Help us Preserve the Open Internet Namespaces
Large Companies are Attempting to Takeover Top New Internet Names.
Do you think Amazon should own every website that ends with .music, .shop, or .book? Should L'oreal have exclusive right to every .salon, .beauty, .skin website address?
A Transformative Change to the Internet is Coming
Most people are unaware that the internet as we know it is about to undergo a monumental transformation. The organization that governs all internet addresses – including every .com website, every .org, .de, .jp, .cn website, is called ICANN, or The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
ICANN is allowing over 1000 New Top Level Domains (TLDs – what comes after the dot in a web address) to be introduced to the internet. Most experts agree this is the biggest change to the internet since it began.
These new website name endings will occupy the space that "com" takes in website name addresses today. about ICANN New gTLDs
Instead of a site name that ends with 'com', websites will be able to have address suffixes that represent brands (.Google, .Gucci), cities (.NYC, .Vegas, .London), consumer niches (.book, .music, .baby), interests (.art, .recipes, .game) and hundreds more. One could register and use 'not-com' names such as www.sightseeing.london, or www.hiphop.music as a web address. See the list of proposed new domains.
The purpose of this program was to create a fresh supply of website name options for people and businesses so they could choose a good website name at an affordable price. The domain name market today is overcrowded and new online businesses have difficulty finding a good name address for their website.
Corporate Takeover Attempts
But some companies are trying to exploit loopholes in the process to control these namespaces entirely for themselves, shutting out individuals and other businesses from these valuable new web addresses.
If companies like Amazon and others have their way, there will be no .MUSIC website names available for musicians and bands, No .SALON domain names for real salon owners, no .APP web addresses for app developers. There are over 100 high profile New TLDs that companies are trying to prevent anyone else from using.
Risks of Harm – Competition, Expression
These attempts to restrict access are an abuse of the system and pose great risk of harm to business, consumers and internet users globally. New generic word top level domain names should be open to the general public to use. Individuals and small businesses should be able to use .music, movie .shop and .whatever to create, innovate, and promote their business or interests online. These takeover attempts have potential to give large companies enormous power in their respective markets. If Amazon alone controls all web addresses ending with .music, .app, .book and others they will wield an enormous competitive advantage in these markets online. The result would be further consolidation of wealth at the top.
Corporate takeover here will also stifle creativity and expression online. How could one company alone possibly determine all possible creative applications of website names that end with .video, .store, .song and more? Artists should be able to use .art names to showcase their craft. App developers should be able to get a .app domain name for their new app website. There are millions of new small businesses that could use a .SHOP name for their website. But Amazon wants them all. No single company should be sole arbiter of how these new names can be used for innovation, expression and commerce.
New TLDs in languages like Chinese and Japanese are at risk also. Large corporations are asking to close off Chinese domain symbols; .家電(consumer electronics) .手表(watches) .書籍(book) .珠宝(jewelry) .食品(food) .通販(online shopping) and Japanese characters; .クラウド (.cloud), .ストア (.store), .セール (.sale ), .ファッション (.fashion ).
People and businesses in Japan and China would not even have access to use website names in their own language! The very group that these new names are supposed to serve will be shut out from them.
- Update - ICANN has opened a comment period on this subject. Submit your views directly to ICANN here.
ICANN Must Listen
ICANN and its Government Advisory Committee are obligated to protect the public interest and listen to public comment. This petition can make a difference!
If you believe that generic word namespaces should not be controlled by one company exclusively – that authors or booksellers should be able to use a website name ending with .book – musicians, bands and promoters should have the right to choose a .music domain ending for their site - that a fashion designer in Japan should be able to get a .ファッション (.fashion ) website name . . .
Please, let your voice be heard. Sign the petition, Tell your friends, family and associates.
We hope to deliver a strong message - with over 100,000 signatures by April 2013 to ICANN to protect this global public resource.
Help Us preserve open generic internet namespaces for individuals and small business.