Many groups seeking community status were coalitions, not the entire community.
ICANN’s new top level domain name program guidebook afforded communities two ways to get a leg up in acquiring a new top level domain name.
First, they could file a community objection against any applicant. If it won the objection, the losing applicant wouldn’t be able to proceed with its application.
Second, a community that applied for its top level domain name could apply for Community Priority Evaluation. If it met strict guidelines, its application would automatically win, and rival applicants wouldn’t be able to get the domain name.
Here are the results of community objections:
.Architect International Union of Architects vs. Donuts
.Bank International Banking Federation vs. Dotsecure Inc
.Charity Independent Objector vs. Donuts
.Insurance Financial Services Roundtable vs. Dotfresh Inc
.Med Independent Objector vs. Google and Medistry (later reconsidered)
.Medical Independent Objector vs. Donuts
.Mobile CTIA vs. Amazon
.Polo United States Polo Association vs. Ralph Lauren
.Rugby International Rugby Board vs. dot Rugby Ltd and Donuts
.Ski Fédération Internationale de Ski vs. Donuts
.Sport SPORTACCORD vs. dot Sport Limited
.Sports SPORTACCORD vs. Donuts
.Amazon Independent Objector vs. Amazon.com
.Band American Association of Independent Music vs. Donuts and Red Triangle
.Basketball FIBA vs. dot Basketball Limited and Donuts
.Book Rakuten vs. Amazon.com
.Charity Independent Objector vs. Famous Four
.Cloud Cloud Industry Forum Limited vs. Symantec, Google and Amazon
.Fly FairSearch.org vs. Google
.Game Entertainment Software Association vs. Amazon.com
.Gay ILGBSIA vs. Minds + Machines, Top Level Design and Rightside
.Gay Metroplex Republicans of Dallas vs. dotgay llc
.Gold World Gold Council vs. Donuts
.Halal UAE vs. Asia Green IT
.Islam UAE vs. Asia Green IT
.Health ICANN ALAC vs. Donuts and DotHealth, LLC
.Healthcare Independent Objector vs. Donuts
.Hotels Hotel Consumer Protection Coalition and HOTREC vs. Booking.com
.Insurance American Insurance Association vs. Dotfresh Inc and Donuts
.Insure American Insurance Association vs. Donuts
.Kosher OU Kosher vs. Kosher Marketing Assets
.LGBT ILGBTIA va. Afilias
.Lotto European State Lotteries Association vs. Afilias
.Mail Universal Postal Union vs. Google, Amazon, Donuts, WhitePages TLD and GMO
.Map FairSearch vs. Google
.Merck and .MerckMSD Merck CGaA vs. Merck Registry Holdings
.Mobile CTIA vs. Dish
.Music A2IM vs. DotMusic Inc, dot music Limited, Amazon, Google, Entertainment Names Inc and Donuts
.Music IFACCA vs. .music LLC
.PersianGulf Gulf Cooperation Council vs. Asia Green IT
.Resien Bundesverband der Deutschen Tourismuswirtscha ft vs. Donuts
.Republican Republican National Committee vs. Rightside
.Search ICOMP vs. Google and FairSearch.org vs. Google
.Shop Japan Association of New Economy vs. Amazon.com
.Song A2IM vs. Amazon.com
.Tunes A2IM vs. Amazon.com
.アマゾン Independent Objector vs. Amazon.com
.亚马逊 Independent Objector vs. Amazon.com
.慈善 Independent Objector vs. Excellent First Limited
23 applicants elected Community Priority Evaluation. Here’s how they fared:
.Osaka Interlink Co, Ltd (15/16)
.Radio European Broadcasting Union (14/16)
.Hotel Hotel Top-Level-Domain s.a.r.l. (15/16)
.Eco Big Room Inc (14/16)
.Spa Asia Spa and Wellness Promotion Council (14/16)
.Immo StartingDot (4/16)
.Taxi Taxi Pay GmbH (6/16)
.Tennis Tennis Australia Ltd (11/16)
.MLS Canadian Real Estate Association (11/16)
.GmbH TLDDot GmbH (5/16)
.LLC Dot Registry LLC (5/16)
.Inc Dot Registry LLC (5/16)
.LLP Dot Registry LLC (5/16)
.Art Eflux.art (7/16)
.Art Dadotart Inc (7/16)
.Gay dotgay LLC (10/16)
.Music .Music LLC (3/16)
.Music DotMusic Limited (10/16)
.Shop GMO Registry (6/16)
.Shop Commercial Connect (5/16)
.CPA American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (11/16)
.CPA CPA Australia Ltld (12/16)
(A decision for .kids is still outstanding.)
I was against the idea of “community” status and benefits from the beginning. It seemed like something that could be gamed.
ICANN and the community certainly thought about gaming and tried to put in protections against it. Still, the results include some questionable decisions that seem at odds with each other.
I think one of the biggest mistakes ICANN made was not putting examples in its applicant guidebook. I’m sure a lawyer made this decision. But ICANN could have prevented many of these issues by noting certain concepts that universally touch everyone, such as music and sports, could clearly not be a “community” top level domain.
I’ve had trouble expressing this idea in the past. But I think I have a concise explanation now: it’s the difference between coalitions and communities.
Some companies that sought community status created coalitions of people and groups interested in a top level domain name. But these coalitions are not the community.
Music literally touches every human being. Islam is a religion claiming a quarter of the world’s population. Shopping is something we all do.
How can an applicant claim to represent the entirety of these communities?
A mistake in the guidebook left this open to interpretation. Some applicants successfully argued that they represented a subset of a community. By narrowly defining a community and applying it to a broad term, they were able to show they represented the community.
I hope that community definitions are more specific for the next round of new TLDs, or the idea of community applicants is removed. Given the results from this round, something will certainly change next time around.