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New Top Level Domains

New top level domain names (Summary): On February 4, 1997, the Internet International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC) announced a plan for domain names that would create seven new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs). The IAHC, a coalition of participants from the broad Internet community, was working to the improve the Internet's global Domain Name System (DNS). The following gTLDs will be added to the Internet in the near future under the IAHC plan:

for businesses, or firms
for businesses offering goods to purchase
for entities emphasizing activities related to the WWW
for entities emphasizing cultural and entertainment activities
for entities emphasizing recreation/entertainment activities
for entities providing information services
for those wishing individual or personal nomenclature

Registration for the new gTLDs will be handled by 28 new second-level domain name registrars. The new registrars will be selected by lottery from applicants who fulfill specific requirements established by the IAHC. All the new gTLDs will be shared among the new registrars, meaning that each registrar may effect registration of second-level domain names under all the new gTLDs. The new registrars will together form a Council of Registrars (CORE), to be established under Swiss law. CORE will be responsible for handling future domain name developments.

The administration of the present gTLDs (.com, .org, .net) will continue to be handled by NSI (part of InterNIC), under a contract that NSI has with the National Science Foundation. When this contract expires, the 28 organizations handling the new gTLDs will also be responsible for registering second level domain names currently being handled by InterNIC.

Under the IAHC plan, "internationally known" trademarks would be protected against similar second-level domain names. Although there are few details concerning any new domain name dispute policy, it appears that disputes over domain names will be handled through international arbitration, which could take place over the Internet.

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