22 June 2011

Reuters: New Internet Domains May Lead to Chaos in Cyberspace

Monday’s decision by the body governing internet domain names to stop restricting them to a list of suffixes like .com and .org may spell a “chaotic new era” as companies start branding the internet, reports Reuters.

By the end of 2012, any suffix can be used as a domain name once it gets approved; so there could be a coke.zero or italian.food then, Reuters said. All this may spark a scramble by brands and cybersquatters alike to see who gets the name first.

“It’s going to make the Wild West look positively civilized,” a corporate branding consultant told the news agency.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will start accepting applications for new domain names at the start of next year; each application will cost companies US$185,000, and they’ll have to prove claims to the name, reports Reuters.

And if both companies have legitimate claims to the name—say Unilever’s Dove body soap and Mars’ Dove chocolates—corporate battles may ensue, according to Reuters.

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