back to article Senators: Globo-domains could mean consumer chaos

US senators have called on web address overseer ICANN to rein in its imminent generic top-level domains programme over fears that it may lead to cybersquatting and consumer confusion. The ICANN new gTLD programme, which will open for applications in January, came under scrutiny at a lacklustre hearing of the Senate Committee …


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  1. TeeCee Gold badge

    "US senators......fears that it may lead to cybersquatting..."

    Anyone fancy clubbing together for ".usa"?

  2. unitron

    Sign of the end times?

    Oh well, it was a nice planet while it lasted. It would appear I find myself in agreement with Esther Dyson.

    No doubt the apocalypse will be occuring soon enough that we won't actually have to bother with solutions for all these internet problems.

  3. Chris 3

    You miss the point of Dyson's comment

    Your haste to get a bit of good old fashion Dyson-bashing in, you miss the point that the situation she discusses *is* confusing for consumers as well as pointless. The fact that it may be pretty confusing for trademark as well is neither here nor there.

    Do do we know where the money raised from n x $185,000 will be going, by the way?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Do do we know where the money raised from n x $185,000 will be going, by the way?

      paying lawyers to write contracts and hire expensive consultants to from the likes of kpmg to assess the applications, do background checks on those who apply, scrutinise business plans, etc.

      icann's said it won't make any money from gtld application fees. that's supposedly going to be revenue neutral. it will make money though from the fees it will get from those running the new gtlds and from the suckers who buy domain names in them: roughly a dollar a year from both. bastards.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    gTLDs stupid

    What would be better is freeing up all of the .coms and .co.uks that are being held and not used for anything at all, when people would like to use them for a proper website.

  5. admiraljkb

    Ugh, too many domain suffixes already

    I've got a couple of points. Limited domain suffixes is a de-facto good thing security wise. If the general public gets used to "whatever" domains, the possibilities for even more rampant malware are inevitable. If they currently are expecting .com's for commercial product purchases and get ".igotyounow" they should think twice on handing over the credit card. But if they are all like that, then Joe and Jane Blow will just shrug and keep going.

    Here is the thing: gov, net, org, com, info, xxx, and the country specific ones. Do we need anymore really?

    <rant - read at own risk> I suspect many folks don't know/care how expensive this is making the internet for small groups, but as a webmaster of a few non-profit hobbyist sites, this smacks of just trying to get more money out of everyone who has a site. I already have to get net, org, com and info for each domain to prevent squatting. Why do you ask? Because people type in the wrong thing all the time... This costs $40 per domain (4x$10 for each extension), and thanks to other related hobbyists registering new names and abandoning domains a couple of years later, I keep having to pick those up as well. After this, it will be far too expensive to cover infinite possibilities... It is already expensive now for small entities with NO budgets. I personally would like to see .info canned. And then also get NET more regulated (for just network providers) so I can stop buying those as well. Sheesh. </rant>

  6. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge


    Who? I bet they can't name one supporter who doesn't also stand to profit from this blatant land grab.

  7. tonysmith

    Is it me, or is this just a clever way to get big companies to cough of money for no reason under the pretense of 'protecting their brand'.

    What would they expect us to search? or pepsi.pepsi or home.pepsi?

    If each company had a different 'home.' domain you'd never find anything.



    What's the point?

    1. Jim Morrow

      > Is it me, or is this just a clever way to get big companies to cough of money for no reason under the pretense of 'protecting their brand'.

      no. though it's being pitched to large companies in that way. some are bound be dumb enough and rich enough to fall for this crap. the cost of toyota (say) getting a tld and running it won't even be noticed in their marketing budget. suppose .toyota costs $1m to set up and the same each year to run. what's that compared to what they spend on tv advertising in a day? how many new cars will .toyota sell? fuck all.

      new tlds are a scam for the scumbags and other assorted pond life who buy and sell domain names. it might just be a coincidence that these happen to be the carbon-based life forms who bankroll icann.

      btw, nobody ever types domain names these days. they click on the links google finds and don't give a shit what the domain name is. this is of course lost on the spivs and bullshit artists who are flogging the new tld snake oil. fuck the lot of 'em.

    2. Keith T

      pepsi.softdrink, cadbury.chocolate

      The point is the gTLD can be industry affiliated, and one company can grab the entire gTLD.

      So anyone looking for chocolate and going to the .chocolate gTLD only sees cadbury.

      I believe that is the angle.

    3. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      No, I search for "pepsi". After all, that's the whole point, users shouldn't need to know domain names. What's the phone number of your local pizza shop? Irrelevant, you just look up "pizza shop" in your "telephone search engine" ie phone book.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    The truth..

    Sen. Jay Rockefeller (jay@Rockefeller.senator.forrent) objected "They haven't provided us with a large enough brib... er, campaign contribution yet, so we object to this."

    The US Association of National Advertisers (http://scumbags.we.spam) objected, saying "Until we find a way to insure that these new top level domains are full of link farms, shills, and junk, we object."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You forgot my favorite part

      "We senators don't understand this poor excuse of technological mumbo jumbo but if it becomes a rich excuse we might begin to understand. Understand?"

  9. Alan Esworthy


    Whether it's "caca" or "" it's still crap.

  10. redhunter


    Not much different than the .pro tld. However, it is somewhat more difficult to squat these domain names since the owner must document their professional standing. Not sure if the same method would work for .hotel .

  11. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down


    ... make lots of money from this!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I honestly can't see what is wrong with this. If people want to pay $180,000 for a unique TLD then let them. A TLD is itself a brand, so why stop with com, org and your country specific ones.

  13. Galidron


    I wonder what percentage of people know the domains of the URLs they use? How many people just google the what they are looking for and bookmark it or google it again when they need it next time?

  14. miknik

    I hope Vulture Towers will be shelling out

    I fully expect to be able to browse to el.reg for my tech news by next year, otherwise where the hell is my subscription money going??

  15. Keith T

    Simply have company registrars double as domain registrars

    Why the insistence on making this difficult? Why not just do it the easy way? Maybe because there is money to be made in making it complicated and corrupt.

    There is a simple solution:

    1. Each national or state company registrar buys its own their own gTLD.

    2. The registrar only grants names within its gTLD to registered company names.

    For example, .uscorp could be run by the US registrar of company names.

    Since its current duty include ensuring that registered company names are not easily confused, it could simply make sure that all .uscorp domains follow the name of the companies they represent.

    The same can be done with trademarks and a .ustm

    Company registrars of other national and state governments would have their own gTLDs.

    Sure people can have other gTLDs, but users are going to know those are not tightly regulated. Consumers will look for the official domain name administered by a government agency with decades, even centuries, of experience in keeping names straight.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get rid of the speculators,

    ban domain parking, and ban the ownership of domains that are neither one of your names/trademarks/products nor relating to an industry that you operate in.

  17. Youngdog

    Esther Dyson nailed it.

    "It creates a profusion of new things to protect without creating any additional value."

    The Marriott example neatly demonstrated the pointlessness of this. And TeeCee forget .usa - anyone out there up for having a go at .google?

  18. lyngvi

    .cmo, .ent, .ogr taken yet?

    Any domain on one of those TLDs will make bank.

    Particularly if they dress it up like the real thing and use it as a man in the middle. I could see amazon.cmo just raking it in....

    Are there any provisions beyond "relatively easy" trademark protection to handle the damages from that kind of abuse? That kind of site need only run for a few days to allow its authors to retire.

  19. Stupidscript
    Thumb Down

    Much ado

    You'd think that a tech rag like El Reg would include the primary gigantic barrier to abuse that makes up the foundation of this program: The fact that registrants not only need to pony up large sums just to make their Registrar application, but that the applicants must demonstrate the ability and financial commitment to maintain the global custom registry in perpetuity.

    Marriot can't just pay $185k and get ".hotel" to play with ... they pay $185k, PLUS guarantee technical and financial resources to establish, secure and maintain registry services for anyone who wants to register a ".hotel" domain ... FOREVER.

    Just because Marriot is the ".hotel" registry maintainer doesn't mean that nobody else will get to use that gTLD ... EVERYbody else will get to use it ... and Marriot will need to support them technically and financially. And Marriot would need to provide proof of their capability to do so before their Registrar application could even be considered.

    Abusers aren't going to get in at this level. They will get in where they always have gotten in ... by abusing existing registrar policies. Fearing abusive gTLD registrars is a giant leap of paranoia that is simply not going to happen.

    El Reg should include these little technical details. Of course, that makes the fear factor less, and El Reg is fast becoming a fear-based magazine, so maybe this obvious protection mechanism was not even hinted at in the article intentionally?

    1. toansweryourquestion


      It's not correct to state that Marriott would have to offer .hotel to everybody.

      Each new registry gets to define its own policies. Marriott could simply state that .hotel registrations are only open to Marriott, in much the same way as .gov is only open to the US government and is only open to individuals. The ICANN program enables this.

  20. Tom 13

    Let me fix that for you:

    Committee chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller made an appearance just long enough to read a prepared statement into the record, before dashing away to collect campaign donations from large ISPs, Telcos, and Domain registry constituents..

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