NEW YORK, November 2, 2011 – Over 85 representatives from global brands joined The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) for its “What’s at Stake: The Reality of ICANN’s New gTLD Program for Brands” conference at the Institute of International Education’s Edgar J. Kaufman Conference Center in New York City yesterday. Presented in coordination with engageSimply and HUM: Human Unlimited Media, “What’s at Stake” provided brand representatives with a forum to discuss their concerns about new gTLDs, and to gain insight into the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) from veterans of the ICANN community, including ICANN’s founding Chairman Esther Dyson.
The morning began with welcoming remarks from engageSimply CEO Judy Shapiro, a key organizer of this conference. After CADNA President Josh Bourne and other CADNA members gave an overview of the New gTLD Program, Michael Palage, Esther Dyson and Micah Donahue, all of whom have worked with ICANN in various capacities, offered a look inside the process that led to the fast-approaching introduction of an unlimited number of new gTLDs.
A third panel discussed the implications that new gTLDs will have for developing countries and consumers, as well as how they will affect Internet security. While some believe that certain new gTLDs will offer increased security, others are convinced they will only multiply the amount of security issues online, and that perhaps with such a large number of new gTLDs to remember, consumers will suffer much greater levels of confusion. Next, a panel of marketers discussed what brand owners need to be thinking about in order to adapt their digital strategies to account for new gTLDs. The panelists addressed the challenges involved in developing plans to effectively utilize new gTLDs, as well as the importance of bringing together key professionals from the legal, marketing and IT departments to deal with this new development.
Finally, Josh Bourne delivered closing remarks and outlined the conference’s proposal to ICANN:
“ICANN has an image problem,” Bourne stated plainly. “Businesses are outright angry with ICANN because of the way that this program has been structured. We are not trying to derail the rollout of new gTLDs altogether, but rather, we are proposing an opportunity for ICANN to make this Program much less detrimental to brands and businesses. By setting a date for when it will open a second application window, ICANN has the chance to alleviate a great deal of the anxiety and frustration that businesses are feeling over the fact that they feel forced into applying for new gTLDs in early 2012 in order to not be left behind. Right now, businesses feel like their backs are against the wall, and they don’t like it.”
CADNA plans to submit a formal proposal requesting that ICANN begin a policy development process to determine when it will open a second application round later this week.
The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the systemic domain name abuses that plague the Internet today. For more information, please visit www.cadna.org.