Displaying posts tagged under "new top level domains"
Amazon details some of the concessions it was willing to make to governments in the Amazon region.
One of the more peculiar new top level domain name battles is the one between Amazon.com and and governments of the Amazon area, including Brazil and Peru.
At the request of these countries, the Governmental Advisory Committee has effectively killed Amazon.com’s bid for .amazon and two internationalized equivalents in Japanese and Chinese.
It’s sometimes difficult to get inside the head government bureaucrats. But it’s safe to say that most governments fear change. When they have the power to stop something that may have repercussions, they do it. That’s even if those repercussions are imagined.
Would the countries of the Amazon actually be harmed if .amazon were delegated to the internet’s biggest retailer?
I struggle to find a single way it could be harmed. If it were harmed, surely the countries could point to actual examples from Amazon.com’s use of its second level Amazon.com domain name.
And the IDN equivalents? Is it going to hurt tourism from China and Japan? How?
ICANN just published a letter (pdf) sent by Amazon.com that details some of the concessions the company was willing to make to the governments in the Amazon region. The concessions included blocking second level domain names that may be relevant to the region, or even offering second level domains to relevant groups so they could use them.
Would the governments actually accept a second level domain, such as brazil.amazon? Of course not. They themselves have no use for .amazon. They didn’t apply for it. They would have no idea how to use it. They won’t be harmed at all by the company getting .amazon.
Yet they’ve blocked .amazon, just because they can.
Perhaps Amazon.com came in with guns blazing and upset the governments. If you weren’t in the negotiations, you can’t know for sure.
Still, I think the death of .amazon is bad for the new TLD program. Amazon.com applied for 76 domain names. It’s one of the two companies people point to when they say internet companies are excited about new TLDs (the other being Google). Yes, Amazon.com’s plans for closed domains are controversial. But for those that wish to see new TLDs be a success, pointing to a robust .amazon domain is important.
The TLD launch phase typically known as Landrush might look very different with new top level domain names.
Top level domain name launches over the past decade have followed a fairly similar path.
First, there’s a sunrise period in which trademark owners can get first claim on domains.
Then the domain proceeds to a landrush phase. In landrush, prices are generally higher and there are auctions if more than one person is interested in the same domain.
Finally, the domain enters general availability and the domains are available to register normally at the domain registrar.
Some new TLD applicants are taking a different approach to landrush, forgoing it for a potentially shorter period (which may actually be part of general availability) with a sort of reverse auction format. Here’s how 101Domain explains it:
Many registries are releasing new gTLDs using a fee structure similar to how you buy pre-sale concert tickets. The gist of this structure is that during Landrush, registrants will be able to reserve their names on a priority basis for varying fees. A common fee structure that will be in use is the Early Access Program (EAP).
EAP will last 7 days. On day 1, a registrant may register their domain name for a one-time fee of $10,990 plus registration fee. On day 2, the fee is $2,750, on day 3, the fee is $1,049, etc. This is essentially a first-come, first-serve auction system. For some registrants it will make sense to pay the extra fee to lock in their registrations, and for other registrants it will make sense to wait until general availability to register at a much lower price point, if the name is still available.
One important thing to note for any phase is that if someone orders in an earlier phase, the earlier phase will always take priority, so make sure you plan your strategy accordingly!
This is 101Domain’s actual pricing, including markup. Which means the early access pricing is very, very expensive. I imagine some companies that didn’t qualify for sunrise but want to protect their brand will participate. But how many domains can a company register at such high prices?
Donuts, the largest new TLD registry, plans to follow an Early Access Program model. Donuts Vice President of Communications and Industry Relations Mason Cole released the following statement to Domain Name Wire in response to the 101Domain explanation:
The concept of EAP is accurate but Donuts won’t have details about specifics until the next few weeks. Other registries may have similar programs but obviously we don’t speak for them. We have not made registry pricing public.
Some registries might not run a formal period in between sunrise and landrush. They will go straight to general availability, but pricing will be variable during the initial week or two of launch.
Company that filed .secure trademark application appeals USPTO ruling.
The Wisconsin company that wants to trademark .secure hasn’t given up yet.
The application was originally filed on an intent-to-use basis. Later, Asif said it was using the term in commerce for “domain registration services”. How was it doing that in 2011, before new TLD applications were even being accepted? It based its claim on offering domain registrations as a Go Daddy reseller.
It actually managed to briefly register the .secure and .bank trademarks, albeit on the supplemental register.
But the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has a longstanding policy of not granting trademarks that are for top level domains. After noticing its mistake, the USPTO invalidated the registrations.
The application period for new TLDs has come and passed. Two* companies – Amazon.com and Artemis Internet Inc. – applied for .secure. Asif, which later changed its name to Domain Security Company LLC, did not.
Yet on May 3, Asif filed an appeal over the USPTO’s decision that .secure fails to function as a service mark. It is arguing that the USPTO must be able to grant trademark protection to top level domains.
Asif’s founder Mary Iqbal previously argued that the inability to trademark a top level domain gave an advantage to deep-pocket companies:
Furthermore, as a result of the lack of trademark protection for Top Level Domains, businesses competing for strings like .SAS may be forced to contend against each other financially, to bid against each other, for the right to have protection for the term .SAS for Registry Services. This means that applicants with access to greater funding resources have an advantage over those with less access to funding.
So Asif’s proof of use in commerce is that it allows registrations of .com, .net, etc. domains at a Go Daddy reseller. Yet it wants trademark protection for .secure as a top level domain…and it didn’t apply for the domain.
Confused? So am I.
* Note: the original version of this article mentioned that three companies, Symantec, Defender Security Company, and Donuts, applied for .secure. They applied for .security, not .secure.
Three of the largest applicants for new TLDs are facing a mountain of objections.
Donuts, Amazon, and Google have the dubious honor of having the most objected-to applications for new top level domains.
There were 263 formal objections to new top level domains, and that doesn’t include GAC advice.
Donuts received 55 objections covering 45 unique objections, which means about one out of seven of its 307 applications are facing an objection.
24 of Donuts’ objections are community objections. Groups purporting to represent the gold, band, and ski, among other “communities”, decided to fight the company.
Amazon received 24 objections on 18 unique applications. Half of the 24 objections are community objections, thanks in part of the company’s plans to keep its TLDs closed.
Google, which applied for more domains than Amazon, was hit with 22 objections on 18 unique objections. 9 are community objections and 7 are legal rights objections.
The “our competitors ganged up on us” winner is Fidelity, which applied for only four top level domains but managed to receive 11 objections. Only its .Fidelity application wasn’t objected to. Its .IRA, .MutualFunds, and .Retirement applications received multiple objections from a combination of TIAA-CREF, Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, and Prudential.
The spreadsheet below lists each objection and “decodes” subsidiaries to show applicants such as Donuts. It is sorted by applicant.
International Chamber of Commerce has posted more community and limited public interest objections on its web site.
On the surface, these look to be quite misdirected.
Afilias’ application for .lotto has been hit with a community objection filed by European State Lotteries and Toto Association. That’s a group that represents lotteries and gambling companies in Europe that benefit the state.
Then there’s Accuweather’s community objection to The Weather Channel’s .weather. They already went public about this, but I’m still scratching my head. Unless the “community” is every living and breathing person in the world, I find this hard to understand.
Entertainment Software Association is objecting to both Amazon’s and Beijing Gamease Age Digital Technology Co.’s applications for .game on community grounds.
Fédération Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) has a community objection against dot Basketball Limited.
There’s also the WTF community objection to .gold.
On the Limited Public Interest side, Prudential has objected to Fidelity’s applications for .retirement and .mutualfunds.
Some of these objections are from company’s upset over competitors wanting to operate closed TLDs.
But seriously, WTF?
I can’t wait until .WTF gets an objection…I wouldn’t bet against it.