Coalition Formed to Oppose New Top-Level Domain Name Plan

87 groups and companies send petition to Commerce Dept.

A coalition fighting the new scheme for adding domain names to the Internet has announced the addition of a large number of companies and associations to its ranks, giving a bigger voice to the lobbying effort in Washington. 

To date, 87 major national and international business associations have joined with the Association of National Advertisers to form the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight (Crido).

The coalition hopes to stop a plan approved in June by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) to add hundreds of new top-level domains (think .com or .net, but now with domains like .coke and .walmart) to the Internet in a process that begins in January.

In the short time it has, Crido's strategy is to put pressure on the Commerce Department, since it controls the contract for the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, which Icann needs to coordinate domain names.

In a petition sent Thursday to Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, the coalition calls on the Department of Commerce, and specifically its National Telecommunications and Information Administration (which manages the contract with IANA) "to persuade Icann to postpone the opening of the top-level domain application window unless or until such time as Icann convincingly demonstrates that unlimited TLD name expansion would promote consumer trust; enhance Internet security; promote widespread economic benefits across diverse economic sectors and stakeholders; and demonstrate that these benefits will exceed the costs that such TLD expansion would inevitable impose on the global Internet community."

Copied on the letter were several Commerce Department officials as well as key congressional leaders including the chairman and ranking members of the House and Senate Commerce, Judiciary, and Appropriations committees and subcommittees.

Among those companies and groups that have signed a petition to oppose Icann's plan are the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Intellectual Property Owners Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the World Federation of Advertisers (a global network of 51 ad associations), as well as advertisers and agencies such as Procter & Gamble, Ford Motor Co., Johnson & Johnson, American Express, The Coca-Cola Co., and Publicis Groupe.