What Does ICANN’s ‘Yes’ Vote Mean to You? Not Much.
Thursday, June 26th, 2008
ICANN’s decision to liberalize the process for adding new TLDs won’t have much of an affect on you, unless you manage trademarks.
Today ICANN voted to liberalize the process and acceptance of new top level domains (similar to .info and .asia). What does this mean to the average domainer and internet user? Despite the mainstream media sensationalizing this (.sex is coming!), I doubt it will add up to much.
Trademark lawyers will have busy dockets. Depending on how these new TLDs are doled out and the rules tied to them, trademark lawyers will have to register a whole slew of new domain names. Also, companies are going to have to get equivalents (when possible) to their domains in IDN tlds as they are rolled out. Busy times ahead. Managing this is a good business opportunity for those companies that help corporations obtain ccTLDs across the globe.
.Com owners have nothing to worry about. Don’t look for many of these new extensions to take off, and they certainly won’t usurp .com. If nothing else, global confusion will make .com stronger. I don’t understand why the mainstream press keeps predicting we’ll see microsoft.microsoft. Why is that any better than microsoft.com? And if Microsoft were to get cute with my.microsoft, they’d still have to go out and register mymicrosoft.com for protection.
Consumers will be confused. Remember when I saw a billboard advertising att.jobs and did a double take before realizing it was a URL
? You’re going to see a lot more of that.
Alternative TLDs and glorified ccTLDs will be in the tanker. .biz and .info will probably take a hit. I also see glorified ccTLDs, such as .ws and .me (if you fell for that one) falling in value (if there was much value to begin with). .Com and .org will still be strong, and I think .net will be OK as well.
“Landrush” will become a cliche. I’m already tired of seeing ads for a “landrush” for each TLD. Are they seriously advertising .me as a “landrush”? The only domains worth investing in are a few obscene.me domains. With each new TLD that is not a “limited” TLD (the example frequently given is .ibm or .microsoft), we’re going to see ads for a “landrush”. They should just be called “fools gold period”.