Home / Blogs

Closed Generics Debate Rages On

Stéphane Van Gelder

The new gTLD program continues to throw up last-minute debates on what is acceptable as a TLDs and what is not.

The latest such verbal joust centers around closed generics. These are generic terms being applied for by applicants whom, should they be successful, will not open the TLD up to everyone on an equal access basis.

As an example, think .book being run by Amazon and only available to Amazon customers.

In order to understand the arguments for and against closed generics, ICANN has opened a public comment period. That period ends on March 7 and ICANN has so far received 80 emails/opinions on the matter.

Closed generics are striking fear into some people's hearts mainly because of Google and Amazon's bids to secure generic terms like "cloud", "book" or "blog". No one had ever expected the two Net giants to take such an interest in the new gTLD program in the first place. Let alone show the foresight they have displayed in going for a bevy of generic terms. Many of those operating in the industries those terms describe have been taken by complete surprise.

To them, having a generic term managed according to one entity's rules is heresy. As an example, consider comments drafted by the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) on March 4. "Similarly to the case of trade marks (where generic terms may not be registered), reserving the use of generic terms as gTLDs for individual companies is not desirable," says the FEP, which represents 28 national publishers associations in Europe. "From the point of view of consumer choice, locating a class of goods and a choice of suppliers with the help of the gTLD is by far preferable to its leading to a single producer or retailer."

"At the very least, the winning applicant (for .book) must be obliged to make the gTLD available without discrimination for registrations by all eligible parties, including all commercial entities within the book industry," the FEP goes on to say in its statement which was handed to Nigel Hickson, ICANN VP of Stakeholder Engagement for Europe on March 4, and also posted as a reply to ICANN's call for public comment.

But not everyone is against closed generics. "ICANN should not be dictating business models," wrote a selection of members of ICANN's Non Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG) also on March 4. "There should be no intervention until and unless there is a well-documented problem related to monopoly power."

Once the current comment period has closed, ICANN staff will analyse them and provide a summary to the ICANN Board's New gTLD Program Committee. It will be up to this committee to determine whether closed generics should be shut down.

By Stéphane Van Gelder, Consultant. More blog posts from Stéphane Van Gelder can also be read here.

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

 
   

Don't miss a thing – get the Weekly Wrap delivered to your inbox.

Comments

To post comments, please login or create an account.

Related Blogs

Related News

Explore Topics

Dig Deeper

Verisign

Cybersecurity

Sponsored by Verisign
Afilias

DNS Security

Sponsored by Afilias
Afilias Mobile & Web Services

Mobile Internet

Sponsored by Afilias Mobile & Web Services

Promoted Posts

Now Is the Time for .eco

.eco launches globally at 16:00 UTC on April 25, 2017, when domains will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. .eco is for businesses, non-profits and people committed to positive change for the planet. See list of registrars offering .eco more»

Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

Global Domain Name Registrations Reach 330.6 Million, 1.3 Million Growth in First Quarter of 2017

.TECH Gets Its Big Hollywood Break

Why the Record Number of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking UDRP Filings in 2016?

UDRP: Better Late than Never - ICA Applauds WIPO for Removing Misguided 'Retroactive Bad Faith'

The Rise and Fall of the UDRP Theory of 'Retroactive Bad Faith'

.PRESS Supports Press Freedom Day for 3rd Consecutive Year

Leading Internet Associations Strengthen Cooperation

5 Afilias Top Level Domains Now Licensed for Sale in China

Radix Announces Largest New gTLD Sale with Casino.Online

2016 Year in Review: The Trending Keywords in .COM and .NET Domain Registrations

Global Domain Name Registrations Reach 329.3 Million, 2.3 Million Growth in Last Quarter of 2016

i2Coalition to Present Tucows CEO Elliot Noss With Internet Community Leadership Award

A Look at How the New .SPACE TLD Has Performed Over the Past 2 Years

Michele Neylon Appointed Chair Elect of i2Coalition

Neustar to be Acquired by Private Investment Group Led by Golden Gate Capital

Startup League Reports from WebSummit, Lisbon

2016 U.S. Election: An Internet Forecast

.SPACE Becomes the Choice of the First Ever Space Nation Asgardia

Afilias Chairman Jonathan Robinson Wins ICANN's 2016 Leadership Award at ICANN 57

MarkMonitor Supports Brand Holders' Efforts Regarding .Feedback Registry