June 2, 2017
Domain name registries are required to reserve country and territory names in new gTLDs and the release of specific country and territory names is subject to agreement with the relevant governments.
Domain name registrants who wish to register country and territory names in new gTLDs must request permission from ICANN (“as required per Section 4 of Specification 5 of the Registry Agreement, the release of country and territory names from reservation is subject to review by ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) and approval by ICANN").
Individual governments may decide whether or not to impose restrictions on the reservation of their country or territory names. However, a certain number have opted for no restrictions. This means that new domain name registries can auction the relevant domain names, eg. Finland.news. Brand extensions can also register their .brands with the country name of their choice in six languages including IDNs.
Six companies have just requested registration of their .brand domain names in association with a country name (.pioneer, .fujitsu, .obi, .sharp, .toyota, .lexus).
Critics of the system have pointed out that several governments who wish to regulate the reservation of their country names in new gGTLDs have not done so for their ccTLDs. As an example, the Italian state is owner of Italy.it and italia.it while the domains germany.de and deutshcland.de appear to be privately owned.
For further information, please contact the IP Twins team at firstname.lastname@example.org