Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Coming: the .SPORT new gTLD (update)

The .SPORT new gTLD is a long story...a very long one but the registry agreement was finally signed in November 2017.

The rules
It is a community Top-Level Domain, it means that only members of the "community" will be able to register such domain names. Here is what the official eligibility requirements say:

Two types of conditions must be fulfilled for the right to register a .SPORT name. These are:
  1. community membership and
  2. the additional requirements that the registrant’s role in the Sport community, as well as the registrant’s use of the registered domain name, must be:
    1. generally accepted as legitimate; and
    2. beneficial to the cause and the values of Sport; and
    3. commensurate with the role and importance of the registered domain name; and
    4. in good faith at the time of registration and thereafter.
Furthermore, registrants in .sport must be recognized performers, organizers, promoters or supporters of federated Sport, or belong to categories of registrants recognized by the .sport Policy Advisory Board (PAB).

These conditions must always be fulfilled. The strength of the validation is kept in line with the importance of the underlying domain name based on the assumption that a typical user would reasonably make.

To facilitate validation, registrants are required to state their intended use of the registered domain name. A false statement of intended use is an indication of bad faith and can be the basis for the suspension of the domain name.

Registrants are further required to have an administrative contact in the Performers or organizers of sport. This is verified in part automatically (through the postal code in the administrative contact record and by a human eyes review pre‐validation or post‐validation). The administrative contact may be any person or entity having received and accepted the mandate to act as such for the respective domain. (The registrar may act as administrative contact.) Any communications addressed to the administrative contact are deemed to have been brought to the attention of the domain holder. Validation checks include machine and human verification of address accuracy. The validation may be assisted through pre‐identification of potential registrants using existing community channels, in particular through promotion codes. After the launch phase, the validation mode goes from pre‐validation to post‐validation and later to statistically targeted random validation, backed up by a ongoing enforcement program. The validation and enforcement program are supported by an integrated issue tracking system. This system allows validating agents and personnel to cooperate and interact with the registrant. The system keeps track of decisions made by the agents and stores supplemental documentary evidence that may be supplied by the registrants."

My opinion
Community TLDs are "community TLDs", it means that domain names are blocked from being registered by anyone. It is a good solution when a registry can easily be financed but it is a very bad one to install domain names onto a market, unless of course, if all sports organizations have already decided to use one (which I doubt that it is already the case). My true opinion is that I wonder how long these rules will remain until it is decided that the .SPORT new gTLD opens to all. The story is always the exact same: at some point, someone notices that there are not enough domains on the market (or that the registry is not lucrative enough) and decides to open to all (for whatever other reason).

Now, when it comes to checking who registers a domain name (see in red above), I don't remember any registry checking all registrants prior to registering domain names so I believe that anyone with a connection to sport in general should be able to register a ".sport" domain name...at some point: not in the beginning of course but later...

Of course, all this is just my opinion and I could (probably not) be wrong ;-)

Not very optimistic, isn't it? (update)
Let's imagine that the .SPORT new gTLD is coming with something new: that kind of innovation that all participants were expecting in the first round of the ICANN new gTLD program? Well, I am not writing more but there's something really innovative coming and according to my understanding of this concept, it could be THAT expected method by all to install domain names on a market.

Check the official website here.

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