.Rip .Off: Highlights From The Top-Level Domain Scrum
from the .goo-me dept
The whole ICANN process for creating generic top level domains (gTLDs) has clearly been designed to allow certain groups to make a ton of money by basically pressuring individuals and companies to snap up more domains they don't need. The whole thing has appeared impossibly corrupt
from the very beginning. However, with ICANN finally releasing the full list of gTLDs that have been applied for
(using the obnoxious title "reveal day" -- as if the world was really waiting impatiently for this crap), there are at least some bizarre or interesting factoids as we skim through the list. Here are a few:
- Lots of companies applied for their own name or an acronym of their name. This is one area where I could see some benefit in potentially stopping certain phishing scams... But it seems unfortunate that only super rich companies should be able to do that. A few companies sought gTLDs on related terms -- like Nationwide Insurance seeking .onyourside to match with its slogan. Ralph Lauren just wants .polo. Chrysler wants .ram. Travelers Insurance wants .redumbrella (really?!?).
- Google's bids are slightly (just slightly) obfuscated by the use of "Charleston Road Registry Inc." as their applicant. But as the company had suggested last month, it was pretty active, going after some clearly Google related names, including .google, .goog, .gmail, .android, .gbiz and .goo. But it also has a few more broadly worded ones, including .ads (which no one else sought), .car (for their autonomous vehicles?), .dad (just in time for father's day?), .mom, .dog, .family, .fyi, .plus, .tour, .prod, .here, .prof, .phd, meme., .lol, .day, .love (which has a lot of competition), .rsvp, .mba, .vip, .web, .eat, .soy and (believe it or not) .and. There are some strange ones too, like .zip, .boo (did Google scare you?) and .foo. They also want .page (is Larry getting his own TLD?).
- Thirteen applications were made for .app -- including from Google and Amazon, but also a whole bunch of companies that were clearly set up just to seek .app and all of which have similar names: Dot App LLC, .APP REGISTRY Inc., DotApp Inc., and dot App Limited. Not confusing at all.
- Both Amazon and Google would like .book (where they have competition from seven others) and .search (where they have competition from two others).
- Amazon and Google actually come up against each other an awful lot, including for .buy, .shop, .store, .free, .game, .play, .movie, .show, .mail, .map, .spot, .talk, .wow, .you and .cloud -- all of which have a bunch of other suitors as well. They also go head to head (with no other competitors) for .drive. They just missed each other in going after children. Google wants .kid, while Amazon wants .kids. Think these two companies are competing in a lot of areas?
- Amazon would also like both .safe and .room, but not .saferoom (no one went for that one). Amazon has no competition for either of those.
- Amazon would like you to .smile. Somewhat surprised no one else sought that one.
- For .docs, Google's competition is... Microsoft. No surprise there. Those two companies also face off (with one other applicant) for .live.
- Six different companies are seeking .baby, including Johnson and Johnson... and Google? Not sure I get that one.
- Surprised that there are only two applications for .money -- since that's what this whole thing is all about anyway.
- Nine companies want .blog. I really have no desire to pay anyone for techdirt.blog.
- Slightly surprised that only American Express wants .open.
- Hasbro wants .transformers. Seriously.
- TJX (owners of stores like Marshall's and TJ Maxx) wants .winners. No one went for .winning. Apparently Charlie Sheen has fallen off the face of the earth.
- Six different applications for .cpa (including one from Google). Apparently some people expect that CPAs have money to blow on new domains...
- Two different companies want .dot (which actually is kind of creative): Google and Dish. Not sure I understand either one.
- McDonalds wants .mcd (and .mcdonalds).
- Three different companies want .rip. I'm assuming these are for "memorial" sites.
- AOL wants .patch. Meanwhile plenty of people expect that Patch will soon need .rip.
- Many regional ones are unopposed, but .osaka has two proposals.
- Notorious hater of anyone who uses the word "Monster," Monster Cable is seeking .monster, but has to compete with the jobs site Monster.com. Those two companies already have an agreement about the use of the term, but you have to imagine they're not happy to see each other here.
- Eleven companies want .home, once again including a bunch with similar names. DotHome Inc., Dot Home LLC, .HOME Registry Inc., DotHome/CGR E-Commerce Ltd. Oh yeah, and GoDaddy and Google are both there as well.
- The MPAA cannot be happy that Google is also seeking .film, where it's competing against two others, including the "Motion Picture Domain Registry". According to the website for that group, they have a strong association with the MPAA. Both those companies (and a bunch of others, including Amazon as mentioned above) are also competing for .movie.
- As expected, there's also a big fight to be had over .music -- including (once again) Google and Amazon, but also a bunch of operations set up just for this purpose: dot Music Limited, DotMusic, DotMusic Inc., and .music LLC. For what it's worth, the RIAA has endorsed the proposal from .music LLC, because it only would allow "accredited" musicians to use it, and the RIAA loves nothing more than the chance to be a gatekeeper.
- Starbucks (Starbucks?!) would like .now, but it has steep competition from five other companies, including its neighbor, Amazon.
- Seven applications were made for .news (including one from Amazon). I also do not want to buy techdirt.news.
- Three different applications for .sucks. Perhaps I'd buy techdirt.sucks.
- Yes, someone did apply for .wtf.
- .ninja actually is a cool idea for a TLD. I might want one of those.
- There are two competing applications for .sex, because we didn't already have enough of a battle over the sex.com domain name years ago.
- This is slightly outside the list, but related to it. After the list came out, I received a press release from some silly grandstanding "morality" group insisting that .porn, .sex and .adult need to be opposed because "more porn domains means more porn on the internet." I don't think that requires any response other than laughter at the basic cluelessness.
There's plenty more to dig into, but those were the ones that caught my eye. It seems like the key story is just how often Amazon and Google come up against each other...