Businesses Should Work to Improve - Not Oppose - Expansion of Internet Domains

Dec 14, 2011, 09:00 ET from NetChoice

Working Through the ICANN Process, Industry Can Protect Brands, Consumers

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Companies and industry groups concerned about protecting their brands in new top-level Internet domains will have more success if they work within the ICANN process, rather than attacking it from outside, NetChoice Executive Director Steve DelBianco said today.

In recent weeks, a growing number of companies and industry groups have come out against the plan by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to introduce new Internet domains. While they raise valid concerns, they would have much more impact if they continued to press their case through the ICANN process.

"Businesses and brand owners were part of the policy development process for expanding Internet domains, and secured some new trademark protections," DelBianco said. "But our work is far from over. The business community at ICANN continues to fight for improvements to the program, and we could use all the help we can get."

NetChoice, a coalition of leading Internet and e-commerce companies, is an active member of ICANN's Business Constituency, which represents business registrants and users. The Business Constituency is advocating close monitoring and continued improvements to the new gTLD program.

Specifically, the Business Constituency is advocating for:

  1. Improving the enforceability of contracts for new gTLD operators
  2. Bolstering the foreign-language focus of the program
  3. Reviewing and improving the effectiveness of rights protections mechanisms
  4. Amending and toughening contracts with registrars and resellers

"Business users have the opportunity to support real, substantive changes that will protect brands, customers and users in the new gTLD landscape," DelBianco said. "I urge all groups with concerns about the new gTLD process to join us at the Business Constituency as we work to improve it."

NetChoice is a public policy advocacy organization that promotes Internet innovation and communication and fights threats to online commerce at state, federal and international levels. The Washington, DC-based group protects Internet commerce-driven competition and battles rules that hinder consumer choice and hurt small businesses. For more information, see

SOURCE NetChoice