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New.net introduces new non-ICANN gTLDs

By Anonymous Commando in Internet
Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 07:11:12 PM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)

As reported Wired News, New.net is now offering registrations for 20 new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), including .shop, .kids, .tech, and .mp3. The catch? None of these domains are approved by ICANN, and accessing the new gTLDs requires either a browser plug-in or a reconfigured DNS server. Others, such as AlterNIC and Domain Name Systems have tried this before, but I think that New.net actually has a chance of making it work. Why? Connections, my friends, connections.

New.net has made deals with a number of ISPs, including Earthlink and Excite@Home, for seamless access to the new gTLDs, and it's relatively simple for any ISP to add support for New.net to their existing DNS servers. With large ISPs like Earthlink and @Home behind it, this may give New.net the "critical mass" needed to be successful.

Of course, this plan is not free from problems. There's already controversy brewing over which alternative gTLD provider has the rights to .XXX. Warner Bros. are researching whether they can block New.net from administering the .movie domain that New.net apparently proposed to the major film studios. And Idealab, the company behind New.net, hasn't had a particularly stellar track record for their spin-offs (including Goto.com, eMachines, and the now-defunct eToys).

Success for New.net is by no means guaranteed, but I think they have a much better chance than any of their predecessors at breaking ICANNs monopoly on the domain name system. Whether that's for better or for worse is up for debate, of course.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Will New.net make it?
o Yes - ICANN is doomed. 11%
o Probably... 7%
o Maybe. 12%
o Not so sure. 12%
o Probably not. 14%
o Crash 'n' burn. 16%
o Take off all ZIG! 25%

Votes: 71
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Wired News
o New.net
o .mp3
o reconfigur ed DNS server
o AlterNIC
o Domain Name Systems
o a number of ISPs
o add support for New.net
o which alternative gTLD provider has the rights to .XXX
o Warner Bros.
o Idealab
o Also by Anonymous Commando

Display: Sort:
New.net introduces new non-ICANN gTLDs | 28 comments (25 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
screw tlds - it'll be the same junk sites, anyway (4.00 / 4) (#2)
by eLuddite on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 05:17:55 PM EST

I support ICANN. One polluted tld is enough. I never understood the call for xxx or sex or biz or any of the other free for all replacements for dot com.

www.adbrochure.biz redirects to www.adbrochure.com
www.nakedchicks.xxx redirects to www.nakedchicks.com

Wow. Progress.

God hates human rights.

not replacements for .com (5.00 / 1) (#9)
by janra on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 06:34:03 PM EST

Most of the alternate tld's I've heard of aren't replacements for .com

for example, .parody

No company would be able to claim that a parody site under that tld could possibly confuse people into thinking it was the real thing.

It's just the 'new' ICANN tld's which pander to businesses. Check out .null - no businesses allowed, this is for people only.

(Both of those tld's are OpenNIC tld's, by the way.)

Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
[ Parent ]
What's really sad (4.33 / 3) (#3)
by cbatt on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 05:29:45 PM EST

...is the corporate pissing contest that this will start.

An example used in the article is with Warner Brothers fighting for HarryPotter.movie . They seem to think that they own as much virtual turf as they want, and they want to mark their territories before anyone else can. God forbid that a real person by the name of Harry Potter ever register a domain name!

I can understand their sentiments, as corporations, they're only in it for their own best interests. However, the internet doesn't really work like that, it's dynamic and by nature, community (via communication) oriented. They just haven't realized that just because they're the biggest kids in the park that they can have the same advantages as they enjoyed when the park was nonexistant. (Nothing stopping them from trying, of course)

Furthermore, I'm just glad to see that for once there appears to be a solid attack on ICANN's stranglehold on Domain Names. They're a monopoly running unchecked and serving no one but themselves.

Before you can understand recursion
you must understand recursion.

Problems with New.net (4.44 / 9) (#6)
by Arkady on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 06:01:35 PM EST

I don't have time for a big essay right now, but I'll get into this discussion tonight or tomorrow morning. But for the moment, please keep in mind some issues with New.net:

1)   they aren't doing anything new; there are at least 8 distinct DNS systems operating, one of which (the OpenNIC) was started last June here on K5

2)   they are setting up TLDs that conflict with existing ones operated by several DNS roots, including AlterNIC (who've run .xxx since, what, 1995?)

3)   they are market capitalists; they're concept for how the system should run is "whoever has the bucks, should win", this will leave the users of the losing system in the cold, since (for any given web browser) there can only be _one_ actual "smeg.biz" or whatever.

Basically, what they're doing is stepping in with a marketing budget and trying to take over names that have been in operation for years.

Neither myself, nor OpenNIC, nor any other root system (except ICANN) objects to the formation of new roots; but they need to join the community as it exists, rather than establish themselves as though they were now "the one true root".

It's not a case of "there can be only one" ... ;-)


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.

Hadn't heard about OpenNIC... (3.50 / 2) (#7)
by Anonymous Commando on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 06:19:31 PM EST

...or most of the other alternative gTLD providers mentioned in some of the comments here. You've raised some interesting points, and I'm looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

OpenNIC started here? Dang it - gotta stop letting work interfere with keeping up on K5... :=]
Corporate Jenga™: You take a blockhead from the bottom and you put him on top...
[ Parent ]

low profile? (none / 0) (#18)
by Arkady on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 06:34:45 PM EST

Maybe OpenNIC just maintains too low a profile? Most of the OpenNIC folks are the kinds who vote stories down for Shameless Self-Promotion, so we don't trumpet the system much here. ;-)

I posted a rather large comment this afternoon, but posted it as a fresh comment (rather than a reply here) because I think it's important that folks see it up on the main page of your article, rather than buried in a reply thread. You did a really good article on New.net, and can't be faulted for not having heard of most of the other projects. Hell, I'd only ever heard of AlterNIC when we set up OpenNIC and it turned out that there were several others already.


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.

[ Parent ]
AOL is the key (4.50 / 2) (#8)
by cameldrv on Tue Mar 06, 2001 at 06:32:20 PM EST

AOL is so huge that just getting them to sign on with a new system is enough to put it over the top. Witness the "AOL Keyword" in advertising. However, without AOL, no one is going to want to have a domain which they publicize that tens of millions of users cannot acccess. Unfortunately for New.net, Warner is against them, which would seem to prevent AOL from picking it up.

AOL is big in the US (none / 0) (#11)
by Drone X on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 08:17:53 AM EST

Uhm, AOL might be a big company but it's nowhere to be seen here in Belgium and I'm sure that on average it's not that big in most of Europe.

Not that it doesn't exist here. I've seen Dutch advertisements for CompuServe (which was taken over by AOL?) and I've actually seen a German AOL CD five years or so ago. But it is not at all important, nevermind that AOL's target audience knows it exists.

And in the US, _if_I'm_not_mistaken_, AOL only serves dialup Internet access and cable in one state. To me, that's enough to consider them irrelevant.

But of course I don't know the situation in the US.

Monkey sense
[ Parent ]

AOL in the US. (none / 0) (#12)
by Paradocis on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 12:50:25 PM EST

Are you a troll or have you been under a rock (a bridge perhaps)? AOL is in all 50 states in the US, and also all over Canada. Approximately 40% of of the population in the US is in the net (at home), and I would guestimate that somewhere in the neighboorhood of 15-20% of them use AOL. The reason: people are stupid. Take my brother for instance, he just got his first computer. He got a P4 1.4 ghz, and the only thing he uses it for is AOL, Word, and Excel. He just recently upgraded to 512 megs of ram, and he's using Windows ME. WHY?!?!?

AOL also recently merged with Time Warner, and is now the largest media company on earth.

"El sueño de la razon produce monstruos." -Goya

[ Parent ]
I said I didn't live in the US (none / 0) (#15)
by Drone X on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 04:53:29 PM EST

I am not a troll, nor do I live under a rock.

As I stated in my original post, I live in Europe and AOL isn't big here in Belgium (another post says it's fairly large in Germany though). So, as I never come in contact with AOL excluding people talking about it and Mozilla I don't find it convincing that AOL is the only ISP to consider.

As for the Time Warner merger, I am aware of that but the question still remains: does AOL offer broadband on a broad scale? If I was correctly assuming that they only have dialup and cable in one state then their monopoly must be almost over, right? Unless they start buying out more cable internet and DSL providers that is.

Monkey sense
[ Parent ]

Broadband is not the issue (none / 0) (#16)
by cameldrv on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 05:06:24 PM EST

Whether they offer broadband or not isn't the point. They have something like 50 million users. If you create a web site with a domain name that can't be accessed by 50 million users, you are an idiot. It's not like you can't just get a .com name.

[ Parent ]
Aaaargh (none / 0) (#20)
by Drone X on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 02:26:41 PM EST

Well, I don't think all those people will keep smamllband for 5 more years. And that's all I have left to say as this discussion isn't really relevant. ;)

Monkey sense
[ Parent ]

Far bigger than you think (none / 0) (#13)
by slaytanic killer on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 02:37:23 PM EST

AOL -- owned by Germany's Bertelsmann. Doing very well in Germany, but not GB. Haven't used it in the other countries. And sure as hell does dialup connections.

Mainly it is price-competitive with the other ISPs, plus it gives the audience extra services. Huge lock-in, as well.

[ Parent ]
Is it just me.... (none / 0) (#28)
by oradata on Tue Mar 20, 2001 at 03:34:30 AM EST

Or does anyone else remember seeing those adds (before the www was enbraced by popular opinion) that companies would advertise thier AOL or COMUSERVE phrase? I could swear that I saw that in the '94 arena. Back then I seem to remeber how cool it was that any compay, no matter what my opinions were of AOL at the time, would advertise any sort of largely accesablie address hosted by computers to give consumers the ability to scope out the product. Capiltalist principles asides, it was pretty amazing for the time. I almost felt like I was a part of something even though I couldn't of been more than 13 at the time.

[ Parent ]
get in quick! (3.00 / 1) (#10)
by enterfornone on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 12:19:56 AM EST

Your domain is available, claim it now! goatse.xxx $25

efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
Filtered domain names... (4.00 / 1) (#14)
by DrEvil on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 04:29:36 PM EST

A .mp3 tld eh? You'd better not try and register say Metallica.mp3 or New.net will be forced to filter it by court order from the RIAA.

A brief look at the other Alternative DNS roots (4.66 / 3) (#17)
by Arkady on Wed Mar 07, 2001 at 06:09:51 PM EST

First, the legacy (ICANN/VGR or USG) root. The original DNS system had two branches: the three letter global Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) such as .com and friends, and the 2 letter Country-Code TLDs (ccTLDs), such as .de, .uk and so on. This root was started under the auspices of the U.S. Government , which continues to control it through its spin-off, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) who have contracted most operations to Verisign Global Registry (VGR), formally Network Solutions Incorporated (NSI).

The first alternative to this was AlterNIC, established by Eugene Kashpuref. After that, I'm uncertain as to the timetable when each root was set up but the latest to join this circus was New.net, established in a large marketing blitz this past week. So the list of DNS roots, as it stands now (and in alphabetical order, to avoid offending anyone) is, to my knowledge:, the list below. There have been some that have come and gone, but these are currently operating:

As you can see from this, New.net is only the latest (though probably best funded) addition to a longstanding tradition of resistance to the system that has become ICANN. It's important to remember this as you see the mainstream (and some techincal) press lavishing praise on VC-funded New.net as being a revolutionary new concept and read its president's statements about "patent-pending" new technology. They're not doing anything revolutionary or new, really; they're joining the ranks that include groups which have been operating for 6-7 years.

Most of these pre-existing groups are interested in cooperating with each other and, though there are problems on this front, arranging their systems so that they do not publish TLDs which conflict with the others (PacificRoot has been particularly noteworthy in this respect). We (the OpenNIC) have been working towards peering agreements with all of these (except New.net, which only just popped up), and have already begun peering with AlterNIC. The vote on OpenNIC's peering with Pacific Root, in fact, closes today after its 7 day voting period (and has no "no" votes yet).

The problem New.net brings up immediately is that, at their launch, they have published several TLDs that directly conflict with TLDs being served by pre-existing roots. A provisional list of collisions (provided by Dena, of Quasar Internet), is:

  • .shop
  • .mp3
  • .inc
  • .kids
  • .sport
  • .family
  • .chat
  • .video
  • .club
  • .med
  • .law
  • .travel
  • .game
  • .free
  • .ltd
  • .gmbh
  • .tech
  • .xxx

This would mean that, if the identified collisions are all accurate, New.net has only created two non-colliding TLDs:

  • .hola
  • .soc

That's not playing nice ... ;-)

This is just a gloss, with a focus on how New.net's launch hasn't been in the best interest of the alternative DNS systems. New.net seems, in fact, to be setting themselves up as a market capitalist extension of ICANN as (as a subscriber to the OpenNIC discussion list recently put it):

One root to rule them all ...

If you folks are interested in seeing more on the alternative DNS systems, I'll wrap up and post an article on it here (probably not before next week; busy, busy).

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.

Great these new gTLDs suck (5.00 / 1) (#19)
by FeersumAsura on Thu Mar 08, 2001 at 06:19:11 AM EST

They do suck. Addresses were nice and short. Now we're going to have www.blockbuster.video and I wouldn't be suprised to see www.blockbuster.shop.rental.video The internet is going to turn into USENET with giant addresses. /. becomes www.slashdot.troll.lair.weblog and k5 becomes www.kuro5hin.panicy.whiny.kids.weblog. Sod it i'm getting my domain www.feersumasura.person.nasty.parttimetroll

I'm so pre-emptive I'd nuke America to save time.
We don't need no steenkin' plugin. (3.00 / 1) (#21)
by Ray Chason on Fri Mar 09, 2001 at 10:10:37 PM EST

These "TLDs" are in fact 3LDs under new.net. You can get them by adding "search new.net" to your /etc/resolv.conf, or the equivalent operation under Windoze. (No, I can't be bothered to reboot to review what that operation is.)
The War on Terra is not meant to be won.
Delendae sunt RIAA, MPAA et Windoze
Not quite (4.00 / 1) (#22)
by titus-g on Sat Mar 10, 2001 at 10:11:56 AM EST

they are TLDs as well (ftp://ftp.New.net/domain/root.zone), but new.net has also set them as 3LDs under new.net to make resolving them easy to set up without playing with DNS servers, it's actually quite a neat little kludge, and probably one of the things they're going to try and patent.

--"Essentially madness is like charity, it begins at home" --
[ Parent ]

I hope so (4.00 / 1) (#23)
by Arkady on Sat Mar 10, 2001 at 02:51:26 PM EST

Since it'll seriously weaken any patent claims they have. The 3LD mechanism has been done by most of the alternate roots, but it's not a good idea.

Consider, in a trivial example, the possibility that I am the Pepsi company and actually have many trademarks including "new". It's well with possibility that Pepsi could convince WIPO to hand "new.net" over to them, given WIPO's preference for big trademark holders.

That would destroy New.net's operation entirely.

It makes much more sense, as long as you have to make a change on the users' machines anyway, to just change their DNS settings and use the standard protocols by setting stuff up as real TLDs. That way, it works with everything and has no weak points that the ICANN system doesn't also have.

Right now, ICANN/VGR could disable New.net entirely whenever they wanted to and if the ICANN system fails, New.net fails with it. If you use any of the alternative roots, there's nothing ICANN/VGR can do to break it and you're not susceptible to failure if the ICANN system crashes.

Anutonomy requires independance ...


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.

[ Parent ]
Yeah (3.00 / 1) (#24)
by titus-g on Sat Mar 10, 2001 at 10:12:37 PM EST

I was meaning kludge as short term fix that it probably going to cause more problems than it solves in the long run...

I honestly don't see what they can patent anyway, nicking other people's products spending serious money promoting it to corner the market maybe, well except MS could contest that :)

Been feeding names into it at random and they do seem to be doing a lot of business, short of the NICs whose names they have taken succesfully contesting legally they're probably going to get away with it.

Oh well, I guess when the Internet finally devolves into the WWShopping Channel, I'll be able to get out more.

read their forums?

--"Essentially madness is like charity, it begins at home" --
[ Parent ]

earlier (none / 0) (#26)
by Arkady on Sun Mar 11, 2001 at 03:13:30 AM EST

I read the forums a bit in the first couple of days. It's amusing, in that some of the posters _must_ be ringers. It'd be funny to have a competition to try to guess which ones.

I was the one who proposed .com and .net for their "Suggest a New Top Level Domain" poll-thingy. I figure if they're going to conflict with some roots, they should conflict with ICANN too.


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.

[ Parent ]
OT: OpenNIC Membership Q (none / 0) (#25)
by adric on Sun Mar 11, 2001 at 12:04:24 AM EST

Apologies to all. I have a simple question:

How do I figure out if I'm an OpenNIC member?

I was trying to join in on the fun at OpenNIC's new scoop forum (as relates to the announcement of the new peer which I received on the announce list), and I wasn't sure I had an account there yet (I don't.) So I clicked the new account link, and was asked for my email and an "OpenNIC handle". So I clicked around the ONIC site to see if I could find out there, and the closest I got was either (re)applying for membership or the login link (not active)..

This was deemed a more appropriate way to ask a stupid question that may be a FAQ someday than to email Robin. I hope I wasn't wrong about that.



no prob (none / 0) (#27)
by Arkady on Sun Mar 11, 2001 at 03:23:32 AM EST

Yeah, we're off-topic now, but the discussion on this article is pretty low, so what the hey? ;-)

Your OpenNIC Handle is assigned when you register as a member. It's composed of your initials, with an "_" for the center character if you don't give a middle one, and a number, which is basically how many other folks with the same initials were registered before you.

So, for example, my Handle is "REB1" (since my name is "Robin E. Bandy", and I was the first with those initials to register. Your Handle was shown on the web page at the end of the registration sequence and is in the email you received to confirm your email address.

Since your personal info is not ours to give out, however, I'll send your Handle to you by email.

We're working on the member login bit, and on a mechanism to let folks access and update their records, but those will still require you to remember your Handle. It's your unique identifier in OpenNIC's systems. ;-)


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.

[ Parent ]
New.net introduces new non-ICANN gTLDs | 28 comments (25 topical, 3 editorial, 0 hidden)
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