.Love? .Nazi? Domain Name Suffix Battle Heats Up

Will it make surfing easier—or just more complicated?
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 7, 2011 8:54 AM CST

(Newser) – In a matter of months, companies will have the chance to gobble up brand new domain name suffixes—and controversy is already boiling. In 2008, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers approved a plan to expand the selection of suffixes from the usual .com and .net to choices like .love and .sport, and soon it will call for applications for the suffixes. While some say it could make browsing more intuitive, others worry it’ll just mean confusion. And then there's the question of ownership, notes the Washington Post: Who will get to control suffixes like .abortion—those for or against abortion rights?

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Could the Ku Klux Klan control .nazi? Will Brazil or Amazon.com own .amazon? It’s all up to ICANN, and this week, interested businesses can attend a three-day conference with seminars that explain how to apply. The Post notes that the application is a complicated one, and not cheap: The charge to apply is $185,000, plus a $25,000 yearly fee for those who gain control of the domain—prompting some to slam the operation as a moneymaking scheme. But the chair of ICANN's board of directors says the fee is high because the nonprofit expects to be sued, and because working to keep cybersquatters at bay will be costly.
(Read more Internet stories.)

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