.WHATEVER - How ICANN Is Changing the Way You Think of Domains
ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) has been talking about this for three years. And finally, during their ICANN 41 conference in Singapore this week, they approved the motion to allow new generic top level domains (gTLDs) to be registered with their organization. That means, aside from the 22 generic TLDs now in existence (.com, .net, .org, etc.) and the 250 country codes (.ca, uk, .eu, etc.), companies can decide to have a generic top level domain customized to fit their needs.
But not just any company. You must have an "established" company. ICANN states:
"Established corporations, organizations, or institutions in good standing may apply for a new gTLD. Applications from individuals or sole proprietorships will not be considered. Applications from or on behalf of yet-to-be formed legal entities, or applications presupposing the future formation of a legal entity (for example, a pending Joint Venture) will not be considered."
For example, let's say that Facebook wants its own gTLD (I'm predicting that they will and you read it here.), they could create the gTLD .Facebook and instead of a personal URL being http://facebook.com/username, it could be http://username.facebook.
But companies who want this "vanity" domain type will have tons of hoops to jump through (although established corporations are undoubtedly quite used to all the legal mumbo-jumbo ad nauseam). They'll need to produce a 200-page application, background checks on its officers, and financial statements. I can't really understand how that applies to owning a domain name, but well... I'm not ICANN. I'm guessing it's to make sure they have the money to continue to pay the enormous fees involved.
Because... Companies will have to cough up beau coup bucks just to have one of these personalized gTLDs. To buy one, you'll need to give up a cool $185,000, but it doesn't end there. An additional $6,250 quarterly fee will add to that price, just to keep the domain running, and then tack on 25 cents per sale, after 500,000 transactions. That's a LOT of dough. 'Course Mark Zukerberg can afford it, right?Continued on the next page