Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New gTLDs SWOT Analysis: WEAKNESSES

This post follows part 1 of my SWOT analysis of the ICANN new gTLD program.

The SWOT analysis is a structured planning method used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project: the ICANN new gTLD program in this case.

WEAKNESSES
  • Delays in the program;
  • Difficult to deal with, for new gTLD applicants;
  • Groups and well represented communities will find it practically impossible to defend themselves from abusive standard applications;
  • A nightmare for brands;
  • Very expensive;
  • Multiple versions of the initial methodology: the Applicant Guidebook;
  • An International communication campaign?
  • “IN ENGLISH ONLY”;
  • Applicants will all market their domain names at the same time;
  • The interest of end of the line users or new gTLD service providers?
  • Acquiring a string representing a recognized Community is open to...anybody;
  • Too many participants;
  • Intended for new gTLD applicants and domain name service providers, not for end users;
  • Same strings with exact same meaning can be considered differently in different languages;
  • Transparency;
  • It is the role of each brand to pay for its protection;
  • ICANN is supposed to be an International organization;
  • The Applicant Guidebook can be modified anytime;
  • The RAA contract.
Read more on CircleId.

Friday, February 15, 2013

23 of April 2013 = first new gTLD

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

New gTLDs SWOT Analysis: STRENGTHS

The SWOT analysis (alternatively SWOT Matrix) is a structured planning method used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture (source Wikipedia).

STRENGTH
  • It is "new" in the history of Internet = what is new attracts the eye of journalists, bloggers, service providers, lawyers, lobbyists, new gTLD applicants but not only (100%);
  • Read more on CircleId.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Some applicants applied twice for the same TLD

I had noticed an applicant applied twice for the same domain name extension (new gTLD). Participating in this discussion, I learn there are more.

Why would someone apply twice for the same Top-Level Domain? When the cost of submitting an application is USD 185 000, it cannot be a mistake.

Two applications were submitted for:
  • .MLS
  • .SHOP
  • .MERCK
I did not check for more (it is possible there are more) but it appears these 3 were submitted as Standard and Community applications. I believe the reason for this is to ensure the application would be won by the applicant.

Could there be another strategy behind?

Friday, February 8, 2013

.VIN new gTLD: reply to the Government of France

Holly Shadow, LLC (Donuts Inc.) just published its answer to the French GAC Early Warning.

The answer is interesting and explains .VIN is not only used to qualify wine:

"This so noted, we respectfully further submit that the .VIN string may be legitimately applied to terms and uses unrelated to wine. As but one example, VIN is a commonly used acronym for Vehicle Identification Number in the U.S. This is a unique serial number used to identify vehicles. There are other potential uses for the three letters V, I and N—for example, the website www.vin.com is run by the Veterinarian Information Network as a web information resource for veterinary doctors."

...but Registrants (people who buy domain names) with the intention to use these domains to sell wine illegally could have them terminated:

"Donuts will monitor name usage to prevent certain types of abusive activity and may terminate registrations if registrants do not follow all applicable laws. For example, it would be grounds for termination if a .VIN registrant used the gTLD to illegally produce or sell wine."

Regarding French Geographical Indications ("Indicators" in the answer), Donuts (Holly Shadow, LLC) says it has been consulting with wine industry experts and would welcome any constructive advice the Government of France may have. This is being discussed at the moment according to my sources but the text also says: "Donuts does not intend to block second level names beyond those detailed in Specification 5."
Specification 5 can be read on page 285 of the Applicant Guidebook.

If I already have an idea of how all this is going to end, I understand the position of the applicant who has been following the methodology provided by ICANN with its Applicant Guidebook. 

The official document is available online (.VIN answer is available down the page).

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Update: the Letter Of Credit

This recent info was published by ICANN regarding the LOC (Letter Of Credit):
  1. Requests for ICANN's Signature on Amendments to Letter of Credit:
    http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/customer-service/loc-signature-requests
  2. Beneficiary Requirement on Letters of Credit (5 February 2013):
    http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/advisories/loc-beneficiary-requirement-05feb13-en
For more, check the Applicants Corner: http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/corner