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Google U-turn DID preempt ICANN's block on corporate gTLD-snatchers

.search, .blog, .cloud and .app safeguarded for 'public interest'

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It's official - Google did indeed correctly judge that ICANN would halt corporate attempts to exclusively snatch generic top level domain names for commercial use.

The internet overlord, which is charging companies to take control of new suffixes to supplement the established TLDs such as .com, .org and .uk, said (PDF) at a meeting in Beijing, China last night:

For strings representing generic terms, exclusive registry access should serve a public interest goal.

Google had previously attempted to gain exclusive access to four generic top-level domains (gTLDs). But, as we were first to report earlier this week, the ad giant - in a screeching U-turn - changed its application after it was warned late last year that such a plan would be rejected.

ICANN explained that the governmental advisory committee - which steers decision-making at the not-for-profit org - had identified a "non-exhaustive list of strings that it considers to be generic terms" where exclusive registry access is sought by the applicant.

They include four gTLDs that Google is bidding for: .app, .cloud, .blog and .search.

And, ahead of the "safeguard advice" offered to ICANN about a number of generic namespaces, Google resubmitted its bid for .app and .search and confirmed that it would shortly alter its .blog and .cloud applications, too.

The rehashed applications stated that Google would, if successful in its bids for the gTLDs, operate in a more "inclusive" way with its competitors. Google has declined to comment about its tactical switch for trying to bag the four gTLDs it has resubmitted applications for.

Meanwhile, Amazon will be watching proceedings in Beijing closely. The company applied for the generic top level domain namespace .book - which has now been flagged up by ICANN as a gTLD that should be safeguarded from exclusive ownership because it needs to "serve a public interest goal." ®

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