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June 13, 2012

ICANN Releases List of TLDs Today - Naming Online is About to Get More Complicated

BrandTLDs.pngBrace yourself, world.

Today, Wednesday, June 13th, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names
and Numbers (ICANN) will release 2,000 proposals for new Internet domain suffixes.

As you may recall, in January ICANN started accepting proposals for new domains.

Now, the mad rush has closed and we get to see who wants what. Those interested in applying for a new domain name had until the end of May to propose new domain suffixes and cough up $185,000.

So what happens next? Well, according to Businessweek:

THE CHALLENGES: The public will have 60 days to comment on the proposals. Someone can claim a trademark violation or argue that a proposed suffix is offensive.
THE LOGISTICS: Because of the high number of proposals, ICANN will review them in groups of about 500. There's a lottery-like system to determine which ones get to be considered first. It could take a few years to get to the final group.
THE REVIEW: ICANN will review each proposal to make sure that its financial plan is sound and that contingencies exist in case a company goes out of business. Bidders also must pass criminal background checks.

And there is more to the review process, of course. Months and months of it.

This is adding hundreds of hours of work for everyone who has a meaningful domain, and offering upstarts a chance to make the Internet that much more confusing.

Think about the headache Coke has, for instance. Every single permutation of its name and the word .cola now must be theirs.

Or, consider the hassle faced by Lady Gaga (or any other celebrity): they are all waking up today hoping that porn sites haven't lobbied for their names.

As I have said before, this might be a big disaster. Or a small one. But a disaster nonetheless.

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Posted by William Lozito at June 13, 2012 7:58 AM
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