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Amazon tries to shut .book in face of authors, publishers

.READ it and weep: Online retailer bids for studious gTLDs

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Amazon's recent moves to gain ownership of certain new generic top-level domain names have caused anger among writers and publishers. The company wants to take control of addresses including ".book," ".author" and ".read".

The move has upset the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers (AAP), both of whom griped about Amazon's gTLD power grab late last week.

"Placing such generic domains in private hands is plainly anticompetitive, allowing already dominant, well-capitalised companies to expand and entrench their market power. The potential for abuse seems limitless," argued Authors Guild president Scott Turrow.

AAP's general counsel Allan Adler agreed. He said:

From inception, the introduction of new gTLDs has been promoted as a means to increase competition, add consumer choice, support internet freedom, expand market differentiation and diversify service providers.

How would handing over ownership of a domain string to any one single private company, such as a retailer, for its own business goals support that public service mission?

But Amazon, in a letter to ICANN, pooh-poohed the idea that its plans could be bad news for the competition. It told the US not-for-profit domain registry outfit: "There is no foreseeable reason for Amazon to undertake public outreach or mass communication about its new gTLD registry."

Amazon isn't the only big web player bidding for new gTLDs relating to publishing. As noted by the Authors Guild, Google hopes to take control of the .blog domain name. ®

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