ICANN Votes To Squash Domain Tasting And Allow New Top Level Domains

So what does today’s vote from ICANN mean to the regular person? Well, if Network Solutions honors its promise, it means the next time you search for an available domain through Network Solutions, they won’t immediately snatch it up and force you to register it through them at an increased fee. In theory, it may also mean that a lot of domains that were held in eternal limbo by domain tasters and front runners may soon be available, although we can’t be sure of this until it actually happens. And on a more idealistic note, that Saturday Night Live commercial—the one where the bank has the domain name www.clownpenis.fart—is now in the realm of the possible. Hooray!

Transcript of the meeting [ICANN] (Thanks to Lucas!)
“.confusion: ICANN opens up Pandora’s Box of new TLDs” [Ars Technica]
“ICANN Paves Way for Hundreds of New Domains “ [Associated Press via New York Times]


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  1. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    I’m totally buying http://www.clownpenis.fart before anyone else can.

  2. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Surely NetSol’s antics are minor compared with domain tasting. According to Bob Parsons at GoDaddy 55.1 million domain names registered, 51.5 million were canceled and refunded just before the 5 day grace period expired and only 3.6 million domain names were actually kept. If the new ICANN regulations don’t address that then what’s the point? Hopefully a 20 cent restocking fee is enough deterrent.

  3. icann.hascheezeburger.com?

  4. tedyc03 says:

    I think a 20 cent fee will work. That’s $10.2 million in revenue that the domain tasters would have to fork over collectively on the GoDaddy stat you just mentioned.

  5. So here’s a run-down of some of the major resolutions passed today:

    1. Fee for domain-tasting. (You should totally read the transcripts where they talk about domain tasting. Those ICANN guys can be quite funny.) Should effectively end front-running if it’s not cost-effective for registrars.

    2. Planning the implementation for the future ability to open up domain TLD (extensions, like .fart). This is insane. Trademarked terms cannot be used, but any other term using letters and numbers up to 64 characters can be used. I foresee problems with regulating policies on this.

    3. The ability to register domains with Non-Latin characters so foreign language characters can be used in domain name. http://www.eres-la-chica-más-bonita-en-este-bar-aunque-eres-travestí.spanish

    This is really going to open up the Web, but I’m not so sure it’s for the best. Now we’re going to have more crap to sift through each day…

  6. Technick says:

    I think the fee should be higher, something around the $2 or $3 dollar mark. If any legitimate user buys the wrong domain, it won’t cost a fortune to correct the mistake.

  7. Corydon says:

    Non-Latin characters is probably the worst part of this. It really threatens to balkanize the Internet.

    How will I go directly to a Japanese website with my US keyboard? Or for that matter, it makes going to a French or German website much harder (or will you remember that ü is Alt-0252 in Windows?)

    Yes, the current system is English-centric. But at least it’s a standard.

    On the other hand, this is a godsend for the search engines.

  8. coan_net says:

    @Technick: $2 or $3 – heck, on godaddy.com – I sometimes pay about that much for a domain for the first year. The $.20 is plenty – since that will add up VERY quickly for those doing the practice of domain tasting.

    Wow – I’m kind of scared about having more of an “open” types of domains. Right now, you can .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .ws, and a many other country domains, and a few more odd domains like .aero, .mil, and .edu

    I feel sorry for places like Pepsi who will have to purchase SO MANY trademarked names from all the different domains…. which I have around 20 domains myself, and this will cause me I’m sure to about double that amount myself.

  9. bikeoid says:

    We have needed more flexibility for a long time. But I’m wondering if the Bush administration will still try to block us from having .SEX?

  10. stuny says:

    The big danger of other character sets is website spoofing. http://www.ebay.com clearly goes to Ebay, but replace one of the letters with a foreign character (i.e. Cyrillic)that is visually indistinguishable but technically different, and you can the spoof any site…

  11. apotheosis says:

    I propose a .lol TLD.

    We will corner the market on cats, and then the internets will be ours.

  12. @Corydon: I agree. I think we need to keep a standard. Of course we could always get to foreign websites via ‘Character Map’.

    @apotheosis: LOL.lol

    Reading the transcripts it looks like they acknowledge that they have A LOT of work to do on planning policies and regulations. I think it might be a while before we see anything out of this.

    I’m also wondering what the ‘application’ process is and if you’d have to pay a hefty fee to ‘own’ a TLD?

  13. Chris Walters says:

    @LucasAnderson: Yes, you do have to pay a pretty hefty fee for a new TLD–it’s not something individuals will really be able to take advantage of. From the Ars Technica article:

    Businesses must apply to register the TLD first, then go through a review process to ensure that it isn’t offensive and doesn’t infringe on anyone’s intellectual property. If approved, registering the TLD will cost anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000, ICANN says, and the business or organization must prove that they are either capable of managing the TLD or can reach a deal with a company that will. This is no small beans-unless you’re planning to fork over up to half a million dollars and put in the labor to manage everything that appears under the TLD, this task is probably best left to large organizations and governmental entities. The organization registering the TLD will also be responsible for determining whether it will be restricted to certain types of sites or open to the public.

  14. cortana says:


    You don’t need a Japanese keyboard to type in 日本語 You just need to install the Japanese IME.

  15. sean77 says:

    @coan_net: pepsi would only have to purchase one domain.. pepsi.

    They won’t worry about someone buying a soda tld and them not owning pepsi.soda anymore than they worry about me buying coolsoftdrink.com and them not owning pepsi.coolsoftdrink.com

  16. cmdrsass says:

    The interesting thing about this is that URLs will no longer be so recognizable. If you see something that ends in .com, .net, .org, and a few others, it’s obvious. clownpenis.fart is less obviously a website.

  17. weakdome says:

    @cmdrsass: On the contrary, I think it is MORE obviously a website. It belongs to the firm of Dillon/Edwards, if I’m not mistaken.

  18. MercuryPDX says:

    @cmdrsass: clownpenis.fart is less obviously a website.

    … and more likely the end of a raunchy poem by ee cummings.

    20 cents won’t dissuade domain tasters who can make twice that in a day, let alone five days. It looks more like ICANN is just going to take their cut. … like a rental fee.

  19. scerwup says:

    http://www.clownpenis.fart? OMG, I almost spit my drink all over my keyboard and monitor, and now I can’t stop laughing. That is one of the best pictures I have seen to go with an article on here. Why is it so fascinating to me? I don’t know, but it is.