Kids.us Domain

I wonder if the Kids.us domain is going to be very popular. A recent story on BizReport.com (Safety Patrol Readied for Dot-Kids) summarizes how the two companies involved are going to patrol web sites in this domain for appropriate contents. As the father of three young kids, I’m of course concerned that my kids only see appropriate material, but I’m not ready to trust one of these companies to control what we can or cannot see.

Decide for yourself whether this is a good idea or not. Some quotes from the story:

Two Washington-Area Firms Team Up To Stave off Porn, Other Inappropriate Material:Children will soon have an Internet neighborhood of their own, designed to be free of pornography, hate speech, gambling, discount tobacco sales and other content deemed inappropriate for young audiences.

Sounds like a good starting statement. Strange that “discount tobacco sales” is explicitly mentioned — is this one of the major worries?

Before they can establish a dot-kids Web site, buyers will have to show that their content follows rigid guidelines. They’ll also be barred from linking to sites outside of kids.us…

Barred from linking to sites outside of the kids.us domain? That sounds crazy. I guess the flipside is it will be easier to monitor compared to determining what content is “inappropriate”.

Even the most advanced spidering technology has limited ability to distinguish content appropriate for children from pornography or other adult content.
“Sooner or later the nipples are going to start falling through the cracks,” said Ross Rader, director of innovation and research for Toronto-based Tucows Inc., one of the world’s largest domain name retailers.
“There is no automated way to differentiate between a glazed doughnut and a suntanned breast,” he said.

Classic.

NeuStar hopes that the high price of kids-us domain names will make them less likely to be abused. To foot the bill for site surveillance, NeuStar will charge an annual $250 content review fee for each kids.us address. The company also has set the wholesale price of a kids.us domain at $65 a year, more than 10 times the $6 wholesale cost of a dot-com address.
Operators who have their sites taken down for content violations will have to pay $400 to get back online.

My prediction: there will be a few companies that give it a shot, but not many. There’s a “Sunrise” period where existing trademark holders can register their own trademark.kids.us domain, so I expect many popular brands will do so, if for no other reason than to prevent squatters.