JAS Global Advisors, the consultancy hired by ICANN to provide the final analysis on the risks posed by name collisions in new gTLDs, is to exclusively guest-blog its work here on DI.
ICANN picked JAS to provide a “Name Collision Occurrence Management Framework” earlier this week.
Its job is to basically figure out how new gTLD registries — some of which have been told to block many thousands of potential collisions from their zones — can identify and mitigate the risks, if any, posed by these names.
The framework will help registries reduce the size of their block-lists, in other words.
JAS expects to provide a short series of guest posts over the next few months, explaining the state of the project as it progresses. Reader comments will be read, I’m assured.
JAS CEO Jeff Schmidt said: “The macro intent is to shorten the feedback cycle so folks can see where we are incrementally and comment along the way.”
I’m hoping that the guest posts will provide DI readers with insight into the issue that is as disinterested as DI’s usual coverage, but better informed on the nitty-gritty of the affected technologies.
JAS is a regular consultant for ICANN. It was one of the independent evaluators for the new gTLD program itself.
I’m told that JAS doesn’t have financial relationships with either any new gTLD applicants, which generally think the collision risks have been overstated, or with Verisign, which say they could cause real damage.
JAS isn’t getting paid for the posts; nor is DI getting paid to carry them.
The first post in the series will appear soon, probably Friday.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has condemned applications for .islam and .halal gTLDs filed by a Turkish company, despite the applicant recently fighting off an OIC-backed objection.
Claiming to represent the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, the OIC expressed in a November 4 letter to ICANN and its Governmental Advisory Committee:
official opposition of the Member States of the OIC towards probable authorization by the GAC allowing use of these new gTLDs .Islam and .Halal by any entity not representing the collective voice of the Muslim people.
The letter seems to have been sent in response to the GAC’s current stalemate on these two TLDs, which were applied for, uncontested, by Istanbul-based Asia Green IT System.
At the ICANN meeting in Beijing six months ago, the GAC was unable to reach a consensus to object to .islam and .halal, instead merely noting:
Some GAC members have raised sensitivities on the applications that relate to Islamic terms, specifically .islam and .halal. The GAC members concerned have noted that the applications for .islam and .halal lack community involvement and support. It is the view of these GAC members that these applications should not proceed.
As a non-consensus objection, there’s no presumption that the ICANN board of directors should reject the applications.
And it seems that the New gTLD Program Committee, which carries board powers, has been deliberately ignoring the controversy pending the resolution of two formal Community Objections.
The objections were filed by the United Arab Emirates’ Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, the UAE’s ccTLD registry operator, with backing (it claimed) from the OIC.
But the TRA lost both objections, partly because the wishy-washy government-speak OIC letter it submitted in evidence failed to convince International Chamber of Commerce adjudicator Bernardo Cremades that it really did have that OIC support.
Whether the OIC really does object to Asia Green’s bids now seems beyond dispute.
In fact, the organization says it intends to pass a formal resolution containing its position on Islamic gTLDs during its Council of Foreign Ministers meeting in early December.
ICANN chair Steve Crocker has now asked the GAC to provide further guidance before it decides whether to accept or reject the two bids.
Given that a single governmental hold-out in the GAC would be enough to kill any chance of consensus, the OIC may be right to presuppose that the GAC will not fully object.
That would leave ICANN in the tricky position, for the first time in this application round, of having to decide the fate of a gTLD without the cover of a uniform international objection.
Would it reject .islam, opening the door for other gTLDs to be killed off by minority government concerns? Or would it approve the controversial strings, potentially pissing off the Muslim world?
I expect there’s at least one NGPC member — Lebanese-born Christian ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade — who would certainly not relish having to cast a vote on such a resolution.
More than half of the world’s most-famous brand names already stand to benefit from blocks in new gTLDs, due to the name collisions policy introduced by ICANN recently.
That’s the preliminary conclusion of a quick analysis of the 37 block-lists already published.
Using Interbrand’s list of the top 100 most valuable brands, we find that only 32 do not appear anywhere — either as strings or substrings — on the collisions lists we have today.
Fifty-nine brands are to be blocked as exact matches in at least one new gTLD. Five brands are blocked exactly in 10 or more.
Brand owners blocked in collision lists may not have to fork out for as many defensive registrations, but may also face complications when registries finally start whittling down their lists.
We present the full table of results below, for which the following explanations might be needed:
- Brand/String — The brands have been normalized to ASCII strings, removing punctuation not compatible with the DNS protocol and converting accented characters to their unaccented equivalents (for example, “Nescafé” becomes “Nescafe”). For DI PRO subscribers, each string links to a search on the database for that string.
- Exact Matches — The number of gTLDs (currently out of 37) in which this exact-match brand will be blocked.
- Unique Strings — The number of strings containing this brand that appear on block-lists. In some cases this may provide misleading results due to the usual overkill you get when matching substrings. For example, two-character brands such as 3M and HP get a lot of hits, the vast majority of which do not appear to relate to the brand itself, whereas every hit for Google does in fact refer to the brand.
The numbers will of course grow rapidly as ICANN publishes more collisions lists.
If there’s sufficient interest from DI PRO subscribers in this breakdown being kept up to date on an ongoing basis, I’ll bolt it on to to the existing collisions database.
The total number of domain names to be blocked due to the risk of name collisions has topped 87,000 with the latest batch of block-lists from ICANN, published yesterday.
According to our database, 87,670 domain names, representing 75,208 unique second-level strings, are to be blocked in the 37 new gTLDs that have published collisions lists.
The string “www” is on all 37 lists, followed closely by “com”, “org” and “net”.
The most commonly blocked names include large numbers of single characters and large numbers of two-character strings matching ccTLDs (which were already banned in new gTLDs anyway).
Lots of protocol-related strings, such as “http”, “ftp”, “isatap” and “wpad” can also be found in the top 100 strings.
Gambling-related strings are also hugely, and so far inexplicably, popular blocking candidates.
Google, Yahoo, Facebook and Apple are the most frequently seen brands.
The full consolidated list of blocked strings can be searched at the DI PRO name collisions database.
The gTLD with the biggest block-list so far is .kitchen, with 13,061 strings, over half as big again as the next-longest list, which is .uno’s 8,187 names.
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.