Our Alternatives

As we proceeded through this project, we realized that much of the controversy over domain names is focusing on the wrong issues. Although domain names are an important part of making the Internet usable, they can not be depended on to be the only solution.

Search Engines and Portals

With the increase in popularity of search engines and portals, people's reliance on domain names continues to decrease. Many people often guess one or two domain names and if they can not find what they are looking for they proceed to their favorite search engine. The purpose of these portal sites is to replace many of the same functions that DNS was originally designed to do -- help individuals find services on the Internet.

New TLD for adult material

One of the conclusions we all came to is necessity of moving pornographic or adult oriented sites out of the general TLDs and into their own top level domain. There would be two advantages to encouraging or even forcing adults sites into a new TLD like .porn, .adult, .xxx. First, adult sites would not be able to take advantage of domain name mix-ups like www.whitehouse.gov (the actual White House web site) versus www.whitehouse.com (a pornography web site). Most, if not all, of these customers are not looking for adult material and the fact it is so easy to run into this potentially offending material is dangerous. Second, it would make it a great deal easier for parents or private ISPs to filter this type of content if they want to.

Futhermore, there are grounds to justify this decision. Most stores that carry adult magazines do not mix them with the other magazines, but currently adult web sites are "mixed" with non-adult sites in the domain hierarchy. At these stores, adult magazines are usually placed on the top shelf behind tinted glass or in a competely separate and clearly labeled section of the store. As a result, children and those who do not want to see these materials do not have to.

Commercial Market Place for Domain Names

The current transactions of buying, selling, and leasing of domain names that currently takes place appears to be another alternative to possibly costly and legalistic dispute resolution. The .com namespace is a global one and depending so heavily is trademark does not guarantee that the dispute policy will be devoid of significant problems. There are several companies involved in buying and selling domains. Yahoo has a directory of them at http://dir.yahoo.com/Business_and_Economy/Companies/Internet_Services/Domain_Registration/Brokerages/.