ICANN Finally Relaxes TLD Requirements — But It Still Looks Like A Money Grab
from the cluster.f**k dept
For years, we’ve been among those who wondered what good it did for ICANN to dribble out new top level domains (TLDs — such as .info, .biz, .aero, etc.) every few years. For the most part, these new domains didn’t do much other than force companies to buy their name on each new TLD as it was released. It basically just seemed like a way for ICANN and registrars to keep fleecing companies. Instead, we agreed with those who wondered why we had a limited number of TLDs in the first place. Why not just open it up and let any address work?
Well, now ICANN has taken a step in that direction… but, not really. It has agreed to open up the TLD system to those beyond what was approved, but anyone registering a name on a non-standard TLD will need to show a “business plan and technical capacity.” Why do they need a business plan? What if they just want to set up a site for fun? Oh, right, because if you have a business plan, it means you have money to pay for stuff — say $100,000 to $500,000?
In other words, rather than really opening up the system, it looks like yet another money grab.
In better news, however, it appears that ICANN has also decided to put in place a tiny charge for registering domain names and dropping them in the “grace period.” This hopefully should greatly reduce the practice of domain hoarding (or “domain kiting” or “domain tasting” depending on who you talk to). As you may know. companies have been pulling all sorts of tricks using this grace period to register domains without ever having to pay for them. And, as a result, even companies like Network Solutions have gotten into the game, while pretending that they were holding any domain you searched for in order to “protect” you from others who might squat on the name.