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The Internet

InterNIC to face competition. 52

Andrew Dvorak writes "This article on News.com states that five companies (both in the US and outside the US) will be designated to manage internet domains along with InterNIC. This will apparently end the InterNIC's oligopoly."
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InterNIC to face competition.

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I *hate* those bastards at NSI. I will pay a premium to *anyone* else just so I know that my money is not going to those people.

    This grows out of having (successfully) fought a domain-name claim brought on bogus grounds of trademark infringement (thank you, NSI, for setting up a policy so spineless as to give trademark holders special rights they don't enjoy under the actual law). It also grows out of my annoyance at paying $50 (now $35, thanks to a class acction suit successfully challenging the "infrastructure" fee as a non-approved tax) each year for each of the 20 domain names I administer just so they can maintain a record in a database. Finally, it grows out of the incredible aggravation I experience every time I have to deal with an actual human being (term used loosely) who works for NSI. "We're NSI. We don't care. We don't have to."

    Prime selling points for me in choosing a new registrar:

    * Will they assert that they will not transfer or otherwise screw with my use of the domain unless an appropriate legal entity (like a court) finds that there actually *is* some possibility that some bozo with a similar trademark has a valid claim?

    * Will they charge a reasonable fee (like, a buck, maybe) to maintain a single record in a database for a year?

    This has been a *long* time coming.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yeah, I type too fast.. lesson is: think before you type!

    I mean it will end the InterNIC's monopoly and thus create an oligopoly!

    Sorry :)

    Andrew Dvorak
  • Your proposed solution will do everything you say, but I fear that doing so will make the namespace as cloudy as the "alt.*" news hierarchy is today.

    There is some inherent value associated with order, that you lose when you opt for chaos.
  • In a word, yes.

    The AC that previously replied to you hit the nail on the head, but I will add that I do think we should have more topical (as opposed to geographical) TLD's than we have now... I.E., ".xxx" for smut, ".nom" for personal homepages, ad nauseum. And as a policy, owners of Trademarks should only be allowed to protect their tradmarks under commercial domains. I think this is a better option than a free-for-all on TLD's.
  • I wonder if the guy who reported this is somehow related to John Dvorak of ZD?
  • Technically, I don't believe you're supposed to have names with a leading numeral. (3com.com would seem to be an exception.) Or maybe it's just you're not allowed to have names that are _all_ numerals... The existing RFCs already address this problem, anyway.
  • Hmmm... I like this idea. I have name servers... maybe I'll try to implement it.

    I could probably set things up so that anyone who was using my name servers could access the domains by their real names - domain.top, or whatever... and those peons who didn't see the light ;) could still reference them as domain.top.tld.ci-n.com... a little unwieldy, but it'd work...

    Of course, if it caught on, my name servers (and my poor 33.6 line) would be swamped in short order... would have to figure out some way to distribute the load...
  • Posted by DonR:

    IPv6 won't change anything relevant to domain name regisration, with the possible exception of NSI/whoever not being ready for IPv6 nameservers in their database.
  • Posted by DonR:

    The worst part about this monopoly is not that Internic has complete control over the common tlds, but that they can affoard to be lazy. I have not been able to register domain names for the last two weeks (I do domain registration for a large ISP. I have about 200 domains pending) because Internic is broken. Their mail servers are lagged, taking at least 36hrs for a automatic reply, and I have not been able to get them to pick up their phones for the last two weeks. This is seriously impacting my work. It'd be one thing if Internic came out and said "Yes, we're broken", but instead we have to rely on services such as news.com to confirm our suspicisions. And explaining the whole mess to irate customers who are losing money because they don't have a domain name isn't all that much fun either.
  • This wouldn't be the first time that the Internet opted to govern itself rather than let the government/for-profit corporations do it.

    I wonder how much backing this would get by the big-wig universities and backbone providers...? How hard would it be to utilize a "public" domain service like this?

    This is a really good idea.
  • Create new TLD for each country just for owners of trademarks or registered companies/organizations. The TM office in each country will be responsible for letting owners use domains called after their registered TMs, or reasonables short forms... We'll have names such as microsoft.corp.us-tm and windows98.os.tm (once we decide what constitutes an international trademark).

    Attaching the domain names to TMs will ensure their uniqueness, will make the TM TLDs more prestigious than others, and leave the rest of the TLDs free for poorer, less commercial or less organized, who don't make such a fuss about owenership of TLDs anyhow.
  • Is it just me, or does news.com's intrusive "Do you want to know more" links in the middle of the article seem strangely reminicent of the ones in the media clips in Starship Troopers? Just a thought...
  • I have an idea. How about if our wonderful little Open Source community creates a free domain service. I personally do *NOT* want to see domain names in the hands of five companies each trying to squeeze as much capital out of people as possible. Domain names are NOT "real estate" like news.com so stupid stated, they're just a damned alias for an ip# and directory. I see no problem with the Open Source community setting up a domain database. Fsck, if it divided the internet into the Microsoft and Open Source internet because of it, I would be happy. I'm tired of dealing with ignods all day who have no clue what so ever what the hell this network is made of, and how it's structured. They just try to pull every particle of gold dust out of it and leave it to rot. Fscking M$hit, I should write an article. I'd like to see domain handling in the hands of a more open party who would be willing to impliment the proposed top level domains, or do something totaly different. I'm just babbling on, so let me state this: I hate the idea and all the problems that WILL come up if domain registration gets into the hands of these companies.
  • by Vic ( 6867 )
    It seems like I've been hearing about new domain restries for years now. What ever happened to all of these .WEB, .ART, .XXX, .whatever top-level that have been talked about so many times before?
  • i read something about this befor, but not taking place till 2005. if it happens sooner all the better, cause internic still hasnt registered my domain, been almost a mounth. im about to go to some one else that internic lisens to and have my domain registered that way :(. Hopefuly with this, everthing will change, to next day turnaround, it should be, the computers should process correctly filled out forms, and only incorrectly filled out ones should be reviewed by a human to make out wtf the person ment to put :).
    oh whell, wont be soon enuf for me.
  • ..anybody can explain whether it will make any difference?
  • by woggo ( 11781 )
    How are they planning to coordinate these five companies?

    Sounds like they'll still need one central server...

  • Yeah, but your "solution" would break the distinction between IPs and domain names, which is only enforced by -- you guessed it -- the registrar. If I had an IP address, under your scheme, I could register "" as a domain name for it, and no TCP/IP program would know better...

  • Sorting server domains by content reminds me of what Intel's little plan is... to have "internet commerce security" sort people by CPU.

    Now, I am aware of virtual domains... but not everyone wants to waste money on registering 4 or 5 different domains just because their server will host 4 or 5 different internet pages/services.

    Plus, what's to prevent someone from registering whitehouse.com and putting some sort of "adult" content on it? Will NIC's be put in charge of censoring servers?
  • it's good to see at least a few people avoid zdnet here at /.

    The first time I noticed that "Do you want to know more..." I started laughing out loud, because I had seen Starship Troopers pretty recently.
  • This was the subject of a New York Times article on January 22, which I submitted here at that time.

    NSI is doing everything in their power to keep control while having what is in effect mock competition. This is the same position the RBOCs took when the Telecom Act passed two years ago. Remember "colocation"? Hahahahahahah.

    This is a significant test of ICANN's ability to develop and maintain an equitable system. They *have* to deal with NSI firmly now, or they will lose their grip. Whether we like it or not, domain names have become a commodity as well as an operational issue for the net. This puts ICANN in the position of being a mini-SEC.

    So, in this first round, look carefully at the details, because that is where NSI will exercise its influence.

  • "Monopoly" means the ability to prices and availability through market power. "Oligopoly" means the ability to do so in conjunction with only a few other competitors. What we have now is government-sanctioned monopoly. What we want is competition. What NSI probably wants is oligopoly.

    Certainly their recent moves to buddy up with Netscape, Yahoo and American Express show they are moving to consolidate their "branding" leadership on domain name registration.

    I don't trust them much at all. Their service record is abysmal. I've only registered a couple of domains and they managed to mess them up. Their bills always arrive promptly, of course.

  • Oligopoly is a valid word, thus defeating any spell checker. Unfortunately there is not yet (nor will there ever likely be) a context/meaning checker.
  • ... Then the hot prize would be the 'no extension' domains... http://microsoft/ http://computers/ http://software/ etc.

  • ... Then the hot prize would be the 'no extension' domains... http://microsoft/ http://computers/ http://software/ etc.

  • It's been long overdue that the InterNIC get some help. I dont see this as bad but as good. As in the past it has taken days and sometimes weeks to change info on any of the 50 domains handled here. Always met with nothing but hassles and excuses the InterNIC needs some help.

    Dont see this as a bad thing...see it as a good thing.
  • They should implement a domain vote system whereby current domain owners can vote for top level additions.

    Say if 1024 unique sub-domains get reserved (one per nic) for a tld inside a set period of time, they should add the tld.

    things like .web and .xxx would get added, and it would make it that much easier to filter out the unwanted spam.
  • Your idea of opneing every possible TLD will not fly. The trademark industry is a huge hurdle in all this as they feel there should be LESS TLDs so there are less trademarks to protect and acquire...
  • That might work, but what if Joe Applegrower got apple.com before Apple Computers did? I highly doubt Apple would stand for not having that prime domain and thus a lawsuit would be filed
  • Granted, the new arrangement will just be 4-5 more huge corporations that don't care, but I am still very glad to see it taken out of their hands. They are truly a monolithic piece of shit.

Were there fewer fools, knaves would starve. - Anonymous