NY Times Covers New gTLD’s: “Like Derivatives on Wall Street, They Have No Value”

The New Tork Times just covered the coming new gTLD’s and quotes a number of sources which give some juicy quotes like the one in the title which came from  Esther Dyson

Some of the new gTLD’s getting a mention in the article were: .bible, .blog, .family, .game, .gay and .pizza.

The article quotes  Akram Atallah, from  ICANN who says:

“With .com and .net, if you wanted a nice name, it’s all taken,”

“The idea of new gTLD’s is to provide real-estate availability in the market.”

“The proliferation of these suffixes seems fraught for both consumers and companies. It has the potential to confuse online searchers: .car or .cars? baby.toys or toys.baby? It could also prompt companies, at great expense, to register bunches of new brand sites defensively as a way to pre-empt cybersquatters, spoofers and fraudsters.”

“Some technology veterans and trademark experts view the domain expansion as largely unnecessary.”

As we mentioned above the story quotes Esther Dyson founding chairwoman of Icann as saying:

“You are creating a business, like derivatives on Wall Street, that has no value,”.

“You can charge people for it, but you are contributing nothing to the happiness of humanity.”

“Advocates of Internet freedom contend that such an expanded address system effectively places online control over powerful commercial and cultural interests in the hands of individual companies, challenging the very idea of an open Internet.

“Existing generic domains, like .net and .com, overseen by Verisign Inc., a domain registry, have an open-use policy; that means consumers can buy domain names ending in .com directly from retail registrars like GoDaddy. With a new crop of applicants, however, Icann initially accepted proposals for closed or restricted generic domains, a practice that could limit competing views and businesses.

The story quotes Jon Leibowitz, a former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission as saying:

“It’s a very legitimate competition concern, the public at large, consumers and businesses, would be better served by no expansion or less expansion” of domains.”

The story quotes Thies Lindenthal who designed the IDNX domain index as saying:

“Verisign right now is like the Wal-Mart of the domain space, Other big players may be beneficial, just to increase competition.”

Jon Nevett is quoted in the story saying about  Donuts

“We want to be as open as possible, we don’t want to have a walled garden.”

The story also quotes Jacqueline Lipton, a professor at the University of Houston Law Center as saying

“The Internet address oversight body may not have considered deeply enough the larger linguistic and societal ramifications of setting off a land grab for new virtual real estate like .love or .home “It’s a private body, that is dabbling in this very delicate balance of commerce and expression online that is fraught with pitfalls.”

You can read the full story here


  1. Grim says

    > “.car or .cars? baby.toys or toys.baby?”

    The article says it all, right there. But this is nothing new; many have been mentioning this for some time now.

    At any rate, I’d like to see someone register baby.toys (or toys.baby, of course) and try to make a profitable business out of it. Sure, you’ll get a simple intuitive name that you wouldn’t be able to register as a .COM. But good luck competing against Amazon, not to mention baby.shop, kid.toys, babytoys.shop, mybaby.toys, baby.ninja(!), and all the other thousands of similar site names trying their best to get attention.

    Attempting to get your brand known in this vast ocean of similar but confusing names, would be no easy feat. Only those with deep pockets for marketing would have any chance at all. But if they have deep pockets, why wouldn’t they just go for a .COM in the first place? Or better yet, just avoid it like the plague, since they would know that other much more established sites that have been around for years, already have cornered this and the vast majority of other markets on the Internet.

    On a side note, BabyToys.COM, (which forwards to GeniusBabies.com), has a less than impressive Alexa rank of nearly 900K. Just like real-world brick and mortar stores, there’s only enough room for a few to find real success. So why again do we need all these new website extensions?

    It will be interesting to look back in a few years and see what a total farce this all was.

  2. says

    after the dust settles…
    And this “highly telegraphed failure” proves to be true, next in order will be a “‘Flight To Quality'” (liquidity) = Premium dot com domains the “Gold standard” will rock and roll again…
    Can’t wait till the New Open gTLDs come out and the uncertainty in the air is removed, 100’s of “dot mobi fiascos” coming this way in a short period of time and in a much worse economic environment…


  3. Domain Observer says

    Defensive registration is nothing but a waste of money. The total amount wasted for defensive registration will be astronomical. The reality that a school has to buy porn domains (extensions) will be recorded by historians as one of the most stupid nonsenses in this century.

  4. says

    heh, was half that article written by a domainer?

    “It has the potential to confuse online searchers: .car or .cars? baby.toys or toys.baby?”

    …that assumes people will be searching for things that way. but by itself they are just website addresseses. nothing to do with “searches” necessarily..

    so let me get this straight you domainers… nobody will know they exist yet they will confuse people… which one is it?

    its not closing off the internet any more than .GOV and .EDU close off the internet… this is a desperate argument. it simply adds more content (or nothing at all, how is that harmful?)

    the way they’re talking about derivatives on wall street and “having no value” is talking from a domainer perspective. and contributing to the happiness of humanity? just wow.

    one of the values is choice. it upsets many domainers that “the look” of internet addresses are changing and people will have a CHOICE to register a $30 .this or .that and that with such a HUGE number coming out at once has a shot at becoming “normal.” that is reality.

    it doesnt matter if half of them fail. you guys dont understand that? if half of them fail, like army ants there are more and more coming and marching along…

  5. says

    Lets do a test run……


    and many more……

    Anyone dare to say not confusing?

  6. says

    Esther Dyson, who opposes the .gTLD, is one of the smartest minds on the planet. Funded numerous startups that became Home Runs, on the boards of stellar companies, a legend in tech and the Internet, and the daughter of mega-talented parents (about on the level of Einstein & Madame Curie).

  7. Grim says

    > thats stupid.
    > make all of those a .COM and tell me how many
    > you’ll be able to quote from memory…

    Exactly. That’s why these extensions aren’t needed in the first place. Well-known, long-established .COMs websites, whose loyal customers are extremely unlikely to go elsewhere, already have all of this covered. You’re wasting your time and money if you even try to go head to head with them with extensions that the general public isn’t even familiar with. You’d have to spend millions, just to get any attention at all… people are finally getting it.

  8. Grim says


    And if Apple’s indicator of only registering ONE gTLD is any indication, (they didn’t even want .APP… hmmm), there are a lot of smart people out there that feel the exact same way.

  9. says


    we dont need everything we’re sold. things are made “cool” in this world and sold to us all the time.

    if enough money is at stake its possible for perception to change.

    besides, this whole “they arnt necessarily” conversation was for like 5 years ago… they’re coming now and no about of “but..but but but it’ll be confusing” is going to stop them. adapt or die shaking your fist at the world about the way things SHOULD be.

  10. Grim says


    “Adapt or die?” You’re kidding, right? You keep saying that domainers write these types of articles… would you happen to be someone with a stake in seeing that these new extensions succeed? Because seriously… no one needs these extensions. There are enough great sites out there already to visit and buy merchandise from, and still plenty of opportunity to register a .COM or .CO or .TV or any other currently available extension if one wants to set up a new site of their own. We seriously don’t need hundreds more.

    The real “adapting or dying” will be how mobile devices will change how the Internet is accessed as the years pass by. That’s the thing people should be much more concerned about.

  11. says

    yes, domainers should adapt. first step is get out of denial about the impact something this scale will likely have.

    and dude, you just said .CO and .TV in the same sentence while explaining that we dont need anymore TLD’s.

    we dont NEED them but they’re coming. just like we didnt NEED .CO but now its an option. we dont need Adidas shoes either, we already have Nike and thats plenty.

    why does having more options make people so upset? its not like you’re gonna get taxed on this whole thing.

    there is a reason the mere existence of them ruffles feathers.. because it does have the possibility to change the way “alternate” TLDs are perceived and people dont want to admit this.

    they just wanna go… yeah well auh er um… .MOBI! remember .mobi

    ah ah uh er and THAT WHOLE O.CO THING!

    and .biz….. see guys… everything will stay the same…. everything will stay the same… everything will………….

  12. dmpartners@yahoo.com says

    With the new 3D Internet on its way anyone who wastes there money on this scam is crazy. Sure .coms are taken pony up. Soon 3D.coms will rock the world .

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