Critics to ICANN: Top-level domain sale dangerous, costly

Many groups urge ICANN to cancel or postpone plans to add new gTLDs to the Internet

A controversial proposal to create hundreds of new generic top-level domains is generating harsh criticism as corporations and individuals question the need for additional competition in the domain name marketplace and expense for businesses.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) set December 15 as the final day for comments on its plan to launch anywhere from 200 to 800 new domain name extensions starting next year.

ICANN says the new gTLDs will provide more innovation, choice and competition on the Internet, especially for non-English language domains. The new domains would be anywhere from three to 63 characters in length and could support Chinese, Arabic and other scripts.

Although the ICANN plan would allow companies to run their own domains -- such as .microsoft or .ibm -- the idea has been panned by most corporations that have commented on it so far.

Indeed, many companies and industry groups are urging ICANN to cancel or postpone its plans to add new gTLDs to the Internet.

"Cancel new TLD launch," urged Denise Yee, senior trademark counsel at Visa, in a Dec. 12 letter to ICANN. "Although ICANN is firmly committed to implementing its new TLD program in 2009, there appears to be many unanswered questions related to whether sufficient evidence of demand exists for new TLDs, and if not, whether it is appropriate to launch such a costly initiative."

"The negative consequences of issuing new generic top-level domains will far outweigh any potential benefits," wrote Melissa MacGregor, managing director and associate general counsel of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) in a December 12 letter to ICANN. "These negative consequences include, but are not limited to, consumer confusion, domain name abuse, threatened Internet stability and security, trademark infringement, phishing and an overall devaluation of domains already in existence."

Most of the criticism of ICANN's gTLD plan falls into two camps: First, that ICANN has failed to provide adequate protections for trademark owners; and second that ICANN is charging exorbitant rates for the new domains.

"ICANN's contemplated expansion of the domain name space will provide marginal, if any, additional benefit to trademark owners while vastly increasing the associated risks and costs," said Daniel Poliak, associate general counsel of Adobe Systems, in a letter to ICANN sent Dec.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags ICANNTLD

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Carolyn Duffy Marsan

Network World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?