Governments adds categories to new gTLDs

ICANN 46 - Beijing 2013

After 10 grueling days of intense meetings, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) has given the ICANN Board its thoughts on the first batch of applications made as part of the new gTLD program.

This GAC "advice" comes in two parts.

Two applications received outright GAC objections, and are therefore unlikely to proceed any further. These are .GCC (contested by some of the Gulf countries claiming similarity between this string and the Gulf Cooperation Council) and .AFRICA submitted by DotConnectAfrica (one of two for this string, and governments have explained that this application did not have official support from the region).

The second part of the advice provided by government has, as we predicted, come in the form of "safeguard" advice.

In essence, the GAC has created categories of TLDs which will require additional protections or restrictions to be implemented.

In addition, the GAC also made several other requests, including the singular and plural versions of the same basic string not to be considered separately (.GAME and .GAMES for example) which was a new topic of controversy that developed over the Beijing meeting week.

Finally governments tied the signing of any new gTLD contract to the completion of the new registrar contract currently being finalized.

The full GAC document can be found here (PDF).


Written by Stéphane Van Gelder (Chairman and Managing Director of Stéphane Van Gelder Consulting Ltd.)

11 April 2013 10:50 a.m. GMT