Do You Want To Activate Astoria .nyc Or Harlem .nyc? A “Without Cause” Clause Might Stop You!

The deBlasio Administration’s licensing initiative for the neighborhood domain names is currently accepting applications.

So if you’re a neighborhood activist or budding media mogul, and want to activate,,, or any of the 380 other reserved neighborhood domain names, submit your applications now. (Here’s the application.) Successful applicants will be notified on February 12.

While is extremely supportive of the initiative, there’s a clause in the draft Licensing Agreement that diminishes the likelihood of serious parties investing the necessary resources, a “without cause” clause in Section 3.b of the draft Agreement which states:

Either party may terminate this License Agreement without cause (effective immediately);

They wrote the mayor’s office about their concerns (this and a few others) and were told they were reviewed “with the Law Department and while we are unable to amend the terms per your request, we have certainly noted your requests.” So seemingly, while it says “draft,” changes will come from the city without consultation with residents.

UPDATE, February 5, 2016

One city official informed that in checking with their office’s attorneys, they were told that this was a standard clause in all city contracts. checked the city’s agreement with Neustar Inc., the holder of the contract to operate the .nyc TLD for the city, and found no such reference. (See the city’s contracts with Neustar here.) When told of their finding a representative from the same city official said their office had received complaints from others about the situation and would be looking into it. gave serious thought to applying for the domain, but the “without cause” clause forced them to hold off. How could they approach investors and garner the necessary resources without the city providing a serious commitment?

“We don’t doubt that eager city lawyers try to impose a ‘Without Cause” clause whenever they can. And perhaps they sometimes impose it. But if the administration is serious about adding the Internet’s capabilities to improving the economic and social quality of life in our city’s neighborhoods, this clause has got to be removed “Without Delay.”” Inc. is the New York State not-for-profit formed in 2005 by residents who saw the .nyc top level domain, commonly called a TLD, being as vital to the city’s future as the air, roads, schools, subways, and water.

Applications for neighborhood domains

The City of New York reserved roughly 400 neighborhood names across the five boroughs in order to create online hubs for civic engagement, online organizing, economic development, and information sharing. The neighborhood sites utilize a data-driven template that shows real-time information within a certain area. More detailed information is available here.

In order to be eligible for a .nyc neighborhood name, the lead organization must meet the following minimum qualifications: (a) registered as a not-for-profit, public benefit corporation, or local development corporation, and (b) located within the neighborhood for which a .nyc domain is sought.

Please complete the questions below if you are interested in applying for a domain. In addition to proposals from individual organizations, the City encourages community groups to form partnerships for the purpose of submitting proposals and the subsequent operation of a website. Partnerships may be useful to provide added expertise, reach, and technical capacity. Organizations will be notified regarding their application at the end of the beta phase, which ends on February 12, 2016.


About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the blog in 2012.


  1. In other words, the domains are for far left leaning political groups only…Content that would support police, capitalism, human rights and freedom would be banned…

  2. @Aaron,

    Regardless of political persuasion, nobody sane will build on a plot of land if they can be evicted without recourse, whenever, for whatever whim.

    The lawyers might as well have laced the contract with a clause about NYC’s entitlement to the blood of registrant’s first-born child.

    • Joseph – I agree!….I should not have thrown politics into the discussion, but it is the season…. 🙂

      • Domainers already fracture across all sorts of “Us versus Them” fault lines. The last thing we need as an industry is 1 more!

        Not that politics doesn’t matter; but domaining is global, multi-cultural, and really ought to avoid unnecessarily divisive controversies. Any stance on any political issue is bound to alienate somebody else out there we’d otherwise agree with about domains.

      • I agree with your points!….On a different note, yet on topic, the future content of the domains mentioned are very political. The application for the mentioned domains contain:

        “Describe the social, cultural, and economic makeup of your neighborhood and how your organization includes these elements in your governance processes”

      • You’re right. Where city governments are officially involved in overseeing aspects of city nTLDs, affected domains are likely to become involved in political debate at some point.

      • The city council is actively building new site on , so politics will be all around ntld. The movement is still very early at the moment, but it certainly shifting there.

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