name.space revisited

Posted by Rhizome | Sun Dec 22nd 1996 1 a.m.

I went back. Now, Peacenet, igc.apc.org is a life.free.zone and I added
it as a new project to the black.hole (they are pacifists, aren't they?
so they should not kill me?!). I don't have my IP number so I used
theirs. Then I also checked some of the other links. There is even a
montenegro.free.zone (www.montenegro.com in standard life): Montenegro
is the sixth of former Yugoslav republics, the only one that did not
declare independence - it is a tiny state with a lot of mountains and it
has only like a million people, but it was never ruled by Turks or
Austrians and it has the most beautiful nature (a combination of sandy
beaches, high mountains, rain forests and the world's second largest
canyon). How did they already discover the name.space? Unbelievable,
those Balkan people.

[...]

I read what that Suisse guy wrote and I believe that Internic will
eventually get along with introducing new TLD names, i.e. opening this
fully. They are probably scared to death by an anarchy of having a
whatever word for a TLD (which then can't be neatly shelved and
standardized in their databases). I bet they will have everything
registered in their databases with some standard ID form, but it is not
going to be visible in the actual addresses. Anyway, the name.space
system is such an obvious advantage, that it can't really be stopped. I
already talked to my friend who had troubles of changing his business
name because somebody else had a web page registered with that name.
[...]

Eventually, this is a lot like phone numbers: Americans kept a cool
country code "1" for themselves while all other countries were forced to
take shitty multiple digits codes (like Croatia is 385). [...]

The worse thing for Internic people is that name.space beats them with
the price: name.space offers any name for half the price. Which means
that they would not only have to get along with it but also to slash
their prices. They may not like that part, but well, this is
capitalism, isn't it? If you play their game better than them, they go
belly up, or they should move to China and ask Deng to work for him.

Actually the concept that any word can be used as a TLD is not that new:
it came up to people's minds somewhere at the beginning of Cenozoic when
humans started to live of cultivating the land instead of hunting and
gathering. In larger settlements it suddenly became useful that each
family has its own name instead of that all members of the tribe share
one common tribal last name as a TLD. That name.space became evidently
necessary is a clear sign of maturity of the Net. American natives for
example had a different name.space idea keeping very colorful first
names (where TLDs were still the tribe names), which is a cool virtual
hosting idea, but it will make a mess of a phone directory and it will
present a hell to a western style inheritance lawyer.

Now our last names can be just any word, and you can even legally change
your last name to for example River or Three. If we are all eventually
once to have our own URLs, i.e. cyberpersonas, it would be the most
logical that the same legal principles that apply to our
first/middle/last names in real life, apply also to our virtual
presence. And in the case of corporate entities, I believe that this
country had enough books regulating corporate and trademark laws to
prevent somebody misappropriating some other corporation's name. I
couldn't imagine a reason why would Bill Gates prefer www.microsoft.com
to just simple Microsoft. Hmm, there lies a devil. I hope you had your
name.space patented before the evil Bill steals it under your feet and
sells it as a new Microsoft brand.
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