Domain name campaigners battle corporate monopoly of gTLDs

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ICANN  (Photot: Wikipedia)

‘Stop Corporate Takeover of Internet Names Petition” launched

ECM Plus +++ An internet activist has launched a petition to prevent large companies control over Chinese, Japanese, English and many other new top internet addresses.

“We believe this is an abuse of the New gTLD Program and it poses great risk of harm to consumers, business, and internet users globally” declares Tom Gilles, NewgTLDsite.com  TLD-vangelist and petition organizer. “These generic category top level domain names such as .app, .book, .music, and others should be open for the general public, not monopolized and closed off for use by one large corporation exclusively at their sole discretion.”

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the organization that governs the Domain Name System (DNS) of the internet is poised to release over 1000 New Top Level Domains (TLDs) starting this year. These new website name endings will occupy the space that ‘com’ takes in website name addresses today. There will be ‘not-com’ website name address endings to represent brands (.Google, .Gucci), cities (.NYC, .Vegas, .London), consumer niches (.book, .music, .baby), interests (.art, .recipes, .game) and hundreds more. Once approved, a business could register and use ‘not-com’ names like http://www.sightseeing.london, or http://www.hiphop.music as their website name, for example. See the list of proposed new domain endings.

But large companies, such as Amazon are attempting to exploit loopholes in the process to acquire and monopolize large swaths of website names for their exclusive use. The companies seek to close off some of the most popular niche category domain extensions from the public. Consumers, users and small businesses would be prohibited from using these new website name endings if these companies are succesful in their attempts. See a list of controversial TLDs.

“If companies like Amazon and L’oreal have their way, there will be no .music website names for musicians and bands, no .salon domain names for real salon owners, no .APP web addresses for app developers.” states NewgTLDsite.com’s Tom Gilles “There are literally millions of possible innovative and commercial uses for website names that end with.shop, But Amazon wants them all. – Amazon should not be sole arbiter and beneficiary of this valuable public resource.”

ICANN is charged with protecting the public interest when awarding stewardship of the new domain names, which should begin shortly after the global meeting of the organization in Beijing April 2013. The petition is hoped to demonstrate strong public sentiment toward preserving open generic namespaces, compelling ICANN to reject these takeover attempts.

Mr. Gilles hopes to deliver 100,000 petition signatures to the Board and Government Advisory Committee of ICANN at the meeting in April to achieve this.

The petition can be found here:
http://www.change.org/petitions/icann-stop-corporate-takeover-of-new-internet-names

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Filed under Industry News, Information Governance, Intellectual Property (IP), Intelligent Search, Telecommunications, Web compliance, Web governance

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