Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2015 Issue

Amazon Secures Exclusive Control of .Book Domain Names

8e042155-77f0-4b16-87f3-4a1b86f83821

There is a new domain name suffix coming to an internet connection near you soon that may be of great interest to those in the book trade, or those who just like books a lot. That domain root is .book (dot-book). However, you can't just put in an order with a typical domain registration service, like you were seeking to register a new .com name. You will have to seek the permission of a company that might not be your very favorite company in the whole world. The .com domains are under the exclusive control of Amazon.

 

Recently, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) held an auction to determine who would have the right to control all domain names ending in .book. ICANN is a non-profit organization with authority to control internet protocol numbers and domain name roots. A few years back, they came up with a very profitable idea for a non-profit – they decided they could raise a lot of money for their organization by selling new roots for a system that was once limited to .com, .org, and .net. There is, quite literally, an unlimited number of new roots now available for those who want to buy one. The more popular ones, however, are in high demand, and the result is they are being auctioned off for big bucks.

 

The .book domain was particularly popular. Nine companies, including behemoths Google and Amazon, bid for rights to .book. Since it was a private auction, the winning bid price was not revealed. Based on other prices, it is believed that Amazon's bid was in the $5-$10 million range. One under bidder, Minds + Machines, a firm which owns and licenses domain names, claimed it bid $8 million, and it was not even the runner-up, suggesting Amazon's bid was, at minimum, in the high end of that range. The runner-up was R. R. Bowker, a firm with long ties to the book industry, which issues ISBN numbers in the United States.

 

An outcry was raised a couple of years ago when Amazon first sought to purchase exclusive rights to the .book domain name root. The Association of American Publishers stated that giving Amazon exclusive control of .book would deny others with an equally vested interest in the word “book” equal access to the term as a domain name. The President of the Authors Guild wrote, “Placing such generic domains in private hands is plainly anticompetitive, allowing already dominant, well-capitalized companies to expand and entrench their market power.” Bricks and mortar competitor Barnes & Noble objected this would “stifle competition in the bookselling and publishing industries, which are critical to the future of copyrighted expression in the U.S.” Even ILAB (International League of Antiquarian Booksellers) joined the fray, commenting through its President, Tom Congalton, “We have to play by the same rules. There is no reason why Amazon should get the exclusive rights to suffixes such as book, author or read, which are generic names any bookseller throughout the world should be allowed to use.” It was all to no avail. Books may speak, but money shouts.

 

Precisely how Amazon will use the .book domain is unclear. They may sell, or license the right to use .book domains to others, as is done with .com names. Alternatively, they may decide to keep the .book domain names all to themselves, making it an internet synonym for the Amazon website. It is now theirs to use as they please.


Posted On: 2015-01-01 16:02
User Name: keeline

"The .com domains are under the exclusive control of Amazon." should probably have ".book"

In other examples of new TLDs (top-level domains) the most common/desirable words are often set aside by the new registrar. In the case of .museum the registrar becomes the sole arbiter of whether an applicant is a real museum in their eyes.

Abuse is possible but it is not a requirement that anyone use a particular TLD. As it is, it will take an enormous education of the public to realize that there are TLDs other than .com. Does anyone recall the advertising campaign around 2000 to sell the Western Samoa .ws country code as "Wold Site" or Tuvalo's .tv as "television" because the Internet is becoming "more like TV"? The real test will be seeing the new TLDs on billboards. Will the general public realize that it is an Internet address if it doesn't have .com ?

James D. Keeline


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.
  • <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Published Half Plate Ambrotype of a North Carolina Confederate Officer. $2,000 to $4,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two 19th Century Books Pertaining to Canada's Red River Settlement. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two Books With Fore-Edge Paintings of British Architectual Landmarks. $400 to $600
    <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), "Torte a la Dobosch" from <i>Wild Raspberries</i>. $1,000 to $3,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Keith Haring (American, 1958-1990), <i>Pop Shop II,</i> One Plate screenprint in colors, on wove paper, 1998. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Thomas Rowlandson (British, 1756-1827), Twenty-Two Prints from the <i>Tours of Dr. Syntax</i>. $500 to $1,000
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions