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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body charged with operational and policy authority over the Domain Name System (DNS), is developing a set of criteria to expand the internet community’s power to name and design its own domains.
This initiative presents an opportunity to clarify policy on some contentious issues, including the treatment of geographic names. However, it is by no means clear whether the possibility of recourse to geographical names is compatible with international law. Is it lawful and possible to allocate domain names named after continents, regions, countries, cities and other geographic areas? Who is entitled to use these denominations?
Offering a comprehensive analysis of a field which at present raises more questions than answers, this book examines the implications of positive international law to assess the extent to which geographical names are currently protected by different titles, and to what extent they can be exclusively claimed by governments in defence of territorial prerogatives.
In the course of the analysis an entirely new field of international economic law emerges, as a number of distinct areas of law intersect and engage with such diverse legal issues as the following:-