF GEOGRAPHIC NAMES AT THE SECOND AND OTHER LEVELS IN THE APPLIED-FOR GTLD--
We have accepted the advice of the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) that we should adopt appropriate procedures to block names with national or geographic significance at the second and other levels, and will do so in the manner described below:
The country and territory names contained in the following internationally recognized lists will be initially reserved at the second level, as follows:
The short form (in English) of all country and territory names contained on the ISO 3166-1 list, as updated from time to time, including the European Union; on the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names, Technical Reference Manual for the Standardization of Geographical Names, Part III Names of Countries of the World; and on the list of United Nations member states in the six official United Nations languages prepared by the Working Group on Country Names of the United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names.
Procedurally, the geographical names contained in these lists, as described in Specification 5 of the New gTLD Agreement, will be added to the registry software system “prohibited word” function. This function, part of Espresso, our registry platform, allows strings to be blocked from registration. Upon an attempt via the EPP or web interface, the registration will not be allowed. Any attempt to register a domain containing those geographical names will be automatically denied, as they were similarly blocked in the .INFO TLD. If a Government or public authority decides to register a geographic name which has been blocked by the process describe above, the .INFO procedure for notice, authentication, and registration will be substantially adhered to, as follows:
1. The Government or public authority concerned informs the GAC Secretariat of their request to register the name, and the designated beneficiary.
2. The GAC Secretariat authenticates the request and transfers it to the ICANN staff and to the registry operator.
3. The registry operator verifies the availability of the name and issues an authorization number that is transmitted directly to the designated beneficiary in the country concerned.
4. The designated beneficiary (the Registrant) registers the name, paying the normal fee, with an ICANN-accredited registrar contracted with the registry operator using the authorization number as their authority.
The registry operator may at some point seek agreement with the applicable governments to release these reservations, subject to review by ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee and approval by ICANN.
For protection of geographic names at other levels, we have a complaint mechanism in place and any geographic entity may register a complaint if they feel their national rights have been violated.
We believe that the measures outlined above incorporate GAC’s advice and serve as a pledge to block, at no cost to governments, geographically significant names and allow a means of challenging any abuse of the use of a geographically significant name.