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A Very Good Week for Applicant Famous Four Media

Jean Guillon

Multiple new gTLD applicant Famous Four Media is having a very good week. "FFM", the name that they now use for the company to be acknowledged, is getting closer to an important period of its development: the General Availability, also known as "GA", for three of its domain name extension. Added to this, another announcement was made to make it known.

Entering General availability is planned for June the 9th

FFM has applied for sixty new domain name extensions and, just like all new gTLD applicants, it has to go through a launch protocol of periods (in theory):

  1. The "Sunrise Period" when Trademark owners, after they have registered in the controversial Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), can secure their domain name.
  2. The "Landrush Period" is an optional phase when users can register a domain name but then it can still be auctioned.
  3. The "General Availability" which is open to all. The "GA" period is that period every applicant longs for, because it is the time when users can come to register domain names at the lowest possible price without complex added procedures.

The ICANN new gTLD program took far longer to launch than expected and the General Availability period is some sort of finish line: at this point, users just need to go to an Accredited Registrar like GoDaddy, pay their domain name, set it up, and it works. This General Availability period is also the first test which shows if potential Registrants are interested in acquiring the domain names of the Registry because, in the case of generic TLDs (which do not require specific requirements to register a domain name), there is no need to demonstrate the belonging to a group or a community to register: it is free to all.

Three TLDs in "GA"

9th June 2014 at 14:00 UTC is important for FFM because it is launching three of its TLDs at the same time:

  1. New .WEBCAM enters GA: there is no better domain name from which to host a website dedicated to webcam content.
  2. New .TRADE enters GA: any business that trades with others now has its own domain name extension.
  3. New .BID enters GA too: buying or selling anything at auction, got something to swap? A .BID domain name is for you.

Launching 3 of its 57 domain name extension is an important moment for Famous Four Media: it is the accomplishment of a good number of years, working hard to achieve this expensive and time consuming venture.

Two TLDs won in auction

This is recent news issued by the company which won 2 TLDs in an auction, in competition with other applicants. In June 2012, when ICANN published its entire list of applications, few companies expected to find out that they had competitors for the same string. Some even had… more than 10 competitors! Famous Four Media , with 57 strings in its portfolio of domain name extensions, had a few possibilities: wait for the ICANN auction - the final solution offered by the new gTLD applicant guidebook to solve the problem — so that one applicant only would remain, or, "Private Auctions". These private auctions represent the means FFM decided to use: the difference with private auctions over ICANN auctions is that most of the money in the auction remains in the hands of the loser(s), instead of ICANN.

.CRICKET and .RACING were won in auctions this week

Now the contention over these two new gTLDs has been resolved and Famous Four Media is the only Registry to manage these domain names; it brings the list of its new gTLD portfolio to 15 uncontested strings. One will note that these two are sports applications and, having a look at its portfolio, there are others. It looks like FFM really wanted these two sport strings because it beat two other applicants for .RACING new gTLD and another two for .CRICKET.

By Jean Guillon, New generic Top-Level Domains' specialist
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