Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Monday, June 30, 2008

Domain Names May Never Be the Same

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Named and Numbers (ICANN) recently announced proposed changes that may change how you find things on the internet. ICANN is an internationally organized, non-profit corporation based in Marina Del Rey, California. ICANN describes its role below.

ICANN is responsible for coordinating the management of the technical elements of the DNS to ensure universal resolvability so that all users of the Internet can find all valid addresses. It does this by overseeing the distribution of unique technical identifiers used in the Internet's operations, and delegation of Top-Level Domain names

Translation: They control all the domain names on the Internet.

You may remember a couple years ago there were discussions about adding new top-level domains(TLD) such as .xxx or .sex to identify pornographic sites. While some new ideas like .biz, .jobs and .travel were added, most people continue to use the original six top-level domains of .com, .org, .edu, .gov, .mil and .net.

In 2009, ICANN will allow customized top-level domain names. That means just about anything is possible beyond the current 21 generic top-level domains. Imagine TLD’s like .obama, .twitterfans, .moms, .jokes, .pepsi, .white, .linux, .peace, .overthehill. I still have people who tell me to go to a web page like and/or their Email address is www.something so I'm sure this will add to the confusion.

According to ICANN, they won’t be selling these names but an “established entity” will be able to submit an application that will go through an evaluation process. I suspect this process will eventually turn into a bidding process. I also expect that the established entity will then have the rights to sell and register new domains wanting to use their new TLD.

ICANN says that company trademarks will not automatically be protected. An “objection-based mechanism for trademark owners where their arguments for protection will be considered.”. The same “objection-based” procedures will make the decision on what TLD could be morally offensive.

“This process will be conducted by an international arbitration body utilizing criteria drawing on provisions in a number of international treaties.”

I wonder how you apply to be a member of the arbitration body? I do hope the arbitration body will meet more than twice a year. They could be very busy when this new plan is available.

One other significant result of the new ICANN rules will be support for more than just the 37 Roman characters currently allowed. This is a big step for non-english countries who may resent the Americanization of the internet. It should be a wake up call to anyone who thinks the world revolves around those of us who only speak English.

CNET: ICANN adopts new Web site naming rules
Marketing Monster: .yournamehere: Changing the Faces of the Internet

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but wouldn't a more correct statement be "This is a big step for non-english countries who may resent the AMERICAN INVENTION of the internet"

1:09 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

The Internet is in a technical turmoil pot now. This change should really boil the pot.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no problem with non english names as long as their servers are not in the USA. We invented the internet and are offically an english nation so all servers on our soil should be in english with any language in addition to the english version as a second protion of the site.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

If you think Americans invented the Internet, you've been looking at Wikipedia too much. It was invented in Europe (at CERN) by Tim Berners-Lee, who is British.

4:12 AM  
Blogger Tyran67 said...

I find it fascinating that the global phenomenon that the Internet has become, one that is used by millions of users everyday from all around the planet, should still be deemed 'American' intellectual property when the main reason for 'its' success (the WWW) was a EUROPEAN invention by a Londoner based at CERN in Geneva?

5:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, "the internet" was "invented" by CERN, which is European.... whathever "inventing the internet" means.

6:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually stephanie, Americans did invent the internet. Tim, however, invented the World Wide Web, which it would be nothing without.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are all so obviously misguided: Everyone knows that Al Gore invented the internet!! Also, what's this rubbish about CERN...ever heard of the DoD or arpanet? Those sound amazingly AMERICAN...and I'll bet those are the precursors to the internet...go smash some atoms if you want to involve CERN!!

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A things TRUE inventor can be divined by its purpose. Since the internet is for porn, "I" invented the internet. PS: I am an American.

11:21 AM  

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