Future Web Domains Could End In .Anything Imaginable

Dennis Faas's picture

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an entity that oversees the online address system, recently approved a motion that would allow the standard eighteen suffixes to be joined with any other ending from .a to .z. For example, those wanting to research the history of Mickey Mouse might visit a website ending in '.disney.'

The possibilities are seemingly endless, which is concerning a number of people.

If you are anything like me, you sometimes find it difficult to remember if a particular website ends with a '.com,' '.net,' or '.org.' Now the trouble with accurate suffixes is about to be exasperated beyond compare, as websites look to include any domain imaginable.

Online Scammers to Cash in on Domain Names

The first problem associated with this "landmark change" is that the '.com' brand was once the only suffix choice available during the Internet's early years. The assumption now is that people will attempt to pursue a '.com' website before other options. (Source: wusa9.com)

This creates opportunities for scammers looking to mislead the online world through cyber squatting.

The High Cost of Product Protection

If companies want to enforce their trademark rights, it could be a costly endeavor.

It is estimated that companies spend "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in imposing copyright infringement protection. If this is done on a grand scale, say by registering thousands of website names associated with their brand, there will not be enough hours in the day or money in the world to go after every online deviant.

To ward off rivals, companies might want to consider controlling a new generic domain like '.bread' or '.milk.' However, this too will be a costly endeavor. The current proposed application fee will have companies paying $185,000 plus an annual "continuance" fee of $25,000 for control of a generic domain. If more than one company wants a particular suffix, it could go to the highest bidder. (Source: usatoday.com)

While it might be a good idea in the future for companies to have a product-specific domain, the concept is still relatively new and foreign to the purchasing public. To incur maximum revenue and online traffic to their websites, look for most companies to stick with the '.com' suffix, at least for the time being.

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