Generic Top Level Domains
A broadly similar number of generic domain extensions are being launched in parallel with the brand domains. More than 600 new strings (not all in English) are being planned which will dramatically broaden the scope of the domain name system.
An unbelievable array of naming options are on the horizon.
Strings like .app, .auto, .beauty, .book, .cloud, .game, .guide, .health, .law, .movie, .property, .sale, .shop and .web and hundreds of others are coming soon.
Premium and intuitive domains like Family.auto, Natural.beauty, Action.movie and Book.shop will soon hit the web.
To look at a specific example (.cloud) websites like Data.cloud, Music.cloud and Storage.cloud will soon be realities. Here is a sample from a generic TLD application, in this case one of about seven for the string:
Top Level Domain Holdings Limited. Application for the .cloud extension.
Hundreds of other domain registries will offer millions of options to webmasters. Some are niche markets of every size, while a few like .web are as all-encompassing as can be.
NOTE: TLDH's .cloud application is for an open registry other .cloud application(s) are for closed registries. ICANN has not expressly prohibited monopolistic closed registries. For more info, see "Closed Generic TLDs" below.
A majority of the applications for generic domain strings were open. That is, anyone from anywhere could try to register a name in an open registry in the same way that anyone can currently register a .com domain. (Though certain other laws like national and trademark laws still apply to open registries.)
However, certain proposed TLDs have serious and sensitive connotations such as those in the health, finance and children categories and concern is being expressed by various interested parties.
Given that there are TLDs being proposed like .health, .money and .kids, there is a risk that criminal or fraudulent operators could launch names in these spaces to sell counterfeit medicine, operate financial scams or promote child pornography with possible detriment to the public.
In April the GAC weighed in with the Beijing Communiqué. Since it is representative of various international governments, ICANN traditionally accepts pretty well all its heavyweight advice.
The GAC has thrown the generic TLD program into disarray by recommending a large number of open applications either be rejected or be changed to restricted status.
For example, the .health extension in theory should be restricted only to bona fide doctors, health professionals and medical companies.
This would serve to prevent all kinds of false medical or dietary claims, scams and fraud.
It is hence possible that many generic TLDs will move forward as restricted registries...
Quite a few generic registries applied in the first instance to operate as restricted TLDs. As mentioned above, there is powerful logic in this which can easily be seen by examining sensitive strings like .health.
The principle is essentially to protect the public interest. In some cases, besides offering protection from various online criminal activities, the restricted generics will make navigation more intuitive and save time for internet visitors.
The value proposition of restricting the registration of company signifiers or professions to legitimate applicants is obvious. For example, .llc and .attorney. If the .llc string is restricted solely to companies with LLC credentials, it will make the entire registry trustworthy and authentic. Likewise with .attorney and .doctor and so on. These restrictions would obviously be strongly in the public interest.
NOTE: See also section on Closed Generics below.
Impact Of The Brand Domains
The dot brands will be distinctively different from the generics. As single registrant TLDs owned by famous corporations, they are expected to be universally operated with a high level of trust and authenticity. Every registrant will have a powerful vested interest in strictly maintaining the highest standard of integrity. There should be no cyber crime on the brand domains.
For many consumers, some of these new TLDs are likely to join their lists of preferred and favorite destinations.
Epson. Application for the .epson extension.
The sheer marketing reach of the brand domain applicants is pervasive. General Electric says it will do "whatever is necessary" to make people aware of its new .gecompany TLD. Fox talks about the "hundreds of millions" of annual visits it already has to its existing 5,000 conventional domain names.
Fox. Application for the .fox extension.
The City Domains
Around 70 major cities and a few regions have applied for city TLDs.
A large number of the world's major cities have applied such as Paris, New York City, London, Sydney, Tokyo, CapeTown, Istanbul, Moscow and a few regions like Quebec, Wales, Alsace and Catalonia.
Highly interesting websites like Galleries.moscow and Museums.london are set to make a big impact on the internet.
The logic behind this new category is that many cities are much bigger than small countries with some containing more than 10 million citizens. These cities have an unmet need for local domain names to serve the commercial, media and personal needs of their residents.
In general, the registry applicants must demonstrate that they represent their communities and have official backing. The registry must explain its relationship and describe the intended purpose and policies. Likewise, the registrants generally need to prove their bona fide relationships with the communities.
The city domains look set to become a new class of hybrid domain name a mixture of official government websites (like .gov sites) and general but authenticated private & commercial websites (like .gov, .de or .co.uk).
A key insight is that city names serve as virtual "brand" names. For example, the terms "London" and "Marriott" both serve as useful and authoritative identifiers in the domain names Hotel.london and Hotel.marriott. From this perspective, city domains and brand domains are indistinguishable.
The city domains will add to the forceful momentum of the brand domains' impact on changing perceptions in the domain name system.
The City of Paris itself has applied for the .paris string. Domains will only be available to residents, lawful operating businesses in Paris, entities pursuing cultural activities in the city, or any other kind of legitimate presence conducive to the welfare of Paris. Applications will be subject to strict approval by the registry.
City of Paris. Application for the .paris extension.
Applicants for a .paris TLD will need an administrative contact in Paris, and any bad faith registrations etc may be subject to suspension.
The dot NYC registry will be wholly and strictly controlled by the City of New York. Only entities with a substantial and lawful connection with the City (such as residents and bona fide business people) will be permitted to own a domain. Potential registrants will be required to certify compliance with at least one of five categories to acquire a domain. The City will even conduct spot checks to ensure compliance.
This authenticity will be critical to the success of this new extension.
The City has a vision and mission described in its Road Map for the Digital City. Consistent with this mission, the .nyc string has the potential to benefit residents, visitors, businesses and the government in numerous ways by providing:
City of New York. Application for the .nyc extension.
The City's application states that it will reserve for its own use geo domains like Manhattan.nyc, Brooklyn.nyc and StatenIsland.nyc.
It will also reserve important names like Subway.nyc, Taxi.nyc and Weather.nyc.
Millions of people are certain to regularly consult Subway.nyc for information.
For the rollout of the string itself, the City has already revealed some names it will use which include GetMy.nyc, About.nyc and Buy.nyc.
Closed Generic TLDs
The launch of more than 1000 new top level domain strings has generated a great deal of controversy. One challenge in particular runs the risk of being profoundly against the public interest the applications for closed gTLDs (generic top level domains).
Various large corporations have applied to operate domain extensions based on ordinary, dictionary words as closed registries. That is, they are seeking to operate "walled garden" private registries on important strings like .news, .beauty, .shop, .book, .tires, .cloud and .home.
Under this disturbing scenario, a company such as Amazon for example would own every .shop domain in existence names like Book.shop, Camera.shop, Music.shop, Electronics.shop, Fashion.shop, Phone.shop, Kids.shop and Furniture.shop. There is a clear and present danger of anti-competitive super monopolies being created.
The scenario directly contradicts ICANN's repeated and consistent claims that it is governed by a commitment to increasing choice on the internet and promoting the public interest.
issue is covered in detail on our sister site SuperMonopolies.com
Brand names mentioned on this site are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective corporations. This site claims no association with or endorsement by any of these corporations and their marks are mentioned only to illustrate opinion presented in the public interest.
For a comprehensive overview of the brand domains and their impact on the web, refer to ICANN's website and the individual applications (large parts of which are publicly published).
If you have a particular interest in an individual company, the public aspects of their applications are available for download via the following ICANN links: You can also search a complete list of applicants there.
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