Saturday, March 28, 2009

Why does C-Registry use the “.us” domain?

That widely distributed email blast from a photo trade association made the statement “ appears to [trade association name] that it is implying that it is an official, government agency registry with an .us extension on the URL. Such action is misleading and deceptive.” In response, we pose to ourselves the question why does C-Registry use the “.us” domain? (see reply in comments)

1 comment:

  1. We chose ".us" because it is the most accurate and appropriate. The Copyright Registry is clearly not part of the government, so we did not use ".gov". And, it isn't a Not-For-Profit, so we didn't use ".org".

    We could have gone with ".com", but that could be a company in any country, any nationality. It was too generic. Since we're focusing primarily on U.S. copyright law, we wanted to signal to non-US creators, attorneys and companies that our offering might not be applicable in their country. We opted for ".us" because it is more restricted in definition of use than ".com" and best represents the company and the information at the site with the least possibility of being confused for something it is not, especially to foreign users of the site.

    There is no reason why anyone should assume that a ".us" domain is governmental. (Does anyone know of any divisions of the U.S. government using “.us” at all?) The ".gov" Top-Level Domain (TLD) is for "Governmental Entities", which includes the United States government. Formerly only federal government could use it, but later it was expanded to include state and local government. There are registration restrictions for ".gov". Entities using ".gov" must meet eligibility requirements and submit an authorization letter. It should be obvious that C-Registry is not governmental.

    Additionally, we go out of our way to try to make sure that we are not confused for the U.S. Copyright Office. For example, the very first FAQ at C-Registry completely explains that we’re not governmental. It says in part, “C-Registry is NOT the U.S. Copyright Office. Claiming ownership of your intellectual property in the database does NOT register it with the U.S. Copyright Office.”

    Some deep background on domains ... Established in 1985, top-level domains (TLD) have been controlled or administered by a succession of entities that have included the United States Department of Defense, SRI International, Network Information Center, Government Systems Inc., National Science Foundation, Network Solutions Inc. and Verisign.

    ".us" is intended for U.S. entities. In fact, use of ".us" is restricted to United States citizens, residents, or organizations, or a foreign entity with a presence in the United States. In it's actual use, ".us" is usually for American business use and is actually the fastest growing TLD in popularity.

    ".com" is intended for company entities (worldwide). It's actual use is for virtually any commercial or non-commercial website without restriction.

    ".gov" is intended for miscellaneous organizations not fitting in other categories (generally noncommercial). In reality though, despite the restrictions, it's actual use is for nonprofits, personal sites, open-source projects, and it is sometimes used by commercial entities.