ICANN Board Approves New gTLD Programme, With Qualifications

The ICANN Board has today approved the introduction of new generic Top Level Domains as one of the first decision at the meeting being held in Singapore this week with the first application window opening on 12 January, closing on 12 April.The approval, with some changes to the current applicant guidebook, includes additional protections for trademark holders such as the International Olympic Committee and a reduction in the application fee of 76 per cent for some applicants to encourage applications from developing countries. There is also to be ongoing discussion on cross-registry ownership rules.While some board members were not supportive of the introduction at this time, the board overall was supportive with Rita Rodin Johnston giving a “woohoo” at the thought of the approval for new gTLDs immediately before the vote, in which she enthusiastically voted yes.The vote was one against (George Sadowsky) and two abstentions (Mike Silber and Bruce Tonkin, the latter who abstained as his Melbourne employer, Melbourne IT, has an interested in the programme).Remote participation of this week’s ICANN meeting here in Singapore is available at singapore41.icann.org/remote-schedule.

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