July 11, 2018

Plural gTLDs to be banned because of confusion concerns

The move enforced by ICANN aims to simplify the usage of domains based on the advice of existing registries.

Domain registry

Internet authority ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) will be banning plural gTLDs (generic Top Level Domains) by heeding the advice of existing registries to simplify domain usage. With this move, ICANN aims to address the issue of ‘consumer confusion’ that is caused by the plural domains.

According to ICANN, internet penetration has been responsible for the growth of generic as well as new TLDs that are available in the market. They say that along with the rise of new TLDs, plural gTLDs also came into the picture and grabbed consumer interest.

However, the addition of plural gTLDs led to confusion among consumers and this issue, ICANN say, was pointed out in 2012 by many registries. With the rising number of gTLDs, ICANN believe that it was about time that they arrived at a decision to resolve the plural domains’ issue.

As per the report on new GTLDs, ICANN say that an application for the singular version of a word and an application for a plural version of the same word at the same time and in the same language will have the applications put in a contention set. It further states that since this could add to the confusion, such applications for single/plural variations of existing TLDs would not be permitted. For e.g.- .CAREERS/.CAREER, .PHOTO/.PHOTOS, .WORK/.WORKS etc. will not be allowed.

Industry analysts claim that the decision to ban plural gTLDS is about time and this move will most likely benefit new TLD players. The internet authority is yet to announce the date since this move will come into effect.