Unsurprisingly, not everyone is crazy about Amazon’s attempts to register top-level web domains like .book, .author, and .read. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers, two publishing industry groups, along with rival bookseller Barnes & Noble, are objecting to Amazon’s requests with ICANN, the standards body responsible for managing the internet’s top level domains.
"The potential for abuse seems limitless."
In a letter to the agency, Authors Guild president Scott Turow wrote that "placing such generic domains in private hands is plainly anticompetitive, allowing already dominant, well-capitalized companies to expand and entrench their market power," adding that "the potential for abuse seems limitless." The Association of American Publishers offered a similar complaint, pointing out that Amazon’s own application reveals that it has no plans to sell subdomains of .book, instead opting to "strictly control" its use "in pursuit of the company’s business goals." Amazon contends that "closed" domains don't necessarily translate to market power.
For ICANN, the debate over .book is just the tip of the iceberg. The non-profit is still processing the over 1900 individual applications for generic top-level domains it received last year, nearly half of which came from North America. According to its CEO Fadi Chehadé, the first of the new domains is planned to go live on April 23rd.