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Username: dtobias
Date/Time: Thu, August 30, 2001 at 11:10 PM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V5.0 using Windows dows
Subject: .org/.net status


While my site is on your list of supporters (and I probably did sign some online petition on that at some point), I'm not wholeheartedly in agreement with all your points, in principle at least, though in practice I do take your side.

In principle, I support the idea that the meanings of different TLDs should be kept straight, and that more control should have been maintained from the start to ensure .com/.org/.net were distinguished as domain endings for different sorts of entities, instead of a big muddled mess as they are now.  But I don't see any fair and practical way to get to that point now.

I also don't agree that having some control of what sorts of entity are in what sorts of domain necessarily involves having "web police" look at your website and turn you in if its content is "the wrong type".  In fact, the domain categories refer to the *type of entity* that owns a domain, not the content of their website.  In fact, websites weren't even invented yet when domain names were introduced in the 1980s.  The idea was simply that you had to be a commercial, for-profit, entity to get a .com address, a network infrastructure provider to get a .net, and a "miscellaneous organization" (something not fitting in the other categories, but not necessarily a government-accredited nonprofit) to get a .org.  This is being attempted again with new TLDs, where, for instance, you have to be a legitimate museum to get a .museum domain, and an airline, airport, or related thing for .aero.  They're not policing all the web content; they won't say "You can't sell t-shirts on a page of your site, because that's not proper for a museum or aerospace site!"

If the rules are made stricter for any domain, they shouldn't retroactively yank domains from current holders; they didn't do that with .edu and .gov when they tightened the rules a few years ago, so that a number of sites are grandfathered in.  The same should be done with .org if and when any stricter rules get enacted for it.

I've never actually heard of any attempt to impose new restrictions on .net, just .org.

Anyway, given that the vast majority of the domain misuse these days is happening in .com, where all sorts of noncommercial entities are getting addresses there narrowmindedly, I see no point to attempting to impose any rules on .org or .net.


Link: Dan's Domain Site

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