ICANN releases .biz and .info details
ICANN has finally given details of the new top-level domains that have been an age in coming. Well, not all the details, just the details for .biz and .info. The other five are in the pipeline.
The sudden announcement came as a shock to Internet watchers who had nodded off while waiting for ICANN to do something other than line its pockets.
Chairman Vint Cerf captured the excitement of the occasion: "This is a momentous step forward in the continuing evolution of the Internet's domain name system," he said. "However, it is just one step among many in a long process of providing consumers with the benefits of competition through a variety of domain name options and services."
"This first round of new TLDs is considered a 'proof of concept' to test and examine different types of top-level domains, registry business models, and procedures for ensuring the technical stability of the Internet as new TLDs are added," says ICANN's press release. ICANN has been advised to be cautious in adding new domains, it claims. The secretive organisation has just managed to get out of bed and is making its way towards the shower.
The .info TLD will be unrestricted and run by conglomerate Afilias. Afilias is giving trademark holders a 30-day free period where they can apply for their namesake domain. WIPO in its wisdom will then decide on any disputes. Then the people without loads of money like me and you will allowed a stab at registering. Afilias will "implement a multi-round batch processing system" for applications. Which is good even though we don't know what the hell it means. We also can't find any mention of what Afilias is thinking of charging for its services.
The .biz TLD will be restricted to commercial or business purposes, so no homepages, alright? It'll be run by NeuLevel. NeuLevel is going to charge you to submit any trademark claims between now and July. This will also tell you if a domain you're trying to register has a trademark conflict and snitch on you to the company holding it if you still try to register the name.
From July to September, it will then allow businesses to apply. You can apply for an unlimited number but there is a $2 fee for each application. Then in October, all domains will become operational. NeuLevel will use a Restriction Dispute Resolution Process (RDRP) for arguments - which is "similar" to ICANN's UDRP. Again, no indication of the fees, although "it is expected that retail pricing for both .biz and .info names should be comparable to existing TLDs .com, .org and .net".
So there you have it. Moving so fast it takes your breath away. ®