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dotgay loses third .gay appeal

Kevin Murphy, July 1, 2016, 09:52:32 (UTC), Domain Services

Death warrant or portent of impending legal action?

dotgay LLC has lost its third attempt to get ICANN to reconsider tossing its application for community priority status in the fight for the .gay gTLD.

According to ICANN, on Sunday its Board Governance Committee threw out dotgay’s third Request for Reconsideration, an attempt to give the company an unprecedented third go at the Community Priority Evaluation process.

CPEs allow community gTLD applicants to avoid expensive auctions, but dotgay has lost two primarily on the grounds that its definition of community includes people who are not gay.

Its latest RfR was pretty weak, based on a technicality about which staffers at the Economist Intelligence Unit (which carries out the CPEs) were in charge of verifying its letters of community support.

The rationale for the BGC’s determination, which still needs to be rubber-stamped by the full ICANN board, has not been published yet.

But it seems from a blog post that ICANN now expects .gay to go to auction, where there are four competing applicants in total.

ICANN does not usually publish blog posts on RfR decisions, but in the .gay case it has been keen to avoid being accused of any motivation beyond a dogged pursuit of correct procedure.

So will dotgay go quietly? It remains to be seen.

While all new gTLD applicants had to sign a release promising not to sue ICANN, .africa applicant DotConnectAfrica sued earlier this year and managed to get a sympathetic judge who seems bent on allowing the case to go to trial.

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Comments (6)

  1. Shelleymemphis says:

    This looks like horrible homophobia to me. When .xxx was passed as a closed extention, people like Michael Berkins signed forms claiming to be pornographers. Is Michael Beckins a pornographer, or is he a liar?

  2. Shelly

    According to the .xxx website to own a .xxx domain name you have to be a member of the Sponsored Community which according to .XXX registry are:

    “Our Sponsored Community consists of individuals, business, entities, and organizations that fit into any one of the following categories:

    1. Provide Online Adult Entertainment intended for consenting adults (“Providers”) (e.g. adult webmasters, performers, studios, store owners, club operators)

    2. Represent Providers (“Representatives”) (e.g. lawyers, agents, advisors, accountants, affiliates)

    3. Provide products or services to Providers and Representatives (“Service Providers”) (e.g. adult domainers, manufacturers, delivery companies, caterers, distribution companies, merchant account services, make up artists, stylists, hosting services)

    I’m sure to your amazement the registry did not require anyone to claim they are a “pornographer” nor does the word appear on .xxx community website:

    http://www.icmregistry.com/about/sponsored-community/

    • shelley says:

      How is that any different than what .gay is asking for?

      • Volker Greimann says:

        Different application round, so different rules apply. Further, .xxx was never in contention between applicants with one applicant attempting to gain priority.
        While the findings in this case are debatable the process itself was designed to prevent applicants gaining preferred treatment by providing mere lip service to their community. As there are four applicants remaining, there will be a .gay.

  3. Shelleymemphis says:

    No response?

  4. Desiree says:

    In the last 100+ RfR’s, the Board has only granted two. Thus, the Board has less than a 1% approval rate of RfRs. I wouldn’t call this process a “review” in any sense. The Board merely rubber stamps ICANN counsel’s recommendation.

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