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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These Tourists Thought It Would Be Funny To Poop Inside A Temple In Machu Picchu: They’re Facing Prison Time

Things That Matter

These Tourists Thought It Would Be Funny To Poop Inside A Temple In Machu Picchu: They’re Facing Prison Time

ThatGayGringo / Instagram

Picture this: You’ve made the long, difficult journey to Machu Picchu, taking a variety of planes and trains and buses to get there, and now finally, you’re inside the grounds. You begin to explore the more than 500-year-old site, marveling at its ancient structures, its surreal terraces and ramps. Life is sweet; the world is wonderful and mysterious. But at some point —and for some unknown reason— you sneak into a sacred temple constructed half a millennium ago, drop your pants, and POOP one of the greatest marvels this world has to offer. This actually happened.

Six tourists emptied their bowels inside the hallowed grounds of an Incan worshipping room: There’s something deeply wrong with some people.

For some inexplicable reason, that’s exactly what a group of tourists allegedly did over the weekend, France 24 reports. Six people in their twenties and early thirties were arrested on Sunday after Peruvian authorities caught them in a restricted area of Machu Picchu’s Temple of the Sun, a revered part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Park rangers and police found feces inside of the temple.

The Temple of the Sun had also been damaged after a piece of stone had “broken off a wall and caused a crack in the floor,” regional police chief Wilbert Leyva told Andina, a local news agency. “The six tourists are being detained and investigated by the public ministry for the alleged crime against cultural heritage,” Leyva said.

The group was made up of one French, two Brazilians, two Argentines and a Chilean, according to police.

They face at least four years in prison if found guilty of damaging Peru’s heritage. Several parts of the semicircular Temple of the Sun are off limits to tourists for preservation reasons.

Worshipers at the temple would make offerings to the sun.

The sun was considered the most important deity in the Inca empire as well as other pre-Inca civilizations in the Andean region. The Machu Picchu estate—which includes three distinct areas for agriculture, housing and religious ceremonies—is the most iconic site from the Inca empire that ruled a large swathe of western South America for 100 years before the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.

Three Argentines, a Brazilian, a Chilean and a French woman make up the group.

Local media reported that all the tourists were aged between 20 and 32. In 2014, authorities denounced a trend that saw tourists getting naked at the sacred location. Four American tourists were detained in March of that year forremoving their clothes and posing for photos at the site. In a pair of separate incidents earlier in the same week, two Canadians and two Australians were detained for stripping down for pictures there.

Machu Picchu, means “old mountain” in the Quechua language indigenous to the area.

The historic site is at the top of a lush mountain and was built during the reign of the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438-1471). It lies around 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the Andean city of Cusco, the old Inca capital in southeastern Peru. The site was rediscovered in 1911 by the American explorer Hiram Bingham. UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1983.

This Brazilian Paraglider Fell 150 Feet And Survived To Tell About It

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This Brazilian Paraglider Fell 150 Feet And Survived To Tell About It

Top Litoral / Facebook

A paraglider in Brazil was filmed as he lost control of his parachute and began to fall 150 feet. The man, identified as Marinquinhos, 35, got caught in gusts of strong winds as he was gliding along a beach over the Dream Beach Hotel in Itanhaém on the coast of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He lived to tell the tale. After Marinquinhos collided into a building, the video recorder rushed to his side and called emergency services. The fallen paraglider survived with fractures to both of his legs and is expected to make a full recovery. He’s currently being treated for his injuries at a hospital in Brazil.

The exact reason for Marinquinhos’ literal downfall has not been determined yet. In extreme sports like paragliding, human error can often be fatal, but Marinquinhos lucked out.

Marinquinhos valiantly tried to maneuver away from the buildings and toward the beach but the winds got the best of him.

Credit: Top Litoral / Facebook

In the video, you can see the paraglider being whipped around in the air as the parachute collapses, losing wind from its sails and the wind energy that kept him afloat. The video cuts short as he starts to fall, with the last frame of Marinquinhos’ body falling headfirst. The recorder drops the camera as the, what started out as idyllic, video of a paraglider soon becomes a nightmare. 

Later, images emerged of the paraglider’s parachute dangling from a second-story terrace as a group of people and medical personnel surround the extreme sports enthusiast. both of the man’s legs were stabilized in foam restraints as his wounds were bandaged on the scene. He managed to survive with relatively minor injuries, and enough of an adrenaline rush to probably last a lifetime, or at least until his broken bones heal. 

Statistically, paragliding isn’t any more dangerous than driving.

Credit: Top Litoral / Facebook

It doesn’t get you from point A to B, nor does our culture necessitate the risk as it does commuting to work, but as scary as paragliding accidents seem, the fatal risk of paragliding isn’t higher than that of driving. According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, 4 out of every 1,000 Americans die in road crashes every single year. Meanwhile, in Germany, just 1 out of every 11,000 paraglider pilots suffer fatal injuries from the extreme sport, according to a New Zealand paragliding company. 

That said, a medical study conducted from August 2004 to September 2011 in Turkey found that of those patients who were hospitalized for paragliding injuries, more than 20% of them would succumb to those injuries. That’s a 1 in 5 chance that if you get into a paragliding accident, you will die (in Turkey). 

Paragliding was only just invented in the 1940s and popularized in the 1980s.

Credit: Top Litoral / Facebook

Those who start out paragliding usually do so accompanied by a pilot using a special parachute. Typically, you’re also outfitted with an emergency parachute in the case that the specially designed paragliding parachute fails. The perks of paragliding is that it’s considered an aviation sport that doesn’t require any logistical coordination with an airport. The aforementioned study also found that “the number of accidents that usually cause high energy trauma and subsequent morbidity or mortality has tended to increase in this sport correlatively with the increasing number of flights.” That is, the more people often a person makes a paragliding jump, and the more experience they acquire, the more likely they’ll be injured. Objectively, it makes sense when thinking about sheer exposure to the danger, but not in terms of expertise.

Men and tourists are more likely to be injured by paragliding.

CREDIT: Небо и Экстрим / YOUTUBE

The Turkish study found that more than half of those injured and killed by paragliding were tourists, seeking an adrenaline-rushed bird’s-eye view of their travel destination. More so, nearly 85% of those hospitalized were men. the most stomach-lurching statistic is obvious: injuries and fatalities are higher when the paragliding event failed mid-air. Of course, that means a long, terrifying fall from the sky and a long road to recovery if you’re lucky. The average length of hospital stay for a paragliding injury is 18 days in Turkey. In America, that’s called guaranteed medical bankruptcy, unless you have a wealthy circle of GoFundMe friends or scribble “Take the jump, go vegan!” on your hand before the flight.

We don’t need a medical or social study to declare the obvious: our mamis do not approve of this sport.

READ: Freak Rollercoaster Accident In Mexico City Kills Two And Injured Dozens Others