Tag Archives: new gTLDs

Issues and Benefits for New gTLDs in The Financial Times

New generic Top Level Domains have gained the attention of The Financial Times that looks at .ECO and how those who originally had the idea saw their business disappear from under their eyes. And also looks at Canon who are one of the very few multinational companies to announce they will apply for their own gTLD.

The .ECO brainchild of Trevor Bowden and Jacob Malthouse, two young Canadian entrepreneurs, were at the ICANN meeting in Mexico when they first heard of another .ECO initiative. But their competition had the backing of Al Gore, former US vice-president and environmental campaigner.

However after initially seeing their dream pass before their eyes, they “looked at their model and saw there was some space for our approach. A lot of people had said to us they liked our process and openness.”

The article also looks at brands applying for gTLDs and focuses on Canon’s announcement to apply for .CANON and the benefits to companies in doing so.

“The top-level .canon domain would serve as a constant indication that the information being presented is from the genuine Canon brand,” says the company. It says that not only would this simplify its web approach but would also enable it to maximise the multimedia marketing potential of the brand.

The report also quotes Nick Wood who recently launched Valideus, a London-based consultancy, to help brand owners through the Icann application process. Wood told the FT that a company owning their own domain could, for example, help brand owners prevent cybersquatters using their name for bogus websites and could be used as a marketing tool.

The FT also notes it could also give companies the freedom to choose the jurisdiction under which their web activities fall. Citing the case of in 2008 where a Kentucky court ordered the forfeiture of 141 gambling websites that it said were in violation of state laws, a case brought by the state of Kentucky and that is still unresolved.

“If your business is based on .com, which is run by a US company, it can’t hold off forever against US court orders. For gambling, drinks or tobacco companies, running your own registry from the jurisdiction of your choosing might be a pretty good idea,” Wood also told the FT.

To read this report in The Financial Times in full, see:
www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a4da0d2e-798b-11df-85be-00144feabdc0.html

Australian Government Consults on ICANN’s New gTLD Proposal

The Australian Government has asked for comments from the Australian public on ICANN’s proposed introduction of new generic Top Level Domains.The Government is working to ensure that the Australian community is aware of the new gTLD process, and to minimise any negative impacts of new gTLDs.Any issues raised through the consultation process are to be fed back to ICANN through the government’s participation in the ICANN process through the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC). The call for comments notes the GAC provides advice to ICANN, but ICANN’s Board of Directors is ultimately in charge of what the organisation does.Any questions or comments about ICANN’s proposal should be directed to the government at:
The Director
Internet Governance, IPND and Numbering Team
Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
GPO Box 2154
Canberra ACT 2601
Or by email to newgTLDs@DBCDE.gov.auNo date is given for the close of the consultation period.General information on the new gTLD proposal from ICANN is available from:
www.dbcde.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/128433/ICANN-FACTSHEET-1700.pdfMore information on ICANN’s proposal for new gTLDs and the latest Draft Applicant Guidebook (version 4) is available from:
icann.org/en/topics/new-gtld-program.htm

ICANN GNSO: Webinar Surveys Whois Requirements, Past and Future

ICANN logoWhat has the GNSO previously recommended that Whois should be able to do, and what other standards or capabilities will Whois need in the coming world of IDNs and new gTLDs?

In May last year, the GNSO Council tasked Policy Staff (with the assistance of technical staff and Council members as required) to collect and organize a comprehensive set of requirements for the Whois service. GNSO Council asked that these requirements reflect known deficiencies in the current Whois service and also possible requirements that may be needed to support various policy initiatives that have been suggested.

The Staff has complied with the Council’s task, compiled an initial report, and now seeks consultative input from the ALAC, ccNSO, GAC and SSAC. One of the report’s lead authors, Steve Sheng, ICANN Senior Technical Analyst, is offering a webinar to brief the community on the report and to respond to questions. The paper, entitled “Inventory of Whois Requirements – Initial Report,” is available now from the ICANN site [PDF, 668 KB].

Who should attend? Any community member interested in Whois policy work is welcome. Members of the ALAC, ccNSO, GAC, GNSO and SSAC are especially encouraged to participate.

Date and Time: To accommodate the community’s diverse schedules, the hour-long webinar is offered twice:

  • Tuesday, 20 April 2010. 17:00 UTC
    (10:00 Marina del Rey, 13:00 Washington D.C, 19:00 Brussels)
  • Tuesday, 4 May 2010, 06:00 UTC
    (09:00 Riyadh, 11:00 Islamabad, 15:00 Seoul, 16:00 Sydney)

Prepared content will be identical at both sessions. (Live audience questions may vary.) The webinar is offered in English.

How to Register. To participate in the live event, specify which session you’d like to attend in an email to the GNSO Secretariat. Participation details will be emailed back to you.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
gnso.icann.org/announcements/announcement-09apr10-en.htm

ICANN Consultation on New gTLD Agreement Amendment Process and Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Process

ICANN logoICANN invites community participation in an open consultation on the Process for New gTLD Registry Agreement Amendments and the Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Process. This consultation was organized in response to a request from the Registry Stakeholder Group to discuss concerns they have raised in their stakeholder meetings and public comments fora on new gTLDs. This meeting is open to all interested participants and observers.

The consultation will be held on Tuesday, 13 April from 16:00 to 19:30 UTC (timeanddate.com/s/1pcg). A conference call bridge and Adobe Connect access will be available for this discussion and an MP3 will be posted on the new gTLD program web page after the consultation. ICANN will facilitate this discussion from Marina del Rey, CA (limited space will be available to accommodate in-person participation).

Agenda

16:00 – 17:45 Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Process
17:45 – 19:30 New gTLD Agreement Amendment Process

The reference materials for the consultation include the Process for New gTLD Registry Agreement Amendments viewable at icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/registry-agreement-amendment-process-15feb10-en.pdf [PDF, 127 KB] and the Trademark Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Procedure viewable at icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/draft-trademark-pddrp-clean-15feb10-en.pdf [PDF, 94 KB].

If you are interested in participating, please confirm at registry-liaison@icann.org by 9 April 2010. Dial-in details will be made available upon confirmation and requests for in-person participation will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis.

This ICANN announcement was sourced from:
icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-07apr10-en.htm

CADNA Launches Another Spurious Survey On Costs to Brand Owners of New gTLDs

The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) has released a report claiming that the introduction of new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) as proposed by ICANN will cost brand owners worldwide over $746 million.However the study is part of the propaganda CADNA regularly releases based on the premise, as they claim, that the cost to individual brand owners will be “about $500,000 each if one conservatively estimates that the average brand owner will defensively register 3 domain names per gTLD, that the average price of domain name registrations in sunrise periods of new gTLD launches will be $500, and that brands will not necessarily participate in each gTLD launch equally.”However one needs to consider whether brand owners will really bother with defensively registering their brand names in small gTLDs. Currently very few brand owners bother with small country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs), so why will it be any different small gTLDs? For a large number of ccTLDs brand owners ignore registering domain names, either defensively and/or to promote their products in the local community, until there is a critical mass of domain names registered.Backing up this view is a survey by Minds + Machines, who have a vested in this process admittedly as they are proposing to apply for several gTLDs when ICANN begins taking applications.In their survey of the domain registration behaviour of Fortune 100 companies, they found that they have not registered many of their trademarks in recently created gTLDs. In a sample of 1,043 brands, they found that they were registered in less than 30 per cent of the eight new open gTLDs created after 2001.The survey theorised that if historical registration data is a guide, brands are unlikely to undertake many defensive domain name registrations in the proposed new gTLDs, and furthermore are unlikely to be the victims of cybersquatting.In an earlier study by Minds + Machines, they found that the cost of enforcement of trademark rights in new gTLDs is likely to be small – on the order of $0.10 per registered trademark, per year.Additionally, ICANN is proposing to create a Trademark Clearinghouse and Uniform Rapid Suspension procedure to protect trademarks in the new gTLD programme.So yes, brand owners will often find they have additional costs in the new gTLDs. But the costs will be miniscule compared to the claims made by CADNA, but still significant.

Leading American MLSs Form Association to Seek ‘.MLS’ gTLD

One has to wonder where people get the ideas for new generic Top Level Domains. The latest (seemingly not thought through) idea for a new gTLD to be made public is .MLS. What does “MLS” stand for I hear you ask? At least I did.

MLS stands for multiple listing services, and supposedly 15 of the leading MLSs have got together to form the MLS Domains Association, a non-profit association of real estate multiple listing services, the sole purpose of which is to obtain, manage, and promote the use of the .MLS top-level domain on the internet. The Association has announced they will apply for the gTLD late in 2010 or whenever ICANN begins taking applications. If successful, MLSs will be able to obtain domains such as Maine.MLS, Chicago.MLS, etc.

“For years, MLSs and REALTOR Associations have objected to businesses referring to themselves as ‘MLSs’ in their marketing, when in fact they are not MLSs,” said Bob Bemis, interim President of the Association and CEO of the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service. Under United States trademark law, the term “multiple listing service” is generic; MLSs cannot claim exclusive use of it. “Our goal is to create a place, the .MLS top-level domain, where the web sites actually belong to MLSs, not to other types of business,” he said.

OK, so this is an American thing and maybe we just don’t get it.

So what would be the benefits? Well, according to their news release, the Association’s leaders plan for the .MLS TLD to deliver the following benefits:

  • Unique location of MLS data on the Internet. Use and effective marketing of the .MLS TLD only by MLSs will make sites at the .MLS TLD definitive sources of listings.
  • Key geographical second-level domains (SLDs) will be available to MLSs. MLSs can obtain common second-level domains (SLDs) on .MLS that have long since been sold on the .COM, .NET, and .ORG TLDs. Domains like Maine.com, Texas.org, Chicago.net, etc., were long ago registered by non-MLS entities. Texas.MLS, Chicago.MLS, and all other location and plain English-word domain names will be available to MLSs as SLDs under .MLS.
  • Better search engine ranking for MLS public web sites. According to some search engine optimization experts, sites at .MLS domains may receive higher rankings if consumers search for “MLS” on search engines. For example, a search for “new jersey mls” on Google would likely rank a site at “newjersey.mls” high in the results. Consumers might be more prone to select search results that have .MLS TLDs because consumers may believe they will provide more reliable information.

Anyway, good luck to them if they can make it work!

For more information on the proposal, see mlsdomains.org

Minds + Machines Says Well Positioned Ahead of GTLD Process

Top Level Domain Holdings, the parent company for Minds + Machines has expressed its satisfaction with the outcomes of the ICANN meeting held in Nairobi last week.

In a news release, the company says that restrictions on cross-ownership between registrars and registries will hinder the number of prospective applicants but benefit Minds + Machines.

This, Top Level Domain Holdings (TLDH) says, continues a trend of increasing the barriers to application for non-experts as ICANN adds additional requirements and restrictions to the framework for the introduction of gTLDs. TLDH is unaffected by this policy and the Board of TLDH therefore expects that TLDH will benefit from this continuing separation between registrars and registries.

And while the company supported the Expressions of Interest programme for prospective new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) applicants, the programme becomes irrelevant as ICANN nears the point when it says it will be ready to begin accepting applications.

ICANN staff reported during the Nairobi meeting that the fourth draft of Draft Applicant Guidebook is expected to be issued in June and be near its final incarnation, subject only to a final comment period.

Minds + Machines says they welcome ICANN’s focus that the main objective should be to speed up the gTLD process, and the intermediate step of EoIs is unnecessary if ICANN is close to resolving the final details prior to the launch of new gTLDs.

ICANN Board Votes to Defer .XXX, Appeases Trademark Holders, in Nairobi Meeting

ICANN concluded its week-long meeting in Nairobi on Friday 12 March with a number of notable and controversial decisions. The board meeting, the traditional final happening at its meetings held three times per year around the world, voted to defer a decision on the .XXX Top Level Domain and to scrap the Expressions of Interest Proposal for new generic TLD applicants. However they did vote to create a Trademark Clearinghouse and Uniform Rapid Suspension System to protect trademark holder’s rights in new gTLDs. But the decisions from the ICANN board were given a poor mark by Milton Mueller writing on the Internet Governance blog.

.XXX
The proposal for the .XXX TLD, for adult websites, has been resurrected following an independent review that was concluded in February. The review found the decision to reject .XXX was unfair and should be reconsidered. The .XXX proposal has been hanging around ICANN for some years now, having first been approved in 2005 and then rejected two years later.

Then in 2008 ICM Registry, the .XXX applicant, filed a complaint with the Independent Review Panel (IRT). The IRT, independent of ICANN but recognised in its bylaws, concluded in its report that the decision to reject .XXX was unfair and should be reconsidered.

At the board meeting on Friday the board directed ICANN’s CEO and general counsel to finalise a report of possible process options for further consideration. This report is to be made available with options for public comment within 14 days to enable the community to provide input on the board processes.

The report will be posted for public comment and then further consideration by the board at its 38th meeting in Brussels in late June.

Expressions of Interest Process for New GTLDs
The ICANN board, in a surprise decision to many, decided to cancel the idea of calling for Expressions of Interest (EoI) for new generic Top Level Domains. It was expected ICANN would call for EoIs to gauge support for new gTLDs. This followed the call for ICANN staff to present options for the potential impact of such a process at the previous meeting in Seoul, South Korea, in December 2009.

ICANN decided that the potential benefits of proceeding with an EOI were outweighed by the costs of potential delay to the new gTLD programme.

Commenting on the decision, Rod Beckstrom, ICANN’s CEO and president, said the EoI process would have “added another step, another process, another set of community discussions and debate.”

The implementation process for new gTLDs is taking much longer than anticipated with dates for when ICANN expected to be taking applications being pushed back several times. This has created problems for would-be applicants.

Also on new gTLDs, the board decided that there will be no co-ownership of registries and those acting as registrars for any new gTLD.

Trademark Clearinghouse and Uniform Rapid Suspension System
In another development linked to new gTLDs, ICANN has agreed to establish a Trademark Clearinghouse and a Uniform Rapid Suspension System. The Trademark Clearinghouse is to be a means of protecting the rights of trademark holders in any new gTLDs that are created while the Uniform Rapid Suspension System is to be the process for suspending domain name registrations considered to be trademark abuses in new gTLDs.

“In forming this trademark clearinghouse, we’ve listened to our community about providing trademark protection,” said Peter Dengate Thrush, ICANN’s Chairman of the Board. “We’ve also adopted an extremely rapid process by which people or organisations can challenge trademark infringement.”

The board has asked for final versions to be developed for inclusion in version four of the Draft Applicant Guidebook.

Internationalised Domain Names and gTLDs
ICANN is backing away from the rule that any new gTLD string has to be at least three characters, voting in its board meeting to reconsider the requirement following public comment that this would limit the utility of Internationalised Domain Names (IDN) gTLDs in some regions of the world. A revised policy is expected in the next draft (version four) of the Draft Applicant Guidebook.

DNS Security
Earlier in the week at the meeting, the ICANN’s CEO and president, Rod Beckstrom made some controversial comments on DNS security.

“The domain name system is under attack today as it has never been before. I have personally consulted with over 20 CEOs of the top registries and the top registrars globally, all of whom are seeing increasing attacks and complexity of attacks and who are extremely concerned,” Beckstrom said.

However Chris Disspain, chairman of the Country Code Name Supporting Organization (ccNSO) council, was none too impressed. Disspain called Beckstrom’s comments “inflammatory”, saying:
“Your inflammatory comments to governmental representatives regarding – in your view – the precarious state of the security of the DNS, have the potential to undermine the effective and productive relationships established under ICANN’s multi-stakeholder model.

“This could cause great concern among governments regarding how elements of critical internet resources are operated and managed in their countries.

“We suggest that ICANN work with all relevant internal and external stakeholders to develop a clear analysis of the current mechanisms in place to ensure the ongoing security of the DNS. As a first step, we urge you to share with us and other stakeholders the underlying facts or studies that originally led you to make your statements.”

An interview with Rod Beckstrom on the board decisions is available from:
link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid17699847001?bctid=71571577001

Writing on the Internet Governance blog, Milton Mueller says he would give ICANN “an A for effort. But on substance? Give them an F. On the .xxx issue, the Board chose to ignore its independent review panel and refused to rectify what was officially determined to be unfair and discriminatory treatment. On the vertical integration issue, it issued a needlessly biased and poorly worded resolution that was an attempt to clarify things but probably did the opposite. True to form, the board devoted most of its attention to bending over backwards to accommodate trademark interests at the expense of market diversity, as most of the resolutions passed refer to various aspects of how to protect trademark owners from the horrifying prospect of letting people register names under new TLDs. And in response to complaints that it had set the fee bar for new gTLDs too high, the Board issued a vague instruction to its Advisory Committees and Supporting Organizations ‘develop a sustainable approach to providing support to applicants requiring assistance in applying for and operating new gTLDs.'”

For more of Milton Mueller’s analysis of the outcomes of the ICANN meeting in Nairobi, check out:
blog.internetgovernance.org/blog/_archives/2010/3/12/4478733.html