The BIZ Top-Level Domain: Ten Years Later
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On May 15, 2001 ICANN announced the introduction of the biz and info generic top-level domains (gTLDs)—the first new gTLDs since the inception of the Domain Name System—aiming to “increase consumer choice and create opportunities for entities that have been shut out under the current name structure.” The biz gTLD, in particular, was to become an alternative to the popular com top-level domain.
In this paper we examine the current usage of the biz gTLD in order to determine whether it has evolved into the role intended by ICANN, and whether concerns expressed in the early discussions of this expansion have been justified. In particular, using DNS zone files, DNS probing, and Web crawler data, we attempt to answer the question of whether biz has become a viable alternative to com, giving trademark holders who find themselves unable to register a com name an attractive alternative; or whether it has merely induced defensive registrations by existing trademark holders who already had equivalent com domains.
KeywordsDomain Name System Levenshtein Distance Category Match Strong Match Open Directory Project
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