Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Trust in the next new gTLD round

Potential new gTLD applicants are exposed prior to submitting their application, below is a suggestion to protect them from potential bad behaviors.

This is an email that I sent to an ICANN insider. I am myself a member of several working groups but I was not able to locate the right one to submit this suggestion. I received an answer with the right directions and it appears that this issue is already taken into account, which is a good thing for future applicants...if lobbyists and other ICANN insiders can't block this from being taken into account.

Email sent
Dear "Whoever", 
There is a suggestion that I would like to do for the next AGB* but I have no idea where I should submit it and if there is still time for this.
I faced this problem in round one and I strongly believe that it makes sense to consider it.
I think that new gTLD applicants should be able to submit their application before they have to choose a back-end registry provider. The reason for this is to avoid an idea of a TLD project to go in the ears of another applicant with deeper pockets.
New gTLD applicants are obliged to select a backend registry provider for their application to enter the ICANN validation process. Allowing them to submit without a backend registry (how: I don't know), would increase chances of the applicant to be able to finalize his project.
Trust/Confidentiality is an issue and an application that a backend registry provider will lose to another is just a word pronounced to other potential applicants. Whatever NDA is signed, an applicant is at risk when having to meet several backend registry providers to discuss his project.
It makes sense, for an applicant, to be able to meet with a backend registry, after ICANN has accepted his application. Before that is a high risk.


What is the idea?
The idea is to protect potential new gTLD applicants from speaking too loud and too early; an obligation when consulting potential partners to submit a new gTLD application. Of course, everyone is honest - we all know this - and I am not targeting back-end registry providers here but putting such a solution in place would:
  1. Limit the number of multiple new gTLD applications in the next round (unless it is decided that applications are validated on the basis of first come first served);
  2. Fasten the process to validate applications at ICANN.
If a new gTLD applicant can demonstrate upfront that his intention is to work with one "already ICANN accredited back-end Registry", can't he then contract with him after his application was validated by the ICANN?

Brokers: get prepared!


* "AGB" stands for Applicant Guidebook: the bible to submit a new gTLD application to ICANN.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Sunrise Period for .BASKETBALL has begun

Just announced by the Trademark Clearinghouse, the .BASKETBALL Sunrise Period begins.
WHEN
  • SUNRISE PERIOD START: Monday, 19 June, 2017 - 16:00;
  • SUNRISE PERIOD END: Monday, 21 August, 2017 - 16:00.
WHAT
This is an extract of the .BASKETBALL new gTLD application submitted to the ICANN:
Basketball is one of the most popular team sports in the world with millions of registered players and fans, made up of men and women, boys and girls, in more than 200 countries across five continents. The Fédération Internationale de Basketball (“FIBA”) is the global governing body for the sport, charged with the responsibility of the laws of the game, the organisation and governance of international championships, the international structure of the game, and specification of equipment and facility guidelines FIBA membership currently totals 213 Member Federations – spread across 5 regional zones (Africa, Asia, Asia, Europe and Oceania). FIBA was founded in 1932 as an amateur organization but become representative also of professional basketball in 1989 with NBA players being admitted to the 1992 Olympics for the first time. FIBA is recognized as the representative for the sport of basketball by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). FIBA is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Its motto “We Are Basketball” reflects the global relevance and power of the organisation.
Basketball was created in the late 1800s in the United States and has been transformed into a global network around which vast stadia having been built coupled with high profile league competitions, a global administrative structure and complex marketing strategies devised. Basketball, in common with any activity which attracts the interest and enthusiasm of all kinds of people, has many sides and faces.
Apart from the playing of the game and its ancillary support, basketball embraces a number of social and emotional concepts such as courage, loyalty, sportsmanship, discipline and teamwork.

The .basketball TLD will be an Internet space, under control of the FIBA, to allow the distribution and exchange of information and entertainment relevant to basketball, by means of, but not limited to, websites, social networks, email and other technologies that will reside within the .basketball domain name space. In addition, ancillary services may be provided in relation to registration of domains within the TLD, including but not limited to website hosting, SEO, marketing and consulting services.

The FIBA intends for .basketball names to be registered and used by persons and entities who maintain an affinity towards the sport of basketball. However, .basketball domain registrations will not be restricted to such persons and entities – anyone can register a .basketball domain name.
For details, check the TMCH calendar.

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For more information on registering your mark in the TMCH, contact one of the Agents.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

FIBA.basketball is here

Did you visit FIBA.com recently and did you check what is written on the top of the website?

Welcome to FIBA.basketball
The most important Basketball organization worldwide seems to be changing to a new domain name. The FIBA is about Basketball, nothing else, so it came naturally to changing its domain name to one with more precision.


Showing the way
Many other sports have their own domain name extension: ".rugby", ".tennis", ".baseball", ".football" and many more. Is the FIBA showing the way...to other sports?

Oh...and excellent promotion for new gTLDs :-)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

I don't understand GOOGLE for new gTLDs

Google now offers a simple way to have a website (a sort of presentation page) in its My Business offer so I went through the procedure, clicked on "Website" and I ended with this: http://jovenet.business.site/


A good start?
If course, I won't be using this as a website since it is pretty ugly (apologies for the ugly photos but I cannot even decide to remove them) but, this is not what it is made for. This free "website" offer is there to help those who don't know how to create a website and who just need to be able to be listed somewhere...in Google. A simple webpage can sometimes make it.

What I misunderstand
Google submitted plenty of new gTLD applications and offers a service using the domain name it registered from...another Registry. Yes, the .SITE new gTLD does not belong to Google but to someone else: why not use the .NEW, the .HERE or the .PAGE new gTLDs which belong to Google??? It could even have found a use for the .GOOG Top-Level Domain!
Also note that Google applied for the .SITE new gTLD but then withdrew its application after it lost it in an auction. Wrong move?

Come on Google: show some innovation here
Unless I am wrong, using sub-domains to introduce a website is "the old fashion way": no one does this anymore so:
  1. Why not offer to register a domain name and point it to this "My Business" website offer? Note that Google Registrar only offers to register domain names when in...the United States and a very few other countries.
  2. Why not offer to map an existing domain name? I searched for it this but the option does not exist...
The G-Suite offer from Google really helps me to operate my small company: I found such a complete offer "to do it all" in no other place and I am happy to pay for this. This is what I called innovation when I took the decision to use "Google Apps" (at the time) instead of the Microsoft Office suite or the extremely complex Amazon offer but today, I need more. I want to be able to buy a SSL certificate for my domain name with G-Suite, I want to be able to buy domain names from Google Registrar to centralize everything but nothing comes and there is still no visibility after so many years: why?

Google entered the domain name business thank to new gTLDs and I believe that this was a great move because...it is useful to me: a small company. What I still misunderstand is what is blocking Google from delivering more innovation using the new gTLDs it applied for?

In need of ideas?

Sunrise Period for .STOCKHOLM new gTLD starts

The Trademark Clearinghouse launches the Sunrise Period for domain names ending in ".stockholm".

WHEN
  • START: Thursday, 15 June, 2017 - 16:00;
  • END: Saturday, 15 July, 2017 - 16:00.

To learn more about what the .STOCKHOLM new gTLD applications says, see here. For full details, check the TMCH official announcement.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

New gTLDs: String Similarity Review

This is an extract of a document discussing how to changes things for the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program. There are a lot of subjects discussed (Begin work on new guidebook - Independent Objector - Fees/Cost Issues  - String Confusion Objections - Sword Tool  - Reserved Names - Communities - Community Objections - Community Priority Evaluation) but String Similarity is one that I think is causing a lot of confusion. A problem that I hope will be solved prior to launch the next round.


String Similarity Review
Consolidate single-plural pairs into a contention set through the String Similarity Review.

Issue
The String Similarity Review played a limited role in the 2012 Round. Of the 1,400 unique applications submitted and the 232 contention sets formed, only two contention sets were identified by way of this review: .hotels and .hoteis and .unicorn and .unicom. Many applicants and community members expected the String Similarity Review to identify a broader set of contentions and weed out potential instances of user confusion, particularly with respect to applications for single and plural string pairs. This is evidenced in the fact that no applicant applied for both the single and plural variant of a particular string, as well as in the number of String Confusion Objections filed to address single and plural string pairs.

Recommendation
The scope of the String Similarity Review should be broadened to encompass single/plurals of TLDs on a per-language basis in addition to the existing visual similarity standard. Contention sets would be formed on a per-language basis. A dictionary should be the tool used to determine the singular and/or plural version of the string for the specific language. In this expanded process, applications for single/plural variations of each string would be placed in a contention set and applications for a single/plural variations of an existing string would not be permitted. By way of example, if applications were submitted for the strings .gâteau, .gâteaux, .cake, and .cakes, then the strings .gâteau and .gâteux (French) would be placed in contention with one another, but not with the corresponding translations .cake and .cakes (English), which would comprise a separate contention set. Additional contention sets could continue to be formed through the String Confusion Objection Process.

Download the complete document.

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