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The Internet Networking

The Beginnings of a TLD Free-For-All? 489

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo writes "According to the BBC, ICANN is considering opening up the wholesale creation of TLDs by private industry. While I'm sure this is done for the convenience of the companies and has nothing to do with the several thousand dollars they will be charging for each registration, I was curious what the tech community at large thought about this idea. It seems to me that this will simply open the doors for a never-ending stream of TLD squatters."
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The Beginnings of a TLD Free-For-All?

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  • Sweet (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jailbrekr ( 73837 ) <jailbrekr@digitaladdiction.net> on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:10PM (#23907513) Homepage

    Now I can finally realize my dream and create the ".isgay" TLD.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      You can have that one. I'm going to register the ".votecowboyneal" TLD.
    • Re:Sweet (Score:5, Funny)

      by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:20PM (#23907703) Homepage Journal

      Dibs on .slashdot

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by EdIII ( 1114411 ) *

        God DAMMIT!! You fucking squatter POS!

        So Ummmmmm...... I'll give you $50 bucks for it. $100? $200? Come on!

        Seriously name your price :)

      • Re:Sweet (Score:5, Funny)

        by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Monday June 23, 2008 @04:11PM (#23908535) Journal
        As long as I get dibs on .sucks Hell can you imagine how much money I'll make just from screwed over consumers? comcast.sucks,bestbuy.sucks,walmart,etc. I'll make a fortune! Then I might get a chance to live my dream: to buy out Microsoft and force Ballmer to be my personal court jester,complete with stupid hat and pointy shoes. He will have to do the monkey dance for my amusement and I will send him to crush my enemies with chairs and his super B.O. I can see it now...

        DANCE MONKEY BOY,DANCE! And to show my appreciation to my customers I would allow those burnt by WinME and Vista to throw rotten vegetables at him every Thursday afternoon,which would be broadcast live on technet for those who couldn't get away from work. But that is just my dream,your evil thoughts may vary.

        • Re:Sweet (Score:5, Funny)

          by EdIII ( 1114411 ) * on Monday June 23, 2008 @04:34PM (#23908847)

          I fervently pray for your dream to come to true. I really do.

          So umm, do you need a captain of the guard in your royal court? Would he get to mess around with the jester too?

          Just askin'.

          Any applications to fill out? Hello?

        • Re:Sweet (Score:5, Funny)

          by ConceptJunkie ( 24823 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @04:52PM (#23909135) Homepage Journal

          You know, I am really tired of silly, childish, and unrealistic posts by immature child-like idiots on /.

          Fortunately, this isn't one of them. I for one, welcome you, my consumer-rage TLD overlord.

          Make sure you give him the little stick with bells and a tiny Ballmer-puppet head.

        • Re:Sweet (Score:5, Funny)

          by cerelib ( 903469 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @05:05PM (#23909347)

          ... Ballmer to be my personal court jester,complete with stupid hat and pointy shoes. He will have to do the monkey dance for my amusement and I will send him to crush my enemies with chairs and his super B.O.
          So... are you implying that Steve Ballmer is The Mule? I guess that would explain Microsofts mysterious assimilation or destruction of all who dare to stand in their way and, really, why anybody would like Steve Ballmer in the first place. I would have suspected frail Bill Gates, but you might just be on the right track.
    • Re:Sweet (Score:5, Funny)

      by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:36PM (#23907961)
      Or how about my dreams of a .cowboyneal TLD? Tell you what you can have cowboyneal.isgay and I'll take isgay.cowboyneal. Yours is for most normal folk while mine is for the Yoda speaking /. crowd.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by querist ( 97166 )

      The problem with your ".isgay" TLD is that it can go both ways, just like Captain Jack. (Yes, pun intended - it was way too easy.)

      Either way, there's profit...

      To some, having a "myname".isgay would be horrible, and they would pay to have it removed or to take ownership from it and make it look like it isn't real.

      To others (e.g. Captain Jack) it would be a badge of honour and thus subject to the same domain-squatting issues as other "desirable" domain names.

      Either way, you'll be rich. Good luck!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I'm actually attending the ICANN meeting this week in Paris. If you care to share your comments please, here's a couple of ways

      1. IRC backchannel - irc://chat.icann.org#icann-general-discussion

      2. Twitter feed - http://twitter.com/netfreedom [twitter.com]

      3. At Large (user) advisory committee - http://atlarge-lists.icann.org/mailman/listinfo/alac_atlarge-lists.icann.org [icann.org]

  • Worst idea ever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kramer2718 ( 598033 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:11PM (#23907537) Homepage
    Creation of new domains is like extortion. For example, Disney will have to pay for disney.fun, disney.kids, disney.parks, disney.film, etc. just to make sure that those don't turn into porn sites or worse.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by oahazmatt ( 868057 )

      Creation of new domains is like extortion. For example, Disney will have to pay for disney.fun, disney.kids, disney.parks, disney.film, etc. just to make sure that those don't turn into porn sites or worse.
      Of course, they'd be too embarassed to buy disney.porn or disney.xxx, so that's not really a valid point. :)
      • Re:Worst idea ever (Score:5, Informative)

        by lilomar ( 1072448 ) <lilomar2525@gmail.com> on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:14PM (#23907605) Homepage

        When was the last time a multi-million dollar corporation was embarrassed about anything?

        Corporations are just like people, except, you know, completely different.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by maxume ( 22995 )

        They can buy them and have them resolve to nothing, or they can let someone else buy them and have them resolve to hardcore pornography.

        Not buying them is a lot more embarrassing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by camperdave ( 969942 )
        All they would have to do is create a separate corporate entity to own the names so that the Disney name can remain "pure", like they did with Touchstone pictures.
    • Re:Worst idea ever (Score:4, Informative)

      by Rinisari ( 521266 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:15PM (#23907619) Homepage Journal

      They should visit film.disney.com, kids.disney.com, and fun.disney.com. The DNS works backwards, and people should learn that just as they learn how an email address works and how to work web forms.

    • Creation of new domains is like extortion. For example, Disney will have to pay for disney.fun, disney.kids, disney.parks, disney.film, etc. just to make sure that those don't turn into porn sites or worse.
      I thought that Disney was a registered trademark. This alone should be enough to stop illicit use.
    • Re:Worst idea ever (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Floritard ( 1058660 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:31PM (#23907877)
      .com was originally supposed to mean strictly commercial sites was it not? Moving away from that original intent, it's become ingrained in most casual user's minds that this is the obligatory suffix of a typical web address. .net and .org are only sightly as recognizable as additional suffixes. I think it would be difficult to get people comfortable with the idea that the TLD can be any word you want. If anything .com will just be seen as the most legitimate address and anything else will be automatically suspect.

      Disney already has registered TLDs for the localized versions of it's site for other regions and any further categorical distinctions for content can be accomplished with subdomains. There's not really any need for Disney or any other large corps to make use of unique TLDs. While this doesn't stop spammers from setting up their own dubious TLDs and trying to lure people there, after a few publicized incidents of scams I think it would become fairly common knowledge that people should stick to trusting .com or the localized regional version thereof.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ady1 ( 873490 ) *

      Or they can just create .disney TLD and ignore the subdomains of other TLDs. Just like anyone can create disney.somedomain.com and it will be of no interest to them.

    • Re:Worst idea ever (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lazlo ( 15906 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @07:28PM (#23910899) Homepage

      Unfortunately, this isn't the worst idea ever, at least for ICANN. Extortion it is, but extortion isn't really a bad idea if you're the one doing it, else it wouldn't be so popular.

      However, opening the TLD floodgates doesn't help anyone other than ICANN and the registrars. Additional TLD's which are functionally equivalent to the existing TLD's are not useful. Additional TLD's are useful with respect to any exclusivity they enforce. .com, .net, .org, are all functionally equivalent these days. .edu, .gov, and .mil are actually, in fact, useful. They are useful specifically because I can't get one. The proposed .bank had some hope of being useful, although it suffers from the endemic problem of appointing someone or some organization to decide for the whole world, what constitutes a bank. .xxx or .porn has some hope of being useful, because it is self-exclusive in that there's somewhat of a disincentive to having a .porn domain if you are not, in fact, in the business of providing porn.

      Of course, nothing useful will come to pass. It's too tempting to sell domains to everyone, and the useful things that could be done with TLD's could be done with SLD's as well, but aren't. It would be useful, for example, to have a company that already does work in the field of corporate information such as Dunn & Bradstreet, to start offering "vetted" corporate listings, such as "yourcompanyhere".dnb.com. But they don't do it, because a) it wouldn't really be all that useful, and b) because very few people would use it and thus c) very few companies would buy it.

  • 3rd post & (Score:5, Funny)

    by tinkerghost ( 944862 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:13PM (#23907565) Homepage
    I still get to call dibs on XXX?
    what is wrong with you people?!
  • If domain squatting, front running, and everything else of the like has taught us anything its that this is a bad bad bad! Idea.

    Never mind the levels of confusion it would be creating.

  • by xutopia ( 469129 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:14PM (#23907595) Homepage
    If domains were expensive enough we wouldn't have squatters. Say you would have to pay 250$ to purchase a domain name. How many would a squatter be willing to buy?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by SQLGuru ( 980662 )

      Assuming how much money they spend remains the same and that domains are roughly $10 to register (+ or -), instead of registering thousands, they will registers fourties.


    • by ShadowRangerRIT ( 1301549 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:20PM (#23907705)
      Raising prices will just force out the casual user. Right now I can get hosting and domain registration for $35-50 a year. I like having my own domain for personal use, but charging $250 a year for the registration it would make it a really expensive luxury.
      For any vaguely competent squatter, ads and possible sale of the domain would still make up for most of even that cost, so they wouldn't suffer at all.
    • by pla ( 258480 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:23PM (#23907759) Journal
      Say you would have to pay 250$ to purchase a domain name. How many would a squatter be willing to buy?

      Of course, that would limit domain names to basically the corporate-only world, since how many private individuals would pay that much just to have their blog or family website at its own name?

      You want to get rid of squatters? Simple:
      1) Elimintate "tasting" completely.
      2) Require an actual site (not just a page of ads) go live at any give address within 30 days.

      That would, however, reduce the registrars' profits, so you'll never see them happen.
      • by GleeBot ( 1301227 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:29PM (#23907857)

        2) Require an actual site (not just a page of ads) go live at any give
        address within 30 days.
        Your second point assumes that domain names are registered exclusively for putting up Web sites. There are plenty of legitimate uses for domain names that don't require putting up a public page for the entire Internet to see. Heck, there may even be some value in someone creating, say, a parody site that looks like a page of ads, or doing so to hide a real site.

        I'd rather not have a registrar deciding whether or not to revoke my domain name registration just because they didn't think the content was non-trivial.

      • by metamatic ( 202216 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:31PM (#23907879) Homepage Journal

        You missed

        3) Prohibit exchange of domain names. Don't want one? Let it expire and it goes back into the pool. No, you can't sell it, any more than you can sell your telephone number.

        But again, this wouldn't benefit the registrars, so it won't happen.

        • by Sentry21 ( 8183 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @05:11PM (#23909445) Journal

          That idea falls apart when you start dealing with 'internet properties'. For example, my company owns .com and is going to build out a portal on it. Down the road, we may want to sell that to another company that already has an interest in the market.

          With your idea, we would be unable to actually transfer that domain name to the company, essentially tying ourselves to them in perpetuity, and requiring them to rely on us not going out of business. Bad idea.

      • by EdIII ( 1114411 ) * on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:35PM (#23907941)

        I agree with you. What you suggest is similar to what is required outside of "cyberspace".

        However, the 30 days part is a little short. Perhaps even 6 months would be short. It seems you want a real substantive site, and sometimes getting the domain name first is an integral part of the business plan. Getting funding can take even longer, which is sometimes required to get a functional site online.

        Requiring that the DNS is not parked, and is in use by an actual server which gives up a page describing your site with contact information and a construction link might be enough.

        However, Web sites are not the only services which are used by a domain name either. I actually have plenty of domain names that are only used for email and other services too.

        So I like your idea, but you would have to carefully consider what are the requirements of a domain being considered "live".

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by corbettw ( 214229 )

        #1 is good, #2 sounds good on paper but would be hard to enforce (would Google just be a "page of ads"?)

        I'd add #3: increase the ICANN registration fee for each additional domain being created at once by $0.05 for the first 10, then $1.00 for the next 100, then $10.00 for each one after that. It would have negligible effect on anyone but squatters, and would have the added bonus of helping to fund ICANN. Squatters could still register on the cheap, just not tens of thousands of domains at once.

  • by btempleton ( 149110 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:15PM (#23907621) Homepage

    It's OK if the TLDs are brands (not generic like com, net or org) and there is some factor which limits them to resale use (otherwise we just punt the .com problem up a level.)

    The big mistake was having generics in the first place. Trademark law figured out hundreds of years ago you don't grant people monopoly ownership rights in generic terms. To get ownership rights in a term it must be non-generic, not have meaning other than the meaning you created in it. Thus nobody owns the word "Apple" with regards to fruits, but you can own it with regard to computers, or records. Even better are made-up terms like Xerox and Kodak.

    Anyway, we goofed by selling things like drugstore.com. We should fix that where we can, and not make it worse. If names are for resale only (you can't have your own sites in a TLD you own except for nic.TLD) and the names can't have any meaning for you to get a monopoly, then it can work.

    Things like .xxx and .mobi and there rest are bad because they have a meaning, and grant a monopoly in internet naming to that meaning.

    Full details are at http://www.templetons.com/brad/dns/ [templetons.com]

    • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:28PM (#23907837) Journal
      .mobi is bad for a different reason - it ties a specific service (web for mobile devices) to a domain name. Having a .xxx domain name isn't a terribly bad idea, but it needs to be done 20 years ago before all of the porn sites got .com domains. If domain names worked more like trademarks, with each TLD representing an area, then this would work well - you could have apple.computer and apple.music being different companies (well, until Apple Inc. licensed the trademark from Apple Records).

      The other part of the reason why this is potentially a bad idea is technical. The DNS scales very well because it's a tree. Hardly anyone queries the root servers (a couple of years ago 95% of queries were answered with NXDOMAIN) because their ISPs caching name servers store the locations of the most common TLDs (.com, .org, .cctld, etc.). The load is then spread around the TLD servers (and, again, most common queries are cached). Adding new TLDs increases the number of hits on the root servers, which makes those 14 machines a lot more critical, which is probably what ICANN is trying to do.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Adding new TLDs increases the number of hits on the root servers, which makes those 14 machines a lot more critical, which is probably what ICANN is trying to do.

        I doubt that there are only 14 machines handling all root server requests for the entire world. I'm almost certain that each IP address goes to a load-balancing machine that controls a farm of servers. As you say, this scheme would result in far more use of those servers, meaning that the farms would have to be expanded.

  • As if their total lack of real control over domain registration wasn't bad enough already, now they want to sell TLDs? Come on, we're close enough to arbitrary mish-mash as it is.

    The only good that could potentially come from this would be if the spammers found it worthwhile to start placing all their spamvertised domains under TLDs like .viagra and .pirate, so it would be easier to screen them.

    But we all know how likely that is..
  • DNS as it was intended to be has failed. Nowadays we have a flat namespace where all names have a .com appended at the end. Nobody wants to use anything else (yeah, I realize there are uses for .net and .org but they just don't compare). I believe some new naming system needs to be devised; unfortunately, it cannot be centralized (or it will be somehow exploited by the running org) but it cannot be fragmentary either (or it won't be a naming system at all). Maybe we should realize that a world wide effort t
  • Pointless (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pla ( 258480 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:17PM (#23907657) Journal
    I fail to see the point of allowing new TLDs... How many do we have now, yet unless you have a .com, .net, .org, or .edu (and even then, most people stop at the first one or two of those), you may as well have a random unpronounceable string of characters, because no one will find you except via links.

    This will have one and only one useful effect - It will add more TLDs we can safely block as spam sources (yeah, suuuure we see a lot of legit .biz and .info email) without giving them a second thought.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GleeBot ( 1301227 )

      Or maybe we should just get rid of the entire second tier of domain names altogether. Why bother having .org or .com when you can just have .slashdot or .disney (to use some common examples from this discussion)?

      From a user interface perspective, I can see a lot of value in this. Asking people to remember if a site is a .org or a .com or a .net was probably a mistake to begin with.

      From an administrative perspective, it seems to open a big can of worms. The current TLD divisions at least have some sort of

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:17PM (#23907659)


  • by ALecs ( 118703 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:19PM (#23907689) Homepage

    I've had it with this hugely confusing system of names and TLDs, so here's my proposal:

    We drop DNS completely and establish a completely numerical system of finding things on the internet. Each machine will just get a simple number. No more wondering what everything is called - just type in the number and presto - you're there! No fighting, no trademarks, no registrations, just "Here's your number pal, have fun."

    Should work fine - right?

    • How did this get an insightful mod? It was obviously going for funny.
      • by dfm3 ( 830843 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @04:22PM (#23908677) Journal
        Having your post modded "Funny" has no effect on your Karma, while "Insightful" does. So, there are a number of moderators who give out the insightful moderation to posts that they think are exceptionally funny or witty.

        Of course, maybe I'm giving the moderators too much credit. After all, why was your post modded troll? On second thought, maybe the moderators are smoking something today. ;)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jalet ( 36114 )

      Just 'rm /etc/resolv.conf' and you're done.

    • by klubar ( 591384 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:25PM (#23907791) Homepage
      This system worked for nearly 100 years with phone numbers. People got used to dialing just digits--and they published directories for those who didn't know the digits. With only 10 digits, nearly every family and business in the US could have there very own, private 10-digit number.

      There were a could of crazy schemes to add letters to the phone dial pad--but could you image how complex and confusing that would be! If you're older than 35, when you were growing up do you remember anyone looking for the letters on the dial.

      And in my day, we had real dials on the phone--none this fancy DTMF stuff for us.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by belmolis ( 702863 )

      Nah, people will want certain numbers and not want others. East Asians won't want numbers with "4" in them as they're unlucky. Christian nutjobs won't want 666, the number of the Beast. Script kiddies will want 1337.

  • .fuck, .blow and everything else about sex, you know.

  • Worthless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EdIII ( 1114411 ) * on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:24PM (#23907767)

    For every new TLD that gets created it just adds that many more TLDs that company has to buy to cover their trademark, company name whatever.

    This is just ridiculous.

    www.compaq.xyz has zero value. I never even understood why .net was created either. I can understand .ORG, and maybe even .INFO, but not .NET.

    This only creates whole new markets for domain squatters. Who gives a crap about .MOBI? I certainly don't. I don't see any major wireless carriers using it on a regular basis. The mobile blackberry website I go to is still a .COM

    This is made all the more ridiculous by the fact the most people have a hard time differentiating between TLDs as it is. Even I have problems sometimes and put a .COM when it should be a .NET. The fact that those 2 websites are wholly different entities is just crazy.

    This is all about money going into the pockets of some people, and nothing about adding value to the Internet.

    There are only two, and will forever be only two, TLDs which have any value associated with them whatsoever.... .COM and .ORG. That's it. Everything else is reserved anyways, and you can substitute a country TLD for .COM and .ORG when appropriate.

    For those that would argue that point, ask yourselves honestly.... when you think of a domain name which TLD do you think of putting after it first?

    • Re:Worthless (Score:5, Informative)

      by zifferent ( 656342 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:30PM (#23907871)
      Uhmm, I use a .NET

      I use it to point to my home NETWORK. While I would like to have .COM it was already taken by a COMPANY. Go figure.
    • Re:Worthless (Score:5, Informative)

      by Varitek ( 210013 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:41PM (#23908035)

      I never even understood why .net was created either. I can understand .ORG, and maybe even .INFO, but not .NET
      .net was originally for organisations that provided Internet infrastructure (backbones, ISPs, etc).
    • I never even understood why .net was created

      Yeah, I know, I use PHP too.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dissy ( 172727 )

      www.compaq.xyz has zero value. I never even understood why .net was created either. I can understand .ORG, and maybe even .INFO, but not .NET.

      .net was originally reserved only for backbone providers and ISPs. .com and .org you clearly know, as well as the two letter ISO country codes.

      You forgot all about .edu .gov and .mil, all of which are TLDs actually run correctly (gasp, imagine that) and are limited like they all are supposed to be.

      Back in the day it was intended that if you were not a registered business, you wouldnt be allowed to get a .com
      That didn't work well, and they decided to make .com the 'default' and leave .org restricted.
      They ma

  • by Iphtashu Fitz ( 263795 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:25PM (#23907785)

    This sort of thing would be a godsend for spammers & phishers. It'd make it so much easier for them to forge websites to try to scam people. Just imagine creating a TLD that's something like "comm" instead of "com" or "C0M" (zero instead of oh), etc. It'll create a security nightmare out of what is already a major pain in the @ss.

  • Oh no. (Score:3, Informative)

    by PontifexPrimus ( 576159 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:26PM (#23907803)

    The openness of the new system could pave the way for a .xxx domain name, after more than half a decade of wrangling between its backers and Icann.
    Yeah, and it will surely work now... Look, guys, moving all the "smut" into an isolated corner of the internet will not work because a) nothing is isolated on the internet (if it exists, I can link to it) and b) no one will be able to define "smut" in any meaningful way. Oh, and I smell "think of the children" arguments approaching...

    That said - if this is implemented as written I also foresee a rush towards all short words of the English language and a subsequent loss of all mnemonic devices I use to remember websites:
    Now: "Hey, I want to go to Amazon. That's amazon.com, right?"
    Then: "I want to go to Newbookstore. That's newbookstore.books - no, wait, newbookstore.cheapbooks - or newbookstore.bestbookstore? Newbookstore.isgreat? Newbookstore.all? Newbookstore.shopping? Newbookstore.AAA?"
    Granted, the current TLD system kinda sucks, but opening up all kinds of words as possible TLDs will certainly bring no improvement (one thing I like to do when I browse for a product's availability here in Germany is enter the search term into google with the added restriction "site:.de". When German online presences will end in dozens if not hundreds of different words this easy way to identify them will be lost...).
  • by droopycom ( 470921 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:45PM (#23908099)

    Anybody thought about using a co-opted naming system such as used for Newsgroups ?

    Think about it....

  • How it might work... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lymond01 ( 314120 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @03:47PM (#23908121)

    I wouldn't be surprised if ICANN made the rule that your 2nd level name aliases the TLD. So Disney.com would also own *.disney.

    TLDs would no longer be categories, they'd just be the site name. http://ilovecats http://cnn http://teslamotors

    Makes sense to me.

  • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @04:10PM (#23908525)

    They should simply make it a reflection of .com. If you own abcde.com you, and only you, are entitled to abcde TLD. There are couple hiccups with other tlds... but that could be resovlved:

    So if you have dotcom, and leaving .com off won't conflict with an existing TLD, you can pay another X$ fee and get it as a TLD. If you don't pay the fee, you don't get it, but nobody else can get it either.

    No massive influx of squatter problems, trademark problems, spammer problems etc. PennyArcade.com and only pennyarcade.com can get the PennyArcade TLD, CocaCola.com can get cocacola, microsoft.com can get microsoft... intel.com can get intel, ibm.com can get ibm.

    And ca.com, us.com, com.com can't get ca, us, and com respectively. They'll live.

    The idea of organizational TLDs was a mistake from the get-go. If we could just get rid of them entirely I'd advocate that. But due to conflicts between legitimate .net / .org / .com sites that's not really practical.

    So lets just do second best, and give the vast majority of .com's the option of leaving off the .com.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Culture20 ( 968837 )
      So whitehouse.com gets .whitehouse? What about other collisions between .com/.org/.net/.edu/.gov/.co.uk/.co.au/.dot.dash-dash.dot.?
  • Misquoted by the BBC (Score:5, Informative)

    by Myrddin Wyllt ( 1188671 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @04:13PM (#23908569)
    I actually listened to the original interview on Radio 5 Live (lunchtime today), and Dr Twomey's comments seem to have been taken out of context.

    Firstly, the interviewer started under the misapprehension that domain names were running out, which Dr. Twomey corrected, and said the problem was with IPv4 addresses. The following comments then followed, which concern the introduction of IPv6:

    Dr Paul Twomey, chief executive of Icann, told BBC News that the proposals would result in the biggest change to the way the internet worked in decades. "The impact of this will be different in different parts of the world. But it will allow groups, communities and business to express their identities online. "Like the United States in the 19th Century, we are in the process of opening up new real estate, new land, and people will go out and claim parts of that land and use it for various reasons they have. "It's a massive increase in the geography of the real estate of the internet."
    This is included in TFA, where it is implied that he was referring to domain names.

    The comments he actually made about DNS and TLDs were much tamer, mainly relating to internationalization and the use of unicode URLs.

    I listened to this while driving, so I may have misunderstood slightly, but there was definitely no sense of "OMG TLD free-for-all" in the interview as broadcast.

  • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @04:37PM (#23908901) Journal

    Seems to me that the current holders of legacy names in the flat namespace of UUCP Mailnet, who have retained their legacyname.tld counterparts in .com, .edu, .net, or .gov, should be able to get them as TLDs, and free of charge, as a continuation of the legacy.

    Failing that they should have first refusal.

    These names in this flat namespace predate the ICANN. They were also transferred intact into the electronic mail routing during the conversion to domain-style addressing. (Indeed, at some sites you can still get mail to them by addressing it to user@legacyname, and at many more by addressing it to legacyname!user.)

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @05:11PM (#23909443) Homepage

    ICAAN released a final draft for public comment today, June 22, 2008. [icann.org]

    Public comment closes June 23, 2008.

  • by Arrogant-Bastard ( 141720 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @05:28PM (#23909671)
    Registrars are in favor of ANYTHING that will make money for them, no matter how much damage it does to the Internet. That's why they back domain tasting -- a completely abusive practice. That's why they back domain selling -- another completely abusive practice. That's why they backed the creation of .info (now so completely overrun with spammers that an increasing number of people have blacklisted the entire TLD), .mobi (pointless, since anyone offering mobile-only services could use a subdomain), .biz (so heavily blacklisted that not even spammers are registering domains there any more), and so on. It's why they continue to sell domains to spammers by the thousands. It's why they provide anonymized domain registration -- yet another abusive practice.

    So expect the registrars to get behind this quickly and completely. It'll make their cash registers ring, as typosquatters try to register variants of well-known domains and sell them to phishers, and legitimate domain owners race to beat them to it. In the end, a large amount of money will flow to registrars, every TLD except a few gTLDs and the ccTLDs will be blacklisted by default, and lots of people will own worthless domains that nobody really wants.

    And ICANN will congratulate itself on a job well done.

  • dot parody (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wytcld ( 179112 ) on Monday June 23, 2008 @05:32PM (#23909709) Homepage

    Under US law, parody isn't copyright infringement. So how about copying just about everything in *.com, doing a regex to replace certain words with obscenities, and reposting it as *.parody?

    Then when you search, why shouldn't Google assume you're as likely looking for the parody as The Real Thing?

UNIX enhancements aren't.