.gcc

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Status: REJECTED
Registry Provider: Afilias
PIC Submitted: Download Here
Priority #: 594 - GCCIX WLL

.gcc was a gTLD being proposed in ICANN's New gTLD Program. The applicant was GCCIX WLL.[1] Acting on GAC Advice, ICANN's New gTLD Program Committee failed the application for .gcc.[2]

Objection

Saudi Arabia's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) filed an objection against the TLD.[3]

The application was subject to a single GAC early warning issued jointly by the representatives of Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, and UAE; the warning system is noted as a strong recommendation on behalf of national governments to the ICANN Board that a given TLD application should be denied. The warning notes that, "GCC is a known abbreviation for Gulf Cooperation Council. The GCC is a political and economic union of the Arab states bordering the Arabian Gulf, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates."[4]

Official Objection

An official Legal Rights Objection was filed by The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, known as the GCC, against the applicant.[5]

A Legal Rights Objection, as defined by the ICANN approved mediator, WIPO, is when, "third parties may file a formal objection to an application on several grounds, including, for trademark owners and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) [..] When such an objection is filed, an independent panel (comprised of one or three experts) will determine whether the applicant’s potential use of the applied-for gTLD would be likely to infringe [..] the objector’s existing trademark, or IGO name or acronym."[6]

Independent Objector

The Independent Objector (IO) is a non-partisan, contracted appointee whose role was mandated by the applicant guidebook for ICANN's New gTLD Program, and who is responsible for officially objecting to new gTLDs that are dangerous to the public good. This process also involves reviewing "controversial applications," those that have received significant public comments, and investigating whether a public need for objection is provided for tin these comments. Thus, the Independent Objector issued a preliminary report on .gcc, he notes that the acronym is a direct copy of the Golf Cooperation Council and that the Applicant does not have the support of the intergovernmental organization and finds that the application is contrary to international public order because of this. The IO goes on to conclude, however, that it does not seem his role to object to the application given that he is a safety net, and that the GCC and its respective countries are able to file formal objections that would constitute objections by a significant portion of the community needed to halt the .gcc TLD.[7]

Application Details

The following is excerpted from the applicants response to question #18:

"Model: .GCC is an open Top Level Domain (TLD) created specifically to enhance and develop the provision of Internet services for users in the Gulf and Middle East region.

.GCC will be marketed globally to provide a competitive alternative to existing generic TLDs, regional country code TLDs and to other new TLDs. .GCC will be operated as a commercial for-profit venture with a network of registrars and a low-cost platform for ongoing management.

Mission: GCCIX intends to position the .GCC TLD as a broadly distributed alternative to .COM, .NET and .BIZ and other widely used TLDs and ccTLDs such as the existing regional ccTLD offerings. Our goal is bring to the region a top-level domain that operates to the highest international standards of registry practices and services. We are committed to providing exemplary functional utility as well as an opportunity for Internet users with a connection to the Gulf and Middle East to secure a domain name in a new, innovative and competitive TLD.

The clearly expressed goal of ICANN is that the Internet should operate as a universal resource, equally accessible and operable by all, irrespective of language, location or culture. It is equally clear that the starting point of the Internet has naturally favored an embedded culture of English usage and preferences.

This round of development is a clear reassertion of ICANNʹs goals and enables the opportunity to address embedded imbalances to open access for communities of current and potential users. Moreover, ICANN has recognized that the overwhelming dominance of .COM has perpetually advantaged those who had the opportunity for early registration. New communities of users are effectively excluded from the benefits of registration in .COM by the overpopulation of the DNS, and are unable to rebalance their lack of opportunity without preferential access to newly created TLDs that have the potential to be as influential as .COM in their own sphere of interest (whether geographic or topical).

.GCC will create a region-specific new TLD that allows previously excluded and disadvantaged users to take a stake in a meaningful cultural and economic tool that is specifically designed to respond to their linguistic, cultural and specific business needs. GCC refers generally, but not exclusively, to the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf. Formed in May 1981 as a regional organization, it consists of six Gulf countries including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. Its main objectives are to enhance coordination, integration and inter-connection between its members in different spheres. This application is not connected with or sponsored by the Council. .GCC does not purport to represent the Council. However, the term ʺGCCʺ has become commonly used to refer generally to the countries and people of the Gulf and Middle East region. It is expected that the general usage and understanding of the region encapsulated by the term ʺGCCʺ will continue to grow. The generally accepted broad usage of ʺGCCʺ allows for a generic TLD that creates a logical and easily identifiable connection for registrants and Internet users who share common interests in the region, not dissimilar to the development of the European Union which has been served for many years by the .eu domain."[8]

References