Lori Schulman, INTA’s Senior Director, Internet Policy, has what she describes as “a very busy agenda.” When she spoke to the INTA Daily News, she had just returned to Washington D.C. after six weeks of meetings and conferences in Geneva, Switzerland. After the Annual Meeting in Orlando, she is due to take part in the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) meeting in June, ICANN’s 56th Public Meeting in Helsinki and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Multistakeholder Advisory Group meeting in Geneva in July.
Internet issues are a key policy focus for INTA and Schulman describes her role as two-fold: one part is “to be the voice of INTA in the Internet policy space” advocating brand owners’ interests on Capitol Hill, in ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model and in other international organizations such as the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the IGF. “It’s important that the voice of the private sector is heard on Internet policy, and we hope we can engage it in a meaningful way,” she says.
While in Geneva, Schulman took part in the World Summit on the Information Society Forum as one of the private sector representatives facilitating high level discussions. “It is time for the private sector to think about how to be engaged in these debates in a consistent and substantive way, across all businesses,” she says, adding: “A lot of very ambitious goals are being articulated, but where do brands fit in?”
One highly topical issue is the IANA transition, with the U.S. government expected to give up the final part of its ICANN oversight this year. Schulman says she is “cautiously optimistic” about this process, but urges brand owners to remain fully engaged. “ICANN is transforming its governance structure and also undertaking internal reviews on issues such as domain name disputes, new gTLDs and enforcement. They are of interest to every single brand owner that has a presence on the Internet.”
In particular, she says, it is vital that rights protection mechanisms are strengthened and that there are sufficient ways to hold ICANN to account in its new structure. This is particularly important as ICANN is expected to embark on another round of new gTLDs in the near future.
The second part of Schulman’s role is to act as liaison to INTA’s Internet Committee, which now has over 200 members and 11 subcommittees following the Association’s recent committee reorganization. The Committee’s mission is to develop and advocate policy “regarding the balanced protection of trademarks on the Internet.” The various subcommittees are working on a wide range of issues affecting brand owners online, such as the future of IP on the Internet, rights protection mechanisms and the role of social media and apps.
Senior Director, Internet Policy, Washington D.C.
Tel: +1 202 704 0408
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