You are probably aware that ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is announced over a year ago that it was expanding the top-level domain (TLD) name space by adding over a thousand new ones, in addition to the familiar .com, .nl, .co.uk, .org, etc. The idea was that the new TLDs were either for:
- brand names, like .kellogs or .dell
- generic terms, like .food or .travel, which would be open so multiple organizations could register for them (so you could have ‘virgin.travel’ or ‘thomascook.travel’, for example).
However, now it appears that some companies are applying for generic terms and will operate them as private or ‘closed generic’ TLDs. One of these is apparently the .cloud domain, which if successful would then be controlled by a single company.
As an international cloud software vendor ourselves, through our UNIT4 and FinancialForce.com brands, we believe it would be highly confusing to the market, and anti-competitive for the generic term .cloud to become a private gTLD. The term ‘cloud’ is used widely and generically to describe an emerging class of software and IT solutions, and we already know that there is much confusion for consumers and business customers alike today.
If the term became a private gTLD this would create further confusion and could seriously damage our business and that of countless others in the cloud software business if it became solely linked with a single private entity.
We believe this application should be refused, and the registering of all other closed generic gTLD applications should also be prevented.
If you want to object you only have about 24 hours to object! Go to the ICANN forum here and register your objection!