The Australian government is among those asking ICANN deny a request to make .food a “closed generic” gTLD.
Eight people have filed comments opposing Lifestyle Domain’s application for Specification 13 status for its .food registry contract, which would allow the company to keep all .food domains for itself, since we reported the news earlier this month.
The Aussies are arguably the highest-profile opponent, and the one most likely to be taken seriously by ICANN.
Governmental Advisory Committee rep Annaliese Williams wrote:
The Australian Government issued an Early Warning to Lifestyle Domain Holdings, Inc on the grounds that ‘food’ is a common generic term, and that restricting common generic strings, such as .food, for the exclusive use of a single entity could have a negative impact on competition…
The Australian Government does not consider that Lifestyle Domain Holdings’ application to operate .food for its exclusive use serves a public interest goal.
Lifestyle Domain is a subsidiary of Scripps Networks, the company that runs the Food Network TV stations and Food.com web site.
The company claims that it has trademark rights to the word “food” that should allow it to run .food as a dot-brand gTLD.
That would mean nobody but Scripps, which won the right to .food at auction, would be able to register .food domains.
ICANN has also received negative comments from employees of registrars (both retail and corporate) and registries.
One comment, taken at face value, appears to be pro-Scripps, but I’m fairly confident it’s actually just extreme sarcasm.
The decision about whether to allow Scripps to add Spec 13 to its contract will be made by ICANN legal staff.
ICANN told me this week that there’s no ETA on a decision yet.