TLD .WHOSWHO still alive


The official status of the Who’s Who Registry has been changed on the ICANN website, which earlier said it was not complying with ICANN requirements and not fulfilling contractual obligations, according to Domain Incite. The registry had received an official breach notice saying the company was overdue with its $25,000-a-year fees for the .WHOSWHO domain it administers. The head of the registry, John McCabe, complained last November the amount was unsustainable for his company and said that he would petition the corporation for a cut.

ICANN rejected his request for a fee reduction and set a deadline for the Who’s Who Registry to pay its debt by February, but this deadline has been extended repeatedly over the course of the year. The current change in the status of the registry indicates that it somehow managed to find the money and pay off the debt, or to convince the corporation to make concessions.

One way or another, this time the new gTLD has managed to avoid a lamentable fate, but its prospects are still not looking bright. The creators of the Who’s Who Registry sought to replicate the biographical reference books of the same name, popular in the pre-digital era, but the plan has clearly not worked. Over the five years of its existence, the domain has fewer than 100 real registrations, most of which appear to be defensive (made for the primary purpose of protecting intellectual property or trademarks from abuse by preventing others from registering them).