Glossary of Terms


.coop is a restricted Top Level Domain (TLD) sponsored by dotCoop and approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) on November 16, 2000 following a proposal submitted jointly by NCBA and Poptel and supported by ICA. The .coop Top-Level Domain was among only seven new TLDs selected from more than 180 that were proposed. Joining .coop are .biz, .name, .museum, .aero, info and .pro. The .coop TLD was launched on January 30, 2002.

Cooperative advantage

Extensive market research shows that consumers trust cooperatives more than investor-owned businesses and prefer to do business with them. That’s because cooperatives are motivated by the mission of providing quality goods and services to their member-owners, rather than meeting their investors’ expectations for profits. Cooperatives are also committed to serving their communities. That makes them good corporate citizens. That means that cooperatives have a natural edge in the marketplace if they promote their cooperative status. Cooperative values sell.

Domain name

A unique name on the Internet that relates to a specific IP address. Technically, a domain name is an addressing construct used for identifying and locating computers on the Internet. While computers use Internet Protocol (IP) numbers to locate each other on the Internet, people find them hard to remember. Therefore, domain names were developed to permit the use of easily remembered words and phrases to identify Internet addresses

Domain Name System (DNS)

The Domain Name System (DNS) is the hierarchical system by which easy-to-remember, human-friendly names like “” are associated with Internet locations.

DotCooperation LLC (DotCoop)

DotCoop is jointly owned by the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA) and the International Cooperative Alliance(ICA), two non-profit organisations with a mission to develop the global Cooperative movement. DotCoop sets eligibility and verification policies for use of the new domain and provides operational support.

Founder Program

The Founder Program was developed by NCBA with support from ICA and Poptel to allow leading cooperatives and cooperative organizations around the globe to contribute to the support of .coop. Founders contribute not only funds but also their expertise and knowledge of the cooperatives and cooperative organizations in their geographic area and business sectors. Founders understand the importance of .coop to their members as well as to the entire cooperative community and are excited about this unique opportunity. As one of the benefits of being a Founder, members of the Founder cooperative or organization were able to pre-qualify domain names prior to the world-wide launch on January 30, 2002.

For more information on the Founders see about .coop.


A host, also known as a name server, is a computer that uses special software. A host is generally located and maintained at an ISP or Web hosting company. It has your Web site in its memory and makes your Web site available to Internet users that type your domain name in their browser.

Host Record

A host record is an entry in the dotCoop database of information that includes a host name and number, which are formatted like this: Host Name: NS1.ANYCOOP.COOP Host Number: The Host Number is often called the IP address.


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a non-profit, private sector corporation formed by a broad coalition of the Internet’s business, technical, academic and user communities. ICANN serves as the global coordinator of the technical management of the Internet’s domain name system and other Internet-related issues.ICANN has the exclusive authority to determine which top-level domains, or suffixes, registrars can provide to Internet users. Registrars are businesses that are accredited by ICANN to register Internet domain names. For more information about ICANN, see

Internet Service Provider (ISP)

A company that provides services such as hosting your web site and providing you with e-mail support.


Some ICANN-accredited registrars have “resellers.” The registrar provides its resellers with the tools, such as back-end systems and customer service, required to register domain names. Using its registrar’s systems, the reseller then has the ability to sell domain names to whomever it wishes, such as the general public. In some ways this is akin to the affiliate programs that many online retailers have with other Web sites.

If a site that sells .coop domain names is not on our list of accredited registrars, it may be a reseller. If you look up a domain name in the .coop whois, it will display the name of the accredited registrar (not the name of its reseller) in the “Sponsoring Registrar” field.

Top Level Domains (TLD)

Top Level Domains (TLDs) are extensions that appear at the end of Internet addresses. Existing TLDs include .com, .org, .net, .gov and a few others. Media reports suggest there are more than 28 million domain names registered under .com, .net and .org. There are two types of TLDs – sponsored and unsponsored.

Sponsored domains, such as .coop, are open only to a defined community represented by the Sponsor. Unsponsored and restricted domains, like .gov and .edu, can only be used by organizations that meet the eligibility criteria.Unsponsored and unrestricted domains, like .com, .org, and .net can be used by anyone. However, most non-commercial organizations use .org, and most commercial businesses use .com. to characterize their operations. .coop is a sponsored TLD, available only to cooperatives.


Verification is the process by which dotCoop ensures that organizations registering to use .coop domain names meet the .COOP TLD Eligibility Criteria. .COOP is a sponsored top level domain (TLD) reserved for use exclusively by cooperatives and organizations serving cooperatives.


On the Internet there are sites that maintain Internet directory information – a listing of those individuals or organizations that have claimed Domain Names. These sites use a common program to make available to the public the ‘owners’ of domain names. The program and sites are known as ‘WHOIS’. Some WHOIS servers keep Internet-wide directory information, while many have only local information.The local WHOIS directory for .coop is available on and is maintained by the registry operator. This information is also provided to as part of the ICANN support services for more general access. The public, including eligible cooperatives, will be able to determine if names have been selected and if so, who has licensed the name through the .coop WHOIS.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an approved dispute resolution service provider that has been selected to provide this service by dotCoop. WIPO’s mandate is to ensure neutrality and impartiality in the treatment of each case, provide a dispute resolution solution service that is easily accessible for Internet consumers and businesses alike, resolve disputes quickly and cost-effectively, and inspire trust in e-commerce. DotCoop will cancel, transfer, or otherwise make changes to domain name registrations as rendered by a WIPO ruling.

Zone File

Zone files contain the information needed to resolve domain names to Internet Protocol (IP) numbers. A zone is a portion of the total domain name space that is represented by the data stored on a particular name server. The name server has authority over the zone – or the particular portion of the domain name space – described by that data.

The Zone File contains the active domain names in the .coop TLD.To become a participant of the program, please contact the Operations Center and a form will be emailed to you.


A Registrar is domain name specialist who is responsible for providing you with the means to manage and service your .coop account, the engine behind your name.


The Registry maintains the database of registered domain names for a specific TLD.DotCoop is the Sponsor of the .coop TLD and the Registry Operator is Midcounties Co-op(UK).

The Registry receives domain name system (DNS) information from Registrars, adds that information to a database and distributes the information in zone files on the Internet so that domain names can be found via applications such as the World Wide Web and e-mail.