Early last month ICA President Jeremiah Johnston wrote to ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade to express concerns regarding remarks that he had made during an interview at the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland. In the course of those remarks the CEO was perceived to characterize domain portfolio owners of âhogging namesâ, as well as equate domain investors with âcybersquattersâ
CEO Chehade has just responded with his own letter back to President Johnston. In that response he states, âI appreciate the role the Internet Commerce Association and its members have played in helping shape ICANN policy over the years and in providing a voice and platform for propagation of best practices among the domainer communityâ¦ We are in complete agreement that there is a very important legal distinction between registering generically-termed domain names and cybersquatting.Â I am heartened to hear of the ICAâs efforts to discourage the latter.â
ICA appreciates that CEO Chehade took the time to respond to our letter and constructively clarify his earlier remarks.
The full text of his letter is below or see Letter from Fadi ChehadÃ© to Jeremiah Johnston – https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/correspondence/chehade-to-johnston-24mar15-en.pdf:
24 March 2015
Internet Commerce Association
1155 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Dear Mr. Johnston:
Thank you for your letter dated 4 February 2015. I appreciate the role the Internet Commerce Association and its members have played in helping shape ICANN policy over the years and in providing a voice and platform for propagation of best practices among the domainer community. It is in this spirit that I welcome the opportunity to address your comments about the short video interview I gave in late January during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.
I regret that the ICA interpreted some of my comments in the interview as expressing a âdisdainful viewâ of domain investing. As you might have gathered from the reporterâs questions, some people have asked whether the new gTLD program might have created an opportunity for âland grabb[ing]â by industry insiders. It was not my impression that the question being asked referred to established practices in the secondary market; rather, I believe the reporter was inquiring about some of the very practices by registries you cited in your letter. My response âthat alternatives are available in different gTLDs âwas intended to try to allay the concern that the program was creating artificial scarcity of domains, not to criticize participants in the marketplace. Registry operators and registrars have the freedom to be innovative both in service offering and pricing. With the introduction of new gTLDs, the marketplace will effectively decide whether the practice of, e.g., holding back or selling âpremiumâ registrations will be successful or not.
With regard to my suggestion that the introduction of new gTLDs could help reduce cybersquatting in the long term, I continue to believe that this has potential as an outcome of the New gTLD Program. Users could become accustomed to entering, e.g., www.website.[brand] into their browsers, reducing the opportunity for those who deliberately register domain names that infringe on othersâ trademarks to profit. We are in complete agreement that there is a very important legal distinction between registering generically-termed domain names and cybersquatting. I am heartened to hear of the ICAâs efforts to discourage the latter.
Thank you, as always, for sharing the concerns of the ICA with me.
President and CEO
This article by Philip Corwin from the Internet Commerce Association was sourced with permission from: