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ICANN New gTLD Committee Not Sure How To Handle Closed Generic Applications

Posted on the 05 February 2013 by Worldwide @thedomains

Its seems pretty clear that the New gTLD committee of ICANN doesn’t know what they should do about what is fast becoming one of the biggest issues of the new gTLD program, applications for closed generic strings.

The issue generic strings like .App and .Music which were applied for by  companies like Amazon, which would not allow any third party registrations, but rather keep the entire generic string for their own use.

The minutes of The Meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee of the ICANN Board of Directors which was held on 10 January 2013  were just published yesterday.

On the issue of Closed Generic Strings, the minutes reflect that the committee and ICANN is split on what exactly to do with what has become a big problem for the new gTLD program.

Of course the ICANN Board could have avoided the entire problem had it included in the Guidebook a prohibition against any company operating a closed “generic” string (as opposed to a .Brand String) but ICANN did not prohibit this type of application and now that the applications are in and the money has been paid by the applicants its going to be one of the larger issues facing ICANN.

Here are the minutes of the meeting on this issue:

Karen Lentz made a presentation to the Committee on the issue emerging on closed generic strings. Much of the discussion has focused on the Code of Conduct, which is part of the Registry Agreement that concerns nondiscriminatory access that registries are required to offer to registries regarding selling registrations in the TLDs. This is a separate issue from who is allowed to register a name in a TLD. There are certain applications identified where, because of the string applied for and what the applicant has said in the application about how they intend to use it, there’s a concern that the registration policy for domain names in the TLD is not appropriate. The Code of Conduct does not address eligibility requirements that a registry might have or who can register domain names. Under the current rules, there’s nothing that would prevent the use of closed generics, which is focused on the issue of who can register a name. There is the need for some clarity on this issue in the community. By way of background the policy recommendations that serve as the basis for the New gTLD Program did not address the question of who is allowed to register in a TLD.

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