Top Level Domain Holdings has won the exclusive contract to apply to ICANN for the .london generic top-level domain, it has just been announced.
The deal was awarded by Dot London Domains, a subsidiary of official city PR agency London & Partners, to Minds + Machines Ltd, TLDH’s London-based subsidiary.
M+M will assist with the application and, assuming ICANN delegates .london, the registry infrastructure for at least seven years, with a three-year renewal option.
The application fees will be paid by L&P, according to TLDH chairman Peter Dengate Thrush.
The good news was soured slightly by an apparent hacking of TLDH’s web site by Viagra spammers this morning. According to the Google Cache, when the news broke, tldh.org looked like this:
TLDH is listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market.
It also has an office here, though its senior executives are based in the US and the company is registered in the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands.
I’d previously tagged .uk registry Nominet as the favorite to win the contract, but the company said today that it withdrew its bid last week.
APRIL 12 UPDATE
TLDH denies it got hacked yesterday. According to a spokesperson, there was an incident last August that may have been responsible for the Google Cache continuing to show Viagra spam for tldh.org yesterday.
From the explanation provided, it sounds like it was probably what’s sometimes known as a “conditional hack”, a difficult-to-detect attack whereby only the GoogleBot sees the spam SEO links.
The TLDH web site itself apparently never showed the links to visitors. Indeed, I only looked at the cache because tldh.org refused to load up for me yesterday morning.
The spokesperson maintained that the problem was sorted out last August and that TLDH has no idea why the Google Cache was showing the spam links in its cached page dated April 11, 2012.
Planet.eco, an emergent .eco gTLD applicant with a trademark on “.eco” is suing two rival applicants for trademark infringement and cybersquatting in a California court.
The company sued DotEco (affiliated with Minds + Machines and Top Level Domain Holdings), along with CEO Fred Krueger, and Canada-based Big Room on March 2.
It’s looking for millions of dollars of damages and an injunction preventing both rival applicants from applying for .eco.
In late March, DotEco filed a counter-suit, alleging that Planet.eco’s .eco trademark was fraudulently obtained and that the company is trying to illegally stifle competition for the .eco gTLD.
That’s the short version. It’s a complex story with a great deal of history and more than a little bogus behavior.
(Thanks to reader Tom Gilles for the tip)
Minds + Machines parent Top Level Domain Holdings has become the third company to publicly confirm an application for the .music top-level domain.
TLDH has partnered with “music industry figures including artists, managers, music producers and lawyers” going by the name of LHL TLD Investment Partners on a joint-venture bid.
M+M will provide the technical back-end for the applicant.
The other two known applicants for .music are Far Further, which has the backing of most major music trade groups, and the long-running MyTLD/Music.us/Roussos Group campaign.
Assuming Roussos and TLDH can each pull one plausible public comment objection out of the bag, Far Further’s Community Priority Evaluation is probably scuppered.
With two objections, a CPE candidate needs a perfect 14/14 score on the remaining criteria, which is likely going to be pretty difficult when you’re applying for such a generic term.
In other new gTLD applicant news…
.miami — TLDH also announced today that it plans to apply for .miami, having secured the support of City of Miami in a 4-0 vote of its commissioners.
.nyc – The city of New York has reportedly granted its consent to Neustar to apply for .nyc, apparently beating out other wannabe applicants including TLDH.
.vlaanderen – The Flemish government has awarded the right to apply for .vlaanderen (.flanders) to DNS.be. The registry will reportedly work with Nic.at on the application.
.nagoya – GMO Registry has announced a bid for the Japanese city gTLD .nagoya, with the backing of the local government. Nagoya is Japan’s third-largest city.
Minds + Machines is to apply to ICANN for .bangaluru, a top-level domain for the Indian city of Bengaluru.
Parent Top Level Domain Holdings announced today that M+M will enter into a joint venture with local partner India TL Domain for the application.
Confusingly, the proposed gTLD appears to be a misspelling – or at least a very uncommon spelling – of the name of the city in question.
The city is still often known by its old colonial name, Bangalore. But in 2006 it officially renamed itself Bengaluru, its original Kannada name.
But a TLDH spokesperson has confirmed that the company is applying for .bangaluru, with an A, which does not appear to be an official name for the city in any language.
The application has the support of the Bengaluru’s mayor’s office, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, which is a prerequisite for city gTLD applications.
Is the city going to get a gTLD with a confusing Latin spelling? It certainly appears that way.
Bengaluru is India’s third most-populous city, with six million citizens. It’s known as India’s tech hub.
M+M and ITLD have also previously been linked to a joint-venture bid for .mumbai, though a question mark was raised over its governmental support last August.
Minds + Machines parent Top Level Domain Holdings has registered for another 20 new gTLD application slots with ICANN, bringing its total to date to 40.
The TLD Application System slots are for filing gTLD applications for itself and on behalf of M+M clients, the company said this morning.
A week ago, ICANN said that 100 registrations had been made with TAS.
TLDH is known to be involved in applications for .gay and .eco, among others. It registered its first 20 application slots during the first week of the application window, mid-January.