home Domains Have the ICANN .BRAND New gTLDS ended up being a rip off and scam?

Have the ICANN .BRAND New gTLDS ended up being a rip off and scam?


McDonalds may just not be the last of the victim of the new gTLDs .Brands domain owners to throw in the towel. The giant food chain has sent a termination letter to relinquish control of the .McDonalds and .MCD TLDs. It also requested that .McDonalds not be delegated to a successor registry operator for two years.

According to DomainMondo editor, the  ability of corporations to apply to control their very own “piece of the internet” (gTLD) by applying to use their own trademark(s) or brand name(s), e.g., .BARCLAYS, .BMW, .BNPPARIBAS (that’s not a misspell), etc., as a new gTLD, was something completely counter to the historic principles of the internet (see RFC 1591) as well as ICANN’s  (and the U.S. government’s) position in the recent Weinstein case that TLDs are not property but global public resources.

A total of 664 brands (34% of all applications) submitted applications to ICANN in 2012 in what may be one of the biggest expansion of the domain name system This is appearing to be counteractive though since most applications were, and still are, purely defensive.” Read the U.S. Senate testimony (pdf) of Dawn Grove, corporate counsel for the parent of the manufacturer of  PING golf equipment.

John Poole writes,

A review of that list indicates that the main beneficiaries (besides ICANN) of ICANN’s dot BRAND program are principally just three companies which provide the bulk of the .BRAND back-end registry services): Afilias (whose Executive Chairman Jonathan Robinson became GNSO Council Chair in 2012, and whose CTO Ram Mohan has been on the ICANN Board since 2008); Verisign (which is also registry operator of .COM and .NET); and Neustar (note that ARI Registry Services is now owned by Neustar). ICANN Board member Becky Burr (2016-2019), a Washington, D.C., “revolving door lawyer” (Burr used to work for the U.S. Department of Commerce (NTIA) and FTC), has been employed by Neustar since 2012. In addition, the current GNSO Council Vice Chair Donna Austin, a former ICANN employee, works for Neustar.

ICANN is yet to give a comprehensive statistics record for the new gTLDs’ Domain Name Registrations, it would do the domains industry great service to have statistics of new gTLDs stats at the end of each sunrise and general availability phase. This would help the industry to gauge the benefits of the new top level domains


James Barnley

I’m the editor of the DomainingAfrica. I write about internet and social media, focusing mainly on Domains. As a subscriber to my newsletter, you’ll get a lot of information on Domain Issues, ICANN, new gtld’s, Mobile technology and social media.

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