Who has the right to own .love on the Web? (#icannlove)

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ILLUSTRATION: JESS3

We travel here every day, navigating the realm of .coms, .nets and .orgs. But as The Post's Ian Shapira reports, a little-known nonprofit is overseeing potentially dramatic shifts in the World Wide Web. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will soon make new "top-level" domain names available for purchase by corporations or individuals. Shapira reports:

The biggest expansion to the Internet's address system will dramatically transform the online landscape as we know it, either making your searches more intuitive, or doing the exact opposite, and creating a more cluttered, madenning experience. No one knows yet. But with an infinite number of domain names to pitch, an emerging industry of Web wildcatters is racing to operate these unproven yet potentially lucrative online territories and build a more carved-up Web whose domains are bound to provoke:
Who gets to run .abortion — a pro-choicers or pro-lifers? Which individual, mosque or mosques, or educational institution can run the .islam or .muhammad sites? Can a hate group like the Ku Klux Klan own .nazi on the grounds of free speech, or will a Jewish organization run the domain and only permit web sites — say, remember.nazi or antidefamation.nazi — that post historically accurate information? Will Amazon, the Internet retailer get .amazon or Brazil?

The new system has already sparked a "land rush" of organizations competing for the same domain names, raising questions about who has the right to own universal terms. So we want to know what you think:

Who has the right to own .love on the Web?

Tell us what you think by tweeting with #icannlove.


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