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Questions and Answers
Q1 - Isn't ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) responsible for domain names?
- ICANN isn't a Government agency, it is a corporation
registered in California.
Department of Commerce
policy documents from 1998 present ICANN's
background. Read them and you'll realize that ICANN was
conceived primarily to solve Department of Commerce problems,
not Internet domain name or user problems.
ICANN received 1930 applications, at a price of $185,000 each, to open new generic TLDs; auctions for contested domains generating additional income. ICANN made more than $500 million in total for applications to sell something users don't want or need. ICANN makes ongoing income from every top-level domain, and from every name registered under those domains. See also Q16 below.
ICANN does not
occupy 'the moral high ground'. They claim to follow a
bottom-up decision model based on general consensus, but they
once approved the sale of the Public Interest Registry (.org)
to a newly formed private equity firm. That was a
top-down decision that even some prior ICANN top executives
disagreed with. Faced with opposition from the
California Attorney General (among many others) ICANN
announced on May 1, 2020, that "the public interest is better served in withholding
itself on following a multistakeholder model, but they have
often neglected the most important stakeholders - domain name
customers and users.
Multiplexed Domain Names are innovative (disruptive) while supporting competition between registries, and they meet market needs better than continuing to add more gTLDs.
Q2 - There are over 158.4 million .com names registered (source: http://research.domaintools.com/statistics/tld-counts/). Obviously it hasn't been hard to create new names. What's the problem?
- The problem is just that: over 158 million .com
names are registered. Each name must be unique while in
reality most names, and most trademarks, are not unique.
Q3 - Does this require a new naming system?
- No, we're suggesting an evolution of the existing system.
The fundamentals aren't changed at all.
How many of
ICANN's new generic top-level domains can you name?
Q4 - Don't search engines make multiplexed names unnecessary?
- If search engines were perfect we wouldn't need domain names
at all, but domain disputes continue year after year -
business owners want control over 'their own' names.
Q5 - Why not just use numbers – many email addresses do that. Why add a new character like the asterisk to domain names? Won't that confuse people and increase the risk of name abuse?
- Personal names seldom end in numbers. Adding digits
there is a simple, if relatively insecure, method to increase
the name space. Good reasons for introducing an
addressing token in domain names include the security of
acknowledging that others have 'the same' name. Another
is that company, product and trademark names may already end
in a number. Consider the case of a television station
that wants to use channel5.com
as a domain name. There are lots of channel 5s in the world
and the second registrant can't be expected to register as channel51.com
which changes the meaning and identity; and a TV channel
51 may already own that domain name.
already provide a list of potential domains to select from as
you type, based on web site page names.
Q6 - Why not edit the software that translates Internationalized Domain Names to include the asterisk or some other token character?
- Translation of the same non-LDH ASCII character differs
depending on the character's environment. Swedish character
'ä' is translated differently in domain names 'bä.se',
'bär.se' and 'bärs.se'. The same would apply to any
non-LDH character, including the asterisk.
Q7 - Are you asking everyone, everywhere, to install a new browser?
- No, that wouldn't be user friendly. Look up
"JoeAndSons*2.com" in Google and you can select and read the
test page on your current browser.
Q8 - Is the name registration format formally standardized?
- The name registration system is fully compliant with
existing standards, but adds a new level. That new level
isn't standardized. If a standard is established it may
differ from the one we have tested. In Europe for
example, the Euro symbol € could be used.
Q9 - Who wants to be a 'number 2'?
- To start with, the second iteration of a name would be
name*1.tld (because the original registration remains
unchanged). That means we could hypothetically add over
150 million .com domain names, or double the number of names
under a country code TLD, without making anyone a 'number 2'.
Q10 - Isn't there a 'chicken and egg' problem here? Without a lot of names registered in a standardized format there's no reason to update a browser to translate them, and without general browser implementation there's no advantage in registering a name.
- There was no reason to have a web browser until there was
information available on the web, and no rationale for putting
information on the web until people had access to browsers.
Yet now we have both. When people realized that
better information access was possible, these developments
became mutually supportive, which is what you should expect
when people discover that Internet naming can be improved.
Q11 - Won't trademark owners object to losing their monopoly on a domain name?
- Trademark owners are expected, even required, to vigorously
defend their marks. This applies to those companies that
can use their trademark as a domain name, but equally to the
much greater number of companies that cannot.
The objective of
a trademark is to eliminate confusion about the source of a
product or service! Since most trademarks aren't
unique we might anticipate class action opposition to the
artificial and unnecessary name string monopoly in domain
Q12 - Besides making more names available, are there other advantages to evolving the naming system?
- You can't hold something for ransom unless it is unique. If
domain names are multiplexed you reduce the rationale for name
hoarding, cybersquatting, registration hijacking and inflated
prices in the secondary market.
Q13 - Shouldn't we look for a completely new system instead?
- Since it has been difficult to gain acceptance for new top
level domains, how can we expect more radical changes to
succeed? You have to respect the experience and expectations
of a world full of Internet users. What would you do
with existing Internet content if a different naming system
Q14 - I'm an 'informavore' - I use the Internet for collecting information but haven't felt the need to register my own domain name and possibly never will. How do more domain names rock my world?
A14 - The major advantage is that by eliminating the artificial scarcity of domain names, more information should become available from more sources.
Q15 - Are Multiplexed Names built on the same software as Internationalized Domain Names?
- No, IDN software isn't involved. Both are browser
applications that can co-exist.
Q16 - What business aspects apply to Multiplexed Names.
A16 - In early October, sedo.com/us listed a number of 'premium' domains for sale at prices ranging from $200 to $900,000. These domains names were originally registered for about $12 each.
On March 31 last year another aftermarket site advertised 34 'featured' domains costing between $20,000 and $1,000,000, with an average price of $193,370, and 'showcase' domains topping out at 15,000,000 EUR (over $16.585 million). They ask: "Do you own more than 1,000 high-value domains?" No business uses 1,000 domain names. Parked domains generate registration income for ICANN while driving up costs in the secondary name market and depriving new users of domain names through artificial scarcity.
you could find an appropriate name to buy for $2,000 on the
secondary market (plus customary registration/renewal fees)
and compare it with a Multiplexed Domain Name hypothetically
costing $12/year (plus the customary fees), it would take over
160 years to realize pay-back on the secondary market name.
Multiplexed domain names are covered by US Patent 8,543,732, parent applications and a grandparent Patent.
Disclaimer: we have no interest, past or present,
in any domain registry, registrar or reseller.
Last updated December 1, 2021