Going once. Going twice… The .nyc auctions

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­auction todayJackson Hts., New York, July 29, 2014 – With the .london Landrush ending on Thursday, “30 applications for the properties.london address and over 40 for nightlife.london” have been received (see V3.co.uk/) with an auction to decide the recipient. What? Let me try to unbundle that statement.

Over the past 50+ days anyone with $75 to invest (see GoDaddy’s rates) has been able to buy a lottery ticket of sorts for a domain name within the .london TLD. With the July 31 deadline to apply for a .london domain name nearing, 30 people have purchased tickets for the “properties.london” lottery, and 40 for the “nightlife.london” lottery. By midnight on July 31 more than 50,000 different domain names are expected to have been applied for overall, with several thousand names having multiple bidders.

In London…

The operator of the .london TLD has established priority rules to sort out those instances of “multiple-applicants for same name?” Here’s how it works.

  • Getting first priority are those with a registered international trademark. If more than one entity has a trademark, for example, Cadillac cars and Cadillac foods, then a high bid auction is held to determine the winner.
  • Second priority goes to ticket holders with a valid London address and an established right to a name. For example, a business can upload “evidence” to demonstrate its current use of a name, and thus right, to a parallel .london domain name. Within this Second Priority several sub-categories have been established: In descending order of priority those are: entities with local trademarks, businesses without trademarks, charities, and those with unregistered trademarks. Again, if more than one entity presents evidence of prior use in a sub-category, for example, cadillac.com and cadillac.net, a high bid auction sorts things out.
  • Third priority goes to those applicants with a valid London address, but no prior use of the name.
  • Final priority (if that’s the right word) goes to applicants without a valid London address, a New Yorker for example who wants to own a piece of digital London. In these last two instances it’s an auction that breaks a tie.

In New York…

Here in New York we’re doing things differently. There’s no value to having used a name for years or decades. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve registered it with the state – neither a New York State trademark nor d/b/a counts.

Excepting those with international trademarks, local businesses and non-profits have no more right to a name than anyone else. The Bloomberg Administration, which established the rules, made the decision to start the naming process all over again on a level(ish) playing field.

So between August 4 and October 3, if you like a name, buy a ticket (it will cost you about $75). Then out bid the current owner (and possibly other ticket holders) at auction, and its yours. But you may get lucky – the current owner might not even know the .nyc TLD is being introduced, and not buy a ticket. In that case, no auction, it’s yours.

So what happens when 30 tickets are sold for a domain name such as properties.nyc? “The auction will be held in accordance with the auction rules… Any auction fees, charges and the final bid price for the domain name will be the responsibility of the Applicant.” A regressive process that promotes the status quo.

This Bloomberg legacy process is slated to move ahead. For the administration it’s the easy, fast, and cheap allocation process. But if you believe as I do that it’s unfair, call 311 and tell Mayor de Blasio –  è ingiusto.

For our older posts 2007-2014 see here.

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Thomas thinks about technology and its impact on the quality of urban life.

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