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Directi expects all 31 of its gTLDs to be contested

Kevin Murphy, May 31, 2012, 20:36:08 (UTC), Domain Registries

Directi has applied for 31 new top-level domains and expects all 31 of them to be contested, according to CEO Bhavin Turakhia.
The company has budgeted $30 million for its unashamedly mainstream portfolio of applications – which includes the likes of .web – but that’s not including what it expects to spend at auction.
“I expect there to be contention in all of them,” he said. “Whether they will end up going to auction… we’re completely open to strategic partnerships with other industry players who we believe can add value and join hands with us, based on merit. We’ll be evaluating this on a case by case basis.”
“Something like a .web, there’ll be enough competitors out there that it will certainly go to auction, no matter what,” he said, adding that he expects at least 10 rivals for .web.
Directi has applied for: .web, .shop, .bank, .law, .music, .news, .blog, .movie, .baby, .store, .doctor, .hotel, .play, .home .site, .website, .click, .online, .one, .ping, .space, .world, .press, .chat, .city, .deals, .insurance .loans, .app, .host, and .hosting.
The company is applying via its new business unit, Radix, using ARI Registry Services as its back-end registry provider.
Turakhia said he expects to use a traditional registry-registrar model for most of the domains, assuming Directi wins its contention sets.
“The strings that we have gone for are strings that are relevant to all registrars so we expect there to be significant adoption,” he said.
“If eNom were to apply for .web and .shop – and they probably will – and if they were to win those TLDs, then our registrar businesses would definitely carry them irrespective of the fact that we have our own TLDs,” he said. “There are only so many good viable strings out there.”
Most of Directi’s gTLDs, if approved, will be completely unrestricted.
For .movie, .law, .doctor and .bank there will be some tight restrictions, Turakhia said. (UPDATE: he later added that .insurance and .loans will also be restricted).
Some will also have additional rights protection mechanisms that go above and beyond what ICANN mandates in its standard registry contracts.
But none of its applications are “community” applications, the special category of application defined by ICANN.
Turakhia said he doesn’t think some of the applicants trying to “sneak through” as community applications will be successful.
“We’re treating these as all generic strings for anyone to register domains in,” he said. “.music for me does not represent a community. I could be a bathroom singer and want a .music domain name.”
“If you treat music lovers as a community then 100% of the world is part of that community.”

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Comments (12)

  1. So according to to Turakhia there is no music community? So after half a decade worth of work and community outreach and support Turakhia believes we are trying to “sneak through”?
    The problem is Turakhia is approaching TLDs in a manner that commoditizes them. To say there is no music community just reinforces the fact that many are hiding behind their own “agenda” they are trying to push.
    So what is the unique value proposition of a generic, everyone-can-register .MUSIC? It will be just another .BIZ and a mass volume TLD with no scarce value proposition attached to it. No industry adoption and obviously a detriment to the community.
    Is Turakhia now an expert in all the 31 TLDs he is applying for? If there is someone sneaking in it is Directi.
    He should not insult all of us that have actually put the work in and did legitimately gather our community together. His comments lack authenticity and only serve his agenda and his company’s best financial interests, not the community’s.

  2. Constantine: My quote seems to be taken out of context here and I apologize for the misunderstanding. I had stated an opinion about general community applications and the process around the same. I separately used .music only as an example to reflect the fact that one cannot pinpoint a specific community that some of the TLDs relate to. This was in no way to undermine your efforts or insult you. I did not mention “sneak in” in context of .music so if that is what is comes out of the above then that is a function of the precis form and not a reflection of my intent. None of it was directed at .music except the exemplification that in theory one could define the whole world to be the “music community”.
    I will not shy away from my opinion that there are several strings I believe should not be community strings (including .music) and I believe will have a tough time getting through as community strings. But it is simply that – my opinion – and in no way an insult to any existing applicants or their efforts. I have nothing but respect for you and Tina and your work. I dont have to agree with you however.
    None of the above comments were intended to serve any purpose except state an opinion “in general”.
    I have built my business on forming lasting relationships within the industry and not breaking them and I hope you dont misconstrue any of the above. If you would like to discuss the above with me feel free to write me at bhavin DOT t AT directi DOT com

    • “I have built my business on forming lasting relationships within the industry and not breaking them and I hope you dont misconstrue any of the above.”
      Perhaps you should consult your team to figure why I have issues with these comments. Actions speak louder than words.
      “It seems to suggest that all TLDs except for .movie, .law, .doctor and .bank are unrestricted. This is incorrect. There are others that will have restrictions (including insurance and loans)”
      So .MUSIC is different from .MOVIE and should not have restrictions? Are you connected to Google in some manner to believe that piracy and zero enhanced safeguards to protect music IP is the way to go? Or that it is ok? There are more songs released than movies and it is not even close.
      I can go on and on but we both know that music is the driver that pushes overwhelming traffic to companies like Google significantly. The #1 activity on Youtube? Music. And it is not even close. There are people who write music and less are making a living with it because of companies such as Google and now yours that disrespect enhanced restrictions and safeguards. I would like to see how you feel if someone took your possessions for free and you did not get paid for it.
      Sorry Bhavin but your opinion has no credibility if it serves your self-interest. Call a community TLD a feel-good initiative or not worthy but I assure you it is in the best interests of the community that write all the music that you listen to. Unless you listen to music that people record in their bathrooms that is. I strongly doubt you do. This has everything to do with those people and protecting them. So why are lawyers and doctors and insurance companies more important and deserve more safeguards? Is music IP not important? An open TLD just invites piracy and there will be zero chance .MUSIC can become an industry standard if it has no restrictions or enhanced safeguards.

      • Kevin Murphy says:

        YouTube is resplendent with videos of people recording music in their bathrooms.

      • hey constantine. i dont want to get into a public discussion – I believe it serves noone’s interests. But let me make a quick clarification which you seem to have misconstrued. I have not said that I support piracy. I have not said that .music cannot be restricted. I did not say .music is different or less important than .movie or any other TLD. I do not know how you could have jumped to those conclusions at all from my comment.
        A TLD does not have to be a “community TLD” in order for it to have restrictions or help prevent privacy or promote the interests of an industry. I hope you understand the distinction I am trying to make.

        • Bhavin, my point is pretty simple: in a community-led TLD you serve the community. In the case of an open TLD, you primarily serve your own financial interest. There is a huge distinction between serving a community or your bank account.
          Give me an example of an open gTLD that has become an Industry Standard without restrictions: Zero. Buy-in is critical and an open TLD serves more problems that it solves.
          You can not possibly serve an IP-focused Industry without a multi-stakeholder model of governance and without enhanced safeguards. You claim you can but I have lived and breathed this project for over half a decade and the opinion is the multi-stakeholder, community approach does serve the music community’s interests and enhanced safeguards are the responsible thing to do. Anything less than focus and commitment is just a slap in the face of the music community in the name of mere profiteering and exploitation.
          You can defend your position all you like but it seems you are downgrading the significance of a community-based approach. Based on the fact that you are applying for 31 TLD shows me that there is a lack of focus and commitment but it is obvious what your underlying strategy is. I am not misconstruing any of that.
          You can discount the ability of achieving community all you like since it does serve your purpose of everything ending up in an auction or a financial arrangement between applicants.
          ICANN really needs to look into the issue of piggybacking other people’s work and applicant exploitation in the case of community-led bids. I will be assuming that ICANN will do its job and grade the community-based applications fairly and in a holistic perspective looking at the community’s best interests as well as support.
          Best of luck in 30 of your TLDs.

          • Kevin Murphy says:

            Constantine, are you sure you understand what Bhavin is saying?
            It seems pretty clear to me, and I hope to pretty much every other reader without a horse in this race, that Bhavin was talking about .music not being a “Community” gTLD. That’s Community as ICANN defines it, big C, 14/16 points on the test.
            You seem to be talking about some kind of dictionary definition “community” that, as noble an effort as it might be, isn’t really relevant when you’re talking about contention sets.
            You’ve been around long enough to know the difference.

          • Kevin,
            Bhavin was referring to Communities with a “C” sneaking in and that he does not believe that there is a Community with a “C” because of course he does not want anyone getting 14 points since that means he and his organization can not win and they can not (i) be paid off by an applicant to leave (since Directi is banking on their financial status to scare applicants to pay them off), (ii) settle with applicants (without creating any real value whatsoever to the applicant and the Community with a “C” beyond threatening with an auction scare tactic) or (iii) going to auction where they buy the TLD while piggybacking any efforts and branding/good faith a Community applicant with a “C” has created.
            The Directi strategy lacks focus and is rather a predatory approach against those applying for Communities with a “C”. Can one single entity launch 68 TLDs or 31 TLDs in an entirely focused, differentiated way without risking commoditization and harming the potential that could have been created if this was a focused effort?
            I have difficulties believing a registry can launch even 2 TLDs effectively at the same time. Has any registry launched 2 gTLDs at the same time? You look at registries trying to launch 1 TLD and hitting a wall and failing to get any industry adoption let alone user adoption.
            I think the readers know exactly what is going on. Where is the value creation? It resembles more like an unfocused landgrab. I have nothing against competition though. The difference is whether the Community with a “C” or Internet users actually benefit through this competition and innovation. I have strong doubts an unfocused approach will optimally benefit the Internet and Communities with a “C”. History can be quite indicative of what to expect from an unfocused approach.

      • Do Bibbley says:

        “Sorry Bhavin but your opinion has no credibility if it serves your self-interest”
        Right back atcha’ Constantine…

  3. @Kevin: Thanks for the article. There is a slight error in the above article concerning restrictions.
    * It seems to suggest that all TLDs except for .movie, .law, .doctor and .bank are unrestricted. This is incorrect. There are others that will have restrictions (including insurance and loans)
    * It seems to suggest that these TLDs will have “some restrictions”. However the actual policy for some of them is quite restrictive and the word “some restrictions” does not lend justice to the same. For instance .bank and .doctor will have strict restrictions to banking institutions and medical degree holding professionals.

  4. Nice competition is going on between the tld selection. Once Approved will get nice reception from the clients of their tlds. All this should be managed very well.

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