New gTLDs Take ICANN Into New Territory: Michael Geist
Posted in: Domain Names at 22/06/2012 22:29
The introduction of new generic Top Level Domains is supported by some, opposed by others and others are ambivalent. Canadian law professor Michael Geist's view is that if they do not harm the technical infrastructure of the internet, then why not. Although he has concerns about competition issues should a gTLD owner use theirs "in an exclusionary manner that harms competition."
Geist writes on new gTLDs in the Ottawa Citizen and says "the real question is who should decide whether new domain name extensions can be created. The first round of domain name extensions such as dot-com or dot-net were largely a historical accident based on the early days of the domain name system. The more recent additions have generally failed to inspire, but that may be a function of the bureaucratic trade-offs that led to new domain extensions least likely to offend."
"The new system throws the issue to the open market, allowing anyone with sufficient resources to create their own domain name extension. Some will succeed, others will fail, yet a market-oriented approach seems preferable to one managed through bureaucratic wrangling.
"In fact, the innovation may be less about the extensions and more in the way they are used. For example, Rogers applied for extensions of several of its brands, including dot-rogers, dot-fido and dot-chart. It has said little about what it intends to do with them, but perhaps it will offer free domains to its customers with the hope that the personalized domain name for wireless customers will make them less likely to switch to competitors. The same may be true for the NBA or MLB, who may offer fans their own domain as a way to stay connected to the sport.
"As with any 'gold rush,' it will take years to determine the winners and losers. Assuming the new extensions do not harm the technical architecture that underlies the Internet system (most experts say it does not), there is little reason to object to more consumer choice and the prospect of a new layer of creativity in the way businesses and individuals present themselves online."
To read the complete article by Michael Geist in the Ottawa Citizen, go to: