Subject: ISO country codes in the new gTLDs
Dear Mr. Roberts,
Further to the decision by the ICANN Board on Thursday 16 November 2000 to authorise the creation of seven new Top Level Domains and the GAC Opinion of the same date regarding new gTLDs, this is to draw your attention to the position of the EU regarding the possible use of existing ISO alpha-2 and alpha-3 codes as second or third level domains in the new TLDs.
In general, we are glad to confirm that we adhere to the GAC advice to ICANN contained in its 16 November Opinion, and that we attach particular importance to the request for a published registration policy for each of the new TLDs, ratified by ICANN after appropriate consultation with the relevant constituencies. To this effect, we would be glad if you would draw the new Registries' attention to this letter as well as to the GAC Opinion.
New gTLDs should not create confusion for internet users and in particular new gTLDs should not be significantly similar to a ccTLD so as to be confusing. Where a gTLD proposes to include an ISO alpha-2 or alpha-3 letter code, it may be appropriate to get agreement from the relevant authority or region for its use. In this case, the corresponding governments and public authorities should also be given an appropriate opportunity to register or assign in advance the registration of ISO alpha-2 and 3 letter country codes as second level domains within the new gTLDs.
Regarding the new TLDs, we note that on this occasion, applications for TLDs with two letters or with strings which may correspond to possible country codes, were not approved by the ICANN Board. Should ICANN consider creating new gTLDs in the future with only two letters or which may correspond to a possible country code, we would recommend that ICANN and the prospective Registry organisations consult with the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency and with the governments and public authorities concerned before taking any action in this area.
Regarding other geographical indications and terms, including ISO country names, we recall that these will be the subject of further consideration by the GAC and that meanwhile we would encourage the new Registries take steps to avoid registering such names at any level of the domain name system, pending the outcome of the current Second WIPO Internet Domain Name Process. We also note that the WIPO process is addressing other categories of names as well, and that the new Registries should be advised accordingly.
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