Amazon.com is already the 800 pound gorilla in the book selling and publishing business. And now some author groups are hoping to curb its power when it comes to owning new domain name extensions. As you may recall, Amazon last year applied with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to own extensions such as .read, .book and .author (among five dozen other extensions).
That doesn’t sit too well with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, which notes that Amazon’s ownership could be anticompetitive.
Placing such generic domains in private hands is plainly anticompetitive, allowing already dominant, well-capitalized companies to expand and entrench their market power,” wrote Authors Guild president Scott Turow in a letter to ICANN. “The potential for abuse seems limitless.”
Here’s the full letter that Authors Guild president Scott Turow sent to ICANN.
I’m writing as president of the Authors Guild, the largest society of book authors in the U.S., representing more than 8,000 published writers.
We strongly object to ICANN’s plans to sell the exclusive top-level domain rights for generic book-industry terms, such as .book, .author, and .read. Placing such generic domains in private hands is plainly anticompetitive, allowing already dominant, well-capitalized companies to expand and entrench their market power. The potential for abuse seems limitless.
ICANN, of all entities, should be mindful of the critical need to maintain an open, freely competitive Internet. Please rethink this project.
(Hat tip to The Wall Street Journal)