[unisog] Problems with EDU.COM domain

Dave Dittrich dittrich at u.washington.edu
Thu Mar 30 20:40:18 GMT 2006

Jeffrey Altman wrote:
> Conor McGrath wrote:
>> Vantage Media registered the edu.com domain and then realized that lots
>> of folks were hitting xxx.edu.com when they really wanted xxx.edu.
>> Rather than have these folks get 404 errors Vantage felt it would be
>> more helpful to show the pages that point to specific information about
>> the institution the user was really trying to find.
> Several points/questions:
> (1) Why did Vantage Media register this domain in the first place?
>     There must have been some commercial interest or they would not have
>     done so.

If you fill in bogus info at the main page, it takes you to a page that
lists a bunch of "at home" institutions that will give you a degree in
the category you selected.  The default is "business", which brings up
Kaplan University, Colorado Technical University Online, DeVry
University Online, Florida Metropolitan University, and Westwood College.

> (2) If Vantage Media was truly concerned about users not reaching
>     www.columbia.edu when they went to the page www.columbia.edu.com
>     then all they had to do was provide a redirect to the
>     www.columbia.edu page.   Why bother setting up on infrastructure
>     to collect personal information and then need to setup the necessary
>     liaison relationships with the admission offices?   What admission
>     office in their right mind would accept personal data about
>     prospective students from an untrusted third party in the first
>     place?

To make money off referrals?

> If Vantage Media wants to do the correct thing, they will transfer
> ownership of the .edu.com domain to EDUCAUSE immediately.  Otherwise, I
> suspect they will be hearing from a number of lawyers.

Boy, wouldn't a class action lawsuit be fun right now? ;)

Dave Dittrich                          Information Assurance Researcher,
dittrich at u.washington.edu              The iSchool
http://staff.washington.edu/dittrich   University of Washington

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