[governance] FW: <nettime> Company claims ownership of 482 new gTLDs

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Thu Mar 22 18:43:39 EDT 2012

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From: nettime-l-bounces at mail.kein.org
[mailto:nettime-l-bounces at mail.kein.org] On Behalf Of
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2012 4:59 PM
To: nettime-l at kein.org
Subject: [SPAM] <nettime> Company claims ownership of 482 new gTLDs


Company claims ownership of 482 new gTLDs

   Kevin Murphy, March 22, 2012, 15:51:26 (UTC), Domain Registries

   A small New York company has warned new gTLD applicants that it owns
   482 top-level domain strings and that ICANN has "no authority" to award
   them to anybody else.

   Name.Space claims it has ownership rights to potentially valuable
   gTLDs including several likely to be applied for by others, such as
   .shop, .nyc, .sex, .hotel and .green.

   It's been operating hundreds of "gTLDs" in a lightly-used alternate DNS
   root system since 1996.

   Now the company has filed for trademark protection for several of these
   strings and has said that it will apply for several through the ICANN
   new gTLD program.

   But Name.Space, which says it has just "tens of thousands" of domain
   registrations in its alternate root, is also claiming that it already
   owns all 482 strings in the ICANN root too.

   "What we did is put them on notice that they cannot give any of these
   482 names to anyone else," CEO Alex Mashinsky told DomainIncite. "These
   names predate ICANN. They don't have authority under US law to issue
   these gTLDs to third parties."

   "We're putting out there the 482 names to make sure other people don't
   risk their money applying for things ICANN cannot legally give them,"
   he added.

   [DEL: I could not find a comprehensive list of all 482 strings, but
   Name.Space publishes a subset here. :DEL] Read the company's full
   list here (pdf). <https://namespace.us/CompleteTLDList.pdf>

   It's a slightly ridiculous position. Anyone can set up an alternative
   DNS root, fill it with dictionary words and start selling names - the
   question is whether anyone actually uses it.

   However, putting that aside, Name.Space may have a legitimate quarrel
   with ICANN anyway.

   It applied for a whopping 118 gTLDs in ICANN's initial "test-bed" round
   in 2000, which produced the likes of .biz, .info, .name and .museum.

   While ICANN did not select any of Name.Space's proposed names for
   delegation, it did not "reject" its application outright either.

   This is going to cause problems. Name.Space is not the only
   unsuccessful 2000 applicant that remains pissed off 12 years later that
   ICANN has not closed the book on its application.

   Image Online Design, an alternate root provider and 2000 applicant, has
   a claim to .web that is likely to emerge as an issue for other
   applicants after the May 2 reveal date.

   These unsuccessful candidates are unhappy that they've been repeatedly
   told that their old applications were not rejected, and with the
   privileges ICANN has given them in the current Applicant Guidebook.

   ICANN will give any unsuccessful bidder from the 2000 round an $86,000
   discount on its application fees, provided they apply for the same
   string they applied for the first time.

   However, like any other applicant this time around, they also have to
   sign away their rights to sue.

   And the $86,000 discount is only redeemable against one gTLD
   application, not 118.

   "We applied for 118 and we would like to get the whole 118," said

   ICANN is not going to give Name.Space what it wants, of course, so it's
   not clear how this is going to play out.

   The company could file Legal Rights Objections against applications for
   strings it thinks it owns, or it could take matters further.

   While the company is not yet making legal threats, any applicants for
   gTLDs on Name.Space's list should be aware that they do have an
   additional risk factor to take into account.

   "We hope we can resolve all of this amicably," said Mashinsky. "We're
   not trying to throw a monkey wrench into the process."

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