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Over 100 new gTLD contracts now signed

Kevin Murphy, November 12, 2013, Domain Registries

The pace is stepping up as ICANN starts to lift its heels in moving more new gTLDs towards delegation.

The organization signed contracts with registries covering 34 strings over the weekend, including popular favorites such as .wiki and .ninja.

The full list of gTLDs with freshly signed Registry Agreements goes like this:

.education, .institute, .training, .international, .builders, .build, .solar, .marketing, .solutions, .academy, .company, .camp, .systems, .business, .management, .center, .repair, .red, .glass, .house, .farm, .holiday, .kaufen, .ninja, .gal, .social, .moda, .blue, .ceo, .immobilien, .wiki, .florist, .公益 and .政务.

At 34 in a week, it’s an almost 50% increase on the number of new gTLD RAs ICANN has entered into, and dangerously close to the 40-per-week rate that was originally planned.

By our reckoning, there are now 115 new gTLDs with ICANN contracts.

ICANN rejects third new gTLD bid

Kevin Murphy, November 12, 2013, Domain Registries

ICANN has formally rejected .thai, only the third new gTLD application to suffer this fate.

It’s been flagged as “Not Approved”, following an objection from a consensus of the Governmental Advisory Committee led by an outcry from Thailand and Thai nationals.

Only DotConnectAfrica’s .africa and GCC’s .gcc have the same designation. Both also were killed off by GAC advice.

Better Living Management Company had applied for .thai, promising to restrict it to people and organizations with a local presence.

Thailand already has the ccTLD .th, of course, as well as the IDN equivalent, .ไทย, which means “Thailand”.

ICANN has not yet rejected any applications that lost crippling objections filed by non-governmental actors.

XYZ says auctions “comfortably within the rules”

Kevin Murphy, November 10, 2013, Domain Registries

New gTLD registry XYZ.com has responded to criticisms of its plan to auction .xyz and .college names with NameJet before they even have signed contracts with ICANN.

CEO Daniel Negari told DI that the plan to auction 40 names between now and the end of February, is “comfortably within the rules”.

The company seems to be operating at the edge of what is permissible under the new gTLD program’s rights protection mechanisms, which state that no domains may be allocated prior to Sunrise.

But Negari said in an email interview that nothing will be “allocated” before its Sunrise periods are done:

the buyers at auction are not buying the domain names as in a normal auction. They are buying an option to force us to allocate them the domain after the Sunrise Period for the auction price assuming various contingencies are met — such as us being able to allocate the name in the future, the name being available after sunrise, the name not being blocked-out because of name collisions and so on.

He went on to say that the 40 names being put to auction are being drawn from the 100 names the recently redrafted Registry Agreement says registries are allowed to allocate to themselves “necessary for the operation or the promotion of the TLD”.

There’s also the potential problem that neither TLD has yet received its list of name collisions, which are likely to contain thousands of strings that the registry must block at launch.

As we’ve seen with the gTLDs that already have their lists, many desirable second-level strings are likely to be blocked, which could clash with names XYZ is planning to auction.

But XYZ seems to have access to the Day In The Life Of The Internet data from which these lists are compiled, and Negari said that the names it is auctioning off do not appear.

“We think these auctions are a great way to both promote our TLD as anticipated by ICANN in the RA and to bring increased innovation to the space in line with ICANN’s stated goals for the new gTLD program,” Negari said.

Tucows takes over as Cheapies loses accreditation

Kevin Murphy, November 8, 2013, Domain Registrars

ICANN has terminated the registrar Cheapies.com and is to transfer its registrations to Tucows.

Cheapies had fewer than 12,000 gTLD domains under management judging by the last available registry reports.

The registrar was terminated two weeks ago, having previously having its accreditation suspended for 90 days, for various violations of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement mainly related to records keeping.

ICANN said Cheapies’ customers should receive an email from Tucows instructing them how to proceed.

Nine Donuts gTLDs delegated

Kevin Murphy, November 6, 2013, Domain Registries

Donuts has had a batch of nine new gTLDs delegated to the DNS root today.

The nine strings are: .ventures, .camera, .clothing, .lighting, .singles, .voyage, .guru, .holdings and .equipment.

All belong to various Donuts subsidiaries that have signed Registry Agreements with ICANN over the last few months.

At this precise moment it does not seem that any have their basic “nic.” second-level domains active and resolving, but all are appearing in the DNS root zone.

Earlier today, Donuts announced the sunrise dates for the first seven gTLDs in its portfolio.

The company already has one gTLD delegated, the Chinese-script version of “.games”.