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OPLIN 4Cast #235: Can you spare $185,000? or maybe $500,000?

Posted in 4cast

Last updated on April 30, 2013

ICANN logoLast weekend, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced a really big decision that will have a huge effect on the Internet. You have probably heard about it. ICANN is responsible, among other things, for the management of top-level domain (TLD) names, such as .com and .org, and they have decided to allow organizations to establish “generic” top-level domains (gTLDs) named after themselves, such as .google or .coke. Will we see some individual library try to grab the .library domain? Maybe, but there are a few reasons why this might not happen. Aside from the considerable application fee, securing and maintaining a gTLD will be a big burden on an organization, and a commitment that shouldn’t be undertaken without expectation of a strong return on investment.

  • New Net addresses mean new trademark issues (CNET/Stephen Shankland)  “ICANN will accept applications from registries that want to operate new top-level domains from January 12, 2012 to April 12, 2012. It’s not for the faint of heart: There’s an application fee of $185,000, it costs $25,000 a year to operate the registry, and other fees are possible, too. Those fees are very significant. Trademark holders wanting to protect their intellectual property might feel obliged to try to set up a registry of their own to ward off a new class of cybersquatters. And in some cases, rights to a TLD registry might be decided through an auction, which potentially could increase costs in an unpredictable way.”
  • ICANN approves generic top-level domains (ReadWriteWeb/Dan Rowinski)  “ICANN is providing safeguards to ward off mass cybersquatting. The Applicant Guidebook has gone through seven significant revisions since 2008 that incorporated 1,000 or so comments from the public. The evaluation procedures [pdf] provide for background screening of pre-applicants that measure business history and look for history of cybersquatting. It will conduct string-similarity reviews to determine if the domain is like anything else currently on the Internet and assess the potential security risks of creating a new TLD.”
  • Icann increases web domain suffixes (BBC News)  “Companies and organisations seeking one of the new gTLDs will have to meet high technical standards, according to Bruce Tonkin, chief strategy officer at Melbourne IT, a domain registry service. ‘You need IT robustness and you need intellectual property protections beyond what is available in the dot com space. You have to have a 24/7 abuse team. You have to have mechanisms where a trademark holder has first right to get their name,’ he said.”
  • New gTLDs will create tens of thousands of new jobs (CircleID/Johnny Du)  “It has been estimated that the typical gTLD application will cost approximately $500,000. […] That money does not disappear into a vacuum, it’s spent on technical consulting, building out new information systems, recruiting attorneys and marketing specialists. Advertising agencies, auction houses, intellectual property consultancies, infrastructure providers, software developers, hardware manufacturers, and other business services will be needed, creating more jobs.”

No, OPLIN will not be applying for the .oplin top-level domain.