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Is The Hunger Games’ new .movie domain illegal?

Kevin Murphy, June 11, 2015, 06:41:51 (UTC), Domain Registries

Donuts may have launched its best new gTLD anchor tenant in violation of ICANN rules.
The company revealed earlier this week that The Hunger Games movies are using to promote the fourth and final installment of the wildly successful “trilogy”.
The domain name even features in the trailer for the film, which currently has over 1.7 million YouTube views.
But it has been claimed that Donuts activated the domain in the DNS two weeks before it was allowed to under its ICANN registry contract.
It boils down to “controlled interruption”, the controversial mechanism by which registries mitigate the risk of potentially harmful name collisions in the DNS.
Under ICANN’s rules for CI, for 90 days registries have to implement a wildcard in their zone file that redirects all domains other than nic.[tld] to and your-dns-needs-immediate-attention.[tld].
“The Registry Operator must not activate any other names under the TLD until after the 90-day controlled interruption period has been completed,” the rules say, in bold text.
Donuts’ .movie was delegated on or around March 26, which means when was activated there were still about two weeks left on the .movie CI clock.
As far as I can tell from reading ICANN documentation on CI, there are no carve-outs for anchor tenants.
The .movie zone file has five other domains related to The Hunger Games in it — the only names other than — but they don’t seem to resolve.
There’s no actual security or stability risk here, of course.
If .movie had used the old method of blocking a predefined list of identified name collisions, would not have even been affected — it’s not on .movie’s list of collisions.
However, if ICANN decides rules have been broken and Donuts is forced to deactivate the domain, it would be a painfully embarrassing moment for the new gTLD industry.
It can perhaps be hoped that ICANN’s process of investigating such things takes about two weeks to carry out.
I’ve contacted Donuts for comment and will provide an update if and when I receive any additional information.

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Comments (4)

  1. Adrian Kinderis says:

    Just for context here, ARI Registry Services mistakenly placed in the zone file during name collisions and we received a demand within 24 hours from ICANN to remove the records immediately and had the time that the records were present added on to our name collision period. Given the law of precedents, I expect the same would occur here. Actually given this has been live for at least three days already, this isn’t the case.
    Whilst it may be embarrassing for the industry, it is certainly embarrassing for ICANN and these infernal name collisions.

  2. This is the key here:
    “It can perhaps be hoped that ICANN’s process of investigating such things takes about two weeks to carry out.”
    And the fact that ICANN can’t even enforce the little rules it has in place for New gTLDs.

  3. Rubens Kuhl says: was alive for possibly much more than 2 weeks before being derailed by ICANN Compliance…

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