Australians gripe about negative top-level domain proposals

Governments have made their comments on proposals for new top-level domains, and applicants now have 21 days to respond

Governments around the world have lodged complaints about a wide variety of proposals for new top-level Internet domains. Australia is the biggest complainer and has issues with proposed domains including "gripe," "fail" and "sucks": It says they are too negative.

The complaints are so-called early warnings, and are the latest step in the long process to create new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). If approved, the new domains will work just as traditional top-level domains such as .com and .org.

Any member of the Governmental Advisory Committee of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) can issue a warning on any application, stating why it sees it as sensitive or problematic.

A total of 242 warnings have been filed, according to ICANN.

Australia is the country behind the largest number of them, by a wide margin. It took offense to "sucks" because "the string has an overtly negative or critical connotation," and gave the same reason why it thinks "wtf," "gripe" and "fail" should not be allowed to become a top level domain.

It also warned that "casino" should be denied because the applicants for the domain name do "not appear to have proposed sufficient mechanisms to minimize potential consumer harm."

A company that probably isn't too happy about the warnings is Amazon, because "app;" "book," "cloud," "game," "movie" and a number of its other suggested domains have all drawn the ire of the Australians.

Proposals for geographical domain names have attracted a number of warnings, including those for "roma", "africa", "patagonia" and "persiangulf."

For example, "persiangulf" shouldn't be allowed to become a top level domain because it "refers to a geographical place with disputed name" and the proposal has a lack of community involvement, according to Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Applicants now have 21 days to respond to any warnings they have received.

The disputed domains were among the 1930 for which applications were revealed in June.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Mikael Ricknäs

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