The Great gTLD Battle
Since June of last year, when Google applied to the ‘Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) for the registration rights to the new gTLDs such as .google, .youtube, and yes, even .lol, people have been talking. Mainly, people are curious as to whether they'll be able to snag the new gTLDs for their business' website, like .party, applied for by Oriental Trading Co or if they'll be locked down entirely. (That's right, other companies followed Google's lead and applied for their own gTLDs.)
In all, 751 applications were submitted for the 230 most popular gTLDs. 101 of those applications belonged to Google. Amazon submitted 76 applications for names like .app, .play, and .cloud. Not surprisingly, the majority of applications were brands applying for their own name, like .canon for the camera manufacturer, or .samsclub for retail giant Walmart.
Google listed the types of domains they were looking to snag on their blog. Basically, they want to secure trademarks like their name or services, like .youtube, or domains they find creative or interesting, like .lol.
The Great gTLD Battle: Ready Or Not, Here They Come
ICANN’s site states: “This achievement is the result of many years of policy development and implementation work to bring diversity, competition, and innovation to the Domain Name System…This is not only an important and exciting moment in the New gTLD Program but also in the continuing evolution of the Internet.”
The Great gTLD Battle: Another Not-So-Small Problem
Some experts think that this is just a way for the big names like Google and Amazon to protect these domains from being used by anyone else, not simply a harmless way to protect their trademarks. Why would they think this?
The answer lies in the fact that multiple companies are applying for and oftentimes fighting against each other for the chance to obtain everyday domains: Johnson and Johnson are fighting with other companies for .baby; Hasbro is after .transformers; Travelers Insurance, for some reason, desires the clumsy .redumbrella. Some of them are brand specific so it probably won't be a big deal, but for others, it's a legitimate concern. Do you think that the company buying the gTLD .cars actually wants to allow it to be used by car dealers? It's possible they might not.
The Great gTLD Battle: Fighting Back
Despite some thinking it isn't that big of a deal, there is one gTLD applicant who is fighting the big fish. This person has yet to be named, but they have rallied lobbyists to work their magic in EU Parliament and Congress to block the act of locking these gTLDs.
What do you think? Is this something to be genuinely concerned about? Would you want to snag a .lol domain for your dedicated hosting website? How would you feel about your email hosting company having a .email address?