OpenNIC is an organization that runs an alternative top level domain
system that can be used in paralell
to the system run by Network
. This is cool, since it aims to break ICANN
's monopoly on
assigning new TLDs
but it will take a lot of time and effort
to get there. The TLDs operated by OpenNIC
is a separate namespace
from the common one but OpenNIC does not
allow registration that conflicts with other systems (such as
OpenNIC runs a hierarchy of name servers, all located in
the US. Those who want to participate in the project can either set
their own name servers to use those servers in addition to the
traditional root nameserver, or set up individual
workstations to use OpenNIC server to resolve names. In
either case, users will be able to access domains operated both by
OpenNIC and Network solutions. The problem is that not many people
know that the alternative systems even exist, which means that you
cannot rely solely on an OpenNIC domain name if you want normal
users to access your servers. Also, while OpenNIC respects the TLDs
operated by Network Solutions, there is no guarantee that Network
Solutions in turn will respect OpenNIC.
Membership in OpenNIC is open to all and decisions are made either
through representative democracy or ballots. They claim
that their system is owned and controlled by the users and also have
tough policy on spamming and cracking but I have no way of
verifying that nor can I imagine how that policy would be enforced.
At the time of this writing, the following TLDs were operated by
- .opennic - Non-commercial, for use by OpenNIC
- .null - For non-commercial use only. Subdomains may only be
owned by people, not companies, and may not be traded for compensation.
- .oss - Reserved for use by open source software projects.
- .parody - For non-commercial parody work.