back to article Dot-Amazon spat latest: Brazil tells ICANN to go fsck itself, only 'govts control the internet'

In an effort to block Amazon from getting the top-level domain .amazon, Brazil may have put governments on a crash course with the private sector over control of the web. In an aggressive and contradictory letter [PDF] on Wednesday to the overseer of the internet's domain name system, ICANN, Brazilian technology minister …

  1. Richard Tobin

    The whole thing's stupid

    We don't need any new top-level domains, let alone ones controlled by companies.

    1. BillG Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: The whole thing's stupid

      Whenever I read articles like this, the cynic in me sees people looking for money and others giving it away.

    2. Fazal Majid

      Re: The whole thing's stupid

      Yep, just a greedy land-grab by registrars looking to shake down multinationals and trademark owners for more registration fees under the new gTLDs.

      1. deevee

        Re: The whole thing's stupid

        how true, many top level domains like (dot)sydney have been spruiked by registrars who paid stupid money to grab them.

        I've still never seen them in common use, and would certainly never buy one myself.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The whole thing's stupid

          'spruiked' I like it. Thanks for expanding my wordy bag

    3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: The whole thing's stupid

      @Richard - you nailed it.

      There is no reason for the company to have dot-amazon. It's just polution.

      I'm just waiting for the day when enough organisation re-zone all these new toplevel domains, by shoving them under a catchall tld... (.alt maybe?) that they become useless used in any other form.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: The whole thing's stupid

        "There is no reason for the company to have dot-amazon. It's just polution."

        I fully agree. Why would Amazon the company want a global domain anyway? They restrict access to users in various countries and re-direct them to their local ccTLD in many cases so a global .amazon TLD would almost certainly end u[ being used almost elusively as us.amazon, uk.amazon, fr.amazon, de.amazon, br.amazon etc. etc. etc.

    4. big_D Silver badge

      Re: The whole thing's stupid

      And Amazon the rain forest and river, pre-dates Amazon the company by several million years, so they should take precedent.

      The whole argument from Brazil is wrong, even though I feel the .amazon TLD, if it is approved at all, belongs to Amazon, the natural phenomenon and not the company.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: The whole thing's stupid

        Amazon the rain forest and river, pre-dates Amazon the company by several million years, so they should take precedent.

        In full on pedant mode, it's only been called the Amazon since the 1540s. Therefore it pre-dates the company by about 450 years.

    5. DougS Silver badge

      Re: The whole thing's stupid

      Yes, this was a perfect example of why new TLDs should never have been created. The previous structure with countries having their own and a .com, .org, .edu and mostly redundant .net was fine.

      I get why countries that arrived late to the internet party weren't happy that US companies had already land grabbed many of the "prime" .coms that were simple words for what people wanted, but by the time they finally approved the new TLDs internet search had rendered those rather pointless (could 'business.com' sell for anything close to what it did back in the day?)

      1. Public Citizen

        Re: The whole thing's stupid

        The ones who are late to the party *always* complain.

        Since it was all US Money that paid the development and deployment costs for what developed into the "World Wide Web" it's only natural that US Companies staked out the choicest territory.

        Brazil's complaining is why it's difficult for the world to have "nice toys" for very long.

        Seems I recall the naysayers predicting something similar to this happening when ICANN came out from under the protective wings of US control.

        1. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: The whole thing's stupid

          "Since it was all US Money that paid the development and deployment costs for what developed into the "World Wide Web" it's only natural that US Companies staked out the choicest territory."

          Ooh, I wonder if that applies to other things? I think the whole of the US either belongs to the UK or to the native Americans (you know, the real ones) under that argument. And anyway, if these companies are in California, aren't they Mexican? Oh, you mean the US stole California from Mexico? Is that natural too?

          "Brazil's complaining is why it's difficult for the world to have "nice toys" for very long."

          Well, no. The world didn't have the nice toy, it was the US that had it, and it didn't want to share. It even didn't want to share when it had stolen a toy (in this case, the name Amazon) from the rest of the world in the first place.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The whole thing's stupid

          "Since it was all US Money that paid the development and deployment costs for what developed into the "World Wide Web" it's only natural that US Companies staked out the choicest territory."

          That's odd, thought a British guy invented "The World Wide Web", the yanks invented the internet. They are not the same thing.

          1. Mike Shepherd
            Meh

            Re: The whole thing's stupid

            If I remember correctly, packet switching was conceived by a Welshman (Donald Davies) who invented the concept of a router and did the hard work in analysis of problems like network congestion. On that basis, the internet is Welsh. Any more stupid ideas?

          2. John Savard Silver badge

            Re: The whole thing's stupid

            While the World Wide Web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee, it should be noted that services on the Internet such as FTP and E-mail, which pre-date the Web, also use the domain name system, which is what is really at issue here.

            Of course, it's not really as if U.S. companies grabbed up all the good domain names back when they would have had to use them for Gopher sites, so I can't be sure if this point is quite as relevant as it seemed to me it might be.

      2. gnarlymarley

        Re: The whole thing's stupid

        The main reason for folks to ban the stupid top level domains is because it makes it easier for me to block the single domain.

        Spain blocks DNS

        All I need is what I already have is to point the domain to my new zone.

        amazon. IN NS junkers.

        Really, everyone should realize that due to spam, I am already blocking new top level domains in my spam filter. It is easy to allow the old TLDs and they block everything else. (Yes I know that with enough pull, I may have to change my filter rules.)

      3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: The whole thing's stupid

        But if a country is "late to the party" and all the good .coms have gone, it stands to reason that that countries own top level country domain will be dominant instead.

        People would get used to it.

        E.G. If *every* UK company was under *.co.uk then people in the UK would "know" that the company they wanted would end with that suffix.

        It would actually be easier... At the moment, even my mum knows of .com and .co.uk (but probably not why tescos is .com whilst sainsburys is .co.uk)

        1. DougS Silver badge

          @Jamie Jones

          So any international company that wanted to sell to people in the UK would need a .co.uk, and if they only had a .com people in the UK would assume they don't do business there?

          The web address is unimportant, I'll bet most people who want to go to apple.com to look at iPhones just type 'apple' in their address bar. If there was already an apple.com back in the day and Apple was forced to use 'applecomputer.com' it wouldn't matter today. The address bar search would direct them to where they wanted to go.

          These days some local companies have pretty ridiculous URLs because if your business was called "Johns Refrigeration" there could be a hundred of those worldwide. So if you assumed your local guy got "johns.com" or "johnsrefrigeration.com" you'd be wrong - unless you live in Arizona.

          In Chicago maybe your guy is "johnsrefrigerationchicago.com" if you're lucky (and want to type all that) but you'd find it isn't and have to search anyway. Even if there was a TLD "refrigeration" there could still only be one johns.refrigeration so that doesn't help you. If there was a TLD "chicago", there could be only one johns.chicago and it might be a pizza joint or clothing store. Internet search (assuming it isn't gamed by SEOs) solves the problem better than anything else so far.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: @Jamie Jones

            "In Chicago maybe your guy is "johnsrefrigerationchicago.com" if you're lucky (and want to type all that) but you'd find it isn't and have to search anyway."

            Of course, John as a local company, could go with the .us tld and possibly a state abbrev. sub-domain below the TLD eg johnsrefridgeration.ill.us .us seems to be remarkably underused.

            1. DougS Silver badge

              Re: @Jamie Jones

              I'm not sure I've ever seen a commercial business using one of the xx.us state codes, it may be against the rules - they probably figured that's what .com was for. By the time the internet exploded everywhere already associated .com = business so they wouldn't use .us even if they were allowed to do so.

              Besides, then you run into issues in cities that straddle a state line - which state do they register in, or should they register in both and have one redirect to the other. .com was just easier, at least back when it didn't have 50 bazillion different domains in it.

    6. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: The whole thing's stupid

      The one new TLD that I support is .cotton for EastEnders related sites.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The whole thing's stupid

      Brazil is known for stupidity. It's usually used as a ploy to distract from the rampant corruption Brazil is famous for.

  2. Notas Badoff

    Upgrade Brazil's TLD

    to ".bs"

    At some point I fear we'll have to move the whole 'free' internet under a new TLD: .xkcd

    "Help us Randall-san, you're our only hope!"

  3. jake Silver badge

    I wonder what Brazil's reaction would be if ...

    ... Libya made a claim for the .amazon TLD? Seems to me that they have had a much longer association with the word than Brazil has.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: I wonder what Brazil's reaction would be if ...

      "Libya made a claim for the .amazon TLD?"

      Or Lycia? Given that the earliest written sources seem to be Greek maybe Greece should be given the deciding vote.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: I wonder what Brazil's reaction would be if ...

        No. Diodorus Siculus' Bibliotheca historica clearly says Libya is the source of the Amazons.

        1. Lysenko

          Re: I wonder what Brazil's reaction would be if ...

          True, but since the "Libya" of his time was essentially the entire Maghreb and their location isn't given precisely, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco could have an equally valid claim. Alternatively, one could also take the view that "Amazons" were actually a comic book version of the Scythians, which would give Ukraine and Russia precedence. Bezo's Bookshop has no more right to .amazon than a certain soft drinks company has to .co.ke (commercial, Kenya - in case it isn't obvious).

          1. mics39
            Pirate

            Re: I wonder what Brazil's reaction would be if ...

            But I wonder what US reaction would be if some Brazilian or better yet Chinese set up a cheap tat emporium named Mississippi or Alabama or Texas or even Florida and insisted on receiving top level domain?

            Please someone do it.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: I wonder what Brazil's reaction would be if ...

              All of the above is true ... in the world of cartoonies.

              Me, I'm just amused by the absurdity of it all.

              Remember, all of USENET can be placed under net.* ... with no loss of signal. This is all about very, very fragile egos, nothing more and nothing less.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I fear ...

    ... that somebody, or several somebodies, did not receive their expected brown envelopes from Amazon. That's pretty much the only rational reason for this nonsense.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: I fear ...

      Or it could be that Brazil (a sovereign nation) offered BIGGER envelopes on the condition they IGNORE Amazon's. After all, one classic way to beat a bribe is with a BIGGER bribe.

      1. alisonken1
        Headmaster

        Re: I fear ...

        Or it could be that Brazil (a sovereign nation) offered BIGGER envelopes on the condition they IGNORE Amazon's. After all, one classic way to beat a bribe is with a BIGGER bribe.

        Unless he's an "honest" politician. You know, "An honest politician is one that once he's bought, stays bought."

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: I fear ...

          "Unless he's an "honest" politician. You know, "An honest politician is one that once he's bought, stays bought.""

          You assume the politician has already sold himself. What if he's still for sale?

      2. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: I fear ...

        Might I suggest some background reading on Brazil's senior politicians?

        That might go some way to explain the AC's post.

        1. mics39
          Pirate

          Re: I fear ...

          Why single out Brazilian politicians? After all they’ve much more honourable not hiding behind lobbyists like the US counterparts.

  5. deevee

    oh PLEEEEEEAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEE

    if you want it Brazil (dot)amazonjungle is still there for you.

    (dot)amazon never referred to your wilderness.

    1. DropBear Silver badge
      WTF?

      Well, I could certainly see Brazil's argument stronger if it concerned ".amazonas" instead...

  6. Neoc

    Apart from the fact that I personally think the new TLDs are a bad idea - I would personally side with Brazil on this one. "Amazon" as been a part of the lexicon describing the geographical area long before Amazon LTD even existed.

    Tell you what: if ICANN is so keen on offering .amazonia to Brazil as a replacement for .amazon, why not offer .amazonltd (or .amazonco) to Bezo? See how keen he is on compromises then.

    1. G2

      and before Brazil decided to squat on the [domain] name, the word "Amazon" had already been in use for literally THOUSANDS of years.

      So.. following Brazil's line of reasoning, the .amazon TLD should be given to Greece.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazons

      In Greek mythology, the Amazons (Greek: Ἀμαζόνες, Amazónes, singular Ἀμαζών, Amazōn) were a tribe of women warriors. Apollonius Rhodius, at Argonautica, mentions that Amazons were the daughters of Ares and Harmonia (a nymph of the Akmonian Wood). They were brutal and aggressive, and their main concern in life was war.

      [...]

    2. lglethal Silver badge
      WTF?

      There's actually also the point that Amazon is only the English spelling of the river/region. In both spanish and portugese (the languages in Brazil and Peru) the name is Amazonas.

      So they are complaining about a non-local name for a Region. So locals looking for a tld for the Region would have to look up a foreign word to find it. That seems crazy to me...

    3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      why not offer .amazonltd (or .amazonco) to Bezo?

      why not offer him amazon.com and tell him to stfu?

  7. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    For what?

    The big question is why a new TLD needs to exist. "Amazon.com" is working just fine as a brand name and retail portal. The spammers on EC2 are happy using cheap vanity TLDs with scriptable registration. What else is needed?

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: For what?

      Obviously, there is no need. You know this. I know this. All the El Reg readers know this.

      There's nothing they can do under .amazon. that can't be done under .amazon.com. , or even .amazon.some.deep.subdomain.com.

      google searching for amazon will work whatever (*rolls eyes*)

      I don't know why the big ISPs and technical bodies didn't just refuse to implement them. There's no legal or technical requirement to. It's just a money making scheme which flattens the DNS with a detrimental affect.

      Without heirarchial name resolving, we'd be back to the naming schemes of DECNET, UUCP, and even the trusty old hosts file!

    2. scrubber

      Re: For what?

      It saves a click and reduces Google's ubiquity if you can type ssd.amazon into the browser rather than searching "ssd Amazon".

      YMMV as to whether this is valuable or desirable.

      1. Joe Werner

        Re: For what?

        You might be tech savvy enough to construct a hostname like this. Most of the digital natives are not... and in the long run that's what will be around (us COFs succumbing to age and caffeine/alcohol abuse). Plus most mobile devices (noone uses real computers any more except us COFs) have "keyboards" that have ".com" or the local (locale ;) ) tld as a key. One additional touch? I guess one can manage...

        Anecdote: one of my friends is a teacher. For his class (last year of school) that participated in the state's maths competition (they did well in the end) he gave out his email address: something@hisfirstname.lastname.net He also said he'd upload some additional course material to his homepage. Cue students: "and what's the homepage?"

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: For what?

          Perhaps we really do need a "Welcome to the Internet" page to get people started, sort of like AOL.

          1. Warm Braw Silver badge

            Re: For what?

            Welcome to the Internet

            I think this is all you really need to know. The rest is all just a big self-referential bubble.

  8. "Dead Eye"

    Simple resolution

    I suspect Brazil would stop objecting if the company moved financial HQ to Brazil and paid the majority of its taxes there...

  9. DropBear Silver badge

    Oh, that reminds me I absolutely need to grab the entire ".me" TLD. Because reasons.

  10. Fred Tourette
    Devil

    Gone Too Far

    Okay, when the Bezoses, Zuckerbergs and Gateses have enough power to create TLDs in their companys' names - amazon.com ain't good enough?! - too much power and influence is in the hands of these tech titans, who in time will make the finance crooks look like amateurs.

    And the namespace is already a mess without this additional insanity. It went off the rails with the creation of .biz and all its siblings.

  11. Stu Mac

    Brazil has a fairly obvious recourse, if they are sufficiently motivated, ban Amazon from trading in Brazil unless they capitulate. Refuse to issue visas to Amazon employees.

    Government power doesn't rest at ICAAN

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      And if Amazon simply says, "Your loss" since they already don't do much trading there for other reasons?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "And if Amazon simply says, "Your loss" since they already don't do much trading there for other reasons?"

        In that case, what is "your loss" to Brazil then?

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          The fact their threat would be toothless. They're not a big enough market to matter and their active stake is too small.

  12. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Stock photo: "Car crash"

    Quite unfortunate that the guy in your "car crash" stock photo looks like Paul Walker...

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Stock photo: "Car crash"

      Methinks you need your eyes tested.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FFS it's not as if Bezos pulled the name out of thin air.

    I guess he wanted a name that was already known, therefore memorable and near the top of an alpha listing. Many website listings were just lists in the early '90's. Altavista started in '95.

    He choose to give a common name his commercial punt and name it after the river/region, so he has no right to claim priority over something that existed prior to his choice of name. It's not as if there wasn't a broad lexicon of names still available to register in '94.

    If he wanted to rule the Internet, he should have registered internet.com or tat.com for that matter.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: FFS it's not as if Bezos pulled the name out of thin air.

      IIRC, internet.com was already taken at the time: I believe by one of the search engines, lycos or altavista. And tat wasn't really a word back then: not to mention it's at the low end of the alphabet and as you said, he preferred an A to be on top of alphabetical listings.

      1. Pedigree-Pete Bronze badge
        Pint

        Re: FFS it's not as if Bezos pulled the name out of thin air.

        If you're looking for names at the top of the alphabet I hear Aardvark and Aardwolf are the 1st "proper" words in the OED and you get to have a cuddly mascot like that company does with Meerkats. PP

  14. ratfox Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    I can't remember the last time I typed a full DNS address

    In practice, my browser autocompletes the whole address (e.g I type "the" and then I choose between www.theregister.co.uk and www.theonion.com), so I rarely have to type more than three letters. Rarely, I type the full name of the web site, and let google find what I mean.

    TLDs are basically remains of a bygone era. They serve no purpose anymore. At best, they're a gimmick. In a better world, ICANN would have been forbidden to create any new ones.

  15. dmacleo

    go fsck itself

    go fsck itself

    ok that theres funny no matter who you are :)

  16. Bill Michaelson

    Late to the party?

    I think the Brazilian government arrived long after the actual rain forest. But if they are really concerned about preservation, there are other ways to demonstrate that other than haggling over a gTLD.

  17. steward
    Devil

    Simple solution

    Amazon should just change its name to Alexa.

  18. Toby 2
    Coat

    Just waiting for the following ".swallows" TLD kerfuffle between Arthur Ransome's estate and the porn industry...

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