Amazon has bid for new top-level domains (the .blank suffixes at the end of web addresses) that include generic book-related terms, angering authors and publishers, who fear the online book store’s move will hinder competition.

Both the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers objected to Amazon’s attempts to register .book, .author, and .read, which would allow it, and only it, to launch websites with these extensions.

So if I wanted, for example, I would not be able to get it unless, perhaps, I signed a publishing deal with Amazon, enhancing the company’s already dominant position in the industry.

Amazon’s senior corporate counsel, Stacey King, has defended the bids by highlighting that companies can already buy domains with generic words and this has not caused any “market power.”

Amazon will have to pay a lot of money to ICANN, the domain registration firm, for the privilege, including yearly fees of thousands of dollars. It is also not restricting its bids to the book market, with .like also in its sights, a move that might upset Facebook.

Personally I’m a bit too indoctrinated with standard top-level domains like .com,, and .org. In fact, when I register a domain I usually avoid using .ie, the Irish suffix, because most people will naturally use .com instead, and any deviation from this could make my website harder to find.

As a matter of principle, however, I do object to any company trying to trademark or otherwise secure exclusive use to generic terms. Amazon can legitimately claim the right to .kindle, but the word “book” should be no one’s property.

Source: The Telegraph

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