If ICANN has its way, only huge corporations (paying hefty registration fees) will own top level domain names and publish on the internet--
BBC News - Icann's internet suffix application deadline looms:
"Organisations wishing to buy web addresses ending in their brand names have until 00:00 GMT on Thursday to submit applications. For example, drinks giant Pepsi can apply for .pepsi, .gatorade or .tropicana as an alternative to existing suffixes such as .org or .com. Parties are able to request up to 50 web address endings. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers plans to publish application details on 30 April. Companies had to sign up to its process by March to qualify for the upcoming deadline. It says 839 users are taking part. Canon and Google are among the companies to have said that they paid the $185,000 (£116,355) fees required to take part in the process. Nominet, the organisation which manages .uk domains, confirmed it was also applying for .wales and .cymru. Successful applicants also face $25,000 in costs per year to maintain the addresses. "We plan to apply for Google's trademarked gTLDs, and we're currently exploring opportunities to apply for new ones as well," the search giant told the BBC. . . . . The process has the potential to cause problems among firms that share brand names. The US and German firms that both operate under the name Merck have already clashed over ownership of a Facebook page. . . . In November, 87 business associations and companies sent a petition to the US Department of Commerce complaining that the program entailed "excessive cost and harm to brand owners". Signatories included the tech giants Adobe, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Samsung. The department subsequently snubbed Icann by cancelling a bidding process that was expected to extend the organisation's right to run the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority - the contract which allows it to manage the domain name system. Although Icann retains control for now, its mandate runs out in September."
ICANN has deliberately disregarded its public mandate and should be stripped of all authority, including its authority over the schema of internet domain names. The system we had--.com, .net, etc.,--was not broken, but ICANN decided to create a new class of "Super Internet Goliaths" with ownership of whole domains. This really "smells" and is shameful. So much for the public trust and public interest. ICANN has corrupted the internet.
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