Domain Name Information
The following information is provided by The Digital Production Group to help educate our clients and prospective clients and give some fun facts and trivia to the world. We have pulled this information from many sources including ICANN & Wikipedia.
- The Internet
- The World Wide Web (WWW, W3 or Web)
- ICANN (Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers)
- A Brief History of Domain Names
- TLD (Top Level Domain) Definitions
the Internet, the extensive, worldwide computer network available to the public. An internet is a more general term informally used to describe any set of interconnected computer networks that are connected by internetworking.
The Internet, or simply the Net, is the publicly available worldwide system of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet switching using a standardized Internet Protocol (IP) and many other protocols. It is made up of thousands of smaller commercial, academic, domestic and government networks. It carries various information and services, such as electronic mail, online chat and the interlinked web pages and other documents of the World Wide Web.
The story of the Internet begins in 1969 with the implementation of ARPANET by academic researchers under the sponsorship of the United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). Some early research which contributed to the ARPANET included work on decentralized networks, queueing theory, and packet switching. However, ARPANET itself did not interact easily with other computer networks that did not share its own native protocol. This problem inspired further research towards the development of a protocol that could be "layered" over many different types of networks.On January 1, 1983, the core networking protocol of ARPANET was changed from NCP to TCP/IP, marking the start of the Internet as we know it today.
Another important step in the Internet's development was the National Science Foundation's (NSF) construction of a university network backbone, the NSFNet, in 1986. Important disparate networks that have successfully been accommodated within the Internet include Usenet and Bitnet.
The collective network gained a public face in the 1990s. In August 1991 Tim Berners-Lee publicized his new World Wide Web project, two years after he had begun creating HTML, HTTP and the first few web pages at CERN in Switzerland. A few academic and government institutions contributed pages but the public did not begin to see them yet. In 1993 the Mosaic web browser version 1.0 was released, and by late 1994 there was growing public interest in the previously academic/technical internet. By 1996 the word "Internet" was common public currency, but it referred almost entirely to the World Wide Web.
Meanwhile, over the course of the decade, the Internet successfully accommodated the majority of previously existing computer networks (although some networks such as FidoNet have remained separate). This growth is often attributed to the lack of central administration, which allows organic growth of the network, as well as the non-proprietary nature of the Internet protocols, which encourages vendor interoperability and prevents any one company from exerting too much control over the network.
The Internet is also having a profound impact on work, knowledge and worldviews. In fact, Wikipedia is an Internet-based project.In addition to the creation of electronic commerce and communication with clients by email and related means, the Internet is transforming other aspects of the workplace. Certain companies have adopted the use of blogs, which are largely used as online diaries, for promotional purposes. Since most people search the Web looking for information, these easily-updatable websites can be filled with advice on the company's area of specialization. The company's hope is that, when the visitor finds this free information, they will note the appearance of expert knowledge and may be drawn to the business' site as a result. An example of this practice is Microsoft, which has allowed its developers to publish their own personal blogs in order to pique the public's interest in their work.
The World Wide WebThrough keyword-driven Internet research using search engines like Google, millions worldwide have easy, instant access to a vast and diverse amount of online information. Compared to encyclopedias and traditional libraries, the Internet has enabled a sudden and extreme decentralization of information and data.
Remote accessThe Internet allows computer users to connect to other computers and information stores easily, wherever they may be across the world. They may do this with or without the use of security, authentication and encryption technologies, depending on the requirements.
This is encouraging new ways of home-working, collaboration and information sharing in many industries. An accountant sitting at home can audit the books of a company based in another country, on a server situated in a third country that is remotely maintained by IT specialists in a fourth. These accounts could have been created by home-working book-keepers, in other remote locations, based on information e-mailed to them from offices all over the world. Some of these things were possible before the widespread use of the Internet, but the cost of private, leased lines would have made many of them infeasible in practice.
An office worker away from his or her desk, perhaps the other side of the world on a business trip or a holiday, can open a remote desktop session into his or her normal office PC using a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection via the Internet. This gives him or her complete access to all their normal files and data, including e-mail and other applications, while they are away.
CollaborationThis low-cost and nearly instantaneous sharing of ideas, knowledge and skills has revolutionized some, and given rise to whole new, areas of human activity. One example of this is the collaborative development and distribution of FLOSS (Free, Libre and Open-Source Software) such as Linux, Mozilla and OpenOffice.org. See Collaborative software.
A few other examples include Wikipedia, a collaboratively edited and maintained free encyclopedia, the Urban Dictionary project and TEIS - the UK Telemedicine and E-health Information Service for those working in the field of telemedicine, telecare and health.
File-sharingA computer file can be e-mailed to customers, colleagues and friends as an attachment. It can be uploaded to a web site or FTP server for easy download by others. It can be put into a "shared location" or onto a file server for instant use by colleagues. The load of bulk downloads to many users can be eased by the use of "mirror" servers or peer-to-peer networking.
In any of these cases, access to the file may be controlled by user authentication; the transit of the file over the Internet may be obscured by encryption and money may change hands before or after access to the file is given. The price can be paid by the remote charging of funds from, for example a credit card whose details are also passed - hopefully fully encrypted - across the Internet. The origin and authenticity of the file received may be checked by digital signatures or by MD5 message digests.
These simple features of the Internet, over a world-wide basis, are changing the basis for the production, sale and distribution of many types of product, wherever they can be reduced to a computer file for transmission. This includes all manner of office documents, publications, software products, music, photography, video, animations, graphics and the other arts. This in turn is causing seismic shifts in each of the existing industries that previously controlled the production and distribution of these products. See RIAA - the Recording Industry Association of America has been particularly vocal about the problems this is causing them.
The World Wide Web ("WWW", "W3", or simply "Web") is an information space in which the items of interest, referred to as resources, are identified by global identifiers called Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI). The term is often mistakenly used as a synonym for the Internet, but the Web is actually a service that operates over the Internet.Hypertext is viewed using a program called a web browser which retrieves pieces of information, called "documents" or "web pages", from web servers and displays them, typically on a computer monitor. One can then follow hyperlinks on each page to other documents or even send information back to the server to interact with it. The act of following hyperlinks is often called "surfing" or "browsing" the Web. Web pages are often arranged in collections of related material called "web sites."
Although the English word worldwide is normally written as one word (without a space or hyphen), the proper name World Wide Web and abbreviation WWW are now well-established even in formal English. The earliest references to the Web called it the WorldWideWeb (an example of computer programmers' fondness for intercaps) or the World-Wide Web (with a hyphen, this version of the name is the closest to normal English usage).
The Web can be traced back to a project at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in 1989 when Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau built ENQUIRE (short for Enquire Within Upon Everything, a book Berners-Lee recalled from his youth).While it was rather different from the Web we use today, it contained many of the same core ideas (and even some of the ideas of Berners-Lee's next project, the Semantic Web). Berners-Lee mentions that much of the motivation behind the project was so that he could access library information that was scattered on several different servers at CERN.
Tim Berners-Lee published a more formal proposal for the actual World Wide Web on November 12, 1990  and wrote the first Web page  on November 13 on a NeXT workstation. Over Christmas of that year Berners-Lee built all the tools necessary for a working Web , the first actual Web browser (which was a web-editor as well), and the first web server. On August 6, 1991, he posted a short summary of the World Wide Web project on the alt.hypertext newsgroup.
The primary underlying concept of hypertext came from earlier efforts, such as Ted Nelson's Project Xanadu and Douglas Engelbart's oN-Line System (NLS). Both Nelson and Engelbart were in turn inspired by Vannevar Bush's microfilm-based "memex," which was described in the 1945 essay "As We May Think".
Berners-Lee's brilliant breakthrough was to marry hypertext to the Internet. In his book Weaving The Web, he explains that he had repeatedly suggested that a marriage between the two technologies was possible to members of both technical communities, but when no one took up his invitation, he finally tackled the project himself. In the process, he developed a system of globally unique identifiers for resources on the Web and elsewhere: the Uniform Resource Identifier.
The World Wide Web had a number of differences from other hypertext systems that were then in place.
The WWW required only unidirectional links rather than bidirectional ones. This made it possible for someone to link to another resource without action by the owner of that resource. It also significantly reduced the difficulty of implementing Web servers and browsers (in comparison to earlier systems), but in turn presented the chronic problem of broken links.
Unlike certain applications such as HyperCard or Gopher, the World Wide Web was non-proprietary, making it possible to develop servers and clients independently and to add extensions without licensing restrictions.
On April 30, 1993, CERN announced that the World Wide Web would be free to anyone, with no fees due.
The Web is made up of three standards: URL, HTTP, HTML
The Uniform Resource Locator (URL), which specifies how each page of information is given a unique "address" at which it can be found; Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which specifies how the browser and server send the information to each other, and Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML), a method of encoding the information so it can be displayed on a variety of devices. Berners-Lee now heads the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which develops and maintains these standards and others that enable computers on the Web to effectively store and communicate all kinds of information.
The Web is available to individuals outside mass media. In order to "publish" a web page, one does not have to go through a publisher or other media institution, and potential readers could be found in all corners of the globe.Unlike books and documents, hypertext does not have a linear order from beginning to end. It is not broken down into the hierarchy of chapters, sections, subsections, etc.
Many different kinds of information are now available on the Web, and for those who wish to know other societies, their cultures and peoples, it has become easier. When travelling in a foreign country or a remote town, one might be able to find some information about the place on the web, especially if the place is in one of the developed countries. Local newspapers, government publications, and other materials are easier to access, and therefore the variety of information obtainable with the same effort may be said to have increased, for the users of the Internet.
Although some websites are available in multiple languages, many are in the local language only. Also, not all software supports all special characters, and RTL languages. These factors would challenge the notion that the World Wide Web will bring a unity to the world.
The increased opportunity to publish materials is certainly observable in the countless personal pages, as well as pages by families, small shops, etc., facilitated by the emergence of free web hosting services.
The international body ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) oversees the domain name industry.
It is a California non-profit corporation consisting largely of Internet Society Members, and was created on September 18 , 1998 in order to take over a number of Internet -related tasks previously performed on behalf of the US Government by other organizations, notably IANA .
The contract for ICANN came from the US Department of Commerce and was "sole sourced", which means no-one else (such as the Open Root Server Confederation which was also formed at the time to bid on the contract) was able to submit a bid to perform the task. These tasks include managing the assignment of domain names and IP addresses . To date, much of its work has concerned the introduction of seven new generic top-level domains . Its activities, however, are very controversial.
A top-level domain (TLD) is the last part of an Internet domain name. For example, in the domain name dpgnc.com, the top-level domain is com (or COM, as domain names are not case-sensitive).
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) currently classifies top-level domains into three types:
- country code top-level domains (ccTLD): Used by a country or a dependent territory. It is two letters long, for example jp for Japan.
- generic top-level domain (gTLD): Used (at least in theory) by a particular class of organizations (for example, com for commercial organizations). It is three or more letters long. Most gTLDs are available for use worldwide, but for historical reasons gov and mil are restricted to the government and military of the USA respectively.
- infrastructure top-level domain: The top-level domain arpa is the only one.
In November 1988, another gTLD was introduced, .int. This gTLD was introduced in response to NATO's request for a domain name which adequately reflected its character as an international organization. It is also used for some Internet infrastructure databases, such as .ip6.int, the IPv6 equivalent of .in-addr.arpa. However, in May 2000, the Internet Architecture Board proposed to close the .int domain to new infrastructure databases. All future such databases would be created in .arpa (a legacy of the pre-TLD system), and existing ones would move to .arpa wherever feasible.
By the mid-1990s there was pressure for more gTLDs to be introduced. Jon Postel, as head of IANA, invited applications from interested parties . In early 1995, Postel created "Draft Postel", an Internet draft containing the procedures to create new domain name registries and new TLDs. Draft Postel created a number of small committees to approve the new TLDs. Because of the increasing interest, a number of large organizations took over the process under the Internet Society's umbrella. This second attempt involved the setting up of a temporary organization called the International Ad Hoc Committee (IAHC). On February 4, 1997, the IAHC issued a report ignoring the Draft Postel recommendations and instead recommended the introduction of seven new gTLDs (.arts, .firm, .info, .nom, .rec, .store, and .web). However, progress on this stalled after the U.S. government intervened and nothing ever came of it.
In October 1998, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) formed to take over the task of managing domain names. After a call for proposals (August 15, 2000) and a brief period of public consultation, ICANN announced on November 16, 2000 its selection of the following seven new gTLDs:
ICANN is adding further gTLDs, starting with a set of sponsored top-level domains (like the previous .aero, .coop, and .museum). The application period for these lasted from 15 December 2003 until 16 March 2004, and resulted in ten applications. As of June 2005, ICANN had announced the approval in principle of several new TLDs, with details still being worked out and implementation still in the future:
COM is also the extension of the DOS COM file, an extension used for executables .
.com is a generic top-level domain (gTLD) used on the Internet's Domain Name System. It was one of the original top-level domains, established in January 1985. It is currently operated by VeriSign. It is consistently pronounced as a word, dot-com, and has entered the common language this way; in contrast, though some of the other TLDs are also sometimes pronounced as words, they're also frequently spelled out instead, something that is never done with .com .
Although .com domains have always been intended for commercial use, they are currently available for anyone to register. In the 1990s, .com became the most common top-level domain for websites , especially commercial ones, and gave its name to dot-com companies. The introduction of .biz, which is restricted to businesses, has had little impact on the popularity of .com.
Although companies anywhere in the world can register .com domains, many countries have a second-level domain with a similar purpose under their own ccTLD . Such second-level domains are usually of the form .com.xx or .co.xx, where xx is the ccTLD. Australia (.com.au), the United Kingdom (.co.uk), Mexico (.com.mx), New Zealand (.co.nz), People's Republic of China (.com.cn), Japan (.co.jp) and South Korea (.co.kr) are all examples.
Often, noncommercial sites such as those of nonprofit organizations, governments, and so on will use .com addresses, which some find to be contrary to the domain's original purpose. A .org, .gov, or other more specific TLD might be more appropriate for such sites.
More fun stuff:
The following are the 21 oldest still-existing registered .com domains (we cut it at 21 just to give some good trivia, but not over do it):
- 15-Mar-1985 SYMBOLICS.COM
- 24-Apr-1985 BBN.COM
- 24-May-1985 THINK.COM
- 11-Jul-1985 MCC.COM
- 30-Sep-1985 DEC.COM
- 07-Nov-1985 NORTHROP.COM
- 09-Jan-1986 XEROX.COM
- 17-Jan-1986 SRI.COM
- 03-Mar-1986 HP.COM
- 05-Mar-1986 BELLCORE.COM
- 19-Mar-1986 IBM.COM
- 19-Mar-1986 SUN.COM
- 25-Mar-1986 INTEL.COM
- 25-Mar-1986 TI.COM
- 25-Apr-1986 ATT.COM
- 08-May-1986 GMR.COM
- 08-May-1986 TEK.COM
- 10-Jul-1986 FMC.COM
- 10-Jul-1986 UB.COM
- 05-Aug-1986 BELL-ATL.COM
- 05-Aug-1986 GE.COM
.net is a generic top-level domain (gTLD) used on the Internet's Domain Name System.The .net gTLD is currently operated by VeriSign.
.net was one of the original top-level domains (despite not being mentioned in RFC 920), created in January 1985. It was initially intended for use by network oriented entities such as Internet service providers. Currently, there are no formal restriction on who can register a .net domain name. Therefore, while still popular with network operators, it is often treated as a second .com by many.
Incidentally, "net" is a romanisation of the Russian word "no", and a domain name "object.net" can be interpreted as "there is no object". Some domains exploit this pun, for example mozga.net (brain absent) or putina.net (there is no Vladimir Putin).
.org is a generic top-level domain (gTLD) used in the Internet's Domain Name System.No pronunciation, whether "dot org" or "dot O-R-G", has been established.
.org was one of the original top-level domains, established in January 1985 , originally intended for use by organizations that did not meet the requirements for other gTLDs. Now anyone can register a .org domain. .org was the commonly recommended for use by individuals, although .name and .info are now alternatives.
The .org TLD has been operated since 1 January 2003 by Public Interest Registry .
Although organizations anywhere in the world can register .org domains, many countries have a second-level domain with a similar purpose under their own country code TLD . Such second-level domains are usually of the form .org.xx or .or.xx, where xx is the ccTLD.
The .org TLD is sometimes associated with the open source / free software movement, as opposed to the .com domains used mostly by companies. While it is true that many open source projects use .org domains (OpenOffice.org even has it in the product name), most .org domains do not qualify for this generalization.
.info is a generic top-level domain intended for informative websites, although its use is not restricted.It was a part of ICANN 's highly publicized announcement, in late 2000, of a phased release of seven new generic top-level domains (gTLDs). The event was billed as the first addition of major gTLDs to the Internet since the DNS was developed in the 1980s. The seven new gTLDs, selected from over 180 proposals, were meant in part to take the pressure off the overcrowded .com domain.
.info is an unrestricted domain, meaning anyone can obtain a second-level domain under .info. You don't have to be a library, for example. You could be someone masquerading as an information source but really targeting and exploiting a market. This is in contrast to a TLD such as .edu or .coop , which comes with criteria.
The .info domain has been operated since its creation by Afilias.
.tv is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the island nation of Tuvalu.
Except for reserved names like .com.tv, .net.tv, .org.tv and others, any person in the world can register a .tv domain for a fee, much of the income from which goes to the government and people of Tuvalu. The domain name is popular (and thus economically valuable) due to it being an abbreviation of the word 'television' (other similar ccTLDs are .fm , .am , and .cd ). The domain is currently operated by The .tv Corporation, a VeriSign company.
There has been some controversy as to who should be allowed to reserve .tv domain names. A significant percentage of websites with .tv URLs are pornographic or otherwise sexually explicit. While this has raised significant revenue for the small nation, it has also created conflict. Much of Tuvalu's population is conservative Christian , and some feel that revenue from those sources is immoral.
.biz is a generic top-level domain intended for domains to be used by businesses
The name is a phonetic spelling of the first syllable of "business". It was created to relieve some of the demand for the finite domain names available in the .com top-level domain, and to provide an alternative to businesses whose preferred .com domain name had already been registered by another party. There are no specific legal or geographic qualifications to register a .biz domain name, except that it must be for "bona fide business or commercial use" (i.e. no personal or "soap box" sites, and no cybersquatting), and the usual legal remedies for trademark infringement are applicable. It was created in 2001 along with several others as the first batch of new gTLDs approved by ICANN following the boom in interest in the internet in the 1990s. It is administered by Neulevel, with registration available through ICANN-accredited registrars.
.coop is a generic top-level domain intended for the use of cooperatives.
It was a part of ICANN's announcement in late 2000 of a phased release of seven new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) intended in part to take the pressure off the overcrowded .com domain. It was backed by a coalition of interest groups, and became operational on January 30, 2002.
.coop is sponsored top-level domain and restricted to those who meet specified criteria: cooperative-type organizations or a wholly owned subsidiary. Its sponsor is DotCooperation LLC (a.k.a. dotCoop), which was created as a subsidiary of the American NCBA (National Cooperative Business Association) to operate the TLD.
.name is a generic top-level domain (gTLD) intended for the use of individuals. It was delegated to Global Name Registry in 2001, although it did not become fully operational until January 2002.
Domains can be registered on the second level (foo.name) and the third level (foo.bar.name). It is also possible to register an e-mail address on the form firstname.lastname@example.org together with, or instead of, the domain foo.bar.name. Such an e-mail address is a forwarding account, and requires another e-mail address to be delivered to. When a domain is registered on the third level (foo.bar.name), the second level (bar.name in this case) is shared, and may not be registered. Further third level objects like baz.bar.name or email@example.com may be registered. Other second level domains like foobar.name remain unaffected.
When a domain is registered on the second level (bar.name), third level domains or e-mail addresses under this second level (foo.bar.name and firstname.lastname@example.org) are associated with the second level domain, and may not be registered with the .name registry. Other objects like bazbar.name and baz.foobar.name remain unaffected.
The .name gTLD is intended for use by individuals and personalities, both fictional and real.
In addition to the Internet 's main DNS root (currently consisting of 13 nominal root nameservers working in agreement with ICANN ), several organizations operate alternative DNS roots (often referred to as alt roots ). Each alternative root has its own set of root nameservers and its own set of top-level domains (TLDs).
The BIZ TLD created by Pacific Root was in operation before ICANN proposed running BIZ , and at least one of the alternative root servers resolves BIZ to Pacific Root's. There are BIZ domain names that exist in different roots and point to different IP addresses. The possibility of such conflicts, and their potential for destabilizing the Internet, is the main source of controversy surrounding alt roots.
Alt roots can in general be divided into two groups; those run for idealist or ideological reasons, and those run as profit-making enterprises.
Whilst technically trivial to set up, actually running a reliable root server network in the long run is a serious undertaking, requiring multiple servers to be kept running 24/7 in geographically diverse locations. During the dot-com boom, some alt-root providers believed that there were substantial profits to be made from providing alternative top-level domains. Only a small proportion of ISPs actually use any of the zones served by alt-root operators, generally sticking to the ICANN-specified root servers. This in turn led to the commercial failure of several alternative DNS root providers.
List of alternative root zones
We found this to be a fun list. It's mainly for historical purposes, but if you're interested in the newest Alternative Roots Click Here
Among the most well-known alt-root zones are:
- Open Root Server Confederation (ORSC)
- The ORSC root zone is too large to be fully quoted here. The ORSC root zone can be downloaded from http://dns.vrx.net/tech/rootzone/db.root
- OpenNIC 
- AlterNIC (stopped in 1997)
- EXP --
- LLC --
- LNX --
- LTD --
- MED --
- NIC --
- NOC --
- PORN --
- XXX --
- eDNS (stopped in 1998??)
- BIZ -- General business use
- CORP -- For use by corporations
- FAM -- For and about Family
- K12 -- For and about Kids
- NPO -- Non-profit organizations
- PER -- Personal Domain Name services
- WEB -- Web-based sites (ie: web pages)
- Iperdome (stopped in 1999)
- PER -- Personal Domain Name services
- see the announcement
- later the TLDs changed to:
- BIZ -- General business use
- CORP -- For use by corporations
- GAY -- For and about the Gay Community
- K12 -- For and about Kids
- NPO -- Non-profit organizations
- POL -- Related to Poland and Polish organizations
- WEB -- Web-based sites (ie: web pages)
- Pacific Root (many TLDs, not all listed here)
- AIS --
- BIO --
- CAL --
- IND --
- JOB --
- LIB --
- NPO --
- PPP --
- SAT --
- WWW --
- BIZ --
- ETC --
- MEN --
- NGO --
- NOT --
- SHOP --
- TRAVEL -- this is now proposed as a new TLD in ICANN-operated DNS
- TECH --
- KIDS --
- LOVE --
- CHURCH --
- GAME --
- MP3 --
- MED --
- XXX --
- CLUB --
- INC --
- LAW --
- FAMILY --
- SPORT --
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In the U.S.A, the "Truth in Domain Names Act", in combination with the PROTECT Act, forbids the use of a misleading domain name with the intention of attracting people into viewing a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct on the Internet.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The PROTECT Act of 2003 authorized fines and/or imprisonment for up to 30 years for U.S. citizens or residents who engage in illicit sexual conduct abroad.
For the purposes of this law, illicit sexual conduct includes commercial sex with anyone under 18, and all sex with anyone under 16. Previous US law was less strict, only punishing those having sex either in contravention of local laws OR in commerce (prostitution); but did not prohibit non-commercial sex with, for example, a 14 year-old if such sex was legal in the foreign territory.
"PROTECT" stands for Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today.