Friday, May 29, 2020

Innovation comes with the .RIP new gTLD

The first time that I heard about the .RIP new gTLD (which stands to me for "Requiescat In Pace" or "Rest In Peace"), I first thought: who's mind is tortured enough to invest money in creating such a new domain name extension and...WHO ON EARTH is going to buy domain names ending in ".rip" ?


My way of thinking

The thing with new gTLD is that it take time to adapt to a new domain name extension: end users - who absolutely don't care about domain names (but professionals) - can only be surprised to read a new domain name for the first time, and when it does not look "standard", one can doubt. I imagine one can doubt when it reads a domain name ending in ".rip".

Thinking twice

Many have gone through the terrible experience to go to the cemetery and bury a loved one. I have and I really loved that person. When going through such a terrible experience, some need to go forward and leave past behind, but some need to return to the cemetery to spend a moment thinking, in front of the grave. It is my case. This is where I believe the .RIP new gTLD makes sense to people like me.

The .RIP new gTLD

If "rip" can have a negative meaning, it can have a very positive one too and that's what I realized a long ago after listening to so many people say : "wow, this TLS is gloomy".

The truth is that the .RIP new gTLD answers one question that the funeral industry has not yet imagined: what is that useful service I could sell to that person who wants to visit his loved one's grave when the distance to the cemetery is too far away? I answered that question.  

"Do it yourself"

A few years ago I though that the funeral industry would jump on that idea and the .RIP Registry would become a success. I also thought that if I was in that business, I would build a business on this. Recently, I checked the stats from the .RIP new gTLD and noticed a small 4,000 something domain name registrations so I understood that no funeral business found a way to use these tool as  a service they could sell.

A few weeks ago I thought about it again and while I had time to spend at home, I realized that such a service should not be so difficult to created: very hard to market and sell but not so difficult to build online, so it is wad I did.

Tombe.rip

The need was a product, an presentation of that product and a way to buy that product. It is what I created on Tombe.rip : a service to buy a grave for the loved one...on Internet. This service is available in French right now.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Friday, May 15, 2020

.AMAZON new gTLD : is it really over?

President and Chief Executive Officer Göran Marby from the ICANN recently wrote to Ambassador Alexandra Moreira Secretary General PS/ACTO Brazil. The letter is dated 13 May 2020. Below is the answer published on the ICANN website (available on PDF for those interested).

The AMAZON forest on Fire.

The letter

Dear Ambassador Alexandra Moreira Thank you very much for you letter of January 14th.

I greatly appreciate this opportunity to address some continuing misunderstandings and misconceptions about the role of the ICANN Community (including the Government Advisory Committee (GAC)), ICANN Board and ICANN Organization in the .amazon process.

One of my responsibilities, as ICANN’s President and CEO, is to support the ICANN Board in taking decisions that are compliant with the ICANN Bylaws. According to the ICANN Bylaws, the role of the ICANN community is to develop policies and the role of the Board is to consider those policies for adoption.

As an individual, I understand the sensitivity of the name Amazon from the ACTO member states’ perspective, but as ICANN’s CEO I note that this sensitivity was not reflected by the concerned GAC members in the context of ICANN’s community discussions related to the development of the Applicant Guidebook for the New gTLD Program, particularly as it relates to the protection of geographic names. The ICANN community agreed upon lists of protected names during this process. If Amazon had been included at this stage of the process that would have saved us a lot of tension and misunderstanding. Indeed, in this context the .amazon applications would have been subject to additional processes and considerations.

Because the name Amazon was not included in any lists of protected names, the ICANN Organization didn’t have the opportunity to reject the relevant applications. This is why the GAC provided advice to the ICANN Board in the GAC’s Durban Communiqué, asking the ICANN Board not to proceed with the .amazon applications. According to the Applicant Guidebook, GAC advice stating that a particular application should not proceed “creates a strong presumption for the ICANN Board that the application should not be approved”. Following the GAC’s advice, the ICANN Board directed the ICANN organization not to proceed with the delegation of the .amazon applications.

Following this ICANN Board decision, the Amazon Corporation tried, without success, to come to an agreement with ACTO member states. Ultimately, when that was not successful however, the Amazon Corporation initiated an Independent Review Process (IRP) against ICANN org challenging the validity of the ICANN Board’s decision. The IRP panel agreed with the Amazon Corporation and recommended that the ICANN Board “promptly re-evaluate Amazon’s applications” and “make an objective and independent judgment regarding whether there are, in fact, well-founded, merits-based public policy reasons for denying Amazon’s applications.”. After the IRP panel decision in 2017 the Board asked the GAC for additional information regarding its advice. The GAC could not provide any additional rationale to support the rejection of the application but advised the Board to continue facilitating negotiations between ACTO member states and the Amazon Corporation. At the same time (October 2017) the Amazon Corporation presented the GAC and ACTO with a new proposal which they further updated in Feb 2018. As ICANN’s CEO, I firmly believe in the importance of the dialogue between the different communities. This is why, at the direction of the Board and in line with the GAC advice, I started a facilitation process to try to help the two parties to find a common agreeable solution to this issue. At that time, this initiative was welcomed by the GAC who asked the Board to continue facilitating the discussion (Abu Dhabi GAC Advice on .amazon, 1st November 2017 ICANN GAC Communiqué). On 4 February 2018, the Board accepted the GAC Advice and directed me “to facilitate negotiations between the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization's (ACTO) member states and the Amazon Corporation."

This facilitation process personally led by me was a one of the top priorities of the ICANN organization for more than one year during which multiple ICANN org staff members, including several ICANN org executives, dedicated many hours. During this process, we tried to help ACTO member states and the Amazon Corporation to find a common agreeable solution. After a very promising start, reflected in several public statements made by a Brazilian Ambassador, ICANN received a letter from ACTO rejecting almost every part of the potential solution we had facilitated with the parties.

In an effort to further continue this facilitation process, I twice made myself available to travel to Bolivia and then to Brazil, based on ACTO Secretary General invitations. Both of these meetings were canceled by the ACTO Secretary General at the last moment. Then, after one year of this facilitation role, it was quite obvious than no real progress was made. In a final effort, the Board offered some additional time to both parties to find a common agreeable solution but despite these efforts the two parties failed again to find a solution. I reported this lack of progress to the Board, which determined that the efforts put into the facilitation work were concluded, and therefore at the end of October 2018 the Board directed ICANN Org to allow the .amazon applications to continue to processing. Even then the ICANN Board and ICANN Org remained committed to trying to achieve a solution. In February and March of 2019, when ICANN received letters from Brazil and Ecuador respectively asking again for more time, the Board took a resolution in March 2019 to provide ACTO and the Amazon Corporation the opportunity “to engage in a last effort that allows both parties over the next four (4) weeks to work in good faith towards a mutually acceptable solution regarding the .amazon applications and if one is reached to inform the Board of that solution by 7 April 2019.” That resolution even included the possibility of a further extension if mutually requested by both ACTO and the Amazon Corporation. No such solution was presented and no mutual request for an extension was submitted.

The ICANN Board recognized the need to balance concerns of all those involved and in taking its decision, was also cognizant of the time that has lapsed since the .amazon applications were submitted in 2012 and since the Amazon Corporation prevailed in its Independent Review Process against ICANN in 2017. The ICANN Board and ICANN Org were not parties to this conflict between ACTO member states and Amazon Corporation. Both have sincerely worked to offer an opportunity for the ACTO member states to defend their position and find a common agreeable solution with the Amazon Corporation. Despite these efforts it was not possible for the parties to find a mutually agreeable solution.
The initial request (PDF download) sent from Ambassador Alexandra Moreira Secretary General PS/ACTO Brazil was sent on the 14th of January 2020, four months ago.

This letter is a good explanation of how the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) works.

Read the letter (PDF download) 

Monday, May 11, 2020

The .MEET new gTLD = Google Meet

I recently wrote about an update on the .MEET new gTLD, which will soon be operated by Google.


I tried to dig and see if anything exists behind this TLD and if domain names ending in ".meet" were already created. I found five. I did not look for any specific communications from Google Registry but just hit "site:.meet" in my browser (which is Chrome actually) and I found 5 results, then 72 more. The URLs are listed below:
  1. go.meet
  2. new.meet
  3. present.meet
  4. t.meet/something
  5. tel.meet/something
All are redirections to something beginning with https://meet.google.com/something and most point to a list of phone numbers, but go.meet points to the front page of the latest Meeting tool from Google entitled "Meet", which is the equivalent of Skype or any other video conference tool, but operated by Google. So will the .MEET new gTLD be a tool used for redirections only? It is too early to say. Let's hope not.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

The .CLUB Registry turns 6


Congratulations to the .CLUB Registry on which this Blog was developed as soon as it launched.

I remember talking to the Registrant of the same ".info" domain names prior to the first round of the ICANN new gTLD program to start but the owner (a guy from the Registry itself)...did not even answer me in time. I also considered the .NEWS Registry but it came later so I went for the .CLUB and developed my visibility on this great and short domain name. Congratulations to the .CLUB Registry which is now in position 8 of the TOP 10 with a total of 1,372,931 domain names created (source nTLDStats).

Saturday, May 2, 2020

The .SYMANTEC new gTLD was terminated

The .SYMANTEC Top-Level Domain was terminated by the ICANN. This follows the termination notice (PDF download) sent by Symantec Corporation on the 12 of March 2020. this is what the notice of registry operator request for termination of registry agreement returned by the ICANN for the .SYMANTEC Top-Level Domain says:
On 12 March 2020, Symantec Corporation notified ICANN org of its intent to terminate the .symantec Registry Agreement entered into on 04 December 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.

Pursuant to the terms of Section 4.5 of the Registry Agreement, as modified by Section 6 of the Specification 13 (.Brand TLD Provisions), ICANN org consulted with Symantec Corporation to assess whether to transition operation of the .symantec top-level domain (TLD) to a successor Registry Operator.

Subject to an ongoing evaluation, ICANN org has made a preliminary determination that operation of the .symantec TLD need not be transitioned to a successor Registry Operator. ICANN org’s review and determinations regarding transition to a successor registry are subject to Section 4.5 of the Registry Agreement (as modified for a .Brand TLD).

ICANN org’s preliminary determination to not transition the TLD to a successor Registry Operator is based on the following rationale:
  1. .SYMANTEC qualifies as a .Brand TLD.
  2. Transitioning the TLD is not necessary to protect the public interest.
In conformance with Section 4.5 of the Registry Agreement (as modified for a .Brand TLD), ICANN org may not delegate the TLD to a successor registry operator for a period of two years without the Registry Operator's consent, which shall not be unreasonably withheld, conditioned or delayed.

Before releasing its final determination, ICANN org will consider input provided by interested parties via email at XXX@icann.org. The deadline to submit input is 30 May 2020 – 23:59 UTC.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

New gTLD Reports from April 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).

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

UPDATE: the .MEET new gTLD

Just updated (27 April 2020)

Would Google be preparing the "After Covid-19" period with this update on the .MEET new gTLD? This is what the ICANN just published for the .MEET new gTLD Sunrise Period:
  • Sunrise Period: 25 May 2020 to 24 Jun 2020;
  • Trademark Claims Period: 25 Jun 2020.

Strange

Surprisingly - and again, I think I have an idea but I wish that someone else could explain this - the official application is pointing to the .MEET application from Afilias: a competitor of Google Registry: both are Registries and Back end Registry solution providers so I guess that .MEET is probably not going to use Afilias' platform for its operations. 

What the application says

I will get back on this if I have an explanation but I extracted the content below from the application from Afilias since it is the only one available:
There is currently a proliferation of online dating and companionship services on the Internet. Research shows that there are over 1,500 Internet dating sites in the U.S. alone, creating confusing choices for consumers. Most consumers do not have the time, money, or desire to use the services of more than a few dating services. As a result of this fragmented industry, consumers have limited choices of people to select from when they seek their ideal date or the perfect companion.

The purpose of .MEET is to create an Internet namespace which could be used by visionary entrepreneurs and⁄or the existing online dating and companionship matching providers to become the gathering place on the Internet for many of the more than 40 million online companionship seekers.

This new online namespace could be used to create a .MEET portal destination to facilitate the creation of secure, confidential and easily accessible Internet identities to enable Internet users to find registrars to become registrants of .MEET.

.MEET domains could also appeal to organizations supporting the online dating and companion industry. Online dating and companionship services may be interested in obtaining a .MEET domain to differentiate their services from other businesses that are now using a .COM, .NET, .INFO or other all-purpose TLD.

Registrars could collaborate with leading industry vendors to create new and never-before possible services to leverage the unique and easily identifiable .MEET registrant. Using existing or new offerings, .MEET registrants may want to create personalized, secure and anonymous Internet identities to make themselves easily discoverable by the entire universe of online relationship seekers.

The .MEET domain name and the registrants that obtain the .MEET TLD would help to catalyze a more efficient online dating and companionship service on the Internet. Using simple match-making features, large numbers of .MEET registrants, over time, could motivate visionary entrepreneurs or a visionary industry player to provide a more complete, market-driven service for consumers.

People would quickly come to know that others are actively seeking relationships and they can become easily discoverable under a .MEET domain. Over time, facilitated by new apps and virtual communities, visionary entrepreneurs, registrars and new and existing industry players, using proven social media capabilities, could help .MEET registrants to create more and better content to expand the size of the virtual community they serve. As the .MEET TLD is increasingly adopted and content accrues, search engines could modify their algorithms to specifically target .MEET sites and content, making the TLD even more accessible, relevant and useful. Due to these dynamics, we anticipate that we could have 15,000 domains under management (DUMs) after three years.

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