Article - Information Technology

More New Domains proposed to ICANN

ICANN is The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a non-profit corporation that has responsibility for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Level Domain name system management, and root server system management functions.

The Domain Name System (DNS) was developed to assist users to find their way around the Internet.  Each website has its own unique address, technically know an an "IP Address", which is made up like a telephone number.  As anyone who tries to remember any telephone number will testify, names are much easier to recall than numbers and so the DNS system enables a word to be resolved to a series of numbers and allows you to type the domain name http://www.studentlawjournal.com to access this site rather than a complex series of numbers.

Nokia, Vodafone Group Plc and Microsoft Corp. have proposed a .mobi domain for Web sites and other online content designed to fit on the small screens of cell phones and other mobile devices.  Two separate groups have proposed a .tel domain for Internet-based phone calls and other communications.  Others have proposed .travel for the travel industry, .post for postal services, .cat for the Catalan region of Spain and .asia for the Asia-Pacific region, which could work with non-Roman alphabets like Chinese and Japanese.  There is also a .xxx proposal for sexually explicit content, which would make it easier to screen out pornography.

ICANN will also decide by 30 September whether to move forward with a plan to add more unrestricted domains like .com.

Whatever happens over the coming months will ultimately impact businesses who may wish to retain the monopoly over a domain name and associated domains.

Article First Published: 12 September 2004

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