Tuesday, June 21, 2011

ICANN (andSoCanYou.com)

Well, the governing body for Internet top level domains (also called TLD's) like .com, .org, etc. took a historic vote yesterday that will allow anyone with $185,000 (and $25,000 annually after that) come up with their own TLD.

Just picture the "fun" later this year when the first of the new TLDs go live. Rather than the boring .com - you could have .phone, .google, .eco, .apple, .programmer, .thisIsCrazy.

The other thing that it will bring - and this is great news if you're an intellectual property attorney - is a whole raft of copyright and trademark lawsuits. I mean, even today - there are all kinds of "domain squatters" running around who register domains that are close to (so called "typo domains" like "micros0ft.com" [zero instead of the second "0"]) national brands or, in the rare case when no one's at the wheel, an actual national brand domain.

This is going to be a disaster for large companies - and an absolute bonanza for registrars (the people that charge you to register a domain). I have a feeling that once the first TLDs drop - it will be a race for people (and companies) to snap up all the "good", generic names as quickly as possible.

Can you imagine how crazy this could get?

Sony could own google.phone, or Microsoft could own zune.ipod... the fun just goes on and on.

What do you want to bet that Apple will start up a zillion TLDs with "i" at the start - and just sue the crap out of anyone who tried to have their TLD start with an "i."

Then, when some other company or organization opens up another top level domain - it will start all over again... until, at some point, there will be such a saturation of different domains that it won't really matter any more.

At that point a "good old" .com domain may just be even MORE valuable because it's been drummed into the heads of people for the better part of a decade and a half - and you just know that anyone over the age of 50 is going to just enter the ".com" derivative anyway.

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