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ICANN To Allow .brandname Top-Level Domains 300

Posted by Soulskill
from the phishers-everywhere-rejoice dept.
AndyAndyAndyAndy sends in this excerpt from a Reuters report: "Brand owners will soon be able to operate their own parts of the Web — such as .apple, .coke or .marlboro — if the biggest shake-up yet in how Internet domains are awarded is approved. After years of preparation and wrangling, ICANN, the body that coordinates Internet names, is expected to approve the move at a special board meeting in Singapore on Monday. ... The move is seen as a big opportunity for brands to gain more control over their online presence and send visitors more directly to parts of their sites — and a danger for those who fail to take advantage."
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ICANN To Allow .brandname Top-Level Domains

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  • Funny That (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Friday June 17, 2011 @04:42PM (#36479560) Homepage

    "As a big brand, you ignore it at your peril," says Theo Hnarakis, chief executive of Australian domain name-registration firm Melbourne IT DBS, which advises companies and other organizations worldwide about how to do business online.

    And it only costs $185,000 USD.

    Funny, that.

    • Re:Funny That (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Rei (128717) on Friday June 17, 2011 @05:37PM (#36480234) Homepage

      There's a HUGE glaring hole with this notion. As someone who's filed for a trademark before, trademarks are only limited within a particular field of business. So, for example, you could have a car company named Shiny, a spatula manufacturer named Shiny, a metal alloy named Shiny, whatever.

      But there's only one TLD.

      So, not only is this messing over individuals, but it's *really* messing over smaller businesses or businesses who came later to the game -- even if they hold a legitimate trademark on that name. I own a small software company that happens to have the same name as a larger, established trucking company. This could happen to me.

      (Oh, and if your answer to anyone is, "Just pick another name"... do you have any clue how thoroughly picked through the trademark filings are? The Futurama "popplers" joke about there only being two product names in existence left untrademarked isn't that far off. Oh, and if you use a foreign word, you have to not overlap on both the foreign word *and* its translation)

      • by wisty (1335733)

        OK, so what we really need is each "particular field of business" getting a TLD. So there's one apple.computer; one apple.records, and no apple.fruit as that would be too generic.

        What could possibly go wrong?

      • by rs79 (71822)

        Domain names aren't trademarks, they're ways to address a node on a network.

        The network works just fine even though both Delta Airlines and Delta faucets have a trademark for "Delta".

        Nobody turns on their tap and expects to hear airline schedules.

    • by PRMan (959735)
      The real question is whether .coke could get ICEd.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Friday June 17, 2011 @04:43PM (#36479568) Homepage

    In fact, I think it just makes it worse.

    Not only will there continue to be trademark and other fights over .com, .net and all the rest, there will now be a new level of fighting over a huge rush of TLDs.

    Next up, rapid filing for trademarks in small island nations and squatting on TLDs. If I thought of it that easily, so did a thousand scum-bags out there.

    • They can fight over 'em if they want, but I doubt that anyone would actually *use* them.

    • by v1 (525388) on Friday June 17, 2011 @04:53PM (#36479708) Homepage Journal

      I see the exact same thing - it was bad enough when a company went after (anythingclosetomytrademark).(anyTLD), now that second part goes from one-in-100 to a wildcard.

      Buy .georgejetson and then try to use pepsi.georgejetson and watch the fireworks. this is just going to create a mess. Look at how crazy they go now if you try to register pepsii.com or a TLD they didn't think to register like pepsi.co

      Now companies have to be thinking about unlimited TLDs, not just a handful.

      • by John.P.Jones (601028) on Friday June 17, 2011 @05:07PM (#36479882)

        Now companies have to be thinking about unlimited TLDs, not just a handful.

        Due to the hierarchical nature of DNS, there is no difference between adding one more TLD and allowing any domain as a TLD (. vs .com).

        I propose registering '.sucks' and then mirroring all of DNS inside it so resolving icann.org.sucks resolves to icann's website. Extra props for doing so recursively so that so does icann.org.sucks.sucks.sucks.

        • I propose registering '.sucks' and then mirroring all of DNS inside it so resolving icann.org.sucks resolves to icann's website. Extra props for doing so recursively so that so does icann.org.sucks.sucks.sucks.

          Congratulations, you've recreated the alt.* hierarchy on usenet!

    • by rdbiker (2278618)
      This is the AOL-ization of the internet. Sad.
    • Actually.. I do think it's an improvement, in a way.

      There's plenty of non-commercial entities on .com domains. .org domains sometimes have commercial entities .net could be anything from raindows and ponies to hardcore porn
      a .us site may well be run by a company on the Seychelles acting for a business in Georgia

      Given that there's really very little meaning to the a TLD anyway, I welcome its further dilution to the point where we realize that really it doesn't matter whether we access http://coca-cola.com/ [coca-cola.com] o

    • by Palmsie (1550787)

      I agree completely. It solves nothing. In fact, it just makes things needlessly complicated. For instance, does some nature conservatory body about the amazon river get dibs on .amazon if they front the cash or does the internet giant get it? Does that infringe on Amazons copyright? The classic excuse regarding similarly named companies is that it confuses consumers, e.g. Facebook sueing all "___Book" companies. So now both big and small companies can spend more time sueing each other than making products o

    • by blair1q (305137)

      The case law regarding squatting on trademarks in domain names is pretty cut-and-dried by now.

      One case extending all of that to TLDs would be sufficient, and would take about 5 minutes in the court of a judge who isn't a total dunce.

  • Dear ICANN (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stox (131684) on Friday June 17, 2011 @04:43PM (#36479576) Homepage

    F U!

    Sincerely,

    The Internet

    • Yes,we are aware you are one of many petitioning for .FU, but now you must convince us you are not violating the .FUBU trademark.

      Sincerely,

      ICANN

  • Oh no (Score:2, Funny)

    by Marillion (33728)
    There went the Internet
  • by i kan reed (749298) on Friday June 17, 2011 @04:45PM (#36479590) Homepage Journal

    This does nothing but muddy the waters further as to what a top level domain is for. The original purpose was to help distinguish the class of site one was dealing with. Branding was already a clear part of the domain. The second part.

    This will make web browsers less useful too. As it stands now, if you type apple in your browser bar, it uses a search engine and locates the cloest match to that idea. This would make it ambiguous with a TLD and make it impossible for your browser to easily tell when to search.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Dachannien (617929)

      It should search never. The address bar is for typing in addresses. If you want to search, type something in the search bar.

      • by rockout (1039072) on Friday June 17, 2011 @05:19PM (#36480006)
        Thanks Grampa. I'll inform the Google Chrome team of your wacky 90's idea. Should go over big.
      • That is the search bar. A dedicated text field you have to put your cursor in depending on whether you want to visit a URL or search for keywords is a waste of screen space and of user time.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Utter nonsense. Unless you want to give all your searching over to whatever search service (read: "corporation") happens to have control of your address bar at any point in time. If you're a Google fanboi, maybe you like that idea. I don't.

          There is perfectly good rationale for having your searches separate from your explicit addresses. When I want to go to a site, I want to go to the site I typed in, not some search engine's idea of what site I was looking for.

          It may be a "90s" idea (as someone else called it), but it's a damned good one. I'll keep my searches separate, thank you very f*ing much.

        • I forgot to include: if a page I'm looking for doesn't exist, I want to get a 404 error.

          Search engines today are simply not smart enough to guess what I want... and I know, because I have given them lots of tries in that context and they get it wrong far too often. I was royally pissed when Comcast usurped my 404 errors and directed me to their favorite search engine instead. That should be illegal. As it is, I had to look up how to turn that very seriously UNWANTED feature "off".

          Maybe in another 10 y
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 91degrees (207121)
      The waters have been muddy for a long time now. For a lot of major sites, the .net .org and .com will redirect to the same place.

      We've reached the stage where .com just means "on the internet". It's redundant. This is just a roundabout way of eliminating the need for ".com"
  • by onkelonkel (560274) on Friday June 17, 2011 @04:45PM (#36479600)
    My impression is that most folks don't type addresses, they get to sites through google. If I want to go to say Ford's website I open google, type ford, and click on the first link. I usually never type urls unless I have no other way to get there. I don't really need to care if their site is ford.com or cars.ford or whatevever.
  • by idontgno (624372) on Friday June 17, 2011 @04:46PM (#36479618) Journal

    Now Apple Computers, Apple Corp, and assorted apple grower associations can all go to legal war with each over who has the most right to the one, the only, the singular ".apple" vanity TLD.

    Protip: Trademarks don't all share the same namespace, and only have to be unique within a general field of commercial endeavor.

    • by rabtech (223758) on Friday June 17, 2011 @05:13PM (#36479946) Homepage

      Since when has ICANN given a single thought to what is good for the internet, what makes sense, or what the users of the internet want? This is all about money... they intend to charge huge $$$ for your own TLD. I'm sure they will award themselves big fat bonuses for being so innovative.

      The problem is I can't think of anything better to replace ICANN; Giving the UN control over the internet is certain to be worse. Letting idiots with no idea how the internet works vote on its architecture is equally as awful. As soon as national governments get involved, you have their ridiculous petty disputes and nationalism injecting themselves into every issue (go read up on why MS had to disable the timezone map in Windows... India threatened to kick them out of the country because one or two pixels weren't properly highlighted due to conflicting claims over a certain region.)

      • If you disallow ICANN's ability to charge people for stupid things, or change the charter so the charges are very nominal, it would go a long way to prevent this sort of behavior. This really benefits ICANN and nobody else (OK, some lawyers, they don't count...)
  • Proliferating the TLDs with all the .com domain names is just plain asinine.

    Someone take these morons out back and have them shot, please.

    • Proliferating the TLDs with all the .com domain names is just plain asinine.

      Someone take these morons out back and have them shot, please.

      As a counter-argument, I'd say that TLDs themselves (as they currently stand) are pretty worthless these days.

      Consider: If you have a site that's not on ".com", and there's another domain with the same name, except it's in ".com", there's a pretty good chance site visitors will screw up and go to the ".com" on instead. If the same name is in different TLDs and these domains are not run by the same organization, confusion is bound to result.

      So one solution would be to go to a fully flat namespace. Ditch TL

  • by geekmux (1040042) on Friday June 17, 2011 @04:50PM (#36479664)

    This is just plain stupid...but then again, how many ideas birthed from pure greed aren't. I'll believe it's not an act of greed when they only charge $5/year to register these "uber-premium" names. Fat chance of THAT happening.

    And when they advertise it's "dangerous" for companies to NOT register ALL relevant TLDs related to their business? I can hear the registrar salesperson now..."What?!?, you mean you don't have yourcompany.com/.net/.org/.info/.biz/.me/.mobi/.us/.biz/(and now) .brandname!?! You MUST register ALL of these NOW or your brand will surely be ruined!"

    Yeah, good luck with SEO too...All their damn TLDs won't even fit on the first page of hits.

  • Other than shiny marketing-speak, what is the practical difference between something like computers.apple.com and computers.apple? I doubt anyone is going to use brandname.brandname URLs, so are we just waving goodbye to the first section of the domain?
    • by CCarrot (1562079)

      I doubt anyone is going to use brandname.brandname URLs

      How about boing.boing and pizza.pizza?

      Heh, I can't wait to see how this messes up form input validation. "dave@hal really is my email address, goddammit!"

    • by Tetsujin (103070)

      Other than shiny marketing-speak, what is the practical difference between something like computers.apple.com and computers.apple? I doubt anyone is going to use brandname.brandname URLs, so are we just waving goodbye to the first section of the domain?

      We're waving good-bye to the last part, too. If ".com" is the first TLD people think of when trying to figure out the domain name for a site - and if that expectation (that it's dot-com) is so ingrained that people get confused when it's anything else, then having that "dot-com" on there is worthless and only introduces confusion. So TLDs become the new (premium-price, anti-squatter) domain names for big organizations, and everyone who can't afford one must accept a domain under an ordinary, "old-fashion"

  • Just one more step for Corporations to be considered Sovereign Entities. Soon they will be considered the same as a country.

  • by improfane (855034) on Friday June 17, 2011 @04:56PM (#36479738) Journal

    The internet is damaged by commercial interests. I don't think I'm speaking from nostalgia about 'the good old days' but large commercial interests have only weakened the utility of the internet.

    The top level domains should be neutral. The internet is no longer neutral if every company can buy out the namespace.

    I envy biological scientists and ecologists with their highly organized binomial classification systems. They're neutral. They organize information how it should be organized.

    I reckon we have difficulty classifying and namespacing the internet is because we don't really know what it is. I guarantee that the information architecture will have at least one massive restructuring in our lifetimes. One day it will be called something different, like 'the link' or the 'exchange'. You know the 'omniscient' like information system that you see alien races mention in Star Trek.

    • I envy biological scientists and ecologists with their highly organized binomial classification systems. They're neutral. They organize information how it should be organized.

      That's why there should only be an "asshat" TLD with all of the brands going under that.

    • by hondo77 (324058) on Friday June 17, 2011 @06:09PM (#36480508) Homepage

      The top level domains should be neutral.

      Why?

    • by Raenex (947668)

      large commercial interests have only weakened the utility of the internet.

      Damn you Google for indexing the Internet and providing information at our fingertips! Damn you Amazon and other sellers for letting us comparison shop and buy things from the convenience of our homes! Damn you...etc.

      I was around in the "good old days". The Internet boom has been, overall, a huge net benefit. I was skeptical at the time when it was starting to become commercialized, but it turned out all right.

  • ICANN only cares about profit. No surprises there. No matter how many governments and corporations write in to say this idea sucks, they still have complete autonomy and can assure themselves 10 years of awesome fees if they approve this. So it will be approved, without question.
  • by hellfire (86129) <deviladv @ g m a i l . c om> on Friday June 17, 2011 @04:58PM (#36479760) Homepage

    Hmmmmm, until recently, only countries and groups got TLDs. Now, corporations have been elevated to the level of countries.

    Yet another sign that the dystopia is upon us.

    • by Tetsujin (103070)

      Hmmmmm, until recently, only countries and groups got TLDs. Now, corporations have been elevated to the level of countries.

      Yeah, but on the bright side, I've got this great gig, working with the Ravens' Ark as an independent contractor...

  • This is stupid on so many levels. What's next? Religions and cults? Political parties? Hobbies?

    Man, who will be the registration authority? How will domains be impacted when/if companies are prohibited from doing business in some location?

  • We need IPv6 to be fully supported by everyone, first. More domains and sub-domains means more SSL certificates and exchange servers, etc. Which means more IP addresses.

    I know, I know, name based hosting and all that. Unfortunately large corps don't think that way, they think in terms of IP blocks. They will see this as a reason for more IP block thus diminishing the already relatively low number of IPv4 addresses.

    So in conclusion, focus on IPv6 first.

    My personal opinion on this is it's a stupid gimmick by

  • It seems like almost anyone can register almost any TLD, so I doubt that this would cause the current situation to deteriorate. However, most of the people who are online have been online for over a decade. It is going to be very hard to change people's habits.

    Besides, what is the merit of this? Even from a marketing perspective, most people identify "brand.com" as the address to a website so you can just plop that onto any piece of advertising. How would you identify an address in this new scheme? Add

  • by GeorgeK (642310) on Friday June 17, 2011 @05:16PM (#36479974) Homepage

    ICANN has really dropped the ball on new TLDs. Folks like Tim Berners-Lee were explicitly against new top level domains. The W3 even wrote a position paper New Top Level Domains Considered Harmful [w3.org]. They used the examples of .xxx and .mobi, but the reasoning applied to all new TLDs.

    ICANN hand-picked economists to examine the costs and benefits, and their own experts could not come up with anything close to definitive as to whether the benefits exceeded the costs. ICANN is supposed to act in the public interest, and only approve policies where the net benefit (i.e. benefits MINUS costs) are positive. ICANN doesn't even know the *sign* (i.e. positive or negative) of this policy change's impact, let alone know the magnitude. Their pathetic reports didn't even attempt to put a monetary figure on the costs vs. the benefits, i.e. are we talking about millions of dollars of benefits, billions, etc? However, many individuals and companies commented in each of the relevant comment periods pointing out how there would be grave consequences, as there would be huge costs associated with such a change. As is typical, ICANN ignored these concerns, attempting to win a war of attrition, to "tire out" opponents.

    Fortunately, the US Department of Commerce / NTIA may not renew its contract with ICANN. There is a pending Notice of Inquiry [doc.gov] regarding the renewal. I would encourage people to send comments, to voice their concerns about the bad policymaking from ICANN.

    ICANN is also about to renew the .NET agreement with VeriSign [icann.org] despite numerous comments [icann.org] in opposition. VeriSign will be allowed to continue to raise prices by 10% per year, despite falling technology costs, and without facing a competitive tender process (which would certainly result in much lower prices for consumers). The US Department of Justice should investigate both ICANN and VeriSign for anti-trust violations, as consumers are being harmed by these no-bid contracts. Toll-free numbers costs less than $1.50 per year at the wholesale level, yet .com/net/org fees are above $7/yr, due to lack of regular competitive tender processes.

    Why has ICANN been consistently making decisions against the public interest? The reason is obvious -- it has been captured by the registries and registrars, who only care about selling more and more domain names, even if they are not needed (i.e. "defensive registrations"). They don't care about confusing users or making it harder to navigate the internet.

    • by Junta (36770)

      To be fair, a large part of the argument was the problem of domain owners having to buy a whole new domain for every TLD issued. Example corp. had to get example.com, example.net, and example.org. Adding .mobi and .xxx 'forces' them to get example.xxx and example.mobi. The premise here is that in practice, the TLD became a meaningless thing, and adding another just causes another clone of the other TLDs. In this line of thinking, the TLD being deprecated for a single '.' TLD actually alleviates this syndrom

  • Doesn't seem to me that this is about the "internet" at all. Its about economics. For the ICANN. Say there are 10,000 international corporations who will pay to immortalize their brand name as a TLD. 10,000 corporations x $185,000 application fee per corporation = $1,850,000,000, or nearly 2 billion USD. Personally, I'd royally screw the internet for $2 billion. It appears ICANN would too.
  • by thedarb (181754) on Friday June 17, 2011 @05:22PM (#36480056) Homepage
    Dear ICANN,

    I'd like to register my company domains, we are Local Domain, Inc. Our leading product is our LocalHost operating system. Please register to us:

    localdomain
    localhost.localdomain

    Thank you,
    Root User of Local Domain
    • by stderr_dk (902007)

      My company is "#1" and I would like to register "1" as our TLD. Our nameservers will be located at 10.0.0.1, 127.0.0.1, 172.16.0.1 and 192.168.0.1.

  • doesn't it prove that TLDs are no longer a limitation? If the tech exists for arbitrary TLDs why do we even need TLDs (aside from the large cash pile ICANN has).
  • ICANN appears to be well on its way to loosing legitimacy. A poster child for what happens when an organization tasked with helping the network is rotted out from the inside out by money.

    Fuck these retards. The only acceptable response should be for DNS, network operators and governments to take a stand and disallow queries to arbitrary TLDs. If these new TLDs can't actually be used they will have no value.

    • Fortunately we live in a representative democracy, where I can write to my legislator and object to this action by the agency that governs the internet.

      But I'm trying to remember... which level of the government has authority over ICANN? I know it's isn't the state or provincial government, and it isn't the federal or national government.... Surely someone must have authority over them?

  • Although I suppose the startup costs will keep a lot of them away. Or have them fighting over abandoned TLD domains...

    Still, this seems like a 'clarification' that will only muddy the waters further for most people.

  • When you buy a gTLD, you also are granted all rights for registration within that domain, you essentially become your own little mini-ICANN. Now domains will be registered with essentially zero accountability, that can do whatever they like whenever they like and be accountable to nobody. And once a domain is sold in a new gTLD and becomes a registrar for com/net/org, that registrar will also be above accountability themselves.

    At that point, it is game over, the spammers have won. There will be no wa
  • by MarkGriz (520778) on Friday June 17, 2011 @06:10PM (#36480522)

    Great. Now we can have one stop shopping for protest domains.

    riaa.go.fuck.yourself
    sony.go.fuck.yourself
    mpaa.go.fuck.yourself

    Anybody got a spare 185k kicking around?

  • The only thing this will do is give Go Daddy another gimmicky TLD to upsell

  • by SEE (7681) on Friday June 17, 2011 @06:19PM (#36480612) Homepage

    Now we can have:

    http://slashdot.slashdot/ [slashdot.slashdot]

  • And one more step on the way from DNS to /etc/hosts. Next they'll be complaining that a flat namespace has management and scaling issues.

  • Please put me down for the iCANN TLD.

    I intend to throw it open to the public, first-come, first-serve.

All this wheeling and dealing around, why, it isn't for money, it's for fun. Money's just the way we keep score. -- Henry Tyroon

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