Unlimited Top Level Domains – ICANN

“The Board today accepted a recommendation from its global stakeholders that it is possible to implement many new names to the Internet, paving the way for an expansion of domain name choice and opportunity” said Dr Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN. This proposal allows applicants for new names to self-select their domain name so that choices are most appropriate for their customers or potentially the most marketable. A final version of the implementation plan must be approved by the ICANN Board before the new process is launched. It is intended that the final version will be published in early 2009.

I could hardly believe myself when I heard this news on 27th June. This decision would mean that we would have unlimited top level domains available and anyone could register anything and in any language. Already we have 21 top level domains like .com .net .org .info .biz .me .in .co.in etc etc to name a few. I thought that adding some more to this list would have been a good idea.

There are so many pitfalls of implementing this plan, if it is implemented finally. I know so many cities by name of Baroda and Meerut, well how will ICANN decide which city should be eligible to stake claim to that domain. Somoeone just told me that “there are more than 17 cities in US by the name Decatur”. Million Dollar question: Who will get “.decatur”?

Similarily a company like Microsoft will have to recruit a dedicated team of Professors from all Languages to find out what all top level domains it needs to book to make sure all of it around 90+ products are covered to prevent squatters from hijacking them. Think about an IBM or HP who have more products/services/offerings than Microsoft

ICANN says that “Trademarks will not be automatically reserved. But there will be an objection-based mechanism for trademark owners where their arguments for protection will be considered.” Huh……how practical is this, time only can tell. But are companies already not struggling with hijackers, why companies even individuals. Hijacking and then selling domain names is already a big business.

I am already thinking of all possible top-level domains that I might have to book:
nitin.gupta | nitingupta.gupnit | nitingupta.meerut | nitingupta.india | nitingupta.mba | nitingupta.btech | nitingupta.mcitp | nitingupta.mcse | nitingupta.itil | nitingupta.baroda | nitingupta.eds | nitingupta.chennai | ……… it is humourous and an endless list.

Though as of today I feel we might face problem, but having seen many absurd ideas click over a period of time, so I would rather wait and watch.