Top Story: ICANN’S Book of Revelations

What Are the New gTLDs and What Does it All Mean 

Wednesday  is what ICANN labeled as “Reveal Day,” for the moment when it announced the applicants who paid the $185,000 application fee for 1,409 new generic top level domains (gTLDs) in what some where calling the “greatest internet landgrab in history.”  One domain registrar said that the “avalanche of New TLDs will change the way we use the Internet as well as how we use search.”  Evaluation of the proposed applications is expected to run through December.

Google with 101 applications surprisingly was only the second largest bidder, with startup Donuts, Inc. applying for 307.  Donuts co-founder Dan Schlindler explained “we’ve made more than $100 million in bets”.

The move presents a great opportunity for brands (and for advertising companies that serve them) with companies from Amazon to Zappos applying for their own TLDs.  The expansion, however,  also has received a mixed response from the Coaliton Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) and other critics who contend that “the Web is about to enter a new era, one rife with increased risks from cybersquatters, counterfeiters and trademark infringers.”

To mitigate against this problem, ICANN is in the process of implementing a clearinghouse to permit brands can register their name and receive notice of potentially infringing registrations, as well as creating a Uniform Rapid Suspension System in which brands can challenge a domain registration on an expedited basis in clear cut cases of trademark abuse.  ICANN is also permitting objections to the proposed gTLDs based on (i) the applied-for gTLD string being confusingly similar to an existing TLD or to another applied- for gTLD string; (ii) infringement of existing legal rights; (iii) contrary to generally accepted legal norms of morality and public order that are recognized under principles of international law; and (iv) there is substantial opposition to the gTLD application from a significant portion of the community to which the gTLD string may be explicitly or implicitly targeted.

The Reveal Day list (see bottom for complete list) includes the following categories/themes:

  • Adult: Adult, Porn, Sex
  • Business/Professional: Accountant, Attorney, Corp, Inc.  Law, Legal, Realtor
  • E-commerce: Free, Sale
  • Ethic/Religious: Catholic, Latino
  • Functional: App, Music, News
  • Geographic: Boston, Quebec, Vegas
  • Gripe: Gripe, Sucks
  • Slang: LOL, WTF
There are 230 gTLDs that have more than one applicant.  In addition, a number of the applications are in conflict or compete with others, such as:
  •  .Law, .Lawyer., .Legal, .Attorney and .Esq.
  • .DDS, .Dental, .Dentist
  • .movie, .film, .video
  • .game, .games, .play
  • .RealEstate, .MLS, .REALTY, .Property, .REALTOR, .Home, .Rentals, .Condos, .Cas
  • .buy, .shop, .shopping, .buy, .store., supply, .supplies

What is the value in all of these various domains, this remains to be seen but below is a breakout on top domain sales (as listed in Domain Journal) for 2011-2012.


More Information

Generic Top-Level Domains: What Every Brand Manager Should Know, Forbes; Startup applies for 307 generic top-level domains, IT World;  Here comes the greatest Internet landgrab in history, CNet, Dot-mayhem: The domain landgrab, by the numbers, CNet, ICANN’s gTLD Big Reveal will shape the internet for years to come, The Sociable, CADNA Voices Brand Owner Concerns About New gTLD Program, Sacramento Bee


ICANN – The Next Big Things

A video of short clips from people discussing different aspects of ICANN’s process to add new Internet extensions – so-called generic top-level domains or gTLDs. The video was shown as part of a much larger public discussion of the issue at ICANN’s meeting in Paris in July 2008.