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Status Update on .AMAZON Applications – The Next Steps

An important final step for all domain name applications is delegation. ICANN org is signing three Registry Agreements and Specification 13 Amendments from Amazon EU S.à r.l. (Amazon corporation) for top-level domains (TLDs) .AMAZON, .亚马逊, and .アマゾン. These signed agreements represent the next steps toward the delegation of the TLDs to the root zone.

To provide a bit of history, the Amazon corporation applied for .AMAZON and two Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) versions of the word "Amazon" in 2012. Since that time, interested parties have provided multistakeholder consideration, consultation, and deliberation resulting in multiple resolutions, recommendations, and advice from the ICANN Board, Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), and the Board Accountability Mechanisms Committee (BAMC).

Since the Amazon corporation prevailed in its Independent Review Process against ICANN in July 2017, the ICANN Board and org actively engaged with the GAC, the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) member countries, and the Amazon corporation to find a mutually acceptable path forward for the .AMAZON applications.

In March 2019, the ICANN Board passed a resolution calling on the ACTO member states and the Amazon corporation to take four weeks in a last effort to work in good faith toward a mutually acceptable solution regarding the .AMAZON applications. Despite their efforts, this did not result in a mutually acceptable solution between the ACTO countries and the Amazon corporation. Further, ICANN did not receive a mutual request to extend the deadline.   

On 15 May 2019, the Board passed a resolution directing ICANN org to proceed with processing the .AMAZON applications. The Amazon corporation submitted its proposed Public Interest Commitments (PICs) via the Application Change Request Mechanism process on 5 June 2019.

Following this, the Colombian Government filed Reconsideration Request 19-1 on 15 June 2019, which was then considered by the BAMC. The BAMC recommended that the Reconsideration Request be denied, and the Board adopted that recommendation on 8 September 2019.

 The next set of steps included publishing the Amazon corporation PICs via the New gTLD Application comment forum. The comment period ended 12 October 2019 and the ICANN org reviewed and carefully considered the comments. While this process does not include a staff report analysis, ICANN reviewed and considered each comment and determined the applications may proceed in the contracting process.

The ICANN66 GAC Communiqué – Montréal, Canada in November 2019 further summarizes discussions that have taken place with the GAC.

Prior to delegating a TLD to the root zone, Pre-Delegation Testing is required to ensure that an applicant has the capacity to operate a new gTLD in a stable and secure manner. Pre-Delegation Testing elements address, for example, Domain Name Server (DNS) operational infrastructure and registry system operations. In addition to the Pre-Delegation Testing, every new registry must demonstrate it has established operations in accordance with the technical and operation criteria described in the Applicant Guidebook.

Although it has been a long process, we have taken these actions because of the procedures set forth by the multistakeholder model and as identified in the ICANN Bylaws.

Comments

    Achilles Emilio Zaluar Neto  06:06 UTC on 14 January 2020

    As Brazil´s representative to the GAC, I would like to reiterate that we do not agree with the granting by ICANN of the top-level domain ".amazon" do the Amazon company. This delegation is taking place in spite of the explicit objection of the Amazon States and the Amazon CooperationTreaty Organization (ACTO), and in non-conformity with the advice of ICANN´s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), which underlines the need for a negotiated solution agreed upon by Amazon countries and by the company. The unilateral action by ICANN´s board is taking place without due consideration to the common position of Amazon countries, expressed by ACTO in April 2019, which included a proposal for a reasonable solution to the issue, protecting the cultural and symbolic heritage of Amazon countries as well as the company´s legitimate comercial interests. At ICANN 66 in Montreal, in November 2019, Brazil reiterated her objection to delegating the top-level domain ".amazon" in the terms unilaterally defined by ICANN´s board and reiterated her willingness to reach a negotiated, mutually acceptable solution to the dispute. ICANN board´s decision exposes an imbalance in Internet governance structures, in which public policy concerns, expressed by the Government of sovereign States and by the relevant communities, are not duly taken into account. In view of this failure of Internet governance, we exhort the Amazon company to make explicit, in dialogue with Amazon countries and ACTO, her commitment to respect the cultural and symbolic heritage of Amazon States and peoples, including terms typical of Amazon culture, geography and historical heritage, such as the names of cities, rivers, religious and folkloric ceremonies and myths, medicinal herbs, animals, plants and others that are generally acknowledged as characteristic of the Amazon region. Such an undertaking would be in line with the good relationship that the company, which is present in the region, seeks to maintain with Amazon states and peoples.

    Organização do Tratado de Cooperação Amazônica  06:55 UTC on 04 March 2020

    During the whole process ACTO and its MC have engaged in good faith in the discussions, with a view to finding a mutually agreed solution. The company, showed no flexibility at all, seeming content on running out the clock as if certain that the ICANN Board would hit the gavel in its favor. The stance of ACTO Members has been to safeguard the dot amazon domain in order to protect and promote the Amazon Region (AR) and its importance to the world. It is our duty to protect “the identity of the Amazon communities and the AR, which has geographic, cultural, simbolic and natural heritage importance to the countries and peoples of the region”, having in mind that the word “Amazon” is internationally used to describe and characterize the AR/basin/biome/river. This is a name with cultural and geographical significance that identifies an area worldly recognized for its ecosystemic functions, that helps sustain Earth’s climatic and environmental balance. With its almost 40 million inhabitants, including several indigenous tribes/peoples, the AR stands for ethnic and cultural diversity, that adds to an enormous biodiversity. The proposed PIC does not attend to the Amazon Countries public policy interests and concerns. Besides not being the result of a mutually acceptable solution dully endorsed by our countries, it fails to adequately safeguard the Amazon cultural and natural heritage against the the risks of monopolization of a TLD inextricably associated with a geographic region and its populations. ACTO MC call upon the ICANN Board to not delegate the dot amazon TLD, since delegation as currently proposed would go against both the public interest and GAC’s public policy advice. Alternatively, the ICANN Board should allow further work between ACTO MC and the applicant with a view to finding a mutually satisfactory solution. From our part, having our April 18 2019 PIC proposal as a win-win baseline, we vow to respect the company’s legitimate commercial interests while safeguarding our principles and public policy concerns

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."