Singular and Plural TLDs: A Rather Strange Decision

By Jean Guillon
Jean Guillon

ICANN stated recently that it will allow similar (i.e. singular and plural) versions of the same string to co-exist for new Top-Level Domains (TLDs). This surprising decision immediately begs the question:

"Will ICANN give holders of a string first refusal on the (singular or plural) version that they do not already hold during the next round of applications where only one version (singular or plural) of a string has been awarded?"

ICANN would be well-advised to answer this question very swiftly — and to do so in the affirmative. In so doing, ICANN would ensure the fair treatment of those who demonstrated their trust in it by acting first and taking all the associated risks.

By Jean Guillon, New generic Top-Level Domains' specialist. Visit the blog maintained by Jean Guillon here.

Related topics: ICANN, New TLDs


Really? John Levine  –  Jul 10, 2013 12:22 PM PDT

Do you think the applicant for DUNS should automatically have DUN, and the applicant for BLUE should automatically have BLUES?

First come first served in Round 2? Jean Guillon  –  Jul 11, 2013 10:03 AM PDT

Not automatically but first applicant should have his word to say.

I already imagine a second round following a "first come first served" rule…

JeanWhile I agree that the decision is Michele Neylon  –  Jul 10, 2013 12:27 PM PDT


While I agree that the decision is a bit strange, I'm not sure I follow what you're asking them to do.

And I also think that looking at this from the perspective of an applicant / registry operator is fundamentally flawed.

Any issues around singulars vs plurals should be looked at from the perspective of a prospective registrant (or even a registrar)


How about ... John Levine  –  Jul 10, 2013 12:29 PM PDT

Looking at them from the point of view of the poor users who are expected to make sense of all these names, rather than the handful of people who want to profit from them?

JohnExactly.And I would include "registrars" in there, Michele Neylon  –  Jul 10, 2013 12:33 PM PDT

And I would include "registrars" in there, as I honestly can't see how on earth my staff would be able to understand the difference between two strings like that. And if they can't understand them then I can just see headaches :)


Registrants = I agree Jean Guillon  –  Jul 11, 2013 9:57 AM PDT

I think this question is crucial for round 2 and it should be discussed.
Decision about singulars and plurals should certainly not have been taken recently but written black on white in the applicant guidebook.

One question here: why would Registrars have their word to say here?