The number of top-level domains is expected to become much more populated in the coming years. The landscape for this explosion will begin in the coming months so battles for branding and digital turf are expected to get ugly. This is a result of the decisions made by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to create new domain name extensions for a more brand-able online appeal. For instance a DuPont top-level name could be .DuPont.
A local Internet lawyer is already preparing to fight for one of his clients for .Philly. New York City officials have clearly indicated that .NYC is a civic asset and has already taken the necessary steps to preserve the domain name. Additionally, large companies are scooping up their domain name extensions such as .Microsoft, .Google and .Ford.
Unfortunately, the rules enforced by ICANN will not stop at new entrants. Beginning January 2012, the application process will become official. However, ICANN is only expecting several hundred domain registrants to pay the $185,000 application fee. Unfortunately, qualified applicants will be able to create domain names based on any word.
To supporters of the new extensions, this has been a long time coming. They are claiming that customers are looking for a way to capture their preferences. Therefore, businesses should not be restricted by the usual .com’s, .net’s and .org’s. Instead, they should be able to try .Music or .Food.
Recognition of Upcoming Challenges
Unfortunately, these same supporters recognize that the new rules will inevitably cause turf-battles and they are unsure how they will pan out. During the early years of the Internet, similar legal turf-wars were over the control of generic domain names with high value. The new laws will indefinitely change that aspect of domain names by depreciating the value of generic .com domain names as a result of the endless possibilities.
Critics of the new Internet law view this as creating duplication (from the past) and redundancy rather than implementing a value-added system. The only positive impact it will have on business is for those in the domain name registry industry.
It appears as if this change implemented by ICANN is going to cause more problems than its worth. At the same time this could improve company branding and increase online business. It is difficult to predict the outcome once the dust settles.