22 Describe proposed measures for protection of geographic names at the second and other levels in the applied-for gTLD
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DCA DotAfrica Registry Services has considered the relevant provisions of the new gTLD Registry Agreement, the GAC Advice ʺGAC Principles Regarding new TLDsʺ and the procedures adopted by other gTLD registries and intend to use the procedure described below with regards to protection of geographic names in the DotAfrica gTLD.
Prior to the launch of DotAfrica gTLD, DCA DotAfrica Registry Services will compile a list of country and territory names that are subject to reservation at the second level.
Pursuant to the specification provided in ICANNʹs Applicant Guidebook, the list will include country and territory names based on the following internationally recognized lists:
• the short form (in English) of all country and territory names contained on the ISO 3166-1 list;
• the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names, Technical Reference Manual for the Standardization of Geographical Names, Part III Names of Countries of the World; and
• the list of United Nations member states in 6 official United Nations languages prepared by the Working Group on Country Names of the United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names;
As the above documents get updated from time to time, the exact list of reserved names will be compiled shortly before the launch of DotAfrica gTLD to account for any updates. The list of reserved names will be published on the Registry website.
Reservation of specific country and territory names may be released to the extent that Applicant reaches agreement with the applicable government(s).
From ICANN new gTLD Applicant’s Guidebook, protections at the second level have been left to the individual registries. DCA DotAfrica Registry Services will institute the following specific measures in order to protect geographic names.
Country names and alpha-2 codes representing countries
All two letter (alpha-2 code listed in ISO 3166-1 standard); three letter country codes (alpha-3 code listed in the ISO 3166-1 Standard or a translation in any language); short- or long-form name associated with a code that has been designated as ʹExceptionally reserved” by the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency; a name that is a separable component of a country name designated on the “Separable Country Names” list or is a translation of a name appearing on the list in any language or a permutation or transposition of all the above will all be treated as blocked names. In other words, Alpha-2 codes representing countries shall not be used to register domain names directly under the DotAfrica gTLD in the second level.
DCA DotAfrica Registry Services will publicly avail the list of blocked geographical names that cannot be registered under DotAfrica gTLD after consultations with national authorities to guide registrants on the names that have been blocked.
Countries within Africa and beyond will be required to request that their official name and the name under which they are commonly known (in all languages) will not be registered directly under the DotAfrica gTLD otherwise than by their national government. Countries that are outside the African continent will be enabled to block their official names and the names (in all languages) under which they are commonly known on request and at minimal cost, so that they can be registered by those countries or parties authorized by those countries. Notifications will be sent to all countries and territories by DCA DotAfrica Registry Services to this effect.
Countries as listed in the UNESCO regions or appearing on the “Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings list will be authorised to designate an operator that will register as a domain name its official name and the name under which it is commonly known (in all languages). Otherwise those names will be blocked at no⁄minimal cost. Similarly, the major regional and international institutions on the continent of Africa and around the world will be authorised to select domain names (in all languages) for use by the institutions, and to designate the operator of those domain names. The same will also apply to all the names of the major cities in the world, world heritage sites, landmark features, etc.
Second level domain name for geographical and geopolitical names
Countries will be expected to identify and notify DCA DotAfrica Registry Services on a limited list of broadly-recognised names (in all languages) with regard to geographical and⁄or geopolitical concepts which affect their political or territorial jurisdiction. Such lists include names that could either not be registered or which could be registered only under the second level domain in accordance with the public policy rules. The names included in these lists are not subject to the first-come first-served principle. DCA DotAfrica Registry Services will send out notifications to all the relevant authorities in all countries and territories in the world to this effect. Such names will be blocked by DCA DotAfrica Registry Services at minimal cost. To this end, each country will be expected to send to DCA DotAfrica Registry Services, two months to the commencement of the Sunrise Period, a list of those names that should not be registered.
Protection of International Olympic Committee and the Red Cross⁄Red Crescent Names in the Top and Second Level in the DotAfrica gTLD Namespace
In addition to the protection of geographic names, DCA DotAfrica Registry Services is aware of GAC and GNSO advice regarding the protection of Olympic and Red Cross ⁄ Red Crescent names.
According to a recent ICANN published document, “the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Red Cross⁄Red Crescent Movement (RC⁄RC) have asked that their Olympic and Red Cross names—such as Olympic and Olympiad, and Red Cross and Red Crescent—be protected against registration in the top and second levels of an expanded domain name system. The ICANN GAC endorsed these proposals and communicated its support to the ICANN Board” (See for example, QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS RE: PROTECTING THE OLYMPIC AND RED CROSS⁄RED CRESCENT NAMES IN ALL NEW GTLDS” - a policy document published by ICANN).
In light of the fact that the ICANN Policy Guideline has been published for the type of unique protections afforded the International Olympic Movement and the Red Cross, some names associated with International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International Federation of the Red Cross, etc. shall be protected at the top and second levels in the entire DotAfrica gTLD namespace in all languages.
These names will be reserved and protected from registration (apart from International Red Cross and the International Olympic Movement and affiliated organizations) as the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) and the GNSO work on an agreeable policy that does not deny users legitimate uses of these names in the DotAfrica gTLD namespace while also ensuring that the rights of these organizations are fully protected regarding these Olympic and Red Cross names.
At the top level, the Olympic and Red Cross names shall also be protected against confusingly similar strings, such as:
At the second level, the Olympic and Red Cross names shall be protected:
• Against registration of identical matches; and
• In the six UN languages with an encouragement to registry operators to extend to other languages (e.g. those providing protection either via international legal instrument or national law).
DCA DotAfrica Registry Services will reserve any names at the second level as required by GAC ⁄ GNSO policy (which, as at the time of writing, has not been finalized). If such a policy is not agreed and formalized prior to the launch of the DotAfrica gTLD, DCA Registry Services will temporarily reserve all required and recommended names as per the most recent GAC ⁄ GNSO advice so as to ensure protection of the IOC and Red Cross movement.
Finally, since DCA DotAfrica Registry Services also intends to offer IDNs support for Arabic at the second level, it would be possible to provide protection for the Olympic and Red Cross names in Arabic at the second level of DotAfrica gTLD.
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