Brace yourself for 1,000 new .COMs, as ICANN makes new gTLDs rules

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By Richi Jennings (@richi) - June 20, 2011.

Here come "300 to 1,000 new top-level domain names, to compete with .COM.
ICANN, the LA-based Internet Corporation for Names and Numbers has finally agreed new rules for generic top-level domains (gTLDs; what some incorrectly call domain extensions). But critical thinkers think critically about the plan, saying it's not going to work, except to line ICANN's pockets. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers boggle at how expensive the new gTLDs are.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Amy Winehouse has cleaned up her act...

John Ribeiro reports from Singapore:

As a result of the decision arrived at on Monday by the [ICANN] board of directors ... Internet users may start seeing new ... generic top-level domains ... in addition to the more familiar .com, .org, and .net. ... Internet address names will be able to end with almost any word in any language.
ICANN said ... [it will allow] organizations around the world ... to market their brand, products, community or cause in new and innovative ways. ... Applications for new gTLDs will be accepted from Jan. 12 to April 12 [2012].  

Raju Gopalakrishnan adds:

Experts say corporations should be among the first to register, resulting in ... .toyota, .apple or .coke. ... ICANN is taking on hundreds of consultants to whom it will outsource the job of adjudicating claims.
ICANN officials said there would be ... sensitivities to take into account when granting domain names -- for instance a [store] selling World War Two memorabilia might want ... a .nazi suffix.  

Stephen Shankland says it's both blessing and curse:

[It] means new opportunities and new complications for trademark holders. ... Companies get new opportunities to reinforce their brand names, but ... could face expensive new challenges in defending their trademarks.
Likely new domains for which ICANN expects applications include .eco, .green, .berlin, and .paris. ... There's an application fee of $185,000, it costs $25,000 a year ... and other fees are possible.  

But Lauren Weinstein says this is about ICANN's greed:

We may see billions of dollars being wasted ... from firms falsely hoodwinked into thinking that new domain names will be their paths to ... riches, and from firms trying to protect their names ... ripe for abuses. ... The ethically vacuous nature of this entire plan is obvious. ... Has the horrific economic saga of the last few years taught us nothing?
[It] does absolutely nothing to ... solve the many crucial technical, policy, blocking, neutrality ... and free speech issues that are at the forefront of the Internet. ... [It]may actually exacerbate blocking and censorship. ... The negative impacts of this fiasco on ordinary ... Internet users will ultimately become all too clear ... massively increased cybersquatting, spammers, and phishing.  

And Jeff Ostrovsky waxes sarcastic:

Whoo Hoo! Congrats on getting this passed after six years of trying.
But why bother? ... Haven't we already learned from the failures of .AERO, .TRAVEL, .COOP, .MUSEUM ... that the world simply doesn't WANT additional TLDs? ... ICANN had previously concluded [these] represented the largest need and demand.
Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. ... This whole thing is destined to be a great big .FAIL.  

And Finally...
Good to see Amy Winehouse has cleaned up her act... Oh, wait.

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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