The Weather Channel seeks sole rights to dot-weather domain name; AccuWeather, other companies file objection
Maybe we can't control the weather, but two high-level companies want to control the rights to a new Internet domain name, dot-weather.
The nation's two largest private commercial weather companies — The Weather Channel and AccuWeather — along with a few others are duking it over the use of this new so-called generic top-level domain, dot-weather.
The Weather Channel wants to use it exclusively and has applied to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) for its use. AccuWeather and other companies want to prevent that from happening and have filed an objection with the International Chamber of Commerce.
The stakes are big because weather is the most accessed piece of information on the Internet — more than news or sports — and is something that affects people's lives every day, according to AccuWeather CEO Barry Myers.
ICANN, a not-for-profit organization that coordinates the Internet's addressing system, says it developed the new program for so-called top-level domain names to increase competition and choice. There are 21 now, such as the familiar dot-com, dot-org, dot-gov, dot-net, etc., but there soon could be hundreds, ICANN reports.
ICANN is considering the applications for the new names, which include everything from dot-aaa to dot-zulu.
According to the Weather Channel's application with ICANN, “the dot-weather generic top-level domain will provide an authoritative Internet space for weather content.”
“The application was a part of a widely publicized open process, and The Weather Channel was the only entity that chose to apply for dot-weather,” according to an e-mailed statement from Weather Channel spokesman David Blumenthal. “The Weather Channel chose to submit its application in an effort to foster innovation around consumers' use of weather forecasts and information. The goal was and is to provide users with more methods for getting the vital weather data they need.
“In addition, we believe that we can provide a trusted source of historically accurate data and prevent the domain's use by non-weather entities or inappropriate and possibly malicious use,” he added.
Is it fair for the Weather Channel to have a monopoly on dot-weather?
For the Weather Channel “to get dot-weather is a real restriction in the freedom of public access on the Internet,” says AccuWeather's Myers. He adds that other companies, along with academics and government organizations, are also against this attempt to control information that is meant to be for the public good.
By way of full disclosure, AccuWeather provides all of the weather forecast data for USA TODAY and its products, and has since September 2012. Prior to that, the Weather Channel provided the weather data for USA TODAY.
“There is a great deal of opposition to the Weather Channel's attempt to own dot-weather, and the language in their own application suggests they have an intent of dominating weather information and becoming a single source to ‘avoid' confusion — i.e., eliminate pesky choices for the consumer,” says AccuWeather spokesman Justin Roberti.
The International Chamber of Commerce's objection process and ICANN's final determination will likely take a few months.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rescuers find stranded woman in California desert, too late for husband
- BP credited with gulf tourism boom
- Shuttered Tenn. cemetery opens for Memorial Day
- Doctors, hospitals get more time to convert to electronic health records
- Children tossed, injured, from bounce house sent airborne by waterspout in Florida
- Wife, brother accused in man’s hatchet killing
- Ohio’s largest road project to cost 3 times its estimate
- Woman ends protest from anchor chain in Wash. against drilling
- Obama gets state, local allies for key initiatives
- Phone threats put scare into international flights
- Cleveland settles policing issues with Justice Department