Publishers attempt to block Amazons bid for book and other generic toplevel

first_imgWhen ICANN first announced its intention to open up the top-level domain system for generic word use, it was met with varying levels of enthusiasm. On the one hand, it would allow a company to have their own name as a gTLD. For example, .google, .microsoft, and .apple. But it was also open for abuse and a lot of conflict.That conflict is now rearing its head as Amazon is trying to gain the rights to run the .book, .author, and .read gTLDs. As you can imagine, book publishers are less than happy about this and through the Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers, they are demanding ICANN blocks the bid. The reason being they see it as an anti-competitive move by Amazon as a commercial company. Amazon competitor Barnes & Noble has also filed a complaint about the gTLDs separately, stating it would “stifle competition.”I agree that such generic words should not form a gTLD owned by a company that has a commercial interest in selling related works. If, for example, the .book domain ends up existing, it should be owned by an entity offering registration of actual books by publishers and authors–who then get to control the content at a domain like harrypotter.book. The same is true of the .author gTLD.ICANN is charging a $185,000 registration fee per gTLD. I can see a good chunk of that money being used to fund staff dealing with such disputes. And such a high fee causes a problem in itself, as it’s only companies such as Amazon that can afford to pay them, therefore cutting down on the number of organizations able to consider running such domains in the first place.As for a solution to this problem, the only one I can see is to not allow such generic words to be used as gTLDs at all. Let companies register and run their names and services as .gTLDs (e.g. .amazon, .kindle), but put common words off limits to everyone.last_img

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