Last week, I visited Oslo to deliver a speech at the ICANN Studienkreis, an annual conference where experts study and address some current issues relating to legal and regulatory aspects of the Internet. This was the twelfth meeting of the group; the Studienkreis had its first meeting in Leipzig in 2000 as a forum primarily for Europeans interested in ICANN and its role as coordinator of the domain name system. Since then the participants have come from many countries both within and outside Europe.
My speech this year was on “Jurisdictions”. You can read it at:
I point out that the expected expansion in the number of registries located outside the United States will create new problems in jurisdiction over Intellectual property disputes. I suggest that a new version of the UDRP may help by creating jurisdiction “ by contract”, as is the case with the current UDRP.
Among the highlights of the meeting was an address by Tarek Kamel, newly appointed Senior Adviser to ICANN’s President and CEO, who spoke on increasing the role developing countries in ICANN’s work. A panel discussed issues that will face the next session of the Internet Governance Forum in Baku in November 2012, and the WCIT meeting of the International Telecommunications Union in Dubai in December 2012. The panelists raised concerns about the proposal for a “sender pays” model for international telephone settlements put forward by the European Telecommunications Network Operators; there was discussion of potential adverse effects of this model on developing countries, and the more pressing need for building infrastructure.
The second day of the meeting opened with a panel discussing the ICANN new gTLD proposals and the many unresolved issues, including the effects of vertical integration, the possibility of generic terms becoming trademarks when used as top level domains, and a proposal for private auctions as a means of resolving conflicting applications. The final presentation returned to the subject of conflicting jurisdictional claims of national governments. A proposal was advanced regarding the need to develop new means of international cooperation based on acceptance of terms of service as a framework for global cooperation.