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History lesson - this topic came up in 2007, and was widely rejected!

  • To: "comments-igo-ingo-final-20sep13@xxxxxxxxx" <comments-igo-ingo-final-20sep13@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: History lesson - this topic came up in 2007, and was widely rejected!
  • From: George Kirikos <gkirikos@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2013 19:45:22 -0700 (PDT)

As we enter the reply period, I note for the record that this topic came up in 
2007, and was soundly rejected. See my CircleID article at:


and in particular, note the comments! For example, the .biz TLD might have been 
rejected, due to conflicts with the Bank for International Settlements, using 
the logic of the advocates for the other side. Jeff Neuman wrote:

"In fact, after .biz was approved we did receive a letter from the Bank of 
International Settlements stating that .biz was a protected IGO name and 
therefore ICANN should have retracted its approval of .biz.......At that point 
time, we had discussions with the ICANN General Counsel, Louis Touton, and 
drafted a response which is posted here.....I have a hard time reconciling how 
ICANN staff can issue this legal opinion letter to the Bank of International 
Settlements in 2001 and now draft this "staff report"....

Here is the conclusion of the ICANN GC Letter:

"While we appreciate the Bank's desire to formally assert whatever legal rights 
it may have, an exclusion of the use of the string "biz" as an Internet 
top-level domain is not supported by legal principles and would be contrary to 
the global public interest. With respect for the proper scope of the Bank's 
rights under Article 6ter, ICANN is proceeding with the introduction of the 
.biz top-level domain."

Millions of domains are now registered under the .biz gTLD, and the Bank for 
International Settlements' fears were shown to be overstated. This is *real* 
data that the working group needs to take into account today. The 
fear-mongering taking place by IGOs is just that. History tells us that they 
were wrong then, and wrong now.

Furthermore, John Berryhill wrote an excellent analysis of Article 6ter of the 
Paris Convention (see comment #4):

"It is long past time to put to bed the downright intellectual dishonesty 
involved in citing Article 6ter of the Paris Convention as prohibiting the 
registration of domain names of any kind.

FIRST - The treaty is binding on the governments which are signatory to the 
treaty.  The treaty is not binding upon ICANN.  The treaty is not binding on 
any registry.

SECOND - The treaty requires governments to refuse to register as trademarks or 
permit use as trademarks, the names or initials of IGO's.

We are not talking about trademarks, we are talking about domain names.  There 
is nothing - utterly nothing - in this treaty that relates to a requirement 
binding upon ICANN or a domain name registry to refuse to permit the 
registration of internet domain names of any kind.

Sorry, if the acronym of my organization is GFY, then I can use GFY as a domain 
name for my organization.  That is a situation that has nothing to do with 
whether I am using GFY as a trademark - as I might not even be using the 
acronym as a trademark.

Do we require the New York Stock Exchange or the NASDAQ to refuse to issue 
stock ticker symbols which are IGO's?  No, we don't.  Should a public 
corporation be allowed to register its stock ticker symbol as a domain name, 
even if that symbol corresponds to the initials of an IGO?  I cannot for the 
life of me imagine why they should not.

This notion concerning Article 6ter is sheer stupidity.  For those who know 
better, it goes well beyond stupidity, and straight into the realm of outright 

Well said. I'd like to note for the record that I endorse and support the views 
of those writing in support of property rights and due process, and in 
particular Alex Lerman, Chip Meade, Nat Cohen, Paul Tattersfield, Pat Quinn, 
Phil Corwin, Jay Chapman, and Joseph Peterson.

I reject the positions of Sergio De Gregori and Hope Makena. As discussed above 
by John Berryhill, Article 6ter does not not grant monopolies to IGOs over 
their acronyms. We see those acronyms as stock symbols, and we see them widely 
used by many other organizations and individuals. These acronyms are even used 
as Twitter handles, FaceBook usernames, Yahoo & Gmail user ids, 3rd-level 
domains, and so on.

ICANN unilaterally created a draft "reserved" list at:


and proposes that common strings such as "IDEA", "ECO", "AU" and even "PAM" be 
reserved. That's an absurdity. None of these organizations deserve special 
treatment. Domains such as ECO.cars would be disallowed. Heck, why not delete 
the entire dot-AU country code, and hand it over to the African Union, under 
the "logic" of the extremists in the other camp? Why not force the millions of 
women named "Pamela" (or "Pam") to rename themselves, in order that the 
Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean have exclusive use of the string 

As Joseph Peterson correctly noted in his comments, this is also about free 
speech. Suppose someone wanted to criticize an IGO for abusive or inappropriate 
behaviour (we all know it happens). We've seen various scandals in the Olympic 
movement, and even the Red Cross (e.g. tainted blood in Canada).  ICANN should 
not preemptively censor that free speech from the DNS.

IGOs already have a carve out, namely dot-INT. They should use that TLD, and 
promote it. Heck, ICANN has that pot of gold from the new gTLD application 
fees, and is looking for "good causes" --- they could mount a marketing 
campaign or Super Bowl ad to promote the .INT extension as "the place to find 
IGOs" and leave others in peace. IGOs always have their hands out. Instead of 
picking the pockets of innocent registrants who are using their domains 
legitimately, by being looters and moochers, they should focus on their 

In conclusion, common short strings are widely used. They have *multiple* 
competing uses, and ICANN should not place the interests of one small group of 
stakeholders over others, especially without any supporting data indicating 
that there is an important problem that needs fixing. Indeed, the supporting 
data (the history of .biz, heck the history of .au, or the use of stock symbols 
or the millions of women named "Pam") tells the opposite story, that short 
strings can coexist amongst many competing users. Any intervention should be 
designed to have minimal collateral damage and unintended consequences, but 
some of the extremists on the other side are proposing mass theft of billions 
(yes BILLIONS) of dollars worth of domain names in existing gTLDs, in order to 
benefit their obscure IGOs. That's simply absurd and unacceptable. The costs 
imposed upon others of such proposals far exceed any real benefits.


George Kirikos
Leap of Faith Financial Services Inc

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