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Wednesday, 25 June 2008 01:30

.love and .hate in Paris

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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is set to vote on what could prove to be one of the most important shake ups in recent web history. The vote in Paris on Thursday will decide if people can buy vanity top level domains ending in just about anything...

ICANN is holding its 32nd International Public ICANN Meeting in Paris this week, and it might just change the way you see the web for ever. Charged with managing the Internet naming scheme, ICANN has traditionally been resistant to moves away from familiar domain names such as .com

That intransigence could be swept aside on Thursday when ICANN votes on whether to allow people to buy pretty much any top-level domain suffix that they want. Yes, you read that right, anything at all as long as it is not offensive or illegal one assumes. Oh, and no more than 64 characters in length.

It has yet to be confirmed if the .xxx top level domain that ICANN has consistently voted against will be on the banned list or not.

Apart from the obvious .love and .hate domains, it opens up the way for .intel, .linux and even .itwire should the boss fancy it. He would have to have deep pockets though as the new domains, if approved, are expected to cost anything up to AUD $50,000 a pop!

Most analysts agree, therefore, that this move will be seen as a way to widen the commercial appeal of the Internet as individuals such as myself are unlikely to be able to afford the luxury of a .winder domain for example.

More to the point, there is also likely to be some restrictions placed upon the registration in order to foil the plans of domain squatters. It is expected that registered trademark holders will get first dibs on domains. Personally I am not sure that ICANN needs to adopt such a measure. Surely the ridiculously high registration fee is deterrent enough? CONTINUED


Although it is by no means certain that the vote will be a positive one, if it is you can expect to see the first vanity domains as soon as early next year. At the moment the 1300 delegates from a total of 130 countries are keeping quiet about how they intend to vote.

My gut feeling is that it will be a yes, if not a resounding one.

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