Fight Over .Amazon: ACTO Countries Cancel Meeting With ICANN CEO 29/11/2018 by Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The fight over delegating the .amazon top-level domain to Amazon LLC is not over. But the effort of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to cut a deal between the regional Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO) and online retailer Amazon has failed, according to ICANN CEO Göran Marby. map of the original Amazon… Marby in a letter [pdf] to the chair of ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Body (GAC), Manal Ismail, wrote: “Unfortunately, at this time, we regret to inform you that this facilitation process has been unsuccessful. The facilitation has not been able to reach its desired conclusion.” [Update: ICANN reached out to Intellectual Property Watch to clarify that the facilitation process could still be continued from its point of view. Spokesperson Luna Madi wrote:”The facilitation process has not yet been declared as already finally failed, neither by Göran in his letter or by the board. The update in the letter means that it is so far unsuccessful. The letter from Göran to the GAC, doesn’t seem to have been reflected accurately.”] Marby with his letter reacted to the ACTO countries calling off a meeting, scheduled for tomorrow alongside the 21st meeting of the ACTO countries in Bolivia. This meeting, at least on ICANN’s side, had been hoped to help to hammer out the final deal over the somehow “shared use” of the TLD. Amazon had made several consecutive offers to the ACTO countries since the fight started back in 2013 during the TLD application round. The company has tried to lure the eight countries with free Kindles and additional benefits and a promise to address any semantic concerns using the so-called public interest commitments (PICs) procedure. This week’s escalation mainly stems from the decision of the ICANN Board to finally lift the blocking of the delegation and give the name to the company (IPW, ITU/ICANN, 25 October 2018). In the uninvite-letter, ACTO Secretary General Jacqueline Mendoza declared that an acknowledgment and “positive reaction” to ACTO’s request to the ICANN Board to reconsider this approval “are indispensable pre-requisites for such a meeting to take place in a way that clarifies the present state of play and provides transparency.” The ICANN Board had been under pressure to come to a decision after Amazon in 2017 won an independent review procedure (IRP) over ICANN’s early blocking decision. Marby in his letter points to the rationale for the decision that the Board had understood that the parties “have identified a path forward.” But Mendoza countered that a mutually acceptable proposal had not yet arrived at ACTO. With Brazil acting as a go-between during ICANN’s facilitation and even before, Marby pointd to the Brazilian GAC delegation as main source for the message on the “path forward.” Marby meanwhile acknowledged that throughout these consultations it has been clear that ACTO as a whole had the final call. But with the decision to delegate the TLD to Amazon and the calling off of the ACTO-ICANN meeting, Amazon is one step closer to its goal. Amazonian States Question Legitimacy of Process Benedicto Fonseca Filho, director, Department of Scientific and Technological Themes at Brazil’s Ministry of External Relations, in a email to Intellectual Property Watch said, “ACTO member states are willing to engage in dialogue towards the development of a mutually acceptable solution but they do not agree that an agreement has already been reached in principle and want to set this clear before proceeding with the meeting, in order to avoid future misunderstandings.“ Fonseca also challenged the ICANN CEO’s understanding of state of the discussion: “ACTO´s decision to engage in a negotiating process was only announced in a SG-ACTO´s letter of 5 September 2018 which also contained indication of some parameters that could be acceptable for the Amazon countries.“ With the parameters from ACTO countries only put on the table and no proposal in fact submitted from ICANN before the 25 Oct, the ICANN Board decision was premature, he said. “Discussions that were held by Mr. Marby with representatives of individual member states – which were not mandated to negotiate on behalf of ACTO as a whole and that never claimed that condition – could never substitute for official contacts with ACTO, an 8-member states organisation,” Fonsecca wrote. 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