Explanation of NCUC’s Votes on WhoIs at LA ICANN Meeting – “Halloween Vote” on WhoIs

By |November 4th, 2007|

NCUC strongly supported Motion #3 because it provided a mechanism to spur uncompromising parties to the negotiating table on Whois in good faith. Without a mechanism to bring to the negotiating table parties who already have what they want, there is no incentive to voluntarily agree to any changes to the status quo with whois. NCUC continues to believe that “sun-setting” the non-consensus policy of Whois is the best course of action for the ICANN Board and the GNSO. There is no legitimate rationale for retaining policies that lack the broad support of the ICANN community, such as Whois. Whois never held a consensus position within the GNSO and it is a tragic mistake to continue with such a non-consensus policy, particularly when ICANN has been warned by national and regional data protection commissioners that Whois violates a number of national laws and international agreements. Reform of Whois is badly and immediately needed to protect the privacy rights of Internet users, bring ICANN into compliance with international law, and remove the legal risk on Registrars and Registries for violations of law imposed by ICANN contracts....

ICANN Board Discusses Policy to Censor New Domain Names: Public Encouraged to Attend LA Meeting and Voice Concerns

By |October 28th, 2007|

ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, holds its 30th International Public Meeting in Los Angeles from 29 October through 2 November. ICANN is the private corporation set up by the US Commerce Department to manage the assignment of Internet domain names and numbers in 1997. An important item on the meeting’s agenda is a proposed policy to allow for the registration of new Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs, such as “.com” or “.net”). On 6 September 2007 ICANN's Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Policy Council voted to approve this policy and sent it to the Board of Directors, who may vote on it during this meeting. The Keep The Core Neutral Coalition (KTCN) opposes several recommendations in the GNSO’s final report that threaten freedom of expression, and urges the Board to either reject the policy, reject specific recommendations, or to refrain from voting on the policy until its harmful ramifications are addressed.

IP Justice Comments on GNSO’s New GTLD Committee Recommendations: Proposal Would Create a Private Tyranny of Illegal Censorship and Illegitimate Authority at ICANN

By |August 30th, 2007|

"IP Justice supports the introduction of new generic top-level Internet domain names as quickly and as broadly as possible. However, we are deeply concerned about recommendations put forth by the GNSO New GTLD Committee (and ICANN) for evaluating applications will stifle free expression on the Internet. The recommendations would create a policy of censorship on the Internet where controversial and offensive ideas can be banned at the top-level, despite numerous longstanding national and international freedom of expression guarantees. The illegitimate system of governance proposed by the recommendations violates the sovereignty of nations and the civil rights of Internet users. ICANN usurps the rights of states to decide what ideas may be expressed within their borders and who is entitled to express them. ICANN and its proposed expert panels have no legal authority to decide what ideas people may express. Nor does ICANN or its experts have any legitimacy or authority to adjudicate competing legal rights. The proposal makes a mockery of democracy, since these structures exist entirely outside of legitimate lawmaking institutions ..."

Netizens Encouraged to Weigh-In on Free Expression Concerns at ICANN

By |August 13th, 2007|

"ICANN announced Friday that a 21-day comment period has opened for the public to submit comments regarding ICANN's proposed policy for approving new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) on the Internet. The Keep The Core Neutral coalition (KTCN) has created a new Action Alert to guide supporters in submitting comments to ICANN. KTCN is concerned with policy recommendations for ICANN to reject domain names that others find to be offensive or immoral. KTCN calls on ICANN to refrain from making general policy decisions and to stick to its technical mission. KTCN launched in June 2007 and now has over 200 organizational and individual members from around the world. All coalition members have signed a petition urging ICANN to refrain from using non-technical criteria for approving applications for new gTLDs and to create a policy driven by the protection freedom of expression and innovation on the Internet..."

Internet Core Neutrality: Drawing a Line in the Sand at ICANN

By |July 24th, 2007|

By Dan Krimm. "Most people have never heard of ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, but the number who have may be about to grow significantly. ICANN is a nonprofit organization less than a decade old that makes policy about the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS). This organization determines policy for registries of top-level domains (TLDs) such as '.com' or '.net', for registrars of second-level domains (2LDs) such as 'mywebsite.com' or 'yourwebsite.net' and for the Root Server Operators whose computers tell the rest of the computers on the Internet what TLDs exist and where to find them. A matter of concern only to techno/Inter-geeks, right? Wrong. While ICANN's original mandate in 1998 was basically limited to making sure the DNS didn't break due to technical and operational flaws, mission-creep at ICANN has expanded its reach well beyond that narrow technical realm and into the world of general public policy. Current policy deliberations at ICANN are increasingly touching upon broad issues like personal privacy, crime-fighting, trademark enforcement, and morality and public order in general. ..."

KEEP THE CORE NEUTRAL: Global Petition Urges ICANN to Protect Free Expression and Innovation in Domain Name Policy

By |June 29th, 2007|

"The "Keep The Core Neutral" campaign officially launched this week with an educational workshop at the 29th meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. ICANN handles technical coordination of the Internet and sets policy surrounding the domain name system (DNS), the Internet’s basic addressing system that allows people to locate web sites and use email. The DNS is informally called the technical “core" of the Internet. The Keep The Core Neutral Coalition launched with over 100 members from around the world, including both individuals and organizations. Coalition members signed a petition urging ICANN to resist efforts to evaluate applications for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) based on non-technical criteria such as ideas about morality and competing national political objectives. ..."

Free Expression Threatened by Policy to Ban Controversial Ideas in Domain Names

By |May 30th, 2007|

ICANN’s current proposal for evaluating new top-level domains will result in massive censorship on the Internet, since controversial or offensive ideas will not be allowed in a top-level domain. And the proposal vastly expands the rights of large trademark holders to control the use of language on the Internet, well beyond what US or international trademark law grants to trademark owners. ICANN’s historical practice of deferring to the intellectual property lobby in setting global domain name policy has consistently provided ammunition to those who would question ICANN’s legitimacy and its ability to govern in the global public interest. ICANN will continue to grapple with a perception of illegitimacy, particularly from the developing world, as long as it operates for the benefit of narrow special interests, while disregarding fundamental freedoms in its policy development process. For ICANN to remain the appropriate international forum to be entrusted with managing the Internet’s root server, ICANN must stick to its narrow technical mission and keep the core neutral on national policy issues.

Landmark Ruling: DVD-Unlocking Code Ruled Lawful in Europe

By |May 25th, 2007|

A Finnish Court has ruled that the Content Scrabling System (CSS) computer code, which unlocks DVD movies, is lawful in Europe. The decision was a first to interpret the legality of DVD decoding software under the 2001 European Copyright Directive. .... This ruling is good news for consumers and innovators who want to build interoperable tools that will permit consumers to engage in a full range of lawful activities with their digital media collections, like making digital movie archives and video "mash-ups". Besides applying across the EU, European experts believe this ruling will apply across media platforms and not restricted only to DVDs.

Report on WIPO in 2007 Global Information Society Watch

By |May 18th, 2007|

By Robin Gross. New leadership is needed at WIPO in key positions, like the chairmanship of WIPO’s copyright committee. The WIPO delegates themselves must hold WIPO accountable for its actions, by refusing to re-elect leaders who consistently ignore the explicit instructions of the WIPO General Assembly to pursue their own agenda. The proposed Broadcasting Treaty could not be a better example - where the WIPO General Assembly has told the WIPO Copyright Committee Chair Jukka Liedes that the proposed Broadcasting Treaty should be a “signal-based” approach, which still protects broadcasts from theft without creating a new set of exclusive rights. Yet Liedes continues to draft the proposals for the treaty with his preferred approach of creating new intellectual property rights for broadcasting companies. ....

Drivers of Change in Internet Governance – Slides from Freedom of Expression on the Internet Event in Buenos Aries

By |May 18th, 2007|