The domain name system is now poised to change dramatically based on a highly controversial proposal for new generic top level domains (gTLDs) approved initially in 2008 by the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the not-for-profit organization responsible for coordinating the Internet addressing system. Currently, the domain name system is limited to 21 “generic” gTLDs (.com, .org, .net, .info, .biz, etc.). Under the new proposal, organizations located anywhere in the world would be able to apply to operate a gTLD that corresponds just about to any word or phrase, including an organization’s name or brand. This is relevant to nearly all businesses, and in particular their marketing/advertising efforts, because it places new burdens on companies to police their brands through the ocean of hundreds, if not thousands, of new channels. My colleagues at Reed Smith outlined the relevant aspects and implications of the proposal and I encourage you to read it here.