In a filing this week with ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) the Association of American Publishers came out against a bid by Amazon to buy the .book domain name for its exclusive use, saying such an application would be counter to public interest.
The filing comes as the comment period closes on a proposed ICANN plan to assign “closed generic top-level domain applications (gTLDs),” registries that would not be open to the public and available only for the benefit the TLD’s owner. Overall, AAP opposed the proposed ICANN plan to offer such closed domains, expressing skepticism that “handing over ownership of a domain string to any one single private company,” would benefit the public. More specifically, it assailed a bid by Amazon to own the “.book” string.
“In short, Amazon makes clear that it seeks exclusive control of the ‘.book’ string solely for its own business purposes," the filing notes, "notwithstanding the broad range of other companies, organizations and individuals that have diverse interests in the use of this gTLD.”
If the ICANN plan goes forward and Amazon is granted the “.book” domain, “all domains (in .book will be) registered to Amazon for use in pursuit of Amazon’s business goals,” and, as Amazon noted in its appliocation, the '.book' domain would serve as “a unique and dedicated platform for Amazon.”
That would fly in the face of “traditional primary meaning” of the “book,” AAP argued, and would deny those traditioally vested in the book business to take advantage of the domain, such as “authors, publishers, sellers, libraries, literary agents, educators, editors, collectors, illustrators, photographers, printers, binders, archives,” and others.
AAP urged that the Amazon application for “.book” as well as other similar applications not be adopted “without an affirmative objective showing by the applicant and a corresponding finding by ICANN that it would be in the public interest.”