Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dot-Com, Dot-Org, Dot-?: ICANN Launches New gTLD Program

Move over .com, .gov, and .org top-level internet name space is about to get a bit more crowded.  The Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers and Names (ICANN), the organization that oversees Internet domain names just rolled out a new program that will likely dramatically increase the number and kinds of domain names.

The new program  allows organizations to apply for a custom top-level domain (gTLD), for a fee of $185,000.  Currently, there are about 22 generic gTLDs, but an ICANN board resolution allows as many as 1,000 gTLDs per year that can be added to the Internet and there are many companies that are interested.  It has been reported that “ICANN expects that its plan will lead to the creation of several hundred new gTLDs, such as .canon, which Canon, the Japanese electronics company, has said it is seeking to register. Hitachi is another company that has said it will apply for its own gTLD. “

"Rod Beckstrom, president and CEO of ICANN, in a statement characterized the decision as a way to "unleash the global human imagination" and expressed the hope that "this allows the domain name system to better serve all of mankind."  However, in a recent interview, Dan Jaffe of the Association of National Advertisers warned “that this basically unlimited increase in top-level domains is going to impose enormous costs on business, costs that will basically mean that people will be buying their own trademarks to protect them against others who may harm them and it's going to be a serious problem for consumers.  . . . This is going to create enormous problems for those who try to monitor the Internet against Internet crime.”

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

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