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New ICANN TLDs May Cause Internet Land Rush 443

Posted by timothy
from the follow-the-monetization dept.
wiryd writes "A new ICANN proposal would allow applications for almost any TLD. From the article: 'Tourists might find information about the Liberty Bell, for example, at a site ending in .philly. A rapper might apply for a Web address ending in .hiphop. "Whatever is open to the imagination can be applied for," says Paul Levins, ICANN's vice president of corporate affairs. "It could translate into one of the largest marketing and branding opportunities in history."'"
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New ICANN TLDs May Cause Internet Land Rush

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  • by ivan256 (17499) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @02:43PM (#27507169)

    "Tourists probably won't find information about the Liberty Bell at a site ending in .philly just like they don't, for example, find anything useful at sites ending in .info."

    If you see a company snap up a new TLD at the recommendation of their marketing department, it's time to sell their stock. Unless somebody comes up with a novel technical use for an entire TLD, this is going to be a massive flop.

    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @02:49PM (#27507297) Journal

      Unless somebody comes up with a novel technical use for an entire TLD

      From the article,

      To beat a competitor to the punch, a company might decide it needs to control a new generic domain, such as .cereal or .detergent, but it would be costly. The currently proposed application fee is $185,000, says Levins, plus an annual "continuance" fee of $25,000. If more than one company wants a suffix, there could be a bidding war.

      So ICANN has reinvented the .com bidding war and they're the money makers because they missed out on auctioning cereal.com and cereal.org etc. Also, if the company's dropping $185k on the application fee, I think I would sell my stock anyway.

    • by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @02:50PM (#27507307) Homepage Journal

      The age of the domain name is over in my opinion. People find information by going through search engines, I would guess a very small population still types www.whatiwant.com when surfing. They would have learned their lesson a long time ago that that's not a smart idea.

      Just get a domain name that's slightly relevant to your topic or service, and you're fine. Google magic will do the rest.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @03:09PM (#27507623)

        Just get a domain name that's slightly relevant to your topic or service

        Why make it even slightly relevant? Amazon didn't. Google didn't. Ebay didn't. I'm sure there must be counter examples of people making a success out of 'relevant' names, but I suspect they're in the minority.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by JCSoRocks (1142053)
        I made a similar decision when I recently purchased a domain name. The one I really wanted was being squatted, but I refuse to support that obnoxious garbage. I just compromised and made something close enough. Everyone uses search and or links from blogs / social networking / link sites (Digg, Reddit, etc). In my case anyone wanting to learn more about what I'm doing is either going to read about it from my material and type in the address or they'll find out about it by googling / from a friend. Slick "ce
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Chabo (880571)

          Well no wonder nobody finds your site: you made a post about your fancy new domain name without even so much as shameless plug!

          On a related note, try FlacSquisher [sourceforge.net] today!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by kheldan (1460303)
        I would tend to agree with this, simply because so many bogus "search engines" get whole blocks of common misspellings for popular sites just to try to generate traffic/revenue on people's typos, thus the smart thing to do is use Google. Aside from the fact that everybody uses Google anyway, that is.
      • The age of the domain name is over in my opinion. People find information by going through search engines, I would guess a very small population still types www.whatiwant.com when surfing. They would have learned their lesson a long time ago that that's not a smart idea.

        I don't think that's true at all, lots of important sites can be easily remembered, and that's a good thing. Otherwise, we place all of our information, some of it vital, into the hands of a few big companies, like Google, who would then

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Colonel Korn (1258968)

        The age of the domain name is over in my opinion. People find information by going through search engines, I would guess a very small population still types www.whatiwant.com when surfing. They would have learned their lesson a long time ago that that's not a smart idea.

        Just get a domain name that's slightly relevant to your topic or service, and you're fine. Google magic will do the rest.

        No one ever looked for information at www.whatiwant.com unless it was already known that www.whatiwant.com had the answer. However, Newegg having a short, easy to remember URL means people are more likely to go directly there for a computer component that to competitors, because Newegg will place highly in search engine results AND a substantial fraction of customers actually go to Newegg by url. The same is true for Wikipedia, Amazon, and a bunch of other sites.

        Also, when searching I suggest www.scroogle

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @02:58PM (#27507475)

      Well, I could see spammers with a real economic use for dot.corn (look carefully - dot - c - o - r - n, not c - o - m)

      ~tomhudson (not logged in)

      • Sneaky! I like it!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ByOhTek (1181381)

        mmm, corn.

        But the spammers are phishers, not pharmers!

      • by PRMan (959735)
        I don't have to look carefully! I'm using Lynx you insensitive clod!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by nitehawk214 (222219)

        Well, I could see spammers with a real economic use for dot.corn (look carefully - dot - c - o - r - n, not c - o - m)

        ~tomhudson (not logged in)

        .con would be more likely to be mistyped. And much more accurate a description.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rootofevil (188401)

          think email messages - yourbank.corn needs you to click this link now and login before we delete all your money!

    • a novel technical use for an entire TLD

      There already is one, its called spam. Whoever buys a TLD gets to set the rules for selling domains within said TLD, and manage those sales. Just wait till domains like .pillz, .softwarez, and the like are sold. That will be the death of meaningful WHOIS data and spam will go through the roof in volume.

      • by ivan256 (17499)

        a novel technical use for an entire TLD

        There already is one

        Wouldn't that make it "non-novel" by definition?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nine-times (778537)

        I'm not sure I understand, but wouldn't it be great if spammers all started using .pillz or .softwarez domains? Then I could just block everything coming from those domains regardless of what their whois information says.

        Unfortunately, I don't think we're going to be so lucky as to see spammers all put themselves under a unique TLD. But if they did, it'd probably be worth it for us all to start a collection and buy it for them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GregNorc (801858)

      I disagree, domains with what you'd think would be a small target audience can do surprisingly well.

      Case in point: .cx

  • Oh great. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GeekZilla (398185) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @02:43PM (#27507173)

    My dad still gets confused when an address ends in something besides, ".com".

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @02:44PM (#27507195) Journal

    Tourists might find information about the Liberty Bell, for example, at a site ending in .philly.

    Or maybe .pa or maybe even .penn or maybe even .hist or maybe even .bells or maybe even .revwar? Or maybe tourists will have to check all of those since they're all valid categories? And maybe the site www.ushistory.org/libertybell/ will have to register in all of those categories?

    A rapper might apply for a Web address ending in .hiphop.

    Or maybe .music or maybe .ryhme or maybe .lyric or maybe .album or maybe .songs or maybe .r for "Rapper" or maybe .rap? Or maybe I want to target fans of said rapper and register his name dot whatever on one of those and post it all over message boards. On the site would be a link saying "click here for the latest album free!" where they enter their address and name? Then I Google bomb said rappers name on forums and boards with my site so that it shows up as number one in Google. If I get sued for it, just give it up and dream up another TLD that could dupe a fan. Let's not even get started on my vast collection of www.google.cmo, www.google.ocm, www.google.moc, etc.

    I'm just going to throw out the idea that TLDs were never intended to be a complete ontology of all things. And you're making a whole lot of problems (security and logistical) for people so that you can make clever domain names. Is this really necessary?

    The article makes them sound ridiculously expensive ... what exactly is the point of this again? An ICANN get rich quick scam?

  • by dattaway (3088) * on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @02:44PM (#27507201) Homepage Journal

    What a business it is. And you never really can "own" a domain, you simply lease it. Miss a payment and a squatter owns your traffic.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Garridan (597129)
      This will be really great when somebody takes control of the .corn TLD. It looks just enough like .com in certain fonts to phish the fuck out of people. Welcome to paypaI.corn! Please log in to give me all your ca$h!!!
      • Geez, there's about one pixel different between the two and from where I sit I couldn't tell the difference until you pointed out that that was what you were talking about.
  • Welcome to the age (Score:5, Informative)

    by Daimanta (1140543) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @02:46PM (#27507237) Journal

    of horrible urls. How will people still be able to understand URLs if the are horribly malformed? Soon, people will not be able to distinguish between a TLD and a domain and people will fall to cleverly constructed scams.

    Also, no domain is safe. Everybody can now claim google.philly or google.hiphop and companies can do nothing about it(or start countless lawsuits). This is a bad idea and implementing this will cause the www to be more confusing than it is now.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by silanea (1241518)

      [...] Everybody can now claim google.philly or google.hiphop and companies can do nothing about it(or start countless lawsuits). [...]

      In order to avoid a massive influx of lawsuits from corporate lawyers all over the globe any half sane TLD operator would run a sunrise period for tradename owners to grab any domains their claims cover. But that in itself will defeat the whole purpose of introducing new TLDs. Google, Coca Cola, BMW et al. will simply grab their domains under any TLD they can get and sue the living sh... out of anyone who beats them to those domains. Well, just as they have done with domains under existing TLDs.

      Totally poin

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PitaBred (632671)
      The subject is not part of your damn post. It's really annoying to try to read. Please, stop. It's not clever, it's not cute, it's not informative. You don't type an email like that, why in the hell would you do it here?
  • by arcmay (253138) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @02:46PM (#27507241)

    "It could translate into one of the largest clusterfucks in history."

    FTFY

  • ".slashdot" . . . or "./.", as well . . .

  • by bugi (8479) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @02:48PM (#27507273)

    Remember when Pandora opened that cute little box?

  • More like (Score:5, Insightful)

    by future assassin (639396) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @02:49PM (#27507299) Homepage
    The biggest cash grab ever.
  • ICANN is now going to allow people to purchase their own gTLDs (for a price, of course). And when you own the TLD, you are the one who gets to set the rules for registration of domains underneath said TLD. As if WHOIS records aren't already bad enough; now companies can buy up their own TLDs and set their own rules for contact information for customers who purchase domains under said TLD.

    Currently, if you receive a spam email selling you (insert favorite spamming product here), you can look up the domain name that is being spamvertised, and generally figure out who is responsible for the operation. With that information you can contact the registrar and the hosting company regarding the activity that is going on. And currently, if the registrar does not react accordingly, you have some (though very limited) choice of action through ICANN if the registrar is blatantly in violation of their obligations to maintain accurate records.

    However, ICANN's obligations end with the most common TLDs (.com, .net, .org, and a few others). If they sell a domain like ".pillz" to your favorite spammer, he can setup an unlimited number of second level domains under that for his spamming enterprise, and will have no obligation to have any contact information (valid or not) for those domains. From which will rise the eternally-registered spamvertising domains, over which nobody will have jurisdiction because there will be no record of where the owner (or his business) resides.

    This will open the floodgates in a way we have not seen before. I discussed this a while ago [slashdot.org] when they first brought up this horrendous idea. But they will keep with it, because it will make some fast money. The rest of us can all go to hell with our email.

    Forget the land rush. This will cause a spam rush that could potentially make sub-prime mortgages look like a good idea.
    • by mattdm (1931)
      You kidding? That's like a spam-filtering dream. If I can automatically know that anything related to your spammer friend's .pillz domain is untrustworthy, I can very happily have my e-mail client completely disregard it. And since setting up a new tld is apparently going to be non-trivial, it's not like the guy can just go and get a different one tomorrow.
  • by King_TJ (85913) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @02:50PM (#27507313) Journal

    One of the biggest reasons to have a specific domain name is because it's memorable enough and relevant enough so people will use it in lieu of a search engine.

    (EG. If I don't know the URL for McDonalds restaurants, am I going to Google for it, or would I just try www.mcdonalds.com first?)

    When you make the TLD an "anything goes" deal, vs. a distinct few possibilities - you make it MUCH harder for people to find you that way. (Initially, people will keep trying .com, knowing that's the "standard" ... and as time goes on, all the people registering random, new TLDs will cause those .com based searches to be increasingly worthless. They'll go back to doing searches for you, vs. taking random stabs as to what TLD you might be under.)

  • by darpo (5213) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @02:50PM (#27507321) Homepage
    I really wish that instead of arbitrary TLDs, that from the beginning, domain names would have been a free form string. Say, 64 characters, barring special characters like spaces and so forth. It's not like people use the existing TLDs consistently. Cool things about such an approach: really creative, fun names would crop up. No more domain squatting nonsense; you'd have much more freedom in naming your site.
    • by querist (97166)

      and who will be the first to try to register the proverbial "clownpenis.fart" ? (I think that machine name was from a Dave Barry joke.)

      • thought it was an SNL skit, a brokerage that didn't get a website until after all the good names had been taken.

  • Sure. Anybody... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @02:50PM (#27507323)
    ... anybody who has $185,000 for the fee, that is.
    • Maybe the porn industry will all chip in for the .xxx TLD so that anyone can easily do site:.xxx in their Google search to... narrow things down.

    • ... anybody who has $185,000 for the fee, that is.

      Which one unscrupulous registrar could make up very quickly selling domains (with bogus registration data) to his favorite spammers under that new TLD.

      Considering the way spammers (or their customers who own the spamvertised domains) register domains in bulk, they'd probably be willing to put down 5-10k for a single domain that they know will never be invalidated. Making up $185,000 would be pretty trivial if you are the first to put up $185k for something like ".pillz".

  • Before everyone loses their minds, note that squatting will not be a viable business model with these domains. From TFA:

    The currently proposed application fee is $185,000, says Levins, plus an annual "continuance" fee of $25,000. If more than one company wants a suffix, there could be a bidding war.

  • by thomasdz (178114) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @02:53PM (#27507389)

    What's this all about? I surf the internet using IP addresses.
    My favorite site is 216.34.181.48

    • star.slashdot.org

      Thank you for not being a dick :) Not taking chances, I looked to my old friends "whois -a" and "dig -x" ;)

  • The only thing which might work are value added TLDs, where the registrar does more then run a website. A TLD which you can only get hold of if you are a government recognised charity for example. And even then... Somebody is just going to buy ".corn" and use it to do some phishing. This is the worst idea ever.
  • by VoxMagis (1036530) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @02:55PM (#27507413)

    Forget about those old blah street names and numbers! Now you can request a NEW EXCITING address that would really mean something to your friends and family!

    Instead of:
    1122 A St.
    North Somewhere, NY 99999

    You can now purchase:
    Hey, I'm here and you can find me at the end of the road on the left side right past the dog that always barks at you and only has three legs unless his owner has him chained up in the back so in that case you'd have to look for the broken tricycle that I left by the front door. Oh and I'm somewhere on the top of the map in a really heavy population state!

    Act Now!

    • "Now you can request a NEW EXCITING address", VoxMagis@Hey.I'm.here_and_you.can.find.me.at_the_end.of_the_road.on_the_left.side.right.past_the_dog.that.always.barks.at.you_and_only.has.three.legs.unless.his.owner.has.him.chained.up.in_the_back.so.in.that.case.you'd.have.to.look.for_the_broken.tricycle.that.I.left.by_the_front.door.Oh_and_I'm.somewhere.on_the_top.of_the_map.in.a.really.heavy.population.state
  • Can we stop it? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @02:56PM (#27507437)

    Where do we sign up to have this not happen?

    • Re:Can we stop it? (Score:5, Informative)

      by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @03:13PM (#27507695) Homepage Journal

      Where do we sign up to have this not happen?

      You must be new here. You had a chance. ICANN took comments on this [icann.org] last year. Apparently not enough people spoke up about the problems, because they are going forward with it anyways.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Danse (1026)

        ICANN has never given a damn what anybody says anyway. I was a member of the At-Large community that elected representatives to the At-Large Advisory Committee. Anyone remember how well that went? From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

        "In the Memorandum of Understanding that set up the relationship between ICANN and the U.S. government, ICANN was given a mandate requiring that it operate "in a bottom up, consensus driven, democratic manner." However, the attempts that ICANN have made to set up an organizational structure that would allow wide input from the global Internet community did not produce results amenable to the current Board. As a result, the At-Large constituency and direct election of board members by the global Internet community were soon abandoned."

        If they don't like what others have to say, regardless of how good the advice may be, they simply ignore you and proceed in whatever way they believe will gain them more power, influence and money. That's the simple explanation for this move.

  • by kenp2002 (545495) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @03:00PM (#27507499) Homepage Journal

    Perhaps it's time we revolt and set up a new Internet with a non-commerical clause so we can get back to using the Internet for what it was intended for, making us smarter rather then selling us shit...

  • Rule of thumb: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @03:01PM (#27507511) Journal
    Anybody who says "It could translate into one of the largest marketing and branding opportunities in history." as though it is a good thing needs to have their face introduced to the cluebat. Followed by the truthbat and the justicebat. Then the cluebat again, just to be safe.
  • Google.com -> google.search -> google.cmo -> pwned
  • So will I be able to register .blake? And can I sue to get control if some other doofus registers it before I do?

    ICANN might see this as a way to satisfy the demand for intuitive, unique names, but it is also their model to sell registrations, and they will sell millions.

    I expect the .blake domain to sell in minutes. Your last name will go quicker. You will deal with squatters/enterprising individuals/scammers to get into it, and they will mark it up, as is their goal and right...

    Pus. A pox on all their

  • Time to ditch DNS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    When you give people power, and they abuse you in response, it's time for a new approach. All DNS does is key/value mapping. The look-ups are distributed among the nodes in a hierarchy which puts control at the top, managed by ICANN.

    What we need is a completely decentralized key/value lookup system that scales and is trustworthy. No entity should be vested with so much control over essential infrastructure services.

    • Yes please, and this should hopefully make surfing more secure and anonymous. Let's setup an "encryption always on" internet to help with that, just so we can bring back the reason the internet was made: any information from anywhere. No censorship. If the site cannot be accessed, then try a peer node/proxy node that will help forward this encrypted information...
  • Here's what I'll do. I'll just get the O'Reilly book and set up DNS on my trusty dual opteron and that can be the ultimate root of all the internet. If anyone wants to register a domain, its $15. No bulk registrations, but, every transfer has a tax of 10%, payable, to well me...

    seriously... I think the more ICANN becomes a bunch of tools, the more likely it is that we will wind up with more than one ultimate top level domain administrator.

    For that reason, having a gold rush for TLDs is just a bad idea, be

  • How about fixing the DNS/Email system so as to defeat the virus/spam/phishing epidemic?
  • by GypC (7592)
    Now CmdrTaco can get that .dot TLD he's been longing for all these years.
  • by neo (4625) on Wednesday April 08, 2009 @03:22PM (#27507847)

    Why would I use:

    www.microsoft.com
    www.coke.com
    www.amazon.com

    when you *could* just type in:

    microsoft
    coke
    amazon

    Yes! You can actually visit top level domains! Shocking but true!!

    Stand back and watch the fireworks.

  • 'Tourists might find information about the Liberty Bell, for example, at a site ending in .philly.'
    Provided the tourist already knows where the Liberty Bell is, and that "philly" is both a TLD and an abreviation for Philadelphia. Otherwise, they would just google it [justfuckinggoogleit.com]. This reminds me of the question "Why is the word 'dictionary' in the dictionary?" If you know how to find it, you already know the definition!

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