ICANN moves towards .XXX (+.JOBS, .TRAVEL) -- Even worse ideas

I have written before about what a terrible idea it is to generate top level domains that are generic, and have a meaning, because they create artificial monopolies over real words and generic terms, something even trademark law figured out was stupid centuries ago.

Now ICANN has gone one worse and annouced that a .XXX domain is underway. It is also talking about TLDs for jobs, and travel as well as .CAT, .POST and .MOBI.

The .XXX domain is a terrible idea, not just because of the monopoly it gives. It is almost certainly the first step towards putting greater liability on people who provide adult content and don’t brand it with a .XXX domain. There is justifiable fear of laws that punish adult content outside of .XXX and don’t punish it inside. But at the same time filters will take the simple step of blocking all of .XXX from companies, schools, libraries and kids “just to be safe.”

Which creates a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation for anybody who is borderline adult, not necessarily hard core porn, but viewed by some as not appropriate for children. Including possibly many of the dirty jokes on my own RHF web site.

I wish there were some way to stop this.


Addendum: While the Daily Show (best show on TV) did a great segment on how incredibly silly it was for TV shows to sit there and read out blogs aloud on TV, MSNBC has just such a segment called “Tony’s Tabs”, part of “Connected Coast to Coast with Ron Reagan and Monica Crowley”, and in my most unusual trackback ever, this posting was featured on it…

Fully open TLD?

At what point might it be feasible for ICANN to completely open up TLD names? To allow either the "blah.com." domain or simply "blah." and have the existing ccTLDs and generic TLDs simply be "special" in that they (and anyone else who chooses to operate the appropriate servers and pay the designated fee) resell second-level domain names, perhaps with restrictions of their own choosing.

Monopoly controls might be necessary (e.g. enforced competition for sales of 2LDs as is done for the likes of ".com.", or periodic auctions for any TLD contracts which permit reselling). If you don't resell (maybe, say, ".ibm.") then different rules and pricing might apply.

That is, someone could buy or lease ".xxx." and resell subdomains; someone else could buy ".xyx." for their own site(s) and either resell or not resell. Folks globally could buy TLDs relevant to their local language rather than compromising from English.

If the ".com" servers can handle the volume of .com domains, is it that big a challenge to expand TLDs to a comparable volume with a few reserved ccTLDs and open hunting for the rest of the namespace?

I would presume this would reorganize the root server structure significantly, but is it really that important anymore if there are 100 TLDs or 1M?

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