Last week, the monster online retailer who began by selling books was able to outbid all comers and take ownership of the generic Top Level Domain .BOOK for $10 million US dollars. The Association of American Publishers (AAP) filed a brief with ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which oversees all generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) registrars, protesting Amazon’s bid for the .BOOK gTLD, stating the ownership of such an important gTLD by any single company was not in the public interest, particularly one which has become a book publisher as well as a book seller.
Despite the objections of AAP and other concerned parties, ICANN allowed the bid to proceed. Now that Amazon owns the rights to the .BOOK gTLD, anyone who wants a web site in that domain will have to purchase it from them. IF they decide to register any domains within that gTLD. It is entirely possible that Amazon will monopolize that gTLD for their own purposes, thus denying anyone not affiliated with them the opportunity to have a web site URL which ends in .BOOK. Even if they do decide to register domains within that gTLD, one wonders how much they will charge for those registrations.
Personally, I am extremely disappointed at this news, since I had hoped to move my own web site to the .BOOK gTLD once it became available. But I have been so put off by Amazon’s monopolistic behavior that I will not do business with them and therefore must relinquish my hope of KathrynKane.book. Perhaps one day there will be a gTLD for .AUTHOR or .HISTORY, or maybe even .ROMANCE, at least one of which will be available from a reliable and trustworthy registrar. I can but hope.
For those who would like more information on this subject, may I suggest the following online articles:
Amazon.book and the New Top-Level Domain Names at Publishers Weekly.
Amazon gets .book at TeleRead.
If you would like to see a list of all the newest gTLDs, you can find them at ICANN’s site.