.indians

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Status: Proposed
Registry Provider: Afilias
Type: Brand TLD
Priority #: 596 - Reliance Industries Limited

.indians is a Brand TLD being proposed in ICANN's New gTLD Program. The applicant is Reliance Industries Limited.[1]

The GAC representative from India issued a GAC Early Warning regarding the application. The warning system is noted as a strong recommendation on behalf of national governments to the ICANN Board that a given TLD application should be denied as it stands. Applicants are encouraged to work with objecting GAC members.[2]

The warning notes that the TLD directly refers to its people, communities, and products, and that if anyone is to control the TLD it should be the Indian government.[3]

IO Objection

ICANN's Independent Objector (IO) filed a Community Objection against the .indians string. The IO is an appointed authority on international law whose role is to object to strings on the grounds of Community harm and Limited Public Interest were detailed in the applicant guidebook. His objections are official objections and are funded by ICANN, though his office is otherwise independent. Reasons for the specific case against .indians were not initially given, but the community objection generally argues that the TLD faces opposition or is contrary to a significant portion of a community which it purportedly aims to serve. The IO must determine: That the community is a clearly delineated community; that there is a strong association between the community and the string applied for; there is a strong association between the segment of the community on whose half we objects and the string itself; and he must determine that the TLD would produce a significant material detriment to this sizable portion of the community.[4] The objection was later withdrawn.[5]

Application Details

The following is excerpted from the applicant's response to question #18:

"Mumbai Indians (MI) is a popular and prominent cricket franchise representing the city of Mumbai in the Indian Premier League (IPL), now in its 5th season. Mumbai Indians is owned by Reliance Industries Limited and is headed by Smt. Nita Mukesh Ambani, the wife of the Managing Director (MD) of Reliance Industries limited (RIL), Sh. Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani. The Reliance Group, founded by Sh. Dhirubhai H. Ambani (1932-2002), is Indiaʹs largest private sector enterprise in India. The groupʹs annual revenues are in excess of US$ 58 billion (2010-2011). The flagship company, Reliance Industries Limited, is a Fortune Global 500 company ranked 134, by net revenues, and 119, by net profit, as per Fortune Global 500 list, 2011. The company has interests across multiple sectors including Exploration and Production, Refining and Marketing, Petrochemicals, Organized Retail, Telecom and Financial Services. The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a professional league for Twenty20 cricket competition in India. It was initiated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2008. As of now, 9 teams participate in the competition, consisting of players from around the world. As of the fourth season IPL’s brand value was estimated to be around $3.67 billion. MI was started in 2008 and was one of the founding members of IPL. Since its inception it has amassed a huge fan following with about 2.5 million fans and many more who wear the official colour ‘blue’ with pride and swear by the team. All MI cricket matches have been played in a sold out stadium with waves of colour blue, cheering the team. We estimate that Mumbai Indians fans will cross the 3.5 million mark by the end of this IPL season and grow to 4.5 million by the next one. MI team is the proud owner of some of the most talented and respected cricketers from around the globe, including players from India, Sri Lanka, Australia and South Africa. By the end of the fourth season the brand value for MI was estimated to be around $57.13 million . MI has been using the power of the Internet to spread its message and bring cricket to the Internet by making significant investments over the course of 4 years. Currently Mumbai Indians owns www.mumbaiindians.com and is very active on all the major social networking platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Mumbai Indians wants to acquire and own the TLD “.Indians” to further its dream and make Internet a part of the lives of its fans and countless other Indians who proudly wear the colour blue. Today Mumbai Indians’ primary website ‘www.mumbaiindians.com’ enjoys traffic which exceeds 30,000 unique visitors per month. Since IPL is an annual event which mostly runs in the months of April and May, the traffic peaks during these months but the website enjoys a steady stream of about 6000 monthly visitors through the year. The visitors to the website are generally interested in information about players, match schedules, scores of current and previous matches, match day pictures, videos and buying tickets. By acquiring the domain “.Indians” MI would like to offer its fans and Indians in general an opportunity to associate themselves with the name “Indians” by allowing second level domain names under the TLD “.Indians”. This offer will initially be open to only the fans of Mumbai Indians who become a member of the exclusive Mumbai Indians club and wish to enjoy the club’s privileges along with a unique website address with “.Indians” as a top level domain name. The program will then be extended to the rest of India so that that every Indian, irrespective of their location, race, caste, creed can proudly declare that they belong to the great nation of India and acquire a “.Indians” web address."[6]

References