back to article Jeff Bezos finally gets .Amazon after DNS overlord ICANN runs out of excuses to delay decision any further

It's taken seven years but online mega-mall Amazon will finally get its hands on the .amazon top-level domain name. That's the upshot of a meeting of DNS overseer ICANN last week in which the organization's board finally made a decision that it has repeatedly sought to avoid. Even the final resolution approving .amazon is …

  1. Mage Silver badge
    Coat

    Who will use it?

    Only Amazon. These new TLD are vanity plates. A scam to raise revenue.

    Oi! Who is pinching stuff?

    1. queynte

      Re: Who will use it?

      How are TLD a "scam" ?

      Buying a book from:

      books.amazon

      .. is fraudulent in what way?

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Who will use it?

        Ask yourself who paid for that TLD, who the money went to, and how many yachts were purchased.

        Then consider whether "books.amazon" or "books.amazon.%COUNTRY%" is more useful to you, as a purchaser of books for delivery to the place of your choosing.

        You're not the one getting scammed, you're merely one the the billions (indirectly) paying for it.

        1. queynte

          Re: Who will use it?

          It's irrelevant / arbitrary whether X url or Y url is "more useful to me" - arguable neither per se because usefulness of a website obviously depends upon far more important factors of specific implementation (eg: location detection etc etc etc).

          If both X and Y easily fulfil the purpose - ie: me accessing site and buying the book with ease then they are both equally 'useful' for my intents and purposes. Arguably omitting my typing of %country% at the end of a url is 'useful' to some minor degree.

          ---

          "Then consider whether "books.amazon" or "books.amazon.%COUNTRY%" is more useful to you, as a purchaser of books for delivery to the place of your choosing."

          ---

          Does what you have written imply regarding "the scam" that if a domain name has 'UK' after it then it is no longer a "scam"? What is the logic omitting the country from a url and this scam?

          if for Scottish people the url location detects to books.amazon/scotland -- is it less of a scam? How do you know that amazon won't do that?

          .......

          And regarding 'yachts' .. ? .. Who cares if people have yachts? Certainly if rich people didn't have yachts I'd have been out of a couple of design contracts.

          Do you have *any* logic at all in linking yachts with this being a scam per se?

          Is it because you have an inferiority complex regarding people having yachts? Because I don't. That's more your problem than proof of any kind of scam.

          If you have a problem with the necessity of economies that an individual may have more money than another then it would seem your [probably hypocritical] quarrel is with the trading of money in general rather than with companies trading IP.

          domain.company name is no more of a scam than general branding in a developed economy.

          It's no more of a scam than Intel paying a fortune for intel.com or AvJoeBusinessman paying $50000 for mydesignsareepic.com .. which might net Joe 90k in extra sales over 2 years --

          Or Ferrari buying up ferrari.com or the owners have yachts you know! :-O "Scammm!!" ;)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Buying a book from books.amazon

        From a bunch of Dead Tree salesmen. How Ironic.

      3. Velv Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Who will use it?

        "How are TLD a "scam" ?"

        D'oh!

        It's not the content of the URL on the TLD that's the scam, its the selling of the TLD in the first place to companies with too much money. Creating new TLDs was purely a money maker for ICANN.

        1. queynte

          Re: Who will use it?

          If a scam relates to fraudulent activity, who is this "scam" defrauding [scamming] exactly?

          And, please.. how much money do a company have to have before hitting your limit of "too much money" btw? Very interested to know in case I make it big some day.

          Also, to really get the jist of your logic: Is it ALL of the companies who have purchased the 'TLD scam' that necessarily have "too much money" or just amazon?

          If I buy books.mytrademark then am I scamming too, by association? Or is it I simply have "too much money"?

          Does it extend to dot coms? If a dot com costs $100,000 is that a scam? What if the buyer makes $200,000? Who is the "scammer" and who is the "scammed" exactly?

          Very interesting to see how your logic follows through.

    2. 's water music Silver badge

      Re: Who will use it?

      outside of these hallowed forums who the fuck even uses domain names to request www content. old people just type amazon into the address bar of their browser and let history or their default search provider get them from there to https://www.amazon.[country]/ and everyone else uses the Amazon app on their mobile device.

      We may decry the way people consume content with knowing anything about the technical plumbing but nobody else cares and Amazon will carry on catering to wherever the revenue comes from. Seems like a hollow victory for Jeff

  2. Paratrooping Parrot
    Mushroom

    So if you have loads a money

    You can always get what you want!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So if you have loads a money

      As the king in "the Wizrd of Id" said to his subjects:

      "Remember the Golden Rule. Whoever has the gold - makes the rules"

      1. queynte

        Re: So if you have loads a money

        Actually ICANN made it's own rules.

        1. EnviableOne Bronze badge

          Re: So if you have loads a money

          ICANN may make its own rules,

          but even this being the case, it cant even follow them

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: So if you have loads a money

            ICANN treats its own rules the way Reg commenters treat apostrophes.

  3. Teiwaz Silver badge
    Joke

    In the end though, ICANN is a North American centric organisation.

    Amazon is an online shop that takes it's name from a river somewhere, probably in China, Brazil's in China, right?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      yeah, those damn yangtzes.

  4. gnarlymarley Bronze badge

    aws still blocked

    No matter what domain they pick, it will be blocked on my computer. Currently my http/cache and email servers allow com, net, org, and gov. So if you do not use one of those, you are blocked. So if they move to a .amazon, they are the ones doing the blocking. I had the block before they did the move.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: aws still blocked

      > com, net, org, and gov.

      No .io? :(

      That covers a lot of IT related stuff.

    2. hayzoos

      Re: aws still blocked

      Your blocking missed forums.theregister.co.uk.

      1. ds6 Bronze badge
        Joke

        Re: aws still blocked

        He's using his backup blocker that only blocks .au and .fi, since they represent things that don't exist

    3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: aws still blocked

      So if they move to a .amazon, they are the ones doing the blocking. I had the block before they did the move.

      I'm strangely reminded of Bart Simpson's "I'm going to walk towards you flailing my arms , if you dont get out of the way , you hit yourself!"

      Its not them who are blocked , its you . I doubt Jeff will care about your weird and wonderful rules for what websites you will and wont visit.

      personally I only go to domains containing the string 'maz' so i should be ok ....

  5. dieseltaylor

    cultural imperialism?

    The concept of businesses appropriating famous words is in itself problematic. This is particularly so if it involves geographical places which have a specific use. And of course this is the thin end of a wedge as there will be a freefor all now on names that will be designed to obscure and confuse the public. It should have been a UN body to make decisions on cyberland grabs.

    1. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: cultural imperialism?

      "The concept of businesses appropriating famous words is in itself problematic. This is particularly so if it involves geographical places which have a specific use."

      Assuming, for the sake of argument, we agree that there is a reason for all the silly new TLDs to exist, at some point someone has to actually own the things. The problem then becomes - who, and why them specifically? It's all very well to complain that Amazon is named after something else and therefore they shouldn't have it, but who would you give it to instead. Amazon (the company) is named after the Amazon basin. Or possibly the Amazon river. Or the Amazon rainforest. All of which take their name from an arbitrary renaming of Marañón river, instead naming it after some fictional Greeks. So who gets it? The Greeks have precedence, but they haven't even had a mention in this saga and certainly have tried to claim it. The Amazon river flows through three different countries. The Amazon basin covers at least eight. Which of those should it be given to? Should they be forced to form some collaboration just for this? What if they don't want to? What about the people actually living in the region, some of whom don't even know that they're supposedly part of a country and have never heard the word "Amazon"?

      The simple fact is that there is no clear solution, and certainly not one that would please everyone. No-one wanted the TLD until Amazon (the company) asked for it. And no-one complained about them wanting it until a country containing part of the Amazon (the basin) got in a political spat with the country containing part of Amazon (the company). Most of the other countries who could possibly justify some kind of claim still don't care. Considering political relations in the area and the fact that several countries have fought wars with each other in the not-too-distant past, why would anyone expect them to all cooperate on this sort of minor thing? Maybe a more internationally-oriented UN body would be less corrupt, less political and less bureaucratic (ha!), but it's really quite hard to argue that the final result is particularly unfair.

      As for the more general question, it's fairly silly to accuse businesses of "appropriating" words at all. We communicate using common language, and businesses tend to name themselves using that language. Aside from the odd name made up entirely out of whole cloth, virtually every business in existence uses previously existing words for its name. Most of the rest at least make some attempt to sound like real words. And of course, if they become popular enough those names then become part of the language. Accusing them of "word appropriation" is literally saying that no business can ever use language to name themselves. It sounds ridiculous when stated like that; that's because it is.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: cultural imperialism?

        "Amazon (the company) is named after the Amazon basin."

        Upvote for a well thought out post, however... The company names itself after the basin?

        I always thought it was simply the shortest normal word that contains both A and Z (upon which the smile arrow thing points - from A to Z).

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: cultural imperialism?

          "I always thought it was simply the shortest normal word that contains both A and Z (upon which the smile arrow thing points - from A to Z)."

          "Amaze" or even "azo"

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: cultural imperialism?

        > The Amazon river flows through three different countries. The Amazon basin covers at least eight. Which of those should it be given to? Should they be forced to form some collaboration just for this? What if they don't want to? What about the people actually living in the region, some of whom don't even know that they're supposedly part of a country and have never heard the word "Amazon"?

        Some of the people you've mentioned a) are aware of it, b) do want it, and c) are the exact people who applied for it.

        For ICANN to give it some new-ish company (24yrs old) when some of these above people have been there for untold generations... is beyond taking the piss.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How is this a logical outcome Kieren?

    So a company called London or Memphis or Danube or Himalayas should be able to buy the extension undisputed?

    I don't get the arrogant tone of this article, as if recently-made arbitrary rules should not be considered for review rather than blindly applied when thorny matters such as this one arise. Diesel is right and one cannot help wondering what the outcome would have been with a Brasilian company wanting the Mississipi domain.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Or an Egyptian company wanting the Memphis domain.

      1. oiseau Silver badge
        Facepalm

        ... Egyptian company wanting the Memphis domain.

        Tsk., tsk. ...

        Now now, lets not get too excited.

        You know will not happen.

        Ever.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      It's a logical outcome because Brazil didn't actually have a reasonable objection, or an objection that complied with ICANN's rules. If they'd wanted the domain for the Amazon region, they could have paid to have it - it's a tiny amountn of money in the scheme of things - those crappy .name domains were $130,000 ish. Plus whatever was needed to outbid Amazon.

      But they didn't actually want to run a regional domain, they were apparently just having a sulk at Amazon because the US government upset them. That's the inference, because they didn't object until right at the end of the process.

      The real and important story though is that ICANN doesn't follow its own rules. Worse, the only route of appeal to ICANN decisions is the ICANN board. When tney get called out for this they always have an independent report - which pretty much always seems to find against them. So they then send that to another sub-committee of the board (often with some of the original decision makers on it) which then overrules the independent report. Then rinse and repeat. See .africa or loads of other cases reported here.

      Sadly the US government made them independent before making sure there was someone independent who was marking their homework, so now the board only seem to care about their next 10% annual pay rise plus massive bonus.

      I think the only reason this got sorted out was because Brazil were too lazy to keep the board sweet. Once they got involved in mediation and Brazil still couldn't be bothered to turn up to meetings, it was less effort to just tell them to sod off than Amazon.

      1. Zolko

        Objection your honor

        @I ain't Spartacus : "It's a logical outcome because Brazil didn't actually have a reasonable objection"

        a very reasonnable objection is that the Amazon name is public today and they don't want it to be privatized. May-be they don't have any use for it today, but who knows what happens in 10 or 20 years, and then, may-be, an .amazon TLD would be very important. An objection could be that they don't want to sell the future.

        And you can take your argument in reverse: what's wrong with amazon.com ? Aren't they a commercial company ?

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Objection your honor

          "Privatised" is a rather loaded word. There's nothing there. There is no current value in .amazon. Nobody previously wanted or had a use for it. Nobody has done any work that's "being sold off", nobody is losing anything they currently use. But Amazon decided they wanted to use a new domain. The Brazillian government didn't object, then suddenly they did - for reasons...

          If they feel it's important to protect it for the future, then they could buy it. Or the governments could have objected to the whole .word TLD's and stopped this madness from ICANN. But they didn't.

          If the Amazon region wants a domain, then it can create amazon.br. Or if the whole Amazon basin wants to get together and have some sort of multi-national regional domain in future, then they can pay ICANN for dot.amazonbasin or dot.amazonriver.

          1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

            Re: Objection your honor

            > If they feel it's important to protect it for the future, then they could buy it

            In the context of a bunch of countries that were pissed off with the US anyway, why the fuck would they want to put money into the coffers of a US organisation (ICANN) to buy a name that (in their view) shouldn't be up for grabs anyway?

            Don't forget the beginning of this entire story isn't Brazil and co objection to .amazon. It's ICANN making a money grab and launching gTLDs.

            I'm not saying they took the best route, just that the argument "they could just pay for it" is facile and ignores quite a few reasons why they may not be willing to do so.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: Objection your honor

              The government committee could have stopped ICANN's ludicrous dot.word money grab. They didn't. Once that was true, Brazil had the choice of paying Amazon, or finding a reason to stop them within ICANN's rules.

              It's pretty clear the ICANN board were on Brazil's side - hence the 6 year delay with no reason given. Perhaps they should have tried a bit harder? The reasons can be bogus, as with dot.africa, but you've got to give the board something to work with...

        2. Flywheel Silver badge

          Re: Objection your honor

          amazon.com

          So will I need to start visiting https://amazon.amazon soon? And will I be able to register a web site with a .amazon TLD?

    3. kierenmccarthy

      It's logical because it follows the rules.

      Those rules were developed over years and included everyone from the governments to business to civil society etc etc.

      Plus, as the article points out, the whole reason this turned around was because neither the governments nor ICANN gave an actual reason for why it should be stopped apart from "we've decided we don't like it."

      The question is: do you want the internet run according to rules agreed by everyone, or do you want some powerful people to decide what happens whenever they want because that's what they want?

      Kieren

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > do you want the internet run according to rules agreed by everyone

        1. These rules can and should be reviewed (and agreed by everyone) when needed. The rules are not written in physics textbooks. They are arbitrary and should be changed as needed when issues arise.

        2. It's not like INCANN has any credibility anyway. See your own article on the .africa debacle, among many other episodes of extensive deceit and incompetence.

        3. This trend of big corps buying everything, from copyrighting naturally-occurring organisms and molecules to reserving proper and common names, amounts to expropriation to the rest of us.

        So yes, I want such an internet (such a world really), and I don't have it.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Those rules were developed over years and included everyone from the governments to business to civil society etc etc.

        While ignoring everyone who said that the New gTLD program was an outrageous and unproductive money-grab by an incompetent and ethically bankrupt organization. I don't want those rules followed; I want them thrown out. I'm happier when the process fails, frankly.

  7. RFC822

    The pens are made by Montblanc, not Mont Blanc

    Mont Blanc is a mountain. The luxury goods maker is Montblanc.

    I would have expected Ther Eg Ister to have got it correct in their story about Amaz On.

    1. kierenmccarthy

      Re: The pens are made by Montblanc, not Mont Blanc

      Fair enough

      1. ds6 Bronze badge
        Happy

        Re: The pens are made by Montblanc, not Mont Blanc

        I prefer these pens:

        http://penisland.net/

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The pens are made by Montblanc, not Mont Blanc

          Their website is appropriately tongue in cheek too, seemingly without knowing:

          > Q: Can I provide my own wood?

          > A: In most cases we can handle your wood. We do require all shipments to be clean, free of parasites and pass all standard customs inspections.

          1. ds6 Bronze badge
            Joke

            Re: The pens are made by Montblanc, not Mont Blanc

            I want you to look at their logo.

            Just for a moment.

            And then consider to yourself why you have never seen a Penisland in the flesh.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hurt US interests in whatever ways they could

    I'm sure China's planning, broadly the same now, given the trade war and we're all gonna pay for it. Well, maybe not Bezos...

  9. TimMaher Bronze badge
    Joke

    Chinese Whispers

    A top hardware manufacturer is about to register the “.tyne” TLD.

    Huawei the lads!

  10. John H Woods

    the tld to rule them all ...

    .tld

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Unhappy

      Re: the tld to rule them all ...

      ICANN have already got .bonus...

  11. MudFever

    TLD

    How about a .bezos?

    Could have a amazon.bezos and list all the usual dodgy corporate hospitality they offer.

  12. -tim
    Facepalm

    Thin end of the wedge

    I've had .amazon blocked in my dns for a long time. I run my own dns server that delegates to what I consider legit TLD and most country codes. Everything else gets an address that tells the proxy and email systems to drop the connection and it cuts out massive amounts of abuse.

    The $130,000 is a trivial amount for most companies. When I worked in a sign shop in the 80s, the better neon restaurant signs would have cost $80,000 for one franchise location so if amazon gets their domain, everyone will have to have one too.

  13. Daniel Hall
    Stop

    Stop with the TLD abusing!

    The year is 2029, a publication from ICANN hits your inbox

    =============

    That's right, internet.

    As we decided to start allowing words as the TLDs while ago, you can expect it to get harder in the coming years to know the address for a website.

    It wont be too long before you wont know if a web address is suckmydick.com or suckit.suckmydick or suckmy.suckmydick or suckmy.dick

    Your's,

    ICANN

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stop with the TLD abusing!

      "But why?"

      "Because I.cann"

  14. Mike 137 Bronze badge

    Once upon a time ...

    Once upon a time, the purpose of domain names and URLs was to provide a memorable and human-friendly alternative to IP addresses and literal server paths so folks could navigate the web with ease. That message seems to have got lost somewhere along the way.

    Where we once had a strictly hierarchical tree structure for domain names, rooted in a small number of self-evident trees (COM, NET, CO.FR etc.) we now have a chaotic heap of unstructured stunted bushes in a huge unruly scrubland. So bang goes memorability.

    When it comes to URLs, they're increasingly becoming "clickable link only" - 200+ random character hashes in the path, auto-referrals using arbitrary byte strings (El Reg take note) and complex parameter sets that you can't decipher. Consequently, even if you can remember the domain name, you can't tell any more from the URL where you'll be taken by clicking on it, and as for trying to type it into the address box, forget it!

    All this in aid of what? All intelligent polite answers gratefully received.

    1. Daniel Hall

      Re: Once upon a time ...

      Hi Mike,

      I remember this time too. Hence we still use host names in place of IP's on our work network. Easy to remember names like company1-wb01 etc.

      Why then, has ICANN been given a truly overlord style command of the almost entire domain name system?

      I was thinking about my original post and a few things came to my mind that I hadn't thought of before. And, hey, I may be wrong.. but:

      - With the old style of limiting the TLD tree to .com. .net etc, this gave value to domains. Real value. You own the domain "bigcompany.com" and we're called "Big Company" then people knew, remembered and felt a sense of security that the domain they were at was the real deal.

      Now we have so many words for TLD's that can the average internet user really ascertain if they're not on a website with a very bad agenda on their list of things to do.

      For example:

      If wix.com (for example) had their site copied or mimicked their site by someone to gain usernames/passwords and then billing info etc and had it hosted on wix.company (which the TLD .company actually exists, but does not yet resolve: wix.company’s server IP address could not be found.) How the hell is the average Joe supposed to instinctively know they are dealing with the defacto wix.com ? I may be missing a bunch of holes in my example but.. it does beg the question.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Once upon a time ...

        " very bad agenda on their list of things to do"

        Uhhhh... Isn't that standard business practice these days?

        1. Daniel Hall

          Re: Once upon a time ...

          Are you always that pedantic?

      2. heyrick Silver badge

        Re: Once upon a time ...

        it does beg the question.

        Um. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Once upon a time ...

          I fear this battle has been lost.

    2. David 18

      Re: Once upon a time ...

      "All this in aid of what? All intelligent polite answers gratefully received."

      Money for old rope.

  15. imanidiot Silver badge

    A better solution:

    If a TLD name is contested between multiple parties all having a valid claim it becomes locked out for all. Simple as that.

    1. kierenmccarthy

      Re: A better solution:

      You have stayed true to your username I see

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: A better solution:

      A better solution is no more gTLDs, full stop. They serve no useful purpose except to add to ICANN's coffers.

  16. holmegm Bronze badge

    No!

    How dare they!

    Doesn't Amazon care that there is a sacred burial ground under that ... er ... TLD?

    1. VikiAi Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: No!

      So that is where the original ideals of the internet ended up!

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: No!

      You moved the links but you didn't move the content!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    .amazon, .apple, .google

    So will the other companies also register one of these vanity TLDs?

    1. kierenmccarthy

      Re: .amazon, .apple, .google

      They already have.

      https://www.iana.org/domains/root/db/apple.html

      https://www.iana.org/domains/root/db/google.html

      They exist right now on the internet.

      http://nic.apple

      http://nic.google

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: .amazon, .apple, .google

        > http://nic.apple

        Very cheaps computers, off the back of a truck?

  18. EnviableOne Bronze badge

    ISO 3166-1

    TLDs should be restricted to ISO 3166-1 names on a country by country basis

    If you want a global .com or .net will have to do you.

    For public orgs theres .gov, .mil, .int, .edu or .org

    but given the state of international co-operation, they cant even get that right the UK's 3166-1 is GB, south sudans is held up in ICANN cos they dont want to give them .ss and some of them should be lumped in with the gTLDs for spam .tk and .ws, and .io is actually one of these for the British Indian Ocean Teritory.

    you get all these miriad of gTLDs now, and there basically full of spamm0rs and hax0rs

    there are a few legitamate sites on .xyz

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: ISO 3166-1

      Life would be so much easier if we could get all the spammers to move over to .spam, all the phishers on .phish etc. Then everyone would know where they were, and life would be so much simpler.

      The Guardian Telegraph and Mail could be moved to .bollocks. The Sun, Mirror, Hello etc to .celeb freeing up loads of domain names for ordinary companies and people to use.

      1. Dwarf Silver badge

        Re: ISO 3166-1

        They tried something similar in IPv4 with the evil bit, see RFC3514

  19. sum_of_squares
    Paris Hilton

    Missing the point

    The important part is not wether ICANN is adhering to its own rules or not. And it's not even about pouring millions of bucks into some marketing gag because of some CEOs ego.

    The important point is that we are about to cross a red line here. If we have a few companies having their own TDL, more and more will follow. Fast forward some decades and companies will run their own DNS ("Amzon Amazon Route 53" is already there), provide their own infrastructure and what not.

    The big picture is we are getting a decentralisation of the internet down to the deepest levels, based on the interests of global companies. I don't even know if this is a good thing or not. Time will tell.

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