A New Domain Name System Is Coming. Are You Ready?

Following years of debate and discussion, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced yesterday at a special meeting in Singapore that it had approved a plan to bring sweeping changes to the Internet’s generic top level domain (gTLD) structure.

Internet users are familiar with gTLDs, if not by name. gTLDs are Internet extensions such as .com, .org and .net found at the end of a domain name. Currently, there are 22 gTLDs but soon there could be thousands. Under the newly-announced system, domain names will be able to end with almost any word in any language. The system would give organizations and businesses globally a new means of marketing their brand, products, services and causes. ICANN predicts that “[v]irtually every organization with an online presence could be affected [by the new system] in some way.”

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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