As applications for new top level domains on the web open today, an American group is trying to secure ‘.gay’ for the LGBT community.
While many web addresses currently end with ‘.com’, there is a wide range of other top level domains including region-specific domains and endings based on organisation type including ‘.org’ and ‘.biz’.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the body that oversees the Internet’s naming system, has begun accepting applications for new top level domains today in its most recent release of online ‘real estate’.
Californian group dotgay LLC says it is the lead candidate to secure the community-based domain ‘.gay’.
It lists the support of 9 United Nations-accredited LGBT organisations, and over a hundred endorsements and letters of support from LGBT entities for its .gay plan to the global gay community, once approved.
It says it aims to make “.gay an exemplary beacon of social entrepreneurship and an empowering resource for helping people live their lives better based on their own conscience and improved access to global resources in the community.”
The .gay suffix would serve both the “service and non-profit community, business community, advertisers and media, plus a diverse range of individuals and emerging community groups”, it says.
The group adds that 67% of profits from the sale of .gay domain names would go to non-profit gay organisations.
The window for applications is only three months.
Rod Beckstrom, ICANN chairman said: “We believe this program will do what it’s designed to do, which is open up the Internet domain-name system to further innovation”.
Jonathan Robinson, non-executive director of Afilias said: “It’s opening up new fronts of Internet real estate and that brings opportunity and threat.”