CADNA Submits Proposal to ICANN Aimed at Improving New gTLD Program for Brands

WASHINGTON, November 18, 2011 – Following its “What’s at Stake: The Reality of ICANN’s New gTLD Program for Brands” conference earlier this month in New York City, The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) has submitted a proposal to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) asking the Board of Directors to take steps to make the New gTLD Program less detrimental to businesses. Over 85 representatives from major global brands attended “What’s at Stake,” where they discussed how new gTLDs will impact their business, as well as their concerns over the way the Program has been structured. Their feedback, along with CADNA’s experience working with brands across industries, led to the formulation of the proposal.

In the letter addressed to ICANN President and CEO Rod Beckstrom, CADNA asks that the ICANN Board request an Issues Report to formally initiate a policy development process to determine when the next round of new gTLD applications will occur. Doing so will increase the level of transparency surrounding this controversial policy decision.

“One of the biggest responses we have heard from brands is that they feel as if their backs are up against a wall,” explained CADNA President Josh Bourne. “The fact that ICANN has only offered one opportunity to apply for new gTLDs has created a sense of chaos among brands, who feel as though ICANN is forcing them into making a ‘now or never’ decision that could impact both them and their consumers. Knowing that they will have the opportunity to apply again after having the chance to see if new gTLDs become valuable will go a long way toward relieving that anxiety.”

CADNA has been an outspoken critic of the way ICANN has structured the New gTLD Program, encouraging the organization to improve various aspects of the policy to make it less harmful to brand owners and businesses. While it does not oppose fostering innovation and improving competition on the Internet via an expanded domain name space, CADNA recognizes that one of the major sources of dissatisfaction and apprehension among brand owners is the fact that they feel that, in a sense, they are being held hostage.

In its proposal, CADNA focuses on an achievable and concrete solution to the problem facing brand owners. “We welcome groups like the ANA [Association of National Advertisers] and CRIDO [Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight] to the ranks of groups working to advocate for the interests of businesses within ICANN, specifically regarding the New gTLD Program,” said Bourne. “We look forward to discussing additional solutions to help address the concerns businesses have about the Program.”

CADNA has also extended an offer to ICANN to engage in a discussion aimed at making the New gTLD Program less detrimental to brand owners and businesses. With two months remaining until the application period opens on January 12, CADNA is eager to hear ICANN’s response to its proposal.

To view the proposal, please click here.

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