Friday, 23 May 2014

Amazon region vs amazon.com

This week the Government of Peru welcomed the decision of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers Internet Domains (ICANN), which rejected the application for registration of the domain <.amazon>.

As reported last year (here) Peru and Brazil presented an early warning (EW) of rejection of the domain registration <.amazon> applied for by Amazon EU S.à r.l. (subsidiary of ‘Amazon.com Inc.’). The application (ID: 1-1318-83013) for a new generic top level domain (gTLD) was assessed by the board and received an evaluation result as ‘Pass IE’ (initial evaluation report here). However, it is noticeable that at the end of this report there is a disclaimer which indicates that the said IE does not ‘necessarily determine the final result of the application.’

One can observe that the date of the IE is March 2013 by which time ICANN had received (on 20 November 2012) an Early Warning (EW) submission by Peru and Brazil (ID:1-1315-58086 here). In this, the two countries expressed the reason for such an opposition as follows:
• "The Amazon region constitutes an important part of the territory of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela, due to its extensive biodiversity and incalculable natural resources. Granting exclusive rights to this specific gTLD to a private company would prevent the use of this domain for purposes of public interest related to the protection, promotion and awareness raising on issues related to the Amazon biome. It would also hinder the possibility of use of this domain to congregate web pages related to the population inhabiting that geographical region."
• "This gTLD string requested ... matches part of the name, in English, of the “Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization”, an international organization which coordinates initiatives in the framework of the Amazon."
• "The “.AMAZON” gTLD D has not received support from the governments of the countries in which the Amazon region is located ".
This submission is followed by ICANN explaining that an EW “is a notice only". That said, it continues to explain that it is “not a formal objection, nor does it directly lead to a process that can result in rejection of the application.”

While this proviso appears crystal clear and the whole administrative procedure as such is straightforward, I wonder what is the role of the ICANN in the early stages.I am particularly amaze by the fact that GAC submission was in Nov 2012 and the IE was in March 2013 -i.e. a couple of month to consider this matter. More specifically, ICANN was made aware that Amazon is a region in Latin America [is it just me who was taught this in school? or perhaps you have heard about the Amazon rainforest and/or the Amazon river]. The reservation is: in the IE the board gave the ‘pass’ note to the issue of geographic name.
Geographic Names Not a Geographic Name - PassThe Geographic Names Panel has determined that your application does not fall within the criteria for a geographic name contained in the Applicant Guidebook Section 2.2.1.4."
Isn't this peculiar? Am I missing something? Or is it just me who seems to recognise Amazon as a region and not just where I purchase products on-line.


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