AAF Government Alert: Internet Domains
December 5, 2011
Posted by AAF-KC Director
As part of the National AAF's governmental efforts, we offer the latest and greatest updates from National around what's happening in Washington D.C. as well as what's happening in our very own state in Jefferson City with regard to current legislative efforts around advertising. We recently received this alert that we felt warranted greater awareness within our local advertising community. Read on...
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will soon examine the plan by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to put up for auction a virtually unlimited number of new top-level domains. Top-level domains are the part of an Internet address to the right of the dot, .com, .org, .edu, etc. ICANN is currently scheduled to begin the auction process in January, 2012. We are concerned that the plan could cause extreme harm to consumers and brand owners.
Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) are members of the Commerce Committee. Please contact your Senators and ask them to attend the December 8 hearing and urge ICANN to stop or delay implementation of the auction.
AAF opposes the current ICANN plan for new top level domains because:
- ICANN has not demonstrated a need for the program. There is no shortage of potential Internet addresses. Many current top-level domains, such as .biz, .info, .jobs, .travel, and others, are underused. There is no justifiable need to create many more.
- The cost of the program is excessive. Applying for a new top-level domain will require a registration fee of at least $185,000. Domains subject to competitive bidding could be substantially higher. Successful applicants will be required to pay ICANN an additional $25,000 annually over a ten year contractual commitment.
- Brand protection will be extraordinarily difficult. Companies must consider not just the creation of new top-level domains, but protecting brand identities within all top-level domains created and maintained by others, further adding to the cost of the program.
- The potential for consumer harm and confusion is exponentially increased. Countless new top-level domains, and the inevitable confusion they will create, will give cyber-criminals untold new opportunities and make cyber-security and protecting privacy exponentially more difficult.
All Senators can be reached through the U.S. Senate website at http://www.senate.gov/. I urge you and other members of your ad club to express your concern today.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any comments or questions.
Executive Vice President-Government Affairs
American Advertising Federation