New gTLDs, New Era, New Issues

 Posted by:  Florencia Todaro


dTLDAfter decades without many changes in gTLDs, INCANN announced the new era of internet, with the expansion of TLD; but when? Experts expected that this big deal is going to be this year, but apparently no.

At this moment there are 22 gTLDs for all the world (plus ccTLDs). The case is that the necessity of new TLD is a reality. The limitation that .com domains implies is a constant debate; is it possible to increase the TLD (top level domains) without creating confusion or increasing and facilitating cybersquatting?

In the last decade the internet became an important tool for commerce and a great medium for ads. For new business it is really important to develop a trademark and translate it to the worldwide. But how can you find a .com domain properly for your enterprise? New developers figure out that in the Worldwide Era they have to find a name brand that works for marketing and still has a domain name available. So at this point expansion of domains is a good idea. But what is the scope of the expansion?

ICANN has finally posted their proposal and at least 1745 new gTLDs are in new phased of the gTLD program. YES!! They´re planning to go from 22 to 1767 gTLDs. This expansion is going to be in phases.

So now the question is how to prevent cybersquatting in an expanded domain architecture. Now with 22 gTLDs and the ACPA we are still have cyberspauatting problem, and each year domain poachingsituation get worse. In 2012 the number of cases reached a new record with 2,884 cases. How can you prevent such domain poaching with an increment of 802 in gTLDs availability?

This is one of the reasons of why this process has been taken a lot of time. INCANN needed to design a process to protect trademarks, and protection mechanisms. The initial price to apply for a new gTLD was $185,000. Applicants have to pass a number of reviews, show no cybersquatting history and business diligence. There are also financial reviews, which ensure that the applicants have the financial resources to operate the New gTLD; and the necessary technical checks. All these processes were necessary to operate delegation of the domain system.

So they took prevention, but we are not going to know if it´s enough until the launched of the new gTLDs.

In the other side, in front of the laptops, there´re millions of users. How they can be affected? Firstly, when a cybersquater use a web page, there are users trying to find the legitimate web page. So these traps implies money and time for the consumers. There´re organizations like CEDNA , which tries to educate users how to prevent this situations.

Secondly many search engine optimization (SEO) experts suspect it could have a significant impact on the way searchers use the internet and consequently have big implications for online businesses. How search engines are going to filter 1750+ gTLD?

This change on top level domains are going to increase the demands between smaller companies; the big ones are going to have their own gTLD .apple, .coke. .But what happen if the domain .hotel is going to be available? There´re many hotels around the world called ¨Savoy¨ or ¨Da Vinci¨. There are trademarks that repeat a lot in the same type of business, this is going to be the new issue. We solve the limitation of gTLDs with more option available; but probably we´re going to have more litigation, focused on areas.

We´re still waiting the launched but everybody is sure that in next months new gTLDs are starting to work.


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