Policy

What’s In a Name? (Everything Online)

6/18/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

Comcast applied to secure .xfinity and
.
comcast.

Dish Network wanted .dish and .sling — but also .direct
and .dtv.

Several other cable players and
businesses, from banks to cosmetic
giants, applied for nearly 2,000
different top-level generic domain
names last week, according to the
Internet Corporation for Assigned
Names and Numbers.

The organization, which coordinates
the Internet’s domain names
and Internet-protocol address resources
globally, developed the
new generic top-level domain program
“to increase competition and
choice” beyond the familiar .com,
.net and .org top-level domains, or
TLDs.

The scrum for new domain suffixes reflects a keen interest
by companies to make it ever easier for customers
to find their site — and their content.

Dish applied for more than a dozen new TLDs in all,
including .blockbuster, .dot, .data, .dvr, .latino, .locker,
.mobile, .movie, .ollo, .ott, .phone and .stream.

DirecTV spokesman Darris Gringeri said the operator
does not plan to challenge Dish’s applications for
.direct and .dtv “as we chose not to submit an application
for them in the first place.” He added, “We can’t speak for
other companies, but we only spend money on digital assets
we intend to market.”

ICANN has established a dispute-resolution process for
entities objecting to the new generic
TLD applications, which is
intended to remain open for approximately
seven months.

All told, ICANN received 1,930
applications for new generic toplevel
domains, which it accepted
from Jan. 12 to May 30.

Among notable applications,
ABC filed to secure .abc; CBS applied
for .cbs and .showtime; HBO
applied for .hbo; Apple applied for
.apple; Netflix applied for .netflix;
and Microsoft filed for .bing,
.hotmail, .docs, .live, .office, .skydrive,
.skpe, .windows, .xbox and
.microsoft.

Google applied for more than 100 TLDs including .android,
.cloud, .google and .youtube — as well as lessexpected
names, such as .baby, .eat and .love.

Meanwhile, a company called Lifestyle Domain Holdings
applied for .cookingchannel, .hgtv and .foodnetwork.
HGTV, Food Network and Cooking Channel are owned by
Scripps Networks Interactive.

In the first round of applications, no entity bid for
.cable or .broadband TLDs. Four firms, including
Amazon.com, bid for .video.

In some cases, multiple parties have applied for the
same name. For example, in addition to Dish, seven others
applied for the .movie TLD, including Amazon.com.

ICANN said that if there are two or more applications
for the same string, “Applicants are encouraged to resolve
string contention cases among themselves prior to
the string contention resolution stage.” But if the parties
cannot reach a resolution, the disputes are resolved “either
through a community priority evaluation (if a community-
based applicant elects it) or through an auction,”
according to ICANN.

ICANN is charging an evaluation fee of $185,000 for
each generic top-level domain. Applicants were required
to pay a $5,000 deposit fee per requested application slot
when registering.

According to ICANN, there are 22 generic top-level domains
today, including .com, .net, .org and .edu. In addition,
there are 280 country-code TLDs, such as .us and .uk.

October