ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee has issued an official Communique following its meeting with the ICANN board on new top-level domains, which wrapped up on Wednesday.
While acknowledging the talks were “sometimes challenging”, the GAC said (pdf) the consultation was useful and should be continued during the San Francisco meeting later this month.
There’s not a great deal to work with in the Communique if you like reading tea leaves, but these paragraphs go some way to negate a view I expressed yesterday that the GAC does not want ICANN to overrule its recommendations. With my emphasis:
While fully respecting the Board’s right not to accept GAC advice, the GAC is obliged to ensure that existing rights, the rule of law and the security and protection of citizens, consumers and businesses, and the principle of national sovereignty for governments are all maintained within the new environment, as well as respect for legitimate interests and sensitivities regarding terms with national, cultural, geographic and religious significance. The GAC is committed to taking whatever time is required to achieving these essential public policy objectives.
The GAC envisions that discussion of the issues involved will continue up to and through the ICANN/GAC meeting in San Francisco in March
That’s not incredibly encouraging language if you’re impatiently awaiting the launch of the new TLDs program and were banking on ICANN putting the GAC’s concerns to bed in SF.
But those who count themselves among the intellectual property constituency can probably take heart that the GAC seems to be still committed to fighting its corner.
The GAC now awaits the publication of ICANN’s official compromise positions, post-Brussels, which it plans to take to its members’ respective “stakeholders”.