Esther Dyson On New Top-Level Domains: “There Are Huge Trademark Issues”

Esther Dyson, who was the founding chairwoman of ICANN (among other things) doesn’t like the new top-level domains that were recently approved by ICANN. These will allow new domains to be created for practically any word or brand someone wants to register. Instead of just .com, .org, and .tv, there could be .techcrunch, .coke, .apple, .ipad, and so on. “I don’t really think that adds to the sum of human happiness,” Dyson tells me in the video clip above.

Organizations will have to pay $185,000 to register one of these domains, but then would have the whole domain to themselves. The thing is, we are not running out of domains. This is a “way for registries and registrars to make money,” says Dyson. She also points out that “there are huge trademark issues. I just think it is offensive. If I own a trademark, now I have to go register it on 2,800 domains. It will create a lot of litigation.”

People only have so much space in their heads. The new top level domains do not create more space, she argues, but rather will just sub-divide the little attention people have for brands already.

So are the new top-level domains as useless as she says? Tell us what you think in comments. Also be sure to watch my previous interview clips with Dyson on Google+ and the space industry.