ICANN caves over .cloud domain names

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ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) the body responsible for IP addresses and domain names, has moved against allowing companies to use generic terms for top-level domain names for their own exclusive use.

In a meeting held in Beijing, the organisation's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) said that “generic terms should only have exclusive access if that exclusivity serves the public interest”, specifically identifying .CLOUD as a generic term.

The Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) has welcomed these developments and has called on ICANN to heed their concerns.

Chair of CIF, said that given it will be very difficult for commercial organisations operating competitively in the cloud market to demonstrate that a closed .CLOUD registry operated exclusively by one of them would serve the public interest, ICANN's decision was an "important step forward for common sense."

“The GAC has taken absolutely the right tack on the matter of generic TLDs," he said. "Whilst we are not assuming the matter closed, we are happy to see common sense prevail in the form of GAC’s letter to ICANN."

Burton said that by identifying .CLOUD as a generic term, the GAC has effectively made it clear that it does not support commercial applications for a closed registry where the market is more likely to be confused than to serve the public interest.

"We believe that a closed registry would be disastrous for the industry at large, making smaller cloud providers beholden to the demands imposed by the owner of .CLOUD," said Burton.

"We also believe it will be difficult for Amazon, Google or Symantec to demonstrate that exclusive access to this domain credibly serves the public interest, and so we are more optimistic that we will see the agenda move to being one about an Open Registry where the industry and community at large can get behind it.”

As reported by Cloud Pro, the CIF has sounded alarm over moves to treat .Cloud doamin as exclusive for one organisation.

Cloud and retail giant Amazon has also incurred the wrath of the publishing industry for similar moves to gain control of the .book, .author and .read website suffixes.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.