ICANN’s secret “penthouse-level” domain program

Kevin Murphy, April 1, 2012, 00:01:01 (UTC), Gossip

Filthy with cash from incoming new gTLD applications, ICANN is secretly working on a new “penthouse-level domains” project, DomainIncite has learned.

The program, detailed in leaked emails (pdf) between senior ICANN executives, will open up the space to the right of the final, overlooked dot in a fully-qualified domain name.

The new “pLD” project will allow brand owners, for example, to apply to run a domain name to the right of their newly acquired dot-brand gTLD, creating new marketing opportunities.

Penthouse-level domains are believed to be the brainchild of outgoing CEO Rod Beckstrom.

“I figured I may as well torpedo the whole fucking joint on my way out,” he said, stuffing ICANN’s air-conditioning system with three-day-old sushi.

Officially, ICANN expects the program to be warmly welcomed by the trademark community

“The most common complaint we hear from dot-brand gTLD applicants is that they have no idea what to put at the second level,” said ICANN spin doctor Brad White.

“Do you use www.canon or www.canon.canon?” he said. “It’s confusing. But with a penthouse-level domain such as, I dunno, .com, Canon would be able to have www.canon.canon.com”.

“Companies that missed the dot-brand gTLD deadline would be able to apply for dot-brand pLDs instead, enabling addresses such as www.canon.com.canon,” he said. “And that’s much simpler.”

Sixteen new rights protection mechanisms have been created, all of which are expected to be so carefully balanced as to be essentially useless.

The new pLD application fee is likely to be set at $185,000 per character, according to sources, $175,000 of which has been earmarked for Jones Day’s cocaine bill.

Registry service providers have welcomed the penthouse-level domains move and today dismissed criticisms that the program places too high a financial burden on rights holders.

“The important thing you have to remember is that applying for a new penthouse-level domain isn’t the same as simply registering a gTLD,” said an Afilias spokesperson.

“The further to the right a word is on your screen, the more expensive it is to manage,” he said. “It stands to reason, right? Right? Yeah, well it does, trust me. We’re the experts.”

“And so are we,” said AusRegistry CEO Adrian Kinderis.

A burgeoning ecosystem of consultants is already emerging to support the pLD concept.

Mike Berkens and Monte Cahn today announced the launch of Right Of The Right Of The Dot Inc and, just in case, they have also defensively registered rightoftherightoftherightofthedot.com.

Minds + Machines also revealed it has ambitious plans to apply for dozens of new penthouse-level domains.

“We’re going to wait and see what pLDs others plan to apply for, then apply for those too,” said CEO Antony Van Couvering.

But other parts of the ICANN community have received the news with less enthusiasm.

“My name is Marilyn Cade,” said Business Constituency chair Marilyn Cade, before saying some other things that I forgot to write down.

“We’re completely opposed to new pLDs,” said CADNA’s Josh Bourne. “That’s why I’m proud to announce the launch of our reasonably priced new pLD consulting service.”

“And we’re doubly proud to announce that we’ve hired Steve Crocker to run it,” he added.

In related news, Paul Foody and George Kirikos were both found dead at the bottom of a cliff this morning in what police are describing as an apparent suicide pact.

“Goodbye cruel world,” said ICANN’s Filiz Yilmaz, reading from a laptop on Kirikos’ behalf.

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Based on an idea by Barry Shein.

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Comments (14)

  1. lol My final words would be better than that! :)

  2. Bence Kozma says:

    Dudes, this is a joke right? Penthouse Level? You renamed the public for penthouse? April 1st, Murphy, no comment. I’m stupid! :-D …good night and birthday to all the rest brained people… AAAhhhh

  3. John Berryhill says:

    Happy April Fools Day to you too.

  4. Rob Golding says:

    Not bad for an April fool, only 1 obvious mistake – it was 3 _week_ old sushi ;)

  5. theo says:

    The PDF is hillarious :D

  6. Susan Prosser says:

    Teeters on truth! Happy April Fool’s Kevin.

  7. Brad White says:

    Very funny and very well done my friend! Your witticisms have finally made up for your obviously deficient reportorial skill sets :-)

  8. Joe says:

    Great April Fools! :D

  9. Simonetta says:

    Nice one! You forgot to mention that they also secured a secret white label trading platform with an option to pre-register the most in demand additions such as .rightifthedot.sedari or .adidas.nikerocks with the secondary market players… ;-)

  10. Kristina says:

    Thanks – I definitely needed a laugh today

  11. Elisa says:

    Well done!

  12. Judith says:

    Thought Rod Beckstrom’s comment true- thus an almost heart attack. So grateful it is a joke.

  13. John Smith says:

    Best April Fools joke this year. Great job, I laughed till I cried, and then some…

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