I'm not at all convinced that the addition of new gTLD's
would greatly increase the available (English) Internet addresses.
There are many individuals, groups and corporations who collectively wish to claim
a particular domain name for whatever reason - and often these individuals, groups
and corporations wish to claim the same domain name.
I don't think the current
proposal to extend gTLDs so as to offer other companies (or groups or individuals,
for that matter) the opportunity to grab "their" company name in a different TLD
will ultimately have much of an effect, because it ignores the current tendency where
many companies register (or at least want to register) every possible variation of
their company name and trademarks on every TLD they can. This prevents other companies/groups/individuals
from controlling this space, and gives the first company to register the name "control"
over the word or words on the Internet.
The premise behind creating new TLDs in
the first place is that so many domain names have been registered that there are
few remaining (English) domain names that are real words and hence easy to remember.
Creating new TLDs won’t actually solve this problem, since there will still be the
same (more or less) number of words in the English language. ;-)
I believe that
adding new TLDs will marginally increase the number of domain names available, but
there is a very real risk that the net effect will not be that noticeable since many
current (corporate/trademark) domain name holders will simply hand over more money
to register “their” domain name in each of the new TLDs.
The more I think about
the problem, the more I wonder if perhaps the .com, .net, .edu, .org etc were not
a good idea, since it ignores the current structure of the world. Business registrations;
taxes; IP laws; law enforcement – despite trends towards globalization, business
activities don’t yet take place in a truly global manner. If we were to have the
luxury of designing domain name structure from scratch, I wonder if it wouldn’t be
better to do away with non-country gTLDs altogether. This would at least remove problems
related to IP across country boundaries. Obviously, eliminating non-country gTLDs
is not feasible at this point (too many people think of web addresses as www.something.com,
too many companies have spent significant time and money branding their web address).
The question is: will more gTLDs avoid the same problems experienced by the current
gTLDs? Not unless there are restrictions in place to prevent them. Perhaps current
domain name holders should be restricted to a small number of domain names. Or perhaps
domain name holders should be restricted from registering their domain name with
an inappropriate TLD. Eg. Only companies that had online shopping capabilities on
their site could use the .shop extension. For that matter – perhaps the .com area
should be reformed by moving non-corporate domain name owners to an appropriate TLD.