First .music, now .berlin wants extra credit for being early to the new TLD game.
I wrote previously about how one applicant for the .music top level domain name requested favored status since he had been working on the concept for so long. Now another group is asking for similar status.
dotBERLIN GmbH & Co., which hopes to release a .berlin top level domain name, has submitted a comment to ICANN asking that companies that have been involved in the new top level domain name process for a long time be given an extra point on their application:
Many of the recently emerged new gTLD applicants may take advantage of the immense delay the new gTLD program has been facing since its start in 2005. The tentative timeline published with the Board’s approval of the new gTLD program in June 2008 stated an application window for March 2009. We think that applicants which were planning with this timeline already had a ripe application, while a number of new applicants who came in during the last 18 month sometimes seem to rather copy existing concepts and projects or have questionable business models.
For this reason we claim:
> One extra point in the Community Priority Evaluation should be given if organization of an applicant was already established before the approval of the new gTLDs program by the ICANN Board on 26 June 2008 or before the first communicated application window in March 2009.
Of course, the idea behind new TLDs is that every possible applicant be made aware of the process with plenty of time to apply. Once the application guidebook is finalized there will be an official communication and marketing period to drum up interest. To suggest that groups that were involved prior to this official communication period should get favored status defeats the purpose.