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Jackson Hts., New York, July 29, 2014 - With the .london Landrush ending on Thursday, “30 applications for the properties.london address and over 40 for nightlife.london” have been received (see V3.co.uk/) with an auction to decide the recipient. What? Let me try to unbundle that statement.

Over the past 50+ days anyone with $75 to invest (see GoDaddy’s rates) has been able to buy a lottery ticket of sorts for a domain name within the .london TLD. With the July 31 deadline to apply for a .london domain name nearing, 30 people have purchased tickets for the “properties.london” lottery, and 40 for the “nightlife.london” lottery. By midnight on July 31 more than 50,000 different domain names are expected to have been applied for overall, with several thousand names having multiple bidders.

In London

The operator of the .london TLD has established priority rules to sort out those instances of “multiple-applicants for same name?” Here’s how it works.

  • Getting first priority are those with a registered international trademark. If more than one entity has a trademark, for example, Cadillac cars and Cadillac foods, then a high bid auction is held to determine the winner.
  • Second priority goes to ticket holders with a valid London address and an established right to a name. For example, a business can upload “evidence” to demonstrate its current use of a name, and thus right, to a parallel .london domain name. Within this Second Priority several sub-categories have been established: In descending order of priority those are: entities with local trademarks, businesses without trademarks, charities, and those with unregistered trademarks. Again, if more than one entity presents evidence of prior use in a sub-category, for example, cadillac.com and cadillac.net, a high bid auction sorts things out.
  • Third priority goes to those applicants with a valid London address, but no prior use of the name.
  • Final priority (if that’s the right word) goes to applicants without a valid London address, a New Yorker for example who wants to own a piece of digital London. In these last two instances it’s an auction that breaks a tie.

In New York

Here in New York we’re doing things differently. There’s no value to having used a name for years or decades. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve registered it with the state - neither a New York State trademark nor d/b/a counts.

Excepting those with international trademarks, local businesses and non-profits have no more right to a name than anyone else. The Bloomberg Administration, which established the rules, made the decision to start the naming process all over again on a level(ish) playing field.

So between August 4 and October 3, if you like a name, buy a ticket (it will cost you about $80). Then out bid the current owner (and possibly other ticket holders) at auction, and its yours. But you may get lucky. There’s no process to notify current business owners about .nyc’s introduction, so the current owner might not even know the .nyc TLD is being introduced, and not buy a ticket. In that case, no auction, it’s yours. (Sorry mom. Sorry pop.)

So what happens when 30 tickets are sold for a domain name such as properties.nyc? “The auction will be held in accordance with the auction rules… Any auction fees, charges and the final bid price for the domain name will be the responsibility of the Applicant.” A regressive process that promotes the status quo. 

This Bloomberg legacy process is slated to move ahead. For the administration it’s the easy, fast, and cheap allocation process. But if you believe as I do that it’s unfair, call 311 and tell Mayor de Blasio -  è ingiusto.

Learn more about the opportunities provided by the .nyc TLD on our wiki pages.

 

Filed July 29th, 2014 under Auction, Domain Names

sunrise-nyc.pngJackson Hts., New York, May 4, 2014 - Starting at noon tomorrow those owning an international trademark will be eligible to select its equivalent .nyc domain name. This “Sunrise Phase” will last for 45 days.

So if you have a globally recognized trademark - one issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office counts, but one issued by NYS doesn’t - you’ll be eligible to register it.

But you’ll need to prove ownership by registering it with the Trademark Clearing House. (You’ll have to pay a $150 fee and receive a SMD File as proof of ownership). For the official details on process and whether you qualify, see http://www.nic.nyc/sunrise-policies.html. To register a name, start here.

While we’re delighted to see the .nyc issuance process move ahead, we have two concerns:

  • Our main concern is that trademarks issued by New York State don’t count. And it’s too late for those with a NYS trademark to get a U.S. Trademark within Sunrise. Those with NYS trademarks and desiring a .nyc domain name will need to submit their applications in August, during the Landrush Phase. And at that point their NYS trademark will provide no special right to use their existing business name. When existing businesses experience the loss of their traditional names we expect an outcry or two.
  • We’re also concerned about the quality of the nexus policy - which seeks to limit .nyc names to city entities. The current policy allows an entity from anywhere to use a mailing service as proof of city nexus. But it only takes 5 minutes to acquire a 5th Avenue address using one of hundreds of re-mailing businesses that operate in the city. Nexus needs strengthening.

But after all these years, things are finally moving ahead. And we’re pleased to see city hall (and its contractor) focused on making the most of this opportunity.

Those planning on registering a trademark within .nyc can access a list of 30 or so registrars at http://nic.nyc/registrars. For those not in the Sunrise category, details on the City Government, Landrush, and General Availability phases are available here, with the latest timeline as follows:  

Registration Periods For the .nyc TLD

Phase

Duration
 Start Date Start Time UTC      End Date     End Time UTC
Sunrise 45 days            
May 5, 2014       15:00:01 
   June 20, 2014
     15:00:00
City Government    
36 days June 25, 2014       15:00:01    July 31, 2014      15:00:00
Landrush Period 60 days August 4, 2014       15:00:01    October 3, 2014      15:00:00
General Availability n/a October 8, 2014 15:00:00     n/a       n/a

 (Creative Commons image courtesy of Bob Jagendorf.)

Learn more about the opportunities provided by the .nyc TLD on our wiki pages.

Filed May 4th, 2014 under Domain Names, Oversight

Jackson Hts., New York, May 1, 2014 - As currently envisioned, the name distribution plan for the .nyc TLD does not provide any rights to current business owners to select a domain name that matches their existing business - with the exception of those holding a trademark listing in the Trademark Clearing House. As it stands, small business owners will have to hope their desired name is available during the Landrush period which begins on August 8.

By contrast the .london TLD provides existing businesses with a priority in selecting domain names. Here we explain elements of .london’s Landrush pricing policy and how priority is determined when more than one entity selects a domain name.

1. Pricing - As of today there are 5 registrars signed up to sell .london domain names. We tested the availability of the “ThisIs.london” domain name on the GoDaddy site via a pre-registration request and received the following purchase options:

2. Who gets first pick? Fasthosts (another of the 5 registrars) provides insight into London’s effort to give existing entities a first priority during Landrush.

There are four categories of priority for applications:

  1. Trademark holders that are verified with ICANN’s TMCH database
  2. Londoners (those with a physical address in the City of London or its 32 boroughs) with rights to a name such as proof of business or trading name
  3. Londoners (those with a physical address in the City of London or its 32 boroughs)
  4. Non-Londoners

The following situations are determined by an applicant’s position within these four categories.

  • “If you are the sole applicant for a specific .London domain, this will be registered to you during late August/early September when registrations are confirmed by the Registry.”
  • “If two or more applications are received for the same .London domain name, you will be asked to provide proof of business/trading name and address. Once this has been submitted, the rules above in relation to priority will apply.”
  • “In the event that a domain is applied for by two or more applicants with the same level of priority, these will go to auction after the close of priority applications on the 31st July. The auction process will be managed by the Registry.”
  • “By applying for a .London domain you agree to the terms and conditions regarding categories of priority as set out above.”

Perhaps New York could institute a similar policy. And when two or more entities apply for a .nyc name, priority is given to the one actively using the name. (Image courtesy of Wiki Commons.)

Learn more about the opportunities provided by the .nyc TLD on our wiki pages.

Filed April 30th, 2014 under Nexus, .london, Competition, Domain Names

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Jackson Hts., New York, April 30 2014 - The below excerpt from a commentary in today’s Huffington Post identifies “enabling innovation” as the key component of a successful Net Neutrality policy. While important, we see facilitating public engagement in governance (that process the First Amendment seeks to foster) as the key element of successful Net Neutrality policy. And we see a parallel with city-TLDs: their key benefit arises through facilitating improved governance and a concomitant enhancement to quality of life. Here’s part of the Post’s post:

THE PERFECT AND THE GOOD ON NETWORK NEUTRALITY [SOURCE: Huffington Post, AUTHORS: Kevin Werbach, Phil Weiser]

Network neutrality is in jeopardy — just not in the way you might have heard. In implementing network neutrality, some differentiation of traffic must be allowed on the Internet, even encouraged. The real question is whether Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposed rule is so much worse than what came before. Under what we understand the FCC proposal to be, access providers can’t block, can’t degrade, can’t arbitrarily favor certain applications, and can’t favor their own traffic. The major change in the new proposal concerns so-called paid prioritization agreements. In other words, the new rules appear to allow a broadband provider to offer content providers the option of faster or more reliable delivery for a supplemental fee. Under the old rules, the FCC didn’t prohibit such deals, but said it was skeptical they would meet its discrimination test. In the new proposal, the FCC appears to mandate that paid prioritization offerings be “commercially reasonable.” Calling paid prioritization “discrimination” is a matter of semantics. Indeed, the traditional “Title II common carrier” model (which some network neutrality advocates favor) has allowed different levels of service — paid prioritization in other words — as long as the prioritized service level was available to all comers. As for the FCC’s apparent proposal, it does not encourage or require paid prioritization. At most, the proposal would allow some commercial offerings — subject to negotiation between the two firms — to allow for a higher level of service. How to defend and implement network neutrality is not as simple as banning all forms of paid prioritization. What really matters is ensuring that the broadband environment continues to provide space for tomorrow’s innovators to develop new, disruptive offerings. When the FCC releases the proposed rules for comment, we should all focus on that criterion to evaluate whether they are sufficient and effective. [Werbach is Wharton Professor and founder of Supernova Group; Weiser is Dean and Thomson Professor at the University of Colorado Law School]

Learn more about the opportunities provided by the .nyc TLD on our wiki pages.

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Jackson Hts., New York, January 17, 2014 - After more than a decade of stop and go, it seems the .nyc TLD will become a reality later this year. We at Connecting.nyc Inc., having invested years of effort aimed first at encouraging the city to commit to .nyc’s acquisition, and more recently to assure it is used as a public interest resource, are delighted to see this “end of the beginning” approaching.

The above is the December 2013 timeline from the city’s contractor. Delays are possible (if you consider that the original city resolution calling for .nyc’s acquisition was passed on April 19, 2001, maybe that should be likely), but your opportunity for purchasing “yourname.nyc” is getting close. Those gearing up for a new venture might consider waiting a few months. 

For an historic perspective on these “targets” see the .nyc timeline

Learn more about the opportunities provided by the .nyc TLD on our wiki pages.

Filed January 17th, 2014 under Inspiration, Auction, Competition, Domain Names

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Jackson Hts., New York, December 8, 2013 - I recently met with a fellow looking to take his talents in a new direction who inquired about opportunities presented by the .nyc TLD. I blabbered for a bit and then, with the time allotted for our meeting running out, I promised to give the question some thought and do a post. Here goes. (Expect additions to this list over time.)

  • Trust For Neighborhood Names - As of last count the city has 355 neighborhoods. Someone needs to start a Trust for Neighborhood Names to oversee the allocation, development, and oversight of the neighborhood domain names, e.g., Harlem.nyc. See dotNeighborhoods for more on this.
  • Regional Consolidation - From an outpost to a village to a city to 5 boroughs, New York has been growing for over 400 years. The TLD provides the opportunity for a second regional consolidation. We need a giant to lead this effort. See here.
  • Data Query Log -  Every request to be connected to a .nyc website results in a notation in a Data Query Log, part of the Internet’s Domain Name System or DNS. These log entries provide raw data for creating a “twitteresque” pulse of the city. Someone needs to make this widely available resource. See more here.
  • Chief Trust Officer - Success with .nyc will involve creating a City of Trust, a place where people locally and globally will feel confident that the .nyc sites they are visiting are trustworthy, respectful of their privacy, and that should something go wrong, there’s recourse. The city needs to appoint a Chief Trust Officer to align the city’s government, civic sector, and residents to achieve a concerted state of awareness and responsiveness. See Chief Trust Officer.      
  • Primary Names - Sports.nyc, news.nyc, weather.nyc, tours.nyc, hotels.nyc, and a few dozen other names will provide opportunities to create significant city resources, and make a decent living in the process.
  • Local Registrars - There’s a need for local name sellers, or registrars, that help residents and organizations learn how to best use .nyc domain names. These registrars might focus on direct sale of names, or as agents that assist web developers, law and accounting firms with name sales. 
  • The Voter Project -  This involves providing every registered voter with a web page that connects them to their neighborhood and the political process. It allows them to feel the pulse of the city and to vote (express an opinion) on the issues before their legislative bodies. See voter.nyc.

All of these opportunities will not necessarily arise. But if you focus on one, develop a plan, and encourage city hall to do its part, success might follow. (P.S. Helping residents transform these possibilities into reality is a key reason for our existence, so don’t hesitate to ask for our assistance.)

This list is by no means comprehensive. Peruse our wiki and blog for others and keep watching as we detail the development of our TLD. Our thanks to Wiki Commons for the Low Hanging Fruit graphic.

Learn more about the opportunities provided by the .nyc TLD on our wiki pages.

Filed December 7th, 2013 under Neighborhoods, social network, Domain Names, Education

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Jackson Hts., New York, December 4, 2013 - Last month Nominet, the operator of the .uk registry, announced that it had adopted a new TLD architecture and will begin selling second level domain names in June 2014. To date the .uk TLD, like 60 other country code TLDs, has been structured around contextual 2nd level domain names. So if you wanted a .uk domain name for Wonderful Widgets Ltd., you’d likely have looked for WonderfulWidets.co.uk.  Everyone in the United Kingdom knows that a domain name ending in .co.uk is a company. In addition to .co.uk, they know what to expect from .org.uk, .net.uk, .me.uk, .plc.uk, .ltd.uk and .sch.uk.

Recently I’ve been looking into the pros and cons of third level domains. Might the .uk architecture work in New York? Here’s a summary of what I found (there’s more detail here):

  • Context is my favorite advantage. To Brits a domain name ending in .co.uk is a company, one ending with .sch.uk is a school, etc. Might this lead us to a really intuitive city where people understand they can get useful info at pizza.restaurants.harlem.nyc?
  • Pricing flexibility. The operator of the 2nd level Harlem.nyc “zone” can offer third level names to civic organizations at $5 a pop, or resident names, YourName.Harlem.nyc, for $2. As opposed to the standard industry flat rate of about $15-20.
  • Local economic development arises when you train local web developers, lawyers, accountants, etc. to be name resellers (registrars) to broaden their business while retaining names revenue in the ‘hood.

On the negative side…

  • Contractor and city revenue would likely be reduced in the short term. (But I’d argue localization would foster public buy-in and long term success. A contract renegotiation would be required.)
  • There will be a learning curve and training costs. 
  • To Americans accustomed to the .com world this will initially seem odd, old school, so there’s the fear of the new.

While a change of architecture to mirror that used by the Brits has some ups and downs, I’ve come to support the broad development of the 3rd level. And in support of my position I had the success of our good neighbors to point to (10,0000,000 names registered). UNTIL LAST MONTH. Now I’ll need to argue that Nominet has made a wrong decision. And so my cry “Say it ain’t so .uk.”

Learn more about the opportunities provided by the .nyc TLD on our wiki pages.

Filed December 4th, 2013 under search.nyc, Competition, Domain Names

Jackson Hts., New York, October 13, 2013 - Here’s a quick treatment we did for a friend living in Manhattan who asked us for an example of how the concept of a digital grid - a concept borrowed from the Manhattan’s street grid - might contribute to the creation of a more intuitive and navigable city. Note: Our apologies to Staten Islanders with their wonderful borough getting cut off here - nothing personal, the software and the alphabet conspired against you. You can see the missing Staten Island names and learn more on the use of third level domain names on our wiki’s TLD Architecture page.

The Intuitive City

arts.manhattan.nyc
arts.brooklyn.nyc arts.bronx.nyc arts.queens.nyc arts.StatenIsland.nyc
bars.manhattan.nyc bars.brooklyn.nyc bars.bronx.nyc bars.queens.nyc bars.StatenIsland.nyc
culture.manhattan.nyc culture.brooklyn.nyc culture.bronx.nyc culture.queens.nyc culture.StatenIsland.nyc
dining.manhattan.nyc dining.brooklyn.nyc dining.bronx.nyc dining.queens.nyc dining.StatenIsland.nyc
education.manhattan.nyc education.brooklyn.nyc education.bronx.nyc education.queens.nyc education.StatenIsland.nyc
free.manhattan.nyc free.brooklyn.nyc free.bronx.nyc free.queens.nyc free.StatenIsland.nyc
GreenwichVillage.manhattan.nyc Gowanus.brooklyn.nyc Gottafakethisone.bronx.nyc Glendale.queens.nyc Granitville.StatenIsland.nyc
hotels.manhattan.nyc hotels.brooklyn.nyc hotels.bronx.nyc hotels.queens.nyc hotels.StatenIsland.nyc
icecream.manhattan.nyc icecream.brooklyn.nyc icecream.bronx.nyc icecream.queens.nyc icecream.StatenIsland.nyc
jewelrystores.manhattan.nyc jewelrystores.brooklyn.nyc jewelrystores.bronx.nyc jewelrystores.queens.nyc jewelrystores.StatenIsland.nyc

See if you can find the equivalent of Lexington Avenue - one of several grid breakers in the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811 - in the above. 

Learn more about the opportunities provided by the .nyc TLD on our wiki pages.

Filed October 11th, 2013 under Infrastructure, Domain Names, COPIC

icann-logo.pngJackson Hts., New York, September 3, 2013 - Connecting.nyc Inc. filed comments with ICANN on its inquiry into trademark rights protection mechanisms and the new TLDs on August 27. The comments, “On TLDs & Building A Great City,” spoke of the role TLDs can play in creating great cities, and of the limitations expansive trademark rights can have of their realization. The comments began: 

Historically, cities were places where people gathered for safety and opportunity. Today cities are increasingly communication centers that facilitate and harness creativity for economic and social development.

Cities harbor the entire range of competing and collaborating cultural actors in tight proximity. To manage these congested spaces, complex administrative and social orders are agreed upon and enforced by residents in cooperation with their governments.

The Internet’s arrival in cities was unplanned. It grew organically to connect and advantage some, but disconnected others. Today it’s recognized that universal service and education are needed to effectively deliver city services. Here in New York those without access and training are increasingly outcasts, unable to find work or gain access to city services.

The first opportunity that cities will have to thoughtfully utilize the Net to address the plethora of issues they confront arrives with their TLDs. Here in New York City the Bloomberg Administration appointed an 11 member advisory board to sort through the opportunities presented… See the full comment here.

Thirty other comments were filed with ICANN on the “Rights Protection Mechanism” issue. (See them here.) Two used New York City domain names to make their point. CORE, the leading European registry and registrar, noted the impact a tobacco company’s trademark on “mayor” might have on the operation of city government if it acquired the mayor.nyc domain name. And Google made note of the rights to the subway.nyc domain name: sandwich shop or underground railroad?

  Learn more about the opportunities provided by the .nyc TLD on our wiki pages.

Filed September 3rd, 2013 under Infrastructure, City-TLDs, Domain Names, Oversight, ICANN

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Jackson Hts., New York City, July 27, 2013 - The architectural design of the .nyc TLD will have a significant impact on its economic viability and its capacity to serve city residents, organizations, and visitors. To help explain that impact we’ve created a wiki page using a  “TLD is land” analogy to discuss the plus and minus of several TLD architectures.

Two elements of city-TLD architecture - name structure and useability - are discussed in detail. Name structure is presented as the TLD’s supporting steel and concrete. And useability the features that facilitate access: finding tools - index.nyc, contents.nyc, search.nyc, etc., Trust Buttons, and the consistency of the TLD’s look and feel. Building upon the experience with the United Kingdom’s .uk TLD, we’ve suggested a first draft of a generic second level name-set.

In discussing usability we note the advantages that arise with an intuitive city-TLD, enabling New Yorkers to cut through search engine clutter, using domain names such as:

  • search.french.restaurants.nyc
  • reviews.schools.nyc
  • map.hardware.stores.nyc

Finally, we discuss the opportunities a vertical TLD provides to circumvent the exclusions necessitated by a strict nexus policy.

See the TLD Architecture wiki page and let us know what you think. 

Learn more about The Campaign for .nyc on our wiki pages.

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