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National Restaurant Association - Pressure increases to delay ICANN plan

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Pressure increases to delay ICANN plan

A plan to open up the domain-name market to thousands of new top-level domains continues to generate controversy.

The National Restaurant Association was part of a coalition representing more than 150 national organizations that Dec. 14 asked a House Energy & Commerce subcommittee to urge ICANN -- the organization that manages the domain-name process -- to hold off on its planned Jan. 12 roll-out of a new application process. The ICANN initiative could eventually expand the current 22 top-level domains (such as .com and .org) to thousands of new domain names.

The NRA continues to work to alert Congress and the Commerce Department about the business community's concern that the process could cost American businesses billions of dollars as companies register new domains to protect their brands and trademarks. The NRA also believes the plan will confuse consumers by spreading Internet searches across thousands of domains.

The Dec. 14 House hearing followed a contentious Senate Commerce Committee hearing Dec. 8. The NRA submitted a statement to both committees registering the restaurant industry's opposition to the January roll-out.

Federal Trade Commission Chair Jon Leibowitz has called ICANN's plan "a potential disaster." In a Dec. 12 editorial, "What's the .rush," the Washington Post called the initiative "not ready for prime time."


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