ICANN Overwhelmingly Approves New gTLD Program

The ICANN Board just voted to approve the new gTLD program to a standing ovation to those in attendance.

The vote took place as promised on the first day of the ICANN Singapore meeting.

The vote now allows the process under which hundreds of new domain name extensions can be applied for.

Applications for the first round will open on January 12, 2012 and will close on April 12, 2012.

According to a chart posted in the Board meeting room, it looks like no new gTLD’s will be operational until November 2013.

Only one Board member voted against the proposal and one voted to abstain.

ICANN has previously placed a limit of no more than 1,000 domain name extensions in any round.

The only remaining major open issue for the ICANN Board on the new gTLD program is the registrar-registry cross ownership rules.

Based on objection of the GAC as well as the United States Department of Justice, it appears that ICANN is going to have to put back into place some restrictions on cross ownership.

But that discussion is going to be put off for another day.

In the meantime the new gTLD program is a reality and the domain name world has changed forever.

Anyway you slice it there will be hundreds of millions of dollars pouring into the domain name space.

No doubt you will see thousands of stories from all over the world in every major publication on domains.

Yes the domain name world has changed forever.

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. em says

    Here are the big winners from this:

    .com
    .net
    .co
    .de

    and a few other ccTLDs. The idea of ‘success’ in extensions comes down to branding. .com has been the most well branded and therefore has the most to gain, along with .net. .CO somehow had perfect timing in all this and my guess is they made a very shrewd calculation.They also have won big because their rollout is a very tough act to follow. .co is truly the exception with all these new extensions. There is bound to be one or two amongst thousands.

    @Brad

    Real estate analogies you make are dead on. Malibu is malibu and the Arctic is the Arctic.

    @Robert

    .nyc will still require ‘branding’. Not everyone knows .nyc as a ‘commercial’ brand. You won’t be getting much bang for your buck with .nyc and if you do, it would have to at least beat what .co has done. .co is a rarity. Tonnes of money for branding behind it. I just don’t see it happening in .nyc. .LA has been around a while and we haven’t seen it.

    BTW, .com values will only be increasing with this announcement. You of all people should be happy about that because other successful extensions like .co also stand to benefit. I hope next month that your pocket book can match your ‘enthusiasm’. The words ‘cautious optimism’ comes to mind.

  2. Murray says

    Silly to argue that .com values rise… Perhaps some won’t be much affected but let’s ask whether the domain uk.com is worth more or less as a result of .uk?

    Undboutedly less – for one thing .co.uk makes .uk.com much less useful.

    Also, uk.com could have been a great domain for uk news or a community. To me it now looks slightly redundant.

  3. says

    If the new gTLD program is successful people are going to be presented with so many choices that no one is going to pay thousands of dollars for just one single second level domain in any given TLD regardless of whether its old or new unless it has already been developed into a business that is producing a lot of revenue, and then it is not the domain that they are buying anymore, but more like the business that is built on that domain. I predict that no single second level domain in any given TLD is going to sell for more than 50k in the future unless it’s already built into a business.

    -

  4. says

    IMO it’s incorrect to call them gTLDs, especially when it’s a geographic keyword. An even if it’s a commercial keyword, what if the company that runs it decides to keep it for private use? Shouldn’t gTLDs be freely registrable by anyone (unlike sponsored TLDs)?

  5. Gazzip says

    “Brad,

    They will of course profit. Registrars will profit and perhaps most registries will profit. Overall domainers will lose in my view. They are the opposite side of the equation. There will be a wealth transfer from domainers to the three parties previously mentioned.”
    —————————–

    True, Its a millionaires playground designed to create more money at the cost of everyone else, whether that be individuals, businesses and of course, domainers….they’re not fussy where it comes from.

    The main winners will be ICONN, the registrars and the market places like sedo, afternic and the drop shops who earn their commissions.

    There’s nothing wrong with these people making money but when they talk about level playing fields, creating wonderful communities, open opportunities for all and supplying a need etc they are talking out their ass.

    .CO is for the registrar and so will all the other .whatevers

    Type the following into google search (with quotes) and then go through the first few dozen pages of the results…pretty clear who’s likely to be making the money.

    ———————————————–

    “A Premium Domain Name is a high value web address that has been reserved by the .CO Registry for future sale or auction.”

    ————————————————

    A little taster:

    Thailand.co

    England.co

    UnitedKingdom.co

    Russia.co

    Spain.co

    Italy.co

    Cyprus.co

    Ireland.co

    Austria.co

    Latvia.co

    NewYork.co

    Hungary.co

    Greece.co

    NY.co

    NewYork.co

    Egypt.co

    Norway.co

    Sydney.co

    Switzerland.co

    Germany.co

    Berlin.co

    Poland.co

    France.co

    Portugal.co

    Belgium.co

    Jamaica.co

    LosAngeles.co

    Washington.co

    …get the picture ;)

    ——————————————-

    “Yes, it was Pandora’s Box. It should never have been opened. Gonna be a lawyer’s dream. ”

    Pandora’s Pox more like it – Happy Hunting Folks :)

  6. em says

    .jobs, .travel, .name have gone no where. What makes anyone think all the new TLDs will fair any better. Most new extensions will have limited applicability. BuyMeA.Coke. OK: But GirlsShoes.Coke!? Makes no sense. There exist only four comprehensive domain extensions for commercial endeavours: com, .co, .net and .de. I don’t see them weakening with the increase in extensions. If anything, they will be loved even more.

  7. Snoopy says

    There exist only four comprehensive domain extensions for commercial endeavours: com, .co, .net and .de.

    ///////////

    Th .co crack smoke is certainly getting thick in here.

  8. says

    Having .anything in gTLD market is very expensive cost to protect the companies branding.

    For example HILTON HOTEL. The company has to own many extensions versions just to secure and protect HILTON trademarks.

    Hilton will have to buy HiltonHotel.com to start with.

    Then, to buy more names such as,

    hiltonhotel.hilton

    sydneyhilton.hilton

    sydney.hilton

    japan.hilton

    hilton.hotel

    hiltonsydney.hotel

    hiltonindia.hotel

    Paris.hilton

    ParisHilton.Paris ( who’s is entitle to own this domain? Paris Hilton or Hilton Hotel?)

    Celebrity.ParisHilton

    ParisHilton.celebrity

    etc…Soooo Confusing…

    What I mean is, all major companies have to buy more domain names and there are very complicated decision as how and what’s the best way to brand the company’s trademark.

    It all comes down to expensive exercise….

  9. yup says

    @Snoopy

    It’s not crack smoke, it’s just promoters and marketers. The same ones over and over again who think no one notices them. It’s borderline hilarious.

    Anyway, I’ll be staying far far away from anything not .COM for now on.

  10. John says

    We’re going further, we are delisting the new TLD’s. Not going to be worth much once more administrators and organizations uneasy with the strange direction ICANN is taking, once the packets wont resolve properly in many places.

    Also, contact your organization to find out if they have representation within the standards bodies, if so, we suggest advocating for the replacement of ICANN as registry administrator, replacing them with the ITU.

  11. MHB says

    em

    “.jobs, .travel, .name have gone no where. What makes anyone think all the new TLDs will fair any better.””

    .jobs and .travel are sTLD’s meaning they were restricted.

    In 25 years since the 1st domain was registered 21 extensions are in existence.

    I have said it before and will say it again, there is no way of knowing what will happen when the number of extensions go from 21 to 521 in one year.

    Every extension, brand and word to the right of the dot, will teach slowly but still teach the public that what they type on the right side of the dot is going to be as important as what they type on the left side.

    Its not an overnight process but its one that’s going to get huge press coverage as it did and continues to do today and over a period of years, a true change of navigation patterns could change and probably will change

  12. John says

    MHB, since you apparently are an advocate for this unimaginably insane changes – could you explain the rationale for handing over control of the internet to spammers and phishers?

    Now, you are allowing anyone anywhere with 185,000 US dollars to register their own TLD. New spam domains will pop up faster than blacklists can be updated for relays.

    Could you explain how this plan in any way has controls to mitigate this problem?

  13. John says

    Why has ICANN been consistently making decisions against the public interest? The reason is obvious — it has been captured by the registries and registrars, who only care about selling more and more domain names, even if they are not needed (i.e. “defensive registrations”). They don’t care about confusing users or making it harder to navigate the internet.

  14. MHB says

    John

    “”You are allowing anyone anywhere with 185,000 US dollars to register their own TLD”

    Of course I’m not allowing or disallowing anyone, don’t have the power.

    I see, and I saw this dramatic change in the Internet coming and wrote about it often and decided that I need to have a stake in the next 25 years of the internet.

    Like anything else you can stop progress because of possible bad actors.

    You can’t say we are never going to issue another drivers license because some people can’t drive and are going to cause accidents.

    There are a TONS of rules and regulations, requirements, financial requirements, background checks, etc , etc.

    Its a BIG money deal with a TON of paperwork.

    Spam phishing, fraud, etc, have existed since the start of the net, criminal conduct goes back to the bible.

    There are a lot of rules in place to stop the spread of this to the new gTLD’s including the URS under which domains can be taken down quickly and cheaply.

    So if a bad actor wants to do bad things they have plenty of choices under the existing extensions

  15. John says

    “You can’t say we are never going to issue another drivers license because some people can’t drive and are going to cause accidents.”

    This analogy fails from many angles. An individual person does not pay 185,000$ for a ‘premium’ license that allows them to then issue licenses to their friends without any other legal check.

    Yet that is exactly what setting up private parallel registries does.

    Mark my words, in your hubris you have overstepped your boundaries, registrars. As I state, many people will delist these new TLD’s entirely rather than deal with the enormous security headache they cause. This will cause the value of these domains to hover somewhere between ‘worthless’ and ‘free’.

    You cannot sidestep these problems saying this is innovation. You know well that this is not innovation – we could have had this years ago, but sensible people were in charge. Now you have pointy heads only interested in selling more domains.

    Mark my words, this is the beginning of the end for ICANN.

  16. MHB says

    John

    Its a big world so you can make generalizations what people and governments do or don’t do.

    Here in Singapore people pay $65K for a license plate for 10 years.

    I know its unheard of in the US

    Here they regulate the number of cars on the road by limiting the number of cars.

    So like a liquor license in the US there is a certain number issue and therefore they have a value and a cost.

    Back to domains if your sure the new extensions will fail then don’t worry about them, let them fail.

    But if you think in a world where Apple tells people to visit them at .Apple and ABC tells people to visit them at .ABC, same with Disney, NBC, IBM, Microsoft and hundreds and hundreds more, navigation patterns can change and ignore them at your own risk

  17. John says

    I’m using this forum as advocacy, as you have, for the many MANY like minded administrators, CIO’s and businesspeople who recognize the huge mudfights that will ensue, for instance, when the California Apple Grower’s Association and Apple Inc. both claim .apple

    I am letting them know, the way out of this bind (nyuck nyuck) is not only to delist the TLD’s, but pay ICANN back for their enormous hubris and attempted hijack of logical namespace hierarchies.

    ICANN has proven with this decision they cannot be trusted to steward the root domain – as unpalatable as it is, I now recommend to all my colleagues that they realign themselves to support ITU taking over the administration of the root domain from ICANN.

    Take notice, readers. The decision ICANN is taking us is not where we want to be. A world where it would be nearly impossible to shut down spammers to an order of magnitude harder than it is already. More load on infrastructure, especially mail servers. More individuals being suckered into security threats, more viruses, more namespace to hide in as a ‘bad actor’.

    All so ICANN’s brass can pull it a quick cash grab off some new TLD’s.

    Don’t even try to defend it – its indefensible and obvious to all of us who work in this industry. There is no innovation here, only the lowest common denominator – marketing people – seeing another way to make easy money.

  18. says

    I don’t know who “John” is, but the quote “Why has ICANN been consistently making decisions against the public interest? The reason is obvious — it has been captured by the registries and registrars, who only care about selling more and more domain names, even if they are not needed (i.e. “defensive registrations”). They don’t care about confusing users or making it harder to navigate the internet.” is copied directly from my comment in the Slashdot story of Friday, i.e. “ICANN To Allow .brandname Top-Level Domains”. Normally, one should attribute the source of comments like that, instead of copying them verbatim.

    Of course, I agree with the point made, given it’s my own! :)

  19. MHB says

    Although I may disagree with George I can vouch that he always speaks from the heart, doesn’t play games and tell it like he believes and I respect his opinion.

  20. says

    Unifiedroot is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this new approach by ICANN:

    1) You can start using your company or brand name immediately;
    2) You can register specific generic TLDs like .music or .game;
    3) You pay a fraction of the cost compared to ICANN;
    4) You can register names in non-Latin scripts.

    Our lawyers have indicated that companies that register and start using a TLD from Unifiedroot now will be in a favorable position to defend their rights and prevent an identical TLD from being registered with ICANN.

    see: full press release on http://www.unifiedroot.com

  21. admin says

    one of the board members who voted yes for this is the same person who wrote the first “RFC” decades ago.

    RFC stands for request for comments.

    are “end-users” allowed to comment? we’re all end-users, correct?

    end user had a dream last night.

    everyone had their own personal IP address. in fact they had blocks of them.

    everyone knew how to run BGP and maintained their own personal routing tables. these were no larger than a person’s rolodex. end-to-end connectivity had become reality. people connected only to others who they knew or trusted.

    everyone knew how to make a packet of bits and send it. this was no more trouble than stuffing an envelope and licking a stamp.

    and everyone’s computer was both a router, a client, a server. in fact no one used those terms anymore.

    people met each other first in the real world and then after they trusted each other, they exchanged telephone^W IP numbers and a one-time passprase. in each case, it wasn’t the passphrase that protected them, it was their own intuition formed from their real world relationship.

    generally, people had small groups of friends, and many acquaintances. they didn’t give their personal information to strangers or contact strangers randomly, unless they were trying to sell something. (yes, that problem still existed.)

    no one really trusted “intelligent” machines, as they were always prone to malfunction, but they still trusted other *people*.

    DNS? what’s that? it had been long forgotten as a measure originally designed to account for a growing number of new non-malicious hosts (domain names) coming online, but which later became nothing more than a marketing scam.

    everyone now chose their own names and phrases to attach to unique numbers that were too long to memorise. it was personal choice. everyone knew the numbers were what was most important for locating people, books, etc., as they had been for centuries before the “internet”.

    the failure of universal naming schemes and of people attempting to impose rules of semantics on society to steer them toward or away from “resources” were a lesson we had learnt over the internet’s early years, beginning with the “DNS” and ending with the internet’s “new gtlds”.

    from that experiment we knew that no one could impose limits or control on or over language, as it was constantly evolving and that people were inherently subjective, and therefore unpredictable, in how they “saw the world.”

    though briefly deceived into believing names and phrases could be reliable identifiers, we returned to numbers. we realised it was a very sensible path to take; it was a mistake that only some could see.

    finacial rewards and self-satisfaction had caused those in control to keep quiet and not expose the weaknesses of their original idea, so as to keep collecting increasingly large paychecks and continued “respect” from their peers.

    we had fogiven them for this, but we would not make that mistake again.

    then end user woke up. the strange thing is that end user keeps having this same dream.

    the beginning of the end of the DNS. it is just a dream?

  22. says

    “…Why has ICANN been consistently making decisions against the public interest? The reason is obvious — it has been captured by the registries and registrars, who only care about selling more and more domain names, even if they are not needed (i.e. “defensive registrations”). They don’t care about confusing users or making it harder to navigate the internet….”

    It is a global financial crisis strategy to boost economy that ICANN tries to create employment or try to safeguard their existing jobs by creating new extensions, create new wealth…new employment opportunities…keep the cash flow rolling…keep lawyers busy…so that your sons and daughters get the jobs as well…

  23. says

    @MHB

    “Hilton can just apply for .hilton and keep the extension for it’s self.

    They don’t have to pay any registration fees”

    Agree, for maximum marketing exposure, Hilton still needs to expand market share to reg in other extensions such as:
    hilton.hotel
    hilton.travel
    hilton.resort
    hilton.deals
    hilton.booking
    hilton.dining
    hilton.island
    hilton.vip
    hilton.jobs

    It can be very expensive just to reg in other extensions, otherwise hilton will miss out branding exposure in other gTLD eg. .hotel .travel .etc…

  24. says

    @RAYY

    “hilton.hotel
    hilton.travel
    hilton.resort
    hilton.deals
    hilton.booking
    hilton.dining
    hilton.island
    hilton.vip
    hilton.jobs”

    You have to put ‘hilton’ on the RIGHT of the dot :)

  25. MHB says

    Ravy

    “”It is a global financial crisis strategy to boost economy that ICANN tries to create employment or try to safeguard their existing jobs by creating new extensions, create new wealth…new employment opportunities…keep the cash flow rolling…keep lawyers busy…so that your sons and daughters get the jobs as well..””

    Good point

    We are in the worse economy since the great depression, there are tens of millions out of work some being out of work for years now.

    This program is in fact going to create an new industry with a lot of nice paying jobs and billions in revenue produced, not the worst thing.

  26. MHB says

    Ravy

    “Hilton can just apply for .hilton and keep the extension for it’s self.

    They don’t have to pay any registration fees”

    Agree, for maximum marketing exposure, Hilton still needs to expand market share to reg in other extensions such as:
    hilton.hotel
    hilton.travel
    hilton.resort
    hilton.deals
    hilton.booking
    hilton.dining
    hilton.island
    hilton.vip
    hilton.jobs”

    Disagree.

    Its up to hilton to let people know anything the need regarding hilton can be found on .hilton and they set up all these subdomains like you suggest ending in hilton, there will be hundreds of other brands doing the same.

    Consumer behavior will not change in a day or a year but it can be changed.

    Did anyone think 5 years ago that they would be spending 8 hours a day on a site telling everyone they know and some they don’t everything they are doing or thinking or sending pictures of the food they are eating.

    No

    Patterns are changeable and do in fact change.

    Its one thing for 1 new extension to get a foothold and change behavior but image when 500 brands, cities and other extensions are marketing this shift to the right of the dot at once.
    Hilton

  27. says

    .whatever is just a money grab.

    imho the real sleeper is the fact that over half of the people on the internet don’t speak English at all or very little. If Icann manages to finally include pure idn.idn for .com and .net Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, etc. internet users will be able to surf, type and develop sites in their native languages!! Then the internet will be truly inclusive for everyone and HUGE investment opportunities will exist for a whole new generation of investors in almost every language.
    Hurry up already…………

  28. John Berryhill says

    “I think there is a way this could be implemented fairly, but I have no faith in ICANN.”

    Well, yes, but that’s a function of being human. ICANN is the ultimate “decision by committee” driven organization. It’s outstandingly easy to criticize outcomes, and mind-numbingly difficult to participate with an aim to inject a little sanity from time to time.

    I don’t have much of an opinion on the larger “is this a good idea or bad idea” species of question, but I’ve never been opposed to giving people the freedom to fail. For everyone who thinks new TLD’s are a waste of time, there is someone itching to apply and try to run one. I just don’t see the harm in letting that person have at it.

    One might as well say that capitalism is a failure because practically every commercial enterprise eventually fails. Most new companies fail. Now, sure, there may be some oddball institutions that have been around for while (certain banks and insurance companies come to mind). But, really, if you took a snapshot of every company formed in the US since an arbitrary date, say 1950, then how many of them are still around? It’s like saying that basketball is a waste of time because there are a bunch of teams, but only one of them wins the championship.

  29. says

    All the new extensions will rather gives more power to .com, .net .org; if you are running any business, people will find it easier to visit you on these forefront extensions.

    Though, ICANN will make money from some of these new extensions like the .nyc etc; but I don’t think any one can just think of getting hilton.hilton or coke.coke etc without facing TM problems. One can not find any of these big companies without their TM unregistered. The only problem is with scammers as they can use those extensions to scam people who do not know the difference between extensions and that is the only thing ICANN can be proud of.

    These will only cause more commotions everywhere for court to be more active like Rayy.co have said.

    My regards to those members among them who refused to vote and especially the one who voted against the issuance.

  30. says

    One thing people also need to realize is, at best, the first new gTLD will not even hit the market until 11/2013.

    That is almost 2 1/2 years even in an ideal world. With legal challenges and other issues the reality could be even longer that that, especially for generic terms.

    That is a lot of time for the popular extensions to get even more popular.

    Brad

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