A 30-day public comment period has been opened by ICANN, requesting opinions on whether specific criteria should be imposed on an operator in order for them to be able to apply for a closed gTLD. It is hoped this will address concerns over the potential for operators to gain a significant market advantage by closing off access to certain domains.
Concerns have been aggravated further by the lack of clarity over what a closed generic TLD application is, and what constitutes an exception to the New gTLD Registry Code of Conduct. Feedback obtained during the public comment period may lead to the adoption of specific guidance on closed generic applications.
A resolution was adopted at a recent meeting of the New gTLD Program Committee of the ICANN Board of Directors, where it was acknowledged “that members of the community term a ‘closed generic’ TLD as a TLD string that is a generic term and is proposed to be operated by a participant exclusively for its own benefit”.
The public comment period is open until 7th March, 2013.