The .coop domain will remain the exclusive domain name for the co-operative movement for the next 10 years.
Launched in 2001, the domain is managed by DotCooperation LLC (DotCoop), which is jointly owned by the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) and the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA).
Every domain name on the Internet is licensed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). On November 16, DotCoop, which acts as the Registry Operator for the .coop domain, renewed its contract with ICANN for the second time since the domain’s launch.
Negotiations began in 2016; communications officer at DotCoop, Tom Ivey, says the process took over two years due to the changing environment and regulations within domain name industry.
“Since 2012, ICANN has opened up the market and there are over 1,000 namespaces (TLDs) so the standards for operating them have changed,” he said.
“We are in the age of the new internet. In this crowded space online where everyone has the space they want, we needed to safeguard this domain we have. We were one of the first to be added to the internet after .com. It’s important that we managed to secure this space for the co-operative movement.”
ICANN also agreed for the domain to continue to be available only to bona fide cooperatives and cooperative organizations.
“Most domain names out there have no such restrictions; they can be used by everybody. This is fundamental. It means that if a co-op uses this domain it’s like a badge—they are verified, they joined this co-op movement,” Ivey added.