New York City officials are apparently all excited about a guaranteed $3.6 million "risk free to taxpayers"
after signing a deal with a Virginia company to offer .nyc domains. This is one of those things that sounds good until you think it through, and then you realize it's effectively a hidden business tax. NYC gets to promote it as a way for more companies in NYC to have domains, and to identify themselves as NYC-based companies. But for companies already based there, they now need to buy up these domains they don't want or need, just to keep others from buying them up.
To businesses, which only need one website address, new domain names are often a tax they must pay to protect their brand. It’s as if someone printed an alternate copy of the White Pages and asked companies to buy a listing before it was sold to someone else.
In this case, a New York City company like Bloomberg would have to buy Bloomberg.nyc or face having to buy it back at a higher price. Other iconic New York City brands will likely watch nervously to see what becomes names like of “gossipgirl.nyc” or “magnoliabakery.nyc”
The company behind this is asking people to pre-register "for free," but (tellingly) does not share how much the .nyc domains will actually cost once registration opens for real. So while NYC officials can pretend that they've "found" money here, the reality is that they're creating a totally wasteful business tax and a true nuisance for NYC businesses.