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Amazon's Quest For Web Names Draws Foes 114

Posted by samzenpus
from the making-enemies dept.
quantr writes in with a story about backlash to Amazon's request for ownership of new top-level domain names. "Large and small companies are vying for control of an array of new Internet domain names, but Amazon.com Inc.'s plans are coming under particular scrutiny. Two publishing industry groups, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, are objecting to the online retailer's request for ownership of new top-level domain names that are part of a long-awaited expansion of the Web's addressing scheme. They argue that giving Amazon control over such addresses—which include '.book,' '.author' and '.read'—would be a threat to competition and shouldn't be allowed. 'Placing such generic domains in private hands is plainly anti-competitive,' wrote Scott Turow, Authors Guild president, to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, the nonprofit that oversees the world's Internet domain names. 'The potential for abuse seems limitless.'"
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Amazon's Quest For Web Names Draws Foes

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  • by Looker_Device (2857489) * on Monday March 11, 2013 @12:07PM (#43139249)

    I mean a SHITLOAD of money! Did YOU give us a shitload of money?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Here we learn that there should have been ~180 top level domains, one for each country.

    • by toejam13 (958243) on Monday March 11, 2013 @12:35PM (#43139589)

      Did YOU give us a shitload of money?

      That's clearly what this boils down to. This massive free-form expansion of TLDs is little more than a revenue generation scheme by ICANN. So the same sort of wild-west name grabs we saw with .com domain names will simply be repeated here, just on a larger scale.

      I'm sure that all of the new issues of domain squatting and trademark conflicts with/within these new TLDs will be addressed by ICANN, that is if you can get them to stop rolling around in their piles of money for a minute.

      • by boorack (1345877) on Monday March 11, 2013 @01:10PM (#43140041)
        Price for TLD registration has been set high enough to eliminate many (if not most) small businesses. This move pushes Internet into corporate hands even more.
        • Mind you it would have been a blood bath if a TLD cost $10.
          Can you imagine how awful it would be?

      • by Beorytis (1014777)

        So the same sort of wild-west name grabs we saw with .com domain names will simply be repeated here, just on a larger scale.

        Amazon is hoping that it is perceived as simply a "larger scale", and that people miss the distinction between a domain and a top-level domain.

      • by hairyfeet (841228)
        Which is why it never should have been allowed, its gonna create nothing but a headache for everybody else, be a squatters paradise, the ONLY ones that end up ahead are ICANN who can pull this trick any time they want more $$$.
      • by Solandri (704621)
        Here's a list of the TLDs added last time ICANN did this:

        .aero
        .asia
        .biz
        .cat
        .coop
        .info
        .int
        .jobs
        .mobi
        .museum
        .name
        .post
        .pro
        .tel
        .travel
        .xxx

        Given how infrequently they're used (.mobi is probably the most successful, and it isn't really necessary as most sites simply redirect you from site.mobi to mobile.site.com), it's pretty clear we don't need new TLDs. And this is just a money grab by ICANN.
        • No, .int is an old TLD, for international intergovernmental organizations. The UN uses un.int, for example. It's not quite as old as the original five, but it's pretty close iirc.

      • by Xest (935314)

        This was my suspicion too, but the revenue generated by gTLDs is going to literally be in the billions and ICANN is a non-profit.

        Does anyone know how ICANN intends to spend these billions of dollars? How do non-profits with excess cash in the US work? Here in the UK if a non-profit or charity ends up with too big a cash pile it can be redistributed to similar charities - does the US have the same sort of thing? Or has ICANN published plans for expenditure of these billions it will gain to spread it's influe

    • Nice edgy comment, but what evidence do you have that ICANN was paid off?
      • by drkstr1 (2072368)

        Nice edgy comment, but what evidence do you have that ICANN was paid off?

        Can you still call it "getting paid off" when the bribery is part of a contract?

        The Best Internet Addresses Will Cost a Cool .Million [nytimes.com]

      • Yeah, and since the summary is actually longer than the teaser from the paywalled article, there isn't a lot of info to talk about here. Are the "foes" in question even angry with Amazon or are they really fighting back against ICANN? I mean, I don't think there's anything wrong with Amazon TRYING to get the domain names; the problem would be if ICANN actually gave them to Amazon.
      • ICANN's application fee for a new TLD $185,000. Amazon appplied for 76 of them. That's $14 million. This is all public information and has been discussed on slashdot previously,
      • I don't think you understand the comment.
    • I mean a SHITLOAD of money! Did YOU give us a shitload of money?

      Hmm. I wonder if .shitload is available...

      BRB

      • by rvw (755107)

        I mean a SHITLOAD of money! Did YOU give us a shitload of money?

        Hmm. I wonder if .shitload is available...

        BRB

        If not, .onehundredeightyfivethousanddollars is for grabs!

      • Only if you have $185,000.

      • by fatphil (181876)
        I'll grab .load, and can do you a twofer on .butt.load and .shit.load?
  • How about Amazon ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PPH (736903) on Monday March 11, 2013 @12:13PM (#43139311)

    ... gets the top level domain: Amazon

    And then do what they want with the subdomains book. author.

    • by Nidi62 (1525137)
      Aren't they also in a fight with Brazil over the top level domain ".amazon"? It would make sense that Brazil would want it and have a better claim to it than Amazon since they have the Amazon River and Amazon rainforest.
      • And existed, for a few millenia, prior to Amazon, Inc.

      • by msauve (701917)
        No, that makes no sense at all. The name Amazon long pre-dates the river, being the name of a mythological tribe of warrier women who removed a breast so they could better shoot a bow. "Amazon" comes from the Greek a-mazos, "without a breast." The countries in the Amazon River basin have a no more legitimate claim to the domain than does the company. Let them use .amazonriver and/or .amazonrainforest, if they wish.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          "Let them use .amazonriver and/or .amazonrainforest, if they wish."

          Great idea! Seriously. Then the store can use .amazonshopping, or .amazonstore. ".amazon" should be reserved for women who are warriors and have had one breast removed.

        • No, that makes no sense at all. The name Amazon long pre-dates the river, being the name of a mythological tribe of warrier women who removed a breast so they could better shoot a bow.

          But the name Amazon, as the name of the river, long pre-dates the website. So it does make sense.

          • by msauve (701917)
            By that logic, the Greeks have an even better claim, since they originated the word.
      • by Ant2 (252143)

        Serve's Brazil right for naming a forest and river after an online retailer.

      • Aren't they also in a fight with Brazil over the top level domain ".amazon"? It would make sense that Brazil would want it and have a better claim to it than Amazon since they have the Amazon River and Amazon rainforest.

        https://xkcd.com/1165/ [xkcd.com]

        Advantage: Amazon.

      • by gman003 (1693318) on Monday March 11, 2013 @01:59PM (#43140641)

        So obviously what we need is some way to distinguish commercial use of the name "Amazon" from the Brazilian or organizational use of the name.

        It is truly a shame that there is absolutely nothing like this.

    • More controversial than you'd think, given that the governments of Brazil and Peru have basically said "over our dead bodies".
      • Your sig is particularly ironic, given that the topic is currently the Amazon (incl. rainforest).

      • I'm sure Amazon, Inc will just make a deal with the Brazilian Cartels to make a black market amazon.com for them to sell their wares on. And then the govt. or Brazil will quietly let this drop.

    • by Dr. Evil (3501)

      They're being opposed on that too. http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/amazon-domain-south-america-icann-gtld-99819 [techweekeurope.co.uk]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ... gets the top level domain: Amazon

      And then do what they want with the subdomains book. author.

      I've often wondered why we don't do away with top-level suffixes completely and let entities order up whatever name they want as their own top-level domain. Yes, we'd have a whole lot of domains but do end users really need to remember that they need to add a .com or was it .org or was it .net or whatever. Yes, their would be another names mini gold rush but they could give preference to existing domain holders. Those who thought they were being treated unfairly could still argue their case before WIPO. Let

    • by asylumx (881307)
      Instead of that, since they are classified as a company, let's give them amazon.company. We could shorten for amazon.com for the sake of brevity.
      • by fatphil (181876)
        But there are synonyms that need to be covered. They're a commercial entity, so would want both amazon.commercial and amazon.commerce - I have no problem with that. Again, we could shorten both of those too.
    • by houghi (78078)

      Amazon TLD? I do not think the Brazilians are happy about that.

      Just get rid of all the TLDs except the country ones and let each country decide. "But what if I work in multiple countries?". Well, tough shit. You just get Amazon.de and Amazon.co.uk next to amazon.us.
      "But what about debian.org?" Again, tough shit. At this moment they an address is the USofA, so debian.us would be the best option.
      And if you want to have domains in more countries, just see that you have the right to get that domain.

      Just because

    • by Obfuscant (592200)

      ... gets the top level domain: Amazon

      And then they force all their authors to use an email address in that domain, and then all their authors get rejected from all the modern web services that use the broken email validation scripts running rampant.

      Not only are ignorant web programmers making up their own limits on local-parts of an email address (e.g., "+ invalid"), they've created a 2-4 character limit on the TLD. People in .museum and .travel are already hosed, as well as anyone using an internationalized TLD that has at least one exampl

  • I agree... (Score:5, Funny)

    by c0lo (1497653) on Monday March 11, 2013 @12:23PM (#43139413)

    the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers... argue that giving Amazon control over such addresses—which include '.book,' '.author' and '.read'—would be a threat to competition and shouldn't be allowed.

    You know? I agree with them... of would be like /.-ers raising a kickstarter to take the .grits TLD without giving a damn on the what Natalie would think.

  • Surprise! (Score:5, Informative)

    by ReallyEvilCanine (991886) on Monday March 11, 2013 @12:30PM (#43139519) Homepage
    Anyone who spent more than five pre-1999 minutes on the Internetties knew that the idea of a free-for-all of generic TLDs was more useless than the pope's nutsack. We watched the bubble burst before October, 2000 and saw what happened with otherwise-untrademark-able generic words was getting us into, and that was still with dotcom, dotorg, and doznet.
  • About ICANN's control of TLD's some years ago? Yeah... about that. What the hell did people think was going to happen?
  • by Improv (2467) <pgunn@dachte.org> on Monday March 11, 2013 @12:50PM (#43139781) Homepage Journal

    Why are we considering new TLDs to begin with? We're taking a good, loose system of categorisation and throwing it away because... why exactly?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Everyone loves companies when they are the under dog, when they pop up and offer better services and prices than bigger companies and so on. But once a company like that gets big for making customers happy they eventually start being hated and overly scrutinized just because they are now a big company, even if they still do the same things for customers that made them be praised to begin with.

    Like walmart for instance. When walmart started everyone loved them for offering so many products for low prices in

  • It doesn't matter who owns "book" or "read". The war is over and .com won.
  • ICANN simply needs to rollback this new TLD system and refund the money. It doesn't work.

    • by Lithdren (605362)

      What do you mean it doesn't work? Clearly it works, they're getting paid! Its working exactly as it was expected to.

      Oh, you mean it doesn't work for everyone else? Why does ICANN care? They got paid.

  • people are already used to just googling for stuff. Only noobs and idiots type the name of the item they're looking for into the URL textbox.

    When you're looking for East of Eden by Steinbeck, do you type "eastofeden.com" in the URL? No, right?

  • by Tom (822) on Monday March 11, 2013 @01:55PM (#43140599) Homepage Journal

    They are right and this is so obvious that anyone who disagrees should be shot as an act of mercy.

    Then again, the DNS was basically fucked when they handed it to ICANN. Some things should not be run according to market dynamics.

    • ICANN has nothing to do with market dynamics and everything to do with the destructive effects of a monopoly.
      • by Tom (822)

        Wrong. ICANN itself is a monopoly, but it caters to commercial demands. It wouldn't have to, the answer to why it does probably starts with co- and doesn't end with -operation.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      In the same spirit, The Weather Channel is trying to grab .weather...

      http://www.101domain.com/applications/1-1977-49078.htm

      Organisations are expected to send letters if they are opposed to the TLD claim. This has the look of a big mess in the making.

  • I agree. This is amazons way to try and privatize IP addressing for their benefit.
  • "The potential for abuse seems limitless." Hyperbolize much?

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