updated 08:09 am EDT, Tue August 14, 2012
ICANN receives registration complaints on moral, health grounds
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has raised objections to certain gTLD applications. The Saudi Communication and Information Technology Commission has filed complaints with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) over some top-level domain proposals on various taste, decency and health-related grounds in the last few days, according to The Register.
Proposals for .virgin and .baby were claimed to encourage pornography, despite being registered by Virgin Group and Johnson & Johnson respectively. The commission believes "there is a risk that this string is used in the same way as .XXX to host pornographic websites." Virgin applied for .virgin as a single-registrant gTLD, and does not plan to sell .virgin domains to customers or businesses outside the Virgin Group. Johnson & Johnson specifically stated in its bid that the .baby gTLD would be used solely for its own marketing purposes. Objections from the commission were also raised against .dating, .hot, .sex, .porn, .sexy, and .gay, suggesting that the gTLDs would promote homosexuality and be offensive to "many societies and cultures."
Citing health and morality issues, .vodka, .wine, .bar, .pub, .casino, and .poker were also objected against. Religious terminology such as .catholic, .bible, .islam, and .halal were also targeted.
Since June 13, 800 of the over 6,000 comments made to ICANN on gTLDs were filed against .sex, .porn, and .adult. These three gTLDs were applied for by ICM Registry, current manager of .xxx, with the complaints against these gTLDs being part of a campaign led by Morality in Media, a US religious group.
ICANN revealed the full list of new domain submissions in June, listing all 1,930 requests. Google applied for 101 gTLDs, Amazon 76, while Apple applied for just .apple. Obtaining a gTLD was seen as costly by many trademark owners, many of whom declined to participate, citing evaluation fees for each application set at $185,000.