ICANN to go ahead with .brand domains despite concerns

Internet body ICANN is to continue with plans to expand the number of possible website addresses despite criticism from industry and concerns from some law enforcement groups.

ICANN’s goal is to allow more innovation in website addresses and to open the space to the non-Latin alphabets. It has pledged a quick take-down for trademark violators under the new system.
The body decides who gets to manage .com, .net and other domains to the right of the period in a URL.
It plans to begin accepting applications next week for a hugely expanded number of Web domain options.
This has worried some corporations, which already troll the web looking for trademark violations and sometimes buy web addresses they don’t plan to use to prevent them from falling into the hands of cybersquatters.
In a letter Tuesday, Lawrence Strickling, administrator of the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, urged ICANN to take steps to minimise the need for these defensive registrations.
“In meetings we have held with industry over the past weeks, we have learned that there is tremendous concern about the specifics of the program that may lead to a number of unintended and unforeseen consequences and could jeopardize its success,” Strickling wrote on Tuesday.
ICANN said that it would review Strickling’s recommendations. “We appreciate Assistant Secretary Strickling’s comments and suggestions,” said Steve Crocker, chair of ICANN’s board in an emailed statement.
Each top level domain would cost $185,000. Applications will be accepted beginning on January 12, although it is not known when the first new registries will be up and running.