ICANN Changes Internet’s Domain Name System, Allows Brands to Register Their Own TLD

ICANN, the non-profit organization tasked with the responsibility of managing the top-level domain name space, has voted overwhelmingly in favor of opening up top-level domains to established private or public organizations.

The right most label in a domain name, such as .com and .edu, is referred to as the top-level domain (TLD). Currently, there are 22 TLDs, along with about 250 country level domains. Under the new plan, any established organization that wishes to get its own TLD can do so for a sum of $185,000. Applications for the same will be accepted between 12 January 2012 and 12 April 2012.

“Today’s decision will usher in a new Internet age,” said Peter Dengate Thrush, Chairman of ICANN’s Board of Directors. “We have provided a platform for the next generation of creativity and inspiration”. ICANN believes that the new TLD system will enable organizations to change the way they brand their online presence. “ICANN has opened the Internet’s naming system to unleash the global human imagination. Today’s decision respects the rights of groups to create new Top Level Domains in any language or script. We hope this allows the domain name system to better serve all of mankind,” said Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN.

Opening up of TLD will enable organizations to come up with shorter and more meaningful domain names. However, what it will also do is add a bewildering amount of complexity. Most of the users land on webpages through search engines and other websites; however, a significant number of them still rely on memory to directly key in the URL. Now users will have to memorize dozens of different TLDs along with the domain names. Moreover, most organizations will almost be compelled to get their own TLD due to their basic instinct to protect their brand name. Millions and billions of dollars will be spent by organizations on something that doesn’t really seem to be necessary. Only the future will tell if the new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) succeed in actually helping organizations or not. However, one thing is for certain. It will definitely help the domain name registrars and ICANN.

Infographic via CircleID

ICANN Makes .xxx Domains Official Against Recommendations

In a vote the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has approved the .xxx as a top level domain (TLD). You know those websites you visit but won’t admit to, will now most probably end with .xxx

While non-profit organizations are happy to have their websites end with .org, the adult industry isn’t as receptive. they believe this will be used to victimize them and believe this affects freedom of speech on the internet with the Free Speech Coalition director, Diane Duke saying, Worse, they have disregarded overwhelming outpouring of opposition from the adult entertainment industry — the supposed sponsorship community — dismissing the interests of free speech on the Internet.

it is reported that about 24 people showed up to protest against the passing of this domain during the ICANN’s San Francisco. If only they had PETA-like protesters, they might have gotten some attention. Neowin did report pornstars siding with the  protesters  though.

For the ICANN the vote was not unanimous either. the count was 9-3 with 4 abstaining. The .xxx domain has quite a bit of history dating back  to 2007. The first vote for the domain level was against it. What followed were quite a bit of debates with one of the board members saying that passing this would encouraging censorship and would also mean that the board will go against the community recommendations.

Kink.com says that them moving to .xxx domains will cost them upto $100,000 per year.