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ICANN bleeps brand names from new gTLDs podcast

Kevin Murphy, December 20, 2011, 10:41:00 (UTC), Gossip

Nike is a dirty word at ICANN.
At least, that’s my conclusion after listening to ICANN’s latest Start podcast on the new gTLDs program, which bleeps out the names of brands given as examples.
During a discussion between communications staffers Scott Pinzon and Michele Jourdan about the possibility of .brand top-level domains, Jourdan remarks:

If you’re looking for [BLEEP!] shoes and you go to shoes.[BLEEP!] you can be pretty sure that those are going to be actual [BLEEP!]-branded shoes.

Later, Pinzon poses a hypothetical:

I have an idea on how I think I can make a lot of money. I’m going to apply for the TLD dot-[BLEEP!] and then just hold out until a certain firm bought it from me. What are my chances?

It just sounds filthy (at least it does with my mind filling in the blanks).
Since I assume Pinzon and Jourdan would not have used words they intended to subsequently censor, I’m thinking an excessively paranoid legal department is probably to blame here.
You can download the 20-minute podcast, which is aimed at new gTLD newbies, here.

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Comments (5)

  1. Tom G says:

    I heard it too.
    I don’t think the ICANN legal department could be excessively paranoid in their position at this time.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      Fair point.
      It was interesting to hear the “risk” fund portion of the $185k referred to as a “litigation” fund too.

  2. Tom G says:

    Things are just going to get more and more exciting up in here.

  3. Kristina says:

    LOL! I’m sending a link to my trademark friends at [BLEEP]. Kidding.
    Seriously, though, brands should be “bleeped” unless they’ve consented to being named in order to avoid listeners believing that the brand has endorsed the program or has announced an intention to apply. Odd that ICANN didn’t think to use the CANON or HITACHI brands.
    As for the “litigation fund”, ICANN and its finance staff have been saying for yeras that 35% of the $185K goes into a litigation fund.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      No offence Kristina, but the need to bleep/blur brands is pure lawyer-think. Sign of a litigation culture that’s gone quite insane.
      What I was getting at in my reply to Tom: the ICANN litigation fund is usually referred to publicly as a risk fund. If memory serves in the original budget and in subsequent presentations litigation is just one bullet point among several (with its significance usually played down).

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