The fourth day of the 35th ICANN Meeting was focused on public
participation via an open forum in the main conference hall
in Hilton Sydney, where the meeting is being held. The session
was divided into five topics, namely: trademark protection,
registry/registrar vertical integration, new gTLDs, institutional
confidence, IDNs and general concerns.
On the issue of the 3-character requirement, ICANN is now considering
possible changes. Two or three characters may be accepted as
IDN application for new gTLD as long as the ICANN Staff could
clearly distinguish the new strings being applied for from the
existing 2-character ccTLDs. The important thing is to avoid
string confusion, while showing respect for IDN proponents at
the same time. This, however, is just a proposal at this time.
The public forum is only a time for gathering feedback from
the audience without a guarantee that suggestions brought to
the floor will be immediately granted.
Meanwhile, on trademark protection, the ICANN participants
generally agree that there has to be clear rules on how trademark
owners could be protected before, when, and after the application
round for new gTLD is launched. However, the general sentiment
of the audience remains to be impatience from the continued
postponement of the launch of the application round. For instance,
proponents of city TLDs have already formed a group to gather
all of those who want to apply for a city or cultural TLD. This
group now has over 10 TLD proponents including .berlin, .paris,
.barcelona, etc. Three proponents in this group are going to
apply for IDN TLDs. This only shows the level of preparedness
of applicants to come out and officially submit their application
once the application round is launched. The group has been pushing
ICANN to start the application round for city, cultural, or
geo-TLDs and respond to objections only when it arises.
Towards the end of the public forum, NIDA (National Internet
Development Agency of Korea) showed a video of images in Korea
to make the ICANN participants familiar with the sights in Seoul.
Netpia will be one of the sponsoring organizations of the 36th
ICCANN MEeting in Seoul to be held in October.