The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Verizon, testified in front of the House Energy and Commerce Internet Subcommitteepanel, which is holding hearings on ICANN, that new gTLD’s shouldn’t be allowed unless there is a proven market demand for the names and the Internet is secure and stable.
ICANN President Paul Twomey said in his testimony in front of the same committee, “There is a demand. Geographic names like dot.NYC and dot.Berlin are being proposed along with others like dot.sport, dot.ECO and dot.green,” Twomey told the House Energy and Commerce Internet Subcommittee at a hearing.
“ICANN financially benefits from this expansion. It will bring in more than $90 million from the initial grant of applications alone,” said Sarah Deutsch, Verizon vice president and associate general counsel. “As a result, however, businesses and consumers will face higher costs. This isn’t very helpful in the current economic climate.”
Subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher, D-Va., asked Twomey how ICANN protects businesses from cybersquatting, a practice whereby individuals or companies register Web names that are variations on another company’s known brand.
If ICANN expands Internet domains, Boucher observed, “that would mean that companies would have to acquire more second-level domains. The opportunity for cybersquatting increases.”
Twomey said ICANN has a ” to settle disputes over domain names, and it’s resulted in some 36,000 decisions. ICANN is proposing a similar arbitration system for an expanded domain-name system”
Here he is of course talking about UDRP’s, which trademark groups do not agree is a “fairly cheap online arbitration mechanism”, as it costs $4K+ per.
Of course ICANN is always talking about demand from those wanting to sponsor additional extensions.
Yes there are lots of companies lining up to sponsor a new gTLD’s
But Verizon point is the same as the point we have made before, there is little to no demand from consumers; those wanting to operate websites using the one of the new gTLD extensions.
Demand from suppliers is a whole different matter than demand from consumers.
Hopefully, Congress can see that difference in their analysis, and support having ICANN drop the plan altogether, as many non-domainers have called for .
Otherwise if the plan moves forward for the new gTLD’s, the argument from the trademark groups, like Verizon made today, is playing right into the hands of the URS system we reported on earlier this week.