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ICANN Board Approves Sweeping Overhaul of Top-level Domains

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has just approved the relaxation of the rules for the introduction of new Top-Level Domains — a move that could drastically change the Internet. The new decision — some calling it of historic importance and others predictable — will allow companies to register their brands as generic top-level domain names (TLDs). For instance, Microsoft could apply to have a TLD such as '.msn' and Apple apply for '.mac'.

"We are opening up a new world and I think this cannot be underestimated," said Roberto Gaetano, ICANN board member. The new rules will allow any public or private organization from anywhere in the world to register any string of letters as a gTLD, which could result in hundreds of new gTLDs registered this year. The decision was taken unanimously on Thursday, June 26, 2008 at the 32nd ICANN Meeting in Paris.

Update:
Official announcement from ICANN

Elsewhere:
Board opens way for new top-level domains (Network World)
Internet Overseer Approves Domain Name Expansion (WSJ)
Internet overhaul wins approval (BBC)
Internet agency relaxes rules on domain names (International Herald Tribune)

Read full story: Network World

Related topics: DNS, Domain Names, ICANN, Top-Level Domains

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Comments

Good news! Mark Fulton  –  Jun 26, 2008 9:31 AM PST

This is good news.  This will increase the value of .COM domain names.  I have read some responses from average internet users to this news and they are hesitant to accept a plethora of new addresses.  The general consensus is that there is already too much to remember in the way of names and URLs.

Mark Fulton,
DotSauce Magazine
http://www.DotSauce.com

Trademark Owners Be Ready Brian Hall  –  Jun 26, 2008 9:38 AM PST

This is good news for the trademark owners who have the budget and wherewithall to secure gTLDs corresponding to their marks.  However, this is will undoubtedly provide yet another avenue for cybersquatters to prey upon the valuable marks of entities from around the world.  May the second domain name registration gold rush begin!

Put your mark on .XXX Ian Wells  –  Jun 26, 2008 5:33 PM PST

Sounds like a bad joke, but it's probably a good idea.  .PRN might get hit a bit too.  With as much as URL's like porn.com have gone for, what do you think porn.xxx will sell for?  The lucky person to pick that one up may be in for a great payday.

this is silly... Argrithmag Neocram  –  Jul 09, 2008 5:38 AM PST

The new rules will allow any public or private organization from anywhere in the world to register any string of letters as a gTLD

I didn't see anything in RFC1591 that prevents more than 3 letters.  Just this:

In the Domain Name System (DNS) naming of computers there is a
hierarchy of names.  The root of system is unnamed.  There are a set
of what are called "top-level domain names" (TLDs).  These are the
generic TLDs (EDU, COM, NET, ORG, GOV, MIL, and INT), and the two
letter country codes from ISO-3166.  It is extremely unlikely that
any other TLDs will be created.

Now if someone registered a gTLD of .coke, they could then have their domain be www.coke, and what is Coke suppose to do about that?  The onlything I think possibly preventing squatters would be if the price for a gTLD is through the roof, not some 19.99 per year price.

This will kill the .com valuable domains.

Now if someone registered a Anonymous Coward  –  Jul 11, 2008 8:10 PM PST

Now if someone registered a gTLD of .coke, they could then have their domain be www.coke, and what is Coke suppose to do about that?  The onlything I think possibly preventing squatters would be if the price for a gTLD is through the roof, not some 19.99 per year price.

This will kill the .com valuable domains.

You're confusing how things work.  I think only gTLDs with valid trademarks will be allowed, and only by those who own the trademark.  Only coca-cola corp will be able to register '.coke', only microsoft will be able to register '.microsoft' or '.msn', etc.

I assume that the company that buys the gTLD will be the registrar for it as well, meaning you won't be able to go to joker, godaddy, or wherever to register a '.coke' domain once coke buys and creates that gTLD.

Of course they may very likely use a standard A record for the domain, meaning you'll be able to navigate to simply "coke." and get to "www.coke." the same way that going to "circleid.com." gets you to "www.circleid.com."

There is no technical difference between so called TLDs, domains, and subdomains, if setup properly.  "www.coke." can be a subdomain of "coke." the same way that "coke." is a subdomain of the root domain ".".

It's just that right now, there is no A record for the root domain or any TLD.  That can and likely will change with the new TLDs.

but that's the thing... Argrithmag Neocram  –  Jul 14, 2008 6:43 AM PST

The RFC specifically states they have nothing to do with trademarks and such.  The only thing that would stop the www.coke from actually working is the browser not knowing if that is a TLD of coke, or if it should go to coke.com, coke.net etc… Most browsers just start down the line.  Oh well.  I just think this will crowd the whole TLDs and you'll end up with a bunch of crap out there.

I remember a radio station pushing a new TLD of .cc and that eventually failed, so hopefully most of these will just sit out there and die.

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