Virtual Space and Top Level Domains

by Steve Gage

The dot-com world needs more dot-organization. Internet users recognize domain names like .com, .gov, and .org. Under current restraints, the Internet needs more virtual space and new TLDs (Top Level Domains). The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit corporation, assumed responsibility for the IP (Internet Protocol) addresses, space allocations, protocol parameter assignments, domain name systems management, and root system management functions. In November 2000, ICANNs board of directors announced the formation of seven new TLDs for negotiation of agreements.

Since no companies have accreditation, they cannot register names in any of the new TLDs. Registration procedures and guarentees do not exist to assure organizations which TLDs they can have. Therefore, top level domains cannot be pre-registered.

The United States Federal Trade Commission issued a consumer alert about scam artists offering pre-registration services. See the ICANN web site for the latest information at www.icann.com.

According to Laura Moran of redPatent, Inc., federal laws protect registered users against attacks from cybersquatters who register famous brand names as Internet domain names hoping to sell them to the appropriate owners or competitors. Therefore, multiple registrations to protect your site become unnecessary.

Users can access WIPO at http://wipo2.wipo.int/process1/report/finalreport.html#lV for detailed explanations. Any legitimate online business registering its name in good faith and owning a trademark in their domain name, has the most complete protection from cybersquatting threats.

New TLDs may open for business around March 2001. Implementation of the seven new top level domains (seen in the diagram) may create a far more organized Internet, enabling users to find more specific domains to suit their purposes.

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New TLDs   Purpose
.aero Air-transport Industry
.biz Business
.coop Cooperatives
.info Unrestricted Use
.museum Museums
.name Registration by Individuals
.pro Accountants, Lawyers, and Physicians