Is it a ‘true’ extension?

There have been a lot of difficulties with domain name extensions recently that are not officially recognised by IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority).

When I first started I didn’t know that CentralNic was actually a group of private individuals that had the foresight to register domains such as .us.org .eu.com .uk.com .uk.net .us.com .cn.com .de.com .jpn.com .kr.com .no.com .za.com .br.com .ar.com .ru.com .sa.com .se.com .se.net .hu.com .gb.com .gb.net .qc.com .uy.com .ae.org .gr.com and resell on ‘subdomains’.

Am i a fan of such extensions? If I’m being honest, they make me nervous.

Two reasons;
1. People in China looking to choose a URL to click are more likely to click the .cn than a cn.com. I appreciate that the restrictions are difficult to get around to register a .cn, but if it is a commercial area of interest then you need to invest in the resources to allow you to do this. Same with Norway, the .no is the true IANA Norway extension, the new co.no domain that has had a few interesting moments since launch is again a ‘privately managed subdomain’.

2. As has recently been highlighted, these are not as protected as the IANA extensions. The most recent examples of this include;

The Google decision to remove all 11 million co.cc websites from it’s searches. The .co.cc space is not an officially authorised second-level domain like .co.uk or .com.au. Rather, it’s offered independently by a Korean company (http://co.cc/) that just happens to own the domain name .co.cc.
Google classes the firm as a “freehost”, and has exercised its right to block the whole domain. More can be read on The Register here

Only this weekend, CentralNic lost control of the gb.com domain name and this created chaos at Registry level affecting the majority of the domains. As I type they appear to have regained control, however it highlights the risks. They are in the process of trying to launch a new extension … the .com.de?
.de (Germany) is the largest ccTLD (Country code) in the world, it is one of the extensions where there is only one to choose from, the launch of the .com.de may create some confusion and people may think it is a true German extension, however, be advised, it still is a privately ran operation reselling subdomains!

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2 Responses to Is it a ‘true’ extension?

  1. Hi Kelly
    I was looking for some back up info on the .uk.com situation (travesty) and found your blog. I like your blog and it’s good to see someone with experience offering impartial info as the web is full of conflicting info with regard to domains. As a business we’ve been involved since 1997 (although I am not a specialist in domains) and it is still a nightmare. I also admire your honesty and had a chuckle when I read that ‘ it frightens the life out of you,’

    I totally agree and often tell clients that it is somewhat of a miracle that it operates at all and it is loosely held together with sticky tape and pieces of wet string: and this is no more true than in the shady world of domains such as uk.com, .cc, .mobi (another scam).

    And last of all who decided that Tuvalu had anything to do with television! We even came across someone who insisted that its use was for ‘theatrical venue’. Gasp.
    Thanks again

    • ksalter says:

      Hi Brian,
      I wish I had time to blog more, I must make much more of an effort. I’ve worked with Domains internationally for a number of years and they fascinate me (sad but true). The new launch of com.de as a private subdomain is going to be one of the most confusing for people to date, many won’t ever realise it’s not a true extension. We are at the pivot point in the internet with the ICANN relaxation of applications for new GTLDs – 5 years from now the next generation will either look back in amazement at how we ever found stuff online, or it will be chaos…

      Theatrical venue…. love that one! It’s a bit like the Music industry’s tentative adoption of the .mu (Mauritius) that never took off. Did you know that .la is Lao People’s Democratic Republic The best place to check if they are real is at IANA – I could go on for ages about the ‘blurred lines’ 🙂

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