Dot-gay told it's NOT gay enough – but web'll be officially .eco-friendly

Decisions come down on .osaka, .hotel, .music, .taxi, .tennis and more

The extinct golden toad of the Monteverde cloud forests. Credit: US Fish & Wildlife Service

A slew of decisions over who gets to run new internet extensions have been handed down, meaning that within months domain names ending in "radio", "eco", "hotel" and "Osaka" will start appearing online.

Those four were the lucky ones out of a group of 17 applications that asked for a "community evaluation" of their bids to control ICANN's new gTLDs.

To pass the test, each dot-word applicant had to prove they represented a specific community related to the word. If successful, they would be given priority over anyone else that had applied for the same top-level domain name.

Considering the commercial possibilities of domains ending with "music", "tennis", "art" and others – with recent auctions for gTLDs reaching into the millions of dollars – the stakes are high. And with a high bar of 14 out of 16 points required to pass the test, most failed.

The dot-words that did not pass the community test will move forward to an auction some time next year, and those with the deepest pockets will be able to snap them up.

Lowest scoring was the application for dot-music, which received just 3 out of the possible 16 points, and was at the end of some pointed commentary by the evaluators at the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). The application pulled together a large number of music industry groups and was pitched against an application that claims to have the backing of tens of thousands of ordinary musicians.

The EIU was not impressed with the music industry version: "The applicant appears to be attempting to use the gTLD to organize the various groups noted in the application documentation, as opposed to applying on behalf of an already organized and cohesive community," the official evaluation read [PDF].

The other dot-music application's evaluation is still pending.

One industry that did win out, however, was the hotel industry – scoring 15 out of 16 [PDF]. No less than six other companies had each paid $185,000 to be considered for the valuable dot-hotel registry. They will now walk away empty-handed.

The big surprise, however, was the failure of the dot-gay application – scoring 11, three short of the threshold [PDF]. The EIU felt there was no "nexus between proposed string and community". The application was, the evaluators complained, simply not gay enough.

"The group of self-identified gay individuals globally is estimated to be 1.2 per cent of the world population (more than 70 million), while the application states that the size of the community it has defined … is 7 million. This difference is substantial and is indicative of the degree to which the applied-for string substantially over-reaches beyond the community," the unit noted.

The big losers were companies that tried to bag a series of domain endings that define company types: the United States' LLC (limited company); Inc (incorporation); LLP (limited partnership); and the German GMBH (limited company). They are among the most popular names applied for (there are no less than 11 applications for dot-inc) – and they also look set to head to auction.

The big winner was dot-eco. Dot-eco has been fighting a battle for years, with its application at one point pitching former American vice-president Al Gore against former Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev.

Gorbachev won and Canadian company Big Room – which has signed up more than 1,000 environmental groups to its cause, including parts of the United Nations – will now sign a contract with ICANN before making its new dot-eco domains available to groups worldwide.

Co-founder of Big Room, Jacob Malthouse, told The Register: "We've received a flood of messages welcoming the result. The challenge is now to launch and then run a .eco registry that makes a meaningful contribution to sustainable development. It's not going to be easy, but we have the chance to do something great."

Those results in full

Yes to: .osaka, .radio, .hotel and .eco

No to: .immo, .taxi, .tennis, .MLS, .GMBH, .LLC, .Inc, .LLP, .art, .kids, .gay, .music.

You can find all the details, here. ®

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