Dot Kiwi approved in principle

May 29th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Dot Kiwi have announced:

For the first time millions of New Zealanders will have access to new email addresses and websites ending in .kiwi rather than .co.nz, .kiwi.nz or other similar .nz formats following international regulatory approval from Los Angeles over the weekend.

.kiwi is the first New Zealand-based generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) approved by ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) in its new gTLD programme, which ushers in a host of new domains such as .london and .microsoft. …

New Zealand’s new domain name is expected to be available for individuals and organisations to purchase as early as mid-August for trademark holders and October/November for the general public. Interest can be registered at www.dot-kiwi.com . 

Speaking for me personally, I think competition is a good thing, and look forward to .kiwi being approved and available for use.

It appears 433 proposed new TLDs have passed their initial evaluation. Some of them are:

  • .dog
  • .party
  • .food
  • .mormon
  • .camera
  • .fishing
  • .wedding
  • .city

 

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Australia objects to 129 new TLDs

November 23rd, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Australia’s government is lodging more warnings than any other government in the world against top level domain name applications, reinforcing its reputation as an over-regulator of the internet.

Out of 243 “early warnings” against domain applications, the Australian government lodged 129 - more than half.

The period of evaluation for applications for top-level domains began after Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) launched the new generic category in June.

Most of the objections are against generic terms, such as .food, .tennis or .books, where giving one company exclusive use of the domain would “exclude potential competitors” and allow that company to dominate the market.

129 objections is ridicolous. The Australian Govt is often regulation heavy when it comes to the Internet. Having said that there are legitimate issues with some applications such as do you let Amazon get .books which is a generic term?

Having said that, I note Amazon got famous as amazon.com and I don’t even know if there is a site called books.com – so a name is not as important as what you do with it.

However, the Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) also objected to domains ending in fail, gripe, sucks and wtf (short for what the f–k?) because they are “overtly negative or critical connotation’. The government is concerned these domains could be used to damage individuals or organisations, for example www.labor.sucks or www.liberal.sucks, and force organisations into buying the website to avoid embarrassment.

Now that is just silly. People could get liberalsucks.com at the moment anyway.

Australia has a history of strict internet naming regulations, according Ms Carlsson. It is one of the only countries will only allow someone to purchase a .com.au domain if the name relates to their trading name, for example. In recent years Minister for Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy Stephen Conroy has been criticised for his proposal to introduce an internet filter.

By contrast co.nz has no restrictions on who can register there.

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New gTLDs

June 15th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

ICANN has announced the details of the 1,930 applications for new gTLD strings. 1,409 unique strings have been applied for by 1,153 different organisations. Some such as .blog have as many as nine applicants for it. Ultimately they will go to an auction if the bidders cannot agree amongst themselves.

Some of the more unusual or interesting applications (considering it costs around $200,000 to apply) are:

  • .africamagic
  • .bananarepublic
  • .blackfriday
  • .cashbackbonus
  • .chloe
  • .dotafrica
  • .fyi
  • .ira
  • .ketchup
  • .kiwi
  • .love
  • .now
  • .porn
  • .republican
  • .rip
  • .rsvp
  • .sex
  • .silk
  • .transformers
  • .vip
  • .you
  • .zero

There is still a long way to go before these will appear in the DNS. Governments and others can object to various strings. ICANN estimates it will take 9 – 20 months for an application to be approved and delegated into the DNS.

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dot kiwi

January 14th, 2012 at 10:19 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

People and businesses who find “.co.nz” insufficiently patriotic may be able to register websites that end with “.kiwi” from next year.

A group of ex-pat New Zealanders based in Vancouver has teamed up with Wellington lawyer Peter Dengate Thrush – a former chairman of worldwide internet governance body Icann – to found a new company, Dot Kiwi, which hopes to cater for those who want a more “Kiwi flavour” to their online identity. …

Dot Kiwi, which is Canadian-owned, would compete with New Zealand’s non-profit internet society, InternetNZ, which oversees “.nz” addresses and is funded by a compulsory levy on registrations.

Dengate Thrush said the administration of the “.kiwi” registry would be outsourced to Minds and Machines, a company he chairs that is based in Santa Monica in the United States.

InternetNZ president Frank March said all new and existing top-level domains competed with “.nz” and the society had not ruled out lodging its own application to run “.kiwi”.

“We’d certainly have a good case to put up, but there are very heavy costs involved in establishing a top-level domain and it is not a process we would undertake lightly. The arguments are quite finely balanced,” he said.

The .nz Domain Name Commission did some research last year through Colmar Brunton and around 11% of respondents (off memory) said that they would register in .kiwi in preference to .nz or .com, if they had the choice – so I think there is market demand for .kiwi. Whether or not the demand is high enough to cover the costs of a registry is another issue.

As a disclosure I’m on the working group which is looking at the pros and cons of InternetNZ applying for .kiwi. The WG’s role is not to decide, but to prepare consultation papers for discussion with the InternetNZ Council and members. As Frank March is quoted as saying, there are heavy costs involved, and many other issues.

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New top level domains are coming

June 23rd, 2011 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

It’s taken 15 years or so, but finally there is a clear process for peope to be able to apply for and create new top level domains such as .com.

ICANN has announced:

ICANN’s Board of Directors has approved a plan to usher in one of the biggest changes ever to the Internet’s Domain Name System.   The Board vote was 13 approving, 1 opposed, and 2 abstaining.

During a special meeting, the Board approved a plan to dramatically increase the number of Internet domain name endings — called generic top-level domains (gTLDs) — from the current 22, which includes such familiar domains as .com, .org and .net. …

ICANN will soon begin a global campaign to tell the world about this dramatic change in Internet names and to raise awareness of the opportunities afforded by new gTLDs. Applications for new gTLDs will be accepted from 12 January 2012 to 12 April 2012.

It will cost around US$200,000 to apply but it is expected hundreds will, maybe thousands. I’d say a .blog TLD is highly likely, and one may even see a .kiwi emerge.

To some degree ICANN was set up to solve the problem of who decides what new top level domains are created, and what the criteria will be. As I said it has taken 15 years to get to this point, where people can apply under a clear policy and process.

The retiring chair of ICANN is New Zealander Peter Dengate-Thrush. It is not a coincidence that this happened on his watch, as Peter has led ICANN through the hazards of opponents of new TLDs – mainly the intellectual property industry and certain Governments.

If .blog is created, I’ll certainly try to get kiwi.blog. Likewise if there is a .kiwi I might try for blog.kiwi :-)

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.xxx is in the root

April 16th, 2011 at 12:46 pm by David Farrar

I blogged a couple of weeks back that after 6+ years of consideration and delays, that ICANN had finally approved on the 18th of March, the .xxx top level domain.

The two remaining steps for .xxx were to sign a contract with ICANN and then actually get the .xxx TLD into what is known as the root zone.

The contract was signed on 31 March. The final step involves ICANN asking Verisign to enter it into the root zone, and Verisign are required to first check with the US Government before doing so.

This is normally routine, but there was some concern that the USG might refuse – because it was one of those Governments that had oppossed .xxx as a TLD. It would be improper for them to use their historical authority over the root zone, to overturn the decision of ICANN, but it was not inconceivable.

However they didn’t, as got added to the root earlier today, and the website icm.xxx is now active. In it’s own way, a sort of historical day.

It will be interesting to see how many adult sites move to .xxx, and also to see if any Governments try to force all adult sites to .xxx. Also of interest will be if any countries automatically block the entire .xxx domain.

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.xxx approved

March 20th, 2011 at 9:48 am by David Farrar

ICANN’s 40th public meeting has just concluded, and at long last .xxx has been approved. I’ll come back to that.

Bill Clinton (whose Administration effectively established ICANN) addressed the meeting and made the point that when he was first elected President in 1992 there were around 50 websites world-wide, and when he left office in 2000, there were 36 million websites.

I was talking to the LNI Young Nationals yesterday and talking about having to fax things in the days before the Internet, and apart from making me feel very old, I reflected that people who grew up in the Internet era have no idea how different the world was before we all got e-mail etc.

Anyway back to .xxx, this top level domain was proposed around five or six years ago, and was accepted by ICANN for contract negotiations. Once an application has been accepted, the contract negotiations are normally routine. However several Governments were very oppossed to .xxx and at the Wellington ICANN meeting in 2007 managed to derail the process and a majority on the ICANN Board turned down the final contract for .xxx

The .xxx applicant sought an indpendent review of the Board’s decision, and won their case with the International Centre for Dispute Resolution who found ICANN had not treated them fairly. This is not binding on the ICANN Board, but by a majority vote the ICANN Board (now chaired by NZer Peter Dengate-Thrush) approved in principle reconsideration of the .xxx application.

A number of Governments remain oppossed to the .xxx domain, generally with the backing of conservative religious groups. Generally their position is that it legitimises adult content on the Internet. Personally I think it is a stupid argument as a domain name is just an identifier. An adult website which is called sjporn.xxx is the same content as if it is called sjporn.com. And you know the Internet already has a fair amount of porn without .xxx.

Ironically the allies of the conservative religious groups in oppossing this domain, has been some elements of the porn industry. They are worried that if .xxx is created, then the US Congress might pass a law saying all adult websites must register in .xxx.

This is a possibility, but not a large one to my mind. Congress did once interfere in domain name matters and passed a law creating the kids.us domain. It was designed to be a safe place for kids and can only have kids friendly content, and can only link to other sites in kids.us.  Last time I checked there were around seven names registered in it.

One other reason some of the porn industry is against .xxx, is because to register in .xxx, you will need to be a “safe” porn site. You will lose your domain name if you have illegal content such as child porn or bestiality on your site. Also if you have malware on your site or if you do not have secure credit card processing. Also a portion of each domain name will go to cybersafety funding.

So .xxx could over time be come to be seen as a quality rating for adult sites, and most adult sites may feel pressured to move there for commercial reasons. Or it may flop and only get a few thousand registrations. But the ICANN Board have done the right thing in again approving the application for contract negotiations, so that they get a chance to succeed or fail.

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IPv4 all gone

February 4th, 2011 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

ICANN today issued the last five blocks of IPv4 addresses to the five regional address registries. Earlier in the week the Asia-Pacific registry was allocated the last two blocks to be allocated normally. ICANN policy was that once there are only five blocks left, then they automatically get handed one each to each RIR.

ICANN announced:

A critical point in the history of the Internet was reached today with the allocation of the last remaining IPv4 (Internet Protocol version 4) Internet addresses from a central pool. It means the future expansion of the Internet is now dependant on the successful global deployment of the next generation of Internet protocol, called IPv6.

The announcement was made by four international non-profit groups, which collaboratively work to coordinate the world’s Internet addressing system and its technical standards.

At a news conference in Miami, Florida, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) joined the Number Resources Organization (NRO), the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) and the Internet Society in announcing that the pool of first generation Internet addresses has now been completely emptied.

The final allocation of Internet addresses was administered by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which is a function of ICANN.

So what does it mean?

The new Internet protocol, IPv6, will open up a pool of Internet addresses that is a billion-trillion times larger than the total pool of IPv4 addresses (about 4.3 billion), which means the number of IPv6 addresses is virtually inexhaustible for the foreseeable future.

The best analogy in terms of the respective sizes is that if the total IPv4 address space is a golf ball, the total IPv6 address space would be the Sun.

The IPv6 address space is 2^128. There are almost 7 billion humans on Earth, so each of us could have around 48 thousand trillion trillion IPv6 addresses.

The allocation of the final IPv4 addresses is analogous to the last crates of a product leaving a manufacturing warehouse and going to the regional stores or distributions centers, where they can still be distributed to the public. Once they are gone, the supply is exhausted. In this case, the RIRs will distribute the last IPv4 addresses to Internet Service Providers, universities, governments, telecommunications companies and other enterprises.

“It’s only a matter of time before the RIRs and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) must start denying requests for IPv4 address space,” said Raúl Echeberría, Chairman of the Number Resource Organization, the umbrella organization of the five RIRs. “Deploying IPv6 is now a requirement, not an option.”

What will be interesting to watch is whether a secondary commercial market emerges for IPv4 addresses, as they become more scarce.

They won’t become scarce in countries like NZ for a couple of years, but it will still be very prudent to make sure that any new equipment you buy is IPv6 compatible, and to consider renumbering to IPv6 at some stage (while retaining IPv4 also).

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