Friday, August 28, 2015 : the Name Game of Politics

With the 2016 Presidential election already looming large, two key web addresses are up for sale to the highest bidder as and are currently accepting bids at a domain name auction that will begin at midnight Eastern on September 1, 2015. It’s anybody’s guess who will walk away with the politically charged online real estate, but bids start at just $69.00 for each, and are expected to go higher once the three-day auction commences.

It’s an accepted practice that political campaigns establish a strong online presence and dynamic social networking to convey their messages and that campaigns can potentially be won or lost online. Now with the plethora of new web extensions, such as .club, .vote, .gop, .democrat, and more, politicians, supporters and even the opposition can now get a great web address for branding any politically focused or campaign-related website.

“Given the sense of community the word ‘club’ represents, we know that .CLUB web addresses can play a key role in the campaigns of the future. In the 2014 Indonesian Presidential election we saw supporters rally behind the winning candidate Joko Widodo at, and we’re confident the passion behind any political campaign can be easily expressed with a .CLUB domain,” stated Colin Campbell, CEO of .CLUB Domains. “Many of the great .com names are taken - even isn’t available – but and are both great names for official or unofficial supporter websites.”

While 2016 is being hailed as a `high-tech’ election, many candidates and political supporters may miss the boat by not securing their relevant web addresses, the prices of which can vary widely. A generic word that also has other meanings,, for example, is currently listed for sale at for an asking price of $20,000. Campbell, a Florida resident, has registered the web address, not to sell it, but rather to take it off the market and donate it to the former Florida Governor’s campaign organization.

In order to participate in the auctions for and bids must be placed online at before 9pm PT on August 31st / 12am ET September 1st.

Recognized as the most popular new domain extension, .CLUB has set records for the highest amount paid to date for a new generic top-level domain (gTLD) when sold for $140,000 at auction, and both and sold for $100,000 each.

About .Club Domains, LLC
Led by Internet entrepreneur Colin Campbell, whose prior successes include Tucows Interactive and, .Club Domains, LLC was formed for the purpose of becoming the .CLUB gTLD registry. The company recently launched to support entrepreneurs building businesses around a .CLUB domain name. With more than 280,000 domain names sold to date .CLUB leads the pack of new domain extensions in sales and usage. More information and links to register .CLUB domains are available now at

For more information, please contact:
Bridgette King
.Club Domains Public Relations

Thursday, August 20, 2015

No, “.xyz” domains won’t replace “.com”: “.GDN” will

We all read the story of Google buying the domain name: an announcement which shaked the new gTLD industry (for those who forgot already: “new gTLD” stands for “new generic Top-Level Domains”). Just in case you didn’t notice: the “.GDN” new gTLD has arrived and its website says that “.gdn” stands for “Global Domain Name”.

What is “Global Domain Name”?
The description is available on the Registry’s website and it says:
“.GDN “Global Domain Name” for all individuals and businesses domain name registrants, extension is generic, short, composed of 3 letters and easy to remember just like .com, .net .org etc. Registration is not limited to its generic category but also offer FREE innovative email marketing tools for all .GDN domain name registrants. Market your products and services with exact URL name and target your niche audience”.
Are you sure?
No, not at all. I checked the new gTLD application and here is what it says about the definition of “GDN”:
“...JSC “NIS” would like to take the opportunity of ICANN’s New Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) expansion program and intent to establish a new generic top level domain .gdn to represent “Geo Domain Network”. The .GDN new gTLD was first created to “commence a new generic top level domain name avenue for global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) industry and users, that enables and improve for commercial entities to illustrate, manage, market their products, services, education and experience, which enhance visibility and makes it easy for users to recognize GNSS activity on internet”.
Not much to do with what the Registry website says.

So what’s the story behing the .GDN new gTLD?
I wrote an email to the Registry for more information and hope to receive an answer so note that what comes next is a personal opinion.

I believe the .GDN project was a great idea since it focussed on a niche market: the global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) industry and users. If the frontpage changed the meaning of this 3 letters Top-Level Domain to a more “generic” definition, it is quite possible that the applicant realized that:
  1. There were too many new gTLD applications launching at the same time in 2012 and there would be not enough visibility for his TLD or;
  2. There was a close unexpected competition: .EARTH - .SPACE - .TECH… or;
  3. The original market for which was created the TLD was not big enough to sell these domain names.
I like it anyway
Whatever the reason is for this change of definition, I like the idea of making things easier to end-user and if you will read about the mention of a “platform” in the new gTLD application, I believe it will be adapted to the product mentionned on the Registry’s frontpage. Buying a domain name will come with: “a free enterprise email account with a free enterprise email account with: unlimited email blasting, targeted audience listing tools, verify email listing, campaign statistic reports, 100’s of built-in professional templates, 1GB Secure online folder, and many more features and tools”.

The registration process for domain names is long and complex. It requires to provide a lot of information and do an important number of clicks to finalize the procedure. If a new gTLD applicant is able to minimize the number of clicks to set up an email and a website at the end of the domain name registration process, then this is an improvement.

The .TEL Registry tried to offer a simple website at the end of the domain name registration process and the .UNO Registry also has a similar approach. Is the .GDN going to surprise us?

Where can I register a .GDN domain name?
The Trademark Clearinghouse just opened the .GDN Sunrise Period and it will close on Monday, 9 November, 2015 at 16:00. It is possible to register a .GDN new domain name with one of these accredited Registrars (one at the moment).

*JSC “Navigation Information Systems” (JSC “NIS”) is a systems integrator for major GLONASS satellite technology adoption projects in Russia. The Company was established in 2007. JSC “NIS” business is installing GLONASS satellite technology-based equipment in vehicles and supporting commercialization of modern satellite systems in Russian and international markets (source:

Monday, August 17, 2015

Country names for .BRAND new gTLDs : here I come

Many .BRAND new gTLD agreements could not be signed in due time with ICANN for different reasons (IP department requested more info to ICANN, applicant forgot the ICANN deadline, applicant could not signed due to a problem with law in his country, etc…). If so many contracts are being signed now, what is coming next with all these .BRAND new domain name extensions and is there a “but” somewhere?

I noticed recent Trademarks signed their new gTLD contract with ICANN. Some pioneers have already started to deploy their domain names and I believe the future should be interesting on how these are used.

A few recent .BRAND new gTLDs caught my attention and I see a lot of interest for them to be able to register domainnames such as "country.brand" ("country" could be any country name such as "brazil" and "brand" could be any of the brands below in this list:
  • Fedex
  • Total
  • AlfaRomeo
  • Maserati
  • Airbus (I am a serious fan of Airbus)
For many of these new gTLDs, I believe it would make sense to allow the registration of city and country as second level domains: understand that it would make sense to allow the registration of domain names such as:
  • (www.)france.brand
  • polska.brand
  • or
  • roma.brand
Here comes the “but”
Unfortunately, the new gTLd applicant guidebook is very clear about that option and here is what is says. If many applicants requested an “digit/digit, letter/digit and digit/letter two character ASCII labels at the second level”, nothing was requested in regard to country and city names. If I am not sure I understand the reason of requesting about numbers, I do not understand why no Brand is not more pushy regarding country and city names. Here is what the authorization says regarding the release of all digit/digit, letter/digit and digit/letter 2 character ASCII labels at the second level:
Effective 01 December 2014, pursuant to Section 2 of Specification 5 of the Registry Agreement and subject to compliance with all other terms of the agreement applicable to each individual TLD, ICANN authorizes all new gTLD registries to release all digit/digit, digit/letter and letter/digit two-character ASCII labels for registration to third parties and activation in the DNS at the second level; for the absence of doubt, the aforementioned labels are listed in Appendix 1”.
But...what about Country Names? (ie: www.france.BRAND)
The specification 5 (page 46 of the new gTLD applicant guidebook) says:
"The country and territory names contained in the following internationally recognized lists shall be initially reserved at the second level and at all other levels within the TLD at which the Registry Operator provides for registrations:
  1. the short form (in English) of all country and territory names contained on the ISO 3166-1 list, (I changed the link: the one in the new gTLD applicant guidebook points to an error) as updated from time to time, including the European Union, which is exceptionally reserved on the ISO 3166-1 list, and its scope extended in August 1999 to any application needing to represent the name European Union;
  2. the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names, Technical Reference Manual for the Standardization of Geographical Names, Part III Names of Countries of the World; and
  3. the list of United Nations member states in 6 official United Nations languages prepared by the Working Group on Country Names of the United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names;
provided, that the reservation of specific country and territory names may be released to the extent that Registry Operator reaches agreement with the applicable government(s), provided, further, that Registry Operator may also propose release of these reservations, subject to review by ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee and approval by ICANN".
In regard of what is written above, the answer to registering a country name as second level domain in a .BRAND new gTLD is : "no".

What could .BRANDs do if they can’t use country names?
Well, as you can expect, ICANN is a very open "not for profit organization" when it comes to asking for something...that can help business grow. Just like two number domains were finaly allowed to be sold for certain Registries, Country names should soon be open too but under certain conditions.

The document after is established to “facilitate notification of registry requests for release of country and territory names”: it does not explain the complete process to register a country name as a domain name but...if this document was published...well...why would the GAC publish it if it was not to allow the registration of country names as second level domains?

The GAC explains
The Governmental Advisory Committee just published the country requirements for notification of requests for release of country/territory names as second-level domains in new gTLDs. Understand that if it is not yet possible for a .BRAND new gTLD to register a name.BRAND, it could soon be possible: the table provides the respective country’s requirements for notification of requests for country names according to each country.

My understanding
As I understand this document, a country like Belgium will require no notification for brand TLDs to register a domain name such as belgium.BRAND (or www.belgium.BRAND) and Ireland will require absolutely no notification from any kind of Registry to register a domain name like (or A country like Australia will require a notification for all requests. French must still be on holidays since they do not yet appear on that list ;-)

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