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Community project seeks control of .app

You can pre-register domains on the .app App site

You can pre-register domains on the .app App site

.app App is a group of developers seeking to create a community-run registry to operate the .app domain when ICANN makes the new gTLDs available in 2012.

The intention is to ensure that app creators can get theiraddress.app, and that good decisions are made when there's more than one claim. The group needs to raise $185,000 for ICANN's evaluation fee.

Developer Matthew Baxtor-Reynolds of .app App told us: "We want to use the opportunity that ICANN are providing the whole industry to try and change the model for .app, so that we as independent software developers are more in control of how the .app gTLD could be used as a tool for us.

"One of the problems with normal domains such as .com is that there is no inherent intellectual property protection in it. So if you want to create a product called foobar, you have to be quite lucky for foobar.com to be available. A lot of people are now starting to do foobarapp.com.

"The plan is that if you can demonstrate to us as a community-run registry that you've built a product called foobar, we'll make sure that you can have foobar.app. So if someone is cybersquatting on it, we'll use our in-built intellectual property protection to give that domain to the person who has the best claim.

Baxtor-Reynolds intends to consult with developers to create a means of deciding between claims.

"Over the next six months we're engaging with the community to build up a set of rules and policies. So it will be something like a score-based system: if you have registered trademarks, press associated with your work and so on, you'll score very highly. If you're at the smaller end of development, you might have an app on the App Store, or it could be that you have a company in that name. Working out how we're going to structure those rules is part of the big challenge."

You can pre-register domains at dotappapp.com/PreRegister.aspx.

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