Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Brisk domain name sales / new TLD proposals

Not much to do with IP law, just some interesting trivia really. Article here.

A record 4.7 million Internet addresses were sold in the first three months of 2004, bringing the total number of registered addresses to a new high of 62.9 million, according to a study released today by Mountain View, Calif.-based VeriSign Inc.

The growing demand for domain names was fueled in part by the new availability of Internet addresses that use Arabic, Chinese and Russian characters...

More interesting are proposals for new top level domains that ICANN is currently considering. Check here for basic info on the list of proposals, which include .xxx, .mail, .cat, .asia, .jobs, .mobi, .tel, and .travel. Although no TLD will eclipse .com, .net, and .org in importance in the near furure (although .uk and .de are giving them a run for their money), it would be nice to see more internet realestate open up. Also, creating new TLDs would aid in content blocking (ie if porn is put in .xxx it will be easier to block by blocking all .xxx sites) and in fighting spam (by giving only reputable mailers a .mail TLD and blocking others). ICANN is set to make decisions about the new TLDs in December.

However, Tim Berners-Lee, one of the fathers of the Web (he created hyperlinks and the first browser) and certainly a net cognoscenti (netoscenti?), thinks it may be a bad idea to add the new TLDs. One reason is that it will be expensive for trademark owners, who will have to purchase their trademarks in all of the new domain names (which will undoubtedly spark a new load of UDRP proceedings). He is specifically unhappy about .mobi though, because its terms of use appear to violate the universality principle of the Internet by cordoning off a certain section for use by low bandwidth or small screened mobile devices, thus destroying the current independence between Web/software and the Internet as a dumb network. He points out creating a TLD for a specific technology is silly as that technology will likely change dramatically or be eclipsed in the near future anyway.


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