ICANN opens the Internet up to new domains like .ski, .sexy, and .berlin

Today, Net addresses end with 22 familiar terms — .com, .net, and .edu — called generic top-level domains (GTLDs). But starting February 4, the first of hundreds of GTLDs will begin arriving — .ninja, .farm, .shoes, .photography, .bike, .pink, and even .wtf.
Why bother with the domain-name expansion? For a company trying to get a new start on the Net, finding an unclaimed Web address can be tough. ICANN came to the conclusion that the 22 current GTLDs were crowded and it was time to give more variety and more choice and more competition. For a company catering to customers in countries like China or Russia, names are held back with characters in the Roman alphabet. Other companies might want to use their own domain — actual examples including .google, .canon, .apple, .samsung, and .ibm.
In February you’ll see them. You can go to some of the large registrars like GoDaddy and preregister for many of them. Eight years in the making is a long time for anything, especially when you’re not manufacturing anything, but just to getting everybody to agree. A bunch were delegated in the last few days — .democrat, .florist, .repair, and so forth.
There has been a lot of pushback from trademarks owners who worry how they’re going to protect their trademarks across hundreds of thousands of new domains. Are they going to have register coca-cola.xyz, coca-cola.sucks, coca-cola.anything? Companies are being encouraged to engage in a wise and balanced approach understanding how to assess these things in a structured way rather than a protect everything, everywhere, all the time.
ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is a private organization that oversees a number of internet tasks previously performed directly on behalf of the US Government.
ICANN charges $185,000 for an organization to apply to run a generic top-level domain, and then there are further annual fees on top.
Source: c/net, ICANN.org

briservICANN opens the Internet up to new domains like .ski, .sexy, and .berlin