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ICANN massively expands the reserved domains list for new gTLDs

Kevin Murphy, November 28, 2012, 21:41:26 (UTC), Domain Policy

ICANN’s board of directors has given the Olympic and Red Cross brands – along with those of a batch of intergovernmental organizations — special second-level protection in new gTLDs.
Its new gTLD program committee this week passed two resolutions, one protecting the International Olympic Committee and Red Cross/Red Crescent, the other protecting IGOs that qualify for .int domain names.
New gTLD registries launching next year and beyond will now be obliged to block a list of names and acronyms several hundred names longer than previously expected.
Domain names including who.tld and reg.tld will be out of bounds for the foreseeable future.
In a letter to the GNSO, committee chair Cherine Chalaby said:

The Committee adopted both resolutions at this time in deference to geopolitical concerns and specific GAC advice, to reassure the impacted stakeholders in the community, acknowledge and encourage the continuing work of the GNSO Council, and take an action consistent with its 13 September 2012 resolution.

The first ICANN resolution preempts an expected GNSO Council resolution on the Olympics and Red Cross — which got borked earlier this month — while the second is based on Governmental Advisory Committee advice coming out of the Toronto meeting in October.
The resolutions were not expected until January, after the GNSO Council had come to an agreement, but I’m guessing the World Conference on International Telecommunications, taking place in Dubai next week, lit a fire under ICANN’s collective bottoms.
The full text of the resolutions will not be published until tomorrow, but the affected organizations have already been given the heads-up, judging by the quotes in an ICANN press release today.
The press release also noted that the protections are being brought in before the usual policy-making has taken place because it would be too hard to introduce them at a later date:

In approving the resolutions, the New gTLD Program Committee made it clear it was taking a conservative approach, noting that restrictions on second-level registration can be lifted at a later time depending on the scope of the GNSO policy recommendations approved by the Board.

The new Reserved Names List will presumably be added to the Applicant Guidebook at some point in the not too distant future.
Meanwhile, Wikipedia has a list of organizations with .int domain names, which may prove a useful, though non-comprehensive, guide to some of the strings on the forthcoming list.

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Comments (9)

  1. This is not a conservative approach – it is a reactionary approach and it puts the protection of the posteriors of certain people ahead of the good of the Internet.

  2. If you look at the .int policy, this can be gamed by two governments, who can setup treaties in order to place on “reserve” coveted strings.
    For examples, let’s suppose you want GAME.*, find two cooperative governments (e.g. banana republics, lots of easy candidates, esp. ones who have already given over control of their ccTLDs to outsiders), and have them write a new treaty between themselves, creating the new IGO called “Governments Against Magic Elephants — GAME.” Split the profits. Rinse, repeat!

  3. Is the new gTLD committee making policy recommendations the same as the ICANN Board adopting them? I have to believe not.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      I’m pretty certain the committee was given all the powers of the board when it was formed. It is, essentially, the board.

  4. ICANN continues to suggest (falsely) these are mere “implementation details”, not policy.

  5. Jay says:

    Will be ccTLDs (country ISO codes) blocked as well or it will be possible to register domain names such as us.web, etc.?

  6. Kevin I guess my then “wrong” assumption is now true:
    Sorry George but game.* is already taken by the Olympic GAMES…

  7. Sedari says:

    I am now perplexed about the point of a current policy development process on the protections for IGO/NGO names. It seems a senseless waste of time for ICANN’s GNSO volunteers to be spending any time on revisiting policy issues when the new TLD Committee of the ICANN Board takes action ahead of policy advice from affected stakeholders.

  8. Goatboy says:

    The GNSO hasn’t been working for some years now, populated as it is by essentially the same small group distilled from the same gaggle of flotsam that turn up at the meetings on ICANN’s, or on some mold-gathering academic program’s, dime. To pretend that ICANN’s public participation mechanisms are anything other than deadenders’ last chance to gin up useless academic papers, pad their resumes, feather their consultancy’s nests, or get free travel out of god-forsaken ratholes, is utter hypocrisy. Flush the GNSO. It’s over.

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