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Jul 26 2018

The death of a TLD

Another one bites the dust. The gTLD gold rush is now seeing a steady flow of TLD’s that clearly just didnt work out.

In the last week, ICANN removed the documentation for .xperia a TLD owned by Sony for their smartphone brand.

On one hand this can be taken as a immense waste of money, a gTLD costs a wopping $185,000 assuming that no one challenges you or objects your application, the process of objection can get very costly.

I guess you could argue that this price is a method of ensuring that applicants are serious about running a top level domain, however $185,000 clearly doesnt stop TLDs from being given up on.

Sony xperia gtld termination letter

The letter above is the final confirmation from Sony sent to ICANN to terminate the gTLD, You can find the letter publically here and also some of the communication with them about this, since they are also interested reads.

The funny thing is, this isnt even the first time this has happened, Since being tracked by the twitter account @ianawhois .iwc , .sapo, .meo, .boots, .htc (also a smartphone brand), .chloe, .pamperedchef, .montblanc, .mcd and finally .mcdonalds have all been revoked and are no longer TLD’s.

With that, comes the question. Was anything lost?

Using Certificate Transparency logs, we can see if anyone issue SSL certificates on those TLD’s, giving that HTTPs is now standard on the web this should be a good way to discover usage of the TLD.

gTLD TLS Certs
xperia 0
iwc 12
sapo 13
meo 13
boots 0
htc 0
chloe 0
pamperedchef 0
montblanc 0
mcd 0
mcdonalds 2

Almost all of the certificates here are landing page type domains, with the exception of .mcdonalds who had two certificates issued for what looks like mail servers:

crtsh screenshot

I wonder if anyone lost their .mcdonalds email address?

Funny how we talk about link rot when it appears we now also have “tld rot”.