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Congress to Examine Icann Plan

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Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers

The U.S. House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet is scheduled to hold a hearing on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' (ICANN's) plan to support new generic domains, which is expected to be approved at a June meeting in Singapore.

"A lot of companies have expressed concern to us about the difficulty they will have in protecting their intellectual property, their brand names with this proliferation of suffixes," says committee chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).

He says the committee will attempt to determine ICANN's motivations for pushing for the new domains. It also will examine whether the organization could become a profit-making enterprise instead of a nonprofit due to the money it could make from the change.

In addition, the committee plans to examine the way the gTLD plan will be executed in order to protect the interests of trademark holders. The U.S. has worked with other governments to delay action on the gTLD plan due to various concerns, including protections for trademarked names and whether governments will be able to object to sensitive domains, such as those that relate to nationality, race, or ethnicity.

From National Journal
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