ICANN extends gTLD deadline after website 'glitches'

Technical "glitches" forced the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to shut down for a day its online application system for new generic top level domains, causing the organization to also extend by 8 days the period for applying for a new gTLD.

On April 12, ICANN said it learned that the application system "has allowed a limited number of users to view some other users' file names and user names in certain scenarios," and so would shut down the system for the remainder of the day and push forward the deadline. The original deadline for submitting completed applications was April 12, following a March 28 deadline to register. Completed applications are now due April 20.

ICANN also said (.pdf) earlier this month that it planned on revealing who has applied for which domain names.

"Our plan always has been to publish the list of applied-for strings," said ICANN Chief Executive Office Rod Beckstrom. According to ICANN, more than 100 successful registrants have applied to operate a new domain; each registrant can apply for up to 500 new domains.

ICANN's decision to permit new generic op level domains--currently there are only 22 plus about another 200 top level domains tied to country names (such as .us)--hasn't been universally popular.

In the United States in particular, trademark holders have been leery of domain expansion, stating that they will have to defensively register either new top level domains or their trademarks within the new domains. Applying for a new gTLD isn't cheap; it cost $5,000 to register and another $180,000 to submit an application, although ICANN has reduced the fee to $47,000 for qualified candidates in need of financial assistance.

Beckstrom has dismissed trademark concerns, calling the trademark system a "fundamental mismatch" for the domain name system.

For more:
- go to the April 12 ICANN statement on its glitches  

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