The sleepy corporate world is now discovering that the wide-awake generic top-level domain name holder is now poised to play the upper hands in the global cyber name branding warfare. They are right, as the winners and losers of the global name games will now line up in their respective queues.
The Author’s Guild and Association of American Publishers is seriously opposing the idea of Amazon owning top-level domain names like .book, .author, or .read etc. Barnes & Noble has also objected in this matter.
Why the panic? Three reasons: lack of appreciation of global domain name expansion, lack of interest when for years these available options were openly discussed, and lack of knowledge about global naming complexities impacting overly stretched trademark registration systems.
Fact: The ownership of a top-level domain .book does not “threaten the openness and freedom of the Internet and would have harmful consequences for Internet users worldwide,” as mentioned in the letter to ICANN by Barnes & Noble, the owners of www.book.com since 1998.
Was the book industry or consumers harmed by the exclusive ownership of the great URL book.com by Barnes & Noble?
Fact: A generic name is in public domain, and therefore no one is threatened by its use by anybody else. Anybody can use “book” in any shape or form. The top-level domain sale based on first-come basis or auctions in multiple applications is an open and fair game in business. No outside bogy has the right to decide if the largest or the smallest book distributor should have the right to own such ‘cyber naming channel’. In a free economy, no outside party can decide how and why a business creates a powerful name to achieve its goals.
Fact: Lack of knowledge is the number one problem in this game. ICANN at the outset seriously lacked in its marketing message to lay out the necessary clarity while the opposition advertising agencies of the world used all kinds of fear mongering to kill the top-level domain name expansion and avoided any intelligent debate. ICANN is now releasing its big agenda to bring innovation and creating endless new opportunities in the global naming and positioning games.
Time to read some books.