Amazon, the world’s most prominent e-commerce retailer, is winning the fight against eight Latin American countries to win the .amazon internet domain.
Big retailer brushes the rainforest off
Amazon is the biggest online retailer in the world, which has been fighting a bitter legal battle against eight countries based around the Amazon river basin. These countries, namely Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, Bolivia, Ecuador, Suriname, Peru, and Venezuela, are against the company’s use of the .amazon domain. They suggest that Amazon refers to a geographic region, and the domain should not become the monopoly of one company.
The battle started in 2012, but now it appears that the retailer will have its way. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) which oversees addresses on the internet, has greenlighted the decision. It said on Monday that it would proceed with Amazon’s request to get the .amazon domain name after a 30-day period of public comment. This happened as the eight nations failed to reach an agreement about the same.
What is the contention about?
The Amazon rainforest is the largest and most diverse rainforests in the world and is known for its biodiversity. The geographical region is the one which is extensively harnessed for forest resources due to which several of its plant and animal species are endangered. While Amazon Inc.’s takeover of the .amazon domain will not solve the problems of the region, it certainly brings the rights of the geographical region in direct contrast with the company’s request.
Even Brazilian foreign ministry released a statement recently, suggesting that ICANN should have gone for shared governance of the domain. Parties were given time till last month to reach a deal about the domain’s governance.
Note that ICANN initially said that it “will not proceed” on Amazon Inc.’s request for the .amazon domain in 2013. The company then sought an independent review process after which the decision was faulted. ICANN then asked the Amazon basin nations to reach an agreement with the retailer. However, that couldn’t happen.
ICANN was convinced that Amazon’s recent compromise terms were acceptable. The company noted that it would not use any domain names with words that have a primary and well-recognized significance to the culture and heritage of the Amazonia region”. This would make at least 1,500 sensitive terms inaccessible for the company. It also agreed to make additions to the list of terms for the next two years. This exercise was to be overseen by a joint advisory committee.