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Username: dtobias
Date/Time: Sat, March 3, 2001 at 11:09 AM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.72 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: I'd support it if it applied across the board...


I support the "powers that be" making at least some attempt to get people to use the top level domains in some semblance of their intended purpose, interpreted in a lenient way to encompass the wide range of uses of the net.  But I'd want to see it applied to all the top level domains, especially the most heavily abused one, .com.  If anybody is going to get evicted from .org for not being "nonprofit" (however that gets defined), they should also kick out noncommercial entities from .com, especially government agencies (e.g., "").  That sort of usage really "dumbs down" the domain system, and causes the public to lose all understanding of what the endings mean.

I'd rather this be done as a shift in attitude to encourage people to at least think about the proper usages before registering domains, than as a punitive thing where people's good-faith-registered domains are yanked after the fact because somebody thinks it's retroactively incorrect.  (Of course, given its history, I don't particularly trust ICANN to do anything in a reasonable, non-punitive way.)

In my view, the best approach would be to require registrars to include somewhere on their registration form a brief summary of the intended purpose of each top level domain they register, and a clause where the applicant certifies that his/her/their intended use of the domain fits within this purpose.  This wouldn't necessarily be enforced after the fact, but the dispute resolution rules could also be changed to suggest that the panels take into account the properness of the domain in dispute with regard to the nature of the complainant and respondent's organizational types and Internet uses.  (E.g., a commercial company challenging a noncommercial user over an allegedly infringing domain would lose weight to its case if the domain being challenged ended in ".org", but would gain weight if it ended in ".com", or the other way around if it were a noncommercial organization challenging a commercial company.)

I'd also want to see the required language in the registration agreement make some mention of the use of subdomains, and suggest that if your intended use is for a chapter or subsidiary of something that already has a domain you should preferably use a subdomain instead of registering another Stupid Unnecessary Domain Name (tm), but that'll never happen.     

Link: Dan's Domain Site

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