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An Update on the Closed Generics Debate

Mary Iqbal

ICANN is currently seeking public comment on the subject of "closed generic" Top Level Domain (TLD) applications. A "Closed Generic" is a TLD that is a generic term, but domains within that TLD will not be sold to the public.

There are those who object to generic terms such as .book being operated as closed registries, which means that domain names within the .book Top Level Domain as proposed by Amazon would not be sold to the public, but instead, Amazon.com would own and operate all domain names within the .Book Top Level Domain. (e.g. You might soon be able to navigate to Amazon.book.) For example, Google, Inc., has applied to create the .Search TLD to allow it to improve its search functionality, and Amazon.com has applied for the .book TLD to allow it to segregate its book product offerings onto a separate TLD. Many oppose these projects because, it is said, that these TLDs offer companies like Google, Inc. and Amazon.com an "unfair competitive advantage".

On the other hand, there are those who believe that Closed Generics should be permitted because they do not represent an unfair competitive advantage. By way of comparison, the leading bookseller online is Amazon.com, not Book.com. Those who support Closed Generics are in favor of innovation and competitive freedom, with no restrictions on the types of services that can be provided through a Top Level Domain.

To date, there have been 42 comments submited to ICANN's public comments section:

2 Commenters Support Allowing Closed Generic Top Level Domains
39 Commenters are Opposed to Closed Generic Top Level Domains
1 Commenter is Opposed to the current gTLD Application Process all together

View a comment summaries at:

By Mary Iqbal, Founder of DotAnything.co

Related topics: ICANN, Internet Governance, Top-Level Domains

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Good comment, bad finale Rubens Kuhl  –  Mar 03, 2013 1:00 PM PDT

Hi Mary.

I liked most of the comment "Get New TLDs Inc." posted in the public forum, as it was based on how a self-regulated industry should operate alongside law-based ones like Trademark Law.

I just need to take exception for the mention to name.space, one of what I call "root terrorists" ; name.space, Unified Root and the others compose a very different line of thinking that is incompatible with the ICANN mandate to defend the public interest.

They are free to argue the value of their services, and they indeed made comments on the appropriate public comment forum, http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/program-status/comments . Let's keep them there and not mix up those discussions.

Point well taken Mary Iqbal  –  Mar 03, 2013 1:10 PM PDT

Point well taken - Mary

Error page George Kirikos  –  Mar 03, 2013 2:12 PM PDT

The link to the comment summaries goes to an error page: "Server Error in '/' Application. The directory '/App_Code/' is not allowed because the application is precompiled."

Have you sent an alert to ICANN Rubens Kuhl  –  Mar 03, 2013 2:17 PM PDT

Have you sent an alert to ICANN communications on this ?

Re: Error page Ali Farshchian  –  Mar 03, 2013 2:20 PM PDT

It appears that currently the entire site under getnewtlds.com is down!

The site is down for a scheduled Mary Iqbal  –  Mar 03, 2013 2:26 PM PDT

The site is down for a scheduled build. 


Please visit again! Mary Iqbal  –  Mar 03, 2013 2:51 PM PDT

The site is back up.  Thanks for visiting GetNewTLDs.com!


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