A Legal Basis for Domain Name Allocation
RFC 2240

Document Type RFC - Informational (November 1997; No errata)
Obsoleted by RFC 2352
Was draft-rfced-info-vaughan (individual)
Last updated 2013-03-02
Stream Legacy
Formats plain text pdf htmlized bibtex
Stream Legacy state (None)
Consensus Boilerplate Unknown
RFC Editor Note (None)
IESG IESG state RFC 2240 (Informational)
Telechat date
Responsible AD (None)
Send notices to (None)
Network Working Group                                         O. Vaughan
Request for Comments: 2240                           Vaughan Enterprises
Category: Informational                                    November 1997

               A Legal Basis for Domain Name Allocation

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1997).  All Rights Reserved.

Table of Contents

   1.   Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

   2.   Overview of the domain space . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

   3.   Possible solutions to name exhaustion  . . . . . . . . . . . 3

   4.   Proposed creation of new SLDs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   4.1   The world is not flat so why should domains be? . . . . . . 4
   4.2   The case for legal names  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
   4.3   Allocation of legal SLDs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
   4.4   Allocation of miscellaneous SLDs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   4.5   Identifiers in non-ASCII languages  . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   5.   Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

   6.   References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

   7.   Authors' Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

   8.   Full Copyright Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

1.  Introduction

   The purpose of this memo is to focus discussion on the particular
   problems with the exhaustion of the top level domain space in the
   Internet and the possible conflicts that can occur when multiple
   organisations are vying for the same name. No proposed solutions in

Vaughan                      Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 2240                 Domain Name Allocation            November 1997

   this document are intended as standards for the Internet. Rather, it
   is hoped that a general consensus will emerge as to the appropriate
   solution to such problems, leading eventually to the adoption of
   standards.

2.  Overview of the domain space

   Presently the domain space is organised as a heirarchical tree-
   structured namespace with several top level domains (TLDs), and sub-
   domains beneath them. The initial TLDs allocated and rationale are
   documented in [1].

   The TLDs are functionally split up into 'generic' top-level domains
   (gTLDs) and two-letter ISO 3166 country domains for every country in
   which Internet connectivity is provided. The allocation of sub-
   domains under these TLDs is entirely up to the registry for that TLD.
   The registry may decide to allocate further levels of structure or
   merely allocate domains in a 'flat' manner.

   Example:

           +-----+         +----+                       +----+
           | COM |         | UK |                       | FR |
           +-----+         +----+                       +----+
              |             |  |                         |  |
       +---------+     +----+  +----+     +--------------+  +-----+
       | VAUGHAN |     | AC |  | CO |     | UNIV-AVIGNON |  | AXA |
       +---------+     +----+  +----+     +--------------+  +-----+
          |              |        |              |             |
      +------+    +---------+  +----------+   +-----+      +------+
      | UNIX |    | NEWPORT |  | CITYDESK |   | SOL |      | MAIL |
      +------+    +---------+  +----------+   +-----+      +------+
                       |            |
                    +----+       +-----+
                    | NS |       | FTP |
                    +----+       +-----+

    1. Flat gTLD     2. Heirarchical country      3. Flat country

   In the example we see that the gTLDs are inherently flat, as
   organisations are allocated domain names directly under the TLD.
   With the country domains however, the domain allocation policy can
   vary widely from country to country, and it does. Some may choose to
   implement a functional sub-structure mirroring the gTLDs, some may
   choose to implement a geographical sub-structure, and some may choose
   to have no sub-structure at all.

Vaughan                      Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 2240                 Domain Name Allocation            November 1997

   In the first case the organisation is clearly a commercial one, as it
   is allocatged under the "COM" TLD. However, there is no information
   as to the country the organisation is based in.  In the third case,
   we know that the organisation is based in France (FR), but without
   studying the actual organisation name we do not know what type of
   organisation it is.  In the second case, we know the country that
   both organisations are based in (UK), and by following the heirarchy,
   we can deduce that the first is an academic organisation (AC), and
   the second is commercial (CO).
Show full document text