I haven't heard any news lately about any of the other new TLDs besides .biz and
.info. Supposedly, the agreement for .name is signed and awaiting U.S. Department
of Commmerce approval, but nothing more has been forthcoming in the last few weeks
about the timetable for its launch. The remaining TLDs, .pro, .coop, .aero,
and .museum, seem to be in a holding pattern, with no news emerging either from their
registries or ICANN.
Are they holding back on purpose because of all the trouble
the first two new TLDs are causing?
Ironically, I suspect that the other five new
TLDs will actually manage to get launched with considerably less hassle and unfairness
compared to the first two (and maybe they should have *started* with the smaller
ones instead of the larger ones as they did).
.aero, .coop, and .museum are aimed
at very limited constituencies, and are being run by nonprofit groups which are trade
associations for that specialty. Hence, they will most likely scrutinize all
applications carefully by hand and weed out bogus ones or ones that blatantly violate
a trademark, so the names will actually go to the group that's supposed to get them
and not be hoarded, speculated in, or sued over. Not that this will prove all
that useful, given the small community that even cares about these limited categories,
but at least there may be a painless launch. And I've heard that .aero plans
on having a structured namespace for such things as airport arrival and departure
info -- like arrivals.jfk.aero -- if this is actually done in a consistent way, it
may really be useful.
.pro is also limited, but with a larger constituency --
the success of its launch will depend on the registry's ability to weed out registration
fraud -- hopefully, professional credentials will be checked more reliably than the
trademark registrations for the .info sunrise!
.name is aimed at individuals, not
corporations, so one can hope it will be left alone to be used for personal space
and not as an object of speculation and litigation -- the "defensive registrations"
for trademark owners are troublesome and really should have no place in a personal
namespace, but I've read the rules thoroughly and find that the "wall of defense"
is actually quite porous -- you can win a challenge if your personal name really
does fall within the protected space. So this one may actually work out.
of this, however, is subject to ICANN's well-known ability to screw anything up --
my big fear is that they impose, even on the very limited TLDs like .aero, some cumbersome,
bureaucratic, and unfair sunrise procedure that gives trademark owners, including
ones not remotely in fields related to that which the TLD is limited to, some sort
of pre-emptive right to take names out of the usable space despite the existence
of other meanings of the name. If this comes to pass, there could be consequences
as idiotic as some airports not being able to get their three letter abbreviations
in .aero because some completely unrelated company happens to have a trademark on
that sequence of three letters.