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Will ICANN drop its biggest revolutionary new idea?

June 4, 2009 • Features

icann.gifThe Internet Corporation of Assigned Names & Numbers, ICANN, is up against the wall, and here are the top five reasons for which it may simply drop its greatest revolutionary idea of offering a brand new type of a designer domain name to fit the next generation of widely expanded Internet and cyber realities of tomorrow. This new proposed platform will surely revolutionize the marketing and branding for big and small businesses around the world, offering highly affordable tools for global reach than ever
before but the strong opposition would like to kill this idea? Would ICANN consider dropping the idea? Here are the five reasons:

One:

Fear of rejection and lack of support by the Internet practitioners and
the domain registrar community of the world, who for some strange reason have
not expressed their full and open support, partially due to serious lack of understanding
of the global business nomenclature and also for real complexities of cyber-branding.

Historically speaking the original concept of the first five suffixes, like com
or net, most probably drawn up at the back of a napkin, have proven one thing,
that till now .com is the king and all the others suffixes are in a struggle.
So, suddenly the unlimited issuance of suffixes of choice is a shocker.

Internet registrars in a suffix driven registration mentality are quite right
as their existing suffixes will seriously shrink. However, based on soon to be
released study by ABC Namebank, which points to the law of usability which dictates
that these new domains are not about suffixes, rather these are domain names
without suffixes. The future is all about name driven domain identities over
suffix driven domain identities and the lack of corporate nomenclature understanding
at a global scale is the proof. Imagine a city phone book and yellow pages under
a suffix system. 100 phone books anyone?

The study also points to the numbers of new applications under the new platform
to be so large all over the world that it will totally re-energize the entire
Internet support services due new sets of domain
name management and varied registrations requirements.

Two:

Lack of credibility and confusion among the trademark professionals and
attorneys worldwide who are aggressively exploring their particular role in the
process but still keep pointing out serious risks to trademark holders and of
increased cyber squatting.

The trademark profession justifiably recognizes three critical issues, firstly,
the availability, suitability and registrability of any proposed name application
under the common law, allowing traditional trademark process which provides progressive
jurisdictional approval over years and now its sudden correlation to a new process
of global cyber name branding in one single stroke. Secondly, the court challenges
between newly recognized cyber brands and traditionally filed brands and lastly,
the serious limitations on already approved trademarked names filed in regions
in their own classification which would only fail on this single classification
new platform where only one single name would be allowed to exist.

The study by ABC Namebank clearly points to a serious 95% dilution factor among
major business names around the world and how this cyber branding race will create
havoc among those aggressively filed but poorly crafted brand names.

Despite, all the weird and mysterious reasons, the fact remains that most medium
and large size business names all over the world are badly structured and cannot
pass the global test on this new platform and the exposure of this blunt fact
should not be one of the prime reason of opposition, rather it only creates a
great opportunity as a fix for real global image expansion. Irrespective of all
this it will be a real big bang era for trademark and legal professions as they
are poised to play a very big role.

Three:

Complete absence of any enthusiastic support from the advertising and
marketing trade, this group is not only oblivious to this tsunami but due to
the technical ramification finds it at odds to even mention it.

The marketing professionals, the branding experts and the advertising agencies,
encompassing a couple of million people in this trade worldwide have yet to discover,
what this revolutionary device can deliver at a global scale at a price less
than the production cost of a single TV commercial. The massive shrinkage due
to digitization of the global advertising and branding industry already underway
will eventually get harmonized with these new cyber platforms. For now, some
fast track education is needed to capture and re-energize the entire industry,
the sheer volume of the re-branding; re-naming and the re-positioning will also
open extraordinary new fronts.

Four:

Outright rejection by the domain name protection agencies, as their extra
filings of millions of domain names to scare off cyber squatters as a service
may be considered redundant.

The ease of entry to a domain name purchase really spread the disease of cyber-squatting
but now with a proposed price tag of $200K-500K for each name, plus a rigorous
complex process, the midnight trains of mysterious squatters would simply be
shunted to other tracks. Furthermore, once a new gtld domain is allotted to a
party, it would be very naïve to assume that ICANN would allow several modified
versions of the same name to be sold to others. The brand protection agencies
will have far too many other new fronts to explore and they may have to out focus
form only squatting.

Five:

Lack of a powerful message for the global entrepreneurial audience and
for not being able to articulate the issues with swift speed, utilizing the latest
technologies of mass communication and making this a popular high level global
business debate.

The mother of all action is this arena, where brand new ideas will incubate and
dynamics of the new platform will shine. With a billion additional users coming
on the surface the endless horizon will change and global interaction will create
a very rich Internet experience. Media has paid little attention to this subject
as this item is still in the IT columns of the lukewarm publications and has
yet to make a front page breaking news when for example, Paris Hilton, would
throw a tantrum and demand her exclusive global rights to both of the new global
domain names dot paris and dot hilton etc. at any price or else. Are we really
waiting for the Paris’s parade of the paparazzi?

More information on the size and magnitude of these important issues can be found
on www.icann.org or on Google by searching “the billion dollar domain babies”
or “new gtld”

Conclusion:

The world’s business community needs a quick educational pill so that the techno-babble
would seriously clash with the sing-song-slogans, creating a clear and a very
rich message that will not only add the value and power to this new platform
but also bring it to the center stage.

For now, should ICANN drop the idea? no, never, but if it did, nothing really
will change for a while, but sooner or later, somehow a group of new countries
would claim the true ownership of the Internet and set up a global body to meet
the worldly challenges of tomorrow. While the above mentioned fears may have
overtaken, right now, the global business community critically needs an easy
global access and quick market expansion to survive and this platform offers
some key solutions and for that reason alone and without delay the future must
meet today.

Fire-up all the engines, ICANN.

Naseem Javed, widely recognized a world-authority on global naming strategies
and corporate nomenclature issues. Author of Naming for Power, Naseem introduced
The Laws of Corporate Naming in 80s and currently he is lecturing on global cyber
branding and the ICANN’s new gtld platforms. nj@njabc.com

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