Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
As a domain investor, I find it difficult to oppose the idea of closed generic top level domains.
There’s been a lot of talk in the domain industry about “closed generic” top level domain names.
A closed generic is a generic term (non brand) such as .baby, .kid, .cloud, in which the applicant wants to keep all of the second level domains for themselves.
If the applicant wants to run a closed registry on .cloud, that means no one other than the applicant would be able to register services.cloud, brand.cloud, etc.
The uproar in the domain community started small but grew big enough that ICANN has opened an official comment period on the subject.
I respect many of the people that are opposed to these closed generic, and I see where they are coming from.
But I’m personally not bothered by these closed TLDs.
The primary reason is that I’m a domain investor. And as a domain investor, it bugs me when people suggest they have a higher or better use for a domain than I do.
Domain owners hear this all the time: “You’re just parking the domain, I want to run a real business on it!”
When it comes to second level domains, if you’ve got the money to spend on a domain and the seller will part ways with it, you can basically do what you want with it.
It’s a free market.
Now I understand top level domains are a bit different. The rationale is to spur competition and innovation. I get all that.
But I keep coming back to my core belief.
The second reason I’m not opposed to closed generics is that I don’t think these new TLDs will bring a huge advantage to their owners.
Will owning .baby give Johnson & Johnson Services some huge advantage in the marketplace? More so than owning baby.com (which it already does)?
I’ll tell you this: if it does give them a huge advantage, then the internet itself is really screwed.
It would mean that we’ll have an internet of haves and have nots. The cost of establishing yourself as a web business will increase substantially.
I don’t think there will be a huge advantage to owning these domains, so it doesn’t worry me.
There is a side issue of closed generic operators asking for exemptions from the Code of Conduct, when they actually plan to offer second level domains to the public but keep the registrations in their name. That’s a problem.
But closed generics in principle? I’m fine with it.