Things That Matter

Tech Giant Amazon Won Legal Battle For Its Domain Name But What Does That Mean For South America

Online retail giant Amazon has prevailed in a controversial domain name legal battle with Amazon, the geographic region in South America. This past month, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) sided with Amazon to win the rights to the “.amazon” domain name.

The decision comes after a seven year dispute with more than a half dozen countries including Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil and Bolivia. The countries argue that Amazon should not have the rights to the name as it is also an important geographic region in their continent. They are also backed by the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO), a group promoting the development of the Amazon Basin.

While Amazon is the world’s biggest online retailer, it’s also the name of the world’s largest rain forest.

The presidents of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia- Martin Vizcarra, Ivan Duque, Lenin Moreno and Evo Morales , have called the decision “inadequate governance of the internet.” The core of their argument is a cultural and symbolic stance on what the term “amazon” represents.

The countries objecting Amazon’s move worry that a corporation symbolically taking control of a name associated with their heritage sets a precedent for future similar scenarios. They also worry they would lose tourism revenue and opportunities to use trip.amazon, hotels.amazon and other domain names.

The case sets “a grave precedent by prioritizing private commercial interests above the considerations of state public policies, the rights on indigenous people and the preservation of the Amazon,” Vizcarra, Duque, Moreno and Morales said in a joint statement.

Amazon had tried to get the countries to drop their challenge for years.

Amazon has had multiple attempts to get the ACTO to drop their complaint. One of these attempts included offering $5 million in gift cards to Brazil and Peru, the ACTO member states who originally filed the complaint. But the offers were declined.

Fahim Naim, a former category manager at Amazon, told Retail Dive that while this legal case might not be a big deal to some outside the U.S., it’s important in South America.

“I’m not sure the average U.S. customer is going to care enough, but from a South American perspective, Amazon is fighting with these seven or eight South American countries, you have the foreign minister of Brazil publicly objecting, and Amazon, by the way, just launched in Brazil,” Naim said. “I can imagine that, if you’re a Brazilian, throw in the whole angle that they are demeaning the rainforest, you’re less likely to consider shopping there.”

Many are criticizing the decision because of what the name represents to the various regions in South America.

Many are upset that an online retail giant like Amazon has continued to take over many properties, and now the name of a region. One user called the decision “colonial” and a “a slap in the face to early internet promises of global representation + shared power.”

The next move in the dispute will be a 30-day period of public comment.

ICAAN said that it “remained hopeful that additional time could lead to a mutually acceptable solution regarding those applications. But at this time the ACTO and Amazon “were unable to come to a mutually acceptable solution or agree on an extension of time for continued discussions.”

As part of Amazon’s agreement terms with the domain, the retailer will not register any .amazon domain names with “a primary and well-recognized significance to the culture and heritage of the Amazonia region.” It will also provide up to nine domain names for countries to use for non-commercial purposes to “highlight the region’s culture and heritage.”

While there have been disputes over domain names in the past. Rarely has a company faced off against multiple countries for a name.

“It’s not the classic issue of two different parties applying for the same name,” Rodrigo de la Parra, the regional vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean at Icann, told the New York Times. “The governments didn’t apply for .amazon — they only have concerns about its usage by a private company given its cultural and natural heritage for the region.”

READ: Here’s Why Housing Advocates Are Warning Against Amazon’s Impact On Affordable Housing

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A Brazilian Photographer Is Documenting Indigenous Tribes In The Amazon

Culture

A Brazilian Photographer Is Documenting Indigenous Tribes In The Amazon

ricardostuckert / Instagram

Indigenous tribes are the most important connection between man and nature. These tribes have lived off the land before modern society and many have never interacted with modern society. Ricardo Stuckert is going through and documenting the indigenous Amazonian tribes in Brazil.

Ricardo Stuckert is photographing indigenous tribespeople in the Brazilian Amazon.

The indigenous community is something sacred that most people agrees should be protected. They are more connected to the land than we are. Their customs and traditions are more ingrained in this world than ours are and it is so important to protect them.

The indigenous community of Brazil has been subjected to horrible attacks and conditions from the Brazilian government.

One of the most widespread attacks against the indigenous Brazilians living in the Amazon has been for the land. President Jair Bolsonaro has tried to take land away from the indigenous communities to allow for logging and mining. A bill he sent to the congress sought to exploit the land for commercial purposes, even legalizing some of the attacks we have seen on indigenous people since President Bolsonaro took power.

Stuckert wants to preserve the indigenous culture and customs through photos.

“I think it is important to disseminate Brazilian culture and show the way that native peoples live today,” Stuckert told DailyMail. “In 1997, I started to photograph the Amazon and had my first contact with the native people of Brazil. Since then, I have tried to show the diversity and plurality of indigenous culture, as well as emphasize the importance of the Indians as guardians of the forest. There are young people who are being born who have never seen or will see an Indian in their lives.”

The photographer believes that using photography is the best way to share culture.

“I think that photography has this power to transpose a culture like this to thousands of people,” Stuckert told DailyMail. “The importance of documentary photojournalism is to undo stigmas and propagate a culture that is being lost. We need to show the importance of indigenous people to the world, for the protection of our forests.”

You can see all of Stuckert’s photos on his Instagram.

Stuckert’s work to documented the indigenous community is giving people an insight into a life many never see. Brazil is home to about 210 million people with around 1 million having indigenous heritage. The diverse indigenous community of Brazil is something important to showcase and that’s what Stuckert is doing.

READ: Indigenous Photographer Diego Huerta’s Photos Of Oaxaca’s Indigenous People Celebrates Their Beauty

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Yes, Someone Created An Actual Honest To God 108-Foot Vulva Statue In Brazil

Fierce

Yes, Someone Created An Actual Honest To God 108-Foot Vulva Statue In Brazil

BUDA MENDES / GETTY IMAGES

There’s no denying the fact that the female form, and it’s bits, in particular, have inspired artwork the world over. Tarsila do Amaral was inspired by it. Frida Kahlo and artists like Zilia Sánchez and Marta Minujín too. Women’s bodies are inspired and so they inspire. Still, a recent unveiling of vulva artwork has become so controversial and made people so besides themselves that it seems many have forgotten these truths about our bodies.

Over the weekend, Brazilian visual artist Juliana Notari revealed her latest sculptureDiva, on a hillside at Usina del Arte. The art park is located in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco and is described by Notari as “a massive vulva / wound excavation.”

The massive sculpture created on the hillside located in northeastern Brazil features a bright pink vulva and has fueled what is being described as a cultural war.

Notari created Diva, a colorful 108-foot concrete and resin sculpture on the site of a former sugar mill. The mill was converted into an open-air museum in Pernambuco state. Last week, when Notari debuted the installation she revealed it was meant to depict both a vulva and a wound while questioning the relationship between nature and culture in a “phallocentric and anthropocentric society.”

“These issues have become increasingly urgent today,” Notari wrote in a post shared to her Facebook page which was shared alongside a series of photos of the sculpture. According to NBC, it took a team of 20 artisans 11 months to build the entire concept.

No surprise, the piece of art sparked a wave of controversy on social media, with critics and supports debating its message and significance.

Over 25,000 users have commented on Notari’s Facebook post so far including leftists and conservatives. On the far-right, supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro have also been vocal about their views of the product.

“With all due respect, I did not like it. Imagine me walking with my young daughters in this park and them asking … Daddy, what is this? What will I answer?” one user wrote in the Facebook section of the post.

“With all due respect, you can teach your daughters not to be ashamed of their own genitals,” a woman replied.

Olavo de Carvalho, an advisor to Bolsonaro, vulgarly criticized the piece on Twitter.

Notari, whose previous work has been displayed at various galleries explained on her Facebook page that she created the piece to comment on gender issues in general.

“In Diva, I use art to dialogue with…gender issues from a female perspective combined with a cosmopocentric and anthropocentric western society,” Notari shared on her post to Facebook. “Currently these issues have become increasingly urgent. After all, it is by changing perspective of our relationship between humans and nonhuman, that will allow us to live longer on that planet and in a less unequal and catastrophic society.”

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