US Republican lawmakers want answers from ICANN

A CongressDaily reports on concerns from two House Judiciary Committee’s top Republicans who have written to Rod Beckstrom “to express concerns about the proposed introduction of many new TLDs “and the expiration later this month of” the JPA, although support for the process was expressed by others.In the letter “Lamar Smith and Courts and Competition Subcommittee ranking member Howard Coble, R-N.C., said they are worried that a vast expansion of domains will carry ‘serious negative consequences’ for U.S. businesses and consumers.”Smith and Coble have expressed concerns on the “absence of price caps in the new registry deals could mean that legitimate businesses could be discriminated against and asked to pay a premium for each domain they register or renew.”Richard Tindall, senior vice president of registry at eNom, reported to be a supporter of the new TLDs, told CongressDaily the new TLDs will be safer space for trademarks and that safeguards are being built into the registry selection process and the registry/registrar contracts. He also said ICANN is likely to adopt significant portions of the recommendations for trademark protections offered by a committee of trademark experts. Tindall believes the amount of cybersquatting is likely to decrease with the new TLDs.Concerns were also expressed by Smith and Coble on the future of the JPA. CongressDaily reports that “given the late consideration of intellectual property concerns and ICANN’s ‘less than stellar track record,’ Smith and Coble said they have ‘serious misgivings’ about the scheduled expiration later this month.”Smith and Coble ask Beckstrom to provide detailed answers by Sept. 22 to several questions about the domain name expansion and the termination of the joint project agreement,” the report says.To read this CongressDaily report in full, see:
www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20090916_9990.php
techdailydose.nationaljournal.com/2009/09/gop-lawmakers-want-answers-fro.php

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