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December 15, 2011

Rush for TLD Naming and Branding a "Potential Disaster"

TLDs.pngThe world of domain naming has become more complicated in recent weeks.

Next month we will be able to buy top level domain names, a subject I have written about before.

The question on everyone's mind now is if these are "either a threat to intellectual property and trademarks that will cost legitimate business millions of dollars in legal fees and defensive name registrations, or a boon to consumers that will increase competition, improve service and create jobs."

How many "defensive registrations" will companies need to take out to discourage cyber-squatters?

There has been a "reluctant rush" for registering domain names, including the infamous .xxx domain as "non-adult" companies and educational institutions try to protect their brand name. Despite the fact that many pornography websites view the .xxx domain as a needless expense that restricts their audiences.

International groups like the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), along with 26 other International organizations are trying to prevent TLDs like .imf and .un from seeing the light of day.

One can already see the potential for fraud, even as companies shell out $185,000 to buy TLDs they simply will not use.

The Washington Post puts it very well by asking "What's the .rush."

They point out that at a Congressional hearing last week, the Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz decried the new domains as a "potential disaster," concluding in a firm editorial that "ICANN should not approve new names until enforcement and protection issues are resolved. Even then, it should approve at most a few, to allow the marketplace to absorb and weigh the changes. ICANN would be wise to move slowly; its legitimacy and Internet efficacy are at stake."

I agree.

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Posted by William Lozito at December 15, 2011 9:13 AM
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