TLDs delegated by ICANN this month are all a little strange, each in their own way and, as always, they all represent a slightly different take on the intersection between TLD and community.

Recently-delegated TLDs

.freeNovember 8

Perhaps the most contentious of the TLDs delegated to the root zone this past month, the .free TLD was among the 58 applications the European Commission flagged as potentially incompatible with "existing policy positions and objectives of the European Union."

At issue is a letter sent to applicants for 58 TLDs by the European Commission in 2012 in which they specifically noted that in doing so they were side-stepping ICANN's mitigation process.

The heart of the issue lies in the European Commission's disagreements with ICANN, specifically regarding adopting their copyright and trademark policy, which is a long-standing conflict going back years. Suffice it to say the European Commission leadership doesn't feel empowered enough by ICANN's multi-stakeholder model.

In the end, Amazon won the contract to manage .free in their TLD portfolio.

.foodNovember 10

When the new TLD program began, Minds+Machines and celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck teamed up to secure and promote the .food TLD. The idea evidently was that Minds+Machines would apply for and manage .food while Puck would be used to promote it.

Minds+Machines says that when Wolfgang's wife got involved the couple demanded involvement in TLDs Minds+Machines was working on while the Pucks claim Minds+Machines reneged on their deal.

In the end, .food went to Lifestyle Domains Holding Company with Verisign serving as the technical backend. It doesn't seem like any celebrity chefs are as-yet on board.

.boxNovember 11

Initially in the application process, ICANN flagged .box as a potential source of name collision issues, but not long afterwards (a matter of weeks, really) ICANN removed the block on the .box application (among others) and allowed it to proceed as normal.

It was delegated to NS1 Limited, a Hong Kong based company, who beat out Amazon for this TLD. Backend services will be provided by Neustar.

.cruise November 12

The .cruise application was one of the TLD applications that got a warning from ICANN's GAC (Government Advisory Committee) because both applicants — Cruise Lines International Association Inc. and Viking River Cruises Ltd. were single companies within the cruise line industry seeking to register the TLD for their entire sector.

As has been the case for other applications the GAC gave such warnings for (most prominently Amazon's .book application), the ICANN board approved the delegation of .cruise to Viking River Cruises Ltd. (with Afilias acting as the backend provider).

.boston November 29

For some reason geoTLDs were much more popular when ICANN opened applications for new gTLDS for Europe much more than in the US. While there are now nearly thirty delegated new European gTLDs, .boston joins .nyc and .miami as one of a much smaller number of US cohort (.quebec is Canada's only new geoTLD so far, Africa has just three, Asia has 13, Oceania two and just .rio for South America).

Backed up by a letter of support from the City of Boston, the Boston Globe newspaper applied for and was delegated this TLD and got it totally uncontroversially.
Which makes it somewhat of an ideal new gTLD. The community served, being geographic rather than conceptual, is clearly delineated, the applicant has a clear stake in that community and has the full support of the clear, entitled representatives of the community.

.catholic, .天主教, .كاثوليك, .католик

These three TLDs are more like a BrandTLD, but worth mentioning. As you may have guessed, the Roman Catholic church applied for .catholic. The .天主教, .كاثوليك, and .католик TLDs (Chinese, Arabic and Cyrillic, respectively) are all just alternate script transliterations of the same. And that makes intuitive sense, even if this is the only application so far for a TLD on the part of a world religion.

However, the Roman Catholic Church isn't the only Christian religion to use this label and it was the Saudi Arabian government (because ... who else?) who raised this point in objecting to these three TLDs (among others).

While the Vatican has previously issued statements disparaging some of the kinds of content that has become widespread with the advent of the internet, applying for these new TLDs also shows a willingness to participate in the internet as well.

As we've seen in months past, making sure the communities represented by a particular TLD are given their say in the process was one of the key goals of ICANN's new gTLD program. This month's crop of newly-delegated TLDs is full of odd balls that nonetheless show interesting ways in which communities react to the creation of new TLDs, whether related or not.

What makes a work of art? A century ago, experts might have measured art by its technical skill, a mastery of composition and form, or the even the inspiration of some kind of pathos on the part of the observer. But then artists and their appreciators spent decades jackhammering these sacred cows of artistic value, constantly re-sculpting and remolding the definition of art itself.

But we're not here to solve the unresolved tensions of art theory. Suffice it to say that art has value. At least to some. When some new expression of the artistic zeitgeist comes along, if you're the type of person or organization that can't miss out, then we have some important news for you.

On December 7, 2016 .art, the only TLD oriented specifically to the art world, is entering the Sunrise phase. That means if you're in that world and you have a trademark registered with Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH), you can register your .art domain for $300.62 for first year registration*, ahead of anyone else, until February 7, 2017.

Art-related non-profits, museums, institutions, galleries, and artists without a TMCH-registered trademark won't miss out entirely, though.

From February 8, 2017, until May 9, 2017, such established members of the art world can register their .art domains at Landrush pricing  per year**.

Finally, .art domains can also now be purchased in the GoLive phase, which begins May 10, 2017. Domains purchased in this phase are available for $17.44 per year at A rates* and are open to anyone with a creative spirit and an interest in art. However you want to define it.

Register your .art?


*Prices in USD. For local pricing, see .art page.

**Landrush pricing for .art has yet to be finalized. We will let you know what those prices are when they become available.

Just like every year this time of year, right now a bunch of cool new tech is out. We might take a moment to walk you through our top picks for the season, but we know you've probably had your eye on some things for awhile now so we'll save you the indignity of watching us drool over the latest gadgets and limit ourselves to just one suggestion: a .tech domain.

From December 5, 2016 through January 31, 2017 is the perfect time to get a .tech domain, when you can get some real savings by buying your .tech domain for the long-term.

That's because if you buy a .tech domain name for between 5-9 years, it will only cost you $16.70 per year*. With .tech domains normally $60.79 per year at A rates*, that's just $150.30 for the full 9 years instead of $547.11*.

Or, if you're going to get a .tech for 9 years, you might as well make it a full 10 years. Registrations of new .tech domains for 10 years this December and January will be just $11.50 per year*, meaning a ten-year .tech registration would come to just $115.00 instead of $607.90*.

So get yourself a .tech domain for a few years now and save yourself enough to get some great tech later.

Register a .tech?


*Prices in USD. See .tech pricing page for local prices.


Lottery tickets are a staple for last-minute gift givers during the holiday season, but as a gift, it can be more than just a literal gamble.

We have a suggestion for that high-stakes enthusiast in your life with better odds: get them a .bet domain.

To make it more of a sure bet, starting December 2, the first year of a new .bet domain is on sale for just $7.00, $20.79* after that.

And don't worry if you forget to make your .bet before the holidays. This deal extends all the way until January 31, 2017 (at 3:59 PM PST to be precise).

Care to place a .bet?

*Prices in USD. See .bet page for local pricing.

Still looking for that perfect stocking stuffer for the skiing enthusiast, the organic agriculturalist or the architect in your life?

Starting November 30, 2016 at 5:00 PM PST and ending December 15, 2016 at 6:00 PM PDT, .ski, .bio, and .archi are 50% off. That means .ski domains will be available for $24.00 per year, .bio domains for $26.00 per year, and .archi domains for $40.00 per year*.

If you missed our Cyber Monday sale on these TLDs, look no further!

Register a domain under one of these TLDs?:


*Prices in USD. See .ski, .bio and .archi pages for local prices.

All December—from December 1 until December 31, 2016 at 3:59 PM  will be in the half-price club.

That means instead of the usual $13.43 per year at A rates*, .club domain registrations will be possible for just $6.72 per year*.

Join the half-price .club club?



*Prices in USD. See .club page for local pricing.

In order to further improve domain name security, ICANN has recently implemented new rules and procedures governing domain name ownership. These rules in particular are in regards to changes made to domain name contact information, most notably the email address.

This new procedure, which takes effect on December 1, 2016, will involve sending a confirmation link to both the current and future email addresses (as is currently done for domain name transfers and ownership changes). The change can only be completed once both links have been accepted. Then, once it has been completed, a confirmation email is sent to both email addresses as notification of the change.

This new process also includes a transfer lock on domain names associated with any "owner" contacts (or "administrative" contacts in certain cases) after undergoing an email change. This lock will prevent the domain name from being transferred for a period of 60 days following the email update.

ICANN now provides the option for a "Designated Agent" to waive this 60-day lock, and as we are aware that this new obligation makes the transfer process more complicated, especially should you ever lose access to the email address currently on your account, we have chosen to allow you to authorize Gandi to act as your Designated Agent and remove the 60-day transfer lock, which we will do by default when selecting this option.

To make Gandi your Designated Agent, you would just need to confirm Gandi's new contract during your next email address change or domain name operation. The new contract adds this notion of a Designated Agent, thereby allowing us to remove the transfer lock whenever you choose to update your email address.

This new process will require some additional development on our part, though, so we will not be able to implement this feature immediately on December 1. Unfortunately, this means in the meantime, you will be temporarily unable to modify your email address via our website except through our manual validation process. For that, you  just need to request the email change following the manual email change process with our customer care team.

We expect the process to be fully automated sometime in mid-December 2016, at which point it will become available directly from our website. Check back for future upates as we will be posting them here when they come in.

We're celebrating Cyber Monday all this week and into the next with this 80% off sale on appropriately wintery TLD .ski, organic non-GMO TLD .bio and brutalist TLD .archi.

Starting Monday November 28 and going until November 30, 2016 at 3:59 PM PST .ski and  .bio domains will be available for just $10.00 per year* and .archi will be available for just $16.00 per year*.

Register a domain under one of these TLDs?:


*Prices in USD. See .ski, .bio and .archi pages for local prices.

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