August 05, 2011

Association of National Advertisers Threatens to Block ICANN's Domain Expansion Scheme

You probably already know how I feel about ICANN's plan for massive expansion of generic top-level domains (gTLDs), that they have recently approved and are pushing forward aggressively.

In brief, I consider this to be essentially a "protection racket" and little more, that will serve mainly to enrich what I call the "domain-industrial complex" -- registries, registrars, ICANN itself, and those groups' associated and various minions -- at enormous costs to everyone else.

Litigation relating to this scheme has long been predicted, and the likelihood of such action directed at the fundamental flaws of the entire concept, not just over who gets to operate or reside in a particular gTLD, has just increased enormously.

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA), "representing in excess of 10,000 brands that annually collectively spend over $250 billion in marketing, communications, and advertising," has sent a blistering letter to ICANN making very clear that the "big guns" are now in play.

I strongly recommend that everyone interested in this area take the time to read the letter in its entirety [Google Docs]. (I've received some reports of persons have trouble displaying the letter directly from the ANA site -- I've uploaded the Google Docs representation after local post-processing that should make it viewable for everyone.)

The letter is frankly a joy to peruse. Perhaps "joy" doesn't seem like the right term, but the letter is so comprehensive, and so clearly spells out in great detail the multitude of problems with ICANN's gTLD scheme, that it really is required reading.

And while the letter doesn't come right out and say that legal action is in the offing, ANA makes very, very clear that they do not intend to site idly by and watch ICANN's gTLD "gold rush" reach fruition without a serious battle indeed.

This is going to be extremely interesting.


Posted by Lauren at August 5, 2011 08:50 PM | Permalink
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