Alert: January 27, 2012

Despite the many calls for delay from many members of industry, non-profits, lawmakers and the law enforcement community, on January 12 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) began accepting applications for new top level domains.
In an effort to move forward in a constructive manner, on January 31, AAF and other members of the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight (CRIDO) will be sending letters to ICANN and the Department of Commerce offering a proposal that would protect brand owners yet allow ICANN to move forward with its plan to create new top level domains.  Under the CRIDO proposal:
  1. ICANN will proceed with its plan to begin accepting applications for new TLDs on January 12, as scheduled;
  2. Concurrently, all NGOs, IGOs and commercial stakeholders concerned about protecting their brands will be given the opportunity to have those brands registered, without cost, on a temporary "Do Not Sell" list to be maintained by ICANN during the first application round (any interested party which does not want to have its brands on the Do Not Sell list and would rather apply for a TLD would be free to do so). We will assemble a team from the interested constituencies to work with ICANN leadership during the first application round. If this group achieves consensus with respect to any proposals, those proposals will be voted on by the Board. At the end of the first application round, should the parties continue to disagree, all parties will be free to pursue their legal and equitable rights without prejudice.
We believe that if accepted this proposal could provide a satisfactory resolution for all involved.
Many of you signed our earlier petition on this issue to the Department of Commerce. If your advertising club or company would like to sign these new letters, please let me know by close of business , Monday January 30.
Thank you, as always, for your support and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any comments or questions.