Last TLD Sold To Commercial Interests

Fake News written by James Baughn on Wednesday, June 28, 2000

from the this-will-get-us-censored-in-australia dept.

VADUZ, LIECHTENSTEIN -- During the past year, the governments of small nations have been selling their Top Level Domains (TLDs) to commercial interests in exchange for the kind of money that only a Silicon Valley company could spend. Liechtenstein was the last holdout -- until today. Earlier today they inked a deal with VA Linux/Andover to license their .li TLD for US$50 million per year. This comes on the heels of a deal VA Linux made last week to acquire the .sd domain from Sudan to use as a home for SlashDot.

VA Linux said in a press release lacking any semantic content, "This strategic acquisition leverages the global cross-platform domain name system to increas the corporate enterprise mindshare of Linux and Open Source development methodology paradigms, along with synergizing our dotcom E-Commerce and B2B strategic partnerships, and, most importantly, making us a lot of money."

Red Hat had also expressed interest in the .li TLD, but instead purchased .gl (Gnu-Linux) from Greenland and .lu (LinUx) from Luxembourg for a much lower price two weeks ago. Red Hat also scooped up redh.at from Austria and r.pm from St. Pierre-Miquelon.

The Research & Caffeine-Guzzling Department here at Humorix collected this list of TLDs that were handed over to corporations during the last year:

  • .pl (Poland), .pm (St. Pierre-Miquelon), .py (Paraguay), and .cc (Cocos Islands) - O'Reilly snapped up these domains to use for Perl, Python, and C++ sites.

  • .pn (Pitcairn Island) - X-Rated X-Citement X-Travaganza Inc. purchased this TLD to use for PorN.

  • .er (Eritrea) - Network Solutions grabbed this TLD to add to their monopoly portfolio. They've already sold domains like lawy.er, spamm.er, and ambulance-chas.er for $10,000 apiece.

  • .mc (Monaco) - McDonalds snatched this TLD to use exclusively for their website.

  • .bg (Bulgaria) - Not to be outdone, Burger King bought this TLD.

  • .md (Moldova) - An association of doctors with too much money chipped in to buy this TLD for vanity websites.

  • .mv (Maldives) - A dotcom that was about to fail trashed their business plan (written on a napkin) and pooled just enough Venture Capital to buy this TLD for movies.

  • .ms (Montserrat), .mn (Mongolia), .bb (Barbados) and .ie (Ireland) - Microsoft literally acquired all of these countries so they could claim these TLDs for Microsoft, the Microsoft Network, Microsoft BoB, and Internet Explorer, respectively.

  • .co (Colombia) and .cm (Cameroon) - An entreprenuer snagged these TLDs hoping that newbies will mistake them for .com.

  • .sm (San Marino) - Porn-O-Terrific Inc. leased this TLD in February to house smut sites. This decision was a good one, as orga.sm and sado-masochi.sm are now quite popular. Our own Jon Splatz was hoping last year to convince the San Marino government to sell him lawyercly.sm, but negotiations fell through.

    Porn-O-Terrific also snagged .fo (Faroe Islands) for "FOrnication" and .re (Reunion Island) for "REdlight district". Porn-O-Terrific expects an IPO next month, which analysts predict will be spectacular. Said one, "Adult sites are the only Internet content companies that are making any money right now..."

  • .bz (Belize) - LinuxOne scraped together enough capital to lease this TLD hoping to house Open Source (BaZaar) projects here. It didn't work at all, since all real nerds prefer .dot domains.

  • .st (Sao Tome) - Paramount purchased .st for Star Trek sites. A company spokesman said, "Sorry, George Lucas, but there isn't a .sw domain for Star Wars sites. Sucker!"

  • .no (Norway) - Ralph Nader acquired this TLD for a collection of boycott sites. We hear that microsoft.no is quite popular.

Except for .us (which many people have never heard of), .au, .ca, and .uk, all other two-letter TLDs are now in the hands of private companies hoping to get-rich-quick from the sorry state of the DNS system. Still, one TLD-o-preneur defended his business, arguing, "Nobody used many of those domains anyways. So what if we're using the system in ways it wasn't intended for... that's a small price to pay to have such cool domains as no.sp.am, big-naked-bu.tt, emacs.vs.vi and linux-rul.es."

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