RealTime IT News

Small Business Administration Files ICANN Complaint

Another influential voice has joined the small chorus that wants the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers, the Internet's governance board, to slow its adoption of a controversial report on how to resolve domain name conflicts on the Internet.

Thursday, the Office of Advocacy at the US Small Business Administration filed comments with ICANN and the Department of Commerce, urging them to postpone a final decision on the domain name report.

At its board meeting next week in Berlin, ICANN is scheduled to consider and perhaps adopt provisions of the controversial report from the United Nations' World Intellectual Property Organization.

Among the recommendations in the WIPO report are a proposal that ICANN reserve domain names based on trademarks or other famous names in order that only those with rights to the names can register them.

The report also advises that domain speculators or cyber squatters be subject to a mandatory arbitration process in the case of disputes -- a process that could strip them of their domains and require them to foot the bill for resolving disputes.

The SBA joins a group of prominent Internet scholars and professionals who have signed a petition asking ICANN to postpone a decision until its advisory body, the Domain Name Supporting Organization, is formed and can review the WIPO report.

According to the SBA's letter to ICANN, small businesses did not receive "sufficient or reasonable notice" of the report so as to make meaningful comments. And the SBA believes that violates both ICANN's bylaws and the United States' Administrative Procedure Act.

ICANN and Department of Commerce officials were not available for comment.