Internet Commerce Association Establishes Presence in Europe

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On the opening day of the Domainer Meeting, the Internet Commerce Association (ICA) announced that, in cooperation with EuroDNS, it will establish a sister organization in Europe. Internet Commerce Association-Europe (ICA-EU) will be headquartered in Luxembourg to better represent its members with the EU Parliament and agencies located in Brussels, the European Court located in Luxembourg, and the separate governments of the nations of Europe.

EuroDNS is excited to help expand ICA into Europe. We saw what ICA was able to do about the Snowe Bill in the US Senate, at ICANN, and with US Department of Commerce. We knew that EuroDNS could help them in their work here. All of us want to see the Internet remain a place where entrepreneurs can thrive

On the opening day of the Domainer Meeting, the Internet Commerce Association (ICA) announced that, in cooperation with EuroDNS, it will establish a sister organization in Europe. Internet Commerce Association-Europe (ICA-EU) will be headquartered in Luxembourg to better represent its members with the EU Parliament and agencies located in Brussels, the European Court located in Luxembourg, and the separate governments of the nations of Europe.

ICA's is a non-profit trade association headquartered in Washington, DC. Its mission is to promote the benefits of the activities of professional domain name registrants (domainers), the individuals and companies that invest in and develop domain names, as well as the companies that serve them through the provision of various services. It seeks to preserve the entrepreneurial environment of the Internet that has made it such an innovative and high-growth arena for commerce in the U.S., Europe and worldwide.

Domainers' internet investments are challenged by a number of competing interests, including trademark owners that would like to more readily obtain the transfer of valuable domain names by changing the laws and policies that govern trademark disputes in the EU and its separate states, the U.S., and under the process established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for the resolution of domain name disputes. Some governments are also advocating policies that would threaten the owners of valuable geo-domains, while others seek to censor internet content including domain name content. Domainers often invest large sums of money to purchase and develop their domains and require a stable and fair legal and policy environment to protect those investments. ICA and ICA-EU will work coordinate their activities to explain and promote the interests of their members to national governments, the EU, ICANN, and all other relevant policy-making bodies.

Many of the policy decisions affecting domainers are made by ICANN, which is tasked with policy making for generic top level domains (gTLD) such as .com, .org and .net. While gTLDs are the most dominant form in the U.S.,, , country code TLDs (ccTLD) such as .de and .uk are more commonly used in European e-commerce and much of the policy decisions that affect European domainers are made by the ccTLD managers. With its headquarters in Europe, ICA-EU will be able to better represent the interests of European domainers with the ccTLD managers and national governments of the continent. The establishment of ICA-EU also recognizes that the Internet is a global platform for communications and commerce and that domainers must adopt an international approach to promoting and protecting their shared interests.

Jeremiah Johnston, ICA President, states, "This is a big step for ICA as it reaches out to fulfill its worldwide mission. EuroDNS has been actively involved with multiple European governments and ccTLD managers effecting legislative and policy issues over the last several years. ICA is happy to have EuroDNS assuming a leadership role in the establishment of ICA-Europe. We hope that ICA-Europe is the first of what will eventually be many sister organizations. There has already been interest expressed from Latin America in another regional organization based there."

Xavier Buck, EuroDNS CEO, says, "EuroDNS is excited to help expand ICA into Europe. We saw what ICA was able to do about the Snowe Bill in the US Senate, at ICANN, and with US Department of Commerce. We knew that EuroDNS could help them in their work here. All of us want to see the Internet remain a place where entrepreneurs can thrive"

ICA-EU expects to begin operations by early fall and to have a website in multiple European languages. ICA will include links from its current website at InternetCommerce.org to ICA-EU's website when it is published.

Inquiries can be made to Michael Collins, michael @ InternetCommerce.org and to Xavier Buck, xbuck @ eurodns.com.

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XAVIER BUCK
EuroDNS
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