.architect

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Status: Proposed
Registry Provider: Demand Media
Type: Generic
Category: Professional
PIC Submitted: Download Here

.architect is a proposed TLD in ICANN's New gTLD Program. The applicant is Donuts (Spring Frostbite, LLC).[1]

GAC Early Warnings

The application was issued 2 GAC Early Warnings, from the representatives of the Australian and French governments. The Australian warning notes that the TLD is tied to a regulated market and that the application does not promise sufficient mechanisms to protect from consumer harm. 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 French representative also warned the related .archi as a architect-centric domain.

Donuts replied to France´s warning to .architect, and its similar objections for .health, .sarl, .hotel and .vin, with an impassioned defense of the validity of open registration for New gTLDs. In the case of .architect it notes that there are many other people and organizations that may identify as an "architect" other than those structural architects who have their title regulated by French law. For example, Donuts points to its application, which references software architects, landscape architects, etc. It further notes that restricting registration unfairly assumes malfeasance on the part of the registrant, that no such restrictions exist for related domains in any exisiting gTLDs or ccTLDs, and that verification and restriction would inevitably raise the price of registration significantly. They write, "We do not want to disenfranchise all users of a term by limiting its use to the most common category of usage." They go on to quote the GAC's own advice with regards to its contract with .xxx registry provider, ICM Registry, which notes that at that time the GAC was against any monitoring of TLD content given that it seems to overstep ICANN's technical mandate.[3]

Community Objection

The International Architectural Union (IAU) filed a community objection against the application.[4] Panelist Andreas Reiner of the ICC determined the objection, which was published on 25 September 2013.[5] He ruled in favor of the objector, which would kill Donuts' application for the string. The IAU had backed an application by Starting Dot for the string .archi. The panelist concluded that the objector represented a substantial and clearly dilineated community, and that the community would be harmed if Donuts won control of the string.[6]

Application Details

The TLD will be an open TLD with no restrictions limiting it to a defined group within the architect community or only architects themselves.
Excerpt from Response Question 18:
"No entity, or group of entities, has exclusive rights to own or register second level names in this TLD. There are superior ways to minimize the potential abuse of second level names, and in this application Donuts will describe and commit to an extensive array of protections against abuse, including protections against the abuse of trademark rights.

We recognize some applicants seek to address harms by constraining access to the registration of second level names. However, we believe attempts to limit abuse by limiting registrant eligibility is unnecessarily restrictive and harms users by denying access to many legitimate registrants. Restrictions on second level domain eligibility would prevent law-abiding individuals and organizations from participating in a space to which they are legitimately connected, and would inhibit the sort of positive innovation we intend to see in this TLD. As detailed throughout this application, we have struck the correct balance between consumer and business safety, and open access to second level names."[7]

References