Users snap up .biz, .info Web addresses

Web site operators are jumping at the chance to register easy-to-remember Web addresses, thanks to the newly introduced .biz and .info TLDs (top-level domains).

Some 675,000 .info domain names have been registered since July, when the first applications were taken, according to Afilias Ltd., a nonprofit consortium named by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to maintain the registries.

Among the institutions taking advantage of the new TLD are New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (http://www.mta.info); and World Trade Center Relief information site (http://www.wtcrelief.info), as well as car maker Subaru of America Inc., which posts information about its top-of-the-line model Impreza WRX at http://www.wrx.info. In each case, the respective .com address had already been taken.

Over 500,000 .biz addresses have been registered, according to registrar Neulevel Inc. The domain finally went live in November after a court injunction against Neulevel was dropped by a Los Angeles judge. The plaintiffs in the case had argued that Neulevel was operating an illegal lottery by awarding contested domain names according to a drawing.

Contested .info domain names will be decided by an arbitration process in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), said Sabine Armbrust, a spokeswoman for Afilias.

"In the first phase, until the end of September only brand-name holders could register names. Any disputes should be resolved by the beginning of next year," she said.

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