India's Plan To Block .xxx Shows The Pointlessness Of Specialized TLDs

from the open-the-whole-thing-up dept

For many years, we've wondered about the wisdom of ICANN slowly doling out totally pointless new top level domains (TLDs) -- like .jobs and .mobi -- that seemed much more focused on getting companies to pay up for domains they didn't need, rather than serving any useful purpose. With the recent approval of .xxx, the same thing is happening. Various porn companies feel the need to buy up .xxx domain names, even though they already have domains they're happy with. And making things even worse is that various countries, with India taking the lead, have declared plans to block all access to the .xxx domain anyway.

Of course, this is kind of silly. It's as if they're pretending that porn doesn't exist elsewhere on the web. But, the other silly thing this highlights is the idea of slowly rolling out specialized TLDs. For years, we've been asking why ICANN doesn't just do away with specialized TLDs and let anyone register anything.anyTLD. It really would not be that difficult to set up a system to allow that, and then you get away from this idea of having to set up all these expensive special TLDs. It also makes it silly for any country to target a specific TLD to block. But, of course, it won't happen, because it doesn't involve the companies wishing to be registrars of these new TLDs getting tons of cash.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2011 @ 1:54am

    Maybe the specialised TLDs give politicians the illusion that they can magically control the content of the Internet?

    I can imagine laws being passed in the future that say that all porn sites must belong to the xxx TLD. Then politicians can go like "See how morally superior we are? We are blocking the xxx TLD. Your children are safe from teh pr0n!".

    And we all know that, if porn is made illegal, only criminals will have porn. Do we want that?? :)

     

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  2.  
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    SJ, Mar 30th, 2011 @ 2:09am

    I don't see the point in additional generic TLDs either. Current trademark holders will be required to buy domains there also, so that nobody else can.

    For me it's just a cash-making machine without actual benefits.

     

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  3.  
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    marak (profile), Mar 30th, 2011 @ 2:34am

    Of course its so hard to change DNS so that would work *facepalm*

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2011 @ 3:17am

    Re:

    can we enforce a .mal TLD too?

    That way it will be simple to avoid any site with malware on it.

    This is one of those things that sounds good for anyone wishing to filter porn sites, but as you point out you can't control content like that.


    If any parent is foolish enough to believe they can protect their kid by blocking the .xxx domain, their kid will be smart enough to get around it anyway.

     

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  5.  
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    Planespotter (profile), Mar 30th, 2011 @ 3:44am

    They'll only block it for the proles, Inner Party members will still have access.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2011 @ 4:04am

    I'm pretty sure in the case of .xxx, this was the whole point. Lawmakers were hoping to force porn sites to move to .xxx, so they could ban them en masse. It just didn't work out quite as they hoped.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2011 @ 4:05am

    Response to: marak on Mar 30th, 2011 @ 2:34am

     

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  8.  
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    John Doe, Mar 30th, 2011 @ 4:11am

    The .com & .org are the main two TLDs

    There are a bunch of TLDs but it seems the .com and .org are the main two. And with the internet land grab about over, it is nearly impossible to get a .com even with using 3 words together. You pretty much have to make up a word like Google did.

    I like the idea of anyone using their own TLD as that would get people away from just using .com names and would allow more creative, memorable and descriptive domain names. The only downside I see to that idea is someone would claim ownership of whatever word they used after the dot and try to sue everyone else who uses it.

     

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  9.  
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    DASHWORLDS (profile), Mar 30th, 2011 @ 4:25am

    UCAN(N) Register any TLD (at no cost)

    The contentious XXX extension will have no affect on adult Dotcom websites; the adult Dotcoms will remain unchanged. Furthermore, with so much adverse publicity - including threats by Governments to block XXX country by country - many will look to avoid the XXX webspace completely. For those compelled to reserve domains defensively, it's likely that anonymity will be required as names get set as Unresolvable and/or Unknown. The outcome? Perhaps a mass of "For Sale" signs by speculators looking to offload their XXX investments.

    All ICANN is doing is to openly advance fragmentation of the Web whilst encouraging people to find new ways of making the most of their surfing experience. The result is that Internet users are now bypassing ICANN to create their own unique, memorable and personalised range of brand new Dashcom Domains and TLDs, totally free.

    Companies such as Dashworlds.com have already taken on board the points made over the years by Techdirt and others and now provide real choice in the form of brand new Dashcom (not Dotcom) domain names. Dashcoms are unique and memorable addresses in format "business-com", "paris-fashion", "social-network" (and of course any XXX your heart might desire). Totally outside the realm and control of ICANN, Internet users can create any domain or TLD in any language, instantly and at no cost.

    With users and members in over 90 countries worldwide, resolution is via an APP; although new ISP Links are available to make this unnecessary (ISP Links that are also available to ICANN).

    Having just one Internet floating in infinite cyberspace is like saying you can go anywhere in the USA as long as you only use route 66. So now, just as in the USA (and everywhere else in the world) the Internet has more than one option.

     

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  10. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Zaib khan, Mar 30th, 2011 @ 4:40am

    Uradou

    Ja moj se rabeta karne ok

     

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  11.  
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    suresh, Mar 30th, 2011 @ 4:58am

    Re:

    iam so happy to see this comment on net that you are stoping the xxx porn to india iam very proud of it

     

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  12.  
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    Shawn (profile), Mar 30th, 2011 @ 5:07am

    Re: UCAN(N) Register any TLD (at no cost)

    "Why do I need update my browser to view these domains?

    The update installs a small piece of freely available software, to upgrade internet browsers to recognise DASHWORLDS domain names."


    Dash-Fail

     

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  13.  
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    DASHWORLDS (profile), Mar 30th, 2011 @ 6:08am

    Re: Re: UCAN(N) Register any TLD (at no cost)

    Dear Sean

    The App effectively adds an unlimited range of brand new Dashcoms domains and TLDs to the current DNS (plus the new ISP Links will allow all ISP subscribers to resolve Dashcoms at network level without the need for the App).

    But what is this really all about? With around 205 million domain names already registered, trying to find a unique, relevant and memorable address for less than a few million dollars, has become an almost impossible task.

    For the man/woman looking to order a pizza (or anything else?) on-line, it's not about knowing he/she can access over 200 million websites (visiting each site for just a few seconds would take several years...without a pizza break). This is about memorability...ie: trying to remember the website of that place you saw advertised last week somewhere that looked quite good. Internet users want equal access to Domains and TLDs that are easily remembered by other people: without the barrier of million dollar price tags. This is about giving people the opportunity to compete on reasonably equal terms with the minority of Corporations/Multi-Nationals that seem to hold all the cards.

    It's always easy to dismiss new ideas. Not-so-long-ago, people would have thought the Internet itself to be a complete waste of time effort and money. Surely retailers (eg: a certain bookstore) would be mad to waste time, money and resources trying to sell anything over the Inter-Fail? Why on Earth would consumers in their right mind even consider purchasing vastly expensive computers, install/rent new phone lines, buy modems (what's a modem?), buy OS (what's an OS??), learn how to use it all.....Just to buy a book???.....All they had to do was pick up a phone.

    This is no longer a case of whether Dashcom domain names are going to work or who will start the ball rolling: Dashcoms are already being utilized globally. Today, they not only run in parallel to owners' original Dotcom websites, they also run as Dashcom shopfronts in their own right - and yes - some are even being registered by speculators.

    The Internet has never been "one-size-fits-all".

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2011 @ 7:29am

    The truth is that, like many mistakes made in the past, this one was done "for the children". While the goal is noble, the idea sucks.

    Reality says there should be a carefully controlled .KIDS extension, and browsers with parental controls could easily be used to limits the young ones access to the web, letting them only see what is in .KIDS. There might only be a few thousand websites total (think Disney, CNN news "kids editions", etc), and they could be held to a high standard. It would easily allow parents to give their pre-teens web access without having to worry about them wandering into a redlight district or falling on gore websites, example.

    India's move (and Australia is suggesting similar) pretty much dooms .XXX to be nothing more than a money grab, where stupid porn companies shell out $100 a domain to try to keep their brands intact. There is no justification for the high price, and India has just lowered the value even further.

     

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  15.  
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    Matt, Mar 30th, 2011 @ 7:50am

    My .02

    I think that India blocking the .xxx TLDs is their right to do. If ICANN would just force all current pornographic websites to switch to a new .xxx domain. ( Even if they would just switch the addresses from .com to .xxx over a 10 year period with a shutoff date for .com porn) With this the ease of filtering pornography in our schools, businesses, governments and everywhere would be simple. No more black listing millions of "potentially harmful" websites about breast cancer because they mention the word "breast". Just an opinion..

     

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  16.  
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    Planespotter (profile), Mar 30th, 2011 @ 8:19am

    Re: Uradou

    yes please, I'll have a beer with mine as well ;)

     

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  17.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Mar 30th, 2011 @ 9:07am

    Re: My .02

    Why the fuck don't they just create a .KIDS (As light green AC said) or a .FAM TLD so you can create a white list. It's much, much easier to control that way (and may actually work) and you don't go stomping around in my playground. If you don't like how mine is setup, go make your own.

    Right now people are just pre-ordering a .xxx domain just to protect their image. If there was a .fam or .kids TLD, companies would be lining up in the millions to be considered family friendly. It's even an easier money grab.

    Plus, who says what is porn and what is not? Does playboy really qualify as porn? What about those nude artists, I know they don't. What about other things like breast cancer websites or that 3D body thing that Google created? Who says what website is doomed and what is not? Who's going to be in charge of this mass censorship?

     

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  18.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Mar 30th, 2011 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: My .02

    Oh, and what problem is this trying to fix? Is there a rash of porn crazed five year olds running around?

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2011 @ 9:58am

    Re: My .02

    Matt, the issue of porn is one of a lack of parental supervision. The internet isn't like turning on the TV and plunking your kids in front of it, it is a wide open information source that includes legal information that could be shared between adults.

    You might take your kid to the park, you might let him ride the swings. However, you wouldn't take him to the adult book store and let him check out the video booths. You have to assume that both are possible online as well, and you have to make sure that your kid is playing in the park, not the porn palace.

    Parental responsiblity, it's a wonderful thing (and as a side note, would almost entirely shut down 4chan... )

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2011 @ 11:15am

    xxx

     

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  21.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Mar 30th, 2011 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Porn

    > I can imagine laws being passed in the future
    > that say that all porn sites must belong to
    > the xxx TLD.

    And then, of course, we'll run into the problem of defining "porn". For some people "2 girls, 1 cup" isn't extreme enough to qualify, for others, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is beyond the pale.

    Who decides what qualifies and must then be banished to the XXX domain?

     

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  22.  
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    Unbelievable, Mar 30th, 2011 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Re: My .02

    This isn't at all like the the porn palace vs the park. The issue here is when the kid follows a link about Disney to a disney blog and then gets stuck in an explicit pornado. To follow your metaphor, the porn palace has set up a display in the kids park. How long would that last in the real world?

    .xxx is a good idea. They should give any existing dotcom the .xxx equivalent for free, allow pre-registration for all other TLDs, and provide for a limited time forwarding of the dotcoms to xxx. Then require all pornography to be on .xxx domains and lift any rating restrictions on xxx content. Illegal porn (snuff films, kiddie porn) would still be illegal, but explicit home pages and sites without registration requirements would be allowed and parental controls or disclaimer laws would be lifted.


    This would make it easily filterable, an easy conversion from the com to xxx, easy to purge from your cache without affecting your other history, and easily enforceable from a legal standpoint. After the grace period, any dot com forwarding to or carrying xxx content would be in violation.
    Porn searches would have to be done on a .xxx search engine.

    The porn industry does not have the right to force porn on any country that doesn't want it, or on children. And porn fans are more than capable of using a new extension. This could be a boon for the porn industry in that .xxx could be unrestricted by ratings and easily marketable en masse. Those that want it would have open access and those that don't could easily isolate it.

    This approach is no different from parental controls and ratings systems in place in the TV industry. It in effect, sets up a recognized, secondary channel for porn on the internet.

     

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  23.  
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    Brian Schroth (profile), Mar 30th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

    Well, this convinces me that the government should listen and privatize ICANN. Because if there's one thing you never hear about private companies doing, it's focusing on making money instead of doing useful things.

     

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  24.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Mar 30th, 2011 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: My .02

    > Then require all pornography to be on .xxx domains

    Define "pornography".

    For some people "2 girls, 1 cup" isn't extreme enough to qualify, for others, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and even network TV is beyond the pale. Traditional Muslim countries might consider an image of any woman with her face and hair uncovered to be pornographic.

    Who decides what qualifies and must then be banished to the XXX domain? And how will this be enforced on every country in the world, when laws, customs, and culture vary greatly?

     

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  25.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Mar 30th, 2011 @ 4:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: My .02

    > and easily enforceable from a legal standpoint.

    You apparently have a different definition of "easy" than the rest of the English-speaking world. It would actually be almost impossible to enforce world-wide.

     

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  26.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Mar 30th, 2011 @ 4:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: My .02

    > Oh, and what problem is this trying to fix?
    > Is there a rash of porn crazed five year
    > olds running around?

    This mainly appeals to control-freak government types in repressive religious regimes who are apoplectic that they can't control and forbid their people's access to erotic material.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 1:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: My .02

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: My .022

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 10:51am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 30th, 2011 @ 7:29am

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2011 @ 10:52am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Mar 30th, 2011 @ 7:29am

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Mar 31st, 2011 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: My .02

    > www.xxx.indian

    Well, that's fine and all, but that doesn't address the claim that all porn on the net would be required to use the XXX domain. Who is going to require it? What criteria will be used? Whose laws and customs will apply? How restrictive will the definition of "porn" be?

     

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  32.  
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    as gf, Apr 7th, 2011 @ 3:33am

    haj sjskalxjdueqhbzjajiqwea bhayqdagsvzlopn?jshx}ksajznajsjdhaiahhehzhaitoqvzjgaldsippqqyklamzlcodmdjwisanakqiwhdkopake

     

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  33.  
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    ahmad, Apr 15th, 2011 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: My .02

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 17th, 2011 @ 3:18am

    Re: UCAN(N) Register any TLD (at no cost)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Radhesyam vishwkrama, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: UCAN(N) Register any TLD (at no cost)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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