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Happy Birthday .CAT and ICANN

Today, four years after the launch of the Catalan linguistic and cultural registry, Google reports that there are 90 million pages of Catalan content under the some 36 thousand .CAT domains. As imperfect as Google’s tools are as a metric, the correct observation is that the use of .CAT by Catalans vastly exceeds the expectations of its initial proponents, not simply by achieving commercial viability levels of registrations and renewals well before its 5th year of operation, but by displacing the pre-ICANN registries, .COM, .NET, .ORG and .ES, as the primary choice of Catalans registering domain names.

But the riotous adoption of it by Catalan registrants of domains is not ICANN’s only accomplishment in approving the creation of the .CAT registry. There is no infringement of the rights of others, no cyber-squatters, no costs to trademarks holders for the protection of their marks.

As .CAT turns 4 we in the ICANN community celebrate that we can in fact “get it right” and create what is genuinely needed by communities without creating costs to business.

By Eric Brunner-Williams, Mathematician

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