A tsunami of opposition to ICANN’S January 2012 expansion of top level domains has resulted in a U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation full committee hearing to “examine the merits and implications of this new program and ICANN’s continuing efforts to address concerns raised by the Internet community.”
The hearing will be held Thursday, December 8, at 10:00 a.m. EST. Press will be welcomed on a first-come, first-served basis, while the public can virtually attend the Senate Commerce Committee hearing via a webcast.
The opposition of the 100+ brands and organizations in CRIDO (the Coalition for Responsible Domain Oversight) will be presented by the Association of National Advertisers exec team of Bob Liodice, President and CEO; Dan Jaffe, EVP of Government Relations; and Doug Wood, general counsel.
The growing alliance views the gTLD program as "harmful," allowing organizations and companies to apply for generic or branded top level domains (the names to the right of the ‘dot,’ e.g. .com, .net, .org.), with brands such as Ford, GE and HP concerned about cybersquatting and related issues.
Commenting on opposition from the marketing and advertising industry, .Nxt CEO Kieren McCarthy writes that “the anti-gTLD campaign has some serious concerns which it will make sure the Senate Committee members are fully apprised of,” including four key, unresolved issues from ICANN's recent meeting in Dakar summarized by Steve DelBianco from the organization's business constituency:
• Applications for gTLD IDNs (creation of Internet extensions in languages other than English)
• Trademark protection
• Registrar code of conduct
McCarthy believes there will be a strong call for ICANN to either postpone the program until remaining concerns have been tackled, or limit applications in the first round to either very safe applications or a limited number of new extensions. Click here for more advice to brands eyeing the new top-level domains.