24 November 2013

Everything wrong with ICANN and new generic top-level domains (gTLDs)

Pretty much everything wrong with ICANN and its new generic top-level domains program (gTLDs) is summarized in the article at the link below (excerpt follows), and although it is specifically referenced from the gay community's point of view, the points made are relevant across the board --

ICANN generic top-level domains: The battle for .gay and .lgbt.: How the ICANN Top-Level Domain Scheme Puts LGBTQ Organizations at Risk - " . . . . For many years, ICANN was cautious about creating new ones [gTLDs]. There are currently a total of 22 . . . ICANN seems to have gotten greedy...it is clear that ICANN and related bodies can generate plenty of revenue from a massive expansion. The current first wave of creations will take the number of gTLDs from 22 to more than 1,400. Anyone with the money to file—it costs $185,000 just to apply—and follow through on an application could propose a gTLD. The cost of the process was behind the significant opposition to the scheme, particularly from brand owners who are now pressured to apply not only for their own brand as a gTLD (.chase, .omega, .qvc, for example), but may now be compelled to purchase new gTLDs in their area of business to protect their existing trademarks...ICANN's scheme appears very much like a racket on businesses and organizations: Pay or you'll lose visibility on the Web. And small companies and nonprofits run the greatest risks, because their brands can now be associated with hundreds of new TLDs. Even if only a tiny fraction of the 1,409 new gTLDs concern an organization's activity, the cost to pre-emptively protect a name or to wage a legal battle to recover a brand name is beyond the means of most such organizations. . . ." (read more at link above, emphasis added)

And if you throw in the fact that other than ".com," all the other current 22 gTLDs are way underutilized  (Verisign pdf),  there is no need for such a massive expansion other than greed. ICANN (and its greed) is out of control. The internet is being corrupted by special interests and ICANN. For most businesses, organizations, schools, and individuals, the best way forward is to just acquire your ".com," ".net," ".org," ".edu," or your nation's ccTLD and go about business. In the meantime, let ICANN and everyone else waste their time, money, noise, and resources trying to put "lipstick on the pigs." In the meantime, if you care about the internet and its potential for purposes other than making money for ICANN and its special interests, hope and work for reform or replacement of ICANN.

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