The Green Paper

The Green Paper, submitted by the DOC on January 30, 1996, calls for control of DNS to be transferred to a non-profit organization which would report to an international board of directors. Additionally, the policy calls for a division between registries and registrars.

Reception of the Green Paper Proposal

  • As was the case with the gTLD-MoU proposal, many people feel that the creation of more TLDs will produce more problems rather than solve them.
  • Additionally, there is some risk of encouraging monopolies amongst domain name registries. Once parties have registered for a specific domain name, they are unlikely to change domain names because the costs to business are high. Once registries have attracted users, they may be encouraged to raise prices since they are realize that users will be reluctant to change domain names, no matter the cost. It may also foster the creation of illogical domain names as users may be attracted to lower-priced domain names, even if they do not make much sense for particular users.
  • The proposal also fails to account for dispute resolution. This is an important issue to address in domain name policy, because there are many current problems with dispute resolution. The turnover time for court cases has been too slower to accommodate todayÍs fast-paced business world, and many international disputes become confusing because there is no policy to determine in which country the dispute should be settled.


Registrars are the organizations that register domain names. Competition is ensured because each registrar would have equal access to domain name registry lists (see below). Under the Green Paper guidelines, the reduced entry costs allow almost anyone to be a registrar.


Registries are organizations that maintain the root zone file for the individual domain it controls. In other words, registries control the lists of all domain names controlled by a particular registrar. Information on these lists includes specifics about each domain-name holding party, plus the domain nameÍs corresponding IP address. The registries must add and remove domain names from the registrar list.

Top (First) Level Domain Name

The ending of the domain name, such as .edu, .com, or .org. Often abbreviated as TLD. In the case of www.stanford.edu, ".edu" is the TLD.

Second level of domain name

The parcel immediately to the left of the TLD. In the case of www.stanford.edu, "stanford" is the second level.

Third level of domain name

The parcel to the left of the second level. In the case of www.stanford.edu, "www" is the third level.