The suffix ‘.com’ in internet is set to become a thing of past after internet regulators voted to expand the domain name, allowing the use of bespoken domain names, opening the floodgates for addresses ending .apple, .orange or .sony.
Under the expansion plan, future applications would be streamlined and open to all companies, organizations and individuals, The Daily Mail reports.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) said it would accept applications for domains with new suffixes from January 12 next year.
The new phase in domain names comes in the wake of changes in the way of internet access due to emergence of tablet computers and it could usher a sweeping transformation in the Domain Name System.
The new suffixes can bring about innovative changers, but owners worry that the names would be allotted on the first come-first serve basis. The new suffices have other drawbacks too. They could also create confusion in navigating a web with unfamiliar labels.
It would be expensive to operate a domain name suffix. The application fee is 185,000 dollars, and the operating cost is 25,000 dollars annually.
Disputes are likely to arise as different groups compete for the same domain name. Legal fees could also pile up as trademark owners and governments file objections to certain applications.
Trademark holders, in particular, fear they would have to register a lot of addresses that are not needed or stop to others from using them.
Copyright owners, too, worry they would have to devote more resources to fighting online piracy with a proliferation of websites ending in ".movies" and ".music" that distribute copyrighted content illegally.
Although none of the suffixes have been as popular as ".com", there has been demand for an expansion because nearly all of the most desirable ".com" addresses have been taken.