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ICANN's Brand-Named Internet Suffix Application Deadline Looms 197

Posted by timothy
from the aesthetics-out-the-window dept.
AIFEX writes with a snippet from the BBC: "'Organisations wishing to buy web addresses ending in their brand names have until the end of Thursday to submit applications. For example, drinks giant Pepsi can apply for .pepsi, .gatorade or .tropicana as an alternative to existing suffixes such as .org or .com.'" Asks AIFEX: "Does anyone else think this is absolutely ridiculous and defeats the logical hierarchy of current URLs?"
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ICANN's Brand-Named Internet Suffix Application Deadline Looms

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  • If bullshit sells (Score:3, Insightful)

    by what2123 (1116571) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @10:49AM (#39658739)
    As long as they keep talking bullshit and people keep eating it up, it won't matter what the logical reason is behind it. They'll sell whatever they can to further their profits.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by eisonlyme (1877576)

      What is wrong with selling something if a customer or person likes it?
      It's just an address, although I find it similar to a customised number plate, nobody really cares. Not sure about the rest of people on /. so I'll pose this question:
      How often to you manually type a web address like this?

      I know that I don't, it is usually copied and pasted, linked in an email, linked from another site or I get automatically redirected. If brands officially register a .brand address then at least I know the website I

      • It confises people for one. Do you know how many people get confused by a name@lastname.com email address?
        It also doesn't match the rest of the somewhat organized hierarchy.

      • by tragedy (27079)

        By that logic, the RMV could start selling licenses to drive the wrong way down one way streets because customers like them. ICANN is not meant to be in the business of offering "innovative and exciting new products". They're in charge of a system that they're supposed to keep operating smoothly. Instead of doing that, they only seem to be interested in exploitation.

  • by Talderas (1212466) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @10:50AM (#39658751)

    No.

  • .localhost (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12, 2012 @10:50AM (#39658757)

    We need a .localhost

    • by medv4380 (1604309)
      Watch it get approved, and the ensuing anarchy
      • by Chrisq (894406)

        Watch it get approved, and the ensuing anarchy

        Where is the anarchist milleonair when you need one.

    • by TheLink (130905)

      Seriously. We do need ".local" TLDs reserved officially. But all ICANN does is money grabbing. .local is for mDNS and similar stuff: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.local [wikipedia.org]

      They should also reserve a ".here" TLD for a RFC1918 style usage, for instance if people may want to run their own DNS and area servers so that airconditioner.here to refers to the airconditioners at their current area, and https://here/ [here] goes to the main page for the current area. While people can do that already, a TLD (or more) should be re

    • by Tacvek (948259)

      We need a .localhost

      You joke, but that domain is actually reserved per RFC 2606 [ietf.org]. ICANN has no authority to issue it, and the IANA would reject it, even if ICANN attempted to approve it. (The IANA is actually part of ICANN, but only the IANA portion can actual make changes to the root zone. The rest of the organization exists just to create a business model for registrars.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12, 2012 @10:51AM (#39658789)

    ... but remember that the TLD was supposed to be just that, the top-level domain. Why not allow massive organizations to have their own namespace? Granted, I do think they should be expected to provide all infrastructure services (root servers, etc.) necessary for such operations, but I don't see this as anything except a return to the original design.

    • I agree with this.

      I don't see anything inherently disasterous about this, provided we keep the well known domains, and very non-specific ones free for general use.

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @11:17AM (#39659275) Journal
      You can do that right now. For example, at my previous company, inside the local intranet I could type 'bugzilla' in the URL bar and it would resolve to the bugzilla of our company. It's really convenient. And now this sort of system will be impossible because it might conflict with the .wiki domain name space. Brilliant, way to break the internet.

      I came here to post only one thing, and I'm going to post it. I hate ICANN. Starting with .xxx extortion scheme [cbsnews.com], now this.
      • by Megane (129182) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @11:26AM (#39659407) Homepage

        For example, at my previous company, inside the local intranet I could type 'bugzilla' in the URL bar and it would resolve to the bugzilla of our company. It's really convenient. And now this sort of system will be impossible because it might conflict with the .wiki domain name space.

        Seems like someone has never heard of default domains [tldp.org] and doesn't understand how domain name lookups work from the client side.

      • No, you can't do that now. What you are talking about is a company intranet, which may or may not be connected to the internet. With "your" solution someone inside Pepsi, you could got to bugzilla.pepsi and get to Pepsi's Bugzilla but they would get a DNS name resolution error everywhere else in the world. With this proposed change bugzilla.pepsi would be a global name that can be used from any machine on the internet to (attempt to) access the bugzilla.
      • For example, at my previous company, inside the local intranet I could type 'bugzilla' in the URL bar and it would resolve to the bugzilla of our company

        I'm not sure you understood what was going on there. The internal network of your previous company had a domain, let's say it was "company.local". Your DHCP server on that network was configured to give you "company.local" as one of your default domain suffixes. This means that when your computer tried to look up something like "bugzilla" and fails because it's not a FQDN, your computer automatically tries appending all of your default domain suffixes in order until it finds a match. So it actually look

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Effectively we're just going back to the era before .com and other suffixes existed, and your e-mail address would be something like user@ibm or so. The first years of the Internet when it was possibly not even called Internet yet.

      And with everyone wanting their .com domain, it's just like stripping the .com like most sites already stripped the www. part (though in Hong Kong it's remarkable how many websites require the www. and simply give an error if you don't type the www, for example hko.gov.hk fails, w

    • by Tom (822)

      Why not allow massive organizations to have their own namespace?

      Because we have no definition of "massive" everyone agrees upon, so in the implementation that part will just be dropped and everyone who wants (and can pay the $$$) will get their own TLD.

      Basically, we've just ended the hierarchical structure of the DNS. From now on, we have a flat namespace at the top-level. Because, quite frankly, what reason except cost do I have to not shorten the name of my small online game's website from battlemaster.org to just battlemaster?

  • The URL hierarchy is not destroyed as much as it is decentralized. If I am not missing anything, there is really not much difference except earlier it used to be pepsi.com and now it will be .pepsi.
    • by gstrickler (920733) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @11:01AM (#39658979)

      Yes, but will .coke be for Coca Cola, or the Medellin cartel?

      • I imagine that the better claim for a famous trademark would go to the maker of a product deemed legitimate throughout the industrialized world than to the maker of contraband. Coca-Cola, Stepan, and Mallinckrodt hold a U.S. government-granted monopoly on coke dealing in the United States.
      • by eclectus (209883)

        or better yet, can I get .coca-cola.pepsi and be sued by both of them?

      • by lattyware (934246)
        They have a really clever solution to this, you see, everyone has to give lots of money to ICANN, then we wait for about 6 months, then they give more money to ICANN, and then one of them gets to pay ICANN to give money to ICANN yearly to have .coke. Genius!
      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        Neither, it's been snatched up by a blacksmith.

  • For those who know what they're doing, current domain names work fine.

    For everyone else, they're just going to know these sites as terms they type into Google (or Bing, I guess) anyway. There's no point giving them TLDs to make it easier; you can't dumb it down enough to benefit them, and in the meantime, dumbing it down conflicts an already confusing set of standards.

  • by judgecorp (778838) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @11:04AM (#39659037) Homepage
    ICANN has taken the application system offline after a fault, and will extend the deadline till Friday 20 April. Details here
    http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/internetimageoverload-287x331.jpg [techweekeurope.co.uk]
  • Carl didn't do too well with TWA, what will he do with Internet Brands?
  • Frankly, get over it. The current .com/net/org/Turkmenistan/whatever thing doesn't mean anything. Yeah, ICANN is doing a money grab and that's its own issue, but as a matter of just resolving a damned hostname into an ip address, I really don't care what rules are established.

    The only issue I can think of is if a TLD is assigned a host record. Like if com resolved to an IP. If http://pepsi/ [pepsi] resolved, who would win between my local machine named pepsi and the pepsicola pepsi domain? I guess that sort of

    • .local is reserved by zeroconf, and probably will be reserved by the IETF committee on a zeroconf-like standard. One way to solve the other problem, what "pepsi" resolves to, would be to use dots somewhere: ".pepsi" is the pepsi site, "pepsi" goes through the configured search domains before assuming its a TLD (which would work well because nobody currently goes to "com").

      Plus, we get rid of the "www". Pepsi now says its website is "dot-pepsi". I could get used to that, genericised over all possible TLDs: M

      • There is already a standard for that. The root domain is ".", so the fully-qualified "pepsi" TLD would be "pepsi.". Technically the name of this site is "slashdot.org.", not just "slashdot.org".

  • At this point, the only thing ridiculous about it is the deadline.

    There is already lack of "logical hierarchy" in full hostnames and their URLs. That hierarchy ended when people started buying multiple names in more than one com/net/org and ICANN didn't bat an eye, and it was further eroded when domains started using the "cute" country codes like "tv" without being even slightly related to those countries.

    Since the TLDs are already meaningless, the gates might as well open all the way. It is truly har

    • It is truly harmless
      How many people do you think will become phishing victims through pay.pal?

      • by jfengel (409917)

        Given that they'd have to pony up $185 grand to start, they'd have to count on getting a LOT of money before some government starts impounding their web sites due to fraud.

        The high price doesn't make scamming absolutely impossible, but it's not something you can do with a cheap rented botnet.

        I'd like to think that when there's that much money on the line, ICANN isn't going to just tell everybody "caveat emptor" when a TLD is being used for a scam. That was an excuse they could use when a domain name cost fi

    • by jfengel (409917)

      Yep. The .com TLD has been the default ever since the beginning, and with the exception of .edu, all of the other TLDs are primarily for people who couldn't score the .com version (or those who do trying to keep people from duplicating it in another TLD.)

      There's value in a curated TLD like .edu, though only as long as people know that it's curated. The expense of scoring a vanity TLD will keep scammers out to at least a small degree. And maybe somebody will establish a well-known, well-curated additional TL

    • Re:Not ridiculous (Score:4, Interesting)

      by sunderland56 (621843) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @12:37PM (#39660855)

      That hierarchy ended when people started buying multiple names in more than one com/net/org

      The hierarchy was over when .com was created. There was no reason not to use .co.us, .co.uk, etc - which would have retained a hierarchy.

      It was *completely* over when the first person registered a .com domain for personal non-commercial use.

  • Numerous email address validations start with RFC compliance of the string. Some go a step further and make sure the TLD is valid and the domain exists. Some of those validators (rightly or wrongly) use arrays of TLDs (.org, .com, .name, .ca, .uk, ..) or REGEX for the TLD validation component. Now there are arbitrary TLDs? Doom!

    Webmail:
    To: complaint@mail.pepsi

    ERROR! Invalid email address.
    • by cpghost (719344) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @11:15AM (#39659237) Homepage
      Well, any RFC-822 validator that is based on keeping an explicit whitelist current, is doomed anyway, has always been and will always be. They'll have to be RFC-822 (or its successors) compliant without referring to whitelists, or they'll need to actively query the DNS for a valid MX record before validating. That's tough, but it's inevitable in the long run.
    • by residieu (577863)
      Nothing new. My primary address is a .us domain, and I've had validators complain that its not valid. They were just going to spam it anyway, so I gave them an address I no longer have access to.
  • 'nuff said.

  • Too late (Score:5, Insightful)

    by residieu (577863) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @11:14AM (#39659217)

    The hierarchy is already dead. .com, .net and .org were supposed to have distinct uses. But they don't everyone goes for .com first and then grabs a .net or a .org if what they want is unavailable. The country codes were supposed to organize sites that were specific to certain countryies. instead they're used to make stupid domains like tw.it

    ICANN's only criterion here on whether this is a good idea is whether it will generate lots more money in newly registered domains. Better grab your top level domain before someone squats on it and makes you look bad

    • by nuckfuts (690967)

      The country codes were supposed to organize sites that were specific to certain countryies. instead they're used to make stupid domains like tw.it

      Too bad single-letter names are impossible to register, or I could make a fortune on t.it.
      Seriously though, shaving one character off a shortened URL is actually useful for Twitter (if you care about proper punctuation in a tweet, for example, and are hitting the 140 character limit).

      ICANN's only criterion here on whether this is a good idea is whether it will generate lots more money in newly registered domains. Better grab your top level domain before someone squats on it and makes you look bad

      You're dead on there. This is precisely how these domains are marketed to businesses by registrars.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      But they don't everyone goes for .com first and then grabs a .net or a .org if what they want is unavailable.

      And this is the real issue, as far as I know .com is now bigger than all the other domains combined and many, many of the other TLDs are bought only to stop squatters. Effectively we already have a flat namespace, if this wasn't such a money grab they could just say all dotcoms (of 3+ letters to not collide with country TLDs) are now TLDs and reassign all the .com DNS servers to TLD DNS servers. It's not like my grocery store has a .com or my university a .edu in the real world, why should they online? No,

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @11:31AM (#39659493) Journal

    Yeah, Georgia is not going to be happy when they lose their entire country domain space to General Electric. GE has a market cap of something like 10X Georgia's GDP, so I assume it would be a slam dunk that the TLD be turned over to the rightful owner.

  • if the tld's are to be sold only to entities holding global, dilution protected(nobody can use them, even for unrelated products, for example can't sell pepsi socks..) why is there a deadline on it? because they wanted to hurry up the registrations?

    btw how much does it cost to buy one of these?did they make any limit on how many they're going to make of these? because there could be hundreds of thousands of trademarks which would qualify..

    • by SEWilco (27983)

      if the tld's are to be sold only to entities holding global, dilution protected(nobody can use them, even for unrelated products, for example can't sell pepsi socks..) why is there a deadline on it? because they wanted to hurry up the registrations?

      Because everything that can be invented has already been invented. No need to allow later registrants.

      More seriously: They probably expect the first rush to contain conflicting applications, so it is best to deal with those in a single batch.

  • At first, when you wanted to check out Pepsi, you had to guess & write:
    http://www.pepsi.com/ [pepsi.com]

    And then browsers realized that non-http protocol became rare (gopher:// anyone?), so people could write:
    www.pepsi.com

    And then people realized that "www" was superfluous, and so people could write:
    pepsi.com

    Now it is suggested that the .com is superfluous in most cases, so people simply could write:

    • Now it is suggested that the .com is superfluous in most cases, so people simply could write: pepsi

      You already can, in any sort of modern browser. No need to create a new TLD, it works today.

  • So I have a question: Google Chrome (and some other browsers) treats the address bar as a search bar. How will that work with new TLD's like "pepsi", does every search (for a single word) first get a DNS lookup, and then if fails, searched for at Google (which means all your personal searches leak to your ISP and any DNS server along the way), or do we include a whitelist of every new tld in the browser?

  • by rs79 (71822) <hostmaster@open-rsc.org> on Thursday April 12, 2012 @12:03PM (#39660131) Homepage

    Keep in mind the person that started all this was Eugene Kashpureff who ran around in the mid 1990s trying to sell brand name top level domains to big business. The powers that be thought this was a horrific idea and over the next 15 years captured the whole thing so a bunch of old white guys ran it then did the exact same thing, but it just costs 15X more an they get the money now.

    If nothing else it serves as a great example of what happens when government takes over technology and all future technology need to keep this in mind so it can never happen again.

    And keep in mind it was ISOC (the Internet Society) that handed this to the government while all along saying it was "for the good of the net" and never mind they made hundreds of millions by doing this.

  • The Department of Commerce is putting ICANN's contract out for re-bid partially because they think this is a bad idea.

    Personally, I think that not only is adding new TLDs bad, some of the old ones should be wound down. ".biz" is a bad neighborhood. Nobody can figure out what ".info" is for. ".aero" never took off. And the entire domain list for ".museum" is about five pages long.

  • by Tom (822)

    No, it's the logical conclusion of the Internet becoming commercial. When things are run for-profit than logic takes second place behind profit. Basically, if there's a buck to make, someone will do it, whatever "it" is. And in this case "it" is mutilating the DNS.

  • Explain to me why I the consumer should care about or want these new suffixes. What value do they add to my browsing experience? Some folks have suggested it is just a money grab.
  • by Ghostworks (991012) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @01:02PM (#39661401)

    I'm a little surprised how little I've seen so far on how difficult this makes security for browsers. Because most of the TLDs now are country codes such as .uk, and those countries in turn have their own sub-TLDs suck as example.co.uk, browsers keep a list of which TLDS and sub-TLDs are real suffixes. This lets them know that mail.google.com can read/set cookies for google.com, but evil.co.uk can't read/set cookies for all of "co.uk", much less safe.co.uk.

    As you may have guessed, this doesn't always work out properly. It's kind of a crap shoot with sites that use the country TLD directly, such as nhs.uk. With unlimited and variable TLDs, this implementation becomes even more questionable.

    Does anybody know if browsers have gotten smarter about this in the past few years, or are we racing towards one of those security nightmares that forces content companies and standards bodies to actually get their acts together?

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @01:19PM (#39661791) Homepage

    The ICANN solution seems to use seemingly sound logic to conclude the exact opposite of what makes legal and practical sense. They require the new TLDs owners to be trademark holders. Instead, they should forbid them from being trademark holders. The word "apple" is trademarked by a consumer electronics company, a cruise company, a famous musician, various fruit growers, a bank, etc. So it does not make sense to give .apple to Fiona Apple, Apple Vacations, Apple Computers, the Washington Apple grower's association, the New York Apple Country, Apple Federal Credit Union, or any other apple-related entity.

    Intead, a 3rd-party should be able to hold .apple, and license it for computers.apple, fiona.apple, vacations.apple, wa.growers.apple, ny.growers.apple, etc. That's how DNS was designed to work, how trademarks work, and it is completely fair. By giving .apple to Apple Computers it makes the DNS system a mix of hierarchy and non-hierarchy, while assigning one trademark holder special rights over another trademark holder. I foresee *lots* of new jobs for lawyers thanks to ICANN.

  • (1) ICANN needs replacement. a private california company MUST NOT control the entire internet and charge what it likes. folks, do people in europe really want to be subject to the laws of california and the US? DNS is a glorified PHONE BOOK. the solution: have multiple independent DNS servers which synchronize with each other and provide the service FREE. if a government shuts down or otherwise influences a DNS server, the others should reconfigure by go by best consensus on what IP the name resolves to.
  • "Does anyone else think this is absolutely ridiculous and defeats the logical hierarchy of current URLs?"

    A logical hierachry would be com.example.www/somepage.html

    Why they opted to make it a little endian scheme, I'll never understand.

  • If they keep this shit up we can just re-root their entire namespace there and give the new root to some organization that's chartered with organizing things sensibly instead of maximizing profit.

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