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Australia Registers Concerns Over New Domain Names

November 22, 2012

Out of 260 "early warnings" relating to new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) applications, the Australian Government is responsible for submitting nearly half.

The early warnings are not a formal objection as such, but more of a heads-up to applicants that some member nations have concerns with regard to their applications - and could foreshadow a formal objection.

Some of the many applications the Australian Government has concerns about include:


The reasons given for the .FAIL, .GRIPE and .SUCKS concerns include the strings having "an overtly negative or critical connotation. As a result, many individuals, businesses and organisations may seek to protect their brands or reputations in this TLD."

In each case, the Australian Government felt the applicant "does not appear to propose sufficient mechanisms to limit the need for defensive registrations."

The lodging of the early warnings for these domain name extensions may be welcomed by the business sector. While one of the applicants previously stated .SUCKS "will be a domain space intended to 'provide a medium for sharing opinions and encouraging debate', some have expressed fears it would force companies to endure additional expense and administration defensively registering their sometimes many brands in order to prevent competitors or disgruntled parties from doing so and then going on to cause brand damage.

With regard to .CHARITY, the Australian Government says the extension will be connected to a regulated market sector, and the applicant "does not appear to have proposed sufficient mechanisms to minimise potential consumer harm"

A full listing of all the GAC early warnings can be viewed here, along with the supporting documentation outlining the various concerns associated with each.

The GAC (Governmental Advisory Committee) is a part of ICANN and its role is to provide advice to the body on issues of public policy, particularly where there may be an interaction between ICANN's activities or policies and national laws or international agreements.

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