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Re: [opennic-discuss] -- What to do when new ICANN TLDs collide with our TLDs?

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  • From: Jacob Bachmeyer <jcb62281 AT>
  • To: discuss AT
  • Subject: Re: [opennic-discuss] -- What to do when new ICANN TLDs collide with our TLDs?
  • Date: Wed, 22 Jun 2011 23:09:04 -0500
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Julian DeMarchi wrote:
In my opinion, some of our TLDs will get picked up in the ICANN gTLD
process. I'm guessing .geek would be the first to go.

When this occurs, OpenNIC will have a choice. Continue to run our TLD
while letting ICANN create a competing root, or drop our TLD.

This will in turn fracture the internet for OpenNIC users. Thus making
this a hard choice. In the past, when a colider has been setup by ICANN
(think: .biz), the members of OpenNIC voted on;

1) Keep peering/running the TLD
2) Drop the TLD in favour of ICANNs

I'd just like to repeat this is a hard choice. It is hard because it
will fracture the internet. This is bad, and something we've avoided in
all the years of operation.


Have we considered/is it feasible to implement a third option? Keep the existing TLD as a TLD and alias the collider under a "TLD" that identifies its source? Is there some workable way to do this or is it infeasible? An example: ICANN collides with .geek; keep .geek and alias ICANN's version as .geek.icann (or .geek.icant if we are feeling sufficiently sarcastic when the vote is held :) ).

Previously, this wasn't too much of an issue, since colliders only occurred with other alt-roots and OpenNIC could simply avoid peering in a manner as to see them, but with ICANN now happily permitting arbitrary TLDs, this could get thornier. Yes, this would contribute even more to fracturing the Internet, but ICANN seems hell-bent on either destroying alt-roots or fracturing the Internet anyway.

OTOH, I expect that most of the "new TLDs" at ICANN will be little more than a flash-in-the-pan. The current system already has the problem that many users think "Internet == .com" and it seems quite unlikely that any "new TLD" would have much content of any real value. So far, our TLDs all really serve relatively niche communities and I think it is unlikely that colliders would be commercially viable (remember that ICANN is charging something like $185,000 for a TLD at the last report I heard--that's a large number of registrations to make a viable business case at prices that are even remotely competitive with the standard domains), so these "new TLDs" would really be vanity domains.

A fourth option would be to officially declare that OpenNIC resolves a subset of ICANN TLDs and treat new ICANN TLDs like new OpenNIC TLDs, which, as I understand, require a vote to be accepted. This would help keep the namespace pollution down and could have other benefits--as I understand it, one major use for more obscure TLDs in the ICANN root is for crooks to run phishing scams, so if we ignore the new TLDs unless and until useful sites spring up on them, our users could be slightly safer. (How's *that* for turning the tables?) :)

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