) decided to wage an unusual war when it announced that it wanted
to secure a number of generic top level domains (commonly known
These are the domains that may end in something like ".books"
or ".movies." Amazon wants several of them, especially .books.
However, the company may not be able to control its own name --
Unlike "Google" (NASDAQ:
) and "Microsoft" (NASDAQ:
), whose companies are comprised of made up names, "Amazon" has
more than one meaning
Consequently, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names
and Numbers) has reportedly
rejected Amazon's request
to own the .Amazon domain.
Dan Jaffe, the executive VP of Government Relations at the
Association of National Advertisers, is not against the corporate
ownership of .Google or .Microsoft. He is very concerned about
the generic domains, however.
"This is a very controversial issue, especially for Amazon,
which wants to own the .books domain," Jaffe told Benzinga. "Many
publishers believe that they should not have control of that
site. We have asked that a longer comment period be allowed
because it was so controversial and that there be a [long] reply
period, something that has almost always been done by ICANN."
Despite the request, ICANN did not extend the comment period.
It did not allow for a reply period either.
"I think [they seem to] want to go so quickly that they're
trying to shorten the review that people would have on some of
these issues," said Jaffe. "We never heard back as to why they
have made these decisions. We think there is very real reason for
Jaffe is also troubled by the potential increase of top-level
domains, which may rise to more than 1,000 on April 23.
"There is nothing inherently bad in increasing the top-level
domain system," he said. "The top-level domain system already
exists. There are 22 of them, such as .com, .net, .edu, etc.
"What ICANN is doing is explosively expanding that list. On
April 23 they will begin to roll out as many as 1,400 new
domains. This is more than a 6,000 percent increase."
Jaffe's concerns stem from many of the problems that already
exist, such as cyber squatting and phishing. For example, an
individual could buy NBC.movies and sell it to Comcast (NASDAQ:
) for a hefty sum, or launch a misleading .bank address to trick
Bank of America (NYSE:
) customers into sharing their personal information.
"The cost that will be imposed on advertisers can be extremely
substantial," Jaffe warned. "That is why we proposed something
called a Limited Preventative Registration, or LPR, which will
allow people to protect their exact trademark names across all
secondary domains at a reasonable cost. Right now, what's gonna
happen is that each advertiser is going to have to negotiate on a
domain by domain basis, which will be extremely demanding and
potentially extremely expensive as each domain seller can set
their own price."
The ANA is not the only organization concerned by what ICANN
"On top of all the trademark issues that we raised, VeriSign
) -- the group that overseas the .com domain -- has said that
there are severe security and stability issues," said Jaffe.
"They said the way ICANN is going too fast, they have not set up
enough adequate protections."
PayPal, one of eBay's (NASDAQ:
) most profitable divisions, has also expressed concern with
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer
of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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