If you can't beat 'em, form a coalition!
Nearly 90 industry groups and companies announced Thursday they have formed a new coalition to try to block a plan, to allow for the introduction of an unlimited number of new Internet addresses. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the nonprofit group that manages the Internet's "top level" domain name system, plans to vastly expand the domain name space from the 22 groups of names such as .com now available to Internet users to almost any name such as .bank or .angrybirds.
The Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight says that ICANN's domain name plan will have costly implications for trademark owners, who could be forced to register their names in every new domain name launched or offer their own Internet address. The coalition also argues that ICANN has not taken their concerns seriously enough and failed to follow the consensus-driven process ICANN is supposed to use when enacting such new proposals.
ICANN is currently slated to begin accepting applications under the new domain name program in January.
"The major global industries represented by [the coalition] foresee immense damage to their constituents, consumers and the economy," Association of National Advertisers President and CEO Bob Liodice, said in a statement. "We implore ICANN to discontinue its efforts to roll out this ill-conceived, unwanted and destructive program."
Other groups in the coalition include the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Association of Broadcasters and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as well as such companies as Adobe, Coca-Cola, Hewlett-Packard, Procter & Gamble, and Samsung.
"The new gTLD program is the result of six years of careful study, discussion and debate," ICANN spokesman Brad White said. "It evolved from 45 comment periods encompassing 2,400 comments and analyses. There were 55 explanatory memoranda or independent reports and seven drafts of the Applicant Guidebook."