Tuesday, September 22, 2020

News from the .BASKETBALL new gTLD


The "Fédération Internationale de Basketball" (FIBA) just updated us with some noticeable info:

  1. The Trademark claims period will open on the First of February 2021;
  2. The Limited Registration Period (LRP#4), which started yesterday on the 21st of September, will end on the 31st of January 2021.
This is at least what the ICANN website says.

Number of domain names registered in total (as of today): 324

Saturday, September 12, 2020

The .CONTACT new gTLD: some fresh news

The .CONTACT new gTLD was delegated in 2015 and a date was finally announced for its Sunrise Period.

Donuts Inc (Dog Beach, LLC), owner of this domain name extension, announced that the Sunrise Period will start on the 29th of September 2020, and end on the 28th of November 2020.

From what I understood from this project, there should be "a little more" than just registering a domain name when you go for your ".contact". Also, the TLD Marketing asset kit from Donuts offers nothing for this string so...can that be a sign that the .CONTACt new gTLd will be different from other TLDs? Let's wait and see what comes out.

More details here.

Monday, August 31, 2020

New gTLD Reports from August 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).

Monday, August 24, 2020

Why you should NOT apply for a .BRAND new gTLD

I read LOTS of publications about how fantastic .BRAND new domain name extensions are, and I fully agree that they are a wonderful tool.

I noticed that none covers why one applicant should NOT apply: no new gTLD specialist explains what can the disadvantages be to submit a .BRAND type new gTLD application so here is my personal cover published on CircleID:
There are two kinds of new domain name extensions: those dedicated to selling domain names through the network of accredited Registrars and those dedicated to a personnel use. I call these "dotBRANDs" or ".brand" new gTLDs since they are used — most of the time — by Trademarks for their own benefit. This article focuses on .BRAND new generic Top-Level Domains. In the ICANN vocabulary, these are "Registry Agreements with Specification 13”...
Read the full article here.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Gartner kills .CEB new gTLD after acquisition

Gartner Inc. terminated the Registry Agreement for .CEB after acquisition. This is what the content of the letter to the ICANN says:
Gartner, Inc. is the successor-in-interest to the Corporate Executive Board Company “CEB”), having completed an acquisition of CEB in 2017. This letter is to notify you that pursuant to Section 4.4 (b) of the Registry Agreement (RA) between ICANN and The Corporate Executive Board Company of April 9, 2015 Gartner, Inc. hereby terminates the RA for CEB. The Corporate Executive Board Company kindly asks if ICANN can initiate the termination process as soon as possible. Please do let us know if any further information is required.

Termination letter is available here (PDF download)

The ICANN Preliminary Determination letter is available here.

Friday, July 31, 2020

New gTLD Reports from July 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).

Monday, July 27, 2020

Termination of Registry Agreement for .JCP

On 23 April 2015, ICANN and JCP Media, Inc., entered into a Registry Agreement under which JCP Media, Inc., operated the .jcp top-level domain.



J. C. Penney Corporation, Inc. jut terminated the .JCP new gTLD on June the 23rd, 2020. Read the letter here (PDF download).

The ICANN acknowledged:
"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."
Read the answer here (PDF download)

Unfortunately, I can't point to JCP.com since the front page says: "We Are Currently Unable to Provide a Shopping Experience for This Country" (France).

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

ICANN to ACTO on .AMAZON : now talk to AMAZON

ALEXANDRA MOREIRA, Secretary General of the ACTO* wrote to the ICANN again with the intention to "to resume negotiations on the TLD’s governance with the Amazon Corporation., from the point where their side interrupted it, with a view to arriving at a satisfactory agreement." The letter can be downloaded here (PDF download).

Göran Marby, President and Chief Executive Officer Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) kindly answered some sort of a "no" with the option to talk directly to AMAZON:
"ICANN no longer can serve in a role of facilitating negotiation of the means..." and "I kindly encourage the ACTO Member States to resume negotiations with the Amazon Corporation ..."
"The process to complete the delegation of the .amazon top-level domain spanned over many years and took into account the interests of the applicant for the strings, the interests as expressed by ACTO and its member states, , and the relevant ICANN’s multistakeholder processes as limited through the ICANN Bylaws." 
The full ICANN answer can be downloaded here.


*The Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) is an Intergovernmental Organization formed by eight Member Countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela, encouraging sustainable development and social inclusion in the region.

Monday, July 20, 2020

The COVID ended the .SHRIRAM new gTLD

This is the Notice of Registry Operator Request for Termination of Registry Agreement. The .SHRIRAM Top-Level Domain was terminated.

The notice was sent in May by SHRIRAM and it is due to the COVID situation:
We refer the registry agreement dt.23.01.2014 entered by Shriram Capital Ltd with you. Due to unprecedented Covid-19 effect on the business, we have no other option but to terminate the registry agrcement with effect from 3l't March 2020. We request you not to transit the domain name .SHRIRAM to any third party as we are the registered trademark owner of the name SHRIRAM. We requcst you to kindly do the needful at the earliest.
Download the notice of termination by the ICANN (PDF download)

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 CPA.com, 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 domains.cpa 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.
 

Monday, June 15, 2020

The .ZUERICH new gTLD is here

The ICANN just made a modification to the official TLD Startup Information page related to the .ZUERICH new gTLD which was delegated in...December 2014.

Sunrise Period

  • 01 December 2020 to 04 February 2021

Trademark Claims Period

  • 24 February 2021 to 26 May 2021

Additional Periods

  1. Limited Registration Period (LRP #1): 1 Apr 2020 to 31 Aug 2020
  2. Qualified Launch Program (QLP): 21 Nov 2017 to 23 Sep 2019
  3. Limited Registration Period (LRP #2): 4 Jan 2021 to 4 Feb 2021

Mission/purpose of the .ZUERICH new gTLD:

The content below was extracted from the official application submitted to the ICANN (and I got rid of the boring part):
The Canton of Zurich is one of the largest of Switzerland’s 26 Cantons, or national districts, and is home to the city of Zurich, which is the largest city in the country. The city has throughout its long history played an important role in the cultural and historical development of the Swiss Confederation and the country’s national identity.

The TLD “.ZUERICH” will be an expression of self-understanding and autonomy for the local state of Zurich and is anticipated to promote local industry, scientific interests, tourism and marketing, and to highlight the high standard of living in the Zurich region in a globally-visible and easily recognized format.

Long term, effective marketing of the “.ZUERICH” TLD is an important part of this plan, which will be effectuated through the careful and well-orchestrated cooperation of the city of Zurich, the Zurich Tourism office and the Canton itself. The key elements of the ISDM strategy include: i) unique and permanent positioning of the new “.ZUERICH” TLD, ii) preserving and enhancing the reputation of the space, iii) maintaining the well-regarded reputation of the Zurich brand, and iv) development of a common entry site for the name space (see Attachment 1 to our response to Question 48).

The applied-for TLD string, “ZUERICH,” represents the phonetic pronunciation of the German-speaking Canton. In German, the spelling of the Canton is “Zürich”. The Umlaut over the “u” in the word produces a “ue” sound, leading to the pronunciation of “Zuerich”, corresponding to the proposed TLD text. Thus, it has become standard amongst Swiss Internet users, when typing, to replace “ü” with “ue.” The logical TLD for the Canton is therefore “.ZUERICH.”

The Mission and Purpose of the “.ZUERICH” space

The new gTLD “.ZUERICH,” is intended to support the new branding project of Zürich on the Internet.

The “.ZUERICH” TLD shall provide a comprehensive vehicle through which the Canton may communicate not only with citizens, companies, and organization within its region, but even with individuals and companies worldwide who, in one way or another, interact with the Canton of Zurich.

Initially, the Canton will reserve all domain names under “.ZUERICH” to itself, and may later elect to license domain name registrations under “.ZUERICH” to its affiliates such as, but not limited to i.e., Cantonal and city governmental departments and municipalities, cultural and artistic organizations, or transportation authorities. The Canton may further decide to license the use of second level domain names to other affiliates.

The Canton of Zurich will oversee all registrations for the space, and will be the only authorized registrant of domains. This provision will be made clear in, and enforced via, the applicable Registry-Registrar agreement. All registrars offering “.ZUERICH” domain names for registration will be aware of this requirement, and will be provided with sufficient information to enable them to verify whether a potential applicant for a domain name is in fact the properly authorized entity. The single-registrant nature of the space will provide the Canton with necessary monitoring opportunities, to ensure that the TLD is used only for appropriate purposes and to display relevant content.

The Canton anticipates benefiting from this new space by providing a single comprehensive and helpful location where interested parties can learn more about the opportunities available in Zurich. Visitors and long-time residents alike will come to view gTLD “.ZUERICH” as the natural “go-to” for information about the area. Used in this way, the Canton expects the gTLD “.ZUERICH” to play an important role in its new branding project for Zürich.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Backend Registries don't speak French

One might be surprised by such title but as a person involved in creating and promoting dotBrands and other generic new gTLDs, there are a few things that I see...and one that is now obvious is that Backend Registries don't speak French (but a very few).

This is Paris, France

Creating a new domain name extension requires to think upfront about a strategy but also...about service providers. The Backend Registry is a mandatory service provider when creating a new Top-Level Domain but unfortunately, the offer is limited in France because of our language: Backend Registries don't offer French as a language.

No French? You don't exist

There is a demand in France and interested parties in creating their domain name extension usually proceed through their accredited Registrar, sometimes their Law Firm and sometimes...directly through the Backend Registry provider. I usually talk to the Backend Registry first and fortunately for me, I speak, write and read English.

I like to go straight to the point and just like everyone in business, I like to limit the number of subcontractors. In more simple word, if I had the project to create a new gTLD, I would talk directly to the appropriate service provider and to me, that provider is the Backend Registry: the better when he  has a presence in your country or speaks your language.

I will speak french for you

There are coming Backend Registries (preparing their offer for the next round) and existing Backends; but from my Top10 list, one website offers French only and I believe that this is potential lost business for the others because addressing to one in his language breaks the first barrier to business. 

As a new gTLD Consultant based in Paris, I will offer that service to introduce your Backend Registry offer to French, contact me and will explain how.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

UPDATE: the .CPA new gTLD is Secured

Extracted from the main website: ".cpa is a new, secured domain exclusively available to licensed CPA firms."

The .CPA new gTLD

What does CPA stands for?

The three letters stand for "Certified Public Accountant" for licensed accounting professionals.

Important dates:

  • Sunrise Period: 01 July 2020 to 31 August 2020;
  • Trademark Claims Period: 01 November 2020 to 01 February 2021;
  • Limited Registration Period: TM Holders - 1 Jul 2020 to 31 Aug 2020;
  • Limited Registration Period: Early Application Period - 1 Jul 2020 to 31 Aug 2020;
  • Limited Registration Period: Limited Registration Period - 1 Sep 2020 to 31 Oct 2020;
  • The application period for .cpa domains begins July 1, 2020.

Good to know:

There are other domain name extensions for Accountants but they are open to register to anyone: the .ACCOUNTANT (1,750 domain names registered) and the .ACCOUNTANTS new gTLDs (1,650 domains registered). Find the full list of similar Top-Level Domains in our tools.

The registry gives a good explanation of this TLD's potential.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

New gTLD Reports from May 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).

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.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

The .RIGHTATHOME new gTLD was terminated

ICANN answer to Notice of Registry Operator Request for Termination of Registry Agreement - .RIGHTATHOME new gTLD.
  

On 18 March 2020, Johnson Shareholdings, Inc. notified ICANN org of its intent to terminate the .rightathome Registry Agreement entered into on 23 July 2015.

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 Johnson Shareholdings, Inc. to assess whether to transition operation of the .rightathome 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 .rightathome 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. .rightathome 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 (email_was_modified_here@icann.org. The deadline to submit input is 20 May 2020 – 23:59 UTC.

This is standard procedure to terminate a new gTLD application.

Read the full request from SC Johnson on LinkedIn.

Friday, April 10, 2020

UNR and GoDaddy Registry

"We're preparing for the next Round"

There have been many announcements recently: Uniregistry (the Registrar) being acquired by GoDaddy and GoDaddy acquiring another Registry's business with Neustar Registry: isn't this a preparation for the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program? "Oh yes it is".

UNR 

Many followed the news when GoDaddy acquired most of Uniregistry's business (the Registrar and domaining business marketplace, as well as the CEO's domain name portfolio). It is an announcement when a Registrar acquires another. In this deal, GoDaddy acquired all BUT the Registry and Backend-Registry businesses from Uniregistry. It means that Uniregistry kept these two businesses. Since Uniregistry ("Uni" ?) now belongs to GoDaddy, it now makes sense to change name, and that new name is "UNR" (which seems to mean "Uni Naming and Registry). I like short names but please, get rid of "Uni" because in becomes confusing.

GoDaddy

GoDaddy, the number one Registrar in volume of domain names registered, and which acquired Uniregistry, also acquired a Corporate Registrar named Brandsight but it is still unclear to me if this acquisition was to acquire the company's portfolio or if it plans to do develop a serious Corporate Registrar offer for its clients. Note that this would be welcome.
GoDaddy which had a "Retail Registrar" identity is now developing other identities: the Corporate Registrar one and the Registry one too (I would like to add the Backend-Registry identity too but the Neustar Registry acquisition remains unclear about this business).

Note that I make a difference between the Registry's business and the Backend-Registry's one since one is the governing body of a domain name extension selling to Registrars, when the other is the tool to allow the Registry to create domain names and there is a financial connection between those two: the Backend-Registry usually sells to the Registry; because most Registries cannot afford (or have the technical knowledge) to own their technical solution. They usually sub-contract this operation.

GoDaddy Registry

Very recently, GoDaddy made the acquisition of a major player's business named Neustar Registry: not "Neustar" but its Registry's business only. This is a major announcement because GoDaddy was not present in the first Round of the ICANN new gTLD program. It applied to its own dotBrand (the .GODADDY new gTLD) but never used it. The funny thing is that its  .GODADDY domain name extension is operated by another Backend-Registry provider (...) which is not Neustar Registry (I would understand that this changes soon).

Now GoDaddy plans to become a major player in the new gTLD business, this could hurt a lot the Corporate Registrar's businesses since they were the one to offer the .BRAND application nad management service to their clients, subcontracting the technical part to Backend-Registry solution providers such as Neustar Registry. Note that Neustar was neither a Corporate nor a retail Registrar - and GoDaddy is already a Registrar, the most important one worldwide. Getting into that business means that future new gTLD applicants (.BRAND - Cities and Entrepreneurs) could be offered a key-in-hand-solution, having their digital assets operated by the same service provider, all in one place:
  • A Registrar (Corporate or Retail) for their domain name portfolio management: all possible operations in all TLDs (legacy TLDs, almost all new gTLDs and almost all ccTLDs);
  • A Registry (.BRAND - Generic, Community or Geographic TLD) for the technical operations of their new gTLD:
    • .BRAND domain names operated in the exact same place where they manage their other domain names;
    • Tools to operate a Registry dedicated to selling domain names to the general public maybe? Note that the solution provider to offer that service would probably be king, we learnt a lot from the first round of the ICANN new gTLD program and the complexity around the understanding of the process and the submission of an application were a serious issue: the provider to simplify that and what comes after...gets my serious attention.
  • All other solutions (website hosting and marketing, email, brand and domain name monitoring, security, etc...) invoiced in the same place!

My thought on all this

UNR keeps the Registry and Backend-Registry's businesses but recently announced that it intends to develop it. The word that I read in a press release was "dotBrand" by its CEO, and my understanding of this reading is that UNR will be present in "Round two" of the next ICANN new gTLD program with a new gTLD probable offer for entrepreneurs but also - and more precisely - for Trademarks with an offer for .BRAND new gTLD applicants. This is an important information for me because there won't be so many service providers with an offer around. Let's hope that they will consider the French market (JC: reading this?)

The strange thing about all this is that GoDaddy acquired someone else's business for the Registry and Backend Registry's businesses (Neustar) so there must be a reason behind this. The positive thing is that UNR will be in competition with GoDaddy for its Registry offer(s) and "price" is what made Uniregistry a good service provider because it was "cheap" (it was cheaper to buy a domain name with Uniregistry than Godaddy) so let's hope that their Registry solutions will be cheaper too.

What about Google Registry?

I stand-by because Google, not only offers a free technical registry platform (the Back-End Registry solution) but it also became a Registrar in 2014 and its domain name business is developing fast. Google also operates its own Registries on its technical platform so the only thing that is missing...is an offer. Round two is a little far away but no one can tell if there won't be an offer in a close future. Note that I already asked Google the question in 2017 and the answer was "no". For those interested in digging in that direction or looking for who's working on an offer, I'd suggest to check Nomulus.foo.

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