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ICANN's Domain Expansion Criticised, and May Cause "Collisions"



2:17 pm on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

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A plan to dramatically expand the number of possible Web addresses — by adding more than 1,000 new domains such as “.buy,” “.casino” and “.gay” — could cause widespread disruption to Internet operations, say some industry officials.ICANN's Domain Expansion Criticised, and May Cause "Collisions" [washingtonpost.com]
Particularly troubling is the possibility of widespread “name collisions” that could happen when domains used by internal corporate computer systems — such as “.corp” or “.home” — get assigned to the Web more broadly. This could cause systems to fail, blocking access to e-mail or other internal programs, and also could open sensitive information to theft, some experts say.

“This could affect a million enterprises,” said Danny McPherson, chief security officer for Verisign, which is based in Reston and manages several of the most popular existing domains. “It could absolutely break things.”
Among those posing risk could be domains such as “.med” or “.center” that might be critical to the functioning of medical systems or emergency-response networks.


2:55 pm on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Explains the increase in aftermarket demand for classic .COM, .NET and .ORG domains recently.


5:17 pm on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

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When I taught classic database design techniques a key item was to design names so that the system wouldn't go t*ts up when operating system upgrades added new reserved words.

Of course because its inter or intra net its set up by young keen graduates who are careful to ignore the old dinosaurs who built big box systems


5:20 pm on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

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It's nothing more than just a money grab. Companies will rush in and snap up their trademarks in otherwise mostly useless domain extensions.


6:30 pm on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Hardly useless, search engines still use the domain name to gleen information about site content. Google says they no longer do but I can find countless domains that are exact match even after the EMD updates. I couldn't get the example.com I wanted but perhaps I can get it in .wow or .cool

If the web was restarted there would be only one tld and you wouldn't need to add it to a web address, wouldn't it be cool to just type in webmasterworld and get here? Since the web cannot be restarted without massive issues then open them all up and let people choose.

The security types who monitor and record people's online behavior will have to update their systems to monitor infinite TLDs but that's quite honestly their problem at this point.


6:54 pm on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I think that the main reason for the launch of the new gTLDs is simply that the traditional TLDs, COM/NET/ORG and the recent gTLDs and sTLDs (BIZ/INFO/MOBI/ASIA/NAME/TEL) etc were being overtaken by the ccTLDs and growth was shifting away from these TLDs towards the ccTLDs. Only .COM was really keeping pace but that's due to it being considered a 'must-register' option for new businesses and users registering their .ccTLD domain.

While some new gTLDs definitely target a clear and as yet unserviced market, others are simply landgrab attempts. It bothers me that some of the people pushing the new gTLDs were also heavily involved in Domain Tasting. A lot of the public now realises that the Landrush phases for many of these new gTLDs will be rigged with the high value single word generics being reserved by the registries for sale at inflated prices.

While the concerns about confusion over extensions and network security are valid, the real issue is that faced with an overwhelming choice of new gTLDs, the public might opt for the TLDs that they know - the ccTLD/COM axis (it typically accounts for over 80% of the domain footprint in most countries) will probably get stronger.

In terms of name collisions, I see them quite regularly when running the monthly statistics updates for DNSes. Some businesses or users decide to invent their own ccTLD or TLD and it is then added as a reverse DNS entry for the nameservers in the publically acessible DNS for their domain name. The other aspect, something I saw when I ran a full gTLD website > IP mapping survey earlier this month is the proliferation of private IP range (10.bbb.ccc.ddd, 192.168.ccc.ddd etc) IP addresses being used as the IP for websites.



7:06 pm on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I would agree that it's useful if this wasn't 1000's of extensions added but that's not the case. The fact is web is not restarted and humans are creatures of habit. The sheer number of TLDs is going to contribute to user confusion. Was the site that guy told me .com or dot what? People in the USA tend to default to .com when remembering a name, or country.tld in other countries.

The potential for trademark abuse also goes up exponentially as well. Smaller companies with trademarked names will be at a disadvantage, as snapping up all TLDs of their trademark will get costly (good for the registrars, bad for the smaller companies).


8:09 pm on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

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/off topic/
I can find countless domains that are exact match even after the EMD updates
Is the exact name the only merit for those sites to appear on top? (or perhaps just a factor that wouldn't help nor hurt)


8:35 pm on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

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The trademarks issue is actually a lot more complex. Trademarks are jurisdictionally limited and thus it is possible to see a trademarked term being used legitimately in two different, adjacent countries and in different TLDs. There is a certain element of dotCOMitis about the claims being made about trademarks by some of those pushing the new gTLDs and I consider some of their research methodology to be simplistically imprecise and, in some cases, to be simply designed for press releases and bearing little or no contact with reality. Or to put it politely some of these guys are clueless.

There are probably only about 30K grand slam brands (global) - these are brands that are registered consistently in all TLDs. The largest pairing of TLD registrations is .COM and .NET. Trademark abuse happens but not quite at the scale that some would think or in the way that some would think. There are hosters and registrants that actually specialise in trademark infringing registrations but very little is done about these hosters or registrants.

Some of these new gTLD registries will be hoping for the brand protection registrations boost that typically occurs. However there is a resentment in the legal and business community against what some of these people at what could be described as new gTLD blackmail. Brand and trademark owners resent having to protect their brand/mark in each new TLD. The patterns of infringements has changed over the last few years from the outright cybersquatting of trademark terms in TLDs to compound cybersquatting where the trademark term will have a product name or term added for registration purposes. (An example would be fashion designer + bag being registered as a domain name.) ICANN doesn't seem to care about this type of abuse of trademarks. The WIPO UDRP terms were relaxed to enable multiple domains to be included in a single complaint.

In the DotCOM period (mid 1990s to about 2003), there was a massive emphasis on the global nature of the internet and how it allowed businesses to trade in a global market. However like politics, most business is local. And there has been a major shift from global trading to local trading and that was reflected in the rise of ccTLDs. This is why many businesses, and perhaps many with trademarks, might not be rushing out to register their brand in new gTLDs unless the new gTLD is specifically relevant.



9:34 pm on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I can find countless domains that are exact match even after the EMD updates
Not everyone jumps at the wibblings of Google and its cargo-cult SEO followers. Domain patterns generally shift on a yearly timescale and some domains will have been registered for more than one year. I've stated in the Google SEO forum here that I don't have a high opinion of those responsible for the Penguin update and consider that they have a very poor understanding of the web in general. Once Google shifted from its link based algorithmic model (which was gamed and exploited) towards feebleminded solutions that, rather than fixing the initial problems, only dealt with some of their effects, it was in long-term trouble when it came to SERPs quality. Its current approach is like trying to patch all the holes in a very large string bag with only a view of a few holes at a time. Hitting EMDs was a classic example of the limitations of Google's solutions when it comes to the problem of maintaining a clean index. Apart from the query value of an EMD, there can also be a type-in value. And Google is not the only search engine so what may not work in Google could work in Bing, Yahoo or Yandex.



2:33 am on Jul 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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It sure does feel like you're not sure why you chase your tail but you do it anyway jmcc. I find that when G has nothing useful they feed you the same handful of sites as filler which suggests they forget why people visit a search engine. We would have visited those filler sites directly if they are what we wanted...

back on topic - any word on the pricing of these new TLDs ?

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