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55 new TLDs request exemption from Registry Code of Conduct

55 .brand application owners request exemptions.

Today ICANN posted 55 requests made by new TLD applicants for an exemption from the Registry Code of Conduct.

The Registry Code of Conduct for new TLDs includes provisions related to showing preference to different registrars, registering domains in the registry’s own right, frontrunning, and control between an owned registry and registrar.

The 55 requests were made by companies wishing to operate their domains as a brand. Operating a closed .brand would violate some provisions in the code of conduct.

In order to qualify for an exemption no one other than the applicant or an affiliate of the applicant can register a second level registration under the TLD. As of right now an exemption won’t be granted for a “generic” term, either.

The term “Affiliate” can extend broadly. .REALTOR applied for an exemption although any licensed REALTOR will be able to use the domain names.

Google’s Charleston Road Registry filed the most requests so far with 15. It wants exemptions for .gmail, .google and .hangout, among others.

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  1. Rubens Kuhl says

    It will be interesting to cross-reference GAC Category 2 (“closed generics”) responses and CoC exemption requests. I guess there are some contradictions between them.

  2. John Berryhill says

    The term “affiliate” as used in this context includes any licensee, which can be a registrar as well as a registrant. Hence, a .brand can designate a sole registrar by granting them a “license” to provide registrar services. Similarly, “licenses” can be perfunctorily granted to any registrant. The upshot is that a “dictionary word” mark owner can obtain an exemption from the CoC and effectively run a gTLD with a sole licensed registrar.

    • Rubens Kuhl says

      Only if the word has not been flagged by GAC. The problem is GAC always told ICANN their list was non-exhaustive, but ICANN treated such a list as such.

      But there is one possible remedy against this, a PICDRP. Whether those registries will be found in breach of a PIC or not remains to be seen.

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