ICANN creates two-tier Internet with dot-com contract

Domain name system overseer ICANN will create a two-tier Internet later this year with thousands of new Internet extensions required to follow different contractual obligations than the existing 21 "generic top-level domains" or gTLDs.

Under the terms of a new contract for the Internet's largest registry - dot-com - published this week for public comment, current owner Verisign will not be obliged to follow many of the new provisions created for new gTLDs.

As operator of the dot-com registry, for example, it will not have to abide by the new trademark protections included in the new gTLD process: the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS), Post-Delegation Dispute Resolution Process (PDDRP), and Trademark Clearinghouse (TC).

It will also not be contractually affected by the radical market shift that ICANN has decided upon where suppliers of domain names (registrars) and operators of Internet extensions (registries) will no longer have to be entire separate entities.

Since the dot-com contract acts as the forerunner of any changes to the other existing registry contracts, it is extremely unlikely that the contractual changes developed over six years for new gTLDs will be applied to any existing extensions.

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