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Business and Intellectual Property Issues with the IDN Guidelines

  • To: idn-guidelines@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Business and Intellectual Property Issues with the IDN Guidelines
  • From: Danny Younger <dannyyounger@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2005 06:47:16 -0700 (PDT)

I thank the ICANN Board for the opportunity to comment
on the Draft Revised IDN Guidelines.  I have one

When policy is crafted, one must ensure that such
policy does not unjustifiably injure particular
categories of persons or entities.  The Draft Revised
IDN Guidelines as written have the potential to become
policy which may significantly impact the worldwide
business community (that seeks to promote its brands
on an international basis) by restricting domain name
registrations to a single language or a single script.
 This has the effect of denying a brand the
possibility of launching a multilingual campaign on
the Internet that can be coordinated with print and
other media campaigns -- allow me to illustrate:

Let's suppose that NIKE (used only for the sake of an
example) wants to run a worldwide promotion using the
phrase "Run with Nike."
Their campaign would translate the words "run with"
into a large number of languages, while the brand-word
"Nike" remained as written in English.  While they
could display this message to the world in a multitude
of languages on billboards, in newspapers and
magazines, in TV and movie ads, they couldn't register
any comparable domains in a multitude of multilingual
forms because the single language/script rules won't
allow them to do so.

I understand that the fear of homographic attacks has
prompted the decision to restrict domains to a single
language or script, yet I believe that this approach
should be viewed as somewhat shortsighted. Trademarks
all have one thing in common -- a recognition factor. 
A user can see a trademark symbol and instantly
understand that the string of letters that preceded it
is a trademark/brand.

I believe that an exception to the one language/script
policy should be made when trademarks appear within
domain names (as long as the trademark symbol is
included after the name) -- unfortunately, the LDH
code point approach currently excludes this
possibility (as the TM symbol does not reside within
this range).

I would argue that we should be able to technically
provide for the needs of the intellectual property and
business communities. 

Providing this type of exception to the one
language/script rule would allow registries and
registrars to profit (as they could charge for the
service of validating the trademarked string), the
business community would benefit from the new
opportunity that multilingual campaigns can offer, as
would the users of such business products.  

A validated trademark when combined with characters in
another language/script does not pose a homographic
threat (as long as the validation process confirms
that the holder of the trademark is also the
registrant of the domain).  

The Internet is an economic engine.  We shouldn't
inadvertently craft policy that has the effect of
being detrimental to economic growth.

Thank you for considering these remarks.

Best wishes,
Danny Younger

Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005 

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