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Applicants spank IO in .health objections

Kevin Murphy, December 19, 2013, 13:01:00 (UTC), Domain Policy

Donuts and Dot Health LLC have beaten back objections filed by ICANN’s Independent Objector over the .health gTLD.

In simultaneous separate rulings by the same three-person International Chamber of Commerce panel, it was decided that the string “health” is not intrinsically offensive.

The IO, in his Limited Public Interest Objections, had argued that health is a human right protected by international law, and that .health should be managed with certain safeguards to protect the public.

But the ICC panels sided with the applicants, finding that in order for an objector to prevail in a LPI objection he must show that the string itself contravenes international law.

The panels used a strict reading of the Applicant Guidebook and supporting documentation to come to their conclusions. In the Donuts case, the panel ruled:

The Panel has no hesitation in finding that the string “health” is not objectionable in and of itself. It is obvious to the Panel that the word “health” does not conflict with any generally accepted legal norms relating to morality and public order of the same nature as the first three grounds ICANN listed in AGB Section 3.5.3.

The LPI objection was created in order to prevent gTLDs from being delegated where the string itself endorses ideas such as racism, slavery or child abuse.

ICANN has said that applications for such strings “may well be rare or non-existent”.

The panels sharply dismissed claims that IO, Alain Pellet, and a staff member were conflicted due to their previous work for the World Health Organization.

The Donuts ruling is here and the Dot Health ruling is here.

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Comments (2)

  1. Rubens Kuhl says:

    IO prevailed in another LPI, .hospital, although not in LPI .healthcare, although he is pursuing also a community objection on .healthcare, still to be decided.

    The problem with LPI is calling it public interest, which gives leeway for reasonings that are not about morality and public order.

  2. Dr M B Duggan says:

    The word ‘Health’ is not offensive, but has deep meaning in all cultures.
    Thus unfounded claims and linkages between ‘items/products’and ‘health’ run the risk of deception at the worst and irresponsibility at the least

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