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Screen Actors Guild opposes new gTLDs

Kevin Murphy, November 16, 2011, Domain Policy

While it does not appear to be a member of the new Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight, the Screen Actors Guild has come out in opposition to new top-level domains.

The membership organization, which represents over 200,000 Hollywood actors, has asked US Secretary of Commerce John Bryson to persuade ICANN to delay the gTLD program until it can “demonstrate convincingly” that it will be in the public interest.

SAG national executive director David White wrote:

The ICANN proposal would unduly burden a diverse range of public and private brand holders, companies with whom our members are associated. This also presents an undue burden on our organization, as a globally recognized brand. Under this rule, many brand-holders would be forced to spend ever-greater amounts of time and resources simply to protect their brands.

Like many other opponents of the program, White also raises the conflicts-of-interest question that emerged following Peter Dengate Thrush’s move from ICANN’s chair to new gTLD applicant Minds + Machines.

SAG was not listed as a member of CRIDO, the huge cross-industry lobby group that formed to oppose new gTLDs last week, although its arguments are identical.