December 16, 2006
Domain Tasting, dotAsia and Defunct Names
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has its hands full these days. For starters, the nefarious practice of "domain tasting," where nogoodnicks buy up reams of sites with similar names to real trademarks (like, say, verizonpicture.com) and stuff them with ads, is causing endless headaches.
One of Verizon’s lawyers claims that "Domain tasting is destabilizing the entire domain name system...people are purposefully exploiting trademarks and misleading consumers." As if that wasn't enough, ICANN has been ordered by an Illinois court to suspend UK-based spamhaus.org, a ruling that one impassioned blogger feels is "one of the most dangerous things that could potentially happen to the Internet," as ICANN has never before been used as a vehicle for law enforcement between countries.
On a more positive note, ICANN and dotAsia have "joined hands." DotAsia will be a top level domain (TLD) and will not be associated with any particular country. Registry agreements for dot-org, dot-biz, and dot-info TLDs have also been put into place.
Out with the old and in with the new, so the saying goes, and just as dotAsia is becoming a reality, ICANN is planning to get rid of some old domain name extensions — mainly those names associated with countries that no longer exist. According to The Web Hosting Show, the Soviet Union’s .su and the Yugoslav Republic’s .yu are going away. Also slated for extinction are Great Britain’s obsolete .gb (replaced by .uk long ago) and Zaire’s .zr after the country became the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mitch at Web Hosting Show adds that .Mobi should go as well, because "if you want to make a domain name extension that is easy to type in via a mobile device, why make it four characters long?"
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