.MOSCOW and .МОСКВА Domains Were Presented at the RANS International Conference as an Example of TLDs’ Implementation Within the New gTLD Program

September 19-20, 2012 the 13-th International Conference on Contemporary Conditions and Perspectives of IP Communications and IP Services in Russia was held at the Vatutinki Resort in the countryside close to Moscow. It was organized by a major public and governmental organization, the Russian Association of Networks and Services (RANS), with the support of the Ministry of Communication and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.

During the conference representatives from the leading companies and industry experts discussed issues of information/communication infrastructure, development of global network and services, integration of the e-government and public services, mechanisms to ensure the quality of services in IP-based infrastructure, information security and other issues of the Russian ICT sector in the coming decade.

The hot topics of the conference were the issues of national domain administration and DNS-infrastructure development, state and prospects of existing as well as new top-level domains.

The President of the Foundation Alexander Panov delivered the presentation about the possibilities for usage of .MOSCOW and .МОСКВА domains as a ground for the unified information space of Russian capital.

Territory branding is the main common objective for the introduction of these TLDs. dotMOSCOW websites will be definitely associated by the users with the city that will make it more recognizable and attractive. It is important to note that 61 applications for geographical top-level domains were submitted within the New gTLD Program. The world's largest cities like Berlin, Paris, London, Seoul, Tokyo, Rome, Ottawa, Bangkok intend to get their own top-level domains.

.МОСКВА and .MOSCOW domains have another goal that distinguishes them from the rest of the city gTLDs – introduction of public second-level domains for social, educational, scientific and sports organizations and associations, as well as creation of hotel, museum, theatre, cinema, stadium catalogue and other social, cultural and tourist destinations.

The concept of the domains’ implementation was devised by FAITID in strong cooperation with federal and municipal governmental bodies, social and trade organizations. The demand and the popularity of the new TLDs were confirmed by the social survey's results during the celebration of the Moscow City Day in 2011.

The danger of introduction of new top-level domains is the threat of misuse of the expanded address space. In November 2011, a petition against the New gTLD Program was issued. It was signed by more than 50 major corporations, including American Express, Coca-Cola, Ford Motor. They insisted that intellectual property rights (trademarks, brands, domains) will be threatened after the launch of the New gTLD Program. It will trigger a huge wave of cybersquatting and force brand owners to register names in each new domain in order to protect their brands.

It is a premature panic. Negative effects can be prevented by a careful approach to the development of the registration policies for each TLD (according to the Program’s terms applicants for new top-level domains must develop policies on their own).

There should be broad public debates to approve the policies in order to take into account the opinion of the business community, intellectual property owners, state and municipal authorities.

Joint work during the development of the initial concept of the policies and their final version enables not only to expand the address space of the Internet, but also structure the huge amount of the information published online.