RE: [DNS] ABC: Australia supports global cyber-squatting

RE: [DNS] ABC: Australia supports global cyber-squatting

From: Simon Hackett <simon§internode.com.au>
Date: Wed, 02 Feb 2000 09:07:56 +1030
>Can I use then navigational co-ordinates of my house? I just want to see how
>many people are going to remember john&#167;Long.21.23.N.Lat.37.25.W.au

Great concept - make your email address dependent on your physical 
home address. Yep, that'll work [as long as none of us ever move 
house] :)

I made a suggestion, with some other supporters (quite formally to my 
best guess at 'the powers the be' at the time - Robert Elz), some 
years ago, about establishing 'acn.au', whose domain naming rules 
were that the only allowed entries at the third level consisted of 
your company ACN number. It would provide a guaranteed slot in the 
DNS system for every Australian registered company (with no arguments 
since the arbitration is done for you by side effect by the ASIC 
allocation process).

It would have given the ASIC a whole new business in acting as a 
portal for the location of Australian web sites based on their 
company name :)

A similar concept would be to have 
<registration-number>.<state>.ARBN.AU for Australian registered 
business names.

My proposal didn't even get dignified with a response, which I took 
as a 'no' :)

Unfortunately all of these nice notions suffer from the thing that 
blows away everything except putting your name in '.COM' - which is 
that this location simply has the best commercial visibility, in the 
DNS system, and every day, in every way, hugely powerful media 
empires are promoting 'DotCom' as the only place to be (and by 
inherited psychological side effect, .COM.AU in Australia).

So the problem (commercially at least) is that YOUR customers are 
expecting to 'find' you in their web browser URL window by typing 
your company name and slapping .COM on the back of it. That simple 
truth is the major environmental factor we all have to deal with.

We all know the truth - that in marketing terms, we can talk all day 
about rational places to add various names into the DNS, but for any 
sort of commercial usage, the most sexy place to have your domain 
name is in .COM or .COM.AU. This is why InterNic and INWW are rich, 
and getting very much richer each day - because in the Internet gold 
rush, the ones that are guaranteed to make money are the people who 
sell shovels (whether or not the shovel purchasers strike gold in 
turn).

The thing about domain names on the Internet is that with very minor 
exceptions, in technical terms, one domain name is just as 
technically useful to you (for business or personal purposes) as any 
other - just as long as it remains a stable vector for people to 
'find' you. The secondary (technical) issue, which is whether that 
name can be easily guessed or remembered, has become the primary 
money-making and mind-set issue, of course.

The only ultimate cure is a real directory system for locating 
entities on the Internet, which takes search criteria and resolves 
them seamlessly to (the correct) current domain name for 'you'. There 
have been, and continue to be, many attempts to build such a thing - 
literally starting with the venerable X.500 (remember that?), 
continuing with the current trend to use generalised web search 
engines to approximate this outcome, and into efforts like 
'realnames' (which you can find, of couse, at www.realnames.com, and 
which appears to be automagically supported by MSIE)

Maybe one of them will get critical mass. Realnames, given that it's 
built into MSIE, might have a good chance of making an impact in 
mind-share terms. Then again, like many other things in the world 
(for instance, which side of the road cars are built to be driven 
on), someone's always going to want to do it 'their way', and re-open 
an un-winnable argument about whether their way (or their domain 
name, or whatever) is 'better' than some other one.

Gotta love it.

Simon


---
Simon Hackett, Technical Director, Internode Systems Pty Ltd
31 York St [PO Box 284, Rundle Mall], Adelaide, SA 5000 Australia
Email: simon&#167;internode.com.au  Web: http://www.on.net
Phone: +61-8-8223-2999          Fax: +61-8-8223-1777
Received on Wed Feb 02 2000 - 06:41:36 UTC

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