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Let a thousand domain names bloom.

Brad Templeton has a canny solution to the domain-name fiasco: Let almost anyone create their own top-level domain, as long as they’re able to maintain it and contribute to the maintenance of the overall domain name system (DNS).

Instead of just a few TLDs, like .com, .gov, and .biz, we’d have zillions: .yahoo, .yellowpages, .banjo, .whatever. Whoever owned each TLD owner would decide how to handle registration of domain names with that extension–and what rules to enforce. Voila: Instead of unethical monopoly and impotent bureacracy, we’d have competition, more compatibility with trademark law, and more options.

My only reservation is that this might just shift the locus of the battle. Instead of people squatting on domain names, they’d squat on TLDs instead. But it would still offer options — if I’ve got tweney.website, you could still register tweney.online and try to convince people that .online is a better address anyway.

1 Comment

  1. quanta

    Didn’t Eugene Kashpureff and AlterNIC propose this same thing back in 1997?

    Of course, in protest of InterNIC’s “DNS monopoly” he spoofed the DNS system and had traffic for InterNIC.net redirect to his own AlterNIC.net. Needless to say, he got arrested for that. AlterNIC is no more.

    To this day, there are “rogue” DNS servers that will accept non-standard domains, such as the .god domain.

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