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The Internet

TLD Registrar Wants To Charge $300 For .Pro Names 422

dipfan writes: "The commercialization of the net continues: RegistryPro, the ICANN-approved registrar of the new TLD name, wants to charge up to $300 for .Pro addresses - or about 10 times the price of a .com address. The company says it will restrict .Pro to doctors, lawyers or accountants: 'qualified professionals in good standing ... .pro will be a premium brand, enabling effective, secure communication between professionals and users for the first time in the history of the Internet.' The Washington Post quotes RegistryPro's chief executive: 'The goal of RegistryPro is to build out a gated community for professionals on the Internet.' Is this what happens when you give one company a license to print money?"
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TLD Registrar Wants To Charge $300 For .Pro Names

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  • by NewbieSpaz ( 172080 ) <nofx_punkguy.linuxmail@org> on Wednesday May 08, 2002 @08:27AM (#3483604) Homepage
    Prostitutes won't be able to register...
  • Uh-huh (Score:2, Funny)

    by Heem ( 448667 )
    And then there will be the professional porn sites, the professional gambling sites.. the professional pop-up ad sites.....
  • $300 is more like 20 times (or more) what you'd pay for a domain if you avoid verisign []
  • by iangoldby ( 552781 ) on Wednesday May 08, 2002 @08:30AM (#3483616) Homepage
    Why not just let the market decide?

    If people want to pay, that's fine. No one is forcing anyone to have a .pro domain. There are after all other choices.

    I don't think there is really anything wrong with allowing people to pay for what is, in effect, a premium brand. (I won't be buying one.)
  • So they want $300 for a name? Then just don't register in the .pro namespace. I can see getting all bent out of shape if this was happening in .com, but who cares about .pro.

    In fact, I wish there was a little more of a barrier to entry, just think where spam would be if free e-mail sites didn't exist... (Yes, I know it would still be around, but at least they wouldn't be able to hide behind a throw away e-mail account.)
    • You seem to not realize that the only reason why you don't care about .pro, but would about .com is that for years now everyone has been using .com, even though it is supposed to be for companies.

      If it weren't for .com, we would probably have to know which country every site was in, which would peel back a layer of the "global internet", which should remain invisisble.


  • Ridiculous (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RoC MasterMind ( 576689 ) on Wednesday May 08, 2002 @08:31AM (#3483624) Homepage
    $300 is ridiculous. I remember trying to register a .tv domain, and they wanted $500.

    "enabling effective, secure communication between professionals and users for the first time in the history of the Internet"

    Um, no, it won' t be secure nor effective by default. LOL, this is not the first time secure and effective communication has taken place between "pros and users". Who do these people think they are? God?
    • Surely you can see how something as simple as your choice of TLDs makes your site more secure. I just wish I didn't have one of those oh-so-easily-hackable dot-coms to deal with...they're so insecure. If only all other TLDs could provide the security of dot pro. And on another note, I couldn't help but see the "LOL" in your post and think that I should try to get that to be universally accepted as a TLD for humour sites, then charge exorbitant prices for it. After all, no other TLD can ensure as much funny for the money as ".LOL"

    • ...unbreakable domain names.
      and of course those unbreakable will be .oracle :)
  • PRO - FIT! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
  • Secure? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by elsegundo ( 316028 )
    I think it takes more than a nifty domain suffix to provide secure communications.
  • I got an email offering discount university degrees based on my life experience.

    .pro here i come.

  • In good standing ?? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tensor ( 102132 ) on Wednesday May 08, 2002 @08:33AM (#3483636)
    WTF do they mean by that.

    I'm an engineer, and after 5 years of school, and 5 more being a professional i can't even apply for a .pro domain (not that i'd pay $300, but still)

    What is Good Standing ? why is it limited to those 3 professions ? who decided this ? and why ??
    • And to add to that... This would be the first TLD targeted towards individuals. Currently, if an individual wants to get a domain name they're restricted pretty much to .com and .org, neither of which fits an individual... So when do the rabble, like me, get our TLD???
    • by lkaos ( 187507 )
      Oh come on now. I would give you credit if you spent more than 5 years in school, but I imagine you undertook a co-op program and just have a B.S.

      Doctors and Lawyers have 8 year programs and such. I would agree with your argument if you had received a PhD and spent 9 years in school but you can't expect every guy who gets an engineering degree (and man, there's a lot of them) to be considered a "professional" in the good-ole-boy sense that they are pushing for.
      • I don't know about other universities or countries, but at my university in BC, engineering is a four year degree where you come out with a B.Eng (not a B.S.). It takes five years because of co-op.

        However, in BC and I believe most (if not all) of the other provinces, you must have been working as an engineer for at least four years before you can apply to get your P.Eng (Professional Engineer).

        So we can't just call ourselves Professional Engineers upon graduation, it takes about nine years.

        I don't think this is a whole lot different. Just a different set of hoops to jump through to be called a professional. I think engineers are just as professional as doctors, etc.

        Of course there are a hell of a lot of other careers that would need to be included in that list as well.

        On topic again,
        What bothers me the most is how they're charging for the extension. Sure have criteria, that's fine and dandy, but to charge like that? It makes me think of the frequency spectrum, somehow the right to use parts of something that just exists can be sold and no one else is allowed to use it. I understand the theory but sometimes when I'm thinking the right way, it bothers me.
      • by Grab ( 126025 )
        Nope, but everyone who gets an engineering degree *and* spends x years working in engineering in a position of some responsibility.

        Incidentally, in some countries in mainland Europe the word "engineer" has the same status as the word "doctor". You actually call yourself "Engineer Smith" the same way as you'd call an MD or PhD "Doctor Jones". To avoid this getting diluted, there's high standards for getting your "Engineer" title. And as a result of that, engineers have a high status in society and engineering is seen as a top career.

        A junior doctor doesn't spend all those 8 years in school - most of it is spent working and learning how to apply the knowledge they've got from their course. Which is the same as any engineer does when they get out of school.

    • Us engineers should get together and start a .WTF TLD!
    • by Jaeger ( 2722 ) on Wednesday May 08, 2002 @11:17AM (#3484577) Homepage
      Personally, I'd go for a few more tld's:
      • .phd (which I'd like to get, but first I have to get grad schools to accept me)
      • .engr (the people who *really* run the world.)
      The narrowly-defined "professionals in good standing" can have all the .pro domains the can handle.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Please name one domain name registrar other than Verisign who's getting rich off domain names. For that matter, is Verisign's *net* on domain names really so big?

    I don't understand why so many fools think that domain names are still a gold rush. That was a bubble effect, and it's gone now. You can charge all you want. You'll get some uptake, but running a registry costs money, and I don't see how any of these new alternate domains are going to pull in enough $$ to make a huge net profit. People want .com, not .yours. Especially if .yours is an order of magnitude more expensive.
  • Just like the hype surrounding .tv

    People are comfortable with .com and you can have .pro, .whatever, and for the most part, .com is what people will be most inclined to trust and go to. If you're balking at the price, don't buy it--given the overwhelming (note: sarcasm) success of .tv you're throwing your money away if you do. Let it regulate and moderate itself and it'll just fade away.

  • Once again... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ivrcti ( 535150 )
    ..our government demonstrates the beauty and reliability of a monopoly!
  • Good plan (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NiftyNews ( 537829 ) on Wednesday May 08, 2002 @08:34AM (#3483650) Homepage
    Hmm...let's think about this for a minute.

    Current # of porn sites: 17,623,620
    Current # of .pro porn sites: 0

    Do ya think someone might find $300 to be a fair trade for entering a brand new market for deception?
  • by rhadamanthus ( 200665 ) on Wednesday May 08, 2002 @08:35AM (#3483652)
    Since when have doctors, lawyers, or accountants been the only "professionals"? Moreover, on the internet I would make the wild assumption that they are the least visible "professionals".

    Anyhow, the idea of paying 300 bucks for a .pro TLD is ridiculous. But then again, since they have restricted the buyers to only those people with little or no clue, but lots of money, they are bound to make some coin.

    Scott Adams had a term for people like this. In his section on Market Segmentation, Adams remarked that the "most important market segment is known as the 'Stupid Rich', so named because of their tendency to buy anything that's new regardless of cost or usefulness."

    These .pro names are going to be the newest fad among the stupid rich.
    Disclaimer: most doctors, lawyers, and accountants are not all that stupid, except when it comes to internet technology.
    • Any user of a .pro name will immediately self-identify as an idiot who will buy anything. Instant poetic justice!
  • by Cutriss ( 262920 ) on Wednesday May 08, 2002 @08:39AM (#3483677) Homepage
    .pro will be a premium brand, enabling effective, secure communication between professionals and users for the first time in the history of the Internet.'

    And of course, as we all know, everyone with a .pro address will be an honorable, morally-sound individual, thus providing the "secure communication" mentioned here.

    Oh please...

    Like .pro is going to ensure that all the paths between me and it are secure and locked down...
  • supply and demand (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spacefem ( 443435 ) on Wednesday May 08, 2002 @08:39AM (#3483678) Homepage
    The $300 won't last more than a month for obvious reasons. The fact is, no one needs one of these names that badly. A domain name extention is not a necessity in this world, and a .com has just the same prestige (if not more) in people's minds than a .pro or .tv or whatever they're charging the big bucks for this week. I'm just find with letting one company control an extention... the population is smart enough not to support anyone who prices their named unreasonably.
    • by msouth ( 10321 )
      the population is smart enough not to support anyone who prices their name[s] unreasonably.

      Cool! A smart population! Where did you find them? These aren't the population that was smart enough to invest in the dot com hype, make Bill Gates rich, and love Britney Spears and the Spice Girls are they?

      Just let me know where these smart people live and I'm there! Even if it's a gated community...

  • by AnotherLinuxUser ( 48142 ) on Wednesday May 08, 2002 @08:39AM (#3483680) Homepage
    If they carry on like this I can't help but wonder how long
    it will be before Microsoft (and possibly AOL) offer their own
    competing DNS services. (Indeed MS could well have this in
    mind as a future part of their .NET strategy).

    (Yes, I know about some of the other alternative registrars
    but they are small and (unfortunately) don't have the brand
    recognition for the non tech-savvy to use them.)
  • by jukal ( 523582 ) on Wednesday May 08, 2002 @08:39AM (#3483682) Journal
    If we consider that Thawte is selling their 128-but SuperCerts [] at the price of US $300 per year, which is not even the highest price on the market (Verisign, $348 [], then:

    it is completely understandable that the price is similar, as they are supposed to go into similar actions to verify the authentity of the registrant - or atleast this is what their marketing speach makes you think - that they only give this domain name for fully qualified registrants, this they can verify only by same procedures, as Thawte or Verisign. They sell different product, but need to do similar procedures to deliver the product

    What is not understandable, is if their price for renewals is as high - as the work involved in renewal is minimal compared to first time granting. This is also the case with Thawte and Verisign, they charge way too much for the renewals too (Thawte, $300 Verisign $249 )
  • Gated Communities (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hndrcks ( 39873 )
    Bah. Just like the elitist fscks down the road who want to build an 'exclusive community' on public infrastructure paid for with my taxes .

    Let these asswipes manage their own root server. When the thing is 0wn3d by some teenager from Singapore, I'll be the first one in line to laugh.

    • Bah. Just like the elitist fscks down the road who want to build an 'exclusive community' on public infrastructure paid for with my taxes .

      I fail to see how this is "just like" "public infrastructure paid for with my taxes." This has nothing to do with your taxes - this is a commercial venture, not a public venture. If you are not involved, than it does not involve you.

      I'm with the poster a few threads up who says "let the market decide." That's usually the best way to do things, and really, why not?

      Go for it .Pro people. Of course, I certainly won't be buying a "premium" domain anytime soon, either.
  • Are the .pro registry going to provide a warranty that all users of the .pro domain space are registered doctors, lawyers and accountants? If so, can I sue them if I am misled by an impostor? If not, where's the value in the domain?
  • Is it just me... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rbeattie ( 43187 )

    Or does "gated community" have nothing but negative connotations?

    I mean, unless you're one of those stuck-up, afraid-of-the-world, protect-my-possesions at-the-cost-of-community, keep-me-away-from-the unwashed-masses type of person who lives in one, I can't imagine anyone using these words in a good way...


    • does "gated community" have nothing but negative connotations?

      My girlfriend and I used to think that, too. We live in a fairly big city-- one of the top 10 in the US, although that's as specific as I want to get-- with its share of upper class and lower class neighborhoods. While we were students we lived in some pretty cruddy parts of town because that's all we could afford, and we laughed at those idiots in their snobby gated communities. Every day we talked about how much we loved the character of our neighborhood, and how sterile those other places are.

      Then some things happened. A car got broken into on our street. We noticed the police coming at all hours of the day and night to break up the domestic fights at our neighbor's house. And, most importantly, we got out of school and got real jobs.

      Next month we're closing on a house in an expensive, gated community. Last year it was cold and sterile; today it's clean and pleasant. I can't describe how nice it is not to overhear anybody else's screaming in the middle of the afternoon, and to see clean sidewalks instead of uncollected trash and cars up on blocks in various states of disassembly.

      Does that make me an elitist? Maybe. If so, I can live with that.

      All I'm saying is, your opinion may change before you realize it.
  • In a cyber-world of English companies with .com domains, Irish companies with domains, ANY company with a .tv domain, it is quite clear to me that the original ideal of "relevant TLD suffixes" has never worked, and will never work in the future.

    That said, it IS a good way of screwing laywers out of their hard-earned cash ($1000 for a letter??? I'll give you 4 for free!!!)
  • That someone willing to pony up $300 for a domain name is serious about it, and not some luser with a website trying to scam you. Of course, $300 isn't alot of money, but it might help filter out some of the worst bottom feeders.
    • That someone willing to pony up $300 for a domain name is serious about it, and not some luser with a website trying to scam you. Of course, $300 isn't alot of money, but it might help filter out some of the worst bottom feeders.

      Right, because the most reputable doctors and lawyers are the ones with the biggest ads in the yellow pages.

      Oh, no, wait...
  • If some "professionals" with coins burning holes in their pockets want to throw away some money for a bit of false prestige, more power to them.
  • Hmmmmm .TV part two? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DohDamit ( 549317 )
    Who on earth thinks people still go for the extension? People should save their 300 bucks. Google's where it's at.
  • The TLD namerush is over. .us and .info are bombs. They could charge $30 or even $3 for the names and they aren't going to pull the immediate numbers they are hoping for.
  • This is the age-old scam called the cred-con. You create a new nightclub with an exclusive looking facade and then you put out a velvet rope and a bouncer and you only let in one out of 1000 people. And then you charge a "premium" and let anyone in throught the back door.

    Professionals are the demographic who least need a web presence. Is this just a scam to attract other scam artists who want to present their own facade of credibility.

    un déception par jour maintient le docteur parti
  • by Schlemphfer ( 556732 ) on Wednesday May 08, 2002 @08:49AM (#3483727) Homepage

    Reading this, I couldn't help but think of the lead character's obsession with business cards [] in American Psycho. For professionals, a personal website today serves much of the role that business cards served in the 1980s.

    Any website or businesscard will contain your contact information. But some people want more than that. They want to shell out extra money to make a statement. The extra $280 that they pay for a .Pro domain serves a purpose--it distinguishes them from the .Com rabble.

    I hate to admite it, but what this company is doing with .Pro domains is innovative. If they market it well to people who want to make a statement, it'll sell. After all, we live in a world where loads of people spend $250 extra to get a gold plated nameplate on their Toyotas. Never underestimate the number of insecure people with money to spend.

  • Is this what happens when you give one company a license to print money?"

    They have no license to "print money". Where is the rush to sign up for this TLD? They will have to market the hell out of it (spend money) to get people to plunk down that kind of money. And then they are only marketing to a small group of people, so thier potential market share will be even smaller. It might, nay, probably will end up being a money loser.

    Is it too soon to call it the "dot prom"?

  • all of those people who'll have 300 to spend will have an Iron-clad way to dupe people out of money-
    maybe I should start my own "non-accredited professional tutoring service"?

    it'll be just like a business card- just because you have one, doesn't mean your legit.
    anyone here ever see bordello of blood?:) dennis miller was a private eye with a business card... ONE business card.
  • Now announcing: a new telephone area code, 1AA, which will only be given to "really good people" who "aren't quacks." Yellow page ads, professional reputation, word of mouth, and popular reviews now all unnecessary.

    Seriously. I know the web has a lot of crap, but is this the best way to deal with it? The point should be educating people about how to find the high-quality services by comparing rates, credentials, standing among community organizations, etc. This essentially places the work in the hands of the .pro domain vendor which is a) slow and cumbersome, and b) not really their job.

    I guess my biggest concern is that someone can just buy the "premium" nametag as such. I mean, think about how you look for doctors, for example. You want to make damn sure they have "MD" after their names, but you want it to be backed up by a diploma on the wall, which at least ensures they've gone to an accreditted med school. This .pro idea smacks of a corespondence-course quality "reputation enhancer."

  • Jeez, let me see I need to keep my .name, and now a .pro.

    My company needs to keep .com, .net and .org along with .us, .info and .biz.

    Am I getting stiffed here or what?

    About the only thing left of the dot com bubble that hasn't burst are domain registras.

  • I love this,

    Its nice to see greed still reigns supreme in the human spirit.

    Doctors, Lawyers, "qualified professionals in good standing"........Well that eliminates about 75% of the doctors I know, and has to be at least 90% of the layers I know. :)

    The funny thing is these supposed "qualified professionals" are in general, A) Just dumb enough to pay and B) Have the ego that will force them too.

    Damm I wish I had thought of this one, its almost a perfect business model. Just like selling MP3's for Christian Music like LiquidAudio is doing, you know a Real honest christian isnt going to steal the MP3 when they can buy it , its gold,

    This is too, between overinflated ego's of "Proffesionals" Layers, Doctors, etc...You cant loose.

    Whats next a .GOD domain for the ego's of Judges and Politicians ? I want in on that hell charge them 10k a domain its not like they wont steal from the taxpayer to fund it.

    This is funny beyond compare
    • "The funny thing is these supposed "qualified professionals" are in general, A) Just dumb enough to pay and B) Have the ego that will force them too."

      I expect the whois results from RegistryPro to look like this:

      Domain Name..........
      Creation Date........ 2000-02-19
      Registration Date.... 2001-10-13
      Expiry Date.......... 2003-02-19
      Organisation Name.... Dogbert Ltd
      Organisation Address. c/o Dogbert, Dogbert & Dogbert
      Organisation Address. 6 Fitz William Square
      Organisation Address. Dublin 2
      Organisation Address. .
      Organisation Address. .
      Organisation Address. IRELAND

      I mean, this is so good that it HAS to be Dogbert's creation.

  • Lets get this straight, here is a company set up to fleece money out of ambulance chasers, audit dodgers and doctors (feel sorry for them being lumped in with the others). Brillant, and inspired, pray on their inate structures and desire for recognition. All those crappy adverts on US TV will now have "certified professional" because of their $300 .pro address.

    Fleecing those whose business is to fleece others (and doctors so they don't spot its just aimed at them).

    Just think those Anderson/Enron people will be certified as trustworthy .pro people.

    And people on Slashdot haven't worked out that this is in fact the first time the geeks get to fleece the suits.... shame on you.
  • Is this what happens when you give one company a license to print money?

    No. If you give one company a license to print money, they will probably print money. However, if you give one company an artificial monopoly in a top-level domain name, they may pump-up prices due to lack of competition pressuring the price down.
  • I say we get rid of TLDs altogether.

    Why can't they just be unregulated, like usenet?

    Anyone have a theory or knowledge?

    Also, why can't we have all unicode chars in the domain name ? This would rule for Japanese et al.


  • Surely just like the ".com" tld, this is going to cause problems for both consumers and suppliers of accounting / law services with a lack of localization (if anybody takes them up on the £300 offer of course).

    I think that the tld's should be reserved for global things only, e.g. seems good, sun is a multinational company, and the same java is used the world over. (and as a counter-example, I've seen people looking for the U.K safeway chain caught out by, using the store locator and being given an address in Florida).

    It does however seem a good idea for governments (or some other authority) to try to set up "authoritive" sources of information that people are more aware of, and with suitable degrees of localization.

    For example if I want accurate information on Tax or benifits in the U.K, I'll start of with a google search including "site:", as I'm pretty sure that they don't let just anybody have a domain, or for non-crackpot theories of relativity, limit to "site:" or "site: .edu", or to find a local doctor, something under "" for the national health service seems a good bet.

    Back to the ".pro" idea, this is already partially implemented with for example the "", ".com", "" domains, except that:

    • there is not enough checking of the validity of peoples claims to them, e.g. .com's and's can be owned by anybody, not necessarily real businesses (though at least the "" domain is meant to be only available to registered limited companies)
    • not enough people (either companies and consumers) are aware of them, so lots of companies still feel they need the ".com" domain when something else would really be far more appropriate
    • There are too many overlapping domains that a company or service could register in (and a global ".pro" will only add to the confusion).
  • For the $300 registration fee, the people registering get a domain name regiestered that tells people that they are an actual professional in their field. In order to provide this the registar needs to do research to verify that the person registering the domain is an actual accredited professional, and verify that they maintain that accreditation. The $300 isn't an unreasonable fee for this added service. If people don't think the price is worth it, they will register a non .pro domain name, which mean that there is competition in the market. The registar has found a way to differenciate the domain by adding value. Great business idea.
  • The company says it will restrict .Pro to doctors, lawyers or accountants: 'qualified professionals in good standing ...

    And just how do they determine who is 'qualified' or 'in good standing'?

    Oh, yeah.... I forgot about the $300.00 'proof'.
  • All this means for me, and probably most of the people here on /., is more Spam. I already get a ton for .BIZ, .INFO, etc., now I'll be getting .PRO spam too. Great.
  • It's not a bad idea, actually. Let's say you are a company and you get the right to manage a brand new TLD. Let's also say you want to get rich doing it, with minimal work.

    I say, if you want to make money, appeal to the ego of a demographic with plenty of expendable income and generally limited computer know-how. If a semi-competent "professional" gets an email message suggesting that he/she may qualify for an elite, brand-new .pro domain, this professional might be duped into thinking that others in the profession will stare at his/her new website domain with awe. This professional will use the .pro domain to brag to the whole world that he/she is competent - much like getting a vanity license plate with "doctor" or "lawyer" on it.

    IT professionals were probably left out of this club because we're much less likely to actually want a .pro domain (and probably already own a few .com's anyway). Why waste advertising money on a demographic that isn't going to buy the product? Also, we don't tend to fit in with the other professionals socially - if you saw a lineup comprised of lawyers, doctors, accountants, and one IT professional, you'd probably be able to pick the IT pro out quickly enough (if by no other means, by saying "all your base are" and wait for one to say "belong to us!"). We don't need/want to be in their club. We already know we're superior :)

  • If they are checking to see if .pro registrants are certified professionals, then they don't *need* 300$ as a barrier to non-professionals. They have one. They're checking. That's the barrier. In this case, .pro addresses should be slightly more expensive to pay for the identity check, but $300 is a lot.

    If they arn't checking, then the 300$ isn't going to do anything to keep non-professionals from just paying up.

    So the 300$ is either a totally redundant or completely useless barrier to entry, one or the other. Perhaps both.

    Everyone knows that "" addresses will exist, anyway ... will point to pepsi's legal representitives, of course.
    Or maybe pepsi's home page which has a link to thier legal representitives. Or maybe pepsi will just sue like mad untill they get "" free and clear with no restrictions.

    Somebody come up with something better than DNS and TLD registration, please...

  • On top of being able to resell em, they have class value :)

  • Caveat: off the top of my head, not sure its a good idea, but might be worth a discussion.

    Why not let anyone be eligible for controlling a TLD? Then that person or entity may decide:

    • The TLD's name, such as .com, .pro, .net, etc.
    • The character of the TLD, such as businesses, organizations, informational sites, certified professionals, etc.
    • Requirements of getting a second level domain. Could be required that you are non-profit organization, or gaming league, or a licensed MD, etc. You may or may not have to prove your credentials.
    • Price of second level domain. If you want to target professionals and provide a high level of service, etc. then you might charge a lot. If you are targeting newbies running FrontPage for the first time, it might be a few bucks.

    Now, what eligibility requirements do the TLD owners have? Options (pick a subset):

    1. None. This would end up being little different than today's system.
    2. Must resell/distribute SLD.
    3. Must allow others to resell/distribute their SLD, as long as TLD's character is upheld.
    4. Must provide kick-back for every SLD to central management group (e.g. internic, network solutions, verisign, whoever they are now) to cover operating costs.

    The endemic problem with TLD is that its always a monopoly held by someone, but we try to pretend that it isn't. Lets give up on pretending a TLD is not a monopoly and instead loosen up who gets a TLD, thereby providing competing TLD monopolies. So company X controls .pro and company Y controls .md; I'm Garver, MD. and I think .pro wants too much money, so I go with .md.

    This may also help other issues such as free speech vs. kids hitting A TLD's requirement may be that all content is kid-safe, and they would decide what that means. It would be easy for software to filter on TLD. Parents would have the power they need to control their kids content without having to watch every link their kid follows.

    Just an idea.

  • ICANN rated their options on new names not by the quality of the names, but by their opinion that the registrar who proposed the name is able to sell it...

    And so far, in every case, they've failed. .biz, .name, .pro, .museum (well, that _might_ make it, but not at the price their offering), all 4 of those are current failures in our eyes. and they're failures not because the company couldn't handle the registrations; they're failures because they suck, and we know it.

  • Personaly I think it is a crap idea open to abuse

    However look at the number of "profesional bodies" here in the UK (Institue of Physics etc) who charge £40 (~US$60) a year plus, just so you can call yourself a "Chartered Physicist" or "Charterd Enginer"

    In reality all this means in that the title holder has a BSc/BEng degree (These are regulated to a minumum standard anyway) with three or four years works experiance, and is stupid enough to cough up money to an unelected body every year.

    Yet people still pay to be "chartered" and people still look for "charterd profesionals"

    And that is why it will suceed

  • don't forget that pr0n companies are those who are pushing the net forward - and surely they have enough money to afford any .pro domain name they want.

    when will this stupid domain issue end? when are we going to push for a country-based management of domains? Let's make an example, Italy; I dream a world where all Italian companies MUST have the .it at the end. All .it domains are managed by the italian Nic (the equivalent) or whatever no-profit is eligible for that.

    dot-com domains made sense in a us-only internet, as it was a while ago.

    I don't know why my neighbor can have his useless and not interesting domain name waste disk space on the root servers and waste bandwidth for MY connections!
    uhm.. never mind.

    [I wonder what could happen if I can put the deCSS algorithm as a domain name.. will the US government shut down the root servers for DMCA infringement? :) ]
  • meant for. DNS isn't designed to rope all the porn sites into a .sex, nor was it ever designed to be a secure communications channel for doctors, lawyers and accountants.

    It's not even a good use of a TLD, if they artificially limit it to a really small class of users. The idea, is to choose enough TLD's, that everyone can have as many as they need, while still allowing people to categorize them enough to make a little sense. In effect they are pulling a "two tld system" where one is .only-Jack-Valenti-can-use-this-TLD and .everyone-else-has-to-use-this-one.

    That's an exaggeration, but it makes the point, doesn't it? It's just not an efficient use of TLD's.
  • It seems to me that since the TLD policies are getting ever more elitest the next set of TLDs will end up being along the lines of (.microsoft, .sony, .pepsi) at a cost of 1,000,000 per. This way ICANN can rich, and big business can get off that level ground everyone was started on when the internet became popular.
  • What's the use of a gated community on the web? Don't you want patients and clients to be able to get to your web site? Will these .pro sites only allow other people with .pro addresses in? Add to that the use of "a premium brand, enabling effective, secure communication" and it begins to look like a full scale buzz words attack.

    Run for cover!!
  • I like this part:

    Global census data shows professionals are higher wage earners

    What they are trying to say is "these rich bastards have money and we plan to stick em for $300 a pop"

  • So, RegistryPro wants to associate the .pro TLD with honesty, morality and trust?

    You have to wonder why they're allowing lawyers to buy them -- but then again, at $300, they're the only people who would be prepared to splash out that much on a simple domain name!

  • (For those who can't be bothered reading the reference, i.e. 90% of /.) On the up side, they're partitioning the space sensibly. You're not buying a 2nd level domain (e.g., you're buying a third level, e.g., so Mr Rogerborg the doctor and Ms Rogerborg the accountant can coexist without getting involved.

    On the down side, they are extremely fuzzy.:

    • They are unclear on when and what other professions will be added (i.e. will they just spit out a new one and start a new gold rush whenever they need funds?).
    • They give no details (or even a hint) on how they will verify the "good standing" of the applicants, or what kind of certification evidence will be required ("Sure, I can fax you my diploma from the University of Wallamaloo. Just give me five minutes to type it, er I mean, find it.")
    • I'd wager money they haven't even considered non-US, non-English speaking applicants (given that their site is in US English only), or non-US certification.
    • They're already treading on the toes of .com and .org by opening it up to "professional companies and associations" rather than individuals.
    • They don't segment the tld by territory or speciality, even though they're going to provide territory and speciality based search services.

    Basically, this looks like a TLD for people who want a TLD that costs $300. I'm actually fine with that from a market point of view, but - lacking details - their claims regarding validation of certification simply aren't very credible. I'll stick with my .org, thanks very much.

  • No, this [] is what happens when you give a company a license to print "money" (and start the price at $250).
  • I keep hearing about ICANN screwing things up, but don't know the details of how this is happening.

    My question is this:

    If there is some system already in place for registering and buying
    myfavoritename.{com,net,org} then why can't the exact same system be used to expand the TLDs?
    Are there good technical reasons for not proliferating TLDs to the same extent as all the many entries in the .com namespace (there must be millions by now)?

    Or is it just a political quagmire, where "other interests" are looking for ways to address their pet concerns, make extra money, etc.?

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday May 08, 2002 @01:16PM (#3485429) Homepage
    Verisign's domain broker, Great Domains [] is good for a laugh. There are domains offered for sale at various high prices. But look at the tiny amounts under "Recent Offers".

    Realistically, you can get almost any domain name not in use that isn't a major English word for less than $100 now. The domain business is over. Verisign's profits are off because hundreds of thousands of domains are being released when they come up for renewal, and the few people still into domain hoarding are using cheaper registrars.

  • by dcavanaugh ( 248349 ) on Wednesday May 08, 2002 @01:26PM (#3485491) Homepage
    The only way they can justify the excessive price is to provide something with perceived value. To do this, RegistryPro will have to make certain assertions about the people who have .PRO domains (as opposed to the owners of cheaper TLDs). Anything Registrypro says to pump up the value of the .PRO names will lead people to expect the .PRO name owners to be real professionals. Just wait and see how fast it hits the fan when a doctor/lawyer/accountant loses their license and/or accreditation. Customers will sue Registrypro, for endorsing them with a .PRO name, using Registrypro's own marketing material as "Plaintiff's exhibit A".

    Is Registrypro really going to track the licensing, accreditation, and disciplinary status of all the professionals who hold these names? If so, then how incompetent or fake do you need to be before they take away your .PRO name? If not, then what does .PRO really mean? A ton of marketing hype and two tons of disclaimers? Wonderful.

    Someone else suggested TLDs that follow educational status, .PHD for example. Now that makes sense. Not all PhD grads are like this, but there are some who would cheerfully pay $500 or even more for such a name. Degrees can certainly be faked, but the Internet would be a difficult environment to try such a thing. No matter which school you mentioned, someone from that school could stumble across your website and discover your non-graduate status. Degrees are seldom if ever "revoked", so the concept of being a "member in good standing" is a non-issue. Marketed properly, it would be the kind of thing that scientists and academics would perceive as an absolute necessity.
  • by Catbeller ( 118204 ) on Wednesday May 08, 2002 @02:54PM (#3486089) Homepage
    "Is this what happens when you give one company a license to print money?"

    Um, YES!

    Free markets are wonderful, up until a supplier gets a monopoly. Or collusion starts up. Then the lovely free market rapidly turns into a bloodsucking operation.

    This, kids, is why we have "government". It's sort of this organization we collectively create to protect our national interests. It requires politicians and statesmen, not business majors, to review markets and issue controls.

    We are now commencing a wonderful experiment in government by anti-government zealots. Watch what happens... inflation, monopoly, and control of markets by people who don't have our national interests at heart.
  • Oops (Score:3, Funny)

    by alexburke ( 119254 ) <[slashdotmail] [at] []> on Wednesday May 08, 2002 @08:24PM (#3487875)
    I can see the conversation with the registrar already:

    "Yes, my name is Seymour Edward Xavier, Ph.D. I'd like to register a .pro domain name for myself. Where do I fax my credentials?"

    (If you don't get it, think about it for a minute.)

Take an astronaut to launch.