good.food, learnto.salsa, glossy.lipstick — people and companies will be able to set up a website with almost any address by the end of next year if they have a legitimate claim to the domain name and can pay a hefty fee.
The Internet body that oversees domain names voted on Monday to end restricting them to suffixes like .com or .gov and will receive applications for new names from January 12 next year with the first approvals likely by the end of 2012.
And they can be in any characters — Cyrillic, Kanji or Devanagari for instance.
The new gTLD, or generic top-level domain, programme was approved by 13 votes to one with two abstentions by the board of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) at a meeting here.
The new names could infringe on social and religious sensitivities, for instance if someone wanted to set up a .nazi domain, said Dengate Thrush.
While the new steep charges of $185,000 to apply for a domain name could deter cyber-squatters, companies with well known trademarks worry that they may have to contend with series of copycat names like coke.paris or google.zambia.
“It’s the next expansion of the Internet, it’s the future of the Internet,” said Kieren McCarthy, the CEO of .Nxt,Inc, a San Francisco-based company which covers Internet policy and governance issues. Reuters