.africa at last? ICANN finally allowed to start delegating continental gTLD
The body responsible for managing the naming system of the internet, ICANN, has been told by a Californian judge that it can proceed with delegating the .africa generic top level domain. Judge Howard L Halm of the Los Angeles Superior Court denied an application for injunction by DonConnect Africa Trust to prevent ICANN allowing .africa’s use.
The legal battle has been ongoing for years, since ICANN awarded South African registry ZACR the rights to issue .africa addresses on its behalf in 2013. DotConnectAfrica Trust (DCA), which had competed for the rights, objected to the decision making process used in the award. Specifically, DCA was concerned about the endorsement that ZACR won from the African Union to support its bid. After successfully triggering an independent review of the applications, it has been seeking to prevent ICANN from allocating .africa names until a second application can be processed.
The ruling this week appears to free ICANN and ZACR up to start issuing .africa addresses, which DCA argued would make its own application impossible to win. In his ruling, Halm said that there was no evidence that re-delegation should DCA eventually win the rights to .africa wouldn’t happen happen, and that in balance, depriving “the people of Africa of having their new gTLD” was a greater harm.
We should hear more from the parties involved over the weekend.
Yeah, we have a vested interest in this one because it’s not like we’ve been waiting for three and a half years to actually use the name we thought would be available in 2013 or anything…