[ALAC] Meeting to discuss TMCH Implementation as well as possible changed to the TM protections

Dev Anand Teelucksingh admin at ttcsweb.org
Sat Nov 17 14:27:22 UTC 2012

Many thanks Alan for the detailed and succinct report. And many thanks
to you and Evan for the hard work in representing At-Large interests
at such short notice.

Dev Anand Teelucksingh

On Sat, Nov 17, 2012 at 1:10 AM, Alan Greenberg
<alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca> wrote:
> Copy of a message sent to ALAC list
> ===================================
> As you are aware, a meeting was held in Brussels
> several weeks ago to discuss implementation
> issues for the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH).
> The meeting included representatives of the GNSO
> Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies, but not
> At-Large. On Thursday and Friday of this week, a
> follow-on meeting was held in Los Angeles. In
> addition to a discussion of many of the technical
> issues related to the TMCH, a full day was spend
> discussing a list of issues that had been
> presented to ICANN by the GNSO Business and
> Intellectual Property Constituencies
> (http://www.icann.org/en/news/correspondence/ncsg-to-icann-01nov12-en.pdf).
> This time At-Large was represented (unfortunately
> only remotely as no travel funding was provided).
> I had the honour of participating along with Evan.
> The first day on the BC/IPC issues was both
> interesting and productive. The intent was:
> 1. To fully understand what it was that the BC
> and IPC were asking for. The original document
> was not particularly clear, and in fact, the
> BC/IPC have spent the weeks following Toronto fleshing out their ideas.
> 2. To understand whether these issues were in
> fact just implementation (as the BC/IPC)
> believed, or Policy, which should be addressed by
> GNSO Policy processes. The issue has been much
> discussed within ICANN, but the difference has
> never been formally addressed before. Staff were
> charged with starting to develop a methodology
> for making such decisions in the future. Although
> the work is still preliminary, it was used to
> analyze the more controversial of the BC/IPC
> proposals, and the outcome matched that of the
> discussions within ALAC. They were all deemed to
> be Policy and thus required GNSO action to
> formally change the status quo (a relief to some
> at the table, and troubling to others).
> 3. To brainstorm the issues raised by the BC/IPC
> and see if any solutions could be found to
> address the issues that concerned them which at
> the same time might be acceptable to the other
> stakeholders. After a rather harrowing day (12
> solid hours, followed by another 2 hours on
> Friday) the result was a strawman proposal. The
> proposal completely pleased none of the people
> involved, which some people say is a good measure
> of a reasonable compromise. Regardless, it is a
> good start for more traditional community-based
> discussions which now have to happen.
> ALAC's first position was that we would prefer to
> not have new policy changes in the new TLD
> program at this late date. However we also did
> look at the individual issues as discussed in a
> message I sent earlier this week. The resultant
> strawman proposal actually fits in moderately
> well with the positions that ALAC took. Of
> course, this is not yet a formal policy and there
> are many details to be developed. This is perhaps
> not surprising, as many of the ALAC positions to
> protect innocent Internet users coincide well
> with TM holders desire to prevent cyber-squatting
> and fraud, and the over-reaching that some
> attribute to TM holders (that is, wanting
> protections far an above those granted by the TM
> itself) were to some extent held in control.
> I have to note that this type of focus group is
> not an unknown way to try to bridge widely
> disparate positions, but it is a very uncommon
> one in ICANN, and one that some people have said
> violates the bottom up multi-stakeholder model of
> ICANN. It does bear some similarity to the STI
> group which many herald as one of the more
> effective ICANN policy efforts. It also re-opened
> issues that the community (well, part of the
> community including At-Large) had thought or
> hoped were closed issues. Whether it was an
> effective move or not history will tell. One of
> the measures that I have is how quickly we can
> convene a more formal ICANN process to refine and
> actually approve a policy coming out of this proposal.
> After Toronto, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé had said
> that he considers the TMCH to be a critical issue
> and would personally oversee its implementation.
> True to his word, he personally ran the 14 hours
> of meetings. It was interesting!
> I will elaborate (as perhaps will Evan) more in
> the coming days on some of the high and low
> points of the meeting, but this will have to do
> for the moment. Today I was on the call for over
> 8 hours, and yesterday including a GNSO meeting
> starting at 6 am and one other WG, I totaled 15
> hours of teleconferences. So it is perhaps time
> for a bit of rest and relaxation.
> You can find the initial description of outcomes
> of the meeting at
> http://blog.icann.org/2012/11/trademark-clearinghouse-update/.
> Alan
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