Pope takes No.1 slot as Chinese Catholic domain is first drawn in ICANN Priority Lottery

We’ll have to wait a while for .irish

Chinese Catholics should be celebrating as .catholic, written in Chinese, has been the first generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) to be drawn in the Lottery which will determine which domains have gained first mover advantage.

The .irish domain, applied for by Irish real estate entrepreneur John Toland, was pulled out in the priority lottery in the early hours of this morning at position 1,491 so will be amongst the later new gTLDs to launch. ICANN have said they aim to launch 1,000 domains in the first 12 months following the ICANN meeting in Beijing 7-11 April 2013, so, barring any delays (and there have been many so far), the .irish domain launch looks set to be pushed out until at least 2014. For more information visit www.dotirish.com

ICANN decided to hold the lottery after 1,930 applications were received for new gTLDs – nearly double the number they expected. .london was picked 635th and is therefore in with a chance of launching next year while .lol by Google was 877th to be picked out.

The process has not been without its controversies. Last month ICANN received 270 warnings from the Government Advisory Committee voicing their concerns over some of the potential domain name endings such as .bible .green and .islam. With applications such as .home already reportedly having changed hands and applicants not being held legally accountable to what was written in their application, it is expected we are yet to see a few more twists and turns.

Kelly Salter, Domain Product Specialist at Register365, explains the process: “The stakes were high last night as 92% of new gTLD applications had bought tickets to get first mover advantage in the LA lottery.  This is where the new domain name explosion really starts. Today we have found out which of the extensions have got first mover advantage in the race to gain exclusive control of a slice of the Internet. Someone was obviously praying hard as the first name drawn from the lottery was .catholic appearing as an Internationalised Domain Name written in Chinese script.  Obviously the Pope’s aspirations on China got a great boost just before Christmas!”

Kelly continues “For the UK, Dot Cymru could be first out the blocks, with Dot London likely to launch towards the end of next year.  Dot Scot and Dot Irish were pulled out of the draw much later on, so they are unlikely to launch until 2014. This will come as a bit of a blow especially to Scotland and Ireland as they face a long wait before they can launch, plus much of the market hype may well have passed before they get their chance.

After years and years of debate on how the gTLD process would be carried out and thousands of dollars already spent by the applicants, it is amazing that the success of these key domains rested on a $100 lottery ticket”.

Google vs. Amazon

Amazon secured the coveted number 2 slot with .store in Japanese and this is likely to upset Google as they only managed to get slot 34 with .everyone, also written in Japanese.  Although the first big commercial extension drawn was .play by Amazon, it’s been applied for by 4 parties including Google, so it can be expected that difficult negotiations and big money will change hands as this prime extension now has a prime release slot.  Amazon has been criticised for stating that .play would remain a closed extension if they secured it.

Google did not buy a ticket for more than 25% of their applications and so it really begs the question whether they plan to really open up these extensions to the public or they just want to land grab new Internet space.  Many of the applications made by Google have been contested and so they may be using delay tactics.

Full list of gTLD extensions applied for here:

More details on the draw from ICANN here:

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