"The pillar of the basic Web address – the trusty .com domain – is about to face vast new competition that will dramatically transform the Web as we know it. New Web sites, with more subject-specific, sometimes controversial suffixes, will soon populate the online galaxy, such as .eco, .love, .god, .sport, .gay or .kurd."
The article continues, "Can the Ku Klux Klan own .nazi on free speech grounds, or will a Jewish organization run the domain and permit only educational Web sites – say, remember.nazi or antidefamation.nazi? And who’s going to get .amazon – the Internet retailer or Brazil?"
The fate of all this resides in the hands of a small group based near the Los Angeles International Airport in Marina Del Rey, the story notes. It’s a non-profit company called "the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN,’ and it "will soon solicit applications from companies and governments that want to propose and operate the new addresses."
The story continues, "These online territories are hardly free. The price tag to apply is $185,000, a cost that ensures only well-financed organizations operate the domains and cuts out many smaller grass-roots organizations, developing countries or dreamers, according to critics. (Rejectees get some of the application fee returned.) That’s on top of the $25,000 annual fee domain operators have to pay ICANN."
Furthermore, the article says there is a convention in San Francisco this week to talk about all this.
The story explains, "But many entrepreneurs expect that the new expansion of Web addresses – the first of which won’t go live until early 2012 – will catch on with users and make money. Many budding domain operators expect to earn millions of dollars, according to Kieren McCarthy, a former ICANN general manager who is organizing next week’s domain name conference in San Francisco.
"The future operator of .sport, for instance, could sell as many as 200,000 or more Web addresses – hockey.sport, bethesda.sport or washingtoncapitals.sport – for wholesale prices ranging from $6 to $50 to such companies as Go Daddy. These firms then re-sell the Web sites to consumers for higher prices. McCarthy also said ICANN is debating whether the domain operators could sell Web addresses directly to the consumer themselves."