Wednesday, June 13, 2012

ICANN Releases New gTLD Applications; Some Have Religious Connections [CORRECTED]

Among followers of the Internet, today is known as "New gTLD Reveal Day". In what will be the largest expansion ever of the Internet Domain Name System, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) published a list of who has applied for which new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) names. (Press release.) The full list discloses 1,930 applications.  Several organizations have applied for gTLD's that have, or may have, a religious connection or connotation. These faith-related domain names (along with the applicants) are:
  • BIBLE (American Bible Society)
  • CATHOLIC (Pontifical Council for Social Communication)
  • CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network)
  • CHRISTMAS (Uniregistry Corp.)
  • CHURCH (Life Covenant Church and Holly Fields)
  • FAITH (dot Faith Limited)
  • HALAL (Asia Green IT System Bilgisayar San. ve Tic. Ltd. Sti.)
  • ISLAM (Asia Green IT System Bilgisayar San. ve Tic. Ltd. Sti.)
  • ISMAILI (Aga Khan Foundation)
  • KOSHER (Kosher Marketing Assets LLC)
  • MORMON (IRI Domain Management, LLC)
  • YOGA (Victor Falls, LLC; Top Level Domain Holdings Limited; Uniregistry, Corp.)
  • كاثوليك (Pontifical Council for Social Communication)
  • 天主教 (Pontifical Council for Social Communication)
[CORRECTED-- an earlier version of this posting misread one of the application names. As misread, it could have been seen as controversial or derogatory. As correctly read, it has no connection to a religious topic.]

ICANN's Senior Vice President Kurt Pritz said:
A 60-day comment period begins today, allowing anyone in the world to submit comments on any application, and the evaluation panels will consider them," said Pritz. "If anyone objects to an application and believes they have the grounds to do so, they can file a formal objection to the application. And they will have seven months to do that."
Here it the page from wich public comments may be submitted.  ICANN has also posted instructions for those who wish to file formal objections.

UPDATE: Mashable reports further on religious gTLD applications, pointing out another relevant application as well: LDS (for Latter Day Saints) sought by IRI Domain Management, LLC.

UPDATE2: IMAMAT should also be added to the list of gTLD applications involving religious references. [Thanks to comment from Shahram Soboutipour.]