News and Updates

ICANN Releases Temporary WHOIS Specification Plan for GDPR Compliance With Deadline Two Weeks Away

Domain industry news - Mon, 2018-05-14 19:03

ICANN has released temporary specifications for gTLD registration data in order to establish temporary requirements needed for the organization and gTLD registry operators to continue to comply with existing ICANN contractual requirements and community-developed policies. Trevor Little reporting in World Trademark Review: "Subject to further revision prior to a board vote, the model proposes the establishment of a mechanism to allow contact with domain name registrants — while cloaking their identity. ... last month the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (WP29) responded to ICANN's initial request for feedback on a proposed interim model for ensuring that the treatment of WHOIS data is compliant with GDPR. While welcoming the decision of ICANN to propose an interim model which involves layered access, the WP29 raised a number of concerns. With the May 25 enforcement date for GDPR two weeks away, the past few days have seen a flurry of activity at ICANN HQ."

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Categories: News and Updates

Jen Sale of Evergreen – DNW Podcast #185

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2018-05-14 15:30

With two decades of experience in the domain business, Jen Sale shares her perspective on the current market.

This week on the DNW podcast we talk with Jen Sale, a long-time fixture in the domain name industry who now runs the domain name brokerage Evergreen. We talk about how the domain industry has evolved over the past two decades and what Jen is seeing in the domain market in 2018. Also, in a busy news week, we review the Google .App launch, Whois records, earnings at GoDaddy, Tucows and Wix, and why you need to transfer your domain names this week.

Subscribe via iTunes to listen to the Domain Name Wire podcast on your iPhone or iPad, view on Google Play Music, or click play below or download to begin listening. (Listen to previous podcasts here.)

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  3. Sandeep Ramchandani, CEO of Radix – DNW Podcast #183
Categories: News and Updates

Human Rights in the Digital Age, Online Pharmacies, and the "Brussels Principles"

Domain industry news - Mon, 2018-05-14 15:17

"Human Rights in a Digital Age" is the theme of this year's RightsCon conference in Toronto. An essential human right is access to safe, affordable prescription medications. The Internet makes this possible, our organization has proven it's achievable and sustainable over an extended period of time, and our proposed "Brussels Principles" provide the framework to take our proven success internationally. Across the Globe, to people everywhere.

Let me back up to RightsCon Brussels 2017. At that groundbreaking conference, the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) participated in a workshop entitled: Online Access to Affordable Medication: Applying Human Rights Law to Cyber Rule-Making and Internet Governance. Together with Knowledge Ecology International, Public Citizen, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Prescription Justice, we jointly formulated the aforementioned Brussels Principles, which are best practices for licensed pharmacies that enable safe, reliable, and affordable medication sales over the Internet.

At RightsCon 2018 (Toronto, May 16-18) with our session: Making Safe Online Access to Affordable Medication Real, we will serve on a panel of distinguished international experts, addressing this urgent issue and discussing the proactive framework that will ensure its success.

Heading into the conference, it's important to give this critical discussion some historical context. Specifically, why this is such an important issue, how we're qualified to address it, and how the Brussels Principles will help negotiate the intersection of human rights and digital technology.

As the Executive Director of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, every day I receive emails and speak to people who are trying to find a safe source of medications from a pharmacy online. Why? Because they can't afford or don't have access to their prescribed medication where they live. In fact, CIPA has served more than one million patients annually, providing safe and affordable daily medications (but not controlled substances). The high cost of medications in the U.S. is something already on the radar at both the federal and state levels; witness repeated comments by the U.S. president, as well as a recent, overwhelming (141 to 2!) vote by the Vermont House of Representatives in support of a bill to reduce the cost of prescription medications through importation.

Senator Rand Paul also clearly voiced the general feeling of the average American during Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar's confirmation hearing. Mr. Azar noted that "Importation must be reliable and safe, in the mind of the president." Senator Paul interrupted him: "You would have to sit there and say the drugs from the European Union or Canada or Australia are not safe… It is frankly just not true… It's a canard that has been going on year after year after year… It's just BS! ... to serve the pharmaceutical companies..."

But access and affordability to safe medications is not just a U.S. problem, and we have seen a growing number of patients from countries around the world seeking to have their prescriptions filled from Canadian and international licensed pharmacies.

Can medications be ordered safely on the Internet? Yes, with proper regulation and vigilance.

The Canadian International Pharmacy Association is visible proof this can be done. Remember the one million patients a year I mentioned above? We've been serving that many for more than 15 years, and we have a 100% perfect safety record.

We achieve this perfect safety record through rigorous procedures and controls established and monitored by our organization, and adhered to by our pharmacy members. We also are fully engaged in the fight against "rogue" pharmacies illegitimately using our certification mark or otherwise trying to leverage our good Canadian name and reputation. CIPA works closely with both attorneys and law enforcement on an ongoing basis in this effort.

Based on our experiences and safety record selling medications online since 2002, we are pleased to work with so many other Internet and industry experts on the Brussels Principles.

Serving patients economically and safely, doing what is expected of industry leaders by assisting law enforcement, participating in the development of the Brussels Principles, active engagement in ICANN, all add up to a solution that is effective, practical, and easily within our reach.

We'll be discussing this topic in detail, and seeking feedback to the Brussels Principles, at our RightsCon 2018 session. I welcome you to participate with us in Toronto, on May 17 at 9 am (Session #636).

Our renowned panel of thought leaders includes Dr. Jillian Kohler, Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and Munk School of Global Affairs, and Aria Ilyad Ahmand who is a Consultant to the World Health Organization on Substandard and Falsified Medical Products. Jillian pioneered the methodology on good governance in the pharmaceutical system for the World Bank, which was subsequently adopted by the WHO and has been applied in over 35 countries globally. Aria is a policy advisor at the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research at York University, where he has also served since 2014 as a consultant to the WHO's Department of Essential Medicines and Health Products. A past Duke University Global Health Fellow and past faculty member of the Global Health Education Initiative at the University of Toronto, Aria is currently completing his PhD in Global Health Governance. Joining these two experts will be other industry representatives, including Gabriel Levitt (Prescription Justice); Tracy Cooley (Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation); Dr. Shivam Patel (PharmacyChecker); Robert Guerra (Privaterra); and myself.

I hope to see you there!

Written by Tim Smith, General Manager

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More under: Internet Governance, Policy & Regulation

Categories: News and Updates

NamesCon to bid adieu to The Tropicana

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2018-05-14 13:53

2019 will be the last year for NamesCon at The Tropicana in Las Vegas.

If you enjoy The Tropicana Hotel’s mysterious “resort fee”, smokey atmosphere, horrible room service and aging rooms, I have bad news for you: NamesCon is leaving the venue.

The conference has decided to pack its bags and move to another venue after the January 2019 show.

And while many will push for a familiar city such as Los Angeles or Miami, I’d like to propose splitting the difference and holding it in Austin.

Here are some reasons NamesCon 2020 should take place in Austin:

  • While Austin was once a sleepy college town, the metro area now has over 2 million people. It also has the tallest residential tower west of the Mississippi.
  • It’s in the Central time zone, so people from the coasts don’t have to deal with a three hour time difference.
  • Our average high temperature for late July January is in the low 60s.
  • Austin’s trendiest mixed-use project is called The Domain, so we could hold a domain name conference at The Domain.
  • We have the world’s best barbecue and great vegan food, so both Scott Ross and Jeff Sass can be happy.
  • You can fly direct from Frankfurt and London.

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Categories: News and Updates

44% Of Domain Names Globally are Country Code TLDs, 56% Generic TLDs, Reports CENTR

Domain industry news - Fri, 2018-05-11 18:08

The Council of European National Top level Domain Registries (CENTR) released its global TLD report today, stating that the global TLD market grew 1.4% year over year at the end of first quarter this year. The report, CENTRstats Global TLD Report 2018/1, has also indicated that 44% of domain names globally are country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs) and 56% are generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). "These figures have not changed significantly over the past year or two, despite the addition of hundreds of new gTLDs in that period."

Here are some additional highlights from the report:

The European ccTLD market grew 3.6% YOY and continues a period of stable growth (see chart) with some ccTLDs even reversing the slowing growth seen in previous years. The stabilization in growth is in part due to a decline in average deletion rates along with flat rates of new domains and renews. The TLD market in Europe is estimated at 100 million domains (locally registered ccTLD & gTLDs) of which 59% is made up of European-based ccTLDs — an increase of around 1% YOY.

Combined gTLDs grew in total 0.1% YOY. Of the legacy gTLDs, .com and .info are the ones to have maintained consistent positive growth over the past year. .com has around 71% of the global gTLD market, with the rest attributed to other legacy gTLDs (18%) and new gTLDs at 11%. A third of all new gTLDs (2012 ICANN application round) have contracted over the past 12 months. Median growth among geographic gTLDs was 1.9% YOY. This group has some of the lowest rates of domain parking among all new gTLDs.

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Categories: News and Updates

Making a Strategic Decision: URS or UDRP?

Domain industry news - Fri, 2018-05-11 17:25

A discussion is presently underway about the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) (and in Phase 2 next year of the Uniform Domain Name Resolution Policy (UDRP)), whether it is performing as intended. The URS is less than five years old, and there are not an overwhelming number of decisions. Since 2013, rights holders have filed less than one thousand complaints (with three providers, the Forum being the most active), which translates into less than 170 decisions annually, 10 to 15 monthly (of which 10% or less are denied, and approximately 3% withdrawn) (from the Forum, there were more denials at the beginning, less so now). That filing number is minuscule in comparison with the number of complaints filed under the UDRP — in the region of 4,000 annually (in its first years its total was twice the URS in 4 1/2 years) — but the denial and withdrawal percentages are similar.

There is a question rattling around whether the URS is functioning properly (perhaps dysfunctional?), although I think it is really too early to tell. It seems to be functioning well for the purpose intended if that intention is properly understood. The utilization (or under utilization) is not an issue. Rights holders will make a strategic decision about which rights protection mechanism they will use. Instead of looking at what is wrong, I want to look at what is right about the URS. For an understanding of the progress of the URS it is better to take a closer look, not what the whole roster of Examiners is doing, but at a select number who take the time to pinpoint failures of proof (both persuasion and production) and in this way imprint the DNA for the URS. It must be admitted that not all Examiners are responding to their decision-making tasks equally well; some have too little to say about the reasons for their decisions, and fall back on the formula: citing relevant paragraphs of the URS Procedure followed by "Determined: Finding for Complainant." (It is likely that rapidity in filing decisions coupled with meager compensation encourages less thought, even if the result is correct).

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) describes the URS as complementing the UDRP, but it has a more limited jurisdiction, designed specifically for "rights holders experiencing the most clear-cut cases of infringement" and is only available "against domain names registered in a New gTLD" (URS Procedure, para. 3(f)). The Examiner in Virgin Enterprises Limited v. lawrence fain, FA1402001545807 (Forum March 20, 2014) underscored that the "URS process is a narrow one" and that it is "without prejudice to the Complainant… proceed[ing] with an action in [a] court of competent jurisdiction or under the UDRP." (URS, para. 8.5). Rather than the preponderance of evidence standard for the UDRP, Complainants must prove their case by clear and convincing evidence. (The burden of proof matches the announced purpose of the policy). That burden has tripped up at least two Complainants, one with a very well-known if not famous mark and the other a name famous for the iconic mark of his business, Bloomberg L.P. v. zhang guo jie, FA1703001721683 (Forum March 31, 2017) for <> and Virgin Enterprises for <>).

In Bloomberg L.P. the Examiner explained that the "Complaint is, ... devoid of any allegations or proof of facts tending to show, even prima facie, either that Respondent has no right to or legitimate interest in the <> domain name, or that the domain name was registered and is being used by Respondent in bad faith. For the same reason, incidentally, the Complainant was denied in a later UDRP case, Bloomberg Finance L.P. v. zhang guo jie, FA1704001727926 (Forum June 8, 2017) (<>). Both Examiner and Panel came to the same conclusion, namely that "Accordingly, on the record before us, we cannot conclude that Respondent has no right to or legitimate interest in the domain name or that the domain name was registered and is being used by Respondent in bad faith."

There is no question that unexplained holdings fall short of the educational goal expected of filed decisions. The purpose of having accessible decisions (even if not reasoned to the same extent as is the practice of the best UDRP Panels) is to educate parties, their counsel and representatives about the different and stiffer demands of the URS and prepare them for asserting and defending their rights. In this respect, it could be said an unthought-through decision short-changes users (rights holders as well as respondents). However, having said this, there are a good number of explained, thought-through decisions (even if not fully reasoned) like Bloomberg L.P. and Virgin Enterprises that lay a proper foundation for establishing consistency and predictability in the application of the URS.

URS Examiners have a great advantage in not having to reinvent a jurisprudence of domain names. They have ready-made a powerful resource for illuminating the reasons for a party's success or failure of proof by turning to easily accessible, reasoned decisions from UDRP Panels supplemented since 2005 by an "overview" of the jurisprudence published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)--the WIPO Overview of WIPO Panel Views on Selected UDRP Questions, now in its third edition (2015). There is, in fact, a mature jurisprudence of domain names.

Certainly, the combination of URS features plays a role in restraining rights holders from using it and favoring the UDRP. But, the URS nevertheless is a remarkable tool for the purposes for which it is intended. I pointed out in a recent essay (What is the Uniform Rapid Suspense System and What is it Good For?), that it can be used as a substitute for a preliminary injunction. In fact, some rights holders have specifically used the URS in this manner by shutting down counterfeit goods websites by having the domain names suspended. W.L. Gore & Associates Inc v. WhoisGuard, Inc. et al., FA1711001758178 (Forum December 6, 2017) (<>. ”[T]he impression created by ... Registrant's website is [that it is] an original online shop of the Complainant with even more convenient prices but offering counterfeit products"); Eli Lilly and Company v. Shaternik et al., FA1705001731038D (Forum June 1, 2017) (Offering counterfeit products on dozens of websites). Also, some phishing and spamming websites have been silenced in this manner, more quickly and less expensively than through the UDRP.

While the URS is quick out of the gate and moves rapidly to award (typically, twenty days) an initial award is subject to being vacated under two circumstances: 1) if post-default the Respondent appears with a meritorious defense or its counter contentions are sufficient to raise a triable issue of fact, and 2) the losing party appeals with new facts and arguments that result in an award being reversed. Reversals are sometimes in Complainant's favor — Aeropostale Procurement Company, Inc. v. Michael Kinsey et al., FA1403001550933 (Forum April 28, 2014) (<> Initially denied; reversed and suspended on appeal and LVMH SWISS MANUFACTURES SA v. GiftSMS et al., FA1509001637103 (Forum November 24, 2015) (<>. Initially denied; reversed and suspended on appeal: "The Respondent claimed that the disputed domain name was available for purchase in the commercial market once the sunrise period expired.... However, trademark rights are not released or waived as a result of the passage of the Sunrise period or for that matter any other period relating to the registration of domain names. In Aeropostale Procurement the Examiner concluded that "The rule stemming from URS (d) is satisfied since the Respondent admitted that he has registered the domain to take 'an opportunity similar to when .com first came into existence' so purely for a reason of expected gain resulting from using the 'AEROPOSTALE' mark."

Sometimes the initial denial is affirmed in Respondent's favor, for a familiar reason that is well established in UDRP jurisprudence. In Grey Global Group LLC v. i-content Ltd. et al., FA1606001681062 (Forum July 8, 2016) (<>), the Examiner stated that :

Given that the Domain Name, in fact, corresponds to a generic term, that the Respondent has registered numerous similar generic domain names, such as <>, <>, <>, or <>, that the Domain Name was used in connection with a parking website with sponsored links using the term "grey" solely in a descriptive way and not in connection with the Complainant's services, and that the Complainant has not provided evidence as to its business activities in Germany, where the Respondent is located, the Examiner finds that the evidence is not clear and convincing that the domain name was registered in bad faith.

The initial denials in Aeropostale Procurement and Lvmh Swiss Manufactures present an interesting distinction between the URS and UDRP. URS Procedure, para. 12.2 and URS Rules, 19(b) provide that "Appellant shall have a limited right to introduce new admissible evidence that is material to the Determination ... provided the evidence clearly pre-dates the filing of the Complaint” (Emphasis added). Under the UDRP, complainants either get it right the first time or their complaints are dismissed and res judicata as far as returning to the UDRP is concerned.

For Complainants who want instant gratification and have no interest in carrying the expense of maintaining identical or confusing domain names into infinity, the URS supplies it for ninety plus percent of the disputes for which respondents have no defensible right to the domain names and invariably default in appearance. For this class of dispute involving well-known and famous marks, the offending domain names are suspended for the duration of the registration (and for another year at Complainant's option), and if they resolved to active websites, shut down.

What can be said about consensus? Since the URS employs the same language as the UDRP for the tiered requirements: standing, demonstrating Respondent's lack of legitimate rights or interests, and conjunctive bad faith, Examiners can rest on authority from UDRP jurisprudence whether or not they actually cite to it. For the first limb, for example, Complainants can only maintain a proceeding if they have standing; if they are unable to prove registered marks in commercial use, they lose. Example: Sks365 Malta Ltd., MT v. Mansour Ben Khamsa, D5C230DE (MFSD December 28, 2016) failed to show it currently held any trademark rights "on the sign 'planet win 365'") (this link is to a list of a dozen or so decisions wherein there is an internal link to a pdf).

For the second limb, Complainant must prove lack of legitimate interests or rights by clear and convincing evidence (which is two notches higher than the UDRP). This leads to some interesting differences with the UDRP. If the domain name is passively held and can plausibly be used for non-infringing purposes (whether the Respondent appears or defaults) the complaint will be found deficient of clear and convincing evidence. In contrast, UDRP Panels are more likely to move on to the third limb before drawing conclusive inferences. Example: HOLA S.L. v. North Sound Names et al., FA1407001570171 (Forum August 9, 2014) (<>) in which the Examiner held (relying on authority from UDRP decisions) that

Previous decisions involving domain names based on generic, commonly used terms are consistently denied, protecting the right of domain registrants to retain such domains against trademark owners." The Examiner than cites a dozen cases before explaining that "for the complainant to prevail, there must be some other proof to evidence bad faith, such as actual notice of trademark prior to registration (<> FA140500 1560028) or evidence of a pattern of registering domains using protected marks ( FA1203001435300).

For the third limb, Complainant must prove conjunctive bad faith. Example: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. v. WhoisGuard, Inc., FA1804001780755 (Forum April 26, 2018) (<>. The Examiner

deplores the fact that the Complainant has not submitted any evidence supporting its claim of bad faith use and registration. The Examiner would have expected the Complainant to provide evidence of, for instance, the website associated with the disputed domain name. The Examiner notes that the Complainant submitted a screenshot of its own website (associated with its own domain name <>), but not of the Respondent's website (associated with the disputed domain name <>").

The cited decisions underscore that the URS 1) delivers on its promises to grant relief rapidly (faster in fact than could ever be expected from a motion for preliminary injunction in shutting down counterfeiting websites or even phishing and spamming under the UDRP) and 2) is severe on Complainants who fail to understand its demands. It is not time for buyer's remorse!

Written by Gerald M. Levine, Intellectual Property, Arbitrator/Mediator at Levine Samuel LLP

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More under: Domain Management, Domain Names, Intellectual Property, UDRP

Categories: News and Updates might be coming, along with other single letter .com domain names

Domain Name Wire - Fri, 2018-05-11 16:17

ICANN moves forward with Verisign plan to auction domain name.

Single letter .com domain names are very rare. They aren’t just limited to the 26 letters of the alphabet; there are just three.

Verisign (NASDAQ:VRSN), the registry for .com, isn’t allowed to allocate any single letter .com domain names. Three .com domains were registered before this restriction:, and

CenturyLink owns, which was used by Qwest. Elon Musk (re) acquired last year for an undisclosed amount. Nissan sold to GMO for $6.8 million in 2014.

That’s it, but this might change soon.

In November 2017, Verisign submitted a request to ICANN to allow it to release the domain name. Verisign wants to auction the domain name and donate the proceeds to charity.

It likely picked this domain name because competition for it should be high. really, really wants the domain.

ICANN was concerned that allowing Verisign to auction the domain could be a competition issue, so it referred the matter to the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice. The DOJ declined to open an investigation into it.

So ICANN is moving forward. The .com contract would need to be amended to allow for the sale of, and it has opened a comment period for the amendment.

What’s Verisign’s game here if it is going to donate the proceeds to charity? There are two possibilities that come to mind.

One is that Verisign is using this as a proof-of-concept and hopes to be able to sell other one letter .com and .net domains in the future and keep the proceeds.

Alternatively, if it never gets to keep the proceeds, Verisign could use the press from this domain (and future one letter domains) selling for a lot of money to solidify .com’s brand.

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Categories: News and Updates

My thoughts on Tucows’ earnings report

Domain Name Wire - Fri, 2018-05-11 13:27

Tucows reported nice increases in revenue and income. There are changes afoot in its business, though.

Tucows (NASDAQ:TCX) reported first quarter earnings after the market closed Wednesday. The headline numbers are:

  • Net revenue up 38% YoY to $95.8 million
  • Net income up 53% YoY to 3.7 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA up 64% YoY to $10.4 million

Domain segment revenue increased from $50.3 million in Q1 2017 to $72.2 million in Q1 2018.

But…these numbers are a bit tricky to compare. Tucows acquired Enom on January 20, 2017, so the numbers get a bit of a lift YoY. A bigger impact was the bulk transfer of Namecheap names in January this year. Domain registrars recognize revenue over the life of a domain name registration. Transfering these names to Namecheap accelerated revenue recognition to the tune of $14.6 million.

On the cost side, it accelerated its recognization of $14.5 million in prepaid registry expenses.

This shows just how low the margin was on Enom’s Namecheap deal. However, the company benefited by monetizing Namecheap’s expired domain names.

Tucows CEO Elliot Noss also provided some commentary suggesting headwinds in the mobile access business Ting. When Ting came on the scene, the mobile phone business was a complete mess. Everyone hated their mobile provider, and this played in Ting’s favor. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Ting is probably flattered right now. Both secondary brands and major ones have imitated some of Ting’s approach, and fewer people are looking to switch mobile providers now. It will be interesting to see how this plays out for Ting in the coming years.

I’m always a bit amused by stock analyst’s questions. I realize that they are covering lots of companies. I also realize they can ask the company questions while not on the investor conference call. But I’m amused at how pointless some questions are while they miss more important questions when it comes to updating their models. (I’m not channeling Elon Musk. He actually dismissed important questions.)

For example, a big question analysts should be asking is what impact the price increases at Enom and OpenSRS will have on both attrition and gross margins going forward. These seem like fairly drastic price increases for some customers and need to be baked into models. Maybe the net increases aren’t that big if most domains are at resellers with high volumes. The models should also assume some attrition due to the price increases.

Another interesting question is what impact GDPR changes have on revenue. This is a question people should be asking other public registrars. Specifically, if the registrar keeps personal information out of Whois for free, what happens to Whois privacy revenue? How much money are registrars making from Whois privacy?

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Categories: News and Updates

FCC Says Net Neutrality Rules to Cease on Jun 11

Domain industry news - Thu, 2018-05-10 16:09

The Federal Communications Commission announced today that the landmark 2015 U.S. net neutrality rules will end on June 11. The FCC said the new rules will take effect 30 days from Friday, and confirmed to be Jun 11 according to Reuters. "The FCC voted 3-2 to reverse Obama-era rules barring service providers from blocking, slowing access to or charging more for certain online content. Once they take effect, the new FCC rules would give internet service providers sweeping powers to change how consumers access the internet but include new transparency requirements that require them to disclose any changes to consumers."

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Categories: News and Updates

Here’s why it’s going to be hard to sell your .App domain names

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2018-05-10 16:08

Buyers will have a difficult time contacting you.

Over 150,000 .App domain names have already been registered. While some of these are being put to use, domain name investors are certainly a big reason the numbers are so high.

People wishing to sell their .app domains are going to face a challenge. This challenge goes above and beyond the question of what a new TLD is worth in the aftermarket. The question is:

How the heck are domain buyers going to find you?

.App domain names don’t work unless you have an SSL certificate installed on the domain name. This means you can’t park the domain names unless you set up an SSL for the domain.

SSLs can be obtained for free, but it requires some work.

I thought you’d be able to just forward your .app domain to a secure page, but that’s not the case. (It works on the Safari mobile browser because apparently, that doesn’t use the HSTS preload list, but other major browsers do.)

Clearly, putting a “for sale” billboard on your .app domain will require a lot more work than with most other domains.

OK, OK…but can’t people just look you up in Whois?


Google Registry’s Whois records only show the state and country of the domain owner. Records also show your organization name if you have one.

There’s no email address. No phone number. Not even a snail mail address.

That really just leaves marketplaces like Sedo and Afternic for selling these domains. (Currently, Afternic supports .app but Sedo doesn’t.) You can hope that someone is savvy enough to go to one of those marketplaces and find your domain but it seems like syndicated listings at registrars will be your best best.

Or you need to suck it up and get an SSL cert or an SSL-friendly landing page service for your domains.

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Categories: News and Updates

Wix adds 231K paid subscribers, 5.9M registered users in Q1

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2018-05-10 14:23

Site builder now has 3.4 million customers who can use a domain name with their Wix site.

Wix (NASDAQ:WIX) released earnings for the first quarter of 2018 yesterday.

The website builder company reported $137.8 million in revenue for Q2 2018, up 49% YoY. It also generated $21.4 million in free cash flow for the quarter.

The company added 5.9 million registered users during the quarter and added 231,000 net premium (i.e. paying) subscribers.

That brings its total premium base to 3.4 million.

Aside from representing Wix’s paid customer base, premium subscription numbers are important because Wix requires a premium plan in order to connect a domain name to a website. Its most basic $5/month package allows customers to connect to a domain and its $11-and-up packages include a free domain when paid annually.

Revenue from domain name registrations has historically accounted for 7% of Wix’s revenue. This equates to nearly $10 million in domain registration revenue in Q1.

The company is a reseller and does not use its own accreditations for domain registrations.

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Categories: News and Updates

Red Alert: Encrypt Your Website Now or Expect to Lose Traffic When Google Updates Chrome in July

DN Journal - Wed, 2018-05-09 17:13
You may not know much about SSL certificates but if you run a website you should get one before July. We explain why as well as how to do that.
Categories: News and Updates

GoDaddy stock up after earnings

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2018-05-09 15:09

Investors cheer GoDaddy’s start to 2018.

GoDaddy (NYSE:GDDY) reported earnings after the bell yesterday and investors were happy with the results. Shares are up 4% as of 11 EDT today.

Revenue was up 29% in Q1 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2017. Keep in mind that the Host Europe Group acquisition wasn’t completed until the second quarter of 2017, so much of this growth is due to the acquisition.

Domains business segment revenue hit $292 million, up from $241 million in the same quarter of 2017. It was up from $282 million in Q4 2018. Although Q1 is generally a good one for domains, keep in mind that revenue from domain registrations is recognized over time.

Speaking of which, GoDaddy’s total bookings in Q1 hit $783 million.

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Categories: News and Updates

Time is ticking, and domain transfers are still up in the air

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2018-05-09 14:26

Registrars and ICANN still discussing how to handle transfers after GDPR.

As domain name registrars and registries start masking email addresses in Whois to comply with GDPR, the domain name transfer process as we know it will break. The current owner’s email address is required to comply with the current ICANN process.

No email, no transfer*. At least not a compliant one.

Registrars are obviously worried about this. A big part of their business is convincing people to transfer domain names to them. So they came up with a proposal for how to handle transfers without email addresses. They have since modified the proposal so that an affirmative approval by the existing registrant is no longer required. Here’s the proposal in a nutshell:

1. Domain owner gets authorization code from losing registrar.
2. Domain owner provides authorization code to gaining registrar.
3. Losing registrar sends email to owner of record.
4. If owner of record does not cancel transfer, the transfer proceeds after five days.

This is what Tucows, the second largest domain name registrar, has already announced it will do.

But ICANN has not yet provided its blessing.

In a May 4 letter to the TechOps subcommittee of the Contracted Party House inside GNSO, which is making the interim transfer policy proposal described above, ICANN proposed an alternative way for gaining registrars to access the domain owner’s email address:

In order to provide the gaining registrar with access to the Transfer Contact’s email addresses, we propose that the authorization code be expanded to become the existing string plus the concatenation of the emails of the Registered Name Holder and the Administrative Contact with some separator to be defined (e.g., comma). For example, if the current authorization code for a given name is “NBGj67kGiPRRnGrP”, the registrant email is “”, and the admin contact email is “”, the new authorization code would be: “NBGj67kGiPRRnGrP,,”. To be clear, every time there is a change in the registrant or admin contact, the authorization code would need to be updated appropriately. The first part of the new authorization code should continue to be renewed or updated as per current registrar procedures.

I’ll give credit to ICANN for thinking outside the box here. And if this idea had been floated many months ago, it might work. But it introduces technical issues (and a GDPR question about providing this data to the gaining registrar). These can’t be addressed before May 25, the TechOps subcommittee told ICANN.

So where does this leave us?

With our without ICANN’s blessing, we know that some gaining registrars will no longer send the currently required verification email (Form of Authorization) to the existing registrant and will just assume it’s a valid request.

This means you need to be extra vigilant about protecting both your email account and registrar account. I suppose that the most likely way someone would get your authorization codes is to hack your email or registrar account. And if they get access to either of those, they can hijack the approval process by changing the email address on record.

But Lord help us if a thief hacks a registrar’s database and can access the auth codes.

* Domain registrars can still access the email address in some instances, such as a thick Whois registry that provides the info via EPP call. However, this isn’t always the case, and won’t apply to .com and .net domains.

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Related posts:
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  3. Consensus be damned: here’s how transfers will work at Tucows after GDPR
Categories: News and Updates

.NYC travel and tourism domain name auction ends Thursday

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2018-05-09 13:26, and more are up for grabs.

The .NYC domain registry is holding an auction of travel and tourism related domain names at Sedo that ends on Thursday. Bidding is restricted to people who live or own a business in New York City.

Already, you might view the auction as a success. The Broadway League Inc., which owns, bought before the auction started for $25,000. The domain name was supposed to be in the auction.

With one day to go, bidding in the auction is fairly light with just 9 of the 24 domains receiving bids, and these with just one each. The top bid is only $510.

However, this is typical of these types of auctions. They tend to attract bids in the final hours. Domains like, and should end up selling for much more.

.NYC has held three auctions previously. A real estate auction pulled in over $70,000 in sales led by for $21,300. A fashion auction had $90,000 in bids, although the top sale for $37,000 never closed. A tech-themed auction had $29,000 in sales.

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Categories: News and Updates

Over 100,000 .App domains already registered

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2018-05-09 01:19

Google’s .App domain name pops in first day of general availability.

Over 100,000 .app domain names have been registered after less than a day in general availability.

Google Tech Lead Ben McIlwain disclosed the number during a talk at Google I/O this afternoon.

30,000 domain names, ostensibly pre-registrations, were registered within the first three minutes of general availability.

17,000 domain names were registered during the early access period over the past week.

These are stunning numbers for a new top level domain name and could give all new top level domain names some much-needed exposure.

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Categories: News and Updates

Internet Commerce Association Names Zak Muscovitch Their New General Counsel

DN Journal - Tue, 2018-05-08 21:39
For 6 months the ICA has been looking for someone to replace long-time General Counsel Phil Corwin and it turns out the right guy was already doing the job.
Categories: News and Updates

Moving to IPv6 Is Becoming a Matter of Business Continuity, Says NASA Transition Manager

Domain industry news - Tue, 2018-05-08 19:21

US government agencies are accelerating the transition to IPv6 and ensuring their public websites are accessible via IPv6. "Agencies are also buying IPv6-compliant devices as older ones reach the end of their lifecycle," reports Alan Joch in FedTech. "For a long time, people have said, 'Why be bothered? We have plenty of IPv4 address space,'" says Kevin Jones, IPv6 transition manager at NASA and chairperson of the Federal IPv6 Task Force. "But now, moving to IPv6 is becoming a matter of business continuity. We don't have the luxury of kicking the can down the road anymore." Joch adds that NASA runs a dual-stack IPv4 and IPv6 network environment in parallel, but their goal is to eventually move to IPv6-only.

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More under: IP Addressing, IPv6, Networks

Categories: News and Updates

Canada's .CA Hits All-Time High Domain Registrations

Domain industry news - Tue, 2018-05-08 18:46

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) — the non-profit organization that manages the .CA domain — has announced results of its recently completed fiscal year reporting nearly 538,000 new .CA domains registered across Canada. This is an all-time high for .CA domains as stated by CIRA.

Additional highlights from CIRA:

— .CA domain registrations hit 537,941 in FY18 (April 2017 to March 2018); the previous high was 511,900 in FY12.

— .CA domain registrations grew 5.3 per cent in FY18, compared to the overall domain name market in Canada which grew at 1.35 per cent as a whole.

— .CA is one of the fastest growing country code top-level domains (ccTLD)

— CIRA has 2,736,980 .CA domains under management.

— CIRA manages the .CA domain on behalf of Canada and enforces a strict Canadian Presence Requirement that ensures only residents, businesses, or organizations in Canada can register a .CA domain. As part of its mandate to build a better online Canada, CIRA provides over one million dollars in grants every year to digital projects across Canada as part of its Community Investment Program.

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More under: Domain Names

Categories: News and Updates

GoDaddy adding more expired domain registrars, increasing European aftermarket presence

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2018-05-08 18:15

GoDaddy’s aftermarket business continues to grow.

Get ready for more expired domain name inventory at GoDaddy.

The company is adding inventory from a couple of new registrars this summer, GoDaddy VP Paul Nicks told DNW yesterday.

While he didn’t name the registrars, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Namecheap join this summer. Namecheap is certainly the big prize out their right now. The company is not happy with Tucows and sued it over Namecheap’s transfer of domains away from the Tucows platform. Tucows owns half of NameJet, so I can’t imagine Namecheap wanting to send its inventory to that platform.

(As an aside, is it just me or are the types of names that sold for $100 on GoDaddy’s platform a year ago suddenly selling for $300 or more?)

Nicks also told DNW that the company is adding aftermarket salespeople in Europe. The company now has a large presence in Europe thanks to its Host Europe Group acquisition. With more European registrars now on its aftermarket platforms, it’s seeing more sales inquiries from Europe.

This sales team handles all purchase inquiries from Europe. It also handles after-hours inquiries from elsewhere. For example, if someone makes an inquiry on your domain at 3 am EST, the European sales reps that are already in the office will make the phone call.

To be sure, the sales team is still fairly small. It started with two people covering five languages and is adding two more people to the team. It’s still behind Sedo in terms of non-US team size and languages covered, but domainers should cheer any improvements to sales coverage around the world.

© 2018. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) Latest domain news at Domain Name Wire.

Related posts:
  1. GoDaddy is buying NamesCon
  2. GoDaddy (GDDY) reports earnings, domain revenue of $263.3 million
  3. GoDaddy gets extensive aftermarket domain transfer patent
Categories: News and Updates

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