Amazon is usually simultaneously the darling of authors and their worst enemy. Today it’s looking more like the latter however, as Amazon is attempting to buyup the top level domains (TLD) of .book, .author and .read.
These aren’t the only ones the web giant is looking to purchase however. It’s also put bids in for .pin, .like and a variety of other book related TLDs. However none of these may go through, as Scott Turow, author and president of the Author’s Guild has sent a letter (way to stay current, authors) to the governing body behind the sales, ICANN. It reads (via the Telegraph): “We strongly object to ICANN’s plans to sell the exclusive top-level domain rights for generic book-industry terms, such as .book, .author, and .read.”
“Placing such generic domains in private hands is plainly anticompetitive, allowing already dominant, well-capitalized companies to expand and entrench their market power. The potential for abuse seems limitless.”
Publishers are piling in too, with the Association of American Publishers suggesting that the most likely domain for abuse was the .book TLD.
Each of the TLD applications costs just under £120,000 – leading Amazon to spend over $10 million in all its bids.
KitGuru Says: This does seem a little anti-competitive, since Amazon would then be able to withhold .book domain sales to authors that didn’t work with it for book sales. The problem though, is that with such a high threshold, ICANN is guaranteeing only large organisations can afford to apply for the TLDs anyway, so someone’s going to exploit it.