back to article Modest reform efforts mask tough issues in gTLD reform

ICANN offered a workshop today intended to clarify the latest proposed application process for acquiring new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) and to make the entire process more transparent. Unfortunately, the results were a disappointment, leaving as many contentious questions unanswered as answered. ICANN tried to spin this …


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  1. IanKRolfe

    It's so simple

    Just introduce a system for creating TLD's similar to the old process for creating news groups - get people to lobby for it, get an online vote for it, and if a large enough number of people support the creation of the TLD then it can be put into action. If enough people want a ".reg" TLD, and a prepared to finance the cost of the servers etc required to operate it, then they should have one. Requiring that there be a certain level of support (say, 1000 sponsors) would prevent a flood of frivilous or vanity TLD's.

  2. druck Silver badge

    No more TLD

    We don't need any more TLDs, they are just a licence to print money for the registrars and cybersquatters, and a waste of everyone else's time having to check countless thousands of similar names to your company across umpteen TLDs, most of which no one has ever heard of or will ever find any legitimate use for.

  3. Chris Beach

    Or Highly Regulate It?

    One idea would be to highly regulate the gTLD's.

    In the example given, Apple the pc/ipod manufacture would only be eligible for, as its a global commerical enitiy. Apple the organisation would be eligible for Apple Co the mom & pop store would only be eligible for being a commercial entitiy in the us. It would not be eligible for, as its not a global corporation.

    If there are two global Apple corporations, or two local Apple's then it would first come, first served.

    If Apple wanted a specific url for the uk, or for a product, then they are entiled to use, or, they wouldn't be able to just grab every url with any mention of any product they might or might not release (see ati/nvidia for abusers of this).

    i.e. base the tld's on the exisiting and well established business rules first.

  4. Chris Buxton

    Re: No more TLD

    We don't need TLD's? How would you find a website or send an email? By IP address? By search engine? By hosts file?

    If you mean that you would simply allow every corporation (or company, or individual, or non-profit/not-for-profit organization/club/co-op, professional association, etc., etc.) to have their own "name" as their domain name, such as "apple" for the Apple that makes iPods, then who decides who gets what name? There has to be a central authority over these names. And in order to have a completely flat namespace, each name has to become longer - "appleinc" instead of "", to distinguish it from Apple Corps, the local apple grower's association, etc.

    A dozen years ago, that central authority was, practically speaking, an organization named Internic, the overseer of all of the non-governmental gTLD's. That organization has evolved and been divided into what is now Verisign and Network Solutions, and in the process competition has been introduced to both parties - there are more TLD's, and there are more than one registrar for most TLD's. The yearly registration fee has plummeted from $50 (or $35 after the court judgement 10 or 11 years ago) to approximately $10, at least for some TLD's.

    If we get rid of the current system of TLD's, then we're back to just one central authority - ICANN, which is overseen by the US government. As a DNS professional, excuse me if I don't think they're best suited for the job.

    If we discard domain names entirely, and switch to a completely search-engine-driven model, then we effectively lose what little validation we currently have that we're connecting to the intended other side of the conversation.

    I agree that the system we have has flaws - the system(s) in place to resolve name disputes is unfair, for example. And the DNS protocol as currently implemented is somewhat lacking in security and validation. But to argue that we should discard it as irrelevant displays a remarkable lack of forethought and understanding. The solutions to the problems in domain names will be found in fixing the current system (e.g. by rolling out DKIM, DNSSEC, [GSS-]TSIG, and IDNA), not in scrapping it and starting over.

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