| |
 

Say No To ICANN:
Generic Top Level Domain Developments

The ANA has detailed major flaws in the proposed ICANN program that would permit applicants to claim virtually any word, generic or branded, as Internet top-level domains.

Specifically, ANA cites ICANN's lack of a bottom-up input process involving the global Internet community, insufficient research and guidance from expert authorities, inadequate oversight by the U.S. Department of Commerce and potentially disastrous consequences if the program is implemented, as planned. Read the full backgrounder.

Over one hundred and sixty national and international business associations and companies have joined forces with the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) to form the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight (CRIDO), which as a group opposes the rollout of ICANN's top-level domain expansion program.

June 13

ICANN has released the full list of top-level domain names for which it received applications. To view the list, click here. A total of 1,930 domain names have been applied for, a number of which are generic in nature. Additionally, 230 names were applied for by at least two entities, according to ICANN. That could lead to a significant number of auctions.

The ANA is reviewing the full list. ICANN has stated that its initial evaluation of the applied-for top-level domain names will begin in July and run through December or January. Those with grounds to do so may file an objection to any applied-for TLD string for seven months after the June 13 reveal. Those looking to file comments on applications can find more information about the process here.

If you have any questions, you can reach Dan Jaffe, group executive vice president for government relations in ANA's Washington office, at 202-296-2359 or at djaffe@ana.net.

March 12

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the division of the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) that oversees operation of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), has rejected ICANN's bid to continue overseeing the IANA functions of the Internet, instead extending ICANN's current contract for a short six-month period. Simultaneously, NTIA stated, "we are cancelling this RFP because we received no proposals that met the requirements requested by the global community." Read the full release.

February 28

In a filing yesterday with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), ANA and the Coalition for Responsible Domain Oversight (CRIDO) have urged ICANN to adopt a “Do Not Sell” registry or some similar approach to address the serious concerns Internet stakeholders have about the need for “defensive registrations” to protect their brands in the TLD expansion program. Read the full release.

January 9

In an open letter to the ICANN board of directors, the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) proposes a way forward for ICANN to proceed with accepting applications for new TLDs while concurrently allowing those concerned with protecting brands to do so through a temporary, no cost, “Do Not Sell” list maintained by ICANN during the first round of applications which begins January 12.

December 26

In an opinion piece published December 26 by The New York Times, the paper expressed its support of the ANA's position against ICANN's generic top-level domain expansion program.

December 21

To date, representatives of many key constituencies have raised serious objections to ICANN’s planned expansion of the Domain Name System (DNS). Questions have been raised regarding potential conflicts of interest that now place a cloud over the independence of the Board’s decision to expand the DNS. Spokespersons for ICANN have failed to answer questions directly and instead continuously justify proceeding with the expansion based upon a process that has proven to be flawed. In an open letter to the ICANN board of directors, the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) is asking ICANN to answer critical questions and provide appropriate documents, by January 7, 2012, that more fully explain the reasons for the expansion.

The list of questions and requests for the ICANN board, as well as articles, letters and documents from congressional leaders, global organizations and major corporations opposing ICANN’s proposal can be found here.

December 20

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the leader of the 160-member Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight (CRIDO), today praised two Congressmen, Bob Goodlatte, Chairman, House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet, and Howard Berman, Ranking Member, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, for sending an unequivocal letter to John Bryson, Secretary, Department of Commerce. The Goodlatte-Berman letter urges the DOC to take all steps necessary to encourage ICANN to undertake further evaluation and review before expanding the number of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) under ICANN's plan, set to begin January 12, 2012. Read the full release.

December 19

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the leader of the 160-member Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight (CRIDO), today praised the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for sending a detailed, 15-page letter to ICANN's Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr. Stephen D. Crocker, and its President and CEO, Rod Beckstrom, expressing major concerns regarding ICANN's plan to greatly expand generic top-level domains (gTLDs), starting January 12, 2012.  The letter specifically highlights "the potential for significant consumer harm resulting from the unprecedented increase in gTLDs." Read the full release.

December 16

In a letter to ICANN, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz and Commissioners J. Thomas Rosch, Edith Ramirez and Julie Brill, urge the organization to take a series of five steps "to mitigate the risk of serious consumer injury and to improve the accuracy of Whois data." The FTC letter highlights the "potential for significant consumer harm resulting from the unprecedented increase in new gTLDs." The letter states, "before approving any new gTLD applications, we urge ICANN to take the steps described below to mitigate the risk of serious consumer injury and to improve the accuracy of Whois data."

ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, plans to open the application period for new generic top-level domains (new gTLDs) on January 12, 2012.

Read the full letter.

December 11

In an opinion piece published December 11 by The Washington Post, the paper’s Editorial Board expressed its support of the ANA's position against ICANN's generic top-level domain expansion program.

December 8

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) told the Senate Commerce Committee today that ICANN’s plan for an unlimited expansion of the generic Top Level Domain (TLD) Name program is a “reckless experiment” that would seriously threaten both businesses and consumers in the online marketplace. Read the press release.

December 8

Dan Jaffe, ANA’s EVP, Government Relations testified at a Hearing on ICANN’s Expansion of Top Level Domains before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. In his testimony, Jaffe said, “We commend the Committee for holding this hearing on this critical issue which could impact the shape of the Internet for decades, and perhaps in perpetuity.” He went on to say, “since the Internet serves as a recognized catalyst for global economic growth, there is far too much at stake, particularly in today’s economic climate, not to ensure that ICANN’s policies are fair and impartial.  We believe the new gTLD Program is bad for marketers, consumers and the entire online marketplace. Consistent with the Affirmation of Commitments, ICANN has a responsibility to ensure that its actions further the public interest, promote consumer trust and the burgeoning Internet domain.”

Read the full testimony.

December 8

10 Reasons ICANN Should Be Stopped Now

Simply put, ICANN's proposed expansion of gTLDs is the antithesis of a great Internet innovation. Thwarting this program is one of the most important items on the ANA’s agenda today. Here are 10 reasons ICANN should be stopped:

  1. Flawed Justification
  2. Excessive Costs
  3. Harm to Brands
  4. Phishing, Spoofing, and Cybersquatting
  5. Security and Trust
  6. Lack of Consensus
  7. nadequate Protection of Brands
  8. Negative Impact On Small Business and Charities
  9. Reduced Investment by Intellectual Property Owners
  10. Fix What Is Broken First

Read more.

November 17

Six major marketers, including the world's largest retailer and the second-largest food company, have joined CRIDO, the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight, which is opposing ICANN's Top Level Domain (TLD) Expansion program.Wal-Mart, Kraft Foods, adidas, Reebok, Toyota and the J.M. Smucker Company have all joined, which brings the number of companies and industry groups that are part of the Coalition to 93.  The full list can be found here. "We are very pleased that six more leading marketers representing an extremely broad range of business sectors have joined forces with CRIDO to oppose ICANN's TLD expansion program," said Bob Liodice, President and CEO of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).   "This growing coalition sends a very clear signal that there is serious dissatisfaction with ICANN's program from across the entire Internet stakeholder community." Read the full press release.

November 11

Eighty-seven major national and international business associations and companies have joined forces with the ANA (Association of National Advertisers), forming the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight (CRIDO) to oppose the rollout of ICANN's top-level domain expansion program. On behalf of its many constituencies and industries, CRIDO is committed to aggressively fighting ICANN's proposed program, citing its deeply flawed justification, excessive cost and harm to brand owners, likelihood of predatory cyber harm to consumers and failure to act in the public interest, a core requirement of its commitment to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Read the full press release.

October 19

Release of a memorandum opposing the introduction of hundreds of new Top Level Domains by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). This PDF provides an overview of the issues.

October 2

Given the facts that have come to light surrounding impartial internet governance, Bob Liodice, ANA President and CEO in a letter to ICANN’s president urged the organization to conduct a thorough and proactive review of conflict of interest policies in order to regain internet governance legitimacy. Read the letter to ICANN. (PDF)

September 30

This past June ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number) announced a program that would radically change the domain name system as we know it and understand it. In January, the organization is scheduled to permit applicants to claim virtually any word, generic or branded, as an Internet top-level domain. In an Op-Ed article that appeared recently in Forbes, Bob Liodice, President and CEO of ANA, explains why the ICANN proposal is a major ill-conceived program, and is about to seriously disrupt businesses and threaten consumers, causing significant and completely avoidable harm to the fragile U.S economy. Read Bob’s article.

September 6

ICANN's Promises Aren't Simply Speculation, They're Outright Fantasy
Why the Argument for TLDs Just Doesn't Add Up

Publication: AdAge By: Gary Elliott  Published: September 05, 2011

"... By every calculation I've seen, including estimates by ICANN's own experts, it will cost companies like mine hundreds of thousands of dollars to police their trademarks regardless of whether they decide to participate and buy a branded domain or register on other new generic domains, e.g., .computer. Those costs, when weighted against the purported benefits promised, simply don't add up."

Click here to read the full article on AdAge.

August 10

UPDATE: Further Developments

In response to ICANN's reply to ANA's letter, Bob Liodice, President & CEO reiterates the serious, irreparable harm to the brand community the Top Level Domain Program will cause not only to the brands ANA represents, but also to the diversity of the Internet, and welcomes the opportunity for further discussions.

Click here to read the full press release.

August 4

In a letter to Mr. Rod Beckstrom, President, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the ANA specifically cites ICANN's lack of a bottom-up input process involving the global Internet community, insufficient research and guidance from expert authorities, inadequate oversight by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and potentially disastrous consequences if the program is implemented in January 2012, as planned. The ANA has outlined similar criticisms in its public comments to the DOC, submitted July 29, 2011.

Acting on behalf of its members ANA argues that implementation of the ICANN program is economically unsupportable and is likely to cause irreparable harm and damage to its membership and the Internet business community in general. At the same time, according to the ANA, the program contravenes the legal rights of brand owners and jeopardizes the safety of consumers.

Click here to read the full press release.

 

 

Legislative and Regulatory Issues Tracking

ANA's Washington, DC office works to protect the ability of all marketers to communicate effectively with consumers.   The scope of legislation, regulations, and court cases impacting the marketing community continues to be extremely broad, extending to issues as diverse as online privacy, prescription drug advertising, restrictions on the tax deductibility of advertising costs and the regulatory powers of the Federal Trade Commission.

Read more >

Compendium of Legislative, Regulatory and Legal Issues

ANA's Washington, DC office plays a leading role in protecting the ability of all marketers to communicate effectively with consumers. At the end of each year, we prepare a Compendium which describes our efforts on the broad range of issues we have faced. 

Read more >

Alliance for Family Entertainment

The ANA Alliance for Family Entertainment (AFE) is a coalition of national advertisers, supported by the ANA, which represents almost 40% of all U.S. television advertising dollars..

Learn more >

SAG/AFTRA

ANA and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) conduct broadcast talent negotiations with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) through the Joint Policy Committee, or JPC.

Learn more >