Tuesday, 1 July 2008

To Many Names

ICANN recently announced the relaxation of its rules governing the launch of new TLDs. It has been dubbed "the biggest event to hit the Internet since .com". Is it really?

What we understand from the announcement is that it would be easier to launch a new TLD provided certain criteria are met. So if an applicant has the technical infrastructure and financial resources it will be good to go.

So we might see extensions like .google, .xxx and .sex. Obviously certain restrictions will be in place to guard against use of offensive words or trade marked terms.

On the face of it, it seems ground breaking but in reality it may create confusion on the web, discouraging domain name use and driving people to search engines.

But what if a trade mark is approved as a TLD e.g .delta? Will there be a Dispute Resolution to cover this? If so, will it not create another form of infringement for cybesquatters with lots of money? It is well-known that some registrars are behind domain name tasting, this may be another avenue for the same conduct.

What will happen to country code TLDs? We have read reports about .eng for England. What will become of .uk?

It is widely reported that the cost for applying for a TLD will be in the vicinity of $500,000. This is pocket change for the large domain name registrars, which could result in a monopoly over the more marketable TLDs.

We will apply for .SOS.

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