New top level domains?
November 10, 2000 5:37 AM   Subscribe

New top level domains? It looks like we're one step closer to the creation of some new domains. ICANN has posted their staff recommendations. How did your favorite fare?
posted by Aaaugh! (7 comments total)
Here's an interesting one:


CM Registry's application for an .xxx TLD does not appear to meet unmet needs. Adult content is readily available on the Internet. To the extent that some believe that an .xxx TLD would segregate adult content, no mechanism (technical or non-technical) exists to require adult content to migrate from existing TLDs to an .xxx TLD...

...The evaluation team concluded that at this early "proof of concept" stage with a limited number of new TLDs contemplated, other proposed TLDs without the controversy of an adult TLD would better serve the goals of this initial introduction of new TLDs...

posted by Aaaugh! at 5:43 AM on November 10, 2000

I don't understand why it is that they're being so careful about creation of new domains. Letters are cheap; what's wrong with creating fifty or a hundred new domains?

There was a time when domains made sense, because it told you which domain server to ask for interpretation. But that technological need no longer exists, and I can't think of any excuse for not creating a swarm of new ones.

.xxx is a good example. It clearly fits a need, so why be a hard case about it?
posted by Steven Den Beste at 9:22 AM on November 10, 2000

With ICANN's bylaw change, note that the newly elected board members will not be seated until after the TLD vote.
posted by dhartung at 10:12 AM on November 10, 2000

what's wrong with creating fifty or a hundred new domains?

Trademarking has at least something to do with it. You're pretty much legally obligated to hunt down those that infringe upon your trademarks (if you want to keep them, that is), and I'm sure companies like Coca Cola aren't thrilled with the prospect of shaking their fist at potentially hundreds of squatters who claim cocacola.web or cocacola.firm or colacola.any_other_suffix.
posted by youhas at 11:11 AM on November 10, 2000

The trademarking issues came up in the discussion over the .union TLD. Who has the trademarkish rights to the ford.union domain: Ford or the UAW? It's an interesting question because some of these TLDs are parasitic in the sense that they rely on someone else's trademark for identifiability, and yet also have fairly obvious and very justifiable uses that are distinct from the interests of the trademark-owners.

posted by grimmelm at 1:07 PM on November 10, 2000

I still maintain that the point of the new TLDs is to help in separating content - sectionalising it in some fashion. This is particularly evident in non-trademarked enterprises. For example,, and can cheerfully be four completely different enterprises serving different markets and with it immediately clear what each one is there for.

I find the near replication of current TLDs ridiculous: .com / .biz - .net / .web ?? These things make no sense, because WHOEVER owns .com has a legitimate claim to own .biz as well, and could probably maintain that one in court.
posted by barbelith at 2:03 AM on November 11, 2000

Yeah, .web apparently means you've reached a Web site, as if you were expecting something else. Wow, what a bunch of losing domains. .spot? .zone? Yech.

I found it interesting that no fewer than three potential registrars submitted .inc., only one submitted .ltd, one .llc, and none submitted .ag or .gmbh (foreign equivalents of corporations, there are probably others). Nobody sumbitted .corp either. I'd think that these types of domains would be at the top of any would-be registrar's list as they have the potential to be highly desirable to large companies, who would pay a premium price for that real estate.

I also like .fam, .xxx, .mag, maybe .zine and a couple others. The vast majority, however, seem to have very flimsy rationales. I was surprised to see only one registrar wants .gay, though. That one could also take off.

While it's tempting to just say "open it up and let the market decide," I think that might be very destructive to the very idea of new TLDs in general. If a hundred new domains appear at once, there's gonna be almighty confusion and everyone (surfers and site operators alike) is just going to stick with what they know.

I AM a bit disconcerted, however, that ICANN is screening applicants based on their apparent ability to run and manage a registry, as if it were somehow rocket science. I mean, I don't see why you'd need more than a handful of people to run even a large registry, if that's all you do. I'd like to see at least a certan number of experimental TLDs given to anyone who seems to have the requisite technical savvy, even if they don't appear to have the staff or other resources that would seem to be necessary, and see exactly what the minimum level of overhead is. I'm sure it's got to be much less than Network Solutions'. I mean, it wouldn't bother me if there was an .alt TLD run by a couple of guys with DSL connections to their homes, or something. A .dyn TLD for dynamic addresses would also be a good candidate for such an experiment.
posted by kindall at 11:58 AM on November 11, 2000

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