Friday, July 10, 2020

The .CPA new gTLD: just received that email

Below is the email that I just received about the .CPA Registry:

It's been an unsettling year and a very challenging operating environment for both firms and their clients. The profession has been a guiding force for small business through it all.

In 2019, AICPA and, announced .cpa, a new domain exclusively for CPA firms. You are receiving this email because you submitted a request to be kept updated on the availability of .cpa.

We appreciate your continued interest and patience as we have worked to schedule a release date for .cpa. Beginning September 1, 2020, firms can start submitting applications for .cpa domains. Continue to visit for regularly updated information.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Just updated: the .GAY new gTLD

The TLD Startup information page from the ICANN website was just updated with detailed information for the .GAY new gTLD. Important Dates:
  • Sunrise Period: 10 February 2020 to 31 March 2020;
  • Trademark Claims Period: 11 May 2020 to 07 December 2020;
  • Limited Registration Period: ''Sunrise II'' - 6 Apr 2020 to 6 May 2020.

Check the official page.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Subsequent Rounds of New gTLDs (GAC Communiqué – ICANN68)

The latest issue of the ICANN68 Virtual Policy Forum is dated 27 June 2020. This is what the GAC Communiqué says on Subsequent Rounds of New gTLDs and in red is what I see as a new pain in the A for the next round:
The GAC prioritized consideration of policy issues related to Subsequent Rounds of new gTLDs during ICANN68, notably by devoting three GAC sessions to this topic, reviewing the GAC Scorecard, and by engaging in the GNSO New gTLD Subsequent Procedures PDP Working Group (Sub Pro PDP WG) meeting. The GAC wishes to thank the Sub Pro PDP WG Co-Chairs for their participation in GAC sessions on this topic, and recognizes the extensive and diligent work of the Sub Pro PDP WG to deliver the Final Report.

The GAC considered an update from the Sub Pro PDP WG Co-Chairs on work conducted since ICANN67, in particular consideration by the WG of the intersessional compilation of individual GAC Members input, and the Sub Pro PDP WG timeline. The GAC notes that the draft final report is expected to be posted for public comment in July 2020 for 40 days.

Some GAC members expressed concerns with the use of a standard 40-day public comment proceeding for a topic of high priority to the GAC and the ICANN Community. The Sub Pro PDP WG Co-Chairs noted such concerns while confirming that the final report will be delivered to the GNSO Council at the latest by the end of this calendar year.

The Sub Pro PDP WG Discussed two pending topics during ICANN68 and provided an update to the GAC:
  1. Private Resolutions of String Contentions
  2. Predictability Framework for Next Rounds of New gTLDs
Regarding auctions as a private mechanism to resolve string contentions, some GAC Members expressed concerns, in light of prior GAC positions on the issue, asking why other options are not being further considered by the WG. As to mechanisms to provide for predictability to applicants in future rounds, WG Co-Chairs flagged that the PDP WG recommends establishing a new Predictability Framework along with a new Standing Predictability Implementation Review Team (SPIRT) and noted initial community support of such recommendation. While the GAC appreciates the efforts of the WG to create a Predictability Framework, some GAC members raised doubts on the added-value of a SPIRT, and expressed concerns that its creation, if adopted, could add complexity to the current procedure and potential inconsistency with existing roles and responsibilities according to the ICANN Bylaws. It was proposed that if established, the new mechanism be lean, inclusive and transparent.

GAC Vice-Chairs provided an overview of the following priority topics identified by the GAC during ICANN67:
  • Applicant Support
  • Closed Generics
  • Public Interest Commitments/Global Public Interest
  • GAC Early Warnings/GAC Advice
  • Community Based Applications
Some GAC members expressed the view that the lack of a formal PDP WG recommendation on the delegation of closed generics would imply that the relevant Board Resolution from the 2012 round would still apply. Additionally, while supporting a new round of new gTLDs in principle, some GAC members recalled the importance of a cost/benefit analysis being conducted prior to the next round.

GAC leaders and topic leads will continue to coordinate intersessional work on the high-interest topics, using the GAC Scorecard as the basis. The agreed next step is to develop GAC consensus input to the public comment period expected in July 2020 on the PDP WG Final Report. Interested GAC Members are encouraged to consult the GAC Scorecard on Subsequent Rounds of New gTLDs and to approach GAC topic leads in order to contribute on any of the relevant policy topics.
Read the full communiqué (PDF download)

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

New gTLD Reports from June were updated

New gTLD reports are monthly captures of domain name registration volumes according to specific groups, businesses or industries.

On the last day of each month, we capture these registration numbers so our readers can see if these increase or decrease.

This method is a good way to see if these domain names meet adoption by consumers or not.

20 reports are updated:
  1. New gTLDs related to POLITICS (.gop - .vote - .republican - .democrat - etc...);
  2. New gTLDs related to LUXURY (.rich - .yachts - .chanel - etc...);
  3. New gTLDs related to the MUSIC community (.music - .band - .hiphop - etc...);
  4. New gTLDs related to CATERING and CULINARY (.restaurant - .kitchen - .bar - etc...);
  5. New gTLDs related to PHOTOGRAPHY (.photo - .film - .gallery - etc...);
  6. New gTLDs related to CITIES : these are city names only (.paris - .london - .tokyo - etc...);
  7. New gTLDs related to COMPANIES : new domain name extensions that we believe a company should keep its eyes on;
  8. New gTLDs related to the LAW and LEGAL matters (.legal - .attorney - .lawyer - etc...);
  9. New gTLDs related to FINANCE (.credit - .capital - .finance - etc...);
  10. New gTLDs related to a COLOR (.orange - .pink - .green - etc...);
  11. New gTLDs related to SPORTS (.hockey - .basketball - .ski - etc...);
  12. New gTLDs related to ALCOHOL (.beer - .wine - .vodka - etc...);
  13. New gTLDs related to REAL ESTATE (.realestate - .realtor - .villas - etc...);
  14. New gTLDs related to RELIGION (.catholic - .bible - .church - etc...);
  15. New gTLDs related to CARS (.taxi - .auto - .car - etc...);
  16. New gTLDs related to HEALTH (.health - .doctor - .hospital - etc...);
  17. New gTLDs related to ADULTS (.wtf - .adult - .porn - etc...);
  18. FRENCH new gTLD applications : these are applications submitted by French companies only;
  19. Multiple Registries : group of Registries operating five (5) and more domain name extensions;
  20. Singular VS Plural versions of a new gTLD : these are domain name extensions which exist in their singular and plural version (ie: .gift and .gifts).

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Want to learn more about "the next Round"?

I keep having that question: "when is the next round?" and "what's your estimation?". Well, I like to give my opinion but ICANN history has clearly demonstrated that no date should ever be given unless it was published by the ICANN itself on its website somewhere. So no, I don't think it will be in 2022.

The next Applicant Guidebook

The applicant guidebook (also called the "AGB") is your next Bible and believe me, reading it is a total nightmare when you have no knowledge of the new gTLD application procedure: don't let this 338 pages PDF block you from submitting your application. By the way, the document I am referring to is dated 2012: it is the official documentation from the previous round of new gTLDs, the existing one is still being discussed and written.

I want to learn more

So you want to learn more? There is a way. Again, don't think that you will understand all of it but the positive thing about this is that there is documentation at the moment, a lot of it. The next official guidebook is being drafted and you can even contribute. Note that you will need to select the right group(s) to follow and learn to work in the distance doing meetings in the middle of the night and receive documentation that only the person who wrote it understands it. That is how it works but if you succeed in following the work group (which is a very big deal for me), you will start to understand what's coming upfront for the next round of new gTLDs. You will also understand how tortured are the participants ;-)

Where do I go?

I am only interested about "new gTLDs" so the path that I would suggest to follow is this one:
  1. Visit the "New gTLD Subsequent Procedures PDP Home" (see here);
  2. In the left column, there is blabla but point 2 tells you when the next meetings are (you will have to scroll down the list for the latest meetings). Note that these pages are then updated with the content of the meeting and an agenda is proposed prior to each meeting. It is this content you want to follow-up with to have an idea of what the actual discussions are for the next round of new gTLDs, and this is what you will probably read in the next Applicant Guidebook.
  3. To receive plenty of email with updates about ICANN new gTLDs, you can subscribe here: all reminders and publications related to active projects are emailed there (if you would like to join an active working group, you will need to email your request).
  4. Point 3 is king of disorganized and some subjects are outdated, I stick to point 2 personally.

My opinion on this process

I think it is a long one but I am the only one to think that, or am I? Also, you have to perfectly read English...but everyone speaks English right? I would love to be able to contribute more but the ICANN vocabulary is dictated by those exact same service providers you will have to talk to, to submit your new gTLD application so it is hardly understandable for new comers. For this exact same reason some will select the wrong service provider and pay an haw-full price for the submission of their application and its maintenance.

When it is time

At some point, the ICANN will give us a date. At that moment, you will have decided to apply because your project will also have been prepared upfront: this is important, don't get there with your first questions. A few things to consider:
  1. Talk to more than one service provider AND DON'T LISTEN TO THE ONE THAT TELLS YOU ABOUT HIS FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE BECAUSE EXISTING FIGURES CLEARLY SHOW THAT MANY PROJECTS HAVE FAILED ;-) Remember that there has been one ICANN new gTLD round only in the history of Internet. 
  2. Don't tell about your string but at the last moment and be very careful about NDAs: meeting with more than one service provider in competition in the same room is the number one mistake.
  3. Don't sign a stupid contract with an exit fee or a minimum number of domains to create: try to get a price per domain created below the $1.
  4. Don't forget about the annual 10,000 ICANN tax: if your plan is to create a .BRAND new gTLD, it WILL cost you a lot to use you personalized domain names.
  5. Consider innovation and not just selling domain names.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The end of the .AIGO new gTLD (notice of breach)

No transition for the .AIGO new gTLD

This follows the ICANN Determination to Not Transition Operation of the .aigo gTLD (PDF download):

On 25 June 2020, ICANN organization notified aigo Digital Technology Co, Ltd. (Registry Operator) of its intent to terminate the .aigo Registry Agreement entered into on 6 August 2015 (Registry Agreement).

Pursuant to the terms of Section 4.5 of the Registry Agreement, ICANN org conducted an assessment to determine whether or not to transition operation of the .aigo generic top-level domain (gTLD) to a successor registry operator. ICANN org is issuing its Determination, whereby ICANN org determined that the operation of the .aigo gTLD need not be transitioned to a successor registry operator based on the following rationale:
  • All domain name registrations in .aigo have at all times been registered to and maintained by the Registry Operator or its affiliates for their exclusive use.
  • Registry Operator has not at any time sold, distributed or transferred control or use of any registrations in the .aigo to any third party that is not an affiliate.
  • Transitioning the gTLD is not necessary to protect the public interest. Based on the above considerations, ICANN org will proceed to terminate the .aigo Registry Agreement and retire the .aigo gTLD as soon as feasible. 
The letter was signed by President and Chief Executive Officer of the ICANN.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

The .INTEL and .METLIFE new gTLDs dropped it

Two new gTLDs just announced their intention to drop it. This is called a "Termination by Registry Operator Section 4.4(b)". The two new gTLDs concerned are Trademarks:
  1. The .INTEL new gTLD (read the termination notice (PDF download));
  2. The .METLIFE new gTLD (read the termination notice (PDF download)).

My opinion on this

I think INTEL makes a mistake because a dotBrand new gTLD makes real sense for such a major Trademark. INTEL could have done a serious SWOT analysis do learn what it could have done with its personalized domain name extension. Now I can understand that one applicant does not want to pay a $25,000 ICANN fee per year ("plus the rest") to keep a tool that it does not use (even if I believe that it must not really be a problem for INTEL).

From the 642 applications withdrawn on a total of ,1930 submitted, I wonder how many to have withdrawn their application...will submit an application again: the .HILTON new gTLD maybe?

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The .SBS new gTLD was terminated

The Special Broadcasting Service Corporation just kindly asked if ICANN could initiate the termination process of it .SBS new gTLD application as soon as possible (PDF download).

SBS says it is one of the five major free-to-air networks in Australia. SBS’s portfolio includes TV, radio and digital services.

The notice (PDF download) is dated June the 12th:
On 22 April 2020, SPECIAL BROADCASTING SERVICE CORPORATION notified ICANN org of its intent to terminate the .sbs Registry Agreement entered into on 7 November 2014. Pursuant to Section 4.4(b) of the Registry Agreement, Registry Operator may terminate the Registry Agreement for any reason upon one hundred eighty (180) calendar day advance notice.

New gTLD Reports are updated once a month: CLICK HERE !