ICANN’s board of directors has given the Olympic and Red Cross brands – along with those of a batch of intergovernmental organizations — special second-level protection in new gTLDs.
Its new gTLD program committee this week passed two resolutions, one protecting the International Olympic Committee and Red Cross/Red Crescent, the other protecting IGOs that qualify for .int domain names.
New gTLD registries launching next year and beyond will now be obliged to block a list of names and acronyms several hundred names longer than previously expected.
Domain names including who.tld and reg.tld will be out of bounds for the foreseeable future.
In a letter to the GNSO, committee chair Cherine Chalaby said:
The Committee adopted both resolutions at this time in deference to geopolitical concerns and specific GAC advice, to reassure the impacted stakeholders in the community, acknowledge and encourage the continuing work of the GNSO Council, and take an action consistent with its 13 September 2012 resolution.
The first ICANN resolution preempts an expected GNSO Council resolution on the Olympics and Red Cross — which got borked earlier this month — while the second is based on Governmental Advisory Committee advice coming out of the Toronto meeting in October.
The resolutions were not expected until January, after the GNSO Council had come to an agreement, but I’m guessing the World Conference on International Telecommunications, taking place in Dubai next week, lit a fire under ICANN’s collective bottoms.
The full text of the resolutions will not be published until tomorrow, but the affected organizations have already been given the heads-up, judging by the quotes in an ICANN press release today.
The press release also noted that the protections are being brought in before the usual policy-making has taken place because it would be too hard to introduce them at a later date:
In approving the resolutions, the New gTLD Program Committee made it clear it was taking a conservative approach, noting that restrictions on second-level registration can be lifted at a later time depending on the scope of the GNSO policy recommendations approved by the Board.
The new Reserved Names List will presumably be added to the Applicant Guidebook at some point in the not too distant future.
Meanwhile, Wikipedia has a list of organizations with .int domain names, which may prove a useful, though non-comprehensive, guide to some of the strings on the forthcoming list.