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Everyone can be a Star

Registering the right domain name is a hurdle for anyone who wants an Internet presence.

All the good .com names are long gone.  ICANN's new generic top-level domains are unfamiliar and often confusing.  They open a wide range of new naming possibilities, but ICANN has introduced new TLDs since 2002 and they've seldom been popular with users.

Our approach: expand the Internet name space by allowing names that are a little different, but not too different.

We offer a simple technical solution rather than following an unsuccessful administrative mandate.  Users want .com and country domains, we never asked for a flood of new generic TLDs.

Our solution can be applied to any TLD, anyone can register their name under any legacy, or country code, or new generic TLD.

We support the original IETF concept that domain names are simply addresses to Internet content, not property to be fought over.

Multiplexed Domain Names remove the rationale for cybersquatting and name ownership disputes.  No one buys a telephone number or street address with intent to confuse users or resell at a higher price - why should domain names be different?

The Problems we solve:

The Internet's domain name system is limited - it isn't universal, it isn't egalitarian, and it invites abuses.

The Internet's naming system dilutes the value of most trademarks!  Johnson.com is registered to the makers of Johnson outboard boat motors.  That isn't the company name, and the company hasn't made outboard motors under that name since 2007, but the manufacturing company has a trademark on the product name and owns the .com domain.

There are hundreds of trademark registrations for the name Johnson, so the vast majority of owners can't use their registered marks as .com domain names.  Only one can.

Add all the companies that do business under the name Johnson but don't have a trademark, and then add the individuals named Johnson who want a .com domain name.  Today all these potential name registrants have to find an appropriate Internet identity without calling themselves johnson.com.  That name is taken.

The same problem exists under country code TLDs - there can be only one Schmidt.de and one Hansen.dk.  No number of new TLDs can fix this problem at the national level.

Would you accept a system that prevented you from registering a telephone number in your name, because someone else registered your name first?

On March 30, 2022, we repeated an earlier experiment - we tested the second level name 'johnson' under top levels .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .us and .edu.  In 4 cases - including johnson.com - the connection 'timed out' without presenting content; no site resolved.  One site was 'not found' and 1 case led to an email server.

Only the .edu domain name, owned by Johnson College of Technology, led to accessible content relevant to a user.

This is absurd - but it isn't new or unusual.

Obviously the situation has not improved since a 2014 study published by the registry for .eu names, EURid, indicated nearly 57% of the 49,000 registered domain names they tested, over 8 different TLDs, led to a holding page, error, or pay-per-click advertising page rather than content of value to users.then.

Why are we complacent about a system that works less than half the time?

The examples in our Johnson directory table are real but rely on standard redirecting, they show how a name directory can help users navigate around these problems.

Multiplexed Names don't require on-line name directories, but they would be a logical step to support Internet users.

The Proposal:

Our alternative is to register domain names in a format that allows automatic and transparent translation to and from a name-star-number [name*number.tld] format.  It adds a hierarchical element to second level names (like Johnson) instead of adding more top levels.  This supports universal Internet naming - allowing a virtually unlimited number of name registrations - potentially under any top-level domain.

Last updated March 1, 2023
W. Kenneth Ryan