News and Updates

GoDaddy gets two more patents

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2020-05-19 20:06

Patents cover domain availability lookups and DNS templates.

GoDaddy has added two new patents to its collection. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted two patents to the company today.

Patent #10,659,424 (pdf)Determining status of domain name registration. The idea behind this patent is to determine if a domain name is available for registration by using the least amount of computing/connection resources as possible.

Inventors: Christopher Ambler, Moninder Jheeta, Charles Beadnall

Patent #10659423 (pdf)System and method for modifying a domain name system template. This patent describes a way to set up DNS templates that can be applied to domain names. Some of these could be pre-set by the registrar, such as a way to connect a domain to a photo-sharing website or other third-party service. Users could also create their own templates that can be applied to multiple domains. (I use one such template to send email to Mailbox Park and web traffic to a Uniregistry lander.)

Inventors: Rich Merdinger, Nitin Gupta, Rahul Mahajan, John Roling, Karen Munoz, Steven Wiesenthal

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Categories: News and Updates

China Will Remember the U.S. Huawei War for a Generation

Domain industry news - Tue, 2020-05-19 19:36

Only an idiot would believe that the U.S. is blocking TSMC manufacture of Huawei cell phone chips because of security fears. This is a commercial rivalry. The U.S. wants to put China's leading technology company out of business.

We will fail, of course, at a price far higher than D.C. understands. The U.S. is ready for China's immediate countermeasures, even if Apple's stock price falls $hundreds of billions. But the long-run price will be devastating.

Giant German companies have been quietly turning away from U.S. components just in case they become the next target of U.S. wrath. When I discovered that last year, I wrote The unbelievably high cost of the war against Huawei.

This escalation means any sensible multinational manufacturer will do what is necessary to avoid becoming a pawn in battles between the U.S. and our perceived enemies. Volkswagen, Mercedes, Toyota, Honda, and BMW sell millions of cars in China. They'd be fools to be dependent on U.S. electronic parts. Their managers are not fools. They will quietly find other suppliers in Europe or Asia.

Huawei spends $20 billion a year on research and development. They can and have replaced almost everything sourced from the U.S. That's why the U.S. is going after Huawei's one external bottleneck, Taiwan's TSMC. TSMC and Samsung are the only plants in the world, capable of producing advanced 5G chips.

Huawei Smartphone Components Supplier Share in Percent / By Value: excluding displays / Source: Fomalhaut Techno Solutions

It will be several years before the Chinese can catch up in chip manufacturing, especially with the U.S. blockading Chinese purchases of chipmaking equipment, including EUV machines from the Netherlands. But they will find a way.

Huawei is a $120 billion company, larger than Cisco, Nokia, and Ericsson combined. It has $35 billion cash in the bank, more than enough to tide it over until it can bypass the U.S. It is a national champion that China will protect by any means necessary.

In a year, Huawei went from almost nothing to a world-class manufacturer of the crucial cellphone radio frequency parts. It is now making optics for some of the most advanced fiber systems.

98% of the parts in Huawei phones can already be sourced outside the U.S. Mediatek, Samsung, and UNISOC can provide an alternate source of 5G phone chips. Huawei has already shifted major orders from TSMC to SMIC in China, which is rapidly expanding.

Harmony/Hong Meng is already a decent substitute for Google's Android. It can't run all the Android apps, which is hurting sales in Europe, but that will be fixed, possibly in months.

Every schoolchild in China learns about the "unequal treaties" imposed by Britain, Germany, and America after the Opium Wars. Most Americans don't know our ignominious history. Everyone in China does.

Written by Dave Burstein, Editor, DSL Prime

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More under: Mobile Internet, Policy & Regulation, Telecom, Wireless

Categories: News and Updates

Is the Lockdown Driving Domain Registrations?

Domain industry news - Tue, 2020-05-19 17:50

Businesses across Europe face a new and challenging situation not seen in generations. A mass lockdown of society due to the coronavirus pandemic with thousands of businesses having been forced to send employees home. The societal impact is broad and deep; however, for ccTLD registries, beyond changes to how staff work, other business effects so far seem minimal. One aspect of registry business may, however, be changing — the volume of registrations themselves. Figures from CENTR show a spike in new registrations in the month of April 2020.

New Domain Creations – Sample: 25 ccTLDs (CENTR full members), Source: CENTR

Based on a sample of 25 ccTLDs, new domains registered in April 2020 is up 20% from the same time a year earlier. The increase has even pushed up median domain growth rates of the CENTR30 (30 largest CENTR member ccTLDs) — something seldom seen over the past decade.

Often domain registrations are linked to events by investors hoping to make a profit selling those domains on the secondary market or sometimes by those with criminal motivation such as to create fake webshops selling products that will not be delivered. It is important to consider this before explaining other theories to the boost in new registrations.

A study conducted by CENTR in April 2020 studied newly registered domains of 12 ccTLDs between January and March 2020. The ccTLDs reported a total of combined 6154 domains which contained the term covid, corona and/or virus. To put this into perspective, the same set of ccTLDs recorded a total over 751K newly registered domains in the same 3-month period. The covid related domains, therefore, represent just 0.8%. A web crawler scanned the impacted domains finding roughly 26% had some sort of active website. The study shows a couple of things — firstly, that the appetite for covid themed domains appears small in ccTLDs and secondly that it does not likely explain the overall boost in new domains.

A more plausible theory to the boost in new domains links to the changing business and employment landscape. As lockdown has considerably reduced in-person customers to high street shops and cast millions of workers into precarious employment status, businesses and individuals have had to adapt. In order to cushion the impacts from falling revenues, traditional high street "bricks and mortar," businesses have had to explore new and alternative ways of doing business. If a business did not have an online presence before, the pandemic has given a compelling reason to do so now. From fitness studios conducting classes online, theatres live-streaming shows, and countless others rapidly upgrading their sites to include payment gateways for orders, an online presence is more important than ever.

Take, for example, 'The filling station Eco store' — a small locally operated business in Galway, Ireland. The business offers "minimal waste dried groceries and eco-friendly household alternatives" and has been in operation since mid-2019. Although the owner did not previously consider a website to be a priority, it has now become a necessity for survival. A domain has since been registered in March, a website built, and the business is now taking online orders.

It is not just existing businesses upgrading their web presence. New business ventures are popping up that are capitalising on the new market demands created by the pandemic. For example, this London business selling face masks.

Will the spike in new registrations continue?

One of the key drivers of the continued selloff among stock markets around the world was based on a warning from a World Health Organization official who said the coronavirus might be a permanent fixture. It is becoming clear that the new business environment may become the new normal, which includes a deglobalisation of society.

Deglobalisation will move society and business to become more oriented to the local community, and limitations on physical distance will push them online more than ever. While domain names are just a small part of the online ecosystem, their role may become increasingly important. To illustrate the potential, consider that in many countries, SMEs account for well over 95% of the overall business population. Furthermore, the increase in local flavour may be an opportunity for ccTLD registries to reinforce their role as a locally focused and operated domain.

Whatever happens, the shift in the way business works is already happening. The opportunities to businesses may be substantial, and domain names represent tried and tested avenue to the online world.

Written by Patrick Myles, Data Analyst at CENTR

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More under: Coronavirus, Domain Names, Web

Categories: News and Updates

Verisign patent suggests a new model for expired domains

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2020-05-19 16:44

Patent contemplates selling pools of access to each registrar.

Someone looking in from the outside would consider the current model for drop catching expired domain names to be inefficient.

Each registrar has a connection to the registry, which it uses to try to snap up domains the moment they expire. Drop catching services increase their connections to the registrar by getting more registrar accreditations. This is an expensive process: each registrar has to be accredited by ICANN and sign a registrar agreement with Verisign.

In the case of DropCatch.com, the company has registered over 1,000 limited liability companies, gotten each one accredited through ICANN, and then signed agreements with Verisign.

Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN) has another idea: why not just let each registrar buy more pools of access to process transactions?

It’s sure to be a controversial idea given the company’s tenuous relationship with domain name registrars. But it could actually be a win-win for drop catchers and Verisign.

Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted patent number 10,659,426 (pdf) to Verisign for System and method for domain name system using a pool management service. The patent describes a system of offering additional pools of access to registrars. These could be an alternative way to get more firepower for drop catching.

It’s an interesting concept. Verisign has filed other patents related to expired domains, including selling backorders.

 

 

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Categories: News and Updates

This domain dispute might be better in the courts

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2020-05-19 15:03

The Complainant has a right to be upset but will have difficulty showing trademark rights.

This website tries to pass itself off as associated with an urgent care facility in Leominster, LA. It inserts a campaign to collect health insurance leads.

UMass Memorial HealthAlliance has lost a UDRP for UrgentCareLeominster .com at World Intellectual Property Organization.

The hospital chain has a right to be upset about how the current owner of the domain is using it. The domain owner has created a copy of a former website used by the Complainant (seemingly on the same domain), only inserting a lead gen campaign for health insurance. It includes a picture of the Complainant’s facility and even its UMass Memorial HealthAlliance Hospital logo (with a typo).

The healthcare company lost the dispute because it didn’t show that it has common law trademarks in Urgent Care Leominster. Leominster is a city in Louisiana. I suspect the panelist, who invited the Complainant to refile with more information about the common law mark, would have accepted even nominal evidence.

Still, it seems like it would be a challenge to show common law rights in a very descriptive term. Should companies be able to have trademark rights in “Urgent Care (city name)”? That’s kind of like having trademark rights in “(city name) Hospital”.

I suspect the Complainant chose UDRP for this dispute because it is fast and affordable. It might want to file a lawsuit instead. It clearly has a case against a domain owner who is up to no good, even if it doesn’t exactly fit under UDRP.

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Categories: News and Updates

Wine spat: Brewery and vineyard tries reverse hijacking SpringGate.com

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2020-05-18 16:16

Pennslyvania brewery files bad case with WIPO.

A Pennslyvania brewery and winery has been found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking in a dispute over SpringGate.com.

Schoffstall Farm, LLC, which does business as Spring Gate Vineyard, Winery and Brewery, attempted to get the domain name in a cybersquatting dispute at the World Intellectual Property Organization.

The company has traded as Spring Gate since 2014. But the domain’s owner, Ashantiplc Limited, registered the domain name in 2006. Therefore, it could not have registered the domain name in bad faith to target the non-existent brand.

Before filing the UDRP, the Complainant sent a demand letter to Ashanti. Domain attorney John Berryhill responded to the demand letter and noted that his client registered the domain before Schoffstall Farm had any trademark rights in the term. He also requested that the Schoffstall Farm include his response in any UDRP filing.

But the Complainant didn’t include this response. Instead, it argued in the UDRP that the domain was acquired in 2018. While it’s not clear why it chose this date, this is when the registrar Fabulous (where the domain is registered) changed its accredited name to Sea Wasp.

The Complainant also argued “retroactive bad faith”.

In finding reverse domain name hijacking, the panel wrote:

The Complainant is professionally represented in this matter and, in the opinion of the Panel, knew or ought to have known that it had no reasonable chance of prevailing in this proceeding for the reasons set out above. The Complainant produced no material evidence that the Respondent acquired the disputed domain name in 2018 and gave no reasonable explanation for its assertion to that effect. The Panel is particularly perturbed by the Complainant’s failure to exhibit the Respondent’s email dated November 28, 2019, stating that it had acquired the disputed domain name in 2006, having exhibited its own letter of the previous date and having been expressly requested by the Respondent to include its reply. The Panel is also of the view that the Complainant’s purported reliance on the Octogen line of cases implies its clear awareness that its case was fundamentally flawed.

Tucker Arensberg, P.C. represented the Complainant in the reverse domain name hijacking. John Berryhill represented the Respondent.

 

Post link: Wine spat: Brewery and vineyard tries reverse hijacking SpringGate.com

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Categories: News and Updates

Adrian Kinderis – DNW Podcast #286

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2020-05-18 15:30

From running a registrar to .au to .film.

My guest this week is Adrian Kinderis. Adrian has been in the domain business for a couple of decades and started by founding a domain registrar. This snowballed into operating the .au domain. On today’s show, Adrian recounts his history in the business and discusses his new top level domain .film. He is candid about the struggles of getting studios to adopt the domain, but also explains how it’s a good business. There are some valuable takeaways as ICANN inches toward its next round of top level domain expansion.

Also: Website demand soars, ICANN’s tax return, NameJet warning, Future loves new domains

Sponsor: DAN.com

Subscribe via Apple Podcasts to listen to the Domain Name Wire podcast on your iPhone or iPad, or click play above or download to begin listening. (Listen to previous podcasts here.)

Post link: Adrian Kinderis – DNW Podcast #286

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Categories: News and Updates

DomainAgents: Domain inquiries up 20%

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2020-05-18 13:26

There has been a surge in domain purchase inquiries as people move business online.

Domain name offer service DomainAgents reports that domain purchase inquiries are up significantly.

Over the past two months, offers on domains through DomainAgents are up 20% compared to the same time last year.

The surge in demand comes as companies shift their business online due to the pandemic.

DomainAgents cautions that it’s too early to tell if this trend will continue:

…budgets will certainly continue to face pressure as people and businesses continue to adapt.  How domain name values move over the next year is difficult to predict, but right now the market seems strong.

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Categories: News and Updates

After Making Millions for Others Veteran Domain Broker Arif Sengoren Opens His Own Shop

DN Journal - Sat, 2020-05-16 13:10
The secret is out! After a decade brokering for Nokta, then Uniregistry, Arif Sengoren has gone out on his own with the launch of SecretBrokerage.com.
Categories: News and Updates

Doxing crosses the free speech line in UDRP case

Domain Name Wire - Fri, 2020-05-15 18:22

Panelist rules that domain used for gripe site isn’t protected speech.

UDRP panelists walk a fine line when considering cases involving gripe sites. Is it cybersquatting to register a domain related to a company if the goal is to complain about the company, or is it just exercising free speech?

Panelists tend to give deference to freedom of speech considerations when both parties are in the United States. But a recent case at the World Intellectual Property Organization involving a car dealer shows that the line can be crossed.

The case for TedBritt .net involved a car dealer in Virginia and a man in Maine who claimed that the dealership had been cheating customers.

Panelist W. Scott Blackmer noted that, while the Respondent was free to complain about the car dealer using a website, his approach violated the UDRP.

His decision notes that the Respondent appears to have copied much of the Complainant’s website:

The entire point seems to be to mislead Internet users so they will visit the website and then remain long enough to be exposed to the disparaging content.

Blackmer also pointed out that the Respondent published personal information about the Complainant’s family members and encouraged people to “e-mail them, call them, Face Book them, or visit them at their homes.” He cited doxing as evidence of bad faith:

…the Respondent employed similar tactics here in researching and revealing personal information on the website associated with the Domain Name, including personal information about family members, apparently because of dissatisfaction about a business transaction. This is a dangerous and indefensible practice; in some instances it can be actionable (as was evidently the case in Symetra Life Insurance v. Emerson, supra) or result in criminal prosecution (see, e.g., Wikipedia, “Doxing”). Doxing can be added to the illustrations of bad faith.

Hyland Law PLLC represented the Complainant.

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Categories: News and Updates

A Cautionary Tale of Reputation Damage: Striking the Right Balance With Brand Protection

Domain industry news - Fri, 2020-05-15 03:18

Co-authored by Dr. David Barnett, Brand Monitoring Subject-Matter Expert; Lan Huang, CSC Domain and Brand Abuse Enforcement Expert and Alexandra Midgley, CSC Social Media Enforcement Subject-Matter Expert.

In early March 2020, a well-known European fashion brand found themselves on the receiving end of a protest campaign on social media. The background to the case was the fact that, in 2019, the brand had launched a cease and desist (C&D) action against a small, U.K.-based company in response to their use of similar product names and sale of associated clothing merchandise. This resulted in significant legal and rebranding costs for the company and is just one of several cases where the brand had targeted other small organizations.

Many observers have viewed these actions as heavy-handed, and the subsequent online commentary has generated a significant amount of negative press for the brand. The case "shine(s) a light on the potential negative PR implications when undertaking a brand enforcement program," an intellectual property expert commented. "Even where a brand is legitimately enforced, brand owners must be alive to where issues may arise in relation to smaller businesses or individual use."

This is not the only organization to take an (over) enthusiastic approach to their brand protection efforts. In 2015, the Millennium and Copthorne Hotels group sent a notice to the Village Association for Copthorne — a small village in the U.K., and the company's founding location — protesting against their infringing use of the Copthorne name in the association's web address. The hotel group eventually backed down, stating the letter was sent in error.

In another case, Scottish brewery BrewDog issued a C&D against the owners of a pub planning to name it the "Lone Wolf" — one of BrewDog"s product names. BrewDog also eventually withdrew the action, following a campaign accusing the company of behaving like a "multinational corporate machine." A branding commentator at the time indicated that the backtracking by BrewDog could ultimately work in their favor, stating, "We've now got a business owner calling off his lawyers and favoring the underdog. That feels right for a challenger brand. Perhaps there's still a win available for them."

So how should brand owners address the issue of protecting their IP? Here are our top tips for getting it right.

Register your brand terms

As a minimum, CSC suggests that brands register all active brand terms in all relevant classes (i.e., product areas) and geographic jurisdictions. If a brand is able to achieve well-known trademark status, this can also open up further avenues for enforcement, making it possible to defend IP rights even in product classes where trademarks have not yet been registered.

Have a clear set of goals for your IP protection program

Just because you can launch an action in a particular case doesn't mean you should. In cases involving, for example, small companies operating in unrelated areas, with minimal risk of confusion, it may be advisable not to enforce. As with the case reported here, the risk is that an enforcement action can cause a large corporation to gain a reputation as a brand bully, and it's important to consider the risks of exacerbating an already inflamed situation. A brand owner should always be clear on the goals of their IP protection program, and be willing to answer the question — in cases where an action results in backlash — was it worth it?

Look at potential infringements case-by-case

At CSC, we advise against sending automated C&D notices; every case is different, and it's important to consider whether a notice is necessary and, if so, what the appropriate style of wording is. C&D language can be overly severe and may not be concise, leaving room for dispute. In cases where notices should not have been sent, there's the risk of counter-claims for groundless threat — in these instances, the brand owner could then be liable for any damage and costs arising from the claim.

Before taking any action on a potential infringement, it's advisable to assess the case against the following questions:

  1. Is there prominent and unauthorized use of the trademark?
  2. Is there a likelihood of confusion, i.e., is the disputed use likely to mislead a general consumer into believing that the products and services are offered by the brand owner who owns the trademark?
  3. Does the use of the trademarked name constitute bad faith or piggybacking on the brand owner's established brands and goodwill (i.e., unfair use for commercial gain)?
  4. Does the use of the trademark cause harm or damage to the brand?

If the answer is "yes" to these four questions, it may be appropriate for a brand owner to take action.

Personalize your C&Ds

If a potential infringement is identified, but bad faith cannot be definitively established, it may be best to contact the concerned parties using a personalized C&D. This should include:

  • Education on the importance of the intellectual property
  • Why and how there is a conflict of interest, and how they have infringed, specifically which aspects of the brand use are most concerning
  • How this can be mitigated without invoking costly legal battles

It's often the case that legitimate businesses are more likely to comply with infringement notifications, whereas those clearly using a trademark in bad faith are less likely to cooperate.

The general principle should be to treat the most serious cases more aggressively, escalating to using the legal route if necessary. Only consider legal action when the infringer refuses to comply without sufficient reason, or if there is a clear case of malicious intent to monetize the trademark. Less egregious offenders can be sent a softer C&D, incorporating educational information. A C&D done well can even positively boost a brand owner's image and public relations.

  1. This article originally published on Digital Brand Insider.

Written by David Barnett, Brand Monitoring Subject-Matter Expert at CSC

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More under: Domain Management, Domain Names, Brand Protection

Categories: News and Updates

Website Boom: Wix quantifies massive demand for websites due to Covid

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2020-05-14 18:38

People are creating websites in droves.

Website building platform Wix (Nasdaq: WIX) reported first quarter earnings today. It had a solid first quarter, but things got really interesting in April. As domain name companies can attest, there has been a boon in people registering domains and creating websites due to the Covid pandemic.

In April 2020 compared to April 2019:

  • 63% more people signed up for a Wix account
  • Net paying subscribers added during the month jumped 207% compared to the April 2019 growth rate
  • Collections (cash receipts) soared 76%
  • Online store subscriptions grew 580% compared to the year-ago growth
  • Online store transactions grew 110%

Earlier this year, Wix said it was too early to determine the impact Covid would have on its business. Now it has lifted its guidance going forward, citing the change in consumer behavior “creating a vast tailwind for our business.”

For Q1, both revenue and collections were up 24% compared to the same quarter of 2019. Wix’s base of paying customers increased by 162,000 to 4.7 million during the quarter and 6.9 million people registered for accounts.

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Categories: News and Updates

A cool feature of ExpiredDomains.net

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2020-05-14 15:52

Kassey Lee explains a neat feature of ExpiredDomains.net for finding domain deals.

I collect China-related domains. Recently I discovered a function provided by ExpiredDomains.net that is very useful if you have a shopping list of domains.

During my daily research, I often come across domains I want to buy if their prices are low. These domains are marked in my database so that I can easily produce my shopping list of domains. However, checking the domains for their availability or price one by one is time-consuming.

The bulk domain search function of ExpiredDomains.net is my time-saving tool, and it is very easy to use.

I produce a list of domains from my database, and then just paste them into the bulk search box of ExpiredDomains.net. For example, checking the 398 domains on my shopping list today gave the following result.

* GoDaddy Buy Now Domains (About 3 Domains)
* GoDaddy Make Offer Domains (About 3 Domains)
* GoDaddy TDNAM (About 6 Domains)
* Uniregistry Offer and Buy Now Domains (About 3 Domains)
* Uniregistry Make Offer Domains (About 16 Domains)
* Sedo Bargain Domains (About 1 Domains)
* Sedo Make Offer .com Domains (About 16 Domains)
* Epik Marketplace Domains (About 2 Domains)
Domains: 398, Listed: 123, Not Listed: 275

Now, I can open the links and find out if I can purchase any of my desired domains. If any domain has expired, the result will show it too. This enables you to prepare and bid at the auction or catch the domain when it drops.

Thanks to this great function, I was able to acquire a domain for low 3 figures and made an offer on another domain recently.

Post link: A cool feature of ExpiredDomains.net

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Categories: News and Updates

.Cloud releases lots of reserved inventory, drops premium renewals

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2020-05-14 13:32

No more premium renewals as more names go through the channel.

.Cloud has released/repriced over 100,000 names that are searchable at a new site.

I normally don’t write about individual top level domain names releasing or repricing their premium inventory. But I’ve sold two .cloud domains for about $1,000 each, so there’s actually some movement in the secondary market for these domains.

With this in mind, it might be worth reviewing .cloud’s new premium website.

.Cloud has released and/or repriced over 100,000 .cloud domains and made them available through the channel. Most of these domains were previously reserved and not available at registrars.

Additionally, .cloud has removed premium renewals. All domains now renew at standard prices, making it more feasible to invest in premium .cloud names.

The lowest tier starts at about $200 retail.

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Categories: News and Updates

Sedo's Dave Evanson Strikes 6-Figure Gold Again & ccTLDs See Their 2nd Biggest Sale of the Year

DN Journal - Thu, 2020-05-14 03:28
A new sales report is out at DNJournal and for the 2nd time in a row, Sedo's Dave Evanson posted the chart topper! We also saw the year's 2nd highest ccTLD sale.
Categories: News and Updates

The Upload Crisis

Domain industry news - Wed, 2020-05-13 20:05

Carriers continue to report on the impact of COVID-19 on their networks. One of the more interesting statistics that caught my eye was when Comcast reported that upload traffic on their network was up 33% since March 1. Comcast joins the rest of big ISPs in saying that their networks are handling the increased traffic volumes.

By 'handling' the volumes, they mean that their networks are not crashing and shutting down. But I think there is a whole lot more to these headlines than what they are telling the public.

I want to start with an anecdote. I was talking to a client who is working at home, along with her husband and two teenagers. The two adults are trying to work from home, and the two kids are supposed to be online, keeping up with schoolwork. Each of them needs to create a VPN to connect to their office or school servers. They are also each supposed to be connecting to Zoom or other online services for various meetings, webinars, or classes.

These functions all rely on using the upload path to the Internet. The family found out early in the crisis that their broadband connection did not provide enough upload speed to create more than one VPN at a time or to join more than one video call. This has made their time working at home into a major hassle because they are being forced to schedule and take turns using the upload link. This is not working well for any of them since the family has to prioritize the most important connections while other family members miss out on expected calls or classes.

The family's upload connection is a choke point in the network and is seriously limiting their ability to function during the stay-at-home crisis. But the story goes beyond that. We all recall times in the past when home Internet bogged down in the evenings when everybody in the neighborhood was using broadband to watch videos or play games. Such slowdowns occurred when the download data path into the neighborhood didn't deliver enough bandwidth to satisfy everybody's request for broadband. When that download path hit maximum usage, everybody in the neighborhood got a degraded broadband connection. When the download path got overloaded, the network responded by giving everybody a little less bandwidth than they were requesting — and that resulted in pixelating video or websites that lose a connection.

The same thing is now happening with the upload links, but the upload path is a lot more susceptible to overload. For technologies like coaxial cable networks or telephone DSL the upload path leaving the neighborhood is a lot smaller than the download path into the area. As an example, the upload link on a coaxial network is set to be no more than 10% of the total bandwidth allowed for the neighborhood. It takes a lot more usage to overload the download path into the neighborhood since that path is so much larger. On the upload path, the homes are now competing for a much smaller data path.

Consider the difference in the way that homes use the download path compared to the new way we're all using uploading. On the download side, networks get busy mostly due to streaming video. Services like Netflix stay ahead of demand by downloading content that will be viewed five minutes into the future. By doing so, the neighborhood download network can have cumulative delays of as much as five minutes before the video streams collapse and stop working. The very nature of streaming creates a buffer against failure — sort of a network insurance policy.

Homes are not using the upload links in the same way. Connecting to a school server, a work server, or a video chat service creates a virtual private network (VPN) connection. A VPN connection grabs and dedicates some minimum amount of bandwidth to the user even during times when the person might not be uploading anything. A VPN carves out a small dedicated path through the upload broadband connection provided by the ISP. There is no buffer like there is with downloading of streaming video — when the upload path gets full, there's no room for anybody else to connect.

The nearest analogy to this situation harkens back to traditional landline telephone service. We all remember times, like after 911, when you couldn't make a phone call because all of the circuits were busy. That's what's happening with the increased use of VPNs. Once the upload path from the neighborhood is full of VPNs, nobody else is going to be able to grab a VPN connection until somebody 'hangs up.'

Residential customers have historically valued download speeds over upload speeds and ISPs have configured their networks accordingly. Many technologies allow an ISP to balance the upload and download traffic, and ISPs can help upload congestion by providing a little more bandwidth on the upload stream. Unfortunately for cable companies, the current DOCSIS standards don't allow them to provide more than 10% of bandwidth on the upload side — so their ability to balance is limited.

As I keep hearing these stories from real users, I am growing less and less impressed by the big ISPs saying that everything is well and that their networks are handling the increased load. I think there are millions of households struggling due to inadequate upload speeds. It's true, as the big ISPs are reporting, that the networks are not crashing — but the networks are not providing the connections people want to make. No big ISP is going to admit this to their stockholders — but I bet a lot of those stockholders already understand this first-hand from having troubles trying to work from home.

Written by Doug Dawson, President at CCG Consulting

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More under: Access Providers, Broadband, Coronavirus

Categories: News and Updates

Nordic healthcare company files dead-on-arrival cybersquatting claim

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2020-05-13 17:29

Company goes after domain registered nine years before it started using its brand name.

Timik Group, a healthcare company in Sweden and Norway, has lost a cybersquatting claim it filed against the domain Timik.com.

The case was dead one arrival: Timik began using the name in 2017 but the registrant of the domain has owned it since 2008. Thus, it was impossible to show that the Respondent registered the domain name to target the Complainant’s non-existent trademark.

The domain owner, who lives in South Korea, asked for the case to be decided in Korean. Panelist Andrew J. Park is proficient in both English (what the case was filed in) and Korean. So he decided he’d accept the complaint in English and the response in Korean. I’m not sure how that helps the domain registrant who probably wouldn’t understand the complaint, nor the Complainant who would have to consider making a supplemental filing in response to a Korean-language response.

In the end, the domain owner didn’t respond to the Complainant’s contentions.

Still, Park noted that the domain wasn’t registered in bad faith.

He didn’t consider if this was a case of reverse domain name hijacking. It appears to be a classic “Plan B” reverse domain name hijacking. Timik Group offered to buy the domain for $4,000. When the owner asked for $85,000, it filed the UDRP.

Post link: Nordic healthcare company files dead-on-arrival cybersquatting claim

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Categories: News and Updates

End user domain sales including a three letter .com

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2020-05-13 17:00

A new online events platform, a touch display manufacturer, and a surgical mask seller bought domain names.

Sedo’s top public sale for the past week was a three-letter domain bought by an end user through SedoMLS.

Here’s a look at some of the domains end users bought at Sedo this past week. You can review previous end user sales lists here.

TXO.com $27,500 – Even with the X, I think this was a great buy for TXO Systems LTD, a new and used telecom network asset management company. It currently uses TXO-Systems.com for its website. This sale was through SedoMLS.

DP.co.uk £10,250 -Dedicated Programmes, a UK-based IT services provider.

EmailAcademy.com $10,000 – MillionVerifier, an email services company that provides email verification and deliverability support.

MeinungsFreiheit.de €9,520 – Dr. Axel Pajunk bought this domain, which means “freedom of speech” in German, for a new website allowing people to express opinions. He appears to be a lawyer.

Zevio.com $7,990 – Zevio appears to be a new online events platform.

TTMJ.com $7,000 – This 4-letter .com was bought by Hangzhou Midaizi Network Co., Ltd. an Information Technology Services company located in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.

CleverTechnologies.com $6,495 – CleverTouch produces interactive displays and software.

Bleux.com $4,900 – The domain is used for as Shopify store called BluexBox that sells surgical face masks.

LendExpress.com $4,158 – This morning the domain forwarded to a WP Engine domain for personal loans. Moments later I got a 404. I suspect this is in development.

AMI.eu €3,250 – Forwards to AMInterior.be, a Dutch office furniture company that also specializes in office renovations.

DentalImplants.co $3,000 – This domain was bought by Freeline Creative Ltd., a digital creative agency in the UK who presumably purchased this domain for a client.

Terrains.com $2,060 – Terrains will be a digital platform for remote work for distributed teams. Nice price for the buyer.

Industec.com $2,200 – Khoza Technology in California. It will be interesting to see if it’s for a client or the company’s own use.

 

Post link: End user domain sales including a three letter .com

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Categories: News and Updates

ICANN posts its latest tax return. Let the gawking begin!

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2020-05-13 15:56

ICANN’s latest tax return discloses that it paid 197 employees and contractors at least $100,000.

ICANN has posted its latest tax return (pdf), which covers the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. It’s that time of year when you get to see how much your favorite ICANN staffers get paid.

The compensation data is for the calendar year 2018, so it’s a bit dated.

The highest-paid employee was CEO Goran Marby, whose total comp was $865,570. This includes retirement benefits and nontaxable benefits. (You can see the breakdown of actual cash compensation for employees starting on page 53 of the return).

Former President of GDD Akram Atallah had total comp of $686,263 through November of 2018 when he left to join Donuts.

General Counsel John Jeffrey was next highest at $648,985.

I count 15 people with $400,000 or more of total comp and benefits and 8 with $500,000 or more.

The non-profit paid 197 contractors and employees at least $100,000 during 2018.

ICANN paid the law firm Jones Day was $7.6 million. That’s up from $5.4 million the prior year.

Post link: ICANN posts its latest tax return. Let the gawking begin!

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Categories: News and Updates

Warning: check domains you won at NameJet

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2020-05-13 13:31

They might not resolve.

This week I transferred the domain names I’ve won at NameJet from Network Solutions to GoDaddy. I unlocked the 11 domains and requested the authorization codes. After receiving the codes, I verified in Whois that the domains were unlocked.

I was surprised to find 5 of the 11 domains in clientHold status.

ICANN’s website explains clientHold:

This status code tells your domain’s registry to not activate your domain in the DNS and as a consequence, it will not resolve. It is an uncommon status that is usually enacted during legal disputes, non-payment, or when your domain is subject to deletion.

It makes sense that domains you acquire at NameJet would have been in clientHold at some point as they worked through the expiry process. But the hold should have been removed when I bought these domains.

Unfortunately, someone or some system dropped the ball. That means that these domains have never resolved to the domain sales pages they were supposed to.

Just as frustrating was the response I got when I contacted Network Solutions chat support. When I re-read the transcript, I see that I got uncharacteristically testy. But there’s nothing more frustrating than telling a support representative what’s wrong with your domains and having them tell you you’re wrong.

01:05:48 PM [Andrew Allemann] Five of the domains in my account are showing clienthold so they aren’t resolving
01:05:52 PM [Jessica R] That is a lock the protects the domains from being stolen or transferred out with out your premission.
01:06:20 PM [Andrew Allemann] Um, I don’t believe that’s what it is. It is a lock that keeps them from resolving, so five of my domains at NetSol aren’t resolving.
01:07:04 PM [Jessica R] I am sorry that is not correct that lock has nothing to do with the Name sever change.

I did as much as I could to convince this person that there was a problem. She tried to tell me it was the nameservers I was pointing the domains to; I showed her that wasn’t the issue. I provided the link to ICANN’s website. I explained that these domains were all unlocked within Network Solutions’ account manager and the clientTransferProhibited was removed.

Finally, the representative said they had to create a ticket for the engineering team and I should hear back within two days. Two days! Can you imagine if your website wasn’t resolving and you were told to hang tight for two days? I won’t pretend that another two days of the sales landers not being there is a big issue, but imagine if you were a small business and experienced this issue.

Be sure to check the domains you buy at NameJet to verify that clientHold is removed.

Post link: Warning: check domains you won at NameJet

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