.Rip .Off: Highlights From The Top-Level Domain Scrum

from the .goo-me dept

The whole ICANN process for creating generic top level domains (gTLDs) has clearly been designed to allow certain groups to make a ton of money by basically pressuring individuals and companies to snap up more domains they don't need. The whole thing has appeared impossibly corrupt from the very beginning. However, with ICANN finally releasing the full list of gTLDs that have been applied for (using the obnoxious title "reveal day" -- as if the world was really waiting impatiently for this crap), there are at least some bizarre or interesting factoids as we skim through the list. Here are a few:
  • Lots of companies applied for their own name or an acronym of their name. This is one area where I could see some benefit in potentially stopping certain phishing scams... But it seems unfortunate that only super rich companies should be able to do that. A few companies sought gTLDs on related terms -- like Nationwide Insurance seeking .onyourside to match with its slogan. Ralph Lauren just wants .polo. Chrysler wants .ram. Travelers Insurance wants .redumbrella (really?!?).

  • Google's bids are slightly (just slightly) obfuscated by the use of "Charleston Road Registry Inc." as their applicant. But as the company had suggested last month, it was pretty active, going after some clearly Google related names, including .google, .goog, .gmail, .android, .gbiz and .goo. But it also has a few more broadly worded ones, including .ads (which no one else sought), .car (for their autonomous vehicles?), .dad (just in time for father's day?), .mom, .dog, .family, .fyi, .plus, .tour, .prod, .here, .prof, .phd, meme., .lol, .day, .love (which has a lot of competition), .rsvp, .mba, .vip, .web, .eat, .soy and (believe it or not) .and. There are some strange ones too, like .zip, .boo (did Google scare you?) and .foo. They also want .page (is Larry getting his own TLD?).

  • Thirteen applications were made for .app -- including from Google and Amazon, but also a whole bunch of companies that were clearly set up just to seek .app and all of which have similar names: Dot App LLC, .APP REGISTRY Inc., DotApp Inc., and dot App Limited. Not confusing at all.

  • Both Amazon and Google would like .book (where they have competition from seven others) and .search (where they have competition from two others).

  • Amazon and Google actually come up against each other an awful lot, including for .buy, .shop, .store, .free, .game, .play, .movie, .show, .mail, .map, .spot, .talk, .wow, .you and .cloud -- all of which have a bunch of other suitors as well. They also go head to head (with no other competitors) for .drive. They just missed each other in going after children. Google wants .kid, while Amazon wants .kids. Think these two companies are competing in a lot of areas?

  • Amazon would also like both .safe and .room, but not .saferoom (no one went for that one). Amazon has no competition for either of those.

  • Amazon would like you to .smile. Somewhat surprised no one else sought that one.

  • For .docs, Google's competition is... Microsoft. No surprise there. Those two companies also face off (with one other applicant) for .live.

  • Six different companies are seeking .baby, including Johnson and Johnson... and Google? Not sure I get that one.

  • Surprised that there are only two applications for .money -- since that's what this whole thing is all about anyway.

  • Nine companies want .blog. I really have no desire to pay anyone for techdirt.blog.

  • Slightly surprised that only American Express wants .open.

  • Hasbro wants .transformers. Seriously.

  • TJX (owners of stores like Marshall's and TJ Maxx) wants .winners. No one went for .winning. Apparently Charlie Sheen has fallen off the face of the earth.

  • Six different applications for .cpa (including one from Google). Apparently some people expect that CPAs have money to blow on new domains...

  • Two different companies want .dot (which actually is kind of creative): Google and Dish. Not sure I understand either one.

  • McDonalds wants .mcd (and .mcdonalds).

  • Three different companies want .rip. I'm assuming these are for "memorial" sites.

  • AOL wants .patch. Meanwhile plenty of people expect that Patch will soon need .rip.

  • Many regional ones are unopposed, but .osaka has two proposals.

  • Notorious hater of anyone who uses the word "Monster," Monster Cable is seeking .monster, but has to compete with the jobs site Monster.com. Those two companies already have an agreement about the use of the term, but you have to imagine they're not happy to see each other here.

  • Eleven companies want .home, once again including a bunch with similar names. DotHome Inc., Dot Home LLC, .HOME Registry Inc., DotHome/CGR E-Commerce Ltd. Oh yeah, and GoDaddy and Google are both there as well.

  • The MPAA cannot be happy that Google is also seeking .film, where it's competing against two others, including the "Motion Picture Domain Registry". According to the website for that group, they have a strong association with the MPAA. Both those companies (and a bunch of others, including Amazon as mentioned above) are also competing for .movie.

  • As expected, there's also a big fight to be had over .music -- including (once again) Google and Amazon, but also a bunch of operations set up just for this purpose: dot Music Limited, DotMusic, DotMusic Inc., and .music LLC. For what it's worth, the RIAA has endorsed the proposal from .music LLC, because it only would allow "accredited" musicians to use it, and the RIAA loves nothing more than the chance to be a gatekeeper.

  • Starbucks (Starbucks?!) would like .now, but it has steep competition from five other companies, including its neighbor, Amazon.

  • Seven applications were made for .news (including one from Amazon). I also do not want to buy techdirt.news.

  • Three different applications for .sucks. Perhaps I'd buy techdirt.sucks.

  • Yes, someone did apply for .wtf.

  • .ninja actually is a cool idea for a TLD. I might want one of those.

  • There are two competing applications for .sex, because we didn't already have enough of a battle over the sex.com domain name years ago.

  • This is slightly outside the list, but related to it. After the list came out, I received a press release from some silly grandstanding "morality" group insisting that .porn, .sex and .adult need to be opposed because "more porn domains means more porn on the internet." I don't think that requires any response other than laughter at the basic cluelessness.
There's plenty more to dig into, but those were the ones that caught my eye. It seems like the key story is just how often Amazon and Google come up against each other...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    Whatis42? (profile), Jun 13th, 2012 @ 3:01pm

    Techdirt.ninja

    You should buy Techdirt.ninja and turn it into the access point for power users.

     

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    Rich Kulawiec, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 3:02pm

    This is one area where I could see some benefit in potentially stopping certain phishing scams [...]

    On the contrary, this entire process is a goldmine for phishers and every other variety of scammer. (Unsurprising, really, given that Internet users weren't even considered in this process; the entire thing is a moneygrab for corrupt-to-the-bone ICANN and the registrars. Why should they care if it creates security problems?)

     

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      Brent (profile), Jun 14th, 2012 @ 6:54am

      Re:

      I was hoping someone else pointed this out in the comments. I completely agree that all these additional customized domain parts will make it SO MUCH EASIER to scam people. "Your password has expired, please go to reset.chase.password to create a new one." Or an update on the misspelling thing "Your Google password has been changed, if you did not request this password change, visit secure.password.googl to confirm your account has not been breached."

      This is frustrating.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 3:06pm

    Well, a slightly different first view on the applications; google did most, followed by amazon. Neither is surprising, but that fact alone does explain part of why they clash often. A lot of applications are done by organizations that seem to have been created just for those applications (also to be expected, but does raise the question of who is funding them).

    Only three applications for .sucks did surprise me, I expected more, seeing as how well .xxx does as a pay-me-not-to-get-listed-here tld. But now that it seems to be a free-for-all, hopefully that whole model will be gone (maybe people will realize noone gives a sucks).

     

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    SAG not logged in, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 3:14pm

    Dissappointed - missing gTLD...

    I was hoping someone would man up and go for .fud but I guess there was too much honesty there for most...

     

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    Bas Grasmayer (profile), Jun 13th, 2012 @ 3:21pm

    So a few major players will own the most culturally relevant top-level domains... rendering that part of culture restricted for users... rendering top-level domains kinda pointless.

    Good thing top-level domains come kind of cheap. Oh wait.

     

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    Mr. Smarta** (profile), Jun 13th, 2012 @ 3:35pm

    Won't be long now

    Won't be long now before the porn industry starts trying to get ones like .tatas or .nards or .nads or even .shlong. Or perhaps some mundane ones like .the or .and. I think we should add another layer of complexity and go for the ever popular:

    .nodot

    Try explaining that one to a friend. "... dot nodot. No! Put the dot and now nodot. No! Don't erase the dot. It's dot nodot. What the hell are you doing??? Just write it down. Dot! Nodot!!"

     

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    drewmerc (profile), Jun 13th, 2012 @ 3:42pm

    i'm surprised nobody went for .onion just to screw with tor

     

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    johnny canada, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 3:44pm

    And in other NEWS

    Who really cares.

     

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    nasch (profile), Jun 13th, 2012 @ 3:52pm

    Google

    Google basically just wants everything... what are they going to do with all those?

     

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    vegetaman (profile), Jun 13th, 2012 @ 3:53pm

    Hmpf

    If .sex causes more porn to exist on the internet, then obviously .drm will cause less piracy to occur.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 4:12pm

      Re: Hmpf

      Oh if only the acronymic organisations would take up the .drm domain.

      Then DRM sellers could join up with DRM users in their own corner of the internet and then wonder why they have no end users, while over on .piracy companies that set up there could be making a fortune, instead of just paying for DRM and declining sales.

       

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      Brent (profile), Jun 14th, 2012 @ 6:56am

      Re: Hmpf

      awesome!

       

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    PRMan, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

    I applied...

    I applied for сом in Cyrillic, but for some reason they wouldn't let me have it...

     

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    gorehound (profile), Jun 13th, 2012 @ 4:25pm

    Why do we even need this ?
    .com and .org and .net works so why break something that does not need fixing.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 6:01pm

      Re:

      So people can make money.

       

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        PaulT (profile), Jun 14th, 2012 @ 1:08am

        Re: Re:

        Exactly. There's absolutely no need for it whatsoever. These domains are only being offered for 2 reasons - so that unimaginative marketing folk have something else to play with, and so that ICANN and resellers can profit.

         

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          Jeremy Lyman (profile), Jun 14th, 2012 @ 4:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          There was a report on NPR yesterday afternoon talking about what great business opportunities this is going to make and how excited people are about new Internet frontier opening up.
          *facepalm*
          I was literally yelling at the radio after a few minutes. I should really just turn it off when they start talking about the Internet.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 4:37pm

    Not gonna lie I nabbed a whole bunch of .free domains lol. I was lucky enough to catch them the day they opened signups so I secured some really good ones lmao.It would be awesome to own a TLD though ^^

     

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    Makoto (profile), Jun 13th, 2012 @ 4:46pm

    I'm a bit surprised (disappointed?) that no major company made a bid for .hack. Probably more disappointed than surprised.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 5:43pm

    Dispose of TLDs

    Why not just ditch the whole TLD and move everything up a level... seem like that's what's happening anyways.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 6:23pm

    Maybe it's just the cynic in me, but more TLDs is just going to be a bigger pain in the ass. The general computing public doesn't understand the concept of subdomains, TLDs and address bars. My mom still can't grasp that maps.google.com does not have www in front of it so she always asks if it needs to be there.

    So now you're going to introduce a .free TLD? When I tell my mom, "Go to google.free" she's immediately going to ask "do I put www in front?" and "do I put .com at the end?" This whole thing is nothing but a circle jerk for people who think they understand the internet and people with money. Joe Blow on the internet doesn't care nor will even notice. And speaking of .free, there's where the scammers are going to setup shop. Nothing brings in the masses like the insinuation of free stuff.

    The lawyers are going to be awfully happy about this also. If .books gets approved and I jump in and grab bn.books for my Big Novels Bookstore you can damn well bet some people are going to get paid and it won't be me or Barnes & Noble.

     

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    Designerfx (profile), Jun 13th, 2012 @ 7:10pm

    still a more hilarious point

    there's almost nothing stopping website.TLD.com if they already have the domain, so why even bother?


    google.page.com?
    vs google.page?

    does they really have an idea of what undoing years of user education is about to do? sigh.

     

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    arcan, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 7:13pm

    can we get congress to control .luddite?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 7:34pm

    I'm using several .pirate domains, but for the moment you need BlockAid or a similar setup to access them.

     

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    Anonymous Monkey (profile), Jun 13th, 2012 @ 8:57pm

    LOL

    there are sooo many listed for the

    www.TLD.news.sex.open.film.and.transformers.mcdonalds.blog.ninja.music.search.now.free.wtf ?!?

    ...it's almost understandable o.0

     

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    ebilrawkscientist (profile), Jun 13th, 2012 @ 10:21pm

    vHosts

    One would have to wonder about how these new .domain names are going to affect vhosts on irc and other similiar uses since a lot of the time virtual hosts [read vanity hosts] use a lot of .ends in their vHost names on the interwebs.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 13th, 2012 @ 10:34pm

    TJX is going for .winners because Winners is the name of an off-price department store here in Canada.

     

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    Avatar28 (profile), Jun 14th, 2012 @ 9:10am

    Google v Microsoft

    Interesting that Google tried to snatch up .live. I can only imagine that they did that just to hold it hostage from MS.

     

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    Violated (profile), Jun 14th, 2012 @ 10:23am

    TLDs

    I can only imagine the millions of people rushing to apply for the f**k domain as .you goes live. Also .sucks does have more than one meaning as highlighted by debbie.sucks.

    I am only opposed to .sex and .porn when while it would be nice to group all adult content together to help avoid child exposure in the same regards Governments can filter out adults also.

    I cannot say any of these domain extensions appeal to me for my own little Internet business.

    The only thing I am left wondering is if anyone applied for .moon .luna and .mars? Clearly our species will one day be living and working off-planet and what better way to say where they are? They are obviously long time delays in getting data back so informative as well.

     

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    osvinwebsolutions, Oct 30th, 2012 @ 4:54am

    the top level domain

    Well!! this view on the application of the top level domain is very informative and is very helpful for buying domain names.....

     

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    internet2tlds, Nov 21st, 2012 @ 3:30am

    the top level domain and buying domain names

    Thank you so much for permitting many people the unique chance to read your blog about get domain name. Your blogposts are very informative and loaded with a lot of good fun for me personally. However even my fellow office workers love to read your posts as they are able to understand a great deal from them. Most of us definitely esteem your in-depth knowledge and we actually appreciate you sharing them in your posts.

     

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