The internet will be “radically re-imagined” as a result of the extension of top level domains (TLDs).
Plans are currently in place that will see up to 1,000 TLDs added to the internet. A range of proposals are currently being considered, such as .app and .zulu and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is hoping to come up with a finalized list soon.
However, the New Republic has stated that this could present a number of challenges for owners of the traditional behemoths of the market – .com and .net – while two letter country-specific domains could benefit from the move.
Online expert Nigel Roberts stated: “We’re looking forward, in a way, to the new environment. Even the publicity so far, it’s made the people at home and abroad used to the idea that .com is not the only fruit.”
The greater diversity that is being encouraged in the sector will mean that businesses have to be more aware of cases of cybersquatting too. Some people will acquire URLs in bad faith so they can redirect web traffic to a competitor.
In some cases, firms will be able to use the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) in order to force cybersquatters to transfer the domains across. However, lawyer Sean Comerford expects this kind of issue to crop up on an increasingly common basis.
Writing in Circle ID, he noted the “unprecedented increase in the size and scope of the internet’s naming convention system” means that arbitrators may be forced to reevaluate how they consider the merits of a UDRP claim.
He thinks a more flexible system will have to be introduced to cope with the new challenges.
When using the internet, brand protection is essential for companies. Because of the additional domain names that will be on offer, firms may find that they have to purchase many more URLs to ensure people conducting searches will be directed to the right site.