As awareness of the internet "land grabs" by some of the world's largest and most powerful corporations grows, so too grows the opposition to the colossal unfairness of it all.
Right at a time when the internet is undergoing massive growth year over year (often at the expense of traditional bricks and mortar firms) a handful of wealthy companies are reaching out to scoop up sole rights to some of the most commercially valuable generic words in existence. Words like "shop". Words like "news". Words like "apps".
There are no signs that the web's phenomenal growth is going to slow down any time soon. It's far more likely that the coming domain name explosion of more than 1,000 new extensions will actually accelerate that growth. So it's become imperative that the distribution of this gigantic pool of strategic assets be distributed as fairly as can be to as many people as possible around the globe. Particularly in developing countries.
Instead, there is a clear and present risk of further disadvantage to the third world.
These new domain names comprise the potential blueprints for millions of future businesses and the well-being and prosperity of countless people will depend on them.
Instead, there is a genuine risk that in many of the world's most valuable market segments the opposite will happen as expressed by the opinions of the many people whose thoughts are reported at SuperMonopolies. And on the petition.
Intro to the Petition
The introduction to the petition gives an excellent explanation of the risks at stake:
A key point here lies in the intrinsic value of the proposed new domain extensions. Words like "game", "movies" and "beauty" are some of the most valuable cultural and commercial categories on the planet and are scheduled to become domain strings. These general, dictionary words belong to all people equally. It would be immoral for any one corporation to exclusively "own" any generic word. Owning a closed domain registry is similar to owning a "virtual trademark" on that particular word. So it's vital that ICANN regulates the sales and distribution of the new domains in the fairest way possible.
Visit Change.org to read the full text and sign this important petition.
The Independent Objector (IO)
To broaden the options available to anyone wishing to object to any of the new domains, ICANN created the role of Independent Objector. The IO has the authority to object to any of the new gTLD applications provided certain grounds are met. The IO role also appears to make it financially possible for countless individuals (who would have been otherwise prohibited) to allow their voice to be heard.
Read details at the IO website.
One of the main criteria the IO will look for prior to lodging an objection with ICANN about any domain applications is the level of community objection. Hence it is of utmost importance that as many people as possible sign the petition. If the petition achieves its aim of more than 100,000 signatories, then nobody will be able to deny that we are a substantial global "community".
The Independent Objector is highly respected Professor Alain Pellet. He is a professor of Public International Law and has represented various governments as Counsel and Advocate in the International Court of Justice. Prof Pellet is also a former member and Chairperson of the International Law Commission of the United Nations. More info about the IO can be seen at the IO website.
SuperMonopolies.com A hypothetical analysis of the new top level domain names coming in 2013-14.
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