Canon Becomes The Online Equivalent Of Madonna Or Prince, Becoming The First Single Word Domain Holder

from the dept

It’s been a while now since ICANN announced plans to open up the top level domain space. While we’ve questioned for many years the utility of still requiring limited TLDs, ICANN’s plan to open up top level domains appeared to be more of a moneygrab than any real attempt at openness. That’s because to get your own vanity TLD, it was going to cost somewhere between $100,000 and $500,000. Who would pay that? Apparently consumer electronics firm Canon.

Dark Helmet alerts us to the news that Canon is the first company to get its own TLD, appropriately: .canon. And, no, this doesn’t mean that you’ll now need to go to — but just to http://canon (that is, once it’s launched, which won’t be until at least late 2011). Oh, and apparently the cost has now solidified at $185,000. This really does seem like a pure vanity play. It’s not like anyone was having any trouble finding Canon before, and most browsers (the vast majority of those that are actually used) will often automatically add the .com if you leave it off anyway.

There might be an argument for some sites, such as social networking sites to go down this road, so that you can set up profile pages like YourName.Facebook or whatever — but it’s hard to see the value for companies like Canon.

Filed Under: ,
Companies: canon, icann

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Comments on “Canon Becomes The Online Equivalent Of Madonna Or Prince, Becoming The First Single Word Domain Holder”

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Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

I wish...

I wish when I worked for Canon, doing tech support, they had this.

You would not believe the difficulty of getting the average end user to a webpage to download a driver for their printer/scanner/camera/whatever.

Too bad they didn’t buy “cannon” as well – spelling was also a rather difficult concept for the average user.

KevinJ (profile) says:

Re: I wish...

“You would not believe the difficulty of getting the average end user to a webpage to download a driver for their printer/scanner/camera/whatever.”

Being in tech support myself, I do understand the difficulty. I remember hearing this bit of a support call a coworker handled:

“Okay, now click on the start button…the start button…the button that says start….the button down in the corner that says start…”

Vic B (profile) says:

Re: Re: I wish...

While you guys were bred on computers, the great majority of people, particularly those 60 and above, have either never or rarely used a computer. You may be dumbfounded by their ignorance but ultimately you’re just showing your low tolerance. Maybe you should get another job, one where your youthful peers can challenge your own skills?

VX says:

Re: Re: Re: I wish...

Actually, if you know how to read and can see the screen you should be able to find the word “Start”. This has nothing to do with tolerance. If you demonstrate that you are too slow/ignorant/gumpish to fly a plane they don’t let you fly, unfortunately this is not true for computers. COMPUTERS ARE FOR EVERYONE! The problem is, simply saying something doesn’t make it true.

The Mighty Buzzard says:

Re: Re: Re: I wish...

I’ve actually found it’s middle-aged people with non-office jobs who have the most problems. After 60, if someone’s willing to alter their lifestyle as much as a computer does, they tend to be serious enough about it to put at least some effort into figuring things out. That or they have a family member teach them what they need to know and deal with any problems. Either is better than not knowing what the hell they’re doing and then getting mad about it.

chris (profile) says:

Re: I wish...

You would not believe the difficulty of getting the average end user to a webpage to download a driver for their printer/scanner/camera/whatever.

i have a similar problem getting corporate users to connect to our remote support website so i can take over their PC’s.

about 20% of them can’t tell the difference between outlook and internet explorer, and probably another 20% don’t understand that you can type a URL into an address bar. they just search MSN or yahoo or whatever the start page is for their browser, and since our site isn’t the first search result, it can take some time to walk them through finding the address bar and typing the URL in.

Jeff (profile) says:

Re: Re: I wish...

I work in IT, and once was at the call center watching one of the guys taking a call and trying to get the person on the other end to a website, and it was going nowhere.

So what does he do. Logs into his facebook page, add a link to the url he was trying to get the user to. Then he gets back on the phone and tells the user to go to facebook and look him up. After about 30 seconds, he says ok now look at the favorite sites and see the one for “XXX,” click it!. Then he got the guy fixed up and done.

Amazing how you can try and try to get someone to type a url, or search for it in google, yahoo, etc… and go nowhere. Then tell them to go to facebook or twitter and the guy is a genious and can find anything.

It’s a sad day on the web when the only thing anyone knows how to do is update their facebook or twitter pages, but have no clue how to do or get to anything else!!

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

My question was...

…how long before one religious group or another suggests that .canon would confuse consumers into believing that Canon’s printers were endorsed by Sweet Baby Jesus?

“Visit the Canon Domain. God gave man domain over all things on Earth, and at Canon, we used that to give ourselves domain over .canon. However, we heard of an impending disaster at .canon, so we have begun gathering our bits in pairings and putting them on this USB drive, which we’ve nicknamed Ark. Everything should work out fine. After all, .canon domain from Canon is in our domain, as noted by the scripture, which is canon.


Hulser (profile) says:

How would this affect the whole debate around .xxx? If all you have to do is pony up 200 grand to buy your own TLD, why wouldn’t some enterprising pornographer just buy .xxx? Fine, it’s obviously now their policy to sell private TLDs so if ICANN doesn’t want .xxx to be a public TLD, then what logical reason would they have for not selling it as a private TLD?

Haywood (profile) says:

Re: I'm just glad I gave up on them

I was a Canon advocate, at one time, their approach just made sense. When others were including a print head on each new cartridge, Canon offered ink tanks. I’m totally disillusioned, though, their approach was all hype. A replacement print head, if you could find one, cost 1/2 to 3/4 the price of a printer, the ink tanks became less and less dependable. The new ones with the chip on them were the last straw, I threw my Pixma in the dumpster and bought HP. I’m glad my money won’t be fueling this.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:

Re: Re: I'm just glad I gave up on them

“bought HP. I’m glad my money won’t be fueling this.”

I don’t remember the specifics on inkjets, but many of HP’s laser printer cartridges are made by Canon at a manufacturing plant in Hampton, Virginia.

I no longer work for Canon, but those printheads are expensive for a reason, and are where most of the cost of the printer is. The “shell” of the printer is decades old technology and built only to get the paper and printhead into the right position. The printhead is where all the work is done, spraying millions of exceedingly tiny drops of ink on the paper (it was 2 pico-liter drops a few years ago when I left). Sorry for sounding like a marketing droid.

greg.fenton (profile) says:

Re: Money Well Spent

What happens when you type in “”? Or “canon/camera”?

And there might be an interesting play here when you think about internet-capable devices.

I’m not sure about the security and authentication w.r.t. TLDs, but wonder if by owning the top-level if they can some how push out “trust” to devices they create when accessing a namespace that they “own”.

Michial Thompson (user link) says:

Probably not a good idea

Single word domains is going to have some serious unintended consequences when those prices drop.

Domain registration has already been ruined by the bulk registrars that latch onto millions of domains and then try holding them ransom.

ICANN should concentrate more on dealing with existing issues in the domain name records rather than publicity stunts like this one that will ultimately be a problem down the road.

The Mighty Buzzard says:

Re: Probably not a good idea

It’s also going to have serious consequences in trying to tell someone a web address in conversation or in advertising. People have become accustomed to associating “dot com”, “dot net”, “dot whatever” as being a web address. The “dot” clues them in that they’re hearing a web address. How are you going to vocally delineate “canon” as a web address?

ReallyEvilCanine (profile) says:

Canon was smart, the idea is dumb

Canon is getting at least a thousand times the publicity that 200 large would normally buy them (less than the total cost of a full-page ad in a decent photo mag).

The TLD crap? A whole new pile of real and imagined slights and insults which lawyers will cash in on. So will this site as it reports the newest trademark claim stupidity, starting with http://{$random_fruit}.

Yakko Warner says:

Re: Just throwing this out there...

True, most browsers do this.

However, it’s a feature designed to help a lazy user who forgets to add the .com, and it’s only added after the browser initially searches the local network for a machine named “canon”.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Firefox (or any other browser) doesn’t even think to do an internet lookup on the name “canon” as if it were a TLD. One-word names are typically interpreted as local network machine names rather than internet names.

Now, if you *do* have a local system with some given name, and it happens to match the new TLD of some corporation that has a one-word name, and your local machine goes down, will your attempts to connect to that machine get rerouted to the corporation’s new machine? Seems more confusing than before…

Jamie says:

Re: Re:

Wow – using a less-than sign strips the rest of the comment out here. Mike, you might think about joining the 21st century. It isn’t hard to change ASCII 74 to ampersand-lt-semicolon.

The rest of my comment:

Um, They’re getting a ton of press for less than 200K. How much was their last ad campaign?

Don’t confuse technical sillyness for a press play.

PRMan (profile) says:

Just wondering...

I’m just wondering what’s going to happen when some company gets a URL that some company is already using as an internal server name.

For instance, what if a company has a server named “HP” which stands for “Health Processing” which monitors the health of all their servers. Now, HP gets the domain name “HP”. It’s going to be very difficult for company X’s employees to get to http://HP, because it already has a meaning.

I think I’m going to pay $185,000 for the domain name “localhost”…

Peet McKimmie (profile) says:

"It shouldn't be hard for someone to start their own DNS server"

“Private” DNS servers have been around forever. I was registered to a Hack0r(sic) one back in 2000. All it did was (allegedly) to add their own “Warez” sites under a .warez TLD, but as it transpired they were happily redirecting all the major banking websites to early phishing scams.

Stick to Google ( or OpenDNS. (

Constantine Roussos (.music) (profile) says:

Re: Extortion

There is no extortion by ICANN. I am not sure where everyone is getting their information about the ICANN process but most bloggers and people have their information wrong.

Firstly, there are 4 categories of TLDs: Geographic, community, open and brands. There are stringent trademark mechanisms in place for the new TLDs, tougher than the ones existing now. For example, Rapid Suspension and an IP ClearingHouse.

Also, there is a misconception that TLDs are like commodity items that you buy. The application is $185,000 but by no stretch of the imagination does that mean ICANN approves it without fulfilling all requirements including technical, technology and legal. So do you think it is free to create a registry such as Verisign (.com, .net) and Afilias (.org, .info)? That is additional.

I am launching .music and you are getting it from the source. ICANN is not extorting anyone.

Constantine Roussos

Anonymous Coward says:

From resolv.conf(5):

sets a threshold for the number of dots which must appear
in a name given to res_query(3) (see resolver(3)) before
an initial absolute query will be made. The default for
n is 1, meaning that if there are any dots in a name, the
name will be tried first as an absolute name before any
search list elements are appended to it.

This shows that it is not a good idea to have a name like http://canon/. If my search list is, it will first look for (which probably points to a Canon printer on my local network), and only if it fails will it look at the root.

Constantine Roussos (.music) (profile) says:

Re: The biggest beneficiaries

Hey Dave,

I am launching .music by the way and it has been in the works for 5 years now. The ICANN lobbying has been quite an undertaking. Not sure where you came up with $500,000 but that just covers the ICANN application and to registry set-up. Unless you are vying to run a small registry such as .aero and .museum that exists, your costs will be in the millions of dollars.

I suggest you look at the ICANN guidebook. There is a $185,000 application fee for ICANN just to consider you. However it does not mean you get a TLD. I think there is a misconception about the process by many. You are factually incorrect about Godaddy too. ICANN has rejected the possibility of vertical integration of Registry-Registrar, so the separation will still exist of Registries (Verisign, Afilias, Neustar) and Registrars (Godaddy, Network Solutions, Enom). In other words Registrars can not get their own TLD and operate them.

Constantine Roussos

Chris M. Vail says:

Because not every Canon user is in the US

Canon’s press release states that they are looking to create a single Web entry point for all Canon users worldwide, avoiding the redundancy of county-specific TLDs. For a truly global company like Canon, this makes perfect sense and their IT savings will probably exceed the cost of the gTLD very quickly (and those savings will compound over time).

For all those criticizing Canon because your browser already auto-resolves to, please consider that not every Canon user is in the US.

Hollerith Kard says:

Start? Damn puter is ALREADY running...

This Win computer has nothing on the screen that says START. Nope. It’s a production HP right out of the box. No “start” just a stupid looking pinwheel thingy there that looks much like the active task icons next to it. We used to LOAD a program and RUN it, now it’s “START”? Wait, many of the apps are all ready “started” before you give them active focus. Heck, this one has 72 tasks in RAM right now.

People should not need to know operating system specifics to get tech support, UNLESS you warned them prior to purchase that this product is only for experienced computer users. Oh. That would get rid of 75% of the PC related industry. Let’s not do that. The goal was to expand the computer market by selling PC’s at Walmart, so there is a price. When I started dinking with desktop computers, there were no monitors, no mice, no internet, and you needed to know quite a bit about how it runs to do even the simplest of tasks. Mice (aka digitizer tables) were used only for CAD applications at first, not as a replacement for basic typing skills as it is today.

I agree that selling the TLD’s for large bucks is dishonest. But dishonesty is a large part of what the internet is all about today. Not the majority, just a large segment that grows each day.

If things work out like they have in the past, these TLD’s will come down in price, but only after the bigbuck guys get the names they want. I’m good with that. I hate typing in the name of a large company and getting a websquatter phishing site instead. It costs me nothing, and helps me find sites easier.

Carl Cravens (profile) says:


Can someone point me to a resource that says the gTLDs will allow for single-word urls? I can’t find anything on the ICANN site regarding this.

Opening up the TLD space to allow creation of arbitrary TLDs is a completely separate issue from making a TLD resolve to an IP. The number of systems that assume domain names always have a dot in them (Firefox, spam filters, address validators) is vast and would require a considerable reprogramming effort if that assumption becomes wrong.

(Does ICANN even have the authority to dictate how DNS functions on a technical level? IETF RFCs dictate how DNS functions.)

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