Tuesday, 8th May 2012, 16:39:40
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will offer applicants who registered a new generic top-level domain name (gTLD) a refund of their fee, following a technical issue with its applications.
In January, consumers and companies were invited to apply for a dot.word domain name of their choosing.
Rather than the more common .com and .org, they were able to use any brand they chose, such as .london or .wales.
However, on April 12th, the TLD Application System (TAS) was shut down due to a security bug which enabled some applicants to inadvertently view private data belonging to more than 100 other applicants.
As a result, the company is offering a refund of the application fees (around $185,000 or £115,000) to its customers.
ICANN chief operating officer Akram Atallah said: "In recognition of the inconvenience caused by the temporary suspension of the TLD application system, ICANN will provide a full refund of the application fees paid by any new gTLD applicant that wishes to withdraw its application prior to publication of the list of applied-for new top-level domain names."
However, the company has neglected to say when the list of gTLDs will be revealed, and some experts speculate that it could be as late as June before the situation is resolved.
Currently, ICANN is dealing with nearly four times as many applications as it had predicted.
While the firm expected to receive just 500 applicants, in fact more than 2,000 have registered for the new gTLDprogramme.
This means that the organisation is currently holding onto around $350 million (£217 million) in application fees.
However, not all of the domain names that have been applied for will be approved.
There are strict regulations in place to ensure that applications will not be successful if they are deemed to be too confusingly similar to an existing brand or "morally objectionable".
Although most of the domain name registrations have been done in secret, others have been publicly announced, such as .london, .music and .google.
Posted by Kevin Jenson
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