Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission, has repeated her call for ICANN reform after it rejected governmental advice in its newly approved top-level domains program.
According to a statement from her official spokesperson sent to Intellectual Property Watch, Kroes said the approval of the program “disregard[ed] governmental advice on public policy issues” and “underscores the need for the model to be reformed to remain sustainable”.
The lack of an adequate response on the part of ICANN Board clearly points to some deficiencies in the current functioning of the model. This calls for specific actions in order to remedy the situation.
Kroes seems to believe that governments are entitled to every concession they demand from “multistakeholder” policy-making processes.
According to IP-Watch, she promised to coordinate a response with EU member states and the US.
While the Governmental Advisory Committee had filed about 80 objections to aspects of the Applicant Guidebook earlier this year, ICANN managed to whittle the list down to a small handful.
It refused to remove the requirement for trademark owners to provide proof of use before participating in sunrise periods, and to lower the burden of proof in certain anti-cybersquatting mechanisms.
Governments also don’t seem particularly convinced by ICANN’s decision to approve the program before consulting more deeply with competition authorities over the vertical integration issue.
GAC chair Heather Dryden delivered a more measured statement expressing “disappointment” with the decision yesterday.
EC GAC representative Gerard de Graaf, who’s earning himself a reputation in ICANN as a bit of a firebrand, was less measured in his response, accusing ICANN of potentially putting new gTLD applicants at risk of violating European competition laws.
More at Intellectual Property Watch.