Breaking: New gTLD Program Committee Votes Not To Change Policy on Singulars/Plurals

The ICANN Board New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC)  voted tonight to not change the policy on new gTLD applications concerning singular and plural terms.

The GAC advised ICANN that it should place singular and plural new gTLD strings into the same contention set.

For example there were applications for .Car/.Cars: .Auto/.Autos, .Hotel/.Hotels; .Coupon/.Coupons; .Deal/.Deals; .Game/.Games; .Gift/.Gifts; .Kid/.Kids top name a few.

Here is the resolution passed by the NGPC tonight on the issue:

“”Whereas, the GAC met during the ICANN 46 meeting in Beijing and issued a Communiqué on 11 April 2013 (“Beijing Communiqué”);

 

Whereas, the NGPC met on 8 and 18 May and 4 and 11 June 2013, to consider a plan for responding to the GAC‘s advice on the New gTLD Program, transmitted to the Board through its Beijing Communiqué;

 

Whereas, on 4 June 2013, the NGPC took action accepting GAC advice identified in the GAC Register of Advice as “2013-04-11-PluralStrings” and agreed to consider whether to allow singular and plural versions of the same string;

 

Whereas, the NGPC met on 11 June 2013 to consider the GAC Beijing advice regarding singular and plural versions of the same string; and

 

Whereas, after careful consideration of the issues, review of the comments raised by the community, the process documents of the expert review panels, and deliberations by the NGPC, the NGPC has determined that no changes to the ABG are needed to address potential consumer confusion specifically resulting from allowing singular and plural versions of the same strings;

 

Whereas, the NGPC is undertaking this action pursuant to the authority granted to it by the Board on 10 April 2012, to exercise the ICANN Board’s authority for any and all issues that may arise relating to the New gTLD Program.

 

Resolved (2013.06.25.NG07), the NGPC has determined that no changes are needed to the existing mechanisms in the Applicant Guidebook to address potential consumer confusion resulting from allowing singular and plural versions of the same string.””

Personally I still don’t see how new gTLD strings are going to be successful when there are singular and plural versions, I seems one will be doomed to failure or both to mediocrity.

Comments

  1. says

    This is a massive facepalm moment for ICANN. Without being anti new gTLDs, I think this is a huge win for .com. I personally thought the .deals, .games, .hotels would be some of the top new gTLDs, where as now this is just a massive dent to their use.

    I agree with your closing comments in the article. Who on earth is going to want to develop .deals or invest in a premium .deals domain when they need to secure the .deal equivalent too.

  2. says

    crazy.. yea it will cause confusion because its overwhelming for people to learn .anything AND keep track of single/plural at the same time.

    however, it was already going to be confusing at first with a bazillion new TLD’s and people were not going to be able to “keep track of them” anyway… those years were already going to be over. “keeping track” of how many TLD’s exist probably not relevant to their success just like keeping track of all the websites in existence is not relevant. when you see an address you go to it. just like when somebody gives you a phone number you write down that EXACT 10 digit phone number. you dont worry that the “7″ and “8″ key are next to each other.

    but in a lot of ways that comparison doesnt fly cause we’re used to dealing with phone numbers and know it needs to be exact.

    confusion exists with lots of new things and that doesnt necessarily mean they wont have some level of success once people power through the confusion. but this usually involves very important inventions or very useful technology. gTLD’s dont seem to fully fit that description and this level of confusion will probably make most people think twice about using a TLD that exists with both single and plurals… so then how do any of them gain traction when that level of uncertainty exists and the well is poisoned… or at least tastes bitter..

    on the other hand – confusion has always existed. single/plurals of the .COM is also confusing… just not at this level. people mistype single/plurals of the .COM all the time every day.. of course this confusion can create leverage for a domainer holding a generic plural/singular of a .COM when the other one is an established website but this leverage only exists because .COM is already built up naturally along with the internet and has mindshare.

    it would seem like the type of confusion in an empty namespace like .deal/.deals would be enough to make people stay away or at least question it a lot more… cause gTLD’s arnt 100% necessary.

  3. John Berryhill says

    I agree with “ontheinterweb”.

    I have never seen anyone complain about there being:

    house.com / houses.com

    dog.com / dogs.com

    car.com / cars.com

    lawyer.com / lawyers.com

    None of the parties which run those domain names felt a compelling need to register both of them.

    If singulars and plurals are, by rule, not permitted, then how are you going to remember, for thousands of nouns, “which one is plural and which one is singular”? By referring to “the list of who won an auction ten years ago”?

  4. says

    John

    Owning a domain name and operating a business on it is a completely different business and business model from operating a registry and selling domain names, web addresses and email addresses.

    Its going to be a confusing mess to Internet users.

  5. says

    i guess before i knew single/plurals would be allowed to the right of the dot figured people would be able to deal with .anything because we’ve been eased into it like with .info and definitely .TV (i dont care what any of you people say – if you claim you ONLY see .COM’s on TV these days in the USA you lying or blind)

    they’ll still be able to “deal with it” but how long will it take to get over the hurdle of “oh yeah, .anything exists and you better spell it exact” because GUESSING will be about as good of an option as guessing a phone number.. too many options.. better get it right.

    its an entirely different way of thinking but the question is it an important enough “invention” (haha) for people that are starting websites to go: well yeah, people will be confused but damn this phrase is intuitive and my other option is buying the .COM “on special” for $16,849 with my 25% discount buydomains code.

    bawahahahahaaha

  6. Grim says

    Confusion isn’t the only problem. As I’ve stated in other posts, time is the bigger problem. You could add a million gTLDs… most people have a group of sites that they’re in the habit of visiting on a very regular basis. Usually those sites are well established and have been around for a long time. Why will people need more new, less established sites to visit, and how will they be able to fit them into their already busy schedules?

    With very few exceptions where a gTLD would be useful or make sense, the majority of them are much too late to the party. It would be like trying to start a search engine today and trying to compete with Google or Bing… many have tried, years ago. Remember Cuil.com,? What happened to them? (You can Wikipedia the story.) And they were one of literally hundreds (thousands?) that tried. Even Microsoft with all its resources isn’t having an easy time with Bing.

    Does this mean it’s impossible to start a new site today and get a substantial audience? Of course not. It’s more than possible. But bring your checkbook. Because unlike starting a site in the 90s, when a good site and word of mouth was all you needed to get millions of visitors, today you have a lot of competition.

    So, if you need substantial resources to have a chance of getting anywhere today, why go with a gTLD in the first place? Spending even 6 figures on a .COM would be one of your smaller expenses… and any ‘confusion factor’ with a gTLD (which surely won’t help you), wouldn’t be an issue.

  7. says

    its a realistic point and i actually sell on Amazon / eBay for a living and have for over a decade..so know how true this is. people use amazon and ebay as if they were the “google of cheap stuff” because they kinda are. not that you shouldnt comparison shop using a search engine but most people dont. trust me they wouldnt be paying these type of prices im selling for if they WERE actually doing comparison shopping.

    but domain names are useful for other reasons than just e-commerce sites or the next facebook. i bought something on craigslist a few days ago – googled the guy because im nosey like that.. he was a chef using a generic .ME domain for his site placeholder and email address. i’ve seen stuff like this more and more lately..

    people are willing to use new weird domains that are within their industry and intuitive phases but probably a major reason is they were on sale for $14.99 hand reg.

    so what would these type of potential domain buying customers have done before the .ME, .CO options that exist now? well they’d probably see that $11,247 .COM pricetag somewhere like BuyDomains, laugh, and say “forget it i got facebook”

    and ill back up and just say one of the points here is this: in a 1,000+ new gTLD world good luck trying to be a “new gTLD domainer” when prices for these things are that watered down. i doubt its going to start off with people paying even $xxx (yes 3 figures) prices for super generic names. many will sit available for hand reg… seriously go check the .travel whois right now while these 1,000+ TLD’s dont even exist yet. see whats available? a ton of stuff.

    but the lower prices of these new gTLD’s will attract people that would have never registered domains before. that combined with big brands using closed gTLD’s will make it OK to do finally several years from now… domainers will look back and see the weird cult like extreme statements they made about .COM 20 years ago and laugh at themselves. then, maybe then… being a “new gTLD domainer” will be viable.

    but i dunno..

  8. Grim says

    > but the lower prices of these new gTLD’s will attract people that
    > would have never registered domains before.

    That sort of person should probably ask themselves, “Why bother?” Unless of course they’re just creating a site for their family or friends to visit… but you can already set up free websites through Google, or just create a Facebook page… so again, if the gTLDs are attracting people that never considered registering a domain before, why bother. The only winners will be the registrars. As it is, there are already enough alternative ways for that kind of person to set up a presence on the web, without spending a penny.

  9. Grim says

    On a side note, there are still plenty of .COM names available to be registered… I routinely check names I have a slight interest in, and except for maybe one or two, the majority are still there, ready to be registered for $10. And if a .COM that one has their heart set on isn’t available, one could always go for .CO or .NET. Or .TV or .ME. Or .INFO. Or …….

    Seriously, these gTLDs are overkill, and are not needed at all. The only people interested in seeing them succeed are those who will benefit mo$t from them.

  10. says

    RE: “but you can already set up free websites through Google”

    you can and thatll still be option people will use.. and some people usta choose ye ol’ geocities or tripod.com or good ol’ angelfire (those last 2 still exist) but it doesnt have the same ring as Cater.ME’ for example and if we’re talking about the difference between free and $15 its about the same amount of money…just you get a personalized domain for a few bucks a months..

    RE: “so again, if the gTLDs are attracting people that never considered registering a domain before, why bother. The only winners will be the registrars.”

    well, the winners are the registrars/registries (aka the new way of domaining from the top down) AND the consumers who would have never considered buying a .COM or any domain for that matter at $x,xxx pricing… that is supposed to be one of the points… to relieve the exhaustion in older more established namespaces.

    when its a choice between a free google/facebook page and paying some crazy high price for ‘LongTailDomainThatIsStillPrettyDescriptiveButAkwardlyLong.com’ of course the trend has been to use the free option for many people. the price gap is too wide between free and $x,xxx+ for good generics.

  11. says

    RE: “On a side note, there are still plenty of .COM names available to be registered… I routinely check names I have a slight interest in, and except for maybe one or two, the majority are still there, ready to be registered for $10. And if a .COM that one has their heart set on isn’t available, one could always go for .CO or .NET. Or .TV or .ME. Or .INFO. Or …….”

    nah man there are not plenty of good .COM names available for registration. people are only saying that until single words separated by a dot are available. that will be the new “good”

    there is no hand registering single word short .coms.

    also in that same paragraph you said .Co .Net, .TV, etc is an option…. yes! so now .anything is too.

    RE: “Seriously, these gTLDs are overkill, and are not needed at all. The only people interested in seeing them succeed are those who will benefit mo$t from them.”

    well yea. i like money too. im sure people back in the 90′s that got into domaining were interested in succe$$ too man..

  12. Grim says

    > when its a choice between a free google/facebook page and paying
    > some crazy high price for [...]

    Well, of course, the people you’re referring to would never consider such a thing… in fact most of those people will never bother registering a domain name at all in their lifetime. If you have more than a couple of people in your immediate family who have registered a domain name, you’re in the minority.

    > nah man there are not plenty of good .COM names available for registration.

    I’ll never tell. But I like your pessimism. The only reason I don’t register them is because I have too much on my plate as it is. Of course, what I might see as a usable domain name, another person might not… but there are still opportunities out there to hand-reg .COMs that one can build a business around. You just have to be more creative these days. In any event, finding a .COM isn’t as hard as doing the work needed to create the business. And when you look at the names of most companies, you’ll notice they aren’t generic. Just look at the name on your phone, TV, monitor, computer, wristwatch, car, etc…

    On a side note, I just reg’d a .COM for me and my fiancee…. our very ordinary names with an “and” in between them. And last week I reg’d a .COM name for an App I’m working on… not that I’ll use it, but I just wanted it for any defensive needs that might come up. Anyway, just a couple of examples that there are still useful .COMs available… if one has any imagination at all.

  13. says

    I agree there are plenty of good .com available but that did stop .co from getting 1.4 million registrations nor .info from having 7 million registrations.

    So if you can get 1 million registrations at $20 a piece its $20 million annual business which doesn’t exactly suck

  14. says

    hmm but why do you keep saying “you just have to be more creative these days to register a .COM”

    the gtld’s are coming. its real.

    do you think people will choose being “creative” or just going with single intuitive phrases. intuitive phrases will win eventually.

    when i say .COM is exhausted you have to consider there are 100 MILLION domain names registered and these new TLD’s will be WAY WAY WAY WAY under that amount.

    so by comparison, .COM is exhausted.

  15. Grim says

    @ Michael

    Yes, I helped contribute to those 1.4 million .COs only due to defensive reasons… as you did with TheDomains.CO as well, I’m guessing?

    I won’t be doing any defensive registrations with the gTLDs though… no reason to.

  16. Grim says

    @ontheinterweb

    RE: the gtld’s are coming. its real.

    I’ve noticed. But most ‘ordinary’ people haven’t. So are they really real?? And how less real will they be after the hype dies down in a year or two?

  17. says

    there was this awesome invention called the internet i tried telling people about in high school. actually, i didnt try telling them cause i knew they didnt care unless you fell into the category of “computer geek” which at the time simply meant you used a computer.

    so suddenly, this invention that had been around for years, that very few people cared about started to take off when it was finally useful enough for regular people to embrace.

    there was a reason barely anybody was online back then though – there was nothing here really. was a cool idea and everything but just a concept at that point and everything was beta test.. like the dozen “other” tld’s that have been released over the years. we’re in beta test mode..

    gTLDs are not as important as the internet – they’re only part of it and we could live without em (like almost everything we are sold in life)

  18. Grim says

    @ontheinterweb

    So you’re saying the gTLDs won’t really catch on “for years”?

    Anyway, I graduated from High School in the 70s… started writing my first programs in the late 70s, then moved onto writing for the video game market during the 80s…. I’ve seen a lot over the decades, lots of hype too. Lots of promising new things… the vast majority of which never really amounted to much and quickly disappeared.

    I’m sure the gTLDs will gain some traction… initial hype alone is guaranteeing that… but then again, we’re seeing companies backing out… and Apple, Apple of all companies could care less.

    I guess you’d be having this same discussion with Steve Jobs, if he was around today.

  19. says

    RE: “So you’re saying the gTLDs won’t really catch on “for years”? ”

    probably… or at least its going to be a very dangerous game for a regular domainer to play in the first couple years. like i said, just look at all the great generics available in .travel… yes you need a UIN to register one of those and they are $90some dollars/year but there are pretty relevant terms just sitting there… i dont see how 1,000+ TLD’s are going to suddenly fill the gap.

  20. says

    maybe not but regardless, we get to sit here and watch cause its really happening.. i aint running a registry.. i get to watch for free and follow it as it unfolds.

    that would be pretty amazing to watch almost every TLD (or even 25%) go down in flames. i dont think that will happen especially since some of the registries have experience being the lowly common dough domainer..

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