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As .trust opens for sunrise, Artemis dumps .secure bid

Kevin Murphy, December 16, 2014, 13:17:46 (UTC), Domain Registries

Amazon is now the proud owner of the .secure new gTLD, after much smaller competing applicant Artemis Internet withdrew its bid.

Coincidentally, the settlement of the contention set came just yesterday, the day before Artemis took its .trust — which I’ve described as a “backup plan” — to sunrise.

I assume .secure was settled with a private deal. I’ve long suspected Artemis — affiliated with data escrow provider NCC Group — had its work cut out to win an auction against Amazon.

It’s a shame, in a way. Artemis was one of the few new gTLD applicants that had actually sketched out plans for something quite technologically innovative.

Artemis’ .secure was to be a “trust mark” for a high-priced managed security service. It wasn’t really about selling domain names in volume at all.

The company had done a fair bit of outreach work, too. As long ago as July 2013, around 30 companies had expressed their interest in signing up as anchor tenants.

But, after ICANN gave Amazon a get-out-of-jail-free card by allowing it to amend its “closed generic” gTLD applications, it looked increasingly unlikely Artemis would wind up owning the gTLD it was essentially already pre-selling.

In February this year, it emerged that it had acquired the rights to .trust from Deutsche Post, which had applied for the gTLD unopposed.

This Plan B was realized today when .trust began its contractually mandated sunrise period.

Don’t expect many brands to apply for their names during sunrise, however — .trust’s standard registration policies are going to make cybersquatting non-existent.

Not only will .trust registrants have their identities manually vetted, but there’s also a hefty set of security standards — 123 pages (pdf) of them at the current count — that registrants will have to abide by on an ongoing basis in order to keep their names.

As for Amazon, its .secure application, as amended, is just as vague as all of its other former bids for closed, single-registrant generic strings (to the point where I often wonder if they’re basically still just closed generics).

It’s planning to deploy a small number of names to start with, managed by its own intellectually property department. After that, its application all gets a bit hand-wavey.

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Comments (4)

  1. David Walker says:

    I’ve only reviewed a portion of the policies set forth by Artemis and NCC Group and it appears that they’ve covered all bases to have a gTLD you can actually trust. It looks like they had this in development for some time with how detailed they get with strict guidelines to adhere to.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out with .secure and if Amazon had a similar concept behind the .secure gTLD that NCC Group had with .trust.

    The final result may end up being the battle to be the “best SSL” certificate and which is trusted in more users’ eyes.

    In either case, I believe that with their standards on email, anybody with a .trust will be sent to the inbox and have a 100% successful delivery rate. That is, if the registry will continue to hold those liable for misuse.

    That’s just one section of the trimmed down policy too, as it’s 123 pages, but not too detailed.

    • Rubens Kuhl says:

      Besides Artemis .trust and Amazon secure, there is also Verisign’s .comsec. The TLD sounds like a “secure .com”, and the vague definitions of the applicant support that theory although could be read as something entirely different.

      .comsec was the only open TLD applied by Verisign directly, not thru a subsidiary, which applied for the IDN TLDs. Verisign also had a .brand/exclusive app, .verisign, but that doesn’t seem suited for selling domains…

  2. R Cotton says:

    NCC Group is totally committed to the gTLD .trust as consumer research suggested that customers feel safer with the word Trust than Secure. So when the domain became available it quickly became the Group’s Plan A for developing a safer online community.

    Creating a safe online community is unique to NCC Group Domain Services, it is not being offered by any other organisation in the this comprehensive way.

    Trust will help alleviate most of the issues that companies and consumers face on the internet today. Backed by strong security policies and removing the need to register multiple iterations of a corporate name ensures that consumer trust can be developed by companies and brands alike.

  3. please trust me says:

    .trust is a joke right?

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