From next year, any word will be able to follow the last dot in domain names, opening the system to a vast number of possible new URLs.
Previous expansions of the system added .mobi, .name and other unappetizing suffixes to the traditional standards of .com, .org. .net and the many country-coded domains. By opening the door to arbitrary entries, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) seeks to permanently lay to rest arguments over the matter, such as whether to shepherd pornographic sites into a proposed .xxx smut ghetto.
Details are yet to be determined, but it's not going to be a "grab it from GoDaddy" affair. Registrants of custom TLDs will be expected to know how to effectively run a top-level domain, or hire someone who can, ICANN told the AP. Fees are expected to be colossal – about $100,000, reports USA.
Opinion: in a shallow sense, it seems like a fine idea: they're just letters, so let people use any old crap they want to. Alternatively, it's an administrative quango creating new markets simply by manipulating the boundaries of a virtual real estate business. It forces intellectual property-holders to play ball and opens up new oceans of shakedown and scam for the unscrupulous to swim in.
Just think of the tricks people will play! Want yourname.porn off the internet? Better register it at our private registry today. Let's hope the ultimate effect is to make domains unlimited and worthless, until something is made of one.