Book Publishers Dispute Amazon Owning .book Domains
Ryan Martin / 5 years ago
The consultation process with ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) for the new selection of Top Level Domains (TLDs) has progressed into an all out dispute between Amazon and major book publishers. Amazon applied for access to TLDs such as .book, .movie, .app and .like and many other TLDs in a wide range of languages. Only the .book TLD caused significant conflict between Amazon and publishers for obvious reasons. Book publishers stated that giving Amazon access to this particular domain would be a threat to market competition and fairness.
“Placing such generic domains in private hands is plainly anticompetitive,” wrote Scott Turow, Authors Guild president, to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, the nonprofit that oversees the world’s Internet domain names. “The potential for abuse seems limitless.”
Indeed the implications of these comments are true because the applications for these TLDs cost $185,000 each and they cost a further $25,000 a year in terms of database maintenance fees with ICANN. This means according to rough estimates Amazon has already sunk a huge $10 million + into these new TLDs. Consequently, this puts a wide array of smaller book publishing companies at risk because trying to fork up the $200K required is near-impossible for many given how tight book margins already are and the tendency for the book market to move towards e-books which is also creating book piracy problems. Last year the Authors’ Guild was at loggerheads with Amazon for pricing e-books too low and for removing the buy button for some books during price disputes, this latest conflict adds to the tensions.
Amazon and ICANN both declined to comment on the whole scenario.
Do you think that new system of TLDs is fair? Should the prices be lower? Should there be more competition regulations? Let us know what you think