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$17B ‘Dot Kosher’ Internet Domain Feud

A Brooklyn-based kosher-certification agency has created a hullabaloo among Jewish groups by trying to add the word “kosher” to the end of its Internet address.

OK Kosher Certification, a major Orthodox Jewish certification company, in November filed a request with Icann, the Internet’s organizing body, to register “dot-kosher” as a domain name. The company said in its application that it wanted the name to help it “promote kosher food certification in general, and OK Certification and its clients in particular.”

Icann – the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – began accepting requests for generic top-level domains names, or gTLDs, in January 2012. The body is meeting in Duban, South Africa, this week to begin a major expansion of domain names, which are currently limited to country identifiers and 20 others, like “dot-com” and “dot-org.” The meeting may include a decision on who can operate and license dot-kosher Internet addresses.

Five other North American Orthodox Jewish organizations that deal with kosher certification, verifying that food is prepared in accordance with Jewish dietary law, have banded together to oppose OK Kosher’s application, saying the company seeks to profit from a sacred tradition that should not be over-commercialized. Last month, the Orthodox Union Kosher, Star-K Kosher, the Chicago Rabbinical Council, KOF-K Kosher Supervision and the Kashruth Council of Canada sent a strongly-worded letter to Icann urging it not to allow the use of “dot-kosher.”

Icann’s decision is likely to have a significant impact on the kosher certification industry, which the research firm Market Trend estimates is worth $14 to $17 billion.

For more go to Haaretz

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