When You Can’t Tell Web Suffixes Without a Scorecard - NYTimes.com: "...Some technology veterans and trademark experts view the domain expansion as largely unnecessary. “You are creating a business, like derivatives on Wall Street, that has no value,” says Esther Dyson, a technology investor who served as the founding chairwoman of Icann. “You can charge people for it, but you are contributing nothing to the happiness of humanity.” There’s a larger issue at stake, however. Advocates of Internet freedom contend that such an expanded address system effectively places online control over powerful commercial and cultural interests in the hands of individual companies, challenging the very idea of an open Internet. Existing generic domains, like .net and .com, overseen by Verisign Inc., a domain registry, have an open-use policy; that means consumers can buy domain names ending in .com directly from retail registrars like GoDaddy. With a new crop of applicants, however, Icann initially accepted proposals for closed or restricted generic domains, a practice that could limit competing views and businesses. “It’s a very legitimate competition concern,” says Jon Leibowitz, a former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission who recently joined the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell in Washington as a partner. “The public at large, consumers and businesses, would be better served by no expansion or less expansion” of domains...."
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