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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Salon interviews John Gilmore | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 36 comments | Search Discussion
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    More New TLDs?? Not sure that will fix the proble
    by edelman@law.harvard. on Tuesday July 02 2002, @10:53AM (#7569)
    User #884 Info | http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/edelman.html
    One of Gilmore's suggestions was the addition of more TLDs -- thousands more. ("the policy that would actually satisfy the public interest would be to have thousands of top-level domains, in which anyone could register a name")

    Based on my limited investigation of .BIZ -- quantifying defensive registrations and trying to get a handle of how many .BIZ domains are actually being put to active use in offering web sites -- I've seen what I took to be a lot of the former and a little of the latter. The conclusion I can't help but draw from these findings is that more new TLDs may not fix the core problems here. Now, adding many new TLDs at once may be different from adding just a few at a time -- may have less defensive registrations, in particular, since defensive registrations become excessively costly (and therefore impossible) in a 1000-TLD world. But if no one is much using .BIZ, as my examination suggests, then what is anyone going to do with TLDs like .w7k or .nuy6? So it's hard to think that new TLDs of this sort will address whatever problems remain with .COM's market power, the single .COM registry, etc.

    For consumer protection and improved quality of service, I therefore can't help but look back to ICANN -- for serious investigations of alleged wrongdoing by registries and registrars, for sanctions against wrongdoers, and for strict guidelines as to what's expected. Whether or not ICANN is up to that task is debateable, but as Tucows recently suggested, these enforcement activities could and arguably should be a substantial portion of ICANN's work.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: More New TLDs?? Not sure that will fix the pr
    by RFassett on Tuesday July 02 2002, @11:44AM (#7571)
    User #3226 Info | http://www.enum.info
    ".....then what is anyone going to do with TLDs like .w7k or .nuy6?"

    whatever they want. Say there were no speculators in .Biz right now skewing your "registration analysis". Then, if I am not mistaken, your examination would point to about 10,000 .Biz domains being registered and used for whatever purpose the registrant had in mind (resolving web site, e-mail, etc). This is not a sprint to 30M (as much as afilias and neulvel would have had hoped). Now, perhaps, multiply 10,000 times 1,000 TLD's. What would your examination point to then? (with respect to market share dominance of .com). But, this is an examination that you can not do.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: More New TLDs?? Not sure that will fix the pr
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Tuesday July 02 2002, @12:57PM (#7573)
    User #2810 Info
    On your first point I have to disagree. Let us see what happens with TLDs like .aero and .museum. Presumably they are less full of speculation and defensive registrations and other drek than .biz, or .com. They are also, despite what some argue, a directory system, and are less likely to cause confusion than wide open TLDs. An additional 100 TLDs following a similar pattern could be acceptable if they also meant something more intuitive than .w7k or .nuy6.

    Admittedly .aero and .museum have less than 10 thousand registrations between them, the question will be whether they can survive financially at that level. If we are to believe Gilmore's figures, it doesn't cost a registry very much per name. And I do know one thing. As a hobby which became a sideline I sell rare books online. If I had to pay say $100 per year for a .book or .books domain, knowing that consumers would only find books there, and would be much less likely to have to wade through drek, I would consider it money well spent. I am not suggesting that any and all new TLDs, open or restricted (and we almost certainly won't see any of the former for many years), would have to charge this price, only that I don't see it as out of line for commercial use. A yearly yellow pages display ad can cost many times that. I also see no reason why the same registry could not handle more than one TLD (VeriSign has managed to do so), allowing economies of scale, and a commercial TLD could be priced higher than a non-commercial TLD.

    On your second point, I am ambivalent about ICANN attempting to become, amongst other things, a consumer protection association. OT1H, I can see the merits in what Tucows has to say, and generally find them the sanest voice in the registrar community. OTOH this could, and given ICANN's record to date, probably would, lead to more mission creep, and from the same record, they could well handle it badly. I do find it absurd that ICANN will accredit registrars with next to zero oversight other than whether the applicant can afford to pay ICANN, while putting registry applicants under a micro-manage microscope. -g

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]


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