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Google Bows to Pressure on Closed Generics

The debate surrounding “closed generics”, which has been covered several times in the past, has attracted a lot of attention in recent weeks.

At the centre of the debate were a number of new TLD applications from large companies including Google, Amazon and others.

Google had stated that they planned to establish a number of domain extensions and operate them as “walled gardens”. At the ICANN public meeting in Toronto Google attempted to defend their plans and their position until today was unchanged.

However in their submission to the comment period on “closed generics” this evening it’s obvious that they have been forced to reconsider that position in relation to some of their applications, though their overall view remains unchanged:

After careful analysis, Google has identified four of our current single registrant applications that we will revise: .app, .blog, .cloud and .search. These terms have been identified by governments (via Early Warning) and others within the community as being potentially valuable and useful to industry as a whole. We also believe that for each of these terms we can create a strong set of user experiences and expectations without restricting the string to use with Google products.

With this in mind, we intend to work with ICANN, the Government Advisory Committee (GAC), and other members of the relevant communities to amend our applications with new registration policies (and, in some cases, new registry services) to achieve these aims. Details of these plans will be forthcoming in the near future.

How that will translate into a policy and whether or not they will actually be granted the ability to run the domain name registries for these domain extensions remains to be seen, but the quite dramatic change in their position is welcome.

You can read their full submission here.

By Michele Neylon, MD of Blacknight Solutions

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