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Censorship

How Many Domains Does Your School Own? 255

Posted by Cliff
from the many-domains-but-one-voice dept.
ADrexelStudent asks: "A debate has been brought up in recent months at my school, Drexel University, on the issue of whether the school should be allowed to own over 300 domain names. One domain, drexel.com, has been purchased from the students that owned the site, which was being used as a student forum. Another site, drexel.org, is under contest from the school against it's owner, a student. The university claims they didn't know the owner was a student and hence filed a lawsuit claiming trademark violation. Problem is the school doesn't own the trademark, a furniture company with no relation to Drexel does. Out of all the 300+ domains, only one outside the .edu TLD is being used, drexel.com, prompting the argument that this is an attempt by the university to silence student opinion on the Internet. My question for slashdot is how many schools out there purchase domains with no intent to use them, should student tuition be used in this manner, and what is your opinion of this practice?"
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How Many Domains Does Your School Own?

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  • by Matt2000 (29624) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @10:33AM (#2367977) Homepage

    Whether or not they posess the trademark, a school will not be able to silence student's opinions by regaining control of drexel.org or whatever. There are simply too many places to put up a webserver and I have a feeling that the domain name matters less than the number of students contributing to the server.

    I guess the question is, why isn't this drexel company stepping in and sorting everyone out?
    • by grammar nazi (197303) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @10:37AM (#2368001) Journal
      IANAL, but I doubt that the drexel furniture company owns a trademark on 'Drexel' as the name applies to education. The trademark only covers what they make it cover, i.e. furniture.

      • IANAL, but I doubt that the drexel furniture company owns a trademark on 'Drexel' as the name applies to education. The trademark only covers what they make it cover, i.e. furniture.

        So i could finally build my long-dream McDonalds automobile and not face trouble with the fast-food chain accidently posing under the same name ?
        • IANAL, but I doubt that the drexel furniture company owns a trademark on 'Drexel' as the name applies to education. The trademark only covers what they make it cover, i.e. furniture.
          So i could finally build my long-dream McDonalds automobile and not face trouble with the fast-food chain accidently posing under the same name ?
          As long as you don't put the golden arches, Ronald, etc. on the trunk or whatever, you ought to be OK. For another example of "trademark overloading," there's a local furniture retailer with basically the same name as a certain electronics retailer [bestbuy.com]. This local furniture retailer even has a similar (though not identical) logo, based on a yellow pricetag tilted at an angle. Because they're in different lines of business, there's no conflict and no reason for one to sue the other.
          • Because they're in different lines of business, there's no conflict and no reason for one to sue the other.

            The latter doesn't always follow from the former. This is America, after all, and a lot of trademark holders will litigate at the drop of a hat.

            It's just these sorts of gray areas that keep trademark lawyers in business. For example, the company that eventually became Circuit City began as a chain of TV & hi-fi stores called "Wards." Only after years of litigation did they come to an agreement with Montgomery Wards about how they could use their brand in advertising without stepping on the toes of the larger, deeper-pocketed company. (If Monkey Wards had given that much attention to merchandizing and customer service, maybe they'd still be in business.)
        • So i could finally build my long-dream McDonalds automobile and not face trouble with the fast-food chain accidently posing under the same name ?

          Depends where you do it, if it's in Scotland you might have fewer problems than in the USA.
          The basic problem with the attitude of second level domains as tradmarks is that these are restricted by geography and type of business. Also "obvious" things can't be tradmarked, though a fair number slip through.
      • .org nither implys a company (of any sort) nore an education facility...

        I think only a non-proffit organisation (a dot org) should be alowed to challange the dot org domain name...

        The student should argue that Drexel.edu is the only domain inside the educational trademark.
  • You gotta wonder what kind of critisism, opinions or similar they are afraid students will voice on the internet. Apparently the school is harboring secrets deep and dark enough to actually pay money from their budget, and use their employees time chasing this issue. Scary.

    I'd have to admit though, that there Is a point to stopping anyone from using a domain that could be masked as the official page.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Drexel has a lot of bad PR they don't want the world to see. For instance, last year the school was ranked #1 in the category of school is tiny, unsightly or both. Not exactly a deep dark secret, but they would prefer less people know about it, and drexel.com was full of students bitching about stuff like that and the pitifull state of Drexels financial aid office.

  • Trademark (Score:5, Informative)

    by ajakk (29927) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @10:36AM (#2367990) Homepage
    Multiple companies can hold a trademark on the same name because the trademark system is broken into several fields. There are 66 trademarks that contain the name Drexel and at least 20 of those are the name Drexel by itself.

    One of the biggest problems in domain name fights is when two people who both have a trademark on the name fight it out with each other. Then the regular rules of "give it to whoever has the TM" doesn't work.

    You can look up trademarks at tess.uspto.org.

    • Re:Trademark (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dsb3 (129585)
      If you want to see this stuff Done Right (imho) just browse on over to http://alteon.com/ to see what they've done.
    • THOUSANDs of new open TLDs will not solve any problem - even if every one has 'Sunrise Period'.

      TRUE or FALSE?

      It will not solve 'consumer confusion', 'trademark conflict' or stop anybody 'passing off'.

      Also, as an example on Sunrise, thousands of trademarks using word 'Apple' have no guarantee of being able to use name.

      Apple computers will still protect and make claim to every Apple.[anything] - even though they share word with 727 others in the USA alone (plus all those in 200+ countries).

      The simple solution is name.class.country.reg

      Apple computers could still use apple.com - just redirected to .REG to avoid 'consumer confusion', 'trademark conflict' problems and to stop anybody 'passing off'.

      Please visit WIPO.org.uk [wipo.org.uk].

    • You probably mean http://tess.uspto.gov/ [uspto.gov]
  • Hmm... (Score:5, Informative)

    by tsarina (456482) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @10:36AM (#2367993) Homepage Journal
    It does seem rather repressive to take that many domains. It also adds to the problem of running out of domains, since the number of domains is limited (until people get past .com, .org, etc...). But the controls may be good for two reasons. First, then you can't have some student put up a porn site at namethisschool.net while the university's site is at namethisschool.edu or something. The confusion would be really bad, in regards to high schoolers researching colleges, or parents trying to learn what's happening at Johnny's school, and getting the URL wrong. Also, though it does seem like a waste of tuition, perhaps it is more of an investment. Later, when webspace is harder to find, the university could sell off some of those domains and use the money to hire teachers, fund scholarships, etc.
    • "put up a porn site at namethisschool.net while the university's site is at namethisschool.edu "

      You've been to whitehouse.com right? I still believe in a first come first gets it internet. If you want to know what's actually on the site, use google.com
    • by saintlupus (227599) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @11:39AM (#2368178) Homepage
      First, then you can't have some student put up a porn site at namethisschool.net while the university's site is at namethisschool.edu or something.

      I don't know if you meant this as a hypothetical or not, but it does happen. I work for the IS department at Canisius College [canisius.edu] and a few years ago someone bought canisius.com [canisius.com] and set up a porn site there. It was pretty interesting trying to explain that to the people in publications and promotion.

      "No, you don't want to put canisius.com on any of the literature. No, don't go there. Just trust me."

      *scream*

      --saint
      • by EisPick (29965) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @01:36PM (#2368506)
        I don't know if you meant this as a hypothetical or not, but it does happen.

        Here's another example: I discouraged a former employer from snapping up every possible related domain name. We had the .com version of our brand name, and that's where people were going to look for us, so I argued that grabbing the .net and .org versions was unnecessary.

        Well a few years later, we found that a British neo-Nazi group had acquired the .org version we passed up. Guess who looked like an idiot?
    • Need I remind you of the domains www.whitehouse.gov [whitehouse.gov] and www.whitehouse.com [whitehouse.com]?
    • OT: Domains (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Chops (168851)

      It also adds to the problem of running out of domains, since the number of domains is limited (until people get past .com, .org, etc...).

      Just a friendly reminder: The number of domains is not limited by any factors except ICANN's greed and thirst for scarcity. Head over to OpenNIC [unrated.net] if you'd like to go back to democracy.
  • From every discussion on trademarks I've seen here, you cannot argue trademark names if you don't offer the same service. I wouldn't confuse Drexel furniture with Drexel U, unless of course it was the bed, cuz I slept all through my college.

    Than again, there was the guy who had the dog named newyorkyankees.com?
  • Who cares (Score:3, Troll)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 29, 2001 @10:36AM (#2367996)
    Let them buy what ever domains they want.
    It isn't really that much money.
    Let's focus on the bigger problem of creating
    a more reasonable DNS naming scheme.
  • 300+ domains? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dougmc (70836) <dougmc+slashdot@frenzied.us> on Saturday September 29, 2001 @10:45AM (#2368032) Homepage
    300+ domains? So what kind of domains are we talking about here? We've seen samples of a few -- do you have the full list?
    • Re:300+ domains? (Score:5, Informative)

      by mosch (204) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @11:12AM (#2368110) Homepage
      Not a full list but I found these from mucking around whois.
      • scienceinmotion.org
      • cshelp.org
      • drexelmedical.net
      • edrexel.com
      • drexelbank.org
      • itatdraxel.net
      • drexeldotcom.net
      • drexel-shaft.org
      • i-drexel.net
      • accessdrexel.org
      • drexelnet.com
    • Re:300+ domains? (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      look through this [whois.net]. It's basically a list of domain names that contain the string 'drexel' Some are legit sites, others are what's being talked about above (like drexel-shaft.com/org/net, drexelsucks.com/net/org, etc).
  • by Cap'n Crax (313292) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @10:47AM (#2368037) Homepage
    IMHO, they should respect the way DNS was intended
    to be used, and have ONE domain, drexel.edu. If they need to subdivide it, do it they way it
    was freaking intended. Like:

    www.drexel.edu

    mail.drexel.edu

    news.drexel.edu

    www.drexel.edu/~username

    etc... This is the way my university has always
    worked, and there has never been a problem for anyone. And yes, this foolishness IS a waste
    of university (students!) funds. Someone who is
    a student there should write an editorial slamming them for being so stupid.

    All IMHO, of course...
    • I agree with you wholeheartedly I think this mad need for a new domain for everything is stupid.
    • by mindstrm (20013) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @11:11AM (#2368108)
      Well.. I agree..
      But the way to do multiple websites is to use www.science.drexel.edu, www.staff.drexel.edu, etc...
      ~username is fine for individual users pages on a given server perhaps...

      DNS issupposed to be heirarchial.. the problem is it's also a be-all-end-all lookup service for the WWW now.
      You want ford? YOu don't look up 'ford motor company' in an index and go to the site, you go to 'ford.com'.. that's the problem.
      • I meant using the tilde for students, etc... What you said is exactly what my university does for departments. Try this search, it will show the way things SHOULD be done:

        Google search site: eku.edu [google.com]

      • Well.. I agree.. But the way to do multiple websites is to use www.science.drexel.edu, www.staff.drexel.edu, etc... ~username is fine for individual users pages on a given server perhaps... DNS issupposed to be heirarchial.. the problem is it's also a be-all-end-all lookup service for the WWW now. You want ford? YOu don't look up 'ford motor company' in an index and go to the site, you go to 'ford.com'.. that's the problem.
        While I am with you on the lament of WWW taking over everything, I despise sites that don't redirect HTTP port 80 requests to www.domainname.com instead of either a) having an under construction page, or b) not answering. Let's face it, WWW is the most popular. It's much easier to add mail.domainname.com, or ftp.domainname.com or telnet.domainname.com and use domainname.com and www.domainname.com for websites.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I'm hte guy that posted this question. They do EXACTLY what you suggest. Hence the reason I posted the question as some of the domains are things like drexelsucks, drexxxel and other porn domains, and a ton of others (hence 300 domains). The school paper has had MANY editorials and articles and commentaries (and anyhting else you can think of) on this topic, and I felt it was good to get outsider opinion.

      The school prez was once quoted as saying he doesnt want websites popping up "that are not in commensurate with the school" We students see that as clear attempt at cencorship.

      The comp ethics professor last winter semester discussed this exact topic. (He's also the one responsible for introducing me to /. :)) He sorta has mixed opinions on it.

      The administration did miss one site: www.drexelshaft.com [drexelshaft.com]
    • Right on, but you could continue this:

      www.drexel.edu.us, because they are not an international educational institution.

      That is something a lot of people are missing, the .us. Domains without the country extensions were AFAIK only to be used by large international companies, institutions, etc...

      So, IMO, Sun or Microsoft deserve the .com, but the mom-and-pop store down the street is supposed to get the .co.us.

      Another question on domain names: What does the .ac stand for in british educational domains (they use .ac instead of .edu) ?

      BTW, we need more top-level domains.
      • ac in a uk domain stands for academic I believe.
      • by mpe (36238)
        www.drexel.edu.us, because they are not an international educational institution.

        There actually arn't that many international educational instututions...

        So, IMO, Sun or Microsoft deserve the .com, but the mom-and-pop store down the street is supposed to get the .co.us.

        Except that .co.us would be the entire US state of Colorado. mom & pop should probably be more something like mon-and-pop.district.city.state.us. One of the problems with the .us namespace is inflexibility (and lack of logical delgegation.)

        Another question on domain names: What does the .ac stand for in british educational domains (they use .ac instead of .edu)?

        It stands for "academic". Used probably because it's 2 letters rather than 3. Anyway .ac.uk only covers tertiary education, primary and secondary is .sch.uk (for political reasons.)
    • How stupid it is depends on what you think they are trying to do. Possibly they are trying to hide dissent from folk who are off-campus.

      Now obviously, this still won't work, as any search engine would find it. But it could make it a little more difficult, and a bit less trustworthy. And it could certainly divert energy that could otherwise go into protesting actions that are more central to their purposes (whatever they are).

    • I am a student at Drexel, and the domain issue is just one the MANY ways the University screws over its students. We call it The Drexel Shaft.

      Luckily, when Drexel bought all those domain names, they missed THESHAFT.COM and THESHAFT.ORG, which I quickly snapped up.

      THESHAFT.ORG is now site dedicated to free speech about the actions of the Drexel administration and the many ways in which it screws its own students, parents, and faculty.
    • IMHO, they should respect the way DNS was intended to be used, and have ONE domain, drexel.edu. If they need to subdivide it, do it they way it was freaking intended.

      Problem is that many people don't have a clue how the DNS is ment to work in the first place. There is also a belief that everything much be www.foobar.com, interesting how this has just been proven to be nonsense considering the amount of leads the FBI got through a website...

      www.drexel.edu
      mail.drexel.edu
      news.drexel.edu
      www.drexel.edu/~username

      Or even engineering.drxel.edu, mechanical.engineering.drxel.edu, electrical.engineering.drxel.edu, etc, etc

      This is the way my university has always worked, and there has never been a problem for anyone.

      At a guess your university has been on the Internet for at least a decade or if not has it's DNS run by an "old hand".
  • An EE prof told our class of grad students last fall that universities can't horde top-level domain names, but I called bullshite on that little factoid. Looks like Drexel proves that was a crock -- universities can do what they damn well please.

    I've since dropped the program because they were clueless about what they wanted to teach, couldn't communicate amongst themselves or with students, and now I'm skeptical of anything I didn't pick up on my own during that experience. If ye olde prof is actually right about this one, someone please tell us all who regulates something trivial like this?

  • I don't understand why this is posted here. There are really three questions:

    Should the school be allowed to own over 300 domain names
    Why not? Why does the school need to follow any different rules than any other entity? If CmdrTaco had 300 domains, would we care?

    how many schools out there purchase domains with no intent to use them
    Why does it matter how many others do it? What bearing does it have on your school?

    And finally, should student tuition be used in this manner?
    How presumptuous to think you have any say in how your tuition is spent. You don't wonder aloud what McDonald's does with your cash after you buy a Happy Meal, do you? And if you don't like it, you don't give them the money.

    I guess the real question is "Why do people post tempest-in-a-teapot stories to Slashdot?"

    • If it is a public university (at least in fl) you are required to provide access to your budgets and payroll since tax dollars are funding the university, through that you can see how the tuition money is being spent.
    • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @11:09AM (#2368100) Homepage Journal

      "Should the school be allowed to own over 300 domain names
      Why not? Why does the school need to follow any different rules than any other entity? If CmdrTaco had 300 domains, would we care?"

      Because, in a world of limited domain names, we should care if any "entity" owns a bunch of names not being used. There are a limited number of meaningful, easy-to-remember names out there.

      "how many schools out there purchase domains with no intent to use them
      Why does it matter how many others do it? What bearing does it have on your school?"

      Wow, I feel like I'm trying to explain Afghan politics to George W. Bush. Okay, moron, listen up, and try to follow along. I'll use small words.

      What happens at one school is generally of interest to students at another school. Sometimes this is simply for the same reason that people are interested in the world around them (Wow! What a concept!) and sometimes it's because what happens at one school now might well be happening at other schools next year. Imagine that.

      "And finally, should student tuition be used in this manner?
      How presumptuous to think you have any say in how your tuition is spent. You don't wonder aloud what McDonald's does with your cash after you buy a Happy Meal, do you? And if you don't like it, you don't give them the money."

      Presumptuous? Go fuck yourself. First of all, yes, I do sometimes wonder where my consumer dollars go -- and if people didn't talk about it, I'd have no way of finding out and deciding if I wanted to spend my money there or not. Second, the connection between a school and a student is much more intimate than the connection between McDonald's and someone ordering a Happy Meal -- or at least it should be; I wonder where (or if) you went to college that you don't understand that.

      • A school, whether it is a Kindergarten or University is a place for learning and solely learning. If 300 domains do not benefit the learning procedure of those who attend the University, or directly benifit the school itself in the proper manner, it should not be funded.
    • by Kagato (116051) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @11:23AM (#2368134)
      Higher education doesn't run just off tuition. Most larger universities take in millions of dollars a year from the State and Federal Gov't. Some in the form of grants. Others straight up dollars into the budget.

      As a tax payer I want to know how MY MONEY is being spent. If a tax payer funded organization is wasting thousands of dollars on leagal and domain fees, then I'm pissed. The tax payers of the state entrusted money to see that standard of education was met. And as it stands I can't even fathom a good reason to waste that much money.

      Then again, I think the entire higher education system is worse at wasting money then the federal gov't.
    • How presumptuous to think you have any say in how your tuition is spent. You don't wonder aloud what McDonald's does with your cash after you buy a Happy Meal, do you? And if you don't like it, you don't give them the money.

      Wait, first you argue we have no right to know how the money we spend with a company is used, then you argue that if we don't like the way the money is used we shouldn't spend it there. The two views are incompatible.

      There are places I won't spend my money because of the way it may be used (Domino's Pizza [holysmoke.org] for example). The discussion of how companies use our money is one of the few powers captilism gives the masses; vote with your feet and you can make the company think again. If this were to be disallowed, then there would be nothing to keep corporations in check.

      • Yes! Exactly the great flaw in the standard libertarian position. Precisely.

        (yes, redundant posting, I know, but...)

        ... what he said. It's important.

      • The two views are incompatible.

        I apologize. Let me clarify.

        Once you give the money over to the university, you've lost your right to say how it is spent behind the scenes. You don't have the right to say "Hey, I gave you money, you need to do what I say." But you're perfectly within your rights to say "I don't want to give any MORE money to you because I don't like what you do with it."

        You're paying for a service. Giving the University of Whatever doesn't give you an ownership stake in the place, any more than forking over for a Happy Meal lets you tell McDonald's what to do.

        If this were to be disallowed, then there would be nothing to keep corporations in check.

        Nobody said anything about "disallowing" voting with your feet. That's a mighty big stretch from my original comments.

        By the way, I never said that you don't have a right to know how the money is spent, but since you brought it up, you're right: You don't have any right to know. Do you demand that the manager at McDonald's open his accounting ledger?

        Now, if we're talking about a public university that gets your tax dollars, then squawk away, but temper it with a sense of scope. We're only talking about $15,000/yr or so, which is relative chump change. More than anything, I'd be annoyed at the absurdity of Drexel trying to block dissent through squatting.

        What baffles me is why people think that paying for a service entitles them to something other than what's spelled out in the contract. It's just standard grist for the Slashdot mill: erroneously outraged folks with a false sense of entitlement.

        • Instead of Drexel University and the Whining Student, pretend it is Dave Drexel who works for Whining Corporation. Let's say that Dave Drexel spends his pay on booze and wanders around the workplace drunk, threatening people.

          Now let's paraphrase your arguments:
          Once you give Dave his paycheck, you've lost the right to say how it's spent. You don't have the right to say "Hey, I gave you money, you need to do what I say." But you're perfectly within your rights to say "I don't want to give any MORE money to you because I don't like what you do with it."

          OK, so Whining Corp must never tell Dave Drexel to stop drinking on the job. They can fire him if they want, but they mustn't explain why.

          In reality, accountability usually goes with money. Anyone who gives you money becomes your boss to some small degree. For good or bad, Universities have been pretty successful at evading that accountability.
    • You don't wonder aloud what McDonald's does with your cash after you buy a Happy Meal, do you? And if you don't like it, you don't give them the money.

      Big difference here: Firstly, happy meals are consumable, so a happy meal will affect you for maybe a day (including digestion) and cost less than $5.
      Schooling costs ~25k or so and affects you for a lifetime.

      Why shouldn't it be treated as an investment?
    • by Flower (31351)
      Should the school be allowed to own over 300 domain names Why not? Why does the school need to follow any different rules than any other entity? If CmdrTaco had 300 domains, would we care?

      I partly agree. If they want to buy a bunch of drexel*.* domains they can do it. But if they were doing it to silence people's opinions on the university I would really have to question whether it would be a fit educational facility for my son.

      how many schools out there purchase domains with no intent to use them Why does it matter how many others do it? What bearing does it have on your school?

      See above.

      And finally, should student tuition be used in this manner? How presumptuous to think you have any say in how your tuition is spent. You don't wonder aloud what McDonald's does with your cash after you buy a Happy Meal, do you? And if you don't like it, you don't give them the money.

      I am not part of the McDonald's community for 4+ years. McDonald's will not solicit me for funds to build a new facility on campus. I do not go to Micky D's and get several thousand of dollars in debt to better myself and work towards a future.

      I have the right, as a parent paying my child's tuition or as a student, to question where every cent goes. If the University is blowing $1000s to horde a bunch of frivolous domain names and that money could be spent on something even remotely useful I have a right to call foul on that decision. Being part of that experience is a good thing and will help a student when they leave for the "real world." You are seriously underselling a college education if all you think it means is paying some money and attending some classes.

      I guess the real question is "Why do people post tempest-in-a-teapot stories to Slashdot?"

      No. The real question is why do people who don't give a rip about the article waste their supposedly precious time and whine about the content.

  • @ Virginia Tech (Score:5, Informative)

    by pjdepasq (214609) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @10:56AM (#2368063)
    Here at VT, two years ago they clamped down on sites with the Hokie name in them (a trademarked name/symbol of the school mascot), and other VT/ Virginia Tech domain names. Their reasoning at the time, I recall, is that use of the names violated their registered marks.

    In addition, they were going after sites which used player likenesses and images (i.e. Michael Vick) because under the NCAA rules, student-athletes are not permitted to endorse a product or service. VT was apparently concerned in that case about NCAA sanctions related to student run web pages which used player images and likenesses to promote their site.

    My point, it's not always the case that the school is trying oppress free speech, but rather protecting the use of their marks and are worrying about other factors, like the NCAA situation.

    Still here at VT, students are not permitted to use the school logos on their web pages (see this page [vt.edu]).

    • Respecting your intentions, nevertheless: I refuse to take any arguments based on the laws, regulations, customs, manners, or morals of any UCITA state as fit basis for an argument.

      I'm sure that your argument is basically sensible, and could be re-cast so as to not violate the aforesaid condition. But until it has been, I can't consider it valid. Acutally, I won't consider it. (Yes, this is a conscious choice, so won't is the proper term.)

      It's true that I am being appearantly unreasonable, but the justification would be quite long winded. The summary is that vile laws should be discouraged lest they spread, and I am limited in the tools that I have available for discouragement. But I should use the ones that I have, and this is one of them.
  • Well, in the case of Drexel University, you could have a satire site called something like WrecksAll.com or wrexall or whatever. maybe have it tied into an actual newspaper. Same thing on other official names

    There has been some effective arguement made that the actual purpose of the education system is not innovative thinkers but a properly propagandized population.

    make of it what you will.

  • Domains? One. (Score:4, Informative)

    by neema (170845) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @11:02AM (#2368082) Homepage
    If they need subcategories, let them get subdomain names. All in the .edu range. Therefore, if lets say columbia wanted a specific domain for it's law program, it'd be law.columbia.edu.

    Reasons why they should stick to .edu:

    1) It makes things less confusing. When you want to find your college on the web, you'll basically enter it's name and clip on .edu with suprising accuracy, even if a few name variation attempts are needed.

    2) They're educational, not commercial. They're not an organization, really. That's like the government wanting all forms of they're domain, when they have .gov for that very purpose. If collegs are allowed to get other domain names, then the next domain name I want is neema.edu.

    • If collegs are allowed to get other domain names, then the next domain name I want is neema.edu.


      That's a good point. Actually it's a great point for very damned business out there. You only need ONE damned domain name. All your other machines, or whatever, can be pieces of that. Drexel should be happy they have an .edu. I certainly wouldn't want businesses being able to grab those!
      Similarly, if I ever register my own domain, I certainly wouldn't want to be a .com. Look at PSU:


      domain is psu.edu
      www.psu.edu
      red.crayola.psu.edu
      green.crayola.psu.edu
      .
      .
      ripsaw.otc.psu.edu
      buzzsaw.otc.psu.edu
      hacksaw.otc.psu.edu
      .
      .
      *.engr.psu.edu
      *.libraries.psu.edu
      *.lias.psu.edu
      psuvm.psu.edu (yeah, baby!) :)

      etc.

      • My school (University of Toronto) owns the domain name

        toronto.edu [toronto.edu]

        however they don't like to use it. Canadian universities don't seem to like it. I guess they like to be a little nationalistic and use the .ca instead. So we end up with toronto.edu just pointing to

        utoronto.ca [utoronto.ca]

        Witness also queensu.ca and mcgill.ca , although I don't think they have .edu names at all. Some people, like the math department, seem to just use the .edu when they refer to their site, but it could be that my professor is just used to that idea. The country thing is acceptable, but I've never really appreciated it's ubiquitous use in some countries... like www.shoddyelectronics.com.tw , or www.random.co.uk . It just seems to give up the whole 'international marketplace' feel that .com is supposed to have.
        • It just seems to give up the whole 'international marketplace' feel that .com is supposed to have.

          Except that very few companies are geared up for the "international marketplace" in the first place, indeed plenty struggle to even sell to one country. There are .COMs which are mom & pops which only deal with customers within a few tens of miles. Let alone many who leave it up to guess work what country they are in...
          Maybe if they quoted their country (and country code of telephone numbers) and acepted more than one currency then a .com website might qualify as "international marketplace"...
        • That's why country separated domains are usefull.


          I live i Europe and i can tell you the whole .COM stuff is a major nuisance if i want to (e-)shop something.


          If i go look for something in the .COM domain and end up buying it from a non-EC store (the great majority of them under .COM is non-EC), unless it's a purely digital product, i will have to:

          • Pay more for shipping
          • Wait a long time to get it
          • Pay local taxes (VAT) on top of the normal price (shipping costs is included when calculating VAT)
          • Go on purpose to pick it up from somewhere else than my mail box or local post-station

          As things stand, i actually avoid shopping in stores in the .COM domain.


          As i see it, it's actually useless for the local stores to be in the .COM domain (and being only in the .COM domain is probably a very bad business decision).

  • by Joey7F (307495) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @11:02AM (#2368083) Homepage Journal
    I go to USF in Tampa, Florida. USF stands for University of South Florida (yes the school with the terrorist instructor who became leader of the islamic jihad). Anyway, USF.edu is our website, but USF.com is Universal Studios Florida.

    We should sue them, I bet they have deep pockets and could help me lower tuition costs.

    [/Homer] In case you couldn't TELL I was being SARCASTIC [End Homer\]

    --Joey
  • domain possession (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hidden vampyre (324476) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @11:04AM (#2368088) Homepage
    I must admit that 2/300+ domains being [noticeably] used sounds a bit extravagant. I note however that in your post the case for at some domains is that the university simply buys them, rather than forcing the student owners to surrender them. In those cases at least it is the students making the decisions. However the underlying attitude of the university in garnering a useless monopoly does not seem to be a good one, and I think that it takes away from the dynamic essence of a university community that should be what all institutions strive for.
    • Re:domain possession (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mizhi (186984)
      They do force the student to sell though by threatening legal action against them. The student can't afford to pay, so they have to settle with the university. Drexel even has the students on a gag order not to disclose the details of the agreement.

      I go to Drexel, btw. This topic has been a fairly big controversy in the Mathematics and CS department.
  • We where in a simialr situation. Stetson.edu is us and stetson.com is the people that make hats. Stetson.org and .net where registered and we didn't really have any problem with it. A group of students registered stetsonsucks.com, which I personally though was funny but PR didn't seem to agree and went on a buying spree buying up domains like crazy, names that included our mascots, of course I think they would have liked to had stetsonschool.org but it was taken.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What's the best way to identify all domains owned by a given entity?
  • At SUNY Stony Brook, we own sunysb.edu and stonybrook.edu. We only had sunysb.edu for a while, but they thought that was too confusing and bought up stonybrook.edu. We use mail.sunysb.edu and news.sunysb.edu. It's the way it should be. (OT) Altough we did get a $25 million grant from computer associates, and the president of the school is on the board of directors at CA. Go figure!!
  • Hmmm. (Score:4, Funny)

    by mosch (204) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @11:14AM (#2368117) Homepage
    Sounds like one of the students is about to get the ole' Drexel Shaft [netsol.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward
    My favorite is www.drexelshaft.com [drexelshaft.com]
  • A much easier way... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hendridm (302246) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @11:30AM (#2368151) Homepage
    You should be lucky they even allow you to graduate. The last time I protested about the curriculum a certain administrative person pulled me into his office and threatened that "any teacher who didn't want me in his/her class could come to him and make it happen". I read that as, "we can prevent you from graduating if we don't like you".

    Why sue a student, who has no money, when you could just threaten to take away his/her degree. I bet the person would cough it up real quick. It works for our shady University. Apparently "for the students" has different meaning in Wisconsin.

    If you're not sure whether the University sensors student speech, read the school newspaper sometime. I hear people bitch about things they hate hear, yet I open the newspaper to see people regurgitating the same point of view as the school. Student run newspaper? To laugh!
  • In the real world the domain system is crowded, but is expanding and those expansions are happening, slowly granted, but they are happening.

    A better question would be how much IP space are they hoarding for use with those 300+ Domains. For example I believe MIT have a class A to them selves, no problem there in itself, we should have as much space as required, but IP's are a far more limited resource than names, and there just isn't the room to keep expanding in the current conditions. I doubt Drexel has anywhere like that number. IPv6 is not coming as fast as it should be and that should be more of a concern to us than names.

    Let them have as many domains as they like so-long as they aren't stolen from the students, (or anyone else for that matter), with a LEGITIMATE use for them.
  • Brandeis owns brandeis.edu and brandeis.org. Brandeis.com is an add/portal redirector, however, so it's hard to argue that Brandeis has no reason to have taken the .org rather than have it suffer a similar fate.
  • by Florian Weimer (88405) <fw@deneb.enyo.de> on Saturday September 29, 2001 @11:50AM (#2368212) Homepage
    The local university over here received complaints because someone was hosting a porn site under a domain name which was confusingly similar to the official one. In such cases, the easiest approach is to acquire the domain name, shutting down the porn site itself is much too complicated. Similar problems occur if some student organization or political party holds critical (i.e. very similar or officially looking) domain names. I can imagine quite a number of domain names pileing up in the course of time.

    However, the problem is less drastic over here in Germany because most university DNS entries usually have a UNI- prefix in the second to last component. Anyone registring such a domain who does not represent a university should know that he is heading for trouble, and it is rather unlikely that random collisions occur.
  • Take a look at Snevets [stevensishell.com] vs. Stevens Tech [stevens-tech.edu]. Something that has been passed from generation to generation of students here is the habit of reversing the school name when mocking it... Is Drexel going to also register every iteration of LexerdSux.com?
  • by LinuxParanoid (64467) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @12:01PM (#2368251) Homepage Journal
    that was a while ago. this is "news"?
  • Trademarks on the Internet is a false argument.

    I have been talking to the authorities for some time, about this matter.

    The United States Department of Commerce and the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization know the solution.

    Big business wish to abuse the powers of their trademarks and to deny your First Amendment Rights.

    In 'real world' trademarks are identified by a symbol - why should it be any different in 'e-world'?

    Instead of ® - use a TLD of .REG - it is obvious.

    Please visit WIPO.org.uk [wipo.org.uk] for details.
  • I have the polytechnicsucks.com domain name and I've had it for a year. For the uninformed, polytechnic University is a school in NY. Check out www.poly.edu (it might be down because of the WTC disaster). I have had the domain for a while but might soon put stuff up on it. I am basically thinking about putting criticism (and perhaps praise) of the school on there. What are my rights, considering I am a student of it right now and have been since before I registered the domain? Can poly silence me? Anyone else in a similar situation and can share experience?
  • Out of the 300 TLDs the vast majority are geographic. The question itself is politically incorrect, simply because it's very unlikely that any university would want ALL the 300+ TLDs (drexel.sz - drexel dot Swaziland - that would be really cool!). It's a dirty trick to make the university look like the "bad and greedy" guy.

    The question is: what has the University done wrong ?
  • EDU domain rules (Score:4, Informative)

    by macdaddy (38372) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @12:27PM (#2368328) Homepage Journal
    EDU rules allow a 4-year university to have only one permanent .edu domain. You might know of a few universities that have more than one. Kansas State University [ksu.edu] is one of those. Somebody got the brilliant idea to move from ksu.edu to k-state.edu. (Whatever dumbass thought of that should be shot, but that's just my opinion.) They were allowed to have two for a transitional period. Fortunately the plan died (last I heard) and KSU will stick with ksu.edu. That's supposed to be the only time a university can have more than one .edu domain--for a transition period.
  • This is nowhere near as bad as what my high school has. They have a pretty pathetic website at http://www.mnsd.net/ .

    Guess what company owns http://www.mnsd.org/ .

    Making matters worse, the teachers seem to think that their email addresses are located at the Microsoft domain.
  • My school, the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), owns www.tjhsst.edu and uses it. Some students bought www.tjhsst.com and posted a "not so nice" cartoon making fun of one of the teachers. The school administrators asked it to be taken off. There was a lot of hubbub and eventually one kid got suspended, and one kid filed a lawsuit. Now www.tjhsst.com hosts a forum for free speech for students.
  • by Metallic Mongoose (147944) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @02:47PM (#2368654)
    WhereI'm coming from: I spent the last 5 years (first as a student, then in IT and the Dean of Students Office) at a college that had a not very disimilar situation regarding a student run site that used{collegename}.com as its address; I am now in a Dean of Students Office at a college that has yet to be deviled with such a problem.

    Should Drexel have 300+ domain names?
    ...well, given the way everyone else on the net treats domain names, it isn't surprising that they do. On the other hand, it does seem both silly and wasteful.

    It does make a lot of sense for colleges to purchase their {collegename}.com site (if it is unowned), maintaining it as either a mirror of their .edu site, or something seperate. The reason for this is simple--most people don't know how to browse the web, and just stil .com at the end of whatever they're looking for. ...if they're looking for a college site, and instead come up with porn, or--even worse--something hateful using the school's name, then the school is going to have to waste incriddible amounts of time/energy/money explaining that it isn't their site, and trying to make amends with andry people.
    It doesn't matter that legally it isn't the College's responsibility--the College will lose the preception battle on this one, *particularly* if the offending site is about the college.

    The answer is simple--buy the bloody site.
    I don't feel that this resitricts the expression of students or anyone else; it's still easy to put up a site called {collegename}student.com or {collegename}sucks.com or whatever...

    And I wouldn't worry about tuition dollars being used to make the purchase. ...tuition is rarely a money-maker for colleges; infact, at the (small, liberal arts) colleges I'm familar with, tuition doesn't even always cover the actual cost of a student being at the college. This is why colleges spend so much energy in raising money from alums and outside doners--it's the only way to keep things running. ...it's also the way to fund purchasing a .com site; just find some alums/trustees/donors who are on board, and have them donate a sum expressively for that purpose.

    ...Of course, any College that hasn't trademarked their name is also asking for a whole world of hurt.

  • by fringd (120235) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @05:22PM (#2369019) Homepage

    or at least, that's not all of the story... if you followed what was happening, you'll know that they bullied the students who owned drexel.com out of the domain name, by threatening litigation.

    one of the students who owned the name was mysteriously kicked out ! and so they finally settled, and sold the domain name, barely enough to pay their lawyer.

    i knew the kids who owned the domain name, and there is more to this story, that they couldn't tell me.

    it seems that drexel got angry when students who were displeased with the school and it's administration, discussed their dissatisfaction on the forum. i guess if someone types in drexel.com, they don't want you seeing anything about drexel's bad side. oh well.

    i'm a student at drexel now, and finishing up my sentence there. i'd reccommend against anybody who is looking for colleges to even consider this place. they're just bastards, really. go somewhere else.

  • by schnurble (16727) on Saturday September 29, 2001 @06:59PM (#2369229) Homepage
    I went to Drexel from 96 to 99, but after I was in a near-fatal auto accident in March of 99 that caused me to be in the hospital for a month, and a wheelchair for two more, they decided it wasn't a valid reason for me to miss a term of class, and cancelled all of my financial aid. Gee, thanks!

    Anyway, yeah, this is standard operating procedure for Drexel. They put me on probation for having an A record referencing a non-drexel domain pointing to my linux box (and turned off my ResNet access). I was wondering where Drexel.Com went...

    A point of fact, however. Drexel Furniture -is- related to Drexel University. A. J. Drexel founded both. And Drexel Hill, PA was named such because AJ Drexel's family was from there. Etc, etc. Remember, Anthony J Drexel was a bigwig back then. Lotsa cash, power, etc.

    -j (ujdisher@mcs account still lives, too!)
  • One thing that interests me is that none of the domain names mentioned here have country codes attached to them (eg, http://drexel.edu.us). I was of the impression that if whoever is registering the domain does not have international reach, or may conflict with another person with equal claim to an international domain name, then surely they should use a country-specific domain. For example, at some stage I intend to set up a webserver with the domain name "eyris.com" but since I am in New Zealand, and have no claim to an international domain name, I will use http://eyris.com.nz.

    I realise this is maybe slightly off topic, and I also realise that domains are registered on a first come, first served basis, and IANAL and all that, but I have noticed that the majority of sites in the US seem to use an international domain, as if the US is somehow entitled to these, while everyone else must use their own country codes. I don't mean to sound like a Usian-basher either, but I am curious.

  • I own the domain name for my highschool, and I have been called no less than 4 times by Network Solutions since we bought it in 1998. First they were asking if we wanted northernsecondary.org and .net to go along with our .com - they said that if we didn't buy them, students might and use them maliciously. Then they started recommending we buy things like mynorthernsecondary.com and northernsecondarysucks.com and so on.

    So if you're wondering why your school owns so many, maybe you ought to start telling your school administration to stop listening to the phonecalls from netsol :)

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