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IBCA Presentation to ICANN GAC on Protection of Geographic Names in New gTLDs

The Internet Business Council for Africa (IBCA) was invited by ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) to present comments it had submitted for the proposed for Protection of Geographic Names in New gTLDs during ICANN GAC session.

Among other comments, IBCA noted that GAC has yet to create its own operating principles that define transparency and accountability and that the knowledge base of the GAC members needs to be looked into, GAC has to prepare a guidebook on how to recruit and train its new members on the standing rules so that their position is not abused.

On the protection of Geographic Names in New gTLDs, IBCA opines that geographic name is not clearly defined and may be overly broad,

In summary, some of the recommendations include:

  • That all applicants' geographic names and brand names that have been classified as geographic names of the current new gTLD process be allowed to give a documented review of their experiences for the particular names they have applied for. Proper questioners regarding the geo-applicant challenges should be developed to guide their input, without their valid input this proposal on protection of geographic names will not be complete.
  • A panel of global external experts should be formulated to analyze the implications of the proposed and unprecedented expansion of the scope of protection of names with a geo geographical connotation.
  • GAC's manual of roles and competence should be created to prevent the possibility governmental authorities blocking the internet development inadvertently
  • The existence and application of international legislative implications should also be looked into to avoid burdening commercial interests and rights.

See ICANN GAC Site: Geographic Names in the new gTLDs process updated summary and report – February 2015 / Presentation slides by IBCA [PPT] / Comment by IBCA on ICANN GAC proposal for Geographic Names [PDF]

Past Contributions by IBCA

In September 2014, IBCA opposed the proposed ICANN Bylaws Changes Regarding Consideration of GAC Advice. IBCA noted that the proposed amendments to the Bylaws that would require 2/3 of the voting members of the Board to vote to act inconsistently with a piece of GAC advice will give the GAC undue power in the ICANN Board concerning making decisions that are supposed to be approached via the bottom up multi-stakeholder process that IBCA supports. Currently, the Bylaws require a simple majority of the Board (50% + 1) to vote to not follow a piece of advice from the GAC. Our comments were recognized by the The Association of National Advertisers in America which warned of the dangers behind plans to enhance the GAC's role in ICANN decision-making.

In September 16 2014, IBCA joined other users of the internet to fight and defend Net Neutrality as currently constituted. IBCA strongly believes that all Internet Service providers ought to treat all data that flows through their systems and networks equally under the same conditions without any preferential treatment nor blockages.

About IBCA

The Internet Business Council for Africa (IBCA) is an initiative which DotConnectAfrica Trust introduced in 2012. It aims to be at the forefront of strengthening and facilitating the commercial relationship between the the Developed nations and the African continent.

The principal objective of the IBCA is to promote the involvement and participation of the African private/non-governmental sector (and the global private sector involved in Africa) in the global ICT & Internet Community, and also provide an avenue for them to participate in global Internet Governance. The IBCA will closely work with governments, multilateral groups and business to improve the African continent's internet, trade and investment climate, and to raise the profile of Africa in the developed nations

The Internet Business Council for Africa (IBCA) believe that Africa's future success depends upon the ability of its entrepreneurs and business people to create and retain wealth through private public partnerships. Private corporations and individuals can contribute most effectively by building partnership and reaching out to the African private sector using the best known Modern Management and consultative mechanisms.


About DotConnectAfrica – DotConnectAfrica a non-profit, non-partisan org registered in Mauritius, along with DCA Registry Services located in Nairobi, Kenya will sponsor, establish and operate a gTLD registry with global recognition and regional significance dedicated to the needs of Pan-African & African constituency. Learn More

Related topics: ICANN, Internet Governance, Policy & Regulation, Top-Level Domains


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