By Noelle Knell, Government Technology
The deadline to apply for a new generic top-level domain (TLD) has come and gone, and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has published a list of the more than 1,900 applications it received. ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom made the announcement Wednesday, June 13, in London that the list is now public.
Many automobile manufacturers show up on the list, vying for their namesake TLDs, like .bmw, .gmc and .toyota. Major brands are also being claimed, like .americanexpress, .chanel, .xerox and .heinz. Applications also poured in for domains associated with popular sports and hobbies. For example, .art will likely eventually be claimed by one of several applicants, as will .basketball., .fishing and .hockey. In order to prevent potential conflicts with two-character country codes — such as .us — top-level domains must contain three or more distinct letters or characters.
Government Technology previously reported on New York City’s well publicized bid for .nyc, made possible in part through a partnership with Virginia-based Neustar. Experts at the time felt that Neustar’s experience managing several prominent TLDs, as well as a revenue guarantee for New York City, greatly increased the odds of .nyc’s success.
A long list of world-class municipalities have also applied for top-level domains. Stockholm, Moscow, Kyoto, Barcelona, Rio and Quebec are just a few destinations that will likely add another self-named Web extension to their online presence.
Las Vegas, like New York City, has gathered much local support for Dot Vegas Inc., with many prominent government and tourism groups on board.
A video on the Dot Vegas Inc.’s website calls the effort a “true public-private partnership.” Mayor Oscar Goodman goes on to offer the full support of the Las Vegas City Council: “I’m pleased to be a part of this innovative project, and look forward to Vegas being the same class of premier destination in cyberspace that the city enjoys in our brick-and-mortar world.”
Other U.S. cities showing up on the list are Miami and Boston, although their applications don’t appear to be affiliated with their city governments. It remains to be seen whether government officials from these cities will challenge the applicant’s right to stake a claim on these specific domains.
As promised, the list of would-be top-level domain owners was published following the application period, which was open from January to May 2012. Applications were accepted from both public and private organizations around the world. A formal objection period will now begin, which is expected to last through the end of the year.
Before an application is approved, the sponsoring organization must prove it has the capacity — technical, financial and operational — to effectively manage a registry in compliance with ICANN requirements. Applications must also withstand objections that can be made based on four criterion set by ICANN: string confusion, legal rights, community and limited public interest. An independent dispute resolution group will consider most objections.