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Demand Media: ignore our Republican gTLD rivals

Kevin Murphy, October 31, 2012, 00:31:30 (UTC), Domain Registries

Demand Media has asked ICANN to “ignore” complaints from the US Republican party about its application for the .republican gTLD.

Last month, the Republican National Committee and the Republican State Leadership Committee submitted comments to ICANN arguing that Demand would be an unsuitable custodian for the gTLD.

Demand is best known for its “unofficial, mediocre and sometimes incorrect” content farms, such as eHow, the letter (pdf) said.

The company should not be allowed to run .republican because it implies endorsement by the Republican party, or some kind of community backing for a non-Community application, the letter said.

This week, Demand has responded, saying it’s nothing but competitive posturing, given that the RSLC has applied for .gop (for “Grand Old Party”, a nickname for the Republicans):

A letter to ICANN from Demand subsidiary and .republican applicant United TLD Holdco, says:

Because the RSLC and RNC have applied for .GOP, an arguably competing string, it is easy to see through these arguments and ignore them as nothing more than an attempt to undermine the credibility of United TLD in order to gain a competitive advantage.

By their own admission, RSCL and RNC agree that “.REPUBLICAN has the potential to be a very powerful gTLD.” It is natural then, that they would attempt to discredit United TLD in the hope of eliminating competition for their own string.

The thrust of Demand’s rebuttal is that Republicanism is not an exclusively American movement — other parties around the world use the name — and that it also has generic meaning.

It further argues that the quality of the content Demand provides elsewhere is irrelevant, because the company plans to sell .republican domain names, not produce content there.

Demand has also applied for .democrat, the other major US political party, but did not receive any complaints from the Democratic party during the designated ICANN comment period.

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Comments (2)

  1. KD says:

    Neither gTLD should be awarded to anyone except the obvious parties. It would be just another mockery of the gTLD system if either is awarded.

    The republicans did the right thing by submitting their complaint. The democrats should have seen this and complained as well.

    Just another blunder in how the entire gTLD launch was rushed and handled in order to make ICANN a lot of money.

  2. Anon says:

    @KD Who are the obvious parties? Have a look at the wikipedia page for ‘republican’ and you’ll see that the name does not belong exclusively to the US political party. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican

    Some would argue your comment is a good example of why people perceive the internet as US-centric.

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