The Australian registrar Netregistry has been running an alternative extension .au.com since 1997 but has now pulled the plug on this. Since the official domain name extension for Australia (.com.au) has very strict local presence rules, the .au.com extension was an often used alternative for companies from outside of Australia who still wanted to focus on attracting Australian clients.
We earlier reported about .car and .cars being found not too similar while .pet and .pets were found too similar. Today an other weird decision has been filed in the String Contentions Sets. One request for .cam has been found to be too similar to the existing TLD .com. Nothing too weird, there is something to say for the fact that they look and sound reasonably similar. And their targeted audiences will most probably overlap. But there were a total of 3 requests for .cam and for the other 2 the similarity had already been examined and they where found not confusingly similar with .com.
It’s final: ICANN won’t allow any of the new gTLD’s to be run as dotless domain names. Google for example had applied for .search to be used as a “dotless domain name”, meaning that you would be able to go to “search” in the address bar (without anything in front of it) and end up on your favourite search-engine (which would obviously default to Google itself). But they most certainly won’t be able to offer that feature now as ICANN thinks it might cause security problems.
With the over 1000 requests for new gTLD’s, multiple applicants simply requested the exact same extension and others requested extensions that were actually very similar. As we reported earlier, ICANN already checked which requests they themselves found too similar and came to the surprising conclusion that only 4 were so similar that they could cause confusion. They clearly only cared about the extensions that were visually very similar (as if they only worried about which extensions could cause confusion for farsighted people) as they only retained hotels vs hoteis and unicorn vs unicom.
Taking into account the information made available by ICANN earlier today about how they will mitigate name collisions, we have updated the spreadsheet we make available with new gTLD requests. The new version also clearly shows the “risk level” ICANN assigned to each TLD string. Certainly those with an “uncalculated” risk and a low prioritization number are likely to see their launch delayed.
We earlier reported a recent study revealed that lots of internet traffic goes to domain name extensions that do not (yet) exist. ICANN has now made a report available on how they plan to handle this situation and minimise the impact new gTLD’s will have on systems that currently rely on certain domain names to simply not work.