New gTLDs, Brands, Domain Name Consultants, The Biggest Con

Not to pick on all domain name consultants (there are a few really good domain name consultants)--but frankly, there are also plenty of charlatans and snake oil salesmen who call themselves "domain name consultants" or "brand consultants" or by some other domain name industry or professional title. Some of them end up on ICANN committees/groups/boards "pushing" new gTLDs for brands and other unwanted, unneeded programs that are not in the global internet community's best interests. ICANN calls all of them "stakeholders"--that's ICANN's generic title for everyone, including the influence-peddling hucksters trying to score their next con, who weasel their way into the ICANN decision-making process, often as part of, or sponsored by, the very entities who stand to profit from ICANN's decisions. I've got some better words for all of these characters.

Notice that the smartest guy in Silicon Valley didn't fall for the new gTLDs for brands con game? Facebook bought how many gTLDs for their brands? That's right: -0-, none, nada. “Facebook did not apply for .facebook or any other new top level domains,” says spokesperson Andrew Noyes (source infra).

Facebook Is Ignoring The 'Greatest Internet Landgrab In History': "... The question is: is this [new gTLDs program] really necessary? From the New York Times:
There is also a lingering question about whether the new suffixes are needed at all. Some top-level domains that ICANN has created in previous, smaller expansion rounds have attracted little interest. Many consumers find Web sites via search engines, rather than typing in an exact Web address. Others are increasingly using mobile applications, rather than the open Internet.
"If the Web is truly on its deathbed, as Wired has claimed, those spending money on this may be [www.just].throwingitaway. Their money would be better spent on better mobile apps."

Protecting Brands on Internet Will Cost | Adweek [April, 2013]: "..."It's not a fair system," said Brad Newberg, a partner with Reed Smith, who represents a number of large brand owners. "The protections that were put into place are extremely costly, put all the burden on the trademark owner and may not be effective at all." With the costs of defensive registrations sure to skyrocket into the tens of millions, many brands are rethinking their Internet identity strategies. "There is no way this fortress mentality can be continued going forward," said Bill Smith, a senior policy advisor for PayPal, said ... "Companies aren't sure they should defensively register," said Amy Mushahwar, an attorney with Ballard Spahr, which represents advertisers. "What they are contemplating is boycotting the defensive registration all together.""

And of course, for those who got suckered, they can still mitigate their losses: see Most brands may never sign the ICANN contract.

Forewarned is forearmedCaveat Emptor.

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