imperialism occurs when corporate brands usurp and exploit the
pre-existing names or words of certain people, trade on the pre-existing
goodwill, and then deny those same people unfettered rights to
usage of their own names and words through the use of trademarks,
marketing & financial power, and the like.
primary importance to an understanding of brand imperialism is
the potential private use of domains like Travel.amazon
by the North American company Amazon, and all other
.amazon names, to the exclusion of the actual residents of the
Amazon regions of South America.
secondary importance is the potential exclusive use of domains
like Travel.news by Amazon, the company, to the exclusion
of every citizen of the entire world who might wish to use a name
like Sport.news, Rio.news or Tech.news.
proposed closed gTLDs have the potential to facilitate unprecedented
super monopolies across the globe and significantly impact free
the apparel company, applied for the .patagonia domain
extension with the original intention of using it as the exclusive
foundation for a series of private "walled garden" commercial
domain names. Strong objections were lodged by representatives
of the citizens of Patagonia in Chile and Argentina and also by
has since withdrawn its application.
Amazon company has an application pending to own
the .amazon string to be operated as a closed registry.
ICANN's response to objections, particularly from the Government
Advisory Committee (GAC) and groups residing in the Amazonas regions
of South America, is not yet clear though the GAC has issued an
"Early Warning" based on objections from six nations
in South America (see excerpt at right).
Company and others have reported on the controversy, drawing
a comparison with Amazon's attempts to control the .book string
as a closed generic despite opposition from the Authors
Guild and the Association of American Publishers:
request is ruffling feathers within the Brazilian and Peruvian
governments, which have both filed objections with ICANN claiming
the .amazon domain should be devoted to promoting public interest
causes related to the Amazon region of South America--issues such
as environmental protection and indigenous rights."
Company. Amazon Clashes With Brazil And Peru Over .amazon
Incite, a leading domain news blog, provides further analysis
and details about the issue:
objection came at the behest of Brazil and other Latin American
countries that claim rights to Amazon as a geographic term, and
follows failed attempts by Amazon to reach agreement.
was able to achieve consensus in the GAC because the United States,
which refused to agree to the objection three months ago in Beijing,
had decided to keep mum this time around."
GAC to kill off .amazon.
Application For .amazon
did Amazon the company apply for a large number of dictionary
word domain extensions to be operated as closed gTLDs such as .news,
.book and .store, they also applied for the .amazon
string with similar restrictive conditions.
succeeds with its application for ownership of the .amazon domain
extension as a closed gTLD, then the tourist business on the Amazon
River in the photo above will be denied access to the domain
Closed gTLD Application
has filed an application to own the .news extension as a closed
gTLD. The .news domains are analysed in detail on the .news
string page. There
is also some discussion of the string on the Opinion
Post Connection To .news
Amazon's Jeff Bezos purchased the world famous newspaper The Washington
Post for $250m.
and wide as one of the globe's great papers, The Post has a long
and distinguished history and far-reaching, top-rated, media
Bezos (whose assets now include The Washington Post) has an
application pending through Amazon for the .news string to be operated
as a closed gTLD. This could enable the foundation of an immense global
media empire by exploiting the outstanding resources of The Post
and leveraging the power of domains like NewYork.news, London.news,
Mumbai.news, Beijing.news and Melbourne.news. And every other city
in the world.
Under the monopolistic
exclusive registry model, all other existing newspapers or aspiring
media groups would be excluded from applying for any such domains.
The Guardian would be prohibited from owning London.news. The
Sydney Morning Herald would be prohibited from owning Sydney.news.
The Times of India would be prohibited from owning Mumbai.news.
from the shifts occurring on the internet and changes in consumer behavior,
the global media landscape is being re-aligned and re-calibrated. The
sale of The Washington Post is a symbol of this.
2012, following sustained declines in revenue, The Washington Post
Chief Executive Donald E Graham was presented with stark choices for
the future of The Post by publisher Katharine Weymouth. This
included the possibility of selling the paper, and it ended up being
sold to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.
49, will take the company private, meaning he will not have to report
quarterly earnings to shareholders or be subjected to investors' demands
for ever-rising profits, as the publicly traded Washington Post Co.
is obligated to do now. As such, he will be able to experiment with
the paper without the pressure of showing an immediate return on any
investment. Indeed, Bezos's history of patient investment and long-term
strategic thinking made him an attractive buyer, Weymouth said."
Washington Post. Washington Post to be sold to Jeff Bezos, the
founder of Amazon.
label "walled garden" access to the .news domain string
via association with Jeff Bezos and Amazon, The Washington
Post has the potential to leverage its already significant media
resources into an unprecedented media conglomerate utilizing the exact
names of every city, town and suburb in the world with all competitors
blocked. (Country names may be allowed later.)
is Jeff Bezos' plan, and if permitted by ICANN, this scenario would
clearly be anti-competitive. It would clearly contravene ICANN's own
mission and philosophy as evidenced on the ICANN
if The Washington Post group owns the .news domain
of every city in the world. That day may possibly arrive if Jeff Bezos/Amazon/The
Washington Post build a global news empire based on thousands of domains
like the tiny sample pictured above.
GAC Beijing Communiqué
Beijing Communiqué ICANN's GAC specifically welcomed the influential
brand lobbist Brand Registry
Group, which includes Amazon, the biggest applicant
for closed registries and who is also the applicant for an exclusory
major geographic region as a closed gTLD .amazon.
GAC warmly thanks the Accountability and Transparency Review Team
2, the Brand Registry Group, Law Enforcement, and the ICANN Board
who jointly met with the GAC as well as all those among the ICANN
community who have contributed to the dialogue with the GAC in Beijing."
Communiqué, April 2013 (page 2)
no complementary, balanced welcome to any opposing group such as the
six South American governments who are lobbying for the rights of the
peoples of South America.
should also be noted that the application for the '.AMAZON' gTLD has
not received support from the governments of the countries in which
the Amazon region is located. Therefore, the Governments of Brazil
and Peru (GAC Members), with full endorsement of Bolivia, Ecuador
and Guyana (Amazonic non-GAC members) and also of the Government of
Argentina, would like to request that the '.AMAZON' gTLD application
be included in the GAC early warning process."
Early Warning Document
2013 The Guardian reported on Brazilian and Peruvian government
objections to the Amazon company profiting from use of
the .amazon string and its inherent pre-existing prestige and
goodwill. Further, various South American governments would like to
retain the option of using the proposed domains for the pursuit of environmental
protection and indigenous rights. This would not be possible under the
closed gTLD model.
and Peru have called for the .amazon application to be withdrawn,
saying a private company should not be assigned a name that denotes
an important geographic area that spans their territories, and is
also used for certain regions and cross-border organisations.
'Allowing private companies to register geographic names as gTLDs
to reinforce their brand strategy or to profit from the meaning of
these names does not serve, in our view, the public interest,' the
Brazilian ministry of science and technology said."
v the Amazon. The Guardian
ultimately permits the roll-out of closed generic top level domains,
how can it also claim to have met its often stated mission to promote
the highest possible level of fairness and equity on the internet? How
can allowing closed gTLDs facilitate wider choice for consumers and
business in the domain name system, a goal it has repeatedly professed
to strive for? How would this be in the public interest?
developed the New generic Top-Level Domain Program to increase
competition and choice by introducing new gTLDs into the Internets
website. New Generic Top-Level Domains. New
gTLD Applied-For Strings.
NOTE: Country names, such as France.news, seem to be currently
excluded from the forthcoming new extensions in the domain name system
while city names are allowed. However, lobbying has already commenced
to permit country names to be deployed on certain generic domain strings,
for example, one of the Brand Registry Group's aims is
permission to use country names and other geographical names within
Registry Group FAQ