Introduction of New Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs)



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gTLD stands for generic top-level domain. gTLDs are part of the structure of the Internet’s domain-name system (DNS). Each of the generic TLDs was created for a general category of organizations (see RFC 1591). Examples of gTLDs are .COM, .NET, .EDU, .JOBS, and .ORG. A complete list of existing gTLDs is available at   The responsibility for operating each gTLD (including maintaining a registry of the domain names within the gTLD) is delegated to a particular organization. These organizations are referred to as "registry operators" or "sponsors." (Source : ICANN gTLD FAQ)


New gTLDs have previously been established based on proposals that were submitted to ICANN during two specific application periods. Materials from the 2000 application round, which led to the delegation of .AERO, .BIZ, .COOP, .INFO, .MUSEUM, .NAME and .PRO, are available at Materials from the 2004 round, which led to the delegation of .ASIA, .CAT, .JOBS, .MOBI, .TEL and .TRAVEL, are available at Applications received during both of these rounds were evaluated on the basis of instructions and criteria contained in the respective RFPs published by ICANN. Applicants that were successful went on to negotiate and enter TLD agreements with ICANN.



for more details about the new gTLD program.


A Draft Applicant Guidebook was posted in October 2008 with contained six sections and additional explanatory which received several comments.


On 18 February 2009, a second version of the Draft Applicant Guidebook was released with a redline version to show the changes made from the first version.

The 2nd version of the Draft Applicant Guidebook can be found at


Comments are due April 19th, 2009.






Further background information about gTLDs : New gTLDs — Frequently Asked Questions


ICANN Los Angeles GNSO Workshop on gTLDs 29th October 2007


Start: 29 Oct 2007 - 13:00
End: 29 Oct 2007 - 19:00


The agenda page at contains links to the relevant documents






GNSO Final Report on the Introduction of new top-level domains


The Report was approved by the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council last month and is being sent to ICANN's Board for consideration. It is available at

two parts :


Part A  - .In Part A of the GNSO Final Report, there are seven principles , 19 recommendations and 19 Implementation Guidelines for new gTLDs.


Part B  -



Summary of the GNSO Final Report on the Introduction of New Top-Level Domains


Summary of the GNSO Final Report on the Introduction of New Top-Level Domains (191K ; PDF)


(Information from this email on the ALAC mailing list)


This summary for the At-Large community's consideration and use at the GNSO's New gTLD Workshop in Los Angeles on Monday, 29 October 2007, 13:00 - 19:00.


This document summarizes the recommendations contained in the Report and notes other work under way to facilitate the introduction of new gTLDs in an orderly and transparent way.  Where particularly applicable, it also attempts to briefly provide information about various issues considered by the GNSO Committee and the rationale behind the final wording of principles, recommendations and implementation guidelines.


This document is meant to provide a concise and easy to read summary of the key elements of the Report, and is organized to correspond with the Workshop sessions. At-Large participants are encouraged to consider the summary, and the Report, and submit questions in advance that they would like the Workshop panelists to address on the 29th October 2007.


Questions should be emailed to <new-gtlds-workshop at> or submitted via the on line comment form found on the Workshop web page at <>.


Questions will be publicly posted and provided to the Workshop moderator and panelists.


As previously noted, ALAC, RALO and At-Large Structure participants are invited to attend (or participate remotely in) the special, interactive workshop at ICANN's Los Angeles meeting focused on the GNSO Council's final report on the introduction of new gTLDs. The workshop will feature extensive opportunities for audience comments and questions and Council responses.




Ad-hoc working group


The At Large community has created a short term working group to discuss and generate comments for input into the process and transmission to the Board of ICANN. The Working Group will work via a mailing list, and interested persons can subscribe to this list at


The timeframe for the working group is short, with a deadline of October 25th, 2007.


A suggested work plan has already been posted to the Ad-Hoc Working Group on New gTLD mailing list.)




A draft final report was posted on 25th October 2007.



Recent related ICANN meetings re: gTLDs


Workshop: New Geo-TLDs - More Consumer Choice or More Consumer Confusion? :


NCUC/At-Large - gTLDs - Freedom of Expression :

Full transcript :

This meeting transcript is a interesting read regarding the different issues regarding recommendation #6)

A tidied up transcript was posted to the TTCS discussion mailing list.


Another related link IP Justice campaign re: gTLD at




Recommendation #6 and #20 re: new gTLDS are the ones that are probably the most controversial :


#6 : "Strings must not be contrary to generally accepted legal norms relating to morality and public order that are recognized under international principles of law."


#20 : "An application will be rejected if an expert panel determines that there is substantial opposition to it from a significant portion of the community to which the string may be explicitly or implicitly targeted."




Questions re: new gTLDs for ICANN workshop for October 29th, 2007







- What steps will be taken by gTLD registries to minimise or prevent domain tasting for domains using gTLDs that is prevalent with current gTLDs such as .com?


- What steps will be taken by gTLD registries to minimise or prevent cybesquatting?


- What steps are being considered/implemented to prevent the failure/bankrupcy of a gTLD registry having a negative impact on the stability of the root?


- Should it be mandatory for *all* gTLD registries to have data escrowed by third parties (similiar to what has been proposed to be done by ICANN accredited registrars) to ensure continuation of service in the event of failure, bankruptcy, etc.


- If registry data is not escrowed, what are the procedures for recovering this data? Who would be responsible for recovering it?


- Will registries use common dispute resolution and challenge processes or will each registry have to formulate its own processes?








- Will there be a limit to the length/number of characters in the new gTLDs?


- Should there be a limit to the length of a gTLD to avoid extremely long gTLDs?


- Would long gTLDs affect the stability of the root?


- What mechanisms will be used to prevent applicants from "hoarding" or "warehousing" gTLD strings?








- Will ICANN accredited registrars be allowed to refuse to register a domain gTLD?


- Will ICANN accredited registrars be penalised or subject to legal consequences if they refuse to register a domain gTLD which in the opinion of the registrar conflicts with/violates the cultural standards or local laws of the country in which the registrar is incorporated?


- Will an ICANN accredited registrar be penalised or subject to legal consequences if it is unable to register a domain gTLD because it has been requested/forced to not register the gTLD by the government of the country in which the registrar is incorporated?


- Would it be contrary to ICANN policy if all ICANN accredited registrars mutually agreed to refuse to register certain gTLDs because in their common opinion these gTLDs are too offensive, controversial, etc.  Would the ICANN accredited registrars be penalised or subject to legal consequences in this situation?







- An end user is unable to register a particular gTLD because *all* registries refuse it on the grounds that it is contrary to generally accepted legal norms relating to morality and public order. Does this end user have legal recourse to force a registry to accept the gTLD? Would the end user be able to request that ICANN intervene? Should ICANN intervene?


- According to Implementation Guideline N: ICANN may put in place a fee reduction scheme for gTLD applicants from economies classified by the UN as least developed.

Will there be a system in place to prevent applicants abusing the process to obtain lower fees on gTLDs?


- According to Implementation Guideline R: Once formal objections or disputes are accepted for review there will be a cooling off period to allow parties to resolve the dispute or objection before review by the panel is initiated. Will this dispute resolution be done according to:

- ad hoc terms agreed to by both parties?

- the laws of their respective countries?

- rules/regulations set forth by ICANN?