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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
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    New gTLDs Remaining .nameless?
    posted by tbyfield on Sunday January 18 2004, @12:49PM

    Three years ago, on hearing that ICANN had approved the .name gTLD, NTKnow noted:
    ".NAME"? I'm sorry, but isn't that the kind of top level domain proposal you'd get if you grabbed a seven-year old off the streets, and told him to come up with a suggestion or you'd give him a black eye? Oddly, that seemed to be exactly the procedure chosen by ICANN for their final consultation on Wednesday in LA.... [T]he truth...was as arbitrary and bizarre as anyone could have hoped....
    Since then, three years ("internet years," no doubt) have plodded by virtually namelessly, each bearing eloquent testimony to ICANN's powers of misunderstanding the dynamics of its purview, of picking spectacular dogs, and of oppressing them with endless red tape. Thus, on the eve of announcing a big breakthrough. Global Names Registry, the company behind .name, devotes one paragraph of a three-para "Breaking news" press release to a parse-resistant critique of ICANN's judgment...



    Opening the .name second level solves the complexities that .name has had with its third level product. It has over the past 12 months been hard or difficult for registrars and resellers to adapt their systems and products to integrate with the 3rd level registrations that was previously the only available, i.e. domain name registrations like 'first.last.name' and email addresses of the type 'first@last.name'.
    Huh? Well, another way to understand this devolution is to look at .name's own chronology:
    • We were selected by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on 16 November 2000 to develop, administer and market .name, the only top-level domain reserved exclusively for individuals
    • We finalized our operating agreement with ICANN on 1 August 2001 and our registry operations began in mid-August 2001
    • The first .name domain resolved on the Internet on 15 January 2002. Live Shared Registry System (SRS) launched on 26 June 2002.
    And...and, well, how many *.names have you seen in the last two years? So .name, which is surely in a suboptimal financial situation after such a smashing success, is doing the unthinkable: opening up the second level. That'd be something like "de-chartering" in ICANN-speak. You know, the kind of thing that threatens the security and stability of the net (that's what ICANN's all about, after all) and for which -- judging by ICANN's charter-heavy plans for the future -- there's no market. As .name puts it:
    With the opening of the second level, .name becomes structurally and technically identical to e.g. .com and .net, and registrations of personal names can be made directly on the second level, e.g. jim.name. Allowing 2nd level domain registrations will greatly facilitate sales processes and product management for Registrars and resellers worldwide and will enable all ICANN Accredited Registrars to sell .name using their existing systems and products.
    (As would bundling a .name sort-of-domain with every blueberry clamshell iBook, of the kind that dates the graphic gracing .name's "About Us" link. But I digress...)

    NTKnow, which got it right when .name was first named, gets it right again -- in a way that ICANN never would or could:

    TRUE NAMES was a great story, but it did get some
    things wrong about the future. For one thing, in
    our universe naming systems and truth seem
    mutually exclusive. Take, for instance, .NAME -
    the TLD which, in some weird meta-manner, allowed
    people to reserve their real names online - like
    craig.shergold.name. The supervising NIC (whose
    name, in another meta twist, is Dot Name) were
    very determined .names could only be sold to their
    bona fide eponymous purchasers. Second-level
    domains were completely off limits, so no
    madonna.name. Strange to say, these cumbersome
    .name's didn't sell so well, so Dot Name has now
    switched to selling the second-level domains, like
    (hitler.name, say) to anyone who asks. And so as
    the market in one restrictive TLD collapses, the
    traditional liberal TLDs seem to be getting
    crankier: the NIC of CX just suspended Internet
    institution GOATSE.CX, ripping that site a new
    a-hole for painfully breaching its terms and
    conditions. It's not often you hear of a domain
    registrar suspending a domain for being beyond
    taste and decency. Especially not .cx, whose
    registration database NTK had the pleasure of
    sharing a box with back in its more carefree days.
    Believe us, goatse.cx may not have been the
    prettiest, but it was certainly one of the more
    demurely named .cx domains. I wonder if all those
    sex sites will be suspended too?
    
        http://www.name/
            - wonder if we can get dot.name.name?
        http://www.goatse.cx/
            - you know, one day they'll get the domain back
        http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/30757
            - and then we'll be sorry we ever linked to it
        http://www.b3ta.com/board/1471040
            - safe for local newspapers version
    
    The Register weighs in as well, quoting .name's president, Hakon Haugnes, as saying a variety of things, at least one of which suggests that the slow pace of the last few years may have taken a toll on his time-keeping skills: "The second level is essentially almost ‘empty’, meaning names that are gone for the last 15 years, taken by companies, now become available for individuals for the first time" (link added). Like mcdonalds.com, say.

    But this rampant negativism is really bad form. It's great to see new things happening at "the first and only global top-level domain (gTLD) for individuals" -- and opportunities for entrepreneurs, too. After all, that's what the net's all about, right?

     
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      Related Links  
    · The Register (UK)
    · ICANN
    · .name's own chronology
    · puts it
    · dates
    · gets it right again
    · quoting
    · last 15 years
    · mcdonalds.com
    · the first and only global top-level domain (gTLD) for individuals
    · opportunities for entrepreneurs
    · noted
    · "Breaking news" press release
    · More New gTLDs stories
    · Also by tbyfield
     
    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Remaining .nameless? | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 5 comments | Search Discussion
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    Converting from third-level to second-level .name
    by beorn on Sunday February 01 2004, @12:51AM (#12915)
    User #3936 Info
    I bought my bjorn.stabell.name a while ago, and I've been using it, but from what I can find out with a simple Google-search, I may be the only USER.stabell.name user there is.

    So, I'm wondering, how could I go about buying stabell.name instead of bjorn.stabell.name?
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    You missed something.
    by Undecided on Sunday January 18 2004, @08:13PM (#12871)
    User #3285 Info
    You have greatly misunderstood what they're saying there. The sentence "domain registrations on the third or second levels can be done independently of each other" means that registrars can choose to offer second-level registrations without offering third-level registrations, or vice versa. It doesn't mean that second-level and third-level domains can be registered at the same time. Farther down in the FAQ is says this explicitly:

    A second level domain is available if a) it is not already registered, and b) it does not conflict with a Premium Defensive Registration or a Standard Defensive Registration registered prior to the second level opening, and c) it is not already in use for a third level domain registration/email


    Therefore, if john.smith.name (and/or john@smith.name) is registered, then the second-level smith.name is unavailable for registration. (The page www.smith.name will, just as it always has, default to an advertisment for .name -- an advertisement that pitches third-level domains.) Likewise, if smith.name was available, registering it would block the future registration of third-level *.smith.names.

    There is no way to register a "crippleware" smith.name. Rather, what's happening is the partition of .name into two sets of names -- the "shared .names" (which are only available as third-level domains) and the "exclusive .names" (where somebody has grabbed the second-level, and effectively locked out other users with the same name).

    Which is probably even more confusing than how .name is organized now. That's life on the Internet, I guess.

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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