.basketball

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Status: Proposed
Registry: Fédération Internationale de Basketball (FIBA)
Registry Backend: CentralNic
Type: Generic
Category: Sport
Priority #: 274 - Famous Four Media (dot Basketball Limited)
569 - Donuts (Little Hollow, LLC)

1364 - The International Basketball Association (FIBA)

.basketball is a proposed TLD in ICANN's New gTLD Program. In December 2014 it was announced that The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) had won the rights to the domain in partnership with TLDH and ROAR Domains.[1]

Applicants

The following companies below filed an application to serve as registry operator for the .basketball domain name space. [2]

  1. The International Basket Federation (FIBA) in partnership with TLDH and ROAR Domains, LLC. Their intent for the domain is to promote and protect the sport and the interests of its stakeholders, including entities and organizations affiliated with basketball, and its players and fans worldwide. Minds + Machines was selected at their back-end registry services provider.[3] This applicant submitted a Public Interest Commitment, which can be downloaded here.
  2. Donuts (Little Hollow, LLC), a start up company established by domain industry veterans that applied for 307 new gTLDs. Daniel Schindler, Donuts EVP for Sales & Market is the contact person in the application. [4] This applicant submitted a Public Interest Commitment, which can be downloaded here. FIBA filed a Community Objection against this application.[5]
  3. Famous Four Media (dot Basketball Limited), Geir Rasmussen is the contact person in the application. The company is based in Gibraltar and filed 61 gTLD applications. [6] This applicant submitted a Public Interest Commitment, which can be downloaded here. FIBA filed a community objection against this application.[7]

Community Objection

FIBA filed Community Objections against the other two applications. In January 2014, an ICC panelist denied the objections and allowed both applications to continue, on the grounds that FIBA did not persuade the panelist that the other applications would cause material detriment to the basketball community. This decision was in contrast to an earlier decision by a different panelist on the .sport string, wherein the panelist sided with the objector.[8]

GAC Early Warnings

The applications from Donuts and Famous Four Media each received a GAC Early Warning from Greece. 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.[9]

The warnings are identical and state that each respective organization does not represent the international basketball community while FIBA, which also applied, does.[10]

Donuts responded to the Greek GAC representative noting that it was a highly experienced operation dedicated to neutrality and competition on the Internet, and was no less qualified than an entity whose business is solely basketball. Donuts underscores that their is a community TLD delegation process for those entities that feel they have unique rights to a given term and its community, and despite the fact that FIBA seems to be claiming a community status now, it is too late and the application was not filed as such. Concluding, "Governments are not meant in the process to pick winners and losers between applicants, yet this seems to be exactly what the some are asking GAC members to do."[11]

ROAR Domains v. Competition

In January 2013, Donuts published correspondence showing that ROAR Domains, which is in partnership with Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd. and has the backing of the International Rugby Board and The International Basket Federation for its .rugby and .basketball apps, has been actively seeking ways to intimidate and see its competition disqualified from the strings. Both are contested by portfolio-applicant Donuts. Thus, they are apparently pushing for Donuts to be disqualified outright from the New gTLD Program. Such criticism of Donuts have previously been based on allegations about poor domaining practice, such as claims that Donuts co-founder Paul Stahura was involved with an excessive amount of UDRP cases with his former company, eNom. ROAR Domains wrote to Donuts, saying, "while we have no desire to join the chorus of voices speaking out against Donuts, it is incumbent on us to pursue the automatic disqualification of Applicant Guidebook Section 1.2.1, and every opposition and objection process available to us." Section 1.2.1 focuses on the applicant background check.[12]

ROAR seemingly also boasted about obtaining 4 GAC warnings on behalf of its applications and noted that the complaints should see their way through to official GAC Advice.[13]

References