6 years ago
The deregulation of top level domain (TLD) names is certainly creating a 'landgrab' BUT...
The high value of the '.com' names relative to .net etc. is because everyone knows a web address ends in '.com' and the term identifies the name as a website on the Internet. The legislated '.com.au', '.co.uk' etc. also have value because large numbers of people recognise these as 'trustworthy' indicators that the company is likely to be reputable.
With the derestriction of TLDs, comes devaluation. Will the following mappings really mean that things are easier to remember?
amazon.com -> amazon.shop
barnesandnoble.com -> barnes.noble
waterstones.com -> waterstones.book
Of course there will be some interesting ones:
Furthermore, I believe that where there are multiple applications ICANN will have to allow that they will all get it (much like the way .com is shared now). This will make a TLD such as '.book' an ostentation. It perhaps has value to customers in terms of the company behind the url with the ostentatious TLD appearing financially solid (at least when it bought into the TLD).
These days I come across a lot of computer users who don't even know what a URL is. They type in the name of the company or thing they want into Google to get at the website and might then bookmark or add it to their favourites for subsequent use. If such a user gets a URL off someone's business card or some such they type that into Google too - it works.
It appears like ICANN is selling restricted access to terms that are too generic to form part of a copyright. What they are really doing is removing the meaning of TLD and making it just a part of the URL. If the term forms a part of an existing trademark then I'm sure litigation would be easy. For example 'Waterstones Books' would be able to take control of waterstones.book or waterstones.books on this basis.
This is a Fool's Gold Rush.
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