Almost every person on earth knows the importance of domain nomenclature for attaining reputable recognition on the vast channel of the Internet. But, just in case, here you will find a small gist of what exactly domain name is.
What are Domain Names?
Just as human have naming culture that make it easy for them to know and identify people around, in the same way websites on the Internet have domain names as host identifiers. Initially, in order to connect to any website, you need to memorize its IP address. Now think of the number of websites on the Internet and how many IP addresses you need on the tip of your tongue for connecting.
Hence, some intelligent brains developed Domain Name System (DNS), a hierarchical distributed naming system, for assigning unique name to each numeric IP address. The domain names can consist of letters, number, hyphen and plus. It can contain up to 67 characters.
Domain Name Constituents
The domain name is organized in the sub-domain fashion of DNS root domain. DNS has its highest level node, which is right after the root node (.) known as top-level domain (TLD). The prominent domains in TLD are com, info, org and net. Below this domain, DNS hierarchy consists of second and third level domain names that are typically open for reservation by end users. Users, who wish to run websites on the Internet, can register to domain name registrars that sell their services to the people.
While there are Domain Names that users can buy for their website, there are some that are reserved and cannot be owned.
What are Reserved Domain Names, and Why they Cannot be Owned?
The freedom of buying any domain name gave rise to various Cybersquatting, which deals with trafficking in or registering certain domain name for one’s bad will. The Cybersquatting offers such domains to people that are identical or confusingly similar to the existing registered trademarks. It is an online extortion with a bad faith of selling or using domain name intending to get benefited from the goodwill of someone else’s trademark.
This domain name dispute was resolved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) by developing the Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy (UDRP) process. In UDRP, when a registrant decide to pick any domain name, he or she must warrant a thing that by “registering the name you are not infringing or violating the rights of any other party”. He or she must agree to participate if any claim is asserted by other party. The URDP currently is applicable to all .info, .name, .net, .org, .com, .aero, .travel, .jobs, .coop, .biz, .cat, .mobi, .pro and top-level domains.
Moreover, if any registrant found to be violating the rules and making cybersquatting, the violators could be charged up to $300,000. Owing to such cyber breaching, Internet Engineering Task Force reserved some DNS labels that cannot be installed into the root zone of the Domain Name System. The main reason for reserving the top-level domain names is to minimize the probability of confusion and conflict. The IETF, which develops and promotes Internet standards, allows the use of such names for specific purposes.
Reserved Domain Names
The RFC6761, which is the publication of IETF, reserves the four TDL domain names in order to avoid the confusion and conflicts. The use of following four reserved names should not be made into your production networks under global domain name system.
- .test—reserved for use in tests
- .invalid—reserved for use in certainly invalid domain names
- .localhost—reserved to avoid conflict with the traditional use of localhost as a hostname
- .example—reserved for use in documentation or as examples
A special department of ICANN called the Internet Assigned Number Authority (IANA) functions to maintain this special list of top-level domain names by undertaking the central global coordination of maintaining unique codes and number system (IP). Hence, the above four mentioned domain names are reserved and cannot be purchased by any user. However, with respect to their functionality, these reserved domain can be a part of your website.