Mexican intellectual property lawyer León Felipe Sánchez Ambía has been selected to become a member of the ICANN board of directors by the At-Large, comfortably beating his opponent in a poll this weekend.
Sanchez took 13 votes (65%) to 10-year At-Large veteran Alan Greenberg’s 7, in a vote of At-Large Advisory Committee members and Regional At Large Organization chairs.
He’ll take the seat due to be vacated in November by Rinalia Abdul Rahim, who will leave the board after one three-year term.
He’s currently head of the IP practice and a partner at Fulton & Fulton in Mexico City. According to his bio:
He is co-lead for the Mexican chapter of Creative Commons and advisor to different Government bodies that include the Digital Strategy Coordination Office of the Mexican Presidency, the Special Commission on Digital Agenda and IT of the Mexican House of Representatives and the Science and Technology Commission of the Mexican Senate.
He drafted the Internet Users Rights Protection Act for Mexico and has been very active on issues like Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA), Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA), Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and other local initiatives of the same kind, always advocating to defend users’ and creators’ rights in order to achieve a balance between regulation and freedom.
Sanchez is certainly the less experienced of the two short-listed men when it comes to length of involvement in the ICANN community, but he’s a member of the ALAC and is deeply involved as a volunteer in ICANN accountability work following the IANA transition.
The At-Large was recently criticized in a report (pdf) for the perception that it is “controlled by a handful of ICANN veterans who rotate between the different leadership positions”.
Sanchez’s appointment to the board may have an effect on that perception.
The selection of another (white, male) North American to the board, replacing an Asian woman, will of course create more pressure to increase geographic and gender diversity on the other groups within ICANN that select board members.
A written Q&A between the two candidates and At-Large members can be found here.
ICANN’s At-Large Advisory Committee has voted to object to three of the four applications for the .health gTLD.
Afilias, which is one of the applicants, will not receive an ALAC objection. By a single vote, ALAC decided not to go after its application.
Fourteen of the 15-member ALAC panel voted on Tuesday. For DotHealth LLC’s bid, the yes/no/abstain vote was 8/3/3; dot Health Ltd’s was 10/3/1, and Donuts’ was 10/3/1.
Afilias managed to get one extra “no” vote (its result was 7/4/3). so with only 50% of the voters voting “yes”, the motion to object failed.
The ALAC did not vote on .健康, which means “healthy” or “wellness” in Chinese, despite earlier indications that it would.
The identities of the voters and the way they voted does not appear to have been revealed.
The objections will be of the Community or Limited Public Interest variety, and paid for by ICANN.
Healthcare-related gTLDs are already the most controversial of those being applied for.
Each .health bid received four Governmental Advisory Committee Early Warnings late last year, and earlier this week the Independent Objector’s list of 24 objections was dominated by medically oriented strings.
In what is likely to turn out to be a storm in a teacup, ICANN’s At-Large Advisory Committee is set to vote on a resolution calling for a delay to the new generic top-level domains program.
The ALAC, ICANN’s policy-making body tasked with representing individual end users, has been discussing a possible update to its position on new gTLDs for the last few days.
A first-draft motion, proposed by vice-chair Evan Leibovitch, said the program “would be harmful to the public interest” and requested that its January 12 launch be “suspended”.
It’s since been watered down twice, and may well be watered down further before (and if) the ALAC considers it at its January 24 monthly meeting.
The resolution currently talks about a “a deep concern about the possible harmful effect on Internet end-users of a single massive expansion of gTLDs”.
It adds that ICANN should “phase-in” the introduction of new gTLDs, “releasing no more than 25 every three months” with about a third coming from poor or community-based applicants.
It appears to be a reaction to ICANN’s newly developed applicant support program, which was weaker than many proponents of the cheaper gTLDs for worthy applicants had hoped.
Even in its current form, the resolution is attracting much more opposition than support from members of the At-Large, so it seems unlikely that it will go anywhere.
To advocate for a phased approach to new gTLDs, or to recommend a delay, would represent a huge U-turn from the ALAC’s existing position.
In 2009, the group said supported “the expedient introduction of new gTLDs” and that it did not believe a “trial run” with a limited number of applications was appropriate.
Still, there’s nothing wrong with changing one’s mind as new evidence comes to light, of course.