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Username: mc
Date/Time: Thu, November 2, 2000 at 12:24 AM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: Desiderata for new TLDs


  Here's my perception of what is needed from a new TLD system.
  (1) Safeguards to keep from repeating the problems of the old system.  The problems of the old system were: namespace used up too rapidly; squatting and poaching; unreliable registration data (e.g., spammers with false names); and the impossibility of guessing whether any given site would be '.com' or '.net' or '.org' because Network Solutions encouraged people to register all three indiscriminately.
  (2) The needs of the end-user (the people who must actually remember and type addresses) need to be put above the desires of those hoping to make quick profits.
  (3) In general, poaching and squatting need to be prevented.  I can think of three ways to do this. 
  One way is to do like the Homestead Act, and require people to actually farm their land -- or in this case, actually run a non-trivial web site -- for two years after receiving a domain address.
  The second is to have a *completely* open market, where domain names go directly from the registry system to the highest bidder.  In no case should a third party be able to profit by merely registering a name and reselling it. 
  The third is to simply forbid reselling domain names!  This is simplest -- the person registering a name must agree not to transfer it for any price or other valuable consideration.  That would at least force poaching underground and make it less common.
  If squatting is permitted, squatters will soak up the whole namespace immediately.
  (4) There needs to be a principled way to determine *which* new TLD a particular site will have, based on the type of site.  With .com, .org, and .net having been mixed indiscriminately, this is now a problem.
  (5) Correctness of registration data needs to be ensured, even to the point of *immediately* ceasing to nameserve any domain address that is registered to a false or obsolete address.  Spammers and other pests often register sites using false names, or addresses that will immediately be obsolete, so that no one can track them down.


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