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Proprietary Contexts vs. Free Market Contexts

This is a topic which I have yet to see adequately addressed, at least to some degree (perhaps) simply because we cannot address it … insofar as there is no appropriate language for it, there is no appropriate vocabulary.

Quite a few years ago, I wrote (vaguely) about this on my personal blog (see “Auctions + Markets for Domains, Domain Names + TLDs” [ ] ). At the time, the so-called “New Generic Top Level Domains” were just beginning to be rolled out, which most of the knowledgeable and careful folks in the domain name industry viewed with skepticism. Quite often people would warn about the balkanization of the Internet, and the lacking literacy skills of most people who use the Internet on a daily basis.

One might view “proprietary” as simply “closed”, and “free market” as simply “open” — but that would be an oversimplification. Organizations, information, etc. are rarely (if ever) such extreme instances — the vast majority (if not all) cases are on a sliding scale in between these diametrically opposite extremes.

Consider (for example) the situation with companies — which are often either referred to as “private” or “public”. Usually, companies are somewhere in between — either they are “closely held” or in “wide distribution”. Let alone the very complicated matter of gauging what it means for a “private” company to be regulated by “government regulations“.

All of that said, about a decade ago a large part of the Internet was auctioned off to a very large number of very large corporations. ICANN essentially handed over the keys to innumerable castles to sole proprietors of innumerable fiefdoms (the process is — as far as I know — actually still presently “rolling out“). Most people are completely oblivious to the fact that each of these so-called “New Generic” top level domains belongs to only one corporation (which is why I refer to them as proprietary domains), and that that corporation can do whatever they please with that top level domain. This should conjure up images of kings sitting on thrones, something which is usually only known in fairy tales or from ancient history. This is ABSOLUTELY NOT what democracy looks like.

How did this happen? If you are surprised that some government body might have mismanaged something, then you are excused from this conversation.


By New Media Works

I'm just a regular person ;) If you want to know more, pls send me a msg -- thanks! :D

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