The City of Paris opening up a submission period to allocate the first 100 .Paris new gTLD domain names.
The city is opening two “Calls for Proposals” for the purpose of selecting the first domain names under “.paris” top-level domain (TLD). Interested parties can apply on the web site http://mondomaine.paris.fr to be among the first 100 first holders of a web site ending in “.paris”.
“The first Call for Proposals enables various types of actors to obtain a domain name matching their name or trademark, based on terms and conditions reflecting their status (large company, institution, SME, start-up, association, blogger, etc).
“While enjoying a high degree of exclusivity and visibility, these pioneers will be ambassadors for the “.paris” TLD, participating alongside the City of Paris in the development a new digital territory.”
“The second Call for Proposals enables selected candidates to operate high-value generic domain names (e.g. “visit.paris”, “transport.paris”, “<street names>.paris”, etc.) entrusted as a mandate for a set period of time and for the purpose of offering a service in the public interest.”
“This partnership approach supports the development of a wide range of location focused digital services.”
“Prospective candidates can apply until December 16, 2013; applications will be evaluated against various criteria, including the nexus of the project to Paris, the quality of the proposed services and financial criteria.”
This is an interesting move in like of the draft proposal of the Trademark ClearingHouse (TMCH) Rights Protection Mechanism Requirements (RPM) which says is part:
“Registry Operator MUST NOT allow a domain name to be reserved or registered to a registrant who is not a Sunrise-Eligble Rights Holder prior to the conclusion of the Sunrise Period.”
I know the issue of Founders Program/Pioneer Program is a hot topic with new gTLD registries and the whether new gTLD domains can be sold or reserved for a specific user in light of the draft proposal of the TMCH, even under a conditional agreement subject to the domain being claimed in the Sunrise Period. Now that a large applicant and more importantly a city is engaging in such a program in a very public manner ICANN should be forced into giving a clear answer on this issue.