The Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) decision to expand gTLD names on the internet to include almost any name (even .anything), is foxing both users and registers. It has also raised fears of online trademark violations and cybersquatting. ICANN is scheduled to start the first phase of receiving applications for the domain names from mid-January 2012 and the process would continue till mid-April.
Domain names are divided into two segments—generic top level domains (gTLDs) and country code top level domains (ccTLDs). The gTLD segment accounts for domain names like .com, .net, .org, and .info, while ccTLDs are country specific like .in (India), .de (Germany) and .uk (UK).
ICANN’s decision to expand domain names means domains like .shop, .burgers, .lipstick, .mumbai, and .delhi may be a reality soon. Users are already interested in owning the .mumbai domain name. “We did come across such a request from an individual. But individuals cannot apply for geo-specific domain names. Hence, the request was rejected,” said Govind, senior director, Department of Information Technology (DIT) and chief executive, National Internet Exchange of India (Nixi).