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Governments back Olympic domain bans

Kevin Murphy, May 13, 2011, 12:30:45 (UTC), Domain Policy

ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee has called for a ban on domain names containing terms relating to the Red Cross and Olympics movements.

Both organizations have for some time been calling for their trademarks to be added to the list of specially reserved strings that nobody will be able to register under new top-level domains.

The GAC “strongly supports” these demands.

In a piece of uncharacteristically straightforward advice (expect much more of this in the wake of the .xxx decision), GAC chair Heather Dryden wrote to ICANN:

The GAC advises the ICANN Board to approve these requests and to direct staff to reflect the Board’s approval in the May 30, 2011 version of the Applicant Guidebook.

It’s special pleading, of course, but there’s plenty of precedent for the Olympics, Red Cross and Red Crescent being given special protection under national laws, as Dryden notes in her letter.

I’d guess that this is a bone ICANN may be willing to throw, given that it has more important unresolved issues still to discuss with the GAC, some of which could delay the new gTLD program.

The Applicant Guidebook’s current list of reserved names includes the names of ICANN and related organizations, several terms used in networking, and country names.

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