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The Internet

.biz Domain Lottery on Hold 136

kikta writes: "CNN is reporting that the lottery for the .biz domain appear to be in trouble. A judge barred the lottery and ordered the company, NeuLevel Inc., to set aside $3 million for possible refunds."
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.biz Domain Lottery on Hold

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  • by Alizarin Erythrosin ( 457981 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @04:18PM (#2422110)
    It is standard practice to hold a lottery for contested domain names? I don't recall when the .com and .net started up, but did they run lotteries for "popular" domain names? I say first come, first serve... just seems to be a way to make more money

    • I think it was first come first serve. McDonalds and several other big corporations went after thier domain names in court IIRC, and won them. This made lots of money for lawyers, and cost everyone else big bucks, and wasted time in the legal system. I guess what it comes down to is that copyright holders should get first refusal on a domain name, and after that its up for dibbs. Sounds like a logistical nightmare to me.
      • You mean trademark holders (domain names are far too short to qualify for copyright). The problem is that trademarks are specific to an industry but domain names aren't (with the sole exception of that wacky new "museum" gTLD), so one rich trademark holder can stop all the others from using the domain name corresponding to their own rightful trademarks.
      • on anything but .coms. For some reason people seem to think being a copyright holder forbids anyone else from using that name...wrong
        #1 it only applies to like business or competing enterprises I believe.
        #2 .com was for commercial enterprises, the remaining TLD's should be up for grabs. The only way the copyright holder should be given precedence is when there is a question of competition in a like market, or someone is trying to make a buck of someone else's name.
        McDonald's.org should have NOTHING to do with the resturants unless Micky D's has the org for the ronaldmacdonald house, a valid charity.
        • I don't think trademark holders should have any more right to any domain name in any TLD than the average Joe. A domain name is nothing more than an address. Addresses should not be subject to trademark/copyright regulations IMNSHO.
          • and agree UNLESS some company in the same line of business etc. tries to use the name. The trademark holders SHOULD have DIBS to their name where it applies to the field they are in. As for the TM holders getting a name from a private individual using it NOT in competition with the owners, then first come first serve I say. Of course we all know money talks and few can compete with the monetary largess of a corporation in any field :(
          • Your remark "A domain name is nothing more than an address. Addresses should not be subject to trademark/copyright regulations"

            Nope. the problem is the "name". You are looking at it from a very different angle. Names have association but address give locations. "Empire State Building" is copy-righted (I think trademarked with the building logo, but not sure) but it also has a street address. Both work fine for mailing.

            Look at what happen to the WWF. Both companies have a problem ( world wrestling federation and world wildlife fund ). Interestingly enough that they shared the "WWF" for a while due to an "understanding" but the World Wildlife Fund owns the name "WWF" as a copywright (I think has the trademark of a Panda).

            Names/words have meaning. Those meanings must be protected if it involves your products (Xerox, Kleanex, Tabasco...) otherwise it becomes public domain. Address only give you a location.

            Biz domain will have a huge headache on it's hands when 2 or more trademark holders come to request a name. That's what I want to see.

            -ONEPOINT

    • When the original TLDs were created, there was very little competition for names on the internet. Everybody pretty much got what they wanted, because there were so few companies who needed domains.

      It seems that once, long ago, before NSI became a money machine, that they would not register generic terms (sports.com, beer.com) or explitives.

      I believe that any contested names should be given to the person who owns the most similar trademark. Names that are generic terms shouldn't be registered at all, it's unfair for one company to get that much marketing advantage over another. If Joe Shmoe is looking for sprockets, the first thing he's probably going to type is www.sprockets.com. It's really not fair to hand that domain over to Cogswell Cogs and exclude Spacely's Sprockets.
      • Names that are generic terms shouldn't be registered at all, it's unfair for one company to get that much marketing advantage over another. If Joe Shmoe is looking for sprockets, the first thing he's probably going to type is www.sprockets.com. It's really not fair to hand that domain over to Cogswell Cogs and exclude Spacely's Sprockets.

        I agree with the idea, but what happens if the name of the company is "News Corportation" or "Sports Store"? What if you're the only company in the world to sell widgets, do you keep the "widget.com" domain until someone else makes them? Not to mention that there is no overall definition to the term "generic". Is "Xerox" a generic term or not? Does it give them an advantage in the copier market?

        Do you exclude anything that shows up as a single word in the dictionary? Do you require everyone to have a URL like "widgetstore.com?"

        I agree in principle, but I don't think there is any way to get rid of the generic names. It would be a HUGE administrative headache... probably why they dropped it when the Internet started getting super-popular.
        • I agree with the idea, but what happens if the name of the company is "News Corportation" or "Sports Store"? What if you're the only company in the world to sell widgets, do you keep the "widget.com" domain until someone else makes them? Not to mention that there is no overall definition to the term "generic". Is "Xerox" a generic term or not? Does it give them an advantage in the copier market?

          This is definately a valid point. AFAIK, companies are not allowed to register generic names for their corporation. When I created my company, I had to register the company's name with the provincial government. It's a $30 fee, and they'll approve your name, if it's appropriate.


          "Xerox" is a trademark, and it started as such. However, they coined the term to mean photocopier. That happened simply because they started(?) the copier business. Kleenex is also a brand name...in fact, few people I know use the term "facial tissue."


          I didn't register a .com name either, because I don't need to be known as a .com company. There are currently a lot of people using .com who don't nessicarily fit the original idea people had in mind when it was created.


          Perhaps a TLD should be created for adult material, and all the existings sites moved over to it. ".pr0n" It would unload the .com namespace and make filtering software really easy. =)

          • AFAIK, companies are not allowed to register generic names for their corporation. ------> I believe you are correct, in Canada at least. A friend of mine had his application for a business name registration rejected a few years back because it was "too generic". I can't remember what it was that he wanted to call it (he owns a taxi service), maybe "Taxi Services" or something like that. Anyway, his name got bounced by the provincial registration authority and he had to come up with something else.

            It's a $30 fee ----> I believe it's $50 here (in Saskatchewan). You have to "renew your registration" every three years, and I'm sure that the last time I "renewed" it cost me $50.
  • by ldopa1 ( 465624 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @04:20PM (#2422119) Homepage Journal
    The thing that irritates me the most is that the article doesn't say what part of the lottery might be illegal. I'd also be interested to know if NeuLevel is allowed to take more entries for the domain names.

    What I mean is, if I've applied for ldopa.biz with two other people, and the lottery has been stopped, what happens to my request? What if someone else wants to register it now? Can they register it, or is it taken, even though it isn't yet taken.

    Also, how is a lottery illegal, but bidding for a domain name isn't? I can buy ldopa1's-house-of-smackdown.com and auction it off on Ebay if I want to.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I think the illegality lies in the fact that although it is advertised to be a fair, random chance of getting a contested name, in reality the deck can be stacked by people with enough money to submit applications through many different registrars (and possibly under a different registrant name).

      It's the difference between a raffle where everyone gets one ticket, versus a raffle where everyone gets a single ticket by default but you can buy more at $50 a piece. Hence the more money invested, the higher the chance you will win the prize. Not that there's anything wrong with that per se, but I guess that fact was not made clear to the participants.

    • by technos ( 73414 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @04:33PM (#2422173) Homepage Journal
      How is it different?

      Ebay doesn't make you pay to bid and lose. Neulevel does, from $2-15.

      On Ebay, you win if you are the highest bidder. Neulevel plans on randomly assigning them.

      One you have to pay to even get in the game, and it is a game of chance. The other is free to enter, and is not random. That's how they're different.

      Why is a lottery illegal? Well, they're pretty much illegal by default. It's a form of gambling, after all, and you need a gambling license. Or leave of the state(s) involved, which you're not going to get because they already have their little monopoly 'tax on people who are bad at math'.
      • Gambling is illegal. The new economy is based on it. The stockmarket is just legallized gambling. Some people are good, some people are bad and most people really have no idea what they're doing. They're just interested in taking a risk to maybe make some money. So, there. Gambling is legal.
        • by JabberWokky ( 19442 ) <slashdot.com@timewarp.org> on Friday October 12, 2001 @04:56PM (#2422267) Homepage Journal
          Wow, an amazing example of flawed logic and disconnected symbolic statements.

          And the stock market is not gambling. Gambling, by definition, is a game directly based on an element of chance. The stock market is based directly on the abilities of companies to generate more money from an inital capital investment. The majority of investment is done by large companies that invest on the basis of significant research. Why do you think the bank gives you free checking? The money that you have in the bank goes to a variety of investments, including stock portfolios (depending on how the market is doing, quite a bit of it).

          --
          Evan

          • Gambling, by definition, is a game directly based on an element of chance. The stock market is based directly on the abilities of companies to generate more money from an inital capital investment. The majority of investment is done by large companies that invest on the basis of significant research.

            So horse racing isn't based on the ability of one horse to run faster than the other, or for trainers to train their particular horse to run faster?

            Ah fuck it, it's late, I've been at the pub, I probably missed your point :)
          • That is the basis, where gambling's basis is a game of chance. Even though they both have a different basis, they are treated exactly the same by the public at large. Do you really, truely think that people invested in Eazel because the model was sound? Or that William Shatner was cool enough to justify Priceline being worth more than Ford Motors? The basis no longer matter, watch video of day traders and video of gamblers at the slots. They do the exact same things. Day traders take a 4 letter set and then buy and sell all day with no real idea of what the company actually does. They gamble that a company will make 32 cents a share for Q2 instead of 31. If they make 30 cents the company sucks, even if it still made billions of dollars that quarter, but because it didn't meet some silly figure by 1 cent it's hammered. Why? On your view that shouldn't matter, because the company is sound. But it does. No, but over the last 3 or 4 years we've seen companies shoot right up, because everyone wanted to get in and make some money. Almost always without paying attention to what was actually going on. And to top it off the guys making the descisions are the guys moving the volumes, and because of it the "large companies" are forced to respond on the same trends that are generated by the day traders, because they don't want to lose money. Granted this system can only last for so long, but it only scares away those gamblers with nothing to lose.

            Whether it is gambling or not, I really don't care. But since it is treated by the public at large as gambling. The system is set up to encourge that point of view. I've seen a number of good companies destroyed because they've been forced to play the game called IPO. In the end, it's all the same to me.
            • >>Day traders take a 4 letter set and then buy and sell all day with no real idea of what the company actually does.

              Well thank god that most day traders, at the end have a lot of losses and little profits. Their sole purpose is to provide liquidity to the markets. But your to your point, the best day traders research the industries that they feel has the highest movement ( volitility ) inorder to take advantage of that market. the worst just trade whatever the "stock " of the day is.

              I spent all of 1991 to 1993 trading with "day traders" that were considered the best in certain markets for the firm. Best part that I learned was wait for the trade (set-up), pull the trigger (execute), if it stays your way (ride the profits), if it goes bad right away (dump and wait again), last and most important... close the trade when the momentum of profit stops.

              -onepoint
        • Gambling is illegal. The new economy is based on it. The stockmarket is just legallized gambling. Some people are good, some people are bad and most people really have no idea what they're doing. They're just interested in taking a risk to maybe make some money. So, there. Gambling is legal.

          Uh, completely wrong, actually. The stock market can be -compared- to gambling, but it is not gambling. You purchase a tangible item (stock) whose value fluctuates based upon supply and demand. If the demand increases, the value of the stock goes up because there is a fixed supply of stock available to the public at any point in time (This is true even after stock splits or un-splits. The resolution of the tangible item simply becomes greater or smaller) If the demand decreases, the value of the stock goes down.

          Gambling is a completely different thing. You do not purchase a tangible item when you gamble. That's why gambling is illegal and will remain illegal unless a law is passed similar to what NV and NJ have done (To allow Vegas and Atlantic City, respectivly)

    • The rule is usually based around Consideration, Chance, and Compensation. As in - you can have any two, but all three together are an illegal lottery/gambling situation.

      Some examples:

      • Consideration and Compensation - pretty much would mean buying something.
      • Consideration and Chance - Video Arcade games
      • Chance and Compensation - Just about every promotional contest out there, thats why, say, McDonald's has to say "Purchase not required." in their Monopoly Game ads. The also have to provide an alternate way of entering the contest besides buying something


      NeuLevel was doing all three - you had to pay to enter (consideration), a prize would have been awarded -the domain name (compensation), and they were doing by random drawing (chance). That's a lottery.

    • Also, how is a lottery illegal, but bidding for a domain name isn't? ----> It's my understanding that lotteries and raffles are illegal unless they are operated by the government or by a "charitable, educational or religious organization". Joe Schmoe's Lottery Inc. can't just go out and sell tickets to anyone and pocket the proceeds as a private business entity. Remember "playing the numbers" in the old mobster movies?
    • It's probably illegal to run a lottery where the entrants are not told the odds of winning (nor are the odds fixed for that matter).

      Most gambling laws require fixed odds and for the odds to be available to all players.

      Not to mention this probably constitutes and unlicensed lottery too.

  • After all, it's a .com world! Even ask your average PHB! ("Yeah, I want my business to end in .com, NOT .biz! Joe C. Luser across the street has joecluser.com! I want a .com NOW!")

  • by IcebergSlim ( 450399 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @04:27PM (#2422142)


    I called the company last month to see if our corporate domain had been requested by someone else, and they wouldn't tell me if anyone had or not, and that the only way to be sure I'd get the .biz for our domain would be to put in more bids than anyone (if anyone) else competing for it......

    What a scam......

  • A lottery was the most fair way to decide who gets the domain name. First come first serve would have resulted in a bunch of idiots registering names and then selling them off. Even worse would be if NeuLevel had decided to hold an auction for the names.

    A solution was put in place that didn't involve who has the most money winning the rights to the domain, so of course the people with the money have to resort to bringing in the lawyers.
    • First come first serve would have resulted in a bunch of idiots registering names and then selling them off.

      As opposed to the idiots at NeuLevel?
    • NeuLevel was in the wrong.

      They were going to make a killing at everyone else's expense.

      Since cybersquatters can no longer hold trademarked names it would be worthless for them to go out and register every trademark domain name.

      They should quit releasing one extension at a time to create extra demand. They should release tons of extensions all at once and let buyers be creative. If they want to setup certain rules for certain extensions that's fine, but letting people buy the rights to be in an auction just doesn't seem right.
  • The problem... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bagheera ( 71311 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @04:29PM (#2422148) Homepage Journal
    From what I've seen, a lot of the contested .biz registrations are between legitimate Trademark holders and what are effectively domain squatters. I've seen at least one San Francisco based company issueing requests for (various versions of major hardware vendor).biz addresses in conflict with said major vendor's own legitimate claim.

    I wouldn't be overly surprised to see this company, and others, doing this specifically to make money down the road by trying to sell the names back to the trademark holders.

    Honestly, cocacola.biz (for example) should legitimately go to them...

    • Honestly, cocacola.biz (for example) should legitimately go to them...

      Doesn't Coca Cola already have a domain?

    • Re:The problem... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jiheison ( 468171 )
      Honestly, cocacola.biz (for example) should legitimately go to them...

      Automatically granting .biz domains to those that already control the equivalent .com domains defies the logic of introducing new TLDs in the first place.
    • Go to who? Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc [cokecce.com], the Atlanta-based company that is "the world's largest bottler of liquid, nonalcoholic refreshment" with $14 billion dollars of net revenue/year, (stock symbol CCE [google.com])

      .. or does it go to Cola Cola Company [cocacola.com], the huge Atlanta-based company that is the largest manufacturer, distributor and marketer of soft drink concentrates and syrups in the world (along with a hefty portfolio of other drinks) @ $20 Billion/year net revenue (stock symbol KO [google.com])?

      These are two distinct companies with different owners. In this case, they're friends... but not all companies with the same trademark (possible if used in different fields) are, though.
      • I suspect in this case, the Trademark of "Coca Cola", as well as the logo, image, colors, etc, is owned by one company and licenced to the other.

        But yes, your point is valid. Unless TLDs are split up along exactly the same lines as trademarks are (by the market segment the company is involved in) it is a losing proposition to pretend that one and only one company can own a single trademark.
        • Yeah... the CCE page says so, and actualy has a link to cocacola.com (as if anyone would accidently type in cokecce accidently!).

          I don't think that www.coca-cola.nutrient-or-tonic-beverages.biz is too intuitive.
          - - -
          Word Mark: COCA-COLA

          Goods and Services: IC 032. US 045. G & S: NUTRIENT OR TONIC BEVERAGES. FIRST USE: 18870628. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 18870628

          Mark Drawing Code: (5) WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS IN STYLIZED FORM

          Serial Number: 70022406

          Filing Date: May 14, 1892
  • I can imagine now cybersquatters happy because they "won" a .biz domain, and because this would, after a fashion, legitimize their activity.

    I'll go place a $1 bid for mcdonalds.biz - if I win, I can go offer McDonalds the domain for $10.000. If they sue me, I can retort by stating I got the domain in a legitimate way.

    It may or not be illegal - but it sure as hell is stupid.
    • Would you care to provide a better solution to the dilema?

      The current method allows for the little guys to have a chance at something that normally for financial reasons they wouldn't even dream of. This is what the American Dream is all about.
    • Would you care to provide a better solution to the dilema?

      The current method allows for the little guys to have a chance at something that normally for financial reasons they wouldn't even dream of. This is what the American Dream is all about.



      This might be a good idea for assigning domains between legitimate candidates. , it also gives a fair chance to cybersquatters, which shouldn't even be considered (look at my McDonalds example - do I have any right for the mcdonalds.biz domain? None - yet I could have it assigned to me).

  • RIP Wild Wild Web... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Multiple Sanchez ( 16336 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @04:31PM (#2422165)
    This makes sense. The web has been wild for too long... the race-for-a-plot-of-land mentality surrounding domain registration couldn't last forever, and frankly has no place in a saner, more mature (read: less exciting) WWW. This is the next logical step, and a welcome one in my opinion.

    The 'net mentality that turned whitehouse.com into a porn site is one whose time should end.

  • by alewando ( 854 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @04:32PM (#2422169)
    It's a sad commentary that the neulevel/ICANN think that in cases of controversy, all they have to do to resolve the dispute is pick a number out of a hat. If we're going to have a system of enforceable trademarks, and if we're going to extend these trademarks to domain names, then let's be serious about it and apply rules of thoughtful jurisprudence in determining who must win and who must lose. If we're simply going to assign these domains on a first-come-first-serve basis, then let's be serious about it and actually deliver the domain names on a first-come-first-serve basis. If neither system is acceptable, then auction the domains off to the highest bidder; it would hurt the little people, but it would at least be transparent.



    Contested .biz addresses are, by their very nature, the popular ones. If a domain name has been requested by at least two parties, then that domain is assigned under this lottery scheme. And let's make no mistake about it: $2-$15 fees are non-trivial when numbered in the millions, and the fees are, by definition, applied in the most popular and therefore most numerous cases.



    And why are these fees being charged at all? There's no significant additional processing required to resolve each of these disputes, and the initial price of registration should be sufficient to cover this eventuality. Charging the fee doesn't discourage claims after the fact, and all the information has already been collected by neulevel. It wouldn't be the first or last time a quasi-legal organization has bilked consumers, but there's still no excuse for it.

    • The problem with this thought is that even though you create more TLD's you don't create more names for people to use. In your world Coke would get Coke.* and everyone else be damned. In that case I think we should make Coke buy the TLD .coke and call it done, they can have any site they want on .coke and noone else can get on it. However they should be disallowed to get coke.com because that should go to a random person not qualified for a .coke domain.

      Honestly though, a person or organization should be allowed 1 domain and 1 domain only and anything else that they want should be below that. If you are coke.com thats all you get, if you want a million servers name the rest of them *.coke.com but you can't have coke2.com. Then maybe we would be somewhere even resonably close to being able to satisfy the demand for unique rememberable domain names.

      In the current world there isn't a way to distrubute names that will satisfy everyone because there are too many people to satisfy. You could say that Mr. David Coke has a more valid claim to coke.com than the Coke company does, I mean david didn't even get to choose his name. In the end the people with the most money will win, and I think thats something we will have to live with. In our world it just doesn't matter what way you distribute the names initially they will all concentrate at the top of the food chain anyways.

      • However they should be disallowed to get coke.com because that should go to a random person not qualified for a .coke domain.

        I think this could be resolved w/o resorting to company specific TLDs. Let's remeber, these TLDs are supposed to signify something (ahem, bizness?). Why not just enforce rules regarding the registration of existing TLDs: .com for commercial organizations; .net for networking organizations; .org for non-business organizations.

        Why should Coke get to monopolize domains that clearly have nothing to do with their enterprise? They have no more claim to coca-cola.org or coca-cola.net than they do to coca-cola.edu or coca-cola.gov.
  • It occurs to me to ask... who owns .biz? (Or does anyone?). If NeuLevel is managing the system, don't they have a right to decide what method will be used to resolve contention? Could they (effectively) argue this is more fair than letting the orginization with the deepest pockets claim a name?

    Or are we seeing that the corporation with the deepest pockets hires more expensive lawyers to sue first so they can't loose?

    Sad times... but what's new?

    • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @04:57PM (#2422271) Homepage Journal

      It occurs to me to ask... who owns .biz?

      Nobody. None of this is property, even in an abstract intellectual sense. It is all really just about contracts (however indirect) with ICANN (whose "authority" is completely defacto), ultimately coming down to what ICANN's servers are going to server when they service requests sent to them.

      And if you send your DNS request to someone else's servers [www.opennic] you may indeed get very different answers to the same query. foo.biz can point to two completely different hosts, depending on who you ask. Therefore, .biz is not property, and it makes no more sense to talk of someone owning a domain than it makes sense to say someone owns "SELECT * FROM FOO"

  • by mrbkap ( 517255 ) <mrbkap@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday October 12, 2001 @04:35PM (#2422182) Homepage
    The article doesn't mention an extremely important fact: what the judge actually found wrong with the lottery. It is also extremely interesting that the person who filed the suit to stop the lottery was attempting to get a .biz domain. Personally I feel that he was just trying to get a free/cheap domain, and skirt the lottery. Of course it is possible that I'm wrong, but without more information, I cannot tell.
    • by sulli ( 195030 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @04:45PM (#2422218) Journal
      why was this suit pressed?

      Wrinkles

    • I was under the impression that lotteries unless in some way approved or licensed by the state government, and for that matter many other forms of gambling, were illegal in most states in the USA. I could be completely wrong there though. If lotteries are (in general) illegal in the USA then I guess it was taken that it didn't need any more explanation as to why this particular lottery was found to be illegal.

      I guess they made a bad choice of jurisdiction to incorporate in, though it is difficult to believe that anyone would set up even a short term international lottery without taking extensive legal advice considering how widely laws vary on the matter.
  • After I collect interest on investing it.

    Hell, $3M compounding 10% per annum calculated monthly would net $314 000 in interest.

    That's a decent enough annual income. Howzabout you all loan me some money for a year or two? I *promise* I'll give it back!
  • by Lysander Luddite ( 64349 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @04:36PM (#2422185)
    For NeuLevel

    neulevel.outof.biz
  • I want the list of applicants for a .biz domain. That way, I can make sure that I have no money invested in them, for clearly they will be going out of ".bizness" due to a complete lack of sense.
  • This isn't News (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Kengineer ( 246142 )
    ... because nobody cares about .biz domains anyway. They won't get any respect, since all the companies people care about already have .com addresses. People will view .biz domains as late-comers and hangers-on. Which probably isn't far from the truth.

    - kengineer
  • by trilucid ( 515316 ) <pparadis@havensystems.net> on Friday October 12, 2001 @04:51PM (#2422246) Homepage Journal

    is that they were charging people to "enter the lottery" for contested names. That just doesn't sit right with me; they get your money whether you "win" the domain or not.

    Let's consider it. For popular, "hotly contested" domains, dozens (maybe hundreds? who knows?) of people may throw their money in for a chance at it. Now, I'm not going to say the people who actually do this are terribly bright to begin with (the more popular the domain, the more people who'll bid), but it just seems too much for me.

    Aside from the implications in trademark law (not that I actually support the bogus trademark/domain claims that some companies make these days), it seems dumb to go through this nasty process when you *could* just register a different (maybe even similar) domain for a lower cost anyhow.

  • .biz spam (Score:2, Funny)

    by worf_mo ( 193770 )
    The steady flow of spam mails praising the advantages of a .biz domain has come to a point where it is even higher than the number of mails trying to convince me to buy a penis enlarger or to increase my (hairy) breast size. Now one can win a friggin' .biz domain at a lottery. Does that mean we'll soon see happy winners of the [fill-in-your-state]-lottery walk away with the latest John-Holmes-kit(tm)?
  • Shambles (Score:2, Informative)

    by term0r ( 471206 )
    The whole organisation of the .info and .biz tld's all seems to be crap. Here in New Zealand ,an Australian company managing the .biz & .info domains managed to extract from their partnering .nz registrar a mailing list of every .nz nameholder. They then mailed (physcial mail, not email) this list of people telling them that they should secure their domain by paying $250 to them. Only if you read the finer print did you actually find out that this cost was to secure a .biz or .info version of your domain and that it didnt actually secure it at all.

    Since then, the .info tld has opened for business, and we only seem to see crap, hastily put up websites around, or carbon copies of the equivelant .com or .co.uk etc. Although all these new tld's are probably a good idea, I think the organisers went about things in the wrong way.
  • My post [slashdot.org] from another story [slashdot.org].


    Just a note on the .biz registration process:

    I wanted to get a certain .biz domain. I pre-pre-submitted a request for the name WAY back when they first started talking about these new tlds. After a while, more people jumped on the bandwagon and it began to look like we were really going to see these come into circulation. I did some more research about the (pre) registration process and found that while you could pay your registrar to 'reserve' the name for you, they couldn't initially guarantee that you would get the name. In fact you just got an entry into an intial drawing (which is tomorrow, IIRC) when you might actually be awarded the name. Needless to say, I bought several more "entries" for my domain of choice (it's that good... really)

    One critical loophole: the initial pre-registration period is also meant to allow those with trademark or "intellectual property" claims to a name to challenge your right to register it. While this sounds like a good way to protect legitimate rights, it just allowed people time to register all kinds of bogus claims with the USPTO. Last week I received a notice from Neuland (?) informing me that 15 or 20 people had "IP" claims to my domain. What should I do? Do I have any chance, as a non-corporate-lawyer-holding netizen of preserving my rights to the name even if I happen to be awarded it? I'd think that I should have just as much right to it as anybody else considering there's no "prior use" of the .biz tld.
  • The Problem... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NatePWIII ( 126267 ) <nathan@wilkersonart.com> on Friday October 12, 2001 @05:08PM (#2422316) Homepage
    Ok, forget about .biz, .info, .whatever. The heart of the problem is with the institution called "ICANN". Who ever made ICANN the governing body of domains and the internet structure as we know it? Seems to me they sort of self appointed themselves and now have a system in place to keep their little hierarchy afloat...

    I think a total reorganization is called for, something akin to the United Nations but for ruling and policing the World Wide Web. Its not called the World Wide Web for nothing. There are no political or geographic boundaries.

    I propose that we create an organization called the World Wide Web Consortium. Each country who has a cctld would elect or appoint two representatives from their country. Also to make things more fair the countries with the largest Internet presence would form a sub-group within this framework much like the security council within the U.N.

    As a whole this body would then make decisions about country domains and new TLD's like the .biz .info etc...

    There would be no one company controlling a monopoly such as Network Solutions (ie. Verisign) or Affilias or NeuBiz. These companies might be contracted however the in the long term best interests, the organization and administration of TLD's should be directly handled the WWWC.

    Just some food for thought...
    • Sure, except the fact that the World Wide Web Consortium already exists.
    • W3C (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kindbud ( 90044 )
      I propose that we create an organization called the World Wide Web Consortium.

      There is already an organization by that (appropriate) name, they are at the obvious URL [w3c.org], doing the obvious standards-setting things regarding the world wide web.

      Furthermore, since DNS != HTTP, and the Internet != The Web, the name you propose is badly misleading.

      ICANN, by the way, is exactly the sort of organization you propose. Thanks, but no thanks. Been there, done that, didn't even get a T-shirt.
    • I think a total reorganization is called for, something akin to the United Nations but for ruling and policing the World Wide Web.


      That is wonderful idea! We don't like ICANN, so let's replace it with an organization modeled on the most inefficient, ineffective, bureacratic, ill-conceived piece of leftist brain-spew ever.
    • Why do we even need a central organization in the first place? To make decisions on what goes into central name servers? Why do I have to use their stupid name servers anyway? Why does anyone? Why not just let people choose what entity they want to provide top level domain selection, and they can point their DNS hint file to them? That's the only true fair market way to decide. That way those who want .XXX can have it, and those that don't can avoid it, and we don't have some group of people taking payoffs to decide who gets to populate the .XXX zone.

  • Our experience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kindbud ( 90044 ) on Friday October 12, 2001 @05:18PM (#2422336) Homepage
    I work for a company a lot of people love to hate, and we're pretty protective of our marks, but not to the point of registering the *sucks.com versions of our marks (thanks largely to me).

    We got a message from our registrar (who shall go nameless) telling us that we had a few more weeks to get our "applications" in for our marks under the .biz TLD, and that many Fortune 500 companies were putting in 1000 or more applications for the major marks, and 100-500 for their minor marks. For only $5 per application, our registrar was willing to make the applications for our marks on our behalf. Well isn't that nice.

    Our attorneys (who turn to me whenever confronted with anything remotely technical, guess I'm lucky that way) have decided not to pursue any additional applications, in .biz or in .info. Of course, being famous, all our applications have been contested, and are subject to this "lottery". Our lawyers simply realized that no matter what the outcome of the lottery, our marks are still our marks and the winner does not win the right to infringe.

    They used to tell me "go register this domain for us please, it's cheaper than sending a cease & desist letter." This time however, they decided that sending a C&D to the "winner" is going to cost much less than playing along with the silly lottery.

    They also associate ICANN and NSI with increased workload due to all these nuisance issues that come up with domains. I have educated them well. :)
    • Having a trademark doesn't guarantee you rights to any domain name by default - this only works if the TLD in question allows trademark holders some special right to claim a name over another user.

      The .name registry for example explicitly states that trademark holders will have no special rights over another user.

      A trademark only grants you the rights to that name within a particular market sector so to suggest you have a god given right to a given domain name is folly, you have to play by whatever rules the registry adopts. Otherwise coke wouldn't be something you could burn.

      You can only claim a domain name through legal action if the existing owner did not register it in good faith.

      I'm sure you are aware that registering sucks.com has been found to be legitimate on more than one occasion.
  • That there would be further trouble with dot biz?!?! I was like, totally floored. *grin*

    In all seriousness though, has anyone noticed that maybe ICANN and the registrars aren't quite suited to developing new TLD's and doling them out fairly? Will anyone actually own a biz, for which they dont already have the dot com? The purpose of a biz tld seems vague at best, it's almost as if there is no use for it, other than to duplicate existing dotcom domains, and wring a few more dollars out of corporate america (not that I'm against bleeding them of more cash *grin*). I would dearly love to see some statistics of just how many businesses go without a decent domain name because of lack of available names, vs. how many individuals go without a domain for lack thereof... I would bet good money that there are 100 times as many people like ourselves that go without, and yet ICANN still gears every new TLD to a business market. Sad.
  • A lottery for domain names is both good and bad. Needless to say, lots of hungry squatters are looking to snap up millions of company names...But millions of companies are looking to snap up their names. Other than that, why the hell would he nix that lottery? People paid for it fair and square...same with gambling. Netgambling is legal, why shouldn't this? Isn't it gambling as well?
  • ICANN-

    Your organization fouled up the .INFO and .BIZ TLD launches more than I ever thought possible - I couldn't have done it any better if I'd tried. As a result you have saved us many individuals, businesses, governments, etc who operate services in the legacy gTLDs (.COM, .NET, .ORG) much money - no need for us to register duplicate domains in every new TLD when they are poorly managed, unreliable, and unpopular with the public.

    And as an added benefit, any new TLDs that come down the pike will be tainted and present relatively little threat and thus saving all of us even more money - but really ICANN, we both know the deal here...the introduction of new TLDs was designed to fail - real businesses, etc already have the domains they need in the legacy gTLDs and/or can afford to acquire the domains they need - there's really no need to add TLDs other than to make it look like ICANN was doing something, while in reality just maintaining status quo.

    Thanks again ICANN :-)
  • Rip offs like this makes me wish that every DNS was shut off and everyone had to type in IP addresses.

    Arrgghh! And whilst I'm ranting, IMHO, when people register names, they should have a funtional website up within 3 months or lose their registration so we can cut back on the domain squatting.

    Of course, if you do that, J Random DomainSquatter will just have all of his domains point to 1 place.

    Screw it! Let's just shut off DNS.

    Sorry... Just a bad day dealing with $registration_company.
    • OR it must be owned and operated by its users rather than by people and organizations which exist solely to milk money out of those users (us!).

      Check out the OpenNIC.

    • I'll do you one better.

      No reselling domain names, and a partial refund if you de-register.
      No bulk registrations, and not 3 months, but 2 weeks to have some sort of rudimentary site. "This domain is parked" sites don't count.
      A single variant of any name can be owned by any one entity. No more Dubya buying up 1000 domains, to stifle disent and parody.

      This is the minimum it would take to add some sanity back into the system.

      Of course, I want more than a sane DNS system, I want a free and open system also, the way it's truly meant to be. It's not about fencing it in, dividing it up, and selling it off the the highest bidder. Nor is it about finding new ways to force feed us the same junk they've been trying to ram down our throats for 50 years, at triple the cost. How many ISP's think ill of you running a small website on your own computer? They simply can't fathom that it might not be a business which will swamp their bandwidth. How many people think that domain names should only be purchased for money, or that you'd have to pay to have one? (or worse, whore out your thoughts and words to geocities) It should be this immense tropical rain forest, and instead of I get a small town 2 acre park, where the landscaper can't quite figure out how much fertilizer to use.

      It's sad.
    • Hell, no.

      Then they'll just start arguing over memorable IP addresses. The court case for 1.1.1.1 would be even more embarrassing/annoying/homicidal rampage inducing than this crap...

    • Re:DNS must DIE!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PurpleBob ( 63566 )
      Arrgghh! And whilst I'm ranting, IMHO, when people register names, they should have a funtional website up within 3 months or lose their registration so we can cut back on the domain squatting.

      This proposal is often made by people who either don't know or refuse to think about how the Internet works.

      Say I register a (non-contested) personal domain name in order to have a neat e-mail address, and maybe run an FTP server and stuff like that, and I have no intention of putting up any website, much less a functional one. Would that make me a domain squatter?
      • It's a pretty rare bird that doesn't use httpd on
        a domain name. Sure, people may use a domain only
        for mail, ftp, etc. But not often. Besides, most people
        running ftp will have a webpage for instructions
        and rules. No it doesn't make you a domain squatter
        if you don't run httpd, just rare.

        Go over to ebay and check out the multitudes of people
        auctioning domains and how much they are asking for them.
        I dunno about you, but IMHO, domain names were made
        to make computing services easier to find and use, not
        something that should be held for ransom.

  • I'm kinda pissed off by all the people who patent stupid things (one click shopping) and who want to own "generic" domain names (radio.biz). While I am a little more demanding than the US legal system, I do have something they might approve of. What about essentially a link site for contested domains (let's say computer.biz) that would be paid for by anyone who wanted to be listed there. Then off of there they could tree down (dell.computer.biz, intel.computer.biz, hp.computer.biz) sort of like how the internet is designed (or it would seem). It's already split into a tree when it separated out into .com, .gov, .org (or the equivalents for other countries), why not just continue the process? While this model may not be practical for the existing .com, for new high level domains it may solve things without funneling a ton of money into lawyers. ;)
  • Since this is a lottery, (you pay to play, and you don't get your $$$ back if you lose, and it's random), and it's done over the Net, isn't this a form of Internet Gambling, which the Senate just voted to outlaw in the USA Act?
  • I can't believe people are even signing up for this domain in the first place.

    My initial reaction when I started to get the hundreds of spam emails for .biz and .info that netizens would be far too intelligent to buy into them. However, I guess I overestimated their intelligence.

    I think the main problem here is that a LOT of people are still looking to make a quick buck like people did in the mid 90s with .com names. They figure if they get a good domain name, someone will eventually pay them big bucks for it. However, .biz will NEVER have the same consumer-friendly ring to it that .com does, and people need to realize that before they purchase one of these absolutely idiotic domain names.
    • I suspect this will end up being like the whole .cc thing a few years ago. I used to hear ads on the radio for Spot.cc "Register your new .cc domain now! All the good .com names are taken!" and now you don't hear anything about it. Why? Because people don't care about non-com names (well, maybe .net they care about). When you think Microsoft, or Dell, are you going to think Dell.biz, or Microsoft.biz? No Way!

  • According to the NeuLevel, Inc. web site:

    Please remember, if you have received a Domain Name Application conflict notice, you need to respond with your intention to proceed or cancel your application by 23:59 EDT on Monday, 11 October 2001.

    I'd like to know when this particular date is supposed to be.

  • All the problems with trademarks and domain names is based on spin and lies.

    The United States Department of Commerce and the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization know the solution.

    The US DoC, USPTO and even the UK Patent Office do not deny the assertions put to them.

    The authorities have been using lies and propaganda; As example, ask them to deny this:

    THOUSANDs of new open TLDs will not solve any problem - even if every one has 'Sunrise Period'

    It will not solve 'consumer confusion', 'trademark conflict' or stop anybody 'passing off'.

    Also, as an example on Sunrise, thousands of trademarks using word 'Apple' have no guarantee of being able to use name.

    Apple computers will still protect and make claim to every Apple.[anything] - even though they share word with 727 others in the USA alone (plus all those in 200+ countries).

    The solution to domain name and trademark problems is at WIPO.org.uk [wipo.org.uk] .
  • Brace for Collision (Score:3, Interesting)

    by budgenator ( 254554 ) on Saturday October 13, 2001 @08:39AM (#2423633) Journal
    Anybody registering a .biz, will be in for an interesting time. You see there is nothing to stop anyone from running their own TLD, all you need is to set up DNS on a computer, connect it to the internet and have people use it for DNS (that's actualy the hard part).

    Well the .biz tld has been in use for quite some time now, well before ICANN had decided to open up their own .biz TLD, and when ICANN activates their .biz TLD there are going to be collisions in name resolution. poiuyt.com [poiuyt.com] has a short blurb about it and links to more authoritative content. Several of the alternative NIC's have banned to gether and resolve each other's name spaces, It's interesting that these other guys play nice with each other while the official DNS acts like the school yard bully. What happens when you "win" your favored .biz name and someone else can prove that they've had it and used it complete with traffic logs for several years? who do you complain to when your domain resolves to two seperate IP addresses?

    Things are going to be interesting, stay tuned for more!
  • Why hasn't anyone just simply started their own ROOTDNS servers? Is there a law against starting your own service that runs over the internet and associates a DNS with an IP? I konw it would be really complex, but it would certainly be interesting to see what happens. Something like, all domains for $1. You could then register any domain you wish...even if the same exact name already existed. People would simply choose to use your DNS, or rely on the existing system.

    Really an interesting concept...

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