Dot anything domains approved, may cost $100,000

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From next year, any word will be able to follow the last dot in domain names, opening the system to a vast number of possible new URLs.

Previous expansions of the system added .mobi, .name and other unappetizing suffixes to the traditional standards of .com, .org. .net and the many country-coded domains. By opening the door to arbitrary entries, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) seeks to permanently lay to rest arguments over the matter, such as whether to shepherd pornographic sites into a proposed .xxx smut ghetto.

Details are yet to be determined, but it's not going to be a "grab it from GoDaddy" affair. Registrants of custom TLDs will be expected to know how to effectively run a top-level domain, or hire someone who can, ICANN told the AP. Fees are expected to be colossal – about $100,000, reports USA.

Opinion: in a shallow sense, it seems like a fine idea: they're just letters, so let people use any old crap they want to. Alternatively, it's an administrative quango creating new markets simply by manipulating the boundaries of a virtual real estate business. It forces intellectual property-holders to play ball and opens up new oceans of shakedown and scam for the unscrupulous to swim in.

Just think of the tricks people will play! Want yourname.porn off the internet? Better register it at our private registry today. Let's hope the ultimate effect is to make domains unlimited and worthless, until something is made of one.

Published by Rob Beschizza

Follow Rob @beschizza on Twitter.

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13 Comments

  1. And so it begins.

    2009:

    .xom and .cpm, which happen to by common typos of “.com,” are introduced by a little-known Russian company.

    Later that year, several IT security companies release highest-priority alerts that a large number of banking and e-commerce sites have evil twins running at the now so-called “typo” TLDs.

    2010:

    President Obama signs into law the “Domain Safety Act” which requires all US registrars to collect biometric data from customers and submit it to the FBI’s secure “super-WHOIS” database, defending it thusly: “While I prefer to preserve the privacy of Americans whenever possible, this must be balanced with the unity of the Democratic party, which has made clear its support of this measure.”

    2012:

    Since all the identity thieves were offshore anyway, identity theft in the US reaches an all-time high. Congress vows to help stem the “epidemic.”

  2. I just see this being a whole new domain name fight similar to how it was in the late 90’s… So unless ICANN plans on being much more stringent about who gets what, anyone with the money could buy up TLDs of all the popular corporations (eg. .coke, .xerox, .apple, etc…).

  3. This is a really bad idea.

    Top dollars for top domains. So if I’m a small business I can’t buy my original name anymore. Every business that rely on their websites is going to concede to bigbox business. This will shake up the establishment and close the doors of many companies.

    I can clearly see bigbox companies getting the top level domain of its smaller online competitors. And eating them alive.

  4. That it costs $100,000 and that “registrants are expected to know how to run a top-level domain effectively” tells me that ICANN is offering this to top-level registries, not “end users” like you and me, Kodak or Xerox.

    This is a good thing. With thousands of registries, an infinite number of possible names, squatters will not be able to squat on them all. I just registered a domain last week. It took me hours to find a name that would be suitable for my new business, and doesn’t have a squatter already sitting on it.

    I also hope that they put in some rules that these top level domains be restricted to registries, that they be active and reasonably open, with price caps; so that people do not squat on them, restricting the available namespace and causing an artificial scarcity that drive up domain name prices.

  5. $100,000 is nothing for someone who wants to get into the domain game.

    Say I’m Kodak, or Universal Pictures, and I pay $100,000 for .film – with only 10,000 second level domains resold @ $10 ea., my investment has paid for itself.

    I’m not saying it’s a great idea from a branding and marketing standpoint – but the economics are pretty simple.

  6. Screw the corporate angle, what about…

    .govt
    .cia
    .army
    .navy
    .sec
    .dhs
    white.house
    etc, etc

    Even worse, what if other governments or foreign agents acquired these TLDs?

  7. @ CastanhasDoPara:
    Erm, you do realise that there are other armies and navies in the world that refer to themselves as ‘army’ and ‘navy’?

  8. A little late but still…

    Yes Anon. I do realize that. Still though I believe my point remains valid. Especially since .army and .navy could be confusing to a large segment of netizens in the US, UK or anywhere for that matter.

    BTW, English isn’t just spoken in the US. It is the langua franca of the internet.

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