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

founding-fathers-w-border.jpgJackson Hts., New York, June 2, 2013 - As we approach the conclusion of the long development process for the .nyc TLD, we’re faced with the typical question in allocating a scarce resource: Who gets what? At this point we’re calling it a contest between ‘We the people…’ and the Sooners and Boomers. With the ink dry on a city contract, the Sooners and Boomers are clearly ahead, with ‘We the people…’ struggling for an equitable distribution of the city’s digital land.

So who are the Sooners and Boomers? Historically the Sooners were the participants in the 1889 Oklahoma Land Run (a.k.a. Land Rush) that snuck into the “unassigned lands” before the official start of the Run. And the Boomers were those who claimed the 1862 Holmstead Act made the Oklahoma land available to the first settler, invalidating the need for an organized Run.

Take a look at the city’s official Launch Schedule for the .nyc TLD and you’ll see how the Sooners were written into a privileged position in the 2012 contract, with 10 groups are given first dibs on the .nyc domain names.

  1. Government (City, State and Federal offices providing services in the City);

  1. City-Based Non-Profits (entities that provide services within the City and that are registered with the State of New York as not-for-profit corporations);

  1. City Concessionaires (private entities using City-owned property under contract with a City agency)

  1. City Franchisees (private entities using inalienable City-owned property to provide a public service under contract with a City agency);

  1. Retail Service Licensees (private retail establishments licensed by a City agency to conduct such business);

  1. Food Service Licensees (private establishments licensed by the City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide food service);

  1. NYC & Co. Members (members of NYC & Company (a not-for-profit membership organization that serves as the City’s promotional arm and which operates under a concession agreement with the City));

  1. Business Improvement Districts (a/k/a BIDS) (entities formed by local property owners and tenants to promote business development and quality of life and which operate pursuant to the General Municipal Law and local laws authorizing private not-for-profit corporations to provide supplemental services to particular geographic areas of the City and which operate under contract with the City’s Department of Small Business Services for such purpose); 

  1. City Digital Startups (private entities satisfying the following criteria: (a) their primary business objective is to bring to market products or services that are built from or whose functionalities are fulfilled using digital technology; (b) they have a physical presence in the City; and (c) they have registered with NYC Digital as a New York City digital company); and

  2. City Vendors (private entities from whom the City procures goods and/or services and are registered with the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services).

We don’t disagree with all the Sooners choices. Indeed, we advocate for thoughtful and inclusive planning. But we know that the public has not yet had a say in selection process. And we question why, for example, “City Digital Startups” should have priority over businesses that have operated here for decades. 

The contemporary Boomers are another privileged class that will have priority access to premium domain names such as news.nyc, hotels.nyc, tours.nyc, sports.nyc, etc. Who the Boomers are and what domain names they’ll have access to remains cloaked in a bureaucratic haze. The selection process of the Boomer names lacks transparency and has also been diminished by a lack of public engagement.

At this point the best hope for ‘We the people…’ lies in a .NYC Advisory Board that had its first meeting in city hall last month. But the administration’s support for the Board is questionable according to one Board member. More on that soon.

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

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