Top-Level Domains

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Top-Level Domains / Featured Blogs

Freedom of Expression Chilled by ICANN's Addition of Speech Restrictions in DNS

Freedom of expression on the Internet is at risk from ICANN's recent decision to prohibit anyone but one specific type of doctor from using the word within the .doctor new gTLD space. Last month, ICANN's New GTLD Program Committee decided that only "medical practitioners" would be allowed to register a domain in the .doctor name space. ICANN's decision to exclude numerous lawful users of the word, including a broad range of individuals who are in fact doctors, comes at a time when the world is watching ICANN to see if it can adequately protect Internet users' rights in the absence of US Government supervision. more»

Save the Date: .US Public Stakeholder Town Hall (April 22, 1-3 ET / 10-12 PT)

.US is the top-level domain for the United States of America. As stakeholders in the .US ccTLD, we all share a vested interest in making sure that .US continues to be a vibrant namespace that reflects the diversity, creativity and success of our people. As the Internet continues to grow and evolve, it's important that the .US domain does too. To meet these needs, Neustar and the usTLD Stakeholder Council plan to hold a virtual .US Public Stakeholder Town Hall Meeting. more»

No Easy Solutions to TLD Branding and Labeling

The introduction of unlimited numbers of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) has increased customer and company confusion about the role of brand names and their product labels, as noted in an earlier post. This essay outlines the various possible scenarios for coupling TLD branding and labeling, and it explains why duplicating the benefits of branding under.com may be difficult. more»

Estimating Trademark Claims Notice Suppression of Non-Infringing New gTLD Registrations

On February 2nd ICANN staff announced the release of a Draft Report: Rights Protection Mechanisms Review that is open for public comment until May 1st. This Draft Report is preliminary to an Issues Report requested by the GNSO Council that is due to be delivered by September 30th, and that may set the stage for a Policy Development Process (PDP) on Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) that could commence in 2016. Such a PDP could consider comprehensive reform of these RPMs as well as of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). more»

The .DOCTOR Quarantine

ICANN should reconsider its decision to quarantine .DOCTOR, given that it's not even sick. In an utterly surprising move, ICANN staff and the Board's New gTLD Program Committee ("NGPC") recently informed the applicants for .DOCTOR that it has singled out the gTLD as a test case for controlling content and limiting speech on the Internet. In the epitome of top-down policy making, ICANN issued an edict that it will implement nearly year-old advice from the Government Advisory Committee ("GAC") differently from all other similarly situated gTLDs and in contravention of subsequent GAC advice. more»

Don't Confuse Brand and Category-Label New gTLDs

The domain name industry gets brand and label confused. A brand sums up what makes a company unique to its customers. A label tells what category a company goes in; it sums up what the product has in common with other products of that type. Sedan and SUV are category labels; Volvo is a brand, one that means safety to customers. Similarly Tesla Motors has its distinctive "Tesla" brand, but it introduces products to its users as "electric vehicles." more»

ICANN Should Not Ululate Over "Booking.com" IRP Outcome: Decision Exposes Failure of Accountability

The IRP Panel that was tasked with deciding the Booking.com vs. ICANN IRP that was filed regarding the application for the .hotels new gTLD name has made a decision that seems favorable to ICANN as the Defendant. However, this is not a victory for ICANN but an indictment of the ICANN procedures and accountability systems which are widely viewed as detrimental to new gTLD applicants. more»

ICANN 52 Singapore - Important Issues for Brand Owners

ICANN community has a lot on its plate for 2015, and at this first full meeting of the year, we are all jumping into the work with both feet. Here are some of the main issues for brand owners: Sorting out the long-awaited transition from U.S. Government oversight to a truly multi-stakeholder model of governance; ensuring Registrant data (Whois) accuracy, accessibility and privacy (where appropriate); launching reviews of the new gTLD program; and protecting/preserving the robust business and brand voices in the process. more»

Google Chose to Win .APP in an ICANN Auction for $25m - Why?

For those who don't know, there are typically 3 methods of resolving contention sets in the new gTLD world... Given that Google is a portfolio applicant of over 100 gTLDs why did it elect to go for an ICANN Auction and make all details of the auction public? Disclosure of the winning bid by Google certainly makes a statement, it's very newsworthy, but does it serve Google's purposes, since it is in other contention sets for some popular strings and a bar has been set? more»

Choose a gTLD for Love or for Added Value?

The decision to bid for a new gTLD can be driven by reason or by love. Either the applicant practices strategic and financial valuation, or the applicant falls for an idea implicit in the gTLD. The second group had better be very lucky or have some motivation besides profit. They enjoy little chance of economic viability. Worse, they follow up their poor initial selection with similar bad calls about their marketing message. more»