"Welcome to Sero Registry. We are the official registry of the .HOMES, .ARTIST, .TEAM, .VIDEOS, .SELL, and .WIKI Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs)."
Came across this little gem of a website the other day. I suppose it was inevitable that the new gTLDs would attract people who don't have a problem being economical with the truth.
Or am I being too harsh on this Sero concern? After all, I haven't contacted them to get their side of the story. But I cannot help but be dubious when I read the following on their website: "Sero gTLDs currently resolve through an independent DNS network (…) In the near future we will be working with ICANN and the community to bring our gTLDs to a wider audience. Stay Tuned!"
I think you might need to stay tuned for a while before seeing these "Sero domains" becoming real in any way.
Except that Quintaris are quite clear about the fact that they are offering pre-registrations in TLDs that may never exist. Their approach is thus very different IMO as it is not based on anything other than a true representation of the current situation.
Try checking for a domain at SERO ... "Server Error in '/' Application.".
The next weeks and months will definitely be very exciting, as we see new businesses pop up everywhere. I was already amazed at the last ICANN Meeting in Mexico of how many people were offering registry services as well as nTLD Consulting services.
Although I understand and appreciate your perspective, I must comment on your relative status as a newcomer to this industry, having entered it around 1999, and although I can't help but point out that most of the current ICANN staff are youngsters too in the arena of Internet Governance, without the benefit of a couple of decades of archives within reach of their fingertips, or even a couple of lunches w/Jon Postel prior to his untimely death.
The facts are, that your point of view is a bit askew of historical record, which, if left uncorrected would cast aspersions upon many legitimate Holder's of Top-Level Domains, including Chris Ambler's .WEB which some of the initial and self-appointed ICANN board members wanted to give to Affilias, but were wisely blocked by Vint Cerf from doing so.
I do applaud you for making a distinction between so-called alternate roots, and scams, of which both exist, while only the former thrives. We don't call them Alternate Roots though. They're called competing roots(Thanks to former ICANN board member and the .EWE TLD Holder Karl Auerbach for that one), Inclusive Roots (Thanks to me and an Internet Draft by Simon Higgs for that one), or just the, "various competing root service providers" that exist in the DNS name space.
Upon browsing your categories, I've gleaned that you follow the "Domainer" industry quite closely, and you pay some attention to Mind and Machines, which is no more than a company that sets up registry software based on a cookie cutter template in order to soak funds from naive would be ICANN hopefuls. Hey, I'm not knockng it, per se, but I certainly don't advocate a business model where you take all comers without any personal investment obo your clients as they do. You got the money? they'll file the paperwork for you and handle the ICANNic roll of the dice. Win or lose, they get their money.
Back in -99-, when you got into this arena of what became the network of "ICANN Accredited" registrars, I'm sure that you will remember that a "CyberSquatter" was almost universally defined as an entity that registered a domain, removing it from the pool of available domain names, on speculation that they could ransom that particular SLDs string of characters to someone who both found it meaningful for their purposes and was willing to pay the ransom.
I also understand that, as a provider of registration services, you personally benefit from these insidious speculators that the US Congress legislated a change in definition for - which resulted in the actual creation of the market we have today of these domain ransomers. That's okay, coz there's not much any of us can do about getting back to the way it was when domains were free to register and $60.00 USD to "Reserve" from Internic (nic.ddn.mil, actually). That was the penalty you had to pay when you didn't just go and set up two geographically equidistant nameservers and send the template in asking for the free registration.
There was no cybersquatting then. If you needed a domain name you registered it and used it. If not, you left it in the pool of availablle domain names or someone else to benefit from.
The problem with things nowadays, is that the introduction of new TLDs into ICANN's deprecated legacy root system means trademark holders must, depending upon their legal counsel, register yet more SLD strings to protect their IP (effectively flattening the name space), and also that "Domainers" (cybersquatters, domain ransomers, whatever you prefer to call them) have less worth for their new industry's products without having to make greater investments, reducing the number of SLD strings in the pool of available (short and meaningful too) domain names all over again. Regardless, this works out great for you either way the cookie crumbles as a provider of registration services
But when you glance at someone's press release and make incorrect assumptions about their business product or model you indeed sell yourself short.
Luke Weyrauch is a young entrepreneur who, with 6 years under his belt as the IT Director of Minnesota Computers Corp., a dealer in primarily aftermarket IBM RISC and Cisco products (http://www.rs6000dealer.com/, http://www.ciscodealer.com/, and a few other sites as well), is making a serious bid for inclusion into ICANN's deprecated legacy root system, honoring the ICANN guidelines for a sunrise period obo Intellectual Property Holders.
Luke is also a member of the Top Level Domain Association, Inc. (http://TLDAinc.org), and the owner of the SERO Registry which you question in your article. This is not a fly by night operation, but rather, a serious endeavor, with a mind toward inclusion into the ICANN Legacy system.
Being a Holder of Top-Level Domains (TLD Holder) and seeking the ICANN route to building critical mass for your TLD(s) is not an excercise only to be routed through such genericly predatory and opportuning professional services like Mice and Men. Anyone can, and many have, acheived it on their own, or with the assistance and support of the TLDA.
The TLDA in fact has been instrumental in assisting TLD Holders with the development and commercialization of many Top-Level Domains, and some have chosen to seek inclusion in ICANN's legacy root system. Some of our members have succeeded in such bids and some have not.
Of noteworthy significance is TLD Member Ray Fassett's .JOBS TLD, which was entered into the ICANN Legacy root system a couple of years ago. It's a long road to hoe, but if that is the desire of the TLD Holder the TLDA, as the only internetational trade organization of TLD Holders, serves to advocate the use and development of their brand and business products.
Not all TLD Members are seeking inclusion of their TLDs into the ICANN legacy root system, many are happy with their existing commercial business models, and many don't operate their TLDs as commercial brands at all, opting to provide free registrations in exchange for populating the Inclusive Name Space with real content, ecommerce, network infrastructure, and helping to build critical mass.
TLDA represents the interests of ALL TLD Holders in the name space seeking to foster a cooperative environment free of collisions and advance the cause of building a stable namespace. Our mmembership is representative of ccTLD Holders, gTLD Holders, and TLD Holders existing without the ICANN legacy root system. TLDA pre-dates ICANN by several years as well, and provides information on all of the cooperating root systems in the Internet Domain Space - Including ICANN.
Not simply because there is NO SUCH THING as a *default DNS setting*, TLDA advocates choice, as part of the Internet's Domain Space decisions on both a personal and provider level, as well as value added stability and healthy competition - another concept surrounding Internet Drafts by Simon Higgs concerning Game Theory (Remember the Movie, A Beautiful Mind - the true story of Dr. John Nash?), a concept of win win situations for all the viable participants also espoused by former ICANN board member and TLD Holder Karl Auerbach.
Yes Stephane, there are scammers out there, there are bad systems out there, and yet there are solid providers of root-level DNS resolution services offering choice for their ISP customers, and TLD Holders operating their registries going back to 1985.
When Luke found your blog (presumably via google alerts, he's very serious about his sunrise period and inclusion in the ICANN legacy root system), he was a bit incensed in his post to the TLDA and then wrote you off as a naive neophyte.
The point I'm trying to make here Stepane, is that neither of you hit the mark, dismissing each other as 'uninformed', 'ignorant', or a scammmer with an agenda seeking some kind of attention.
That's exactly why TLDA was founded a decade and a half ago, to assist with the understanding of the Inclusive Name Space and bring together parties into that common ground where we can all, in the words of Rodney King, "...Just get along."
Indoctrination can blind us to realities, our subjective perpectives and primary focuses can obscure our understanding of each other, and assumptions can lead to missed opportunities, lack of tolerance of each other, and worst of all - an absence of dialog.
In the future, I would welcome and urge you to work with and seek the input of the TLDA regarding new TLD Hopefuls in the ICANN arena, the non-commercial free TLDs that operate as a kind of GPL of the DNS, and also with regards to just whom the diabolical scammers really are (and are not) that we both wish to remove from the Internet.
TLDA can assist you and others in this regard, we've been around for much longer than any of the existing bodys out there, and really know who is who. It's what we do, and we're happy to provide any assistance we can to the Internet community at large in an endeavor to remove misconceptions and help people avoid the fly-by-night scammer, and ransomers that neither of us appreciate existing on the open, numbered network - yes, I read your article about the Lotus Steel Sheet Company