A group that was established ion opposition to the plan to create seven new Top-Level Domain Names (TLDs) recently, held its inaugural meeting this week in Washington. The open Internet Congress (OIC), which held its gathering under the auspices of the Association of Interactive Media (AIM), ad trade group representing various so-called new media companies. The OIC was established as a response to a proposal from a group called the Internet Ad-Hoc Committee (IAHC), which is proposing the new names and the infrastructure of servers and agreements necessary to maintain them. The IAHC held a meeting in Geneva at the end of April where it got a lot of signatories backing its plan, including some corporations and then morphed itself into something called the interim Policy Oversight Committee (iPOC); the policy it was overseeing being its own. Many in the internet community see this as an attempt by academics to hijack the internet rather than letting it run free on thew golden pastures of free enterprise. The OIC calls for three principles that nobody would probably argue with: that the stability of the internet should be maintained; that it should be representative of its users; and that it should be accountable to its users. There were 56 attendees at its meeting in Washington DC, 10 of which were press, but it claims the likes of Digital Equipment Corp and Walt Disney Co and even the Department of Justice were represented. The OIC expects to finalize a declaration of principles within two weeks, and to hold a larger open meeting at either Comdex or Internet World in November and December respectively. OIC took pleasure in pointing out all the organizations on the iPOC list that have only indicated their intention to sign, rather than have actually signed – it looks like more than half to us. The iPOC is challenging our list and lying about theirs, complained AIM’s president and main player Andrew Sernovitz. He also claimed the only government to back the iPOC plan was Albania – hardly a ringing endorsement. The stage is now set for a recruitment drive to get some serious companies behind one plan or the other. None have taken the bait so far and seem to be watching from the sidelines as academia, the people who established the internet slug it out with the corporations, those that now want to make some money out of it.