back to article South American nations open fire on ICANN for 'illegal and unjust' sale of .amazon to zillionaire Jeff Bezos

Eight South American governments have vowed to make life difficult for DNS overseer ICANN after it gave the .amazon top-level domain to the US tech giant headed by Jeff Bezos. In a letter [PDF] sent on Friday, the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) responded badly to a missive from ICANN’s president saying it was …

  1. IGotOut Silver badge

    Who's going to bet..m

    that .Amazon ends up on those countries blacklists and the ISPs drop the told into a black hole.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Who's going to bet..m

      let's not break teh intarwebs, k-thx

      (I'm sorta surprised there's not a group of female warriors in scantily clad armor angry over it)

      1. NanoMeter

        Re: Who's going to bet..m

        What would Xena do?

      2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: Who's going to bet..m

        We are fighting mad, actually. And we have the bows and spears to do something about it.

      3. Smooth Newt Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Who's going to bet..m

        They just need to wait. Average lifespan of multinational is 40 or 50 years, and Amazon has been around for half that already. Give it another 25 years, and the nations of the Amazon desert may be able to pick up the .amazon top level domain for peanuts.*

        *Although peanuts might be a lot more expensive by then, since US production may well have been wiped out by the droughts and heat waves that will be normal across the southern US.

        1. Mike Price

          Re: Who's going to bet..m

          I can't tell if "nations of the Amazon desert" is a brainfart on your part, or a witty and scathing comment on climate change...

          1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
            Childcatcher

            Re: Who's going to bet..m

            I can't tell if "nations of the Amazon desert" is a brainfart on your part...

            You might try looking at the HTML for the post. It clearly has <SARCASM> tags.

          2. Smooth Newt Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: Who's going to bet..m

            I can't tell if "nations of the Amazon desert" is a brainfart on your part, or a witty and scathing comment on climate change...

            It was a comment on the continuing destruction of the Amazon rainforest, which as you observed both accelerates and is accelerated by climate change.

            I doubt there will be much left of it in 25 years time except for a few old, forgotten David Attenborough documentaries.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who's going to bet..m

      But how many of these new domains are anything other than a spam source? I blacklist most of them at the mail server because all that ever arrives is either junk or infected.

    3. spodula

      Re: Who's going to bet..m

      It wouldnt be outside the realms of possibility to modify a DNS server to create their own .amazon domain and ignore the official one, but forward other requests on, then get people to use that.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Who's going to bet..m

        It's actually dead simple to create another root DNS server that does this.

        The problems for the rest of the internet are just as well known, but if it does happen this would be the first time a group of nation states have gotten pissed off enough with ICANN to do something about it.

        It will actually be interesting to see what happens when a group of nation states basically declares war on ICANN.

  2. 0laf Silver badge
    WTF?

    What is the point really though. How often do customers stray from their national .co. addresses or .com .net etc. Who will bother typing .Amazon over .com?

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Dunno, perhaps console.amazon, aws.amazon, s3.theregister.amazon?

      Just a thought, mind.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        If they (Amazon inc) were at all smart, they wouldn't have asked for .amazon in the first place - .amzn would have been good enough for brand recognition and produce amazing (I see what I did there...) looking URLs to boot - footf65fufuyu.s3.amzn

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          I read amzn as Amazin'. Not Amazon. That's probably why.

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            You didn't "see what he did there"!

        2. Rafael #872397
          Trollface

          With the unicode sorcery they used at RegEx match open tags except XHTML self-contained tags they could even use the logo with a->z arrow as the TLD. Who types URLs nowadays anyway?

          1. Chris King
            Pirate

            "Who types URLs nowadays anyway?"

            Most people just search. and trust that the first hit is the right one. Add in a bit of SEO gaming, and even Mad Sergei's Emporium of Tat can be first hit for "Google" for a short while.

            1. macjules Silver badge

              +1 Allow me to bookmark "Sergei's Emporium of Tat" for future use!

        3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          zon files

          I suspect trademarks would be the issue in using alt-Amazon names. But they could have been ama.zon. For me the root problem is the way new TLD's have been created out of thin bits as a form of extortion. Register your brands/trademarks in all these exciting new TLD's or someone else might. These new vanity domains have been very lucrative for ICANN, perhaps less so for the 'lucky' winners. I don't think I've ever seen or visited one of the new TLDs.

          I think there are also issues with dispute resolution processes. I guess it's trickier when domains are for common words, but if you're SurrealEel Inc and have registered your trademarks, rather than going through vague dispute resolution processes, you might be able to use the courts. There's plenty of legal precedents and experience regarding IP and trademark/copyright, which is why a lot of new or old companies use made up words for their marks.

          But balkanisation might be an outcome. The Amazon nations could legislate so ISPs have to direct customers to approved DNS servers that run their own .amazon zone. That would mean users in those countries can't access the 'official', ICANN approved .amazon, but that's too bad, and legal in those nations.

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: zon files

            "I don't think I've ever seen or visited one of the new TLDs.

            Some of them make sense such as .realtor. If you are an estate agent (and a member of the National Association of Realtors), the tld lets people know what you are about. It would simplify things if adult sites were .xxx with free priority access if you already have a your site with another tld. .DDS for dentists, .phd and on and on.

            What I don't see as proper are companies clogging up the interwebs with .msft, .apple etc. They already have the domain names. .amazon should be reserved for the region along the Amazon river. The same thing for .nile and similar well known regions. This is akin to products with registered place names such as Champagne if anybody needs comparison in the real world.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      The point was to ramp up the amount of money that can be made from what is essentially a common resource: Jeff was prepared to pay more for his vanity domain.

      DNS operators should just blackhole all of this crap.

    3. Orv

      My guess is they'll use it in emails and such, as a vanity move and also as a way of reassuring people that their emails are Not A Scam.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Robert Grant Silver badge

          What is it about "pray tell" that converts a comment's voice into Hyacinth Bucket in my head? Perhaps we'll never know.

          El Reg: we need a Hyacinth icon.

          1. trindflo
            Pint

            Hyacinth

            IT'S BOO-KAY!

            could only vote you up once.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've filed my application with ICAN for the new .amazing domain - I think this will redirect a lot of the alexa and google transcription traffic my way.

      - Mohammed bin Salman

      1. rtharrison

        Pfft! I've filed an application with ICANN for the gTLD .ICANN

        Amazingly that isn't registered according to the list on the ICANN site.

        https://data.iana.org/TLD/tlds-alpha-by-domain.txt

  3. katrinab Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Why do Amazon even care

    How many extra sales are they going to generate from having https://uk.amazon rather than https://amazon.co.uk/ ?

    My guess is, probably none, and if there is any change it would be in the negative direction.

    Most of the "new" tlds have found there way onto peoples blocklists, because normal people don't use them, only spammers use them.

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      Re: Why do Amazon even care

      Why do Amazon care?

      Because it will force retailers who sell through Amazon site to use a .amazon address for their main site and do its best to stop that retailer using any other address. Amazon will then have stats on numbers of people accessing those retailer's sites and use them against those that have 'suspiciously' high direct sales, and 'suspiciously' low sales through Amazon itself. I.e those it thinks are gaming the[ir] system by using Amazon for advertising but selling direct.

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Why do Amazon even care

        Unless they provide the hosting, they aren't going to get that much info about visitors, and if they do provide the hosting, they could do that anyway on another domain.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Why do Amazon even care

      I think the idea of '.amazon' is to register a seller's web site using that as a TLD

    3. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: Why do Amazon even care

      edit: Nevermind, @ArrZarr already said this much better than I have.

      (original below)

      I'm just spit-balling here, but maybe it's more of reverse domain-name squatting? Maybe they don't intend to use it in any meaningful way, they just wanted to stop anyway else from being able to use it, so it being put on blacklists may not bother them at all...

  4. TRT Silver badge

    Good.

    I hope they win. Where can I send my donation to their fighting fund?

    1. TimMaher Bronze badge
      Trollface

      Re: Good.

      Send it to amazon.org/fighting-fund.

      That should work.

      1. NeilPost Bronze badge

        Re: Good.

        Or if you are really against it

        Jair.m.bolsonaro@deforestation.amazon

  5. alain williams Silver badge

    All of this would have never happened ...

    if ICANN had not decided that it would print itself lots of money by having all of these stupid new top level domains in the first place.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: All of this would have never happened ...

      Conversely, once they did make that decision, this was inevitable. The fact that they didn't see it coming and write something into their rules up-front to handle it - speaks volumes to their failure of planning.

      1. Terje

        Re: All of this would have never happened ...

        I don't know of a single new tld that have a reason to exist, there's probably a few hiding somewhere, but where are the good new tlds? Hmm, maybe I should try to get .boffin?

      2. Robert Grant Silver badge

        Re: All of this would have never happened ...

        Why would they care? They're still getting the money.

        The problem here is the PR failure - if the US government can't be trusted to side against a non-US corporation from time to time, then they can't really be seen to be benevolent DNS dictators for life.

  6. ArrZarr Silver badge
    Megaphone

    To the above commenters asking why amazon.amazon etc is worth so much, please consider the effect of having any Tom, Dick or Harry able to create a domain that looks like offers.amazon/stuff or returns.amazon/stuff would have.

    having an entire TLD of your company's name out in the wild would be damn near the worst case scenario for dealing with domain squatters, especially when your company is bigger than a lot of countries and will attract scammers like a candle to a moth (calls from "Microsoft" about your computer, anyone?)

    changing www.amazon.co.uk to uk.amazon probably isn't going to happen, but not grabbing the TLD could go very badly for the company.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Money Grab

      This is exactly why this was such a morally bankrupt money-grabbing move by ICANN to introduce all these new TLDs anyway. You *must* buy up all the variants of your business if you want to protect your customers from scammers and phishers setting up bankname.sillytld/login and their ilk, so it was guaranteed revenue for them for absolutely no benefit to anyone else.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Money Grab

        You *must* buy up all the variants... I forgot how many variants my org sucked up. what a shitty situation. Someone must be profiting!!

        1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

          Re: Money Grab

          Someone must be profiting!!

          That 'someone' will be 123-Reg, who decided that I wanted to automatically buy the .uk version of all the .co.uk and .org.uk domains I have registered with them. Fortunately I pulled it before the transaction went through, but I suspect many were caught out and ended up buying domains they neither wanted nor asked for.

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Flame

      People will happily visit offers.amazon.com.sjdkflsjdkfjdskfjsd.loan, so I'm not sure it is that important.

      1. KittenHuffer Silver badge
        Joke

        I tried that but got a 'Server Not Found' error!

        Are you sure you typed it correctlt?!?

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Flame

          I have .loan blocked in its entirety. Probably you do too.

          As far as I’m aware there isn’t a single FCA approved lender that uses it as a primary url. Some might have protective registrations that forward to their real url, though I can’t find any examples.

    3. Alister Silver badge

      It was stupid of Bezos to pick "Amazon" as a company name, it was bound to end in tears. He should have gone with something memorable and easy to remember like "Orinoco" or "Danube" or "Mississippi".

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        The smile thing in the logo is an arrow pointing "from A to Z", so it's probably the only easy to remember word they could think of that has A-something-Z (the something to give space to fit the arrow, else we might be buying stuff off the "Azure" emporium).

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          In which case he could have called it AManFromMarz.com.

          Although Amazeballs.com would have been better.

  7. Mike Shepherd
    Meh

    Balkanise

    Since ICANN shows poor stewardship of the name system, countries should be at least ready to balkanise. Is it only Russia that makes serious preparations? It's all very sad, but if ICANN behaves badly, what else can be done?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Balkanise

      "Russia" and "serious preparations" in the same sentence is oxymoron the way things are currently done there. You perhaps mean "only Russia that makes serious noises"? That would be more the way things work there - make enough noise to cover government wasting another boatload of money and getting zero in return.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Balkanise

        Russians don't take a dump, son, without a plan.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Balkanise

      Balkanization produces few benefits and many problems. Instead of one corrupt organization which can't figure out what it's doing, we have a hundred or so. That's assuming the governments mandate it. If balkanization happens at the ISP level, then we have a thousand which, even if they intend to be compatible, won't be merely because they can't coordinate in time. We could try to freeze the system, establishing an acceptable state and saying that no changes to that framework will be accepted without unanimity (or close to it), but have fun trying to get people to agree on the acceptable state.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Balkanise

      I'm pretty sure China could cope if the entire rest of the internet went down.

      And that pretty much tells you all you need to know about 'balkanisation' as a solution. It's only possible in countries where the government holds complete control of the communications infrastructure, and countries like that aren't much fun to live in.

      (Unless you always agree 100% with what your government gets up to, in which case you probably don't really know what said government is actually getting up to).

  8. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Devil

    "a decision...not taken under legitimate circumstances nor for legitimate reasons"

    Isn't that ICANN's business model these days? :)

  9. EnviableOne Silver badge

    chance for a buck or two

    Hmm, wondering how much visit.amazon will cost me ......

  10. Mark 110

    TLDs - I am confused

    I am a bit confused.

    In my day back when I was small TLDs were for:

    - Companies (.com; .co.uk, etc)

    - Countries (.uk;.es;etc)

    - Organisations (.org)

    Probably some other stuff I forggot cos I am now old.

    So when they said "OK lets open up TLDs to more" I didn't think they meant to then sell any old TLD to anyone. I didn't thinnk they meant Amazon could have .amazon or IBM could have .ibm. It breaks the old model. Sure . . . .sex or .dating or .homefurnishings or .cars. But handing out a TLD to a company whose name happpens to coincide with a geographical region just seems like weird and not what th TLD structure is for. Its not for individual organisations. Its to give logical organisational entititties a TLD home.

    Its for logic. It probably shouldn't havee been done anyway as the old logic worked and all they have done is given organisations an infinite number of TLDs thyy now need to buy to protect themselves from scammers.

    First question on any IT project. Why?

    The answer in this case seems to be "To make more money for ICANN"

    1. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Re: TLDs - I am confused

      All TLDs were a scam from the start: designed to produce the Variants Pressure mentioned above.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: TLDs - I am confused

      I've got a domain for '.name' and another for '.com'. They're still pretty cheap, though having gotten into the game early means I had a better shot at something I wanted.

    3. N2 Silver badge

      Re: TLDs - I am confused

      The answer in this case seems to be "To make more money for ICANN"

      Correct and also provide lots of shitty domain extensions for spammers: .bid, .icu, etc

      Sinkhole the lot of them.

    4. katrinab Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: TLDs - I am confused

      Can you name a single dating site in .dating?

      Can you name a single porn site in .sex

      Can you name a single furniture store in .homefurnishings

      Can you name a single car retailer or manufacturer in .cars

      Probably some smartiepants will come up with some example that they've heard of, but for most people the answer is no.

      Now suppose you were looking for one of these things, and had no idea where to look.

      Would you:

      randomly type in things like http://www.lesbian.sex , or http://british.homefurnishings and hope for the best, or would you use a search engine?

      1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Bronze badge

        Re: TLDs - I am confused

        Search engines heavily weight urls with the search term in, so the examples you gave would actually work.

        I seriously considered registering restore.house for a home renovation company; I was only put off when I realised it doesn't look like a website address in marketing materials; give it another few years and people may be more used to it.

      2. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: TLDs - I am confused

        "Can you name a single porn site in .sex"

        I would be disappointed if great.sex didn't exist.

        "Can you name a single furniture store in .homefurnishings"

        Jesus, what a mouthful. Given a choice between that and something like dfs.co.uk, I know which I'd rather type.

        Perhaps I ought to see if I can register the .goddamndifficultandoverlylong TLD?

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: TLDs - I am confused

          whois tells me that great.sex is available for registration.

    5. Carpet Deal 'em Bronze badge

      Re: TLDs - I am confused

      You left out .net, intended for ISPs and the like(who ended up preferring .com, leaving .net as the original odds and ends drawer); if you so choose, you can also toss in .edu, .gov and .mil(which are all US-specific).

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Money talks.

      No other icon or comment required.

  11. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Alert

    ICANN Will Regret Betraying Their Principles & Giving It To A Greasy Tradesman

    To each thing in itself there is a Maximus, a Major and a Minor; and sometimes a Minimus. 300 years time supposing the internet exists, the River will still be there; maybe even the name --- but not the company.

    How long do the greatest companies last ? In Britain, Europe or anywhere ?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: ICANN Will Regret Betraying Their Principles & Giving It To A Greasy Tradesman

      There are some current Japanese companies which were founded in the 8th century.

      1. 0laf Silver badge

        Re: ICANN Will Regret Betraying Their Principles & Giving It To A Greasy Tradesman

        Royal Mint (c.886) is over 1100 years old, and a fair few other UK companies are 300-500yr old.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My past post of create a new DNS system entirely a few weeks ago sounds more valid now.

    Big corporates shouldn't be allowed to get there own TLDs.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      I'm not sure whether your past post had specifics, but you need a better reason than that if you intend to prove we need to uproot something that works. As far as I'm concerned, neither group needs .amazon and I am content to let them fight about it. Meanwhile, our other DNS systems continue to work well nearly everywhere on the planet and on nearly every device in use. Based on this and other things, I'd be happy if we replaced ICANN with something a little nicer and a lot fairer, but I see no reason we need to replace our current version of DNS.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      WTF?

      Big corporates shouldn't be allowed to get there own TLDs.

      why not? I don't think anyone else could afford to cover the cost of one...

    3. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Big corporates shouldn't be allowed to get there own TLDs.

      But if they are, they should also be the registrars for that TLD, thus making them completely responsible. In the bargain (for them), it will make domain squatting a non-issue.

  13. Phil Kingston

    Seems like...

    ...an utter waste of time for all parties involved

  14. jake Silver badge

    What do South American Nations have to do with it?

    The word "Amazon" is a Greek word describing a group of people living in Libya a couple thousand years ago. I'd say Libya has more of a claim on it than either Brazil & hangers-on, or that megalomaniac Bezos.

    1. cdrcat

      And “amazon” is only an English word

      In Spanish: Amazonas, selva amazónica

      In Portuguese: Amaozonas, floresta amazônica

      I have no love for Amazon Inc, but neither do I want to give up the word nice because there is a homonym(?) in France etc

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surely the South American countries have a prior claim

    Since the Amazon existed as a Forest a very long time before the Dead Tree salesmen at Amazon Inc even set up shop ?

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Surely the South American countries have a prior claim

      and the trees were chopped down to make the books sold on amazon, heh

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Surely the South American countries have a prior claim

        Books are made from conifers that are grown as a crop for paper-making. Trees in the Amazon forest are chopped or burnt down to provide space for things like beef pasture and soya cultivation.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surely the South American countries have a prior claim

      In which case they should have ponied up the money to register it.

      They didn't.

  16. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    Why?

    Why is everyone surprised that ICANN are printing themselves more money? It's all they have ever done. You should be able to register any TLD you want since all it requires is a DNS entry and you are good to go. Limit it to something sensible like no more than 16 characters and let the world go mad. That way you can have a TLD (if you get it first) of anything your heart desires. Personally I would like to register .faqu or .ferkewe or even .fokyu but I'm sure lots of other, less puerile ideas will abound. :-)

    The whole limitation on TLDs was always a way to restrict supply and therefore push up the price. It has never been anything other than that.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Why?

      "The whole limitation on TLDs was always a way to restrict supply and therefore push up the price. It has never been anything other than that."

      It also reduces the (substantial) load on the root servers - although probably not as much as we'd like.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Why?

        And the risks of confusing names. And the pressures on people to register multiple versions of their domain if only to prevent scammers. And the sheer pointlessness of having thousands of categories in which to place things. If you're arguing for radical changes to how TLDs get assigned, having only one makes a lot more sense than having a functionally infinite supply.

  17. TimMaher Bronze badge
    Pirate

    My latest TLD

    I ought to register .icann and then squat there until 20m USD turns up.

    Other currencies are available.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: My latest TLD

      I would recommend 20M EUR or GBP, a bit more (though that might change with GBP).

  18. Robert Grant Silver badge

    A suggestion

    How about all region domain names come under the .reg tldn. Then they can have amazon.reg

    Then El Reg can use its vast war chest to steal that TLDN and incense all the regions everywhere. Take that Bezos, you amateur!

  19. Kubla Cant Silver badge

    Why does a river need its own TLD?

    No disrespect to the Amazon, but I'm not aware that it's usual to give a river its own TLD. Are they all going to get one? Can I use .ouse, since the Ouse is just across the street (and may end up in my kitchen if it keeps on raining)?

    1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Why does a river need its own TLD?

      I am tempted to start a clothing or rafting company called Mississippi and then go for the .mississippi TLD. rafting.mississippi, jackets.mississippi etc. I wonder if anyone in the USA would object.

      I think it would be lovely if all rivers had their own. Volga, Yellow, Don, Danube...

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Why does a river need its own TLD?

        ...French Broad.

        (it's in North Carolina, might not be important enough for its own TLD, but with a name like that...)

  20. JohnG Silver badge

    ICANN should tell the Brazilian government that they have registered .burntamazonrainforest for them, as a consolation prize for missing out on .amazon

  21. Sam Paton

    As many called out the whole tld thing is a scam. That said I can see why Amazon and .aws would be useful to Jeff but it’s all just a jip really. No one takes them seriously and no one would think to use them.

    Look at ford.cars for example

  22. holmegm Bronze badge

    "for the simple fact that neither ICANN nor the governments had actually stated their reasons for rejecting the application."

    Reasons? We don't need no stinking *reasons* ...

  23. Jan K.

    What? Protests?

    Forget it... won't take long before alphabet owns all domains...

    Since the sale for peanuts of the .org domain to a private person went so smooth, apparently everything these days has a price.

    Well done, ICANN.

    "Yes, we cann"

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