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All your .org's now belong to Verisign...
March 1, 2001 12:07 PM   Subscribe

All your .org's now belong to Verisign... ICANN strikes a deal with Verisign:
"Verisign will retain permanent control of the .com registry (they were supposed to separate the registry and registrar businesses), long-term control of .net (plenty of time to make that permanent too), and .org will actually be spun off. There are also apparently plans to reinstate the old limits on .org domains - if you aren't a non-profit corporation, you won't be permitted to register or keep a .org domain."
posted by Hackworth (38 comments total)

 
Now this just seems wrong...how the hell are us normal citizens supposed to stake our claim on the internet now? .name? It'll be a cold day in hell, I tell you, when my .org goes that way...
posted by Hackworth at 12:09 PM on March 1, 2001


Oh, that's just so cute. I'm sure they'll also make exceptions on the .org domains, but you'll have to pay extra.
posted by pnevares at 12:10 PM on March 1, 2001


Aw, crap, I just set up my .org today. And I've always had a .net. Someone is squatting on the .com. Grrr!
posted by hijinx at 12:11 PM on March 1, 2001


Anyone want to place bets on how long it takes for enterprising Nevada lawyers to start offering $20 nonprofit organization setup kits?

I'll need one...
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:28 PM on March 1, 2001


Well, those of us who are individuals with well established .orgs can just become internet ministers and claim our .orgs are our ministry websites.
posted by Dreama at 12:30 PM on March 1, 2001


This is open for comments still & is not completely set in stone, so I would imagine that their thoughts on taking .org names away from their owners so that they can be used solely for non-profits will be thoroughly examined by people with a vested interest in it.

And if they DID try to take away my domain name, well.. what was I supposed to use? Obviously I'm not a company or an ISP, so by their rules I'm not supposed to register a .net or a .com for myself.. which leaves what, exactly?
posted by zempf at 12:33 PM on March 1, 2001


They'll cheerfully move you over to new domains like ".schmoe," ".peon," ".wellgoddammit," and ".heyi'mjustsittinghere."
posted by Skot at 12:45 PM on March 1, 2001


It's well past time for domain owners to seriously consider supporting something along the lines of AlterNIC. ICANN pulls stuff like this because we've given them the power to do so.
posted by aaron at 1:12 PM on March 1, 2001


I agree, aaron, but I wonder about the fact that there's several different organizations along the same lines. Do they cooperate? Eventually, it seems that one would have become standard, and it seems like there'd be clashes...
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:17 PM on March 1, 2001


shit. i've only ever had a .org... the .net and .com were taken. and anyway, i'd like to see how they'd try to take away a domain name that i purchased and paid my $70 for.(pre-non networksolutions registering.)


posted by sugarfish at 1:22 PM on March 1, 2001


They don't have to take it away, they can just refuse to let you renew it when your two years run out. However, some accounts imply that some members are considering a "grandfather rule" that would allow current .org owners to re-register, and only restrict new domains.
posted by harmful at 1:35 PM on March 1, 2001


Is is possible to circumvent this new rule by registering for more than 2 years? It's getting about time for me to renew, and I thought I might sign up for 5 years or so - is that even a possibility?
posted by aladfar at 2:31 PM on March 1, 2001


My feelings on the matter (as posted to ICANN's boards): org domains prime home for creative sites.
posted by barbelith at 2:38 PM on March 1, 2001


I agree, aaron, but I wonder about the fact that there's several different organizations along the same lines. Do they cooperate?

Looks like someone's way ahead of us. I just randomly stumbled across this article in Fortune about Bill Gross of Idealab. Scroll all the way down to the penultimate graf and read about New.net. Download a 10K app that would link with their own DNS servers, and you can use a whole bunch of new TLDs without having to fellate ICANN for two solid years in advance.
posted by aaron at 3:12 PM on March 1, 2001



There are different parts of this. First, the .org proposal: this is terrific. It should never have been allowed to become generic, space for personal domains notwithstanding. With the introduction of new TLDs that are restricted, it makes sense to reassess the management of the big three. I'm sure there will be an appropriate grandfathering period, if indeed they ever come up with acceptable guidelines. By that time there will be active TLDs that are more appropriate for personal use. One possibility would be an automatic entitlement to yourname.org in yourname.newtld. Second, .net: they don't say anything about restricting it, but it is implied that they could develop new policies in conjunction with the bidder for .net management. A TLD for ISPs? Dare we imagine it?

As for alternative domain systems -- honestly. How long do you think it would take for ICANN to assert control over these with the full support of governments worldwide? It'll only work if it's popular, and if it's popular, ICANN will be given oversight. There is too much vested interest in having regulatory control.
posted by dhartung at 3:30 PM on March 1, 2001


In honor of this momentous occasion, and to further beat a dead horse, I've decided to make NetSol a free ad in Kvetch.

With the economy in the toilet, an chimp in the white house, and idiots like Versign/NetSol running the internet, it's looks like it's going to be a great year for comedy....
posted by fraying at 3:41 PM on March 1, 2001


(... but a bad year for spellcheck. Heh.)
posted by fraying at 3:48 PM on March 1, 2001


Obviously I'm not a company or an ISP, so by their rules I'm not supposed to register a .net or a .com for myself.. which leaves what, exactly?

An account with AOL or GeoCities, of course. The Internet is for business, you silly consumers!
posted by tregoweth at 3:53 PM on March 1, 2001


nice one, derek. :)
posted by pnevares at 4:06 PM on March 1, 2001


But why is it, really, that we can't register TLDs just like we can register "regular" domain names?

Why can Matt have metafilter.com, but not *.mefi? Why isn't this available yet? I'm fully aware that it's possible for people to set up how many TLDs they could possibly want with their own LANs and whatever, but why haven't "vanity" TLDs been commercialized the way "regular" domain names are, and recognized by nameservers all over the world?

It's not as if there's not a market for http://word.msft, http://ie.msft etc... and for those who want to stay with the well-regulated registrars, well, .co.uk, .de and .fr -- and even .com / .net / .org -- surely won't go away simply because you open up for other TLDs as well now, will they?
posted by frednorman at 4:30 PM on March 1, 2001


As an aside, have any of you SEEN the prices of .tv domains???? I looked into boris.tv -- $1800/year with some kind of multi-year contract that increases by 10% every year. Yeah, uh-huh, I can afford that.

Reclaiming the .org's will only send us all further down that path and right into oblivion. Bah!
posted by faith at 6:41 PM on March 1, 2001


.tv $1800 a year? No wonder they can afford to advertise ad nauseum on cable television.
posted by Mr. skullhead at 7:06 PM on March 1, 2001


Now I'd appreciate it if somebody would correct me if I'm wrong, but do you even need a domain name to have a website? Everybody makes it sound like it's nearly impossible to memorize IPs, but when you consider the fact that we're just dealing with four two digit (hex) numbers, I think I could handle it. How many phone numbers has everybody committed to memory? Come on, let's boycott DNS altogether!
posted by Eamon at 7:58 PM on March 1, 2001


Text URLs are for wimps.
- Jason Fox
posted by Aaaugh! at 8:30 PM on March 1, 2001


Remember, .tv isn't just a dot-com. It's an income stream for an island nation that's run out of guano to sell, and might be underwater in a decade or five. Their whole existence is about maximizing revenue.

So far .nu works for me (though it's prix fixe, alas). There's also .cx, .to, .am and so on, not to mention the often-free but sometimes tedious to get *.state.us domains. Anyway, this isn't happening now -- it won't even be transferred to the new "owner" until 2002. Any restrictions, which haven't been codified yet, would have to at least temporarily grandfather in people registered at that time. Besides, the very fact that ICANN is doing this increases the pressure on them to develop TLDs for personal content.
posted by dhartung at 8:33 PM on March 1, 2001


So far I've only seen UPN9 advertise their .tv domain name on TV.
posted by riffola at 9:53 PM on March 1, 2001


Does anyone know as to what the market share (rough estimates) of personal use domains are? I know it may not be significant when compared to actual companies registering .com but I am pretty sure that it's more than ISPs & Non-profit organisations. So shouldn't ICANN wake up and smell the money and cater to the individuals before worrying about the non profit organisations and the ISPs?
posted by riffola at 10:02 PM on March 1, 2001


In Minnesota, there's KMSP and they've advertised it quite a bit locally.
posted by hootch at 10:05 PM on March 1, 2001


How long do you think it would take for ICANN to assert control over these with the full support of governments worldwide? It'll only work if it's popular, and if it's popular, ICANN will be given oversight.

Fine, if it'll mean handing ICANN a rational system. Not that I'm certain any government or group of governments could try to nationalize a private system without permission. What could they do, send in tanks to take out the offices housing the offending NIC's DNS servers?

Besides, given ICANN's current sitting-duck DNS server setup, one could argue we need a widespread alternate NIC for basic security reasons. If a bunch of hackers wanted to mass-DoS all 13 ICANN root servers at the same time, we're all seriously screwed unless we've all kept manual copies of the IP addresses of all our favorite sites. Hopefully the alternate NIC would have far-improved security from the start.
posted by aaron at 10:21 PM on March 1, 2001



“not to mention the often-free but sometimes tedious to get *.state.us domains.”

Huh? Whazzat?
posted by gleemax at 11:12 PM on March 1, 2001


Thizzat. Straight from your budddies at the Dept. of Commerce. And yes, it's free.

Here's an example .us site.
posted by aaron at 11:42 PM on March 1, 2001



I always wanted a .ca.us domain, Jon Postel used to personally approve them all, but then I realized the web is global and binding yourself to a physical location goes against the web.

Unless it's a civic site.
posted by mathowie at 11:52 PM on March 1, 2001


Agreed. Seems to me that the only reasons to buy a local domain is if the information you are providing is only of relevance to a local audience and/or if you are regionalising your input (yahoo.com / yahoo.co.uk) . The vast majority of stuff on the net is not like that. Which makes it all the more infuriating that ICANN are planning to remove one of the largest repositories of domain names on the net.

As to the thing about personal domain names replacing .org - I have to say I think this is missing the point. I don't view the Barbelith Underground as a business, but it's very much an organisation in my mind. And slashdot? Wouldn't slashdot.per or .nom be slightly patronising?
posted by barbelith at 1:31 AM on March 2, 2001


The letter from VeriSign says "Among the issues to be determined in this transition is whether .org should be limited to registrations only by non-commercial entities". This isn't the same thing as a non-profit corporation.
posted by mattw at 2:35 AM on March 2, 2001


This isn't the only online forum where people are pissed.
posted by harmful at 6:39 AM on March 2, 2001


I have a .org too, I'm concerned about whether or not I'll be able to keep it. But there is a lot of domain misuse among .org's. I think there are a lot of companies that purchase .com, .net, and .org and point them all to the same site. Case in point yahoo!
posted by igloo at 11:25 AM on March 2, 2001


Case in point Metafilter.
posted by rodii at 7:33 PM on March 3, 2001


“Thizzat. Straight from your budddies at the Dept. of Commerce. And yes, it's free.”

And yes, it’s impossible for me to figure out. I gave up when it had lines for me to sign ... on an online application I’m supposed to submit (the rest was in forms, with a Submit button at the end).
posted by gleemax at 7:39 PM on March 3, 2001


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