The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has recently attempted and continues to attempt to persuade the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to cancel their plans to add up to 1,000 new generic top-level domains or TLDs. A TLD is the address to the right of the dot toward the end of your URL, such as .gov, .com, or .net. ICANN’s new proposal would allow for the introduction of any kind of TLD, including brand names or different business sectors like .coke or .soda.
IAB argues that the addition of new TLDs will be a major change and not something to be rushed into. Randall Rothenberg, CEO and president of the IAB, stated that, “ICANN’s potentially momentous change seems to have been made in a top-down star chamber. There appears to have been no economic impact research, no full and open stakeholder discussions, and little concern for the delicate balance of the Internet ecosystem.” But, if one did want to register their brand name as a TLD, it would cost approximately $184,000. Large brand name TLDs such as .coke, .cnn, or .facebook will be costly for advertisers and publishers, while “cyber squatters” might also see this as an opportunity to profiting from someone else’s domain registration.
Each generic top-level TLD is predicted to see problems with other trademark-infringing domain names, so the effort to protect a second-level domain name could prove costly. Currently ICANN is still following through with their original plans despite backlash from IAB. Although ICANN opposition is stating new TLDs will cause problems for reputable brand names, on the positive-side ICANN has released that current and future registrars will benefit from this plan by having a larger inventory of names to sell.