In 2012, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) introduced the generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Program to implement new Top-Level Domains into the Internet’s addressing system. To help explain the gTLD Program, this article highlights three important aspects of the Program, including: 1) background information on ICANN’s new gTLD Program and the evaluation process for applicants, 2) statistics from the first round of applications in the gTLD Program, and 3) mechanisms that rights holders may use to protect themselves (which ICANN labeled “Rights Protection Mechanisms”).
A gTLD is a segment of a domain name. Currently, there are 22 gTLDs, including the familiar .com, .edu, .mobi, and .org, and another 250 country-code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs), such as .us, .ca, and .uk. An applicant may now apply for a gTLD to be about anything they would like, such as .donut, .pencil, or .apple, for example.
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