New TLDs

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A growing number of major brands are seriously leveraging their new TLDs, including .BNPPARIBAS, .CERN, .ABBOTT, .MONASH (and many others).

New TLDs / Most Commented

MOPO - The Latest Speed Bump on ICANN's New gTLD Superhighway

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a Petri dish for acronyms. The latest one to be introduced into the ICANN lexicon is MOPO which is short for Morality and Public Order. MOPO is one of the four grounds by which a third party can challenge an application for a new generic top-level domain (gTLD). The profile of MOPO recently increased when ICANN's Government Advisory Committee (GAC) provided formal advice to the ICANN Board regarding the current MOPO procedures set forth in ICANN's Draft Applicant Guidebook (DAG) for new gTLD applicants. The resolution of this issue will largely determine whether new gTLD applications will be accepted by ICANN in 2011 as planned or sometime in the far distant future. more

Putting String Similarity into Context: Bulgaria's IDN (.бг) vs. Brazil's ccTLD (.br)

Bulgaria is a nation which is directly impacted by the current Fast Track automatic disqualification when Top-Level Domain (TLD) strings are "confusingly similar" to other TLDs, in this case an Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD). Bulgaria has already been declined twice (in late 2009, and in May of 2010) to register the *.бг Cyrillic IDN on the premise that it looks confusingly similar to Brazil's *.br ASCII TLD. Being a native Bulgarian, I did not see how these two strings are similar more

ICANN's gTLD Proposal Hits a Wall: Now What?

ICANN's plan to begin accepting applications for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) in mid-2009 may have been derailed by last week's outpouring of opposition from the global business community and the United States Government (USG). Having been involved with ICANN for over a decade and having served on its Board for three years, I've never seen such strong and broad opposition to one of ICANN's proposals. more

ITU Launches IDN Survey and ccTLD Outreach

Today, the ITU launched a new survey asking member states, ccTLDs and other ITU member organizations to provide answers to a specialized questionnaire asking for their experiences on the use of IDNs. The ITU states that it is reaching out to ccTLDs to "collect information and experiences on Internationalized Domain Names under ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain) around the globe." One of the goals of this survey is to collate information on the "needs and practices" of each ccTLD that is surveyed -- so as to compile a report from the ITU that speaks to the implementation of IDNs around the world... more

The Road Less Traveled: Time Is Running Out for NTIA-Verisign Cooperative Agreement

It is remarkable  -  for all the wrong reasons  -  that only two months remain before the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) must make a fateful decision on how it will address its' long-standing Cooperative Agreement with Verisign  -  the private-sector corporation that edits the authoritative address book of the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS), maintains two of the DNS root servers, and operates the .com and .net registries of the Internet, undoubtedly one of the most lucrative concessions ever granted. more

The DNS Still Isn't a Directory

Back in the mid 1990s, before ICANN was invented, a lot of people assumed that the way you would find stuff on the Internet would be through the Domain Name System. It wasn't a ridiculous idea at the time. The most popular way to look for stuff was through manually managed directories like Yahoo's, but they couldn't keep up with the rapidly growing World Wide Web. Search engines had been around since 1994, but they were either underpowered and missed a lot of stuff, or else produced a blizzard of marginally relevant results. more

GAC, Inside Out: When GAC Members Abuse ICANN Procedures…

There is no doubt that the new gTLD program has been the most encouraging revolutionary program in the history of internet. As everybody expected, there have been lots of positive and negative insights about this program in recent years and during the process of development of the program, pushing ICANN to be very conservative in its program in order to satisfy all internet stakeholders. more

Private vs. ICANN Auction of Last Resort

As an applicant in this new gTLD round with quite a few overlapping strings, I've had a keen interest in the various proposed auction platforms. In the past six months the ideas behind private auction have matured significantly and I now see it as a strong mechanism for resolving contention. Following are my observations. more

The Case for Trademark Protection for Top Level Domains

The United States Patent and Trademark Office currently does not provide Trademark protection services for the Top Level Domain industry, an industry which generates almost $1 Billion in revenues annually in the United States. The Top Level Domain industry is the only legal business class in the United States that is denied constitutionally guaranteed intellectual property protections... The lack of Trademark Protection for the Top Level Domain industry has greatly increased the amount of uncertainty associated with the ICANN Application Process for new Top Level Domains. more

CRIDO Sells "Do Not Sell List"

Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight, or CRIDO, released a plan they called a "peacemaker" three days before the Jan. 12th, 2012 launch, which would allow brands to begin the ICANN application process but would allow organizations and companies the opportunity to place their brand names, without cost, on a temporary "do not sell" list. ICANN so far has not responded to the "do not sell" list, and CRIDO is getting restless and threatening lawsuits. more

Why I Support Canadian Presence Requirements for .CA Domain Names

It nearly goes without saying that if ".CA" means and should continue to mean, "Canada", the registration of a .CA domain name ought to involve some tie to Canada. As Canadian Internet Registration Authority ("CIRA") CEO, Byron Holland, aptly put it, "The fundamental requirement of having a Canadian presence in order to get a dot-ca domain name make sense...because it is a country code and there is an assumption that there is some "Canadian-ness". And that is why, in a nutshell, I support a Canadian 'presence requirement' for the registration of .CA domain names. Nevertheless, the question of what constitutes an appropriate 'presence requirement' is an interesting issue... more

Cluck, Cluck… ICANN and Contract Compliance Enforcement

I've always been a fan of co-ops. In New York, we shop at greenstar.coop and my wife banks at alternatives.coop, in the UK we shop at co-operative.coop. So when the .COOP domain opened, I wondered if I could get my own clever domain name, but found that chicken.coop was taken by a small producer co-op in the southern U.S. Drat. more

The Real Problem with dot-XXX

Shakespeare has Marcellus say in Act 1 of Hamlet, "Something's rotten in the state of Denmark." ...Milton Mueller, in his recent post to this site, would have us believe that since ICANN's Board long ago agreed that ICM's application for dot-xxx registry satisfied its own criteria for a sponsored TLD, then the only explanation for all the delay is, "I'm beginning to think that ICANN's approach to TLD approval was cooked up by a demented sergeant from Abu Ghraib." Milton goes on to assert that ICM's claim on dot-xxx is protected by the 1st Amendment. If this is so, then why after more than six years of discussion, is dot-xxx still raising such a fuss? more

The Blurr-Cade Proposal on Root Zone Oversight

Becky Burr (former NTIA official) and lobbyist Marilyn Cade has made a proposal to create a multilateral working group to oversee the root zone file updates. I would characterize the Burr-Cade proposal as a "small step for mankind and a giant step for the US" to paraphrase Neil Armstrong. The main merit of the proposal is that it looks like something the USG might want to follow. Sevaral people suggested there should be no governmental oversight at all but that does not look realistic, in the sense that there can be huge economic and political interests behind ICANN decisions. more

The Non-Parity of the UDRP

The UDRP is obviously not working. Two websites, fundamentally the same (criticism at trademark.tld), two opposite decisions, both within weeks of each other! A Complainant (Biocryst Pharmaceuticals Inc) initiated a complaint to WIPO about one of my criticism websites (biocrystpharmaceuticals.com). The Panel found in my favour. Another Complainant (Eastman Chemical Inc) meanwhile made a complaint to NAF regarding another of my criticism websites (eastman-chemical.com). The Panel found against me. The two websites are fundamentally the same, both websites in criticism of the practices of the individual companies concerned... more