Feeds

Domain registry touts dot-surnames for $500k

Coming in 2013: Paris.hilton?

Boost IT visibility and business value

Could it be the ultimate in internet vanity addresses?

A British company thinks the "ultra wealthy" will be prepared to splash out a cool $500,000 (£317k) to get their own top-level family domain name.

CentralNic has launched dotFamilyName, a service it says is designed to help "high net worth families" apply to ICANN next year for a new internet extension matching their surname.

Alongside .com and .uk, could the internet see a .buffett, .rockefeller or .hilton? Could the internet address paris.hilton soon become a reality?

CentralNic thinks so, and does not agree that the idea is tasteless.

"In the UK, some people spend more money than this getting a licence plate for their car," said CEO Ben Crawford. "Not many people, granted, but for a certain group of people their name is very important to them."

ICANN, the group which oversees the internet's domain name system, will start accepting applications for new extensions in January, charging $185,000 in application fees.

With extras such as legal fees and possibly auction bids, each successful application is expected to cost between a few hundred thousand dollars and many millions.

It's already broadly expected that companies will apply for hundreds of new extensions – everything from generic terms such as .sport and .music to brand names such as .nike and .coke. The first wave could start going live in early 2013.

CentralNic believes that .familynames for the super-rich is a logical extension of that movement.

"There's absolutely real interest in this," said Crawford. "We decided to do this offering quite some time ago, and we've been in discussions with people for quite a while."

Using words such as "legacy" and "reputation", the company suggests the domains could be just as easily used for private family networking or public-facing content.

But what if you're Brian Rockefeller, working on the fish counter at Tesco? Can you stop your far wealthier counterparts claiming online ownership of your family name in perpetuity?

ICANN does plan to offer a number of objection mechanisms, one of which is an open public comment period during which anybody can protest any application for no charge.

ICANN's gTLD evaluators will take these comments into account when deciding whether to approve an application, along with more formal objections filed by trademark owners and governments.

"You can object, but that won't get you the name," Crawford said. "The only way to get the name is to apply."

London-based CentralNic, which currently offers pseudo-extensions such as .uk.com and .us.org, says it will help these applicants apply to ICANN for the name, and then manage the registry afterwards. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?