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ICANN Releases New gTLD Applicant Guidebook …Would Apple Need Permission from China for .MAC?

Jothan Frakes

The much-anticipated New gTLD Draft Application Guidebook is out!

ICANN has released Version 3. Lots of changes, some minor, some large. All worth reading if you're a potential applicant or just interested in the promise of new Top-Level Domains (TLDs).

The public comment period clock started October 4, and runs until November 22 of this year.

I am still digesting the many volumes of changes but caught this one for example in Module 2 at 2.1.1.4.1 (p. 14):

A string shall be considered to be a country or territory name if: (i) it is an alpha-3 code listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard

This means .GEO would have to get a letter of non-objection from the government of Georgia.

It also means that Apple would need a signature from the Chinese government or relevant authority in Macao to apply for .MAC.

An applied-for gTLD string that falls into any the above categories is considered to represent a geographical name. In the event of any doubt, it is in the applicant's interest to consult with relevant governments and public authorities and enlist their support or non-objection prior to submission of the application, in order to preclude possible objections and pre-address any ambiguities concerning the string and applicable requirements.

Congratulations, Apple!

By Jothan Frakes, Domain Name Industry Consultant
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Related topics: ICANN, Internet Governance, New TLDs
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Don't forget about Estee Lauder Antony Van Couvering  –  Oct 05, 2009 3:42 PM PDT

Estee Lauder has a very successful line of cosmetics called "Mac."

Caterpillar and HP are not so fortunate Paul Tattersfield  –  Oct 05, 2009 3:57 PM PDT

Caterpillar and HP are not so fortunate as to be able to ask the Chinese Government for a letter of approval.

@Tattersfield Clarifying... Jothan Frakes  –  Oct 05, 2009 5:37 PM PDT

Caterpillar and HP are not so fortunate as to be able to ask the Chinese Government for a letter of approval.

Assuming Apple might consider filing for .MAC, I'd not intended to trivialize the application into simply requesting the approval from the Chinese government; rather I was identifying that they have an additional hurdle to leap were they to apply for it.

Antony identified above that Estee Lauder has a line called "Mac", and I can think of a place with a big yellow M logo (if that wasn't clear, think hamburger) as a wider list of people with opportunity to request the string themselves, and/or object to an application.

I was told Caterpiller actually was consulted by PuntCat for them to identify non-significance prior to doing the .CAT Top Level Domain 5 years ago during the purely sponsored round.

Additionally, Hewlett-Packard has some additional hurdles to leap to obtain .HP because two character combinations are reserved for the potential use as country codes against the 2 char ISO3166-1 and their 'exceptionally reserved' codes.

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