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The Internet

Network Solutions Gets Antitrust Protection 35

joshmathis writes "ZDNET is reporting that a US federal judge has ruled that Network Solutions, Inc. has antitrust protection for their monopoly on domain name registration. It may be short-lived, though. "
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Network Solutions Gets Antitrust Protection

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  • When are they going to stop doing favors and ass bending for all the companies that have no competition? I am sick of hearing about how much protection Microsoft needs, or how badly Intel is being treated... What the hell is this? Lets get some companies that are in it to make a product or technology that ACTUALLY helps the end-user and not always looking to stick it to Joe Q. Public.
  • I hate monopolys, but *somebody* has to be the registrar. Nobody has come up with a realistic better way to handle DNS, so....
    Why should network solutions do this at all when they could get sued by millions of people over something as rediculous as domain names? They only work because we choose to use DNS the way we do anyway.
    I, for one, say they should get the protection. If they misbehave badly, it's a simple matter to do something about it.
  • Things like this are tough decisions to make. On one hand, its nice to have centralized administration of registrations. On the other hand, competition encourages better service (faster response time, lower rates, etc.) I for one hope that we see more competition in the future for name registration.
  • It's obvious that you've never had to deal with them. They are at best, slow!
  • The judge also ruled that the free speech rights of PGMedia were not violated because Internet addresses are more like telephone numbers than speech.

    This about this. Couldn't this have a great impact on those big companies suing for domains that little people own? After all, a company can't sue you for a telephone number. If this federal judge has deemed that domains are more like phone numbers, then how can it be decided that a domain falls under trademark laws?

    Just something to think about

    asinus sum et eo superbio

  • Really.
    I've dealt with them MANY times, over MANY years.

    I'm not saying nobody can do it better, I'm not even saying they are doing an adequate job.
    I AM saying that SOMEONE has to do it. If not them, WHO? Instead of bitching about them and how they run things, suggest an alternative solution to the world so that we may adopt it. believe me, people will be all ears and NS will have little ability to stop a change.

    Unfortunately, the DNS system requires a central authority at some level, just like the IANA. In the case of the IANA, there is no presteige attached to network numbers, so nobody bitches. The IANA tries to do things fairly. When it comes to DNS, things are different, as there is so much weight attached to these letters.
    also: .com, .net, and .org are not your ONLY solutions, what about .us? .ca? What about your country domains? NS is only responsible for a *PART* of the DNS structure, a part that shouldn't even exist.. IMHO.
  • For the internet domain names, there needs to be one and _only_ one governing body. I think it should be a not-for-profit organization. NIC has been doing a good job so far, so lets not rock the boat and create a load of confusion.

  • But no.. that's not quite how it works.
    InterNIC handles several of the TLD's (the common ones, .com, .org, .net, .edu, I dunno about .gov and .mil and .int, I think those are elsewhere). There is an agreed-upon convention as to who handles the different TLD's, meaning the country codes. InterNIC has no say in how .ca is run or how .us is run, that is up to the appropriate governing body. The IAB decides what the TLD structure is, don't they? InterNIC is just the registry for *some* of them. It is not up to NSI to decide to add new TLD's or anything like that.. they are just supposed to manage the ones they have. The world is by no means bound to stick to those.
  • I think it's well past time to stop perpetuating the myth that domain names need to be easily guessed -- this is what directory services are for. The sooner people realize that you can't assume that belongs to Company, Inc., the sooner this lawsuit BS over domain names vs. trademarks will stop. Of course, this may require a technical solution -- perhaps a directory service that fuzzily maps human names onto domain names so that it really doesn't matter what domain name you use.

    Domain names should be easily remembered, but this doesn't necessarily mean easily guessed.
  • I'm sure if I advertised my phone number to people as "1-800-mcdonalds" I'd get a call from a rather large fast-food chain.
  • The DNS competition gates open in May.

    Which makes me wonder, what if 2 parties register the same domain name at 2 different domain name services at the same time? Who gets to keep it?
  • I hope that post was a joke, otherwise I would hate to see written proof of how stupid people are becoming.

  • About 3 years short lived to be exact.
  • And how do you propose that after the massive switchover to a new set of root servers, that it be managed? How would it be 'better?'
  • is the cost of the wires. Especially the wires out to remote areas. If we all paid for our share of the infrastructure, the upfront cost would be huge and the incremental cost tiny. LD companies can get away with charging low rattes precisely because they don't have to maintain the local loop from your phone to the CO. LD rates are higher than they would be otherwise because the LD carriers pay the local carriers for bringing calls into the local system.
  • Network Solutions, Inc. is ANYTHING but a non-profit organization. I'm sorry, but I'd rather not have my domain name registrations subsidize their sad little "GET YOUR OWN DAWT CAWM!!!!" television/magazine advertisements.
  • I don't know about in the US, but in Canada when Bell lost their monopoly on long distance, the prices fell a lot. Bell's own quality of service also increased.
  • There's nothing that says they have to be the *ONLY* root servers. DNS is somewhat more flexible than that. It's perfectly possible to set up alternative roots - look at alternic.

    And of course DNS can be replaced - there are other directory schemes in the works.

    At best, NSI is attempting to exploit a temporary imbalance. When people wise up - we'll all look like idiots for giving them so much money and pretending there was a reason for it.
  • Network Solutions Inc. does not have to be a monopoly. Although, you're right about one thing, someone has to have root authority. However you are mistaken about it being NSI.

    IANA has the authority over the root NS system and IANA is the organizational point between the people who own root servers. NSI is simply the registrar for the generic TLDs. The duties of NSI can be shared between several different companies without any major conflicts.

    I for one can take on the project all by myself and do a much better job then they are, but it's not my purpose in life to monopolize anything, so I'll leave that to our friend Billy boy.

    I wonder if MS has ever tried to buy out Network Solutions?


  • now that new TLDs being introduced, why not create them in couples, like .shop vs .store, .mall vs .mart whatever, my english is rusty, and let two separate companies maintain them. there you have it: competition.

    and internic is slow.

  • There should be a better heirarchy in the domain space like:,, etc.

    Unfortunately, as stuff like the hassle over [] reveals, maniac lawyers don't currently respect name spaces.

    They should, but there's no case law out there that clues them in about it.

    As for fuzzy directory services, as advocated upthread: not going to work. They already exist in various forms, including categorized directories like Yahoo (aren't they now charging for favourable placement?) and that RealNames thing, whatever it is.

    The problem is that there is more than one fuzzy directory. Trademarks seek to protect exclusivity (within bounds -- yes, a proper domain-name-space should define some of those bounds), and there's only one generally recognized exclusive forum for everyone's precious special words: "your own dawt cawn." It's the only one that everyone's pretty much forced to use (unless, of course, you luck into a snazzy numeric IP and promote that -- there's a trend or subculture waiting to happen, there).

  • DNS is intended to make internet addresses usable by humans, not to make it easy to figure out what the address of Company X's web server is. DNS is *not* a directory service. Directory services allow you to search on real names and other possibly arbitrary attributes, not on one single key that doesn't allow fuzzy matches.

"Oh what wouldn't I give to be spat at in the face..." -- a prisoner in "Life of Brian"