Doubts over internet name 'revolution'

2012-01-10 07:31
New York - The body that polices internet registrations will on Thursday launch a domain name "revolution" in the face of the concerns of global bodies ranging from the UN to the US Congress.

The Red Cross and International Olympic Committee have already secured exclusions from the new sector that would allow company, organisation and city names to rival .com as internet addresses.

The head of the Zulus and a wealthy Middle East family have already expressed an interest in being part of what Rod Beckstrom, president of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), has called a "new domain name system revolution".

The new generic top level domains (GTLDs) would allow internet names such as .Apple or .IMF or .Paris instead of .com or .org.

Icann says the huge expansion of the internet, with two billion users around the world, half of them in Asia, requires the new names.

Fear

But the International Monetary Fund was among more than 25 global bodies which sent a letter to Icann in December expressing concern about the possible "misleading registration and use" of their names.

The US Association of National Advertisers and non-profit groups such as the Young Men's Christian Association, YMCA, criticised the plan at a US Congress hearing last month.

They fear it could cause confusion about their internet presence and force them to spend huge amounts on "defensive registration" to stop cyber squatters, who buy up names and try to sell them at an inflated price, and fraudsters.

Registration will cost $185 000 with a $25 000 annual fee after that.

Beckstrom acknowledged that providing servers and other technical and administrative backup means that the name could cost millions over the course of a decade.

But he calls the new generics "the most significant opening in the history of the domain name system". The aggregate number of new sites "might very well rival dot.com in 10 years time", Beckstrom said ahead of the launch.

He estimates there are now more than 220 million internet site names, and more than 90 million of them are .com.

Safeguards

Icann insists however that safeguards are in place to protect the big names the scheme is aimed at.

Jamie Hedlund, Icann vice president for government affairs, said that while the names of international organisations are not trademarks, they would get the same protection if they are mentioned in international treaties.

If "someone applies for .unitednations, they will have lost their $185 000 application fee because they don't have the right to that name," Hedlund told reporters.

The International Olympic Committee and International Red Cross secured an opt-out meaning their names could not be registered after talks with Icann, he said. Other international bodies had not reacted so quickly, he added.

However Beckstrom said Icann is "very sensitive" to the concerns raised by the international organisations last month. "We'll be responding to that letter," he said.

If anyone applied for one of the top-level domains using a known trademark or service mark, the owner could complain to a panel of intellectual property experts, who would decide who had rights to the term.

"If they have no rights to that term, you are in an extremely good position," the Icann chief added, insisting that "defensive registrations" are not necessary.

While Icann has not given figures, independent experts have predicted there will be anything between several hundred to 4 000 applications when applications are taken from Thursday until April 12. A list of all the applications will be published in May.
Read more on:    icann  |  internet
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

3 sports games you have to watch this weekend

Whether it’s date night or a braai with buddies, plan around these three exciting sporting games!

 
 

Men24.com

Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro
Hottie of the day: Colette

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong focus on social interaction and connecting with your friends. You may have the need to expand and connect with a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.