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VeriSign Usurps .com 191

Posted by michael
from the smoke-filled-rooms dept.
Big news today is that ICANN's staff - you know, the unelected unaccountable corporation that controls most of the world's domain names? those guys? - has struck up a deal with Verisign (the company that purchased Network Solutions, if you recall). The terms of the deal are just wonderful - Verisign will retain permanent control of the .com registry (they were supposed to separate the registry and registrar businesses), long-term control of .net (plenty of time to make that permanent too), and .org will actually be spun off. There are also apparently plans to reinstate the old limits on .org domains - if you aren't a non-profit corporation, you won't be permitted to register or keep a .org domain. ICANN is taking public comments on this issue before their Board votes on it at their next meeting.
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VeriSign Usurps .com

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I really think the late Jon Postel wanted the domains to be setup that way in the first place. It should have never been possible for for profit companies to register .org domains. At least now the .org TLD will be able to be run by the .org's themselves.

    The continued control by Verisign is just another reason we will probably have a name space breakup.
    Jeff Carr
    jcarr@linuxppc.org
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I wonder who will get that domain?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I thought microsoft is the owner of .net?
  • After all, he wrote RFC 1591 [rfc-editor.org]. I'll skip to the interesting part:
    ORG - This domain is intended as the miscellaneous TLD for organizations that didn't fit anywhere else. Some non-government organizations may fit here.
    Doesn't sound like he intended any restrictions on it.
  • The U.N. can't even manage itself or the myriad tiny problems around the world, what makes you think they'd be any more effective at managing the Internet?

    - A.P.

    --
    * CmdrTaco is an idiot.

  • by Wakko Warner (324) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @08:24AM (#392233) Homepage Journal
    Jeez, they bought NSI over a year ago. The legendary NSI stellar customer service seems to have come along with the ride.

    --
    * CmdrTaco is an idiot.

  • Are individuals only going to be able to have geographic domains? Are individuals not going to be able to have domains at all?

    One of the new domains is supposed to be .nom, which is reserved for individuals.


    ...phil

  • by Stormie (708) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @07:53AM (#392235) Homepage

    So hows does Slashdot plan to keep its domain?

    By not making a profit, obviously! Seems that LNUX is quite successful at that..

  • I am very much in favor of trying to keep domain names representative of what they are supposed to represent. However, given the lastest TLDs to be accepted, and taking away .org from people leaves people like me that run sites out of their own pocket (no advertizing, etc), but don't qualify well for the other TLDs in a lurch, making us head towards .com as the only choice for a domain name. Either two things must be done if this is going to be a non-problematic change:

    Create at least two or three TLDs that are catchall types -- .web, .site are two possible ones. These cannot be registered by for-profit companies, only by individuals who cannot use the sites to sell anything. Allow any current .org owners to freely switch to these new TLDs.

    Alternatively, prevent any new registering of .org domains, but allow those with existing .org domains that are not commercial companies but are also not not-for-profits to hold on to their domains, determined on a case-by-case basis. In such a case, slashdot.org might disappear, but numerous people in the same boat as I would not have to see their site disappear.

  • From the article:
    Another factor driving the deal was that the perceived need for VeriSign to split into two businesses -- one to manage the master list of Web addresses, another to sell addresses -- had faded of late, as competitors no longer feared the registry gave the company an unfair sales
    advantage.


    The only reason Notwork Sellutions hasn't managed to use their ownership of the registry to gain an unfair sales advantage is that their customer service and business practices are so abominable that nobody in the know would have anything to do with them as long as there is an alternative. If they were ever to get their act together and start acting like customer service organization rather than a monopoly, they could easily use their ownership of the registry to their advantage. First of all, they don't need to pay any registry access fee to themselves like their competitors do, so they could undercut their competition.
  • Actually, NSI will have your ORG as soon as they, as a wholly unconcerned seperate company, steps into the main database and deletes it :)
  • ...except that I am currently registering my domains with other registrars, having had it up to the my neck with NSI.

    Except that registration eventually gets back to the databases that NSI maintain, which should be seperate from NSI.
  • I think this is a good time to start thinking about getting rid of .{com,net,org,edu,gov,dot,etc}, and go with country-code TLDs exclusively (and move the current domains into their respective .[a-z][a-z]). It's bad enough that one country gets to virtually monopolize some of these domains (.edu and .gov, for example), it gets only worse by giving a single corporation complete control over the "generic" .com domain. It'd be (slightly) more acceptable if it were something like .com.us (which, obviously, doesn't exist).
  • Umm. Those domains belong to other people. They could fold, or start charging huge amounts, or do whatever they want. It's nice that someone is providing such a service, but it's not the same thing.

    --

  • I would assume that it's not talking about registered non-profit organizations, but would include not-for-profit and non-commercial organizations.

    I hope you're right, but I'm not sure that's a safe assumption. Hopefully, with all the furor on the ICANN message board, the requirements for being an "organization" will be reasonable.


    --

  • by mattdm (1931) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @08:12AM (#392243) Homepage

    There are also apparently plans to reinstate the old limits on .org domains - if you aren't a non-profit corporation, you won't be permitted to register or keep a .org domain.

    There never were any such limits. Read RFC 1591 [faqs.org]

    ORG - This domain is intended as the miscellaneous TLD for organizations that didn't fit anywhere else. Some non- government organizations may fit here.

    In fact, although I can't find into on the IANA [iana.org] website anymore (it's all been "updated"), .org used to be specifically recommended as the place for individuals who wanted their own domain.

    Anything more limiting than this wouldn't be old rules -- it'd be something completely new. If new TLDs are created which serve as functional replacements (something for personal and family domains, something for software projects, etc., etc.), that's all well and good for the future, but it's ridiculous and unfair to take away existing .org domains.


    --

  • Well, I'm working on a DNS server that stores its cache in Freenet. This means the cache can be called up by any other such DNS server. This elimanates the need for a tree-based DNS structure and its centralized control.

    and domains that don't get enough queries disappear??

  • by Amphigory (2375) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @08:52AM (#392245) Homepage
    I'm sick of ICANN.

    So why don't we come up with something better? Shouldn't it be possible to come up with a way to DNS that doesn't have to be centralized? Or -- since such a thing wouldn't really be DNS any more -- something that would be backward compatible with DNS that wouldn't have to be centralized?

    Maybe some kidn of lDAP/DNS gateway?

    --

  • if you aren't a non-profit corporation, you won't be permitted to register or keep a .org domain
    I hope they mean that if you are a for-profit corporation (or business), you won't be permitted to register or keep it.

    There are a lot of unincorporated organizations that do not have 501c3 status, but serve legitimate non-commercial interests. They should not yank the .org domains from such organizations.

    Perhaps a better solution is to create a new TLD for government-recognized non-profit corporations (.npc perhaps), and leave .org as it is.

    Since laws for non-profit corporations vary from country to country, it might be even better to make it .npc.us, and let other countries worry about their own. ICANN wouldn't even need to be involved in that.

    Speaking of which, when was the .int TLD created? I just started seeing it recently, and don't recall any public announcement or discussion.

  • If they can't own it, then they can't sue for cybersquatting.
  • Sorry, I meant verizonsucks.org - currently owned by Bell Atlantic Trademark Services LLC.
  • True, if someone could come up with a method for making ICANN democratically and internationally representative and elected, this would have beena good idea. But at the present stage of our global development, this has just not been possible.

    Yeah. Maybe they could hold elections [slashdot.org]. Like they did [slashdot.org]. Of course, then the current, unelected members chose to not yield their positions [slashdot.org]. Any actions by those board members are suspect.

  • Yeah, let's go back to UUCP and map files!

    Remember when you didn't have a domain name, you had a host name -- and it had to be unique in the first 6 characters?

  • by cymen (8178) <cymenvig AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday March 01, 2001 @07:47AM (#392251) Homepage
    So it looks like those jerks who brought slashdot.NET/COM have it made, eh?
  • The UN would also be apt to leverage such control when imposing sanctions on countries it feels the need to punish. This could be Bad. What if your country gets cut off?
  • by xdc (8753) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @08:04AM (#392253) Journal
    In 1997, I registered the domain name moby.org [moby.org] for my unofficial, noncommercial Moby fan site. It is not for profit, but it is not a nonprofit corporation. Should I be worried that this domain may be taken away from me in the future because of a tightening of .org rules?
  • by whydna (9312) <`moc.liamtoh' `ta' `andyhw'> on Thursday March 01, 2001 @07:54AM (#392254)
    yeah.. damn those bastards that own slasdot.com:Registrant:
    Andover.net (SLASHDOT6-DOM)
    50 Nagog Park
    Aston, MA 01720
    US

    Domain Name: SLASHDOT.COM

    Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
    DNS Technical Support (DT1415-ORG) dns_tech@ANDOVER.NET
    Andover.Net
    50 Nagog Park
    Acton, MA 01720
    US
    (978) 635-5300 Fax- (978) 635-5326
    Billing Contact:
    DNS Billing (DB2055-ORG) dns_billing@ANDOVER.NET
    Andover.Net
    50 Nagog Park
    Acton, MA 01720
    US
    (978) 635-5300 Fax- (978) 635-5326

    Record last updated on 11-Apr-2000.
    Record expires on 11-Apr-2001.
    Record created on 11-Apr-2000.
    Database last updated on 28-Feb-2001 22:38:04 EST.

    Domain servers in listed order:

    NS1.ANDOVER.NET 209.207.224.196
    NS2.ANDOVER.NET 209.207.224.197

    Slashdot.net on the other hand... that's somebody else's doing.

    -Andy

  • Oh come on...

    All your Top Level Domain Are Belong To Us.

    There is no 's' at the end of Domain.
  • by xyzzy (10685) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @08:25AM (#392256) Homepage
    The problem is -- coulda, woulda, shoulda -- yes, that was the ORIGINAL intent. *7* YEARS AGO. And it would have been fine if they had stuck to it.

    The horse is too far gone outta the barn for ICANN to come in and start rewriting the rules like this. Are individuals only going to be able to have geographic domains? Are individuals not going to be able to have domains at all?

    The problem is that domains are not considered property (there is legal precidence for this, unfortunately). So how often are people going to have to change? I can move all my stuff over to some ".us" domain, but I have no assurance that a year down the road someone isn't going to do a land grab and I have to move again. The postal service has been talking about taking over .us!
  • Amen to that.
    --
  • all domain names are RENTED!!!..

    that's right, every domain name that is .com, .net, or .org generates a yearly fee for usage. if you fail to pay, it gets repossessed. it's all a business. the only problem is there is no competetion. do you think ICANN cares that you can get .cx, .tv, or anything else? hell no. they only care that someone with lots of money (verisign) gets all the domains they want. since they have bought networksolutions, this puts them in a monopoly-type situation.

    who here would rather pay $70 for a forced 2 year domain rental (networksolutions.com), instead of a $24 (joker.com) 2 year rental? the same service is being provided, however, joker.com is 1/3rd the price. back in the olden days, there was only networksolutions. if something like this goes through, it will take either a class action lawsuit, or a government intervention to correct.

    the only loser out of all of this is the average John Q. Public.

    side note: any word on networksolutions and expired domains? there was an artice a few months ago about it. i have been waiting for a particular domain since the middle of november. it's been expired since then, but just not available.
  • One of the new domains is supposed to be .nom, which is reserved for individuals.

    Not for a while, if ever -- .nom wasn't approved in the first batch of new domains.

    -j
  • I think that it's great that .org will once again mean something, but restricting it to registered corporations is a bit extreme, I think. True, it's an easy test for sincerity on the part of the registrant, but I think that there should be some way for people to have domains for non-profit organizations that haven't gone through the expense (however small) of forming a US non-profit corporation.
  • Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. Do you think you're the only one in the fucking world to find a HOSTS file? You sir are an idiot. Therefore I am an idiot for calling you an idiot. I had to point it out though! You're a disgrace to all monkeys that walk upright.
  • but couldn't someone... say, like slashdot? just as easily take over the DNS root by soliciting major companies to look this way for domain name information instead of ICANN? And if so, why don't ya?

    Check out YouCANN.org [youcann.org] and find out about non-ICANN top level domains (TLDs).

    Many of those independent TLDs are organized into the Open Root Server Confederation [open-rsc.org], whose website has a lot of information about how the system operates.

    There's nothing intrinsically special about Network Solutions's DNS servers. All that annual registration fee pays for, really, is a couple lines in a BIND configuration file. You could get your DNS from the ORSC's servers or anywhere else if you choose.

    The hard part is getting all those institutions using Network Solutions' DNS to query the ORSC's DNS as well.

  • by griffjon (14945) <GriffJon@ g m a i l .com> on Thursday March 01, 2001 @12:39PM (#392263) Homepage Journal
    Companies with negative profits can't use .com, they have to use the inverse, .moc , and we can call it, 'being mocked'. Kinda like delisting, but more prevalent, variable, and hellish on routing!


  • You don't find it funny?

    You must own stock in LNUX
  • Some squatter at Andover.net already owns these domains. ;^)
  • If you obtain a domain name under one TLD, it should preclude you from obtaining the same under any other TLDs. It could be in the agreement/eula/ToS that a company which claims an address on .com is exluded from claiming any non-dotcom address.

    Your proposed restriction actually restricts no one. McDonalds forms a dummy corporation in Delaware for $350, assigns part of their trademark rights and has that shell grab the other domain they want. Multiply by 500 and all it does it make it a little more expensive and inconvenient to hold the domains they want.
  • When you think about it, domain names are essentially virtual real estate: My home or business is located HERE.COM. It's where people go to visit you or purchase your goods or services. Mail is addressed to you there; you pay rent for its use.

    The limitation on .org registration was essentially a zoning law (or regulation), and in the world of real estate, zoning is subject to change. The topless bar down the street will have to relocate if the area isn't zoned for that type of business or organization, and that's that.

    But the rules changed, and domain name owners were allowed to build a homes and businesses on these domains. .ORG domain names became integral to the identities of countless online entities, many of which invested thousands and thousands of dollars in establishing those identities.

    Would we allow an board of corporate individuals whom we did not elect to decide that we were no longer allowed to reside at 219 Main Street, or 1290 Washington Avenue?
  • by seizer (16950) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @07:54AM (#392268) Homepage
    The usual slashdot blurb, hyping things up. This is only a proposal, and there is, ostensibly, time to comment on it and change it.

    To be honest, I don't have a problem with these proposals. It's only big business which should do, because they need a .com domain to present themselves as a "respectable" and "mainstream" organization. For the rest of us plebs, we can do pretty damn well with the plethora of two letter TLDs around the world (try the NICs of .cx and .fm for example).

    And it's not as if Verisign is a bloodsucking corporation anyway. Imagine if they'd sold .com rights to one of slashdot's favourite bugbears (pick one, there's enough around).

    Overall - this is so not a big deal.
  • So hows does Slashdot plan to keep its domain?

    Good thing OSDN owns slashdot.com [slashdot.com] (but not slashdot.net [slashdot.net]).
  • ...except that I am currently registering my domains with other registrars, having had it up to the my neck with NSI.

    So if ICANN says that Verisign effectively gets control of .com, .net, and to some extent, what a person can do with .org, what about the other non-NSI registrars?

    Sounds dangerously like a quasi-governmental agency enforcing a business monopoly on the most important current web tld's, doesn't it? Or am I missing something?

  • by rw2 (17419) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @07:56AM (#392271) Homepage
    The control of a particular TLD isn't the problem. The problem is that there is a particular TLD to begin with.

    The US domain should have .com, .net and whatever the hell else we want under it. The UK (or China, or Iraq) shouldn't have to live by the contract law of the US simply because we got there first.

    Down with .com, up with locallized law!

    --

  • Are you sure that is a good idea? Freenet is kinda high latency for something that needs to read data as often as DNS.
  • That could work, only problem is if a machine was particularly obscure, it could fall off Freenet from not getting requested often enough. I suppose you could store the whole zone file under an SSK so it could be updated too. I doubt that an entire domain on a healthy Freenet would dissapear.
  • Key word: Corporation

    Non-profit corporations have lots of restrictions that are difficult to keep up with. Plus incorporating inheritantly implies maintaining tax records and a pile of other thing most open source projects don't want to deal with.

    Anm
  • by mindstrm (20013) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @09:01AM (#392275)
    They blew it in the first place by not enforcing the regulations just so they could make more money encouragnig everyone to register the same name under .com, .net, and .org.

    .com for commercial entities
    .net for network infrastructure
    .org for other organistations.

    They let it down.. and NOW they wanna go back to the other way after taking everyone's money.

    Time for new root servers.
  • Does this mean we'll have to update our bookmarks? Has OSDN looked at obtaining the slashdot.net and .com???
  • A silver cloud in this lining; this will prevent companies from snapping up all the domains that match thier company name, i.e. foo.com, foo.org, etc...

    MicroSoft : We need to hang on to MicroSoft.org (which doesn't seem to have a DNS entry BTW)
    Lawyers : No prob... we just start up the MicroSoft Envangelical Non-Profit Organization, funded by an Endowment from MicroSoft Inc., who buys the MicroSoft.org domain, and, in the interests of their organization, links it directly to the MicroSoft.com web site (and distributes an e-mail newsletter once a month saying how great MS is, and all the good its done in the world). Best part is, its tax deductable for MicroSoft Inc.


  • It seems that LNUX [yahoo.com] is losing money. Does the non-profit restriction also apply to negative-profit organizations?
  • by qqaz (33114) <colin&colinbaker,org> on Thursday March 01, 2001 @07:54AM (#392283) Homepage
    Have you seen VA Linux' stock performance lately? I think they qualify as non-profit.
  • by lougarou (34028) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @08:01AM (#392284) Homepage
    Verisign is a private commercial company. As such, it can be regarded as more accountable than ICANN, because it has to answer to its shareholders and its consumers, which is a lot more than can be said for ICANN.

    Well, a private commercial company is not accountable to its consumers when it is in a situation of control over a monopoly. It is only accountable to its shareholders, and it makes very few people with respect to the Internet users.

  • by McVerne (38715) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @07:53AM (#392286) Homepage
    when then pry it from my cold dead fingers.
  • nope, I just can't type.

    Unintentional or not, I spell just fine, it's that connection between the brain and keyboard that I have problems with.
  • I can't find any mention of it stating that, either. As it also refers to 'non-commercial organizations', I would assume that it's not talking about registered non-profit organizations, but would include not-for-profit and non-commercial organizations.

    I personally own two .org domains, one of which is for a registered non-profit, and one of which (annoying.org) is purely personal.

    If you do have issues with the proposal, use the message board ICANN set up [icann.org] for discussion of this topic. You're more likely to get authoritative answers to your questions, and if you have a valid point against the proposal, you might even get it stopped or amended.
  • by oneiros27 (46144) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @08:48AM (#392291) Homepage
    As we all know from the late sccopthis.com, if it's on the internet, it must be true. That's just not the case. Whomever posted this message made a significant change to the text.

    From the ICANN web site, which was linked to in the slashdot article, section D:

    2. The .org Registry Agreement would adopt the form of the registry agreements that will be entered into by the new global TLD registry operators. The term of the .org Registry Agreement would be shortened by almost one year to 31 December 2002, at which time VeriSign would permanently relinquish its right to operate the .org registry, and an appropriate sponsoring organization representing non-commercial organizations would be sought (through some procedure yet to be determined) to assume the operation of the registry. In addition, VeriSign would establish an endowment of $5 million for the purpose of funding the reasonable operating expenses of a global registry for the specific use of non-profit organizations, and would make global resolution resources available to the operator of the .org registry for no charge for one year and on terms to be determined thereafter, for so long as it operates the .com registry. The net result of this would be a .org registry returned, after some appropriate transition period, to its originally intended function as a registry operated by and for non-profit organizations.
    Please note -- the key word was either 'non-profit organization' or 'non-commercial orgranization'. It said nothing about 'non-profit corporation'.

    I plan on keeping both of my .org domains [the only two domains I have], one of which is a registered non-profit group, and the other one is not-for-profit, as it's a personal site.

    Please read the articles to which people are commenting on, as a simple inintentional word change can have a dramatic change on the entire meaning.

  • This article needs some significant damage control.
    Rather than completely post what I already did to another paniced message, let me summarize --

    Whomever submitted this to Slashdot in some way mis-read a word in the ICANN proposal [icann.org].

    That one word was 'organization', and not 'corporation'. In section D-2:
    The net result of this would be a .org registry returned, after some appropriate transition period, to its originally intended function as a registry operated by and for non-profit organizations.

    Now, technically, that may not be exactly what the original intention for .org was, however, that error is insignificant as compared to the difference between organizations & corporations.
  • by Dr.Evil (47264) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @10:10AM (#392293) Homepage

    After reading everyone's overreactions (especially michael's), I went and actually read the proposal! Guess what, kids? This is a win-win.

    If VeriSign spun off the NSI registrar business by May 2001, they were going to get an automatic 4-year extension on running the .com, .net, and .org registries. Under this new proposal, they won't have to spin off the registrar entirely, merely make it a subsidiary company. In exchange, they are guaranteed to give up .org after only a two-year extension, and help fund their successor in .org for a while, to the tune of $5 million. They are giving up 22 months of their extension on .net (although they still get preference for extensions there).

    Last but not least, they are going to be investing $200 million in research on improving the DNS system and giving better access to the root nameservers to ccTLD and other TLD registries.

    As other posts pointed out, there is no reason to expect that individuals or open-source projects would be excluded from the .org domain after it changes hands. How is any of this a bad thing?

  • by anticypher (48312) <anticypher AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday March 01, 2001 @08:32AM (#392294) Homepage
    Really, how long do you think it will be before they require all .com registrations to be real companies?

    This is the way it should be. If you obtain a domain name under one TLD, it should preclude you from obtaining the same under any other TLDs. It could be in the agreement/eula/ToS that a company which claims an address on .com is exluded from claiming any non-dotcom address. This would keep mcdonalds.com from also claiming mcdonalds.org and mcdonalds.net ad infinitum. There might be some allowances to allow mcdonalds.co.uk or .co.au, where they can show a valid, physical business presence.

    This would end most domain speculation, force everyone to be under the most correct TLD, and keep the lawyers at bay. Sanity would rule, the WIPO jackrabbit courts would essentially cease to exist, and the rest of us could get on with building a better network for the future.

    Since this would end much domain speculation, the income from domain registry would be significantly less than over the last few years. With only real commercial enitities paying for .com, all the other speculations such as verizonreallysucks.com would be eliminated, drying up the revenue.

    If this were to happen, there would be a strong need for .sucks, .tm, and probably even .sex and .xxx. Then there couldn't be a pentium.com, intel would have to register it under pentium.tm if they wanted to have a dedicated website.

    A very good idea, which has been suggested by many intelligent people on numerous occasions. It has always been shot down by the ICANN as unworkable because they pander only to commercial interests, especially billion dollar companies like Network Solutions, who don't want to see their cash cow killed.

    the AC
  • Um. This is a proposal. Nothing's been signed yet.

    Not only that...

    I was one of those who signed up for the Members At Large thingy, back before I realized that it was a bread-and-circuses appeasement move that had fuck-all to do with the actual outcome. And today in my email was a message from ICANN to all the signups saying that input was being solicited via an opt-in mailing list.

    My sincere willingness to help is waging a pitched battle with my pragmatism and realism and pessimism and inherent cynicism right now. Hmmmm...

  • Um, no, not "devil phil". It's devphil, as in /dev/phil, which was a nickname assigned to me in my college days, hacking Unix. (We got *this* close to actually implementing a /dev/phil device driver, but the sysadmins couldn't give us an experimental machine so we could build a new kernel and play with it. Ah well.)
  • Why did you go with register.com? Atleast
    go with another competitor with a clue.

    All my domains are now with joker.com. When
    I had to change DNS, I logged into the web site,
    and easily changed the server. I got a confirmation letter 5 seconds later, and the change was immediately evident at corenic.net.

    One domain was still with netsol. It took two
    days for the change to take effect. I immediately moved that domain to joker/corenic.
  • Open Source software is inherently non-profit making
    Wow. this news is going to crush the stockholders of RedHat, VA Linux, etc. etc.

    What's your point? Redhat and VA Linux are both inherently non-profit making. :)

  • an NSI whois reveals that the .la TLD is a ccTLD, just like most two-letter TLD's. If you're curious, just go to http://www.networksolutions.com/cgi-bin/whois/whoi s?STRING=la [networksolutions.com]. enjoy.
    --

  • NSI/ICANN's been a thorn in our side for too long. Time to start distributing cryptographically signed host tables via mbone. Better yet, tweak the Linux gethostbyname to allow resolution on names with spaces and things in them, and eliminate the need for .com/.org/.net.
  • by briancarnell (94247) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @08:14AM (#392314) Homepage
    The post by michael says, "There are also apparently plans to reinstate the old limits on .org domains - if you aren't a non-profit corporation, you won't be permitted to register or keep a .org domain."

    But the WSJ article you're referencing says something completely different, "Icann indicated that it wants "org" Web addresses reserved only for nonprofit organizations "after some appropriate transition period," a restriction that hasn't been enforced in recent years. Details haven't been worked out, though one Icann official suggested that current "org" Web sites may be allowed to continue regardless of their affiliation with nonprofits."

    Don't you folks even care about accuracy anymore, or have you been reading Microsoft FUD for so long that you've decided on a "if you can't beat them, join them" policy?
  • Well, a private commercial company is not accountable to its consumers when it is in a situation of control over a monopoly. It is only accountable to its shareholders, and it makes very few people with respect to the Internet users.

    Shareholder: Do we have them by the shorhairs?

    Board Member: Yes we do!

    Shareholder: Cool, we can make tons of money!

    Board Member: We?

    I feel so empowered by my shares, how about you?

  • The U.N. can't even manage itself or the myriad tiny problems around the world, what makes you think they'd be any more effective at managing the Internet?

    The reason the UN has problems making decisions is because 5 countries have veto votes, and these countries are diametrically opposed on basically every issue. It's like giving Bill Gates, RMS, Eminem, Dalai Lama and Ronald Reagan the right to veto every decision made by Congress. Do you think anything would be accomplished? Note that this is not the same as the veto the US president has, since he is democratically elected. The permanent members of the security council are not democratically elected.

  • Open Source software is inherently non-profit making

    Wow. this news is going to crush the stockholders of RedHat, VA Linux, etc. etc.

    While Open Source software itself has no sale value, many business models exists for providing, supporting, and promoting Open Source.

  • That is just ridiculous. All that will happen is that any company with any stake in a .org domain (slashdot.org being a prime example) will spin off a 'not-for-profit' LLC to keep their status.

    I don't think its quite that simple. Relationships between "sister" organizations of different tax statuses are pretty complicated in my expereince. Its unlikely that a clearly for profit site could keep content the same just because they had a non profit wing of the company.

    OTOH, /. is not a particularly commerce based site, and if the accounting worked so that the banner ads only paid for the upkeep of the site itself, instead of producing profit for the holding company, there could be a good argument for keeping the .org.

    Kahuna Burger

  • by klieber (124032) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @10:08AM (#392327) Homepage
    Well, I exchanged emails with him, at least. I asked him to clarify whether, under these proposed changes, ICANN was looking to simply restrict commercial activity within the .org TLD (which I support) or if they were, in fact, trying to strictly regulate it to legally-recognized non-profit organizations.

    He pointed out that he has already made a post [icann.org] about this on ICANN's Public forum. When I mentioned that I didn't think it was clear enough, and asked him to clarify further to avoid a lot of confusion, he responded that they were "discussing this internally".

    This tells me the following:

    • It's not set in stone that you have to be a legally-recognized non-profit to hold a .org TLD under the proposed changes
    • They haven't worked out all the details yet
    • They at least appear concerned with the public opinion (read his post [icann.org])
    Granted, I'm not a huge fan of ICANN's previous activities, but I will say Mike was responsive and courteous in his emails. Perhaps if we voice our opinions [icann.org] just as politely and courteously (rather than flaming them about) we might get somewhere.

    Sign me eternally optomistic...

  • there would be a strong need for .sucks, .tm, and yadda yadda yadda

    .tm already exists [www.nic.tm]; it used to be Turkmenistan's domain.


    All your hallucinogen [pineight.com] are belong to us.
  • The US domain should have .com, .net and whatever the hell else we want under it.

    Are you talking .co.us? If so, register your domain in Colorado. Equivalents for .net, .org, and .edu can be found in Nebraska (.ne.us), Oregon (.or.us), and Alaska (.ak.us like .ac.uk). Other states have potential for pronounceable names (Indiana best.in.us; Ohio who.oh.us; Connecticut re.ct.us).

    And yes, it is possible to get the standard changed so as to drop any mandatory city name that your state may impose.


    All your hallucinogen [pineight.com] are belong to us.
  • something for personal and family domains

    ummm... how about .8m.com [freeservers.com]?

    something for software projects

    umm... how about .sourceforge.net [sourceforge.net]?


    All your hallucinogen [pineight.com] are belong to us.
  • by SpanishInquisition (127269) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @08:00AM (#392334) Homepage Journal
    If they give .org only to non-profit organizations why don't they restrict .com to organizations that actually make profits. That would be a very efficient way to shut down the dotcom craze.

    --
  • What do you mean by "inintentional"? Are you trying to change the meaning of something? Me fail English?!?! That's unpossible! -Ralph Wiggum
  • I'm free this weekend so I don't mind doing it.....

    Well, I'm working on a DNS server that stores its cache in Freenet [freenetproject.org]. This means the cache can be called up by any other such DNS server. This elimanates the need for a tree-based DNS structure and its centralized control.


    ------

  • What will happen to companies that have established pages at a .org? Do they just loose all the money they have put into the site, into brand development, and such when their registration is up? If I was such a company, I would probably end up sueing over it.

  • Thats you gun, for a .org they just need to sue.

    do you hear that.....it's..... it's ICANN breaking out into song....GOD BLESS AMARICA....


    ________

  • Verisign is a private commercial company. As such, it can be regarded as more accountable than ICANN, because it has to answer to its shareholders and its consumers, which is a lot more than can be said for ICANN.

    Thats the problem, shareholders come first. What we need is a system that is accountable to the USERS first and the shareholders second.

    I'm free this weekend so I don't mind doing it.....


    ________

  • by slashdoter (151641) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @08:08AM (#392357) Homepage
    It depends, do you have your own personal ICANN board member to do your bidding ? I hear they are for sale, check out Ebay


    ________

  • So why don't we come up with something better? Shouldn't it be possible to come up with a way to DNS that doesn't have to be centralized? Or -- since such a thing wouldn't really be DNS any more -- something that would be backward compatible with DNS that wouldn't have to be centralized?

    Decentralized like gnutella? Where everyone on the decentralized network has to trust everyone else? Decentralized does not work, because if one computer starts sending out the wrong data they can screw up the system for everyone else. Never trust the cleints to forward what you want properly. It just can't work.
  • Legally, in most states in the U.S., a 'non-profit organization' is a 'not-for-profit corporation.' That is, you are not legally a non-profit organization unless you have obtained not-for-profit corporate status.

    Now, the only way they can propose to limit .org to 'non-profit organizations' is to require evidence of synonymous legal status, which in my state means establishing a 'not-for-profit corporation.' There's no such animal, legally, as a non-profit organization that's not a corporation.

    Or are you suggesting that they will accept a mere assertion of 'Yeah, we're organized, and we're not in it for profit'? If it was handled that way, and if .org domains were only revoked on presentation of a high level of proof that they are in fact being used primarily for profit-making activities (as compared to associated income-generating activities of non-profit organizations, such as a museum shop), then there's not such a problem.

    But also, keep in mind that in many states a corporation may consist of one person; the requirements to be an 'organization' should be similarly lax.

  • by Erasmus Darwin (183180) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @08:29AM (#392368)
    For the rest of us plebs, we can do pretty damn well with the plethora of two letter TLDs around the world (try the NICs of .cx and .fm for example).

    That's an even worse abuse, IMO. .org, at least, was intended as a category for miscellaneous, non-commercial organizations. .cx and .fm were intended for Christmas Island and the Federal State of Micronesia, respectively. While there's nothing I can do to stop them from whoring out their domain space, neither would I endorse them as the replacement TLDs for personal use.

  • I got, as an At Large member, an e-mail yesterday, soliciting comments [atlargestudy.org]. I think it is a good idea to head over and tell them what you think.
  • Verisign is a private commercial company. As such, it can be regarded as more accountable than ICANN, because it has to answer to its shareholders and its consumers, which is a lot more than can be said for ICANN.

    Uhm...except of course that it's shareholders only care if they're making money or not. And their consumers can't say, "ok, you guys aren't very good....give control over the .com registry to someone else."

    As far as I'm concerned, this is a bad thing. There was the story [slashdot.org] a few months back about Network Solutions not releasing expired domain names. And, personally, I had to do some work with N.S./Verisign recently to make some changes to an account and quite frankly, their customer service rather sucked. It took several weeks to get all the changes made.

  • by Jetifi (188285) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @07:52AM (#392372) Homepage

    Um. This is a proposal. Nothing's been signed yet.

    The ugly fact is that DNS is a hierarchical, centralised system, and the one at the top is In Charge. Shame it's Network Solutions :-) Maybe VeriSign can do better?

  • by Jon Erikson (198204) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @07:55AM (#392375)
    People here are always smashing ICANN, and often with good reason. Is this fair though? Here is my take.
    • Someone has to run the Domain name system. It is not a system of anarchy, it is a strict hierarchal system that requires a strong hand at the top.
    • ICANN have provided this over the years. For all their faults, they were the only real solution. A governmental, elected body would be unacceptible - ICANN is a global body, it shoulod not be run by the American government and people.
    • True, if someone could come up with a method for making ICANN democratically and internationally representative and elected, this would have beena good idea. But at the present stage of our global development, this has just not been possible.
    • Verisign is a private commercial company. As such, it can be regarded as more accountable than ICANN, because it has to answer to its shareholders and its consumers, which is a lot more than can be said for ICANN.
    My take is that this development is far from ideal, but is better than the current situation. Until such time as the Internet is not such a hierarchal system, or such time as a globally accountable body under the UN can be created, this is a better and more accountable solution, even if it is far from perfect.

    I would lobby for a body under the UN, perhaps a special branch of the UN to deal with the Internet, as the fairest and most accountable solution, but I realise that this is a pipe dream at the moment. I therefore, with extreme reservations, welcome this move, for the meantime.

  • by ScuzzMonkey (208981) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @08:15AM (#392377) Homepage
    Putting it that way, it makes it seem like a Good Thing. I mean, wasn't the .com TLD originally supposed to be just for real companies? Individual sites not commercial in nature would be more appropriately slotted into geographic TLDs or some of the newly designated TLDs.

    With any luck, that might actually tone down the vituperative disputes we're currently seeing over .com domain names, and result in less corporatization of the web as people get used to finding things without automatically slapping a '.com' on the end of them. IMHO, the current inappropriate designation of a lot of non-commercial sites is responsible for the domain name firestorm we've been experiencing.

  • by McChump (218559) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @08:17AM (#392384)
    *None* of the documents linked provide the slightest support for concluding that currently registered owners of .org addresses will be forced to forfiet those addresses. The "appropriate transition period" mentioned in the agreement and the article seems to refer to a period after which *new* .org addresses will not be issued to entities other than not-for-profits.

    --J
  • Open Source software is inherently non-profit making. Wow. this news is going to crush the stockholders of RedHat, VA Linux, etc. etc.

    Dude, pull up a stock quote. It already has.

  • by Lover's Arrival, The (267435) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @07:51AM (#392402) Homepage

    As long as ICANN start enforcing the rules on .org domain names I don't see why we should have any problem. Open Source software is inherently non-profit making, and so any projects we would want to start would fall under the auspices of the .org TLD.

    We can leave the commercial bickering over .com domains to companies well-able to afford to pay rip-off merchants, erm, I mean corporate lawyers.

    The .net domain was always destined to fail in its stated purpose - demand was too high for catchy domains compared to the number of organisations providing network services. But there are at least as many non-profit organisations out there as companies, and making sure the .org TLD is set aside will cut down on trademark battles and user confusion.

    Honestly, does it matter which corrupt company runs the .com TLD? :)

  • Well, since they are taking comments, I would send the following to them.

    1) a statement that the "org" belongs not only to NON-PROFITS but to organizations.

    2) request that a waiver application be on line. The way I see /. is as club of highly devoted computer personel and teachers at many levels. They give information out freely, increasing the general knowledge of general public. If you are in NYC, pick up the Daily News or the Post for a week and you'll see at least 2 related articals from /.

    3) domain name protection request. (this one's open for many abuses )
    State that there could be abuse of your trademark and your requesting a waiver that let's you hold the name but you can loose it to any NON-PROFIT or something simular to that.

    OFF TOPIC - NON PROFITS

    I quickly spoke to my accountant about non-profits. He said that the IRS / US Government is making it very difficult to form a non-profit. He mentioned the paperwork is somewhat difficult and that you have to "prove" the non-profit status.

    I would also like to know
    1) What is a non-profit like in other parts of the world Simular to the USA version or are they completely different.

    2) How would they apply for domain?

    3) Would a non-profit in asia / europe / central,south america that has a name in english characters spelled like a curse still qualify ?

    Thanks

    ONEPOINT



    spambait e-mail
    my web site artistcorner.tv hip-hop news
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  • Although the analagy may seem a little on the ridiculus side, would you permit a government, or government sanctioned organization to decide that you could no longer be named "Jim" unless you had red hair? Or, not "Gregory" unless you passed the bar exam?

    After you stop laughing at my rediculous analogy, try to think of a reason why restricting .org names to non-profit organizations is justified, and the above isn't.

    I have to agree, I like the idea and motivation behind a non-profit only TLD, but I dislike the implications.

    I think organizations should have the right to choose their name as they please. If we're going to let .tv or .to pass into the hands of organizations that are not located in, or have nothing to do with those countries, why should we enforce a restriction on .org?

    Even if we like the idea of an enforced .org, it is of course, completely unfair to revoke currently granted domains on this basis. I imagine that won't ever happen. But changing the precident is just as bad. What use is it to enforce .org for the future, if there are .org domains held now that will continue to exist that do not meet the enforcement criteria? How does that help the public in any way?

    Non-profit organizations can protect their names through traditional means of trademark. Looser, non-legal organizations cannot. Why does there need to be enforcement when other means, such as trademarks protect the interests of individual not-for-profits.

    1.) The ability to determine one's own name, or of an ogranization to determine it's own name, are cleary a fundamental right. Compramising this may not lead to the end of humanity, but I do believe it to be a very wrong path to go down.

    2.) Restricting .org does not seem to be in the public's best interest, or particularly desired.

    3.) It is totally unreasonable to revoke .org domains granted when things were unenforced. With these domains continueing to exist, how is the public's collective interest served by enforcing the rule for the future. .org will not assuradly = a not-for-profit any more than it does today. Unless you revoke the current .orgs, which is by all views, completely unreasonable, enforcing .org for the future doesn't do anything meaningful.

    4.) Because individual .org's are legal entities, they can protect their interests with trademark. Perhaps a legal precident does need to be set that when trademarked company foo owns foo.com as well as foo.org, and the not-for-profit foo has a similar (or the same) trademark, that the .org should rightly be granted to the not-for-profit, and the .com rightly be granted to the commercial entity. The previously stated intention of .org sets up justification for this interpretation, and the statement of that intent *should* continue for this and similar reasons. However, it shouldn't be enforced.

    Although I think it's clear ICANN exists in a way that it's motiveations push it directly away from the world's public interest, which it is supposed to represent, I'll hold off ranting on that. I personally don't see any way ICANN can be 'fixed' or replaced at this point.
  • Except that Versign (Network Solutions) already has control of .us [www.nic.us], which quietly changed hands around November of last year. Supposedly, they are running it for a year, on contract from the Commerce Dept., but I don't believe that they will ever give it up. Rumour has it that they may start charging.

    I remember when they sent out the letter to all the admins of the .us. It was over Thanksgiving weekend, and it said something like, "If you don't agree to this contract, notify in 7 days, and we will revoke your .us domain. Otherwise, we take no notice as agreement."

    Funny thing is that the mailing list they created to send to all the domains was left open, and all the admins of the .us domains started chatting (Ok, fumming) with eachother. Seems that Verisign/NSI can't even set up a mailing list correctly. We expect them to be able to manage most of the worlds TLD?

    So, if you are in the US, and they lock out .com, .org and .net, you can't turn to .us without dealing w/ the same jerks. I suppose you've got to go offshore... (Anyone heard anything about Sealand lately?) This was much more fun when it was the wild west, I tell you...

    Gyp.

  • I have to hand it to you, "OlympicSponser" [slashdot.org], that's pretty clever, impersonating OlympicSponsor [slashdot.org] to discredit him.

    Buy why would someone do that?

    Maybe because he's pointing out trolls? [geekizoid.com] and spoiling your fun?

  • by Iscon in Siiscon (318648) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @08:25AM (#392409)
    Guess this will be up for grabs.

    Registrant:
    Network Solutions, Inc. (NETWORKSOLUTIONS4-DOM)
    505 Huntmar Park Drive
    Herndon, VA 20170 US

    Domain Name: NETWORKSOLUTIONS.ORG

    Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
    Network Solutions, Inc. (NSOL-NOC) noc@NETSOL.COM
    Network Solutions, Inc.
    505 Huntmar Park Drive
    Herndon, VA 20170
    US
    703-742-4777
    Billing Contact:
    idNames, Accounting (IA90-ORG) accounting@IDNAMES.COM
    idNames from Network Solutions, Inc
    440 Benmar
    Suite #3325
    Houston, TX 77060
    US
    703-742-4777 Fax 281-447-1160

    Record last updated on 20-Nov-2000.
    Record expires on 13-Dec-2002.
    Record created on 12-Dec-1997.
    Database last updated on 28-Feb-2001 22:41:26 EST.

    Domain servers in listed order:

    NS1.NETSOL.COM 216.168.224.200
    NS2.NETSOL.COM 198.17.208.71
    NS3.NETSOL.COM 216.168.224.201
  • by PorcelainLabrador (321065) on Thursday March 01, 2001 @07:53AM (#392417) Homepage
    "There are also apparently plans to reinstate the old limits on .org domains - if you aren't a non-profit corporation, you won't be permitted to register or keep a .org domain"

    Really, how long do you think it will be before they require all .com registrations to be real companies? This really isn't that far-fetched. They may require proof from you that you own the trademark you are trying to register...

    Obviously, this is all trending towards the corporatization of the web... yee-haw.

  • Just a quick question. Does anyone remember what happened to the price of secure certificates for web sites after verisign purchased Thawte? You used to be able to get a secure certificate for your website for about $40.00 if it was for personal use. Now the cheapest one is $395 for the same functionality. This is almost a 10x increase. Unless generating a secure certificate is has suddenly become an order of magnitude more expensive, I guess this would appear to be monopoly exploitation of the worst form. Given their "history" what is stopping them from charging $500 for a .com domain?

I cannot conceive that anybody will require multiplications at the rate of 40,000 or even 4,000 per hour ... -- F. H. Wales (1936)

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