Controlling and Coercive Behaviour: Widening the Net
As you may have read in the technology and national press, the internet’s governing body, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), has developed the new generic Top-Level Domain Program (gTLD). Their stated aim is “to increase competition and choice by introducing new gTLDs into the Internet’s addressing system” or in ordinary language, to open up the availability of domain names for purchase.
The first application window opened on 12 January 2012 and closed on 30 May 2012. 'Reveal day' on 13 June listed the domain name suffixes applied for, by whom and from which country. Having picked up in the legal press that whilst there had been six new suffix applications for 'law', two for 'lawyer' but none for 'solicitor', my interest was piqued to find out what were the top trending and most desirable names that other professions might wish to register.
It seems that precious few professional titles have been applied for. A quick scroll through the list shows that so far there is much up for grabs in that area. There is one application for 'accountant' and one for 'accountants' but no one wants 'actuary'. There are three applications for 'doctor', one for 'dental' and one for 'dentist'. Two applications for 'legal' but no application for 'ifa' of 'barrister'. In fact a great many protected professional titles have not, so far, been applied for. What look to be the hot favourites that caught my eye were nine applications for 'blog', nine for 'book', eight for 'movie' and 'music' and seven for 'love'. Where there is more than one application for a domain name, an auction will be held. A nice revenue raising exercise for ICANN.
Are the professions missing a trick? In our experience the professions guard their reputations very carefully but with a price tag of $185,000 per application, this is clearly only an option for corporate entities or the very wealthy.
In any case, I recommend a browse of the list, it makes very interesting and sometimes surprising reading.
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