Last week, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution’s expert panel (they decide string similarity cases for ICANN) determined that .CAM and .COM are too visually similar to coexist without causing user confusion. While domainers, applicants, registrars, and lawyers (and anyone else who wanted to) could argue whether that decision is sound, the problem is not the individual ruling, but the fact that the ruling directly opposes two previous decisions made by the same panel, concerning the same string.
To explain: VeriSign objected to all three applicants for .CAM — United TLD, AC Webconnecting Holding, and Famous Four Media. The ICDR’s expert panel overruled the objection to AC Webconnecting Holding and Famous Four Media, but sustained the objection to United TLD.
If your head didn’t just explode from confusion, then perhaps that’s because you’re thinking, “Well, maybe it had something to do with how United TLD was going to use the string.” But since the ICDR has to make their decisions without taking anything into account other than the visual similarity of the string, that can’t be the case.
The new dots are right around the corner. Have you protected your brand and set yourself up to win the internet by registering your trademark with the Trademark Clearinghouse? If not, then you should do it now, because there are two major benefits to getting your trademark in early and both require your prompt registration:
1. You’ll be the ninja of protecting your brand. (Perhaps even the .ninja.)
Registering in the TMCH allows you to block other businesses and individuals from registering domain names that use your trademark. POW! So awesome. And, you don’t even have to hang out online all the time to do it—that’s what makes the TMCH so stealthy. You enter your trademarks into the database, and the Clearinghouse notifies you whenever someone registers a domain name using your registered brand. You can object, or if it seems like you can coexist, let it slide. It’s up to you. This protection lasts 90 days past the sunrise of any new dot. Which brings us to the second awesome benefit to registering your trademark.
Early this month, ICANN announced that almost 20 percent of applicants can expect further delays in their launch process, due to reports issued illustrating a perceived increase in security risks for name collisions between certain new TLDs and internal network names. The announcement has sparked public outcry from some applicants and registrars, whose investments and business models rely on the timely delegation and launch of the new TLDs.
It’s a familiar tune—one of the biggest challenges ICANN has faced throughout the new TLD process is staying on time. But despite delays, new TLDs are coming. And they’ll be here sooner than later. We think. (Just kidding. They will be.)
If you were looking forward to registering a domain name this fall, you may be waiting a bit longer, depending on which TLD you’re following. Understanding the current timeline for new TLDs means understanding the timeline of delays. So we went ahead and created such a timeline, so you can save yourself hours on Google:
Amazon was recently notified that its application for the new top level domain name .amazon was rejected.
Eric Pfanner from The New York Times outlined why the tech giant’s application was rejected. Pfanner explained that ICANN, the Governmental Advisory Committee for domains, would not allow Amazon to own .amazon because a group of South American nations, including Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Peru, sent a letter to ICANN opposing Amazon claiming the name. The Times obtained a copy of the letter:
In all the universe there is one guy who offers honest, educated answers about the New TLDs. His name is Nic, he graduated from Yale, and he’s been steeped in everything New TLD since the program went public. Also, he looks young enough to be carded for comic books, so he could very well still be alive when ICANN actually rolls out these new domains. See what happened there? Honesty. Snarkasm. And it’s the kind of thing you’ll appreciate, like at :45 when we have a light moment about ICANN’s commitment issues, and at 2:13 when Nic talks about how domainers actually feel about the flood of new extensions. In between those two benchmarks, Nic shares why businesses should get in on the trademark clearinghouse and how the name.com New TLD Watcher is the place to get started on your quest for the perfect domain name.
Get to know how honest, fun, and informative learning about the future of the Internet can be. Get to know New TLD Nic.
If you’re starting to look into new TLD options, then you’re just in time to be really confused by the multitude of lists and services available to you right now. Watchlists, pre-registrations, sunrise, landrush—how will you know when the new TLDs you want to register will be available, and how do you navigate through the different options available to you right now? Lucky for you, we’ve put together this informative and handy-dandy guide to watchlists, pre-registration, and sunrise/landrush.
Watchlists and pre-registration: What’s the difference?
You’ll sometimes see these terms used interchangeably, but while watchlists and pre-registration may be used together (such as our New TLD Watcher, which allows you to watch extensions and specific domains), they aren’t always the same thing. Both offer the opportunity to express your interest in a new TLD before it’s officially available, and both are used by registrars to gauge how to prepare the market, but watchlists and pre-registration have different levels of commitment and serve different purposes:
We know this whole new TLD process can be a little confusing, so we want to remind everyone who is interested in The New Dots to take advantage of our new TLD Watcher. It’s the easiest way to stay up to speed with crucial information about the new TLDs that you’re specifically interested in.
How it works
The New TLD Watcher lets you choose which new TLDs you want news about. Rather than sifting through tons of reports and articles for information about specific TLDs, we’ll deliver it to you via periodic email updates as new information becomes available. When new TLD applications are closed or withdrawn we update the list, and if one of the TLDs you were watching is affected you’ll know about it. When there’s major news about the new TLD process as a whole, you’ll know about it. And when the TLDs you’re watching are finally available for registration, you’ll know about it!
Even though ICANN 47 is over, there are resources available online that you can still access related to the topics, timelines, and problems addressed at the summit. Some of the most striking resources are the panel transcripts and audio recordings from meetings focused on the digital African landscape and the future of web technology on the African continent.
Why focus so much on Africa? First, in the global digital divide, Africa represents the least developed areas in the world, as far as digital Web technology and access are concerned. According to the BBC, a Columbia University study, and the World Internet Statistics, Africa has fewer hosts, fewer ISP subscriptions, and less available bandwidth than any other populated continent. And, Africa is home to its own digital divide, where some countries, like South Africa, Egypt and Morocco have far more Internet infrastructure than others. ICANN and its supporting community are interested in helping Africa create better, more affordable Internet access options for the entire population of the continent, so the global Web community can function as a whole.
If you’re looking forward to the Durban meeting next week, there are a couple attendance options.
- Work at an awesome company that will fly you to beautiful Durban—one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world, boasting pristine beaches, year-round sunshine, vibrant nightlife, and awesome history (Gandhi lived in Durban; Mandela cast his historic vote there).
- Attend via the Internet, as part of ICANN’s remote participation.
Both are awesome options, but you’re probably leaning toward actually going there. I’ll wait for you to go ask your manager if your company will fly you there next week.
Welp. Looks like it’s remote access for us. And yes, the Adobe Connect platform is not as beautiful as beaches and stuff but it’s not all bad. For instance, I found this on the ICANN 47 website:
There are shark nets in the sea off the main beaches and the latter are patrolled from sunrise to sunset by lifeguards.
Despite our rather frequent and perhaps annoying pleas to introduce fencing (read: awesome sword fights) into the new TLD contention set resolution process, the first private auctions have concluded without so much as an “en garde.” And while we can all agree that peacefully coming to resolutions using moderation and money is pret-ty boring, what’s exciting is that some new TLDs have already made it through the private auctioning process and are therefore one step closer to launching.