ICANN to let domain name holders use other endings besides .com

If you're a website owner that wants to end the site name with something else besides .com, you'll soon be in luck as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will permit domain users to use "any word in any language."

In a special meeting by its board of directors, ICANN approved a plan to increase the number of Internet address endings, otherwise known as generic top-level domains (gTLDs), from the current 22, which includes such familiar domains as .com, .org and .net.

As reported in Bloomberg, ICANN's move is designed to battle cybersquatting, a practice where a company will register domain names and sell them to trademark owners for a profit.

According to the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse, an organization that includes household brands such as Hewlett Packard (NYSE: HPQ) and Morgan Stanley, large businesses will have to pay up to $500,000 for addresses to prevent their brands from being "hijacked."

"Today's decision will usher in a new Internet age," Peter Dengate Thrush, chairman of Icann's Board of Directors, said in the statement. "We have provided a platform for the next generation of creativity and inspiration."

Although ICANN has created some gTLDs for website holders, such as the .xxx domain for those in the adult content industry, .com still makes up 71 percent of all Web registrations.  

In 2010, .com had 89.2 million address registrations, while .net had 13.5 million and .org had 8.3 million.

For more:
- see the release
- Bloomberg has this article

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