The Official Objection Procedure
Despite the hundreds of millions of dollars ICANN possesses in funds from its jurisdiction over the internet naming system and rollout of new gTLDs, lodging an Official Objection is prohibitively expensive for just about anyone. There can be little doubt that the exorbitant cost has discouraged official objections when in comparison you consider that a large volume of negative comments have been made when that option is free.
The parameters that narrowly define anyone's eligibility to make objections are highly controversial. The definition of "objection" should be limitless, not narrow. ICANN has apparently not foreseen the possibility of the rise of powerful economic domain monopolies, but in any case the problem should have been easy to object to and the procedure should have had open parameters.
To a domain and brand expert, the problem is very real and self-evident.
Justice is justice. Justice knows no boundaries.
An injustice served on just one individual is still an injustice. In which country does the law require substantial "community opposition" to an act before justice is carried out?
The objection period for the new gTLDs began in 2012 and closed in 2013. More details are published on the ICANN Objection and Dispute Resolution page.
There are four categories of objections:
SPECIAL NOTE: Objections are not filed directly with ICANN but with authorized Dispute Resolution Service Providers as follows:
"Community" seems to be the applicable category where you can lodge a formal objection to an exclusively owned dictionary word domain string application like .game. In other words, "Community" seems to be where you must lodge an objection if you care about the anti competitive intentions of some of the domain string proposals as described on this website. The fees are high expect to pay in the range of $40-50,000 or more.
SPECIAL NOTE: ICANN received about $350m in application fees for the new gTLDs. A percentage of this should have been spent on a global awareness campaign.
Eligibility to lodge an objection is unnecessarily restrictive the process excludes many possible legitimate points of view:
You don't appear to be permitted to lodge an objection based on your individual opinion, you don't appear to have individual rights on this issue. You have to define the community you represent and demonstrate widespread opposition within it:
ICANN's requirements are not restricted to points like the following, but these are examples of the types of evidence that you must provide for your objection to succeed:
ICANN's gTLD Applicant Guidebook, Module 3, (P 22-24)
So, for example, let's suppose you are operating a little shop selling golf clubs, and you wish to register the domain GolfClubs.shop. There is currently no guarantee that the .shop string will even be an open registry. So to be certain of eligibility, you will have to demonstrate to ICANN that there is significant community objection to Amazon owning every .shop domain in existence, including GolfClubs.shop. (Since Amazon has applied to own the .shop domain extension as a privately owned, closed registry). If you are not able to demonstrate a high level of community objection, and if you can't afford around €15,000 in fees, then you may not even be able to apply for a .shop domain.
SuperMonopolies.com A hypothetical analysis of the new top level domain names coming in 2013-14.
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