ICANN Creating a Monopoly in Domain Names

When the Internet was very young, all you had to do to get a domain name was call a man named Jon Postel, and ask for it. Things have changed greatly with the popularity of the Internet. Now the competition for a good, short, generic domain name is fierce. If you want a domain name in the popular .com namespace, you have to settle for a long, sometimes confusing, domain name.

ICANN has been using a process of "rounds" to introduce new tlds. When they do create these new tlds, they are generic in nature, like .info or .biz. This creates trademark conflicts. Many companies hold the same word as a trademark, such as Apple Records and Apple Computers. Both are legal trademarks. Both have the legal right to use the word apple to sell their respective products and services.

So which one has the legal rights to apple.com or apple.biz? What if I start a company tomorrow called Apple Printing Services and get a trademark on the word apple to sell printing services? Do I not then have equal rights to use apple.com or apple.net as my domain name?

If ICANN would open the TLD market, so that any company with the technical expertise and the financial capability, could start a new TLD, we would have more option like apple.computer, apple.music, apple.printer. TLDs like .lyr, .atty, .cpa, would crop up. This would help eliminate trademark conflicts.

First come, first serve, in the demand for domain names was the method used and seemed fair when namespace was less congested. Now, if we are going to insure that future generations of people, who are not even on the Internet yet, or who have not even started their business yet, will have the opportunity to get domain names they want, we must create more tlds. ICANN claims there is no demand for new TLDS.

I disagree. Demand is far from being met. It is not fair business practice to have few TLDs where a few companies/people get short one word domain names while the rest must settle for two and in most cases three word domain names. By limiting space with few TLDs, ICANN makes the decision that businesses that were in existence at a certain point in time shall have an advantage over any business created at a later time.

As a city grows, more streets get paved and more buildings get built allowing for more businesses to get good locations, more corner lots if you will. As name space expands ICANN wants businesses to continue to build upward and not outward. They leave new businesses the equivalent of existing on the third and fourth levels Vs having a ground-floor storefront.

Cities grow outward to allow for more development. TLD space needs to grow outward to meet the same demand. Cities that stifle development and that are not business-friendly find their economy in ruin before too long. Cities that do their best to offer more development opportunities to businesses i.e. corner lots, breaks in certain costs, etc., prosper.

It would be uncommon for a city to tell a new business, "nope can build on that lot, you have to build onto existing buildings above your competitors, so that they have the ground floor and your customers must walk past your competitors to get to where you are." That is the analogy. If you own design.com already, I must get something like webdesign.com (a 2nd floor location), the next business must get something like websitedesign.com, (3rd floor), the next few businesses can share the 4th floor with greatwebsitedesign.com, websitedesignplanet.com, etc. Others will get the 5th floor with even longer names as new businesses come to the web.

You might say well they only need their business name for their website and that should be easy to get. I would answer that many businesses have the same name and in addition to that, generic keywords in domain names are an advantage to only having your business name as a domain name. People are not searching the web for you, but they do search for what service or product you sell.

ICANN is currently forcing an unfair disadvantage to new business owners and to people new to the web by not allowing them to get good, short domain names for their personal or business use. Not allowing new tlds to be created is an unfair business practice and a restraint to free trade. It is also anti-free enterprise because they are telling me I cannot go into the domain name selling business and that only a few businesses they have selected can do so. They may also be in violation of laws written to avoid monopolies.

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