Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2015 Issue

Amazon Secures Exclusive Control of .Book Domain Names

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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>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
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    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Leon TOLSTOÏ. <i>Anna Karenina.</i> Moscou, 1878. First and full edition of the Russian novel, in the author’s language.<br>Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Mark TWAIN. <i>Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's comrade).</i> New York, 1885. First American edition.<br>Est. 5 000 / 6 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Walt WHITMAN. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn, New York, 1856. Second edition gathering 32 poems. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Karen BLIXEN. <i>Out of Africa.</i> Londres, 1937. First edition in the UK, before Danish translation and American release.<br>Est. 1 500 / 2 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest HEMINGWAY. <i>A Farewell to Arms.</i> New York, 1929. First edition with $2.50 on the dust and A on the copyright page.<br>Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Ulysses.</i> Paris, Shakespeare and Company, 1922. First edition published by Sylvia Beach. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Dubliners.</i> Londres, 1914. First edition. Nice copy in publisher’s cardboard. Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Franz KAFKA. 8 novels in German first edition, published in München, Leipzig and Berlin 1916-1931. Est. from 300 / 400 to 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> David Herbert LAWRENCE. <i>Lady Chatterley's Lover.</i> Florence, 1928. Privately printed first edition. Est. 4 000 / 5 000 €
    John STEINBECK. <i>The Grapes of Wrath.</i> New York, 1939. First edition. Nice copy with $2.75 on the cover. Est. 1 000 / 1 200 €

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