Yesterday the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN )revealed information about applications for the expanded generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) being made available by ICANN. gTLDs are the Internet domain name extensions such as .com, .org, .net. Until now there have been only 22 gTLDs, with this program ICANN is making an unlimited number of gTLDs available. gTLDs will now be issued for any name, word or character string.
This has been an issue closely watched by the trademark community, which fears among other things that popular brands or misspellings of brands will be registered by infringers, to the detriment of the lawful trademark owners. The expanded registration of gTLDs is also likely to impact copyright holders. For instance, among the 1930 applications were numerous applications for domains such as .music, .film, .media, .book. Depending on which applicants ultimately obtain these domains, and how they seek to use them, these domains may have significant impacts on the businesses of rightsholders in these sectors.
For a sharp take on the gTLD expansion, read this post from Music Tech Policy.