back to article What is this river nonsense? Give .amazon to Bezos, says US Congress

The US Congress has had a second stab at trying to get Amazon its own internet extension in a letter to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The Congressional Trademark Caucus has written to the domain name overseer's CEO and chair complaining about the decision to deny the online retailer its …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hoist by there own petard

    ICANN are useless.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hoist by there own petard

      There, there. You have bigger problems to worry about.

    2. Archie1954

      Re: Hoist by there own petard

      The US Congress is useless!

    3. big_D Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Hoist by there own petard

      Simple, which was founded fist, the river or the company? Which one was there the longest gets the domain.

      But only people who actually live on the river banks can apply for the domain. Easy.

      1. Unep Eurobats
        Pirate

        Re: Hoist by there own petard

        'But only people who actually live on the river banks can apply for the domain.'

        I think there might be some groups of ferocious warrior-women who'll have something to say about that.

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Hoist by there own petard

          > I think there might be some groups of ferocious warrior-women who'll have something to say about that.

          Perhaps instead of needing to live on the banks of the river, they need to live in the basin that collects the water for it.

  2. dan1980

    Why the hell should the US Government care about who gets a domain name that it has no specific interest in?

    I mean, there is the obvious reason of lobbying and money, but what is their public reason? Yes, Amazon (the corporation) have a strong case but why should that result in the US Government arguing on their behalf?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ever heard of something called "The Barrel of Pork"? It starts smelling of it by Dupont Circle where Embassy Row (on Massachusetts Avenue) joins Connecticut Avenue and reaches it highest stench by the Mall on Constitution Avenue by the whereabouts of the U.S. Congress Office buildings. All lobbyists in the ol' U.S. of A. throw their money, er pork, in that general direction. Been there, seen it done.

      1. dan1980

        Absolutely, but my question is: what is their public reason?

        I.e. why are they suggesting that anyone should take their input and exhortations as relevant to the case at hand rather than just writing it off as the lobbyist-backed, money-driven dog and pony show that everyone has come to know and love from politicians?

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          They don't need a public reason. The letter is signed by J. Randy Forbes of Virginia and Suzan DelBene of Washington. The same Washington that serves as home base to Amazon and the same Virginia that houses some of Amazon's biggest cloudy data centers. Reason one, there's a lot of potential voters who are employed by Amazon in each state. Reason two, these two congress critters want to make sure Amazon has no reason to expand their operations elsewhere.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            The letter is signed by J. Randy Forbes of Virginia and Suzan DelBene of Washington

            Yes. They're also co-chairs of the Trademark Caucus, a new body (formed just last year) to winkle more dollars out of corporate contributors by promising to rattle sabres in defense of this most trivial form of IP. So this is their job.

            And they're the only two signatures, so it's hardly a letter "from the US Congress". Two Reps doth not a Congress make. Had the article said "a letter from nearly 0.4% of the US Congress", it would have been accurate.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          My take on the basic problem with the U.S. federal legislative as an outside the U.S., non-European, observer: bunch of mid-westerners and Mountain men that think theirs (gunracks, light trucks, ICBMs, etc.) should be bigger than everybody else's. They can't allow those banana republics in the US backyard to believe they can do anything that rocks the US supremacy boat; anyone who does must be kicked in the b***s and stomped on his/her face with a spurred heel. Much so in a historical period where McCarthism is again the political vogue in D.C., but at a global scale.

          Having let the steam, that is the plain public reason nonetheless. They think that a U.S. corporation that funnels money into the barrel of pork is more important than the U.S.'s diplomatic and economic relations with Brazil, Peru and their neighbors (all are a bunch of commies anyway; Colombia would be except but then, people in the streets are sniffing drugs controlled by leftist and rightist guerrillas from down there: effing South America Gold Triangle). I bet some even dare to think they can nuke 'em all. Sounds horrible but that's a U.S. politician for you; worse if Republican.

    2. Gulraj Rijhwani

      Not just arguing for Amazon, but actually strong-arming for them.

  3. gerdesj

    This is important(ish)

    amazon.co.uk or amazon.com (int al) - that's the home for a commercial entity. .amazon should be the webby home for either the river or the female warriors.

    Stop fucking around with t'tubes. The land grab for silly .bollocks TLDs simply slows down the internet through adding extra load to the DNS and adds absolutely no value for the end user, who finds a site through a search engine or bookmarks and rarely knows where the URL bar actually is in the first place.

    1. Gulraj Rijhwani

      Re: This is important(ish)

      I quite agree. All the additional TLDs just mean more money for old rope for the registries, and more for corporations to shell out to either protect their brand, or if they're megacorps with big pockets for vanity domains that little people can only dream about.

      It's certainly not helping to address the gulf between haves and have nots, and the only ones who really win (like lawyers in court proceedings) are the registrars (and investors in registrars).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If we need .$river domains,...

    ...we should require registrants to provide an office address of a house boat.

    All this nonsense is uncalled for. The registries are the only winners in all this TLD mayhem.

    1. RAMChYLD

      Re: If we need .$river domains,...

      You know what? You have a point.

      We should have a .river domain so those who wants a website for their river could do so. And Amazon can keep their silly domain. It's not like those domains are going to be recognized by every DNS anyway.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: If we need .$river domains,...

        "It's not like those domains are going to be recognized by every DNS anyway."

        Perhaps the best way to fight this nonsense is for everyone who operates a DNS server to reject TLD queries that have more than three characters in them. (It doesn't matter what the root nameservers are supporting, since it's a configuration error for pleb users to ask them anyway.) Reduce the value of vanity TLDs to zero and they'll go away.

    2. Michael Strorm

      Re: If we need .$river domains,...

      "...we should require registrants to provide an office address of a house boat."

      You know, when issues like this case arise, or when one remembers that a couple of months ago ICANN was complaining about the owner of .sucks' "predatory" reselling of domains under the TLD that ICANN knowingly created and sold off in the first place(!)...

      ...one might suspect that the humungus clusterf**k that is the pointless expansion of the TLD system was an utterly cynical and wilfully shortsighted move on ICANN's part done purely as a cash grab to force countless defensive registrations. But that can't be true, can it?

  5. Gulraj Rijhwani

    "I don't think that word means what you think it means."

    "Espousing" subtlety? No, I think you mean eschewing subtlety.

  6. veti Silver badge

    What the rules say:

    It pains me to say this... but it does look as if Amazon is technically in the right here. On the basis of the rules published by ICANN, there is no basis for the referenced gov'ts to complain about this award.

    On the other hand, there is the established rule that any gov't that feels sufficiently strongly can complain about anything, without being required to give any reason...

    1. Graham Marsden
      Thumb Down

      Re: What the rules say:

      Who wrote those rules? Who agreed to those rules? Who benefits from those rules?

      This is nothing more than governments trying to say "It's our ball and it's our backyard so you play by our rules (which let us win), so ner!"

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: What the rules say:

        Who wrote those rules? ICANN. Who agreed? Everyone who could be bothered. Who benefits? Well, obviously, there's some difference between that and "who expected to benefit", which is why we're where we are today.

        This is nothing more than governments trying to say "It's our ball and it's our backyard so you play by our rules (which let us win), so ner!"

        True, but I don't quite see the relevance.

  7. DN4
    FAIL

    Technically correct. The best kind of correct.

    > Strictly speaking, the Brazilian and Peruvian governments do not have rights over the name "Amazon"...

    Well, there is your problem. Problem for everyone except US companies, that is. If you write the rules to permit companies naming themselves or their product after some existing entities, trademark that and force the original entity ‘out of business’, what do you expect to happen? Names like Amazon or Apple should be simply forbidden. I wonder how the congressmen would be pleased with a company named ‘US Congress’...

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Technically correct. The best kind of correct.

      "I wonder how the congressmen would be pleased with a company named ‘US Congress’..."

      Perhaps someone in China will set one up. I'm the sure the local authorities won't have any qualms about adding it to *their* DNS servers.

    2. Fibbles

      Proposal:

      Register .congress and only sell domains to sites specializing in 19th century pornography.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: Proposal:

        You'd be surprised what's already been achieved. (Link may not be appropriate for the workplace environment, I can't vouch for it either way.)

    3. Triggerfish

      Re: Technically correct. The best kind of correct.

      I thought there was a company called US Congress and it was highly profitable for its members, you telling me they're actually government?

  8. Ralph B
    Headmaster

    Pedantic Grammar Nazi Compromise?

    Since the Amazon River is actually called "Amazonas" in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries of South America where the river flows, maybe they could have the .amazonas TLD, leaving .amazon for the so-named Seattle-based ecommerce company. (Although, why .amazon.com shouldn't suffice, I do not understand.)

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Pedantic Grammar Nazi Compromise?

      Well, obviously, if amazon.com is good, amazon.amazon is twice as good...

      1. Ralph B
        Headmaster

        Re: Pedantic Grammar Nazi Compromise?

        > Well, obviously, if amazon.com is good, amazon.amazon is twice as good...

        But would it really be any better than amazon.amazon.com ... ?

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Pedantic Grammar Nazi Compromise?

          I have to continue this chain,

          not as good as amazon.amazon.amazon then.

          1. dan1980

            Re: Pedantic Grammar Nazi Compromise?

            @Terry 6

            ". . . not as good as amazon.amazon.amazon then."

            Surely that is the very definition of "double-plus good', no?

          2. Ralph B
            Headmaster

            Re: Pedantic Grammar Nazi Compromise?

            > I have to continue this chain, not as good as amazon.amazon.amazon then.

            My research suggests that we could keep this exchange going for another 289 to 294 iterations before we get to the very best possible amazon domain name.

            Or we could stop here. :-)

    2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: Pedantic Grammar Nazi Compromise?

      why .amazon.com shouldn't suffice, I do not understand.

      I can only guess that this is a defensive measure on the part of Bezos and friends. They don't want people to be able to register names such as igotscrewedby.amazon or bitemyshineymetalass.amazon to name a couple of the more polite domains.

      If that's the case, is there be some middle ground where the two sides could meet? For instance if Amazon.com offered non-profits in the Amazonas region a free .amazon domain or something in exchange for the TLD.

      1. Graham Cobb

        Re: Pedantic Grammar Nazi Compromise?

        "They don't want people to be able to register names such as igotscrewedby.amazon or bitemyshineymetalass.amazon to name a couple of the more polite domains"

        There is an easy answer to that. I think I might go and register "justfucked.me". I am sure I can make as much money as ".sucks". How much am I bid for my new "amazon" hostname? How much for "apple"?

  9. Toolman83

    Use the market

    Approve the name but assign it to the Brazilian tribes living in the amazon. Then Amazon (the company) can rent the name off them, in much the same way that Tuvalu does with .TV. Amazon gets it's name, Brazil gets it's pride, and some under developed areas of Brazil get some funding.

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Use the market

      Make the rent proportionate to the number of trees left - might help do something about deforestation, too. (Or have some other unintended consequences, I've not really thought much about it!)

      1. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: Use the market

        Make the rent inversely proportionate to the number of trees left

        TFTFY

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Use the market

          Meh - proof-reading. Who needs it

  10. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Where?

    I do wonder if these politicians even realise that there is a river named after the company.

    1. thedarke

      Re: Where?

      ... which in turn is named after a Greek legend (some would say male fantasy). On th e'who thought of it first' argument it would have to go to Greece- not the Spanish and Portuguese colonies who delight in making life impossible for their indigenous populations- except when they think they can make a buck. Always surprises me that thye don't get on with the US- they have so much in common.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Where?

        Which is from an iranian word meaning fighters, which happens to be grammatically female and led to confusion since the word sounds like something else in Greek.

        No way they'll settle for Iran getting it.

        1. Fred Goldstein

          Re: Where?

          Perhaps because the legend was of female fighters who apparently came from the steppes north of Iran, Kazakhstan should have first dibs on the name.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Where?

            That works. Give it to Svetlana Podobedova. She's an Amazon who won gold for Kazakhstan. Cleans up nicely too.

  11. Christoph Silver badge

    They are all wrong

    The domain should obviously go to the Ruskin Museum in the Lake District, who have Amazon among their exhibits.

  12. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    "Brazil nor Peru has any legally recognized rights...

    " - let alone intellectual property rights - in the term 'Amazon'"

    Or, at least, not any rights which *we* are prepared to acknowlege...

  13. Velv Silver badge
    Headmaster

    "...even though it is the world's longest and possibly most famous river and it runs through their territories."

    General consensus is that The Nile is the longest, although there is no world governing body that performs the measurement. Peru and Brazil contest that the Amazon is longest using their own measurement criteria, but then we'd all have the longest if we could use our own measuring.

    The Amazon is certainly the largest both by area drained and volume flow at its mouth.

  14. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    This is what happens when morons who wouldn't recognise a hierarchial naming structure if it recursed them in the backside have any power over naming systems. I bet they all dump all their files on their desktop as well. Subdirectories? What's that? Force the bloody lot of them to use DOS 1.0.

  15. Dr Scrum Master
    Headmaster

    ISIS?

    So Oxford can also lay claim to or object to .isis

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