News and Updates

Vistaprint drops .Vista top level domain

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2018-07-10 19:53

Company wants to terminate its contract with ICANN to run .Vista.

Promotional and custom products maker Vistaprint has informed ICANN (pdf) that it no longer wishes to operate the .vista top level domain name. The domain name was delegated to Vistaprint in June 2015 but the company hasn’t done anything with it.

The company also applied for and was granted .Vistaprint. Likewise, it hasn’t done anything with that top level domain.

A third domain the company applied for, .webs, was held up in a weird contention set with .web. .Webs is still showing a status of “on hold” at ICANN. Webs is the brand name of a do-it-yourself website maker that Vistaprint bought in 2011.

.Vista always seemed like an odd domain for Vistaprint to go after. I assumed it was some sort of defensive play.

Another company, Statoil ASA, recently informed ICANN that it would like to terminate its .statoil top level domain.

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Categories: News and Updates

Doug Madory Reports on Shutting Down the BGP Hijack Factory

Domain industry news - Tue, 2018-07-10 19:24

A lengthy email to the NANOG mailing list last month concerning suspicious routing activities of a company called Bitcanal initiated a concerted effort to kick a bad actor off the Internet. Doug Madory, Director of Internet Analysis at Oracle Dyn, in a post today reports on some of the details behind this effort: "When presented with the most recent evidence of hijacks, transit providers GTT and Cogent, to their credit, immediately disconnected Bitcanal as a customer.  With the loss of international transit, Bitcanal briefly reconnected via Belgian telecom BICS before being disconnected once they were informed of their new customer’s reputation."

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More under: Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, Networks

Categories: News and Updates

China Has Nearly 3 Times the Number of Internet Users as the US, and the Gap Will Only Widen

Domain industry news - Tue, 2018-07-10 18:39

China has 772 million internet users, as compared to the United States currently at 292 million. While the US internet penetration has reached 89%, China is only 55% and growing fast. A new report titled, "China Internet Report 2018” discussed today at the Rise Conference in Hong Kong, attempts to comprehensively break down China’s thriving tech industry, identifying the big players in each field and lay out the four significant emerging trends. The report is the result of a collaboration between Abacus, 500 Startups, and the South China Morning Post. Xinmei Shen reporting in Abacus News has highlighted the top ten takeaways from the China Internet Report including the following:

— "China’s internet giants are doing everything. From streaming video to self-driving cars, the big three (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent) are present in almost every tech sector, either by investing in startups or by building it themselves."

— "Government policy continue to actively shape China’s tech industry. State watchdogs have banned cryptocurrency trading, called out companies for invading user privacy, and even put a stop to quiz apps that ask “inappropriate” questions. Any trend can disappear overnight — if Chinese authorities want it to."

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More under: Broadband, Cloud Computing, Mobile Internet, Web

Categories: News and Updates

An Insider's Guide to the IPv4 Market - Updated

Domain industry news - Tue, 2018-07-10 16:40

This article was co-authored by Marc Lindsey, President and Co-founder of Avenue4 LLC and Janine Goodman, Vice President and Co-founder of Avenue4 LLC.

On September 24, 2015, the free supply of IPv4 numbers in North America dwindled to zero. Despite fears to the contrary, IPv4 network operators have been able to support and extend their IP networks by purchasing the IPv4 address space they need from organizations with excess unused supply through the IPv4 market. The IPv4 market has proved to be an effective means of redistributing previously allocated IPv4 numbers, and could provide enough IPv4 addresses to facilitate the Internet's growth for several more years while the protracted migration to IPv6 is underway. Although the market has matured since we wrote our last "Insider's Guide” in May 2015, some old inefficiencies and impediments persist and new challenges have been exposed.

IPv6 Migration Hasn't Solved the Problem

IPv6 provides up to 3.4 x 10^38 unique IP addresses — easily enough to support the expected growth of the Internet for the foreseeable future. However, incompatibility between IPv4 and IPv6 has hobbled the transition. Despite its generous capacity, not enough network operators and end users are actually moving to IPv6 to justify retiring IPv4 networks. By the end of June 2018, IPv6 traffic represented less than a quarter of the total global Internet traffic, according to Google's IPv6 adoption statistics. Migration to IPv6 is simply not occurring fast enough to accommodate continued Internet expansion.

The CGN Band-Aid

As the world slowly migrates to IPv6, some network operators are leaning heavily on Carrier-grade Network Address Translation (CGNs) to help mitigate their IPv4 address consumption while continuing to extract value out of their existing IPv4 network infrastructure. CGNs allow many endpoints served by a single carrier to share a smaller number of unique IPv4 addresses. But CGNs have considerable drawbacks:

  • Designing, procuring, implementing and operating CGNs give rise to capital and operating expenses invested in short-term solutions.
  • CGNs can frustrate law enforcement seeking to identify bad actors, and impede proper functioning of Internet security and other Web-enabled applications that depend on unique endpoint IP address mapping.
  • Extensive use of CGNs adds additional complexity to the networks that use them, and that complexity can compromise network performance, availability, reliability and scalability.
  • Industry experts believe end-point obfuscation caused by CGNs stunts the development and deployment of important Internet innovations such as IoT.

CGNs are not a viable long-term solution.

Workings of the Private Market

Meanwhile, IPv4 number trading between private parties is very active in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. The IPv4 market has created powerful financial incentives for entities to free up excess inventory and sell it to organizations that still need more IPv4 numbers to operate and grow their networks.

The first widely publicized sale occurred in 2011 soon after the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) exhausted its IPv4 supply. Microsoft purchased Nortel's IPv4 inventory of 666,624 legacy numbers for $7.5 million. Since then, the sale, lease or other conveyance of IP numbers has accelerated. At the end of 2017, ARIN recorded nearly 39 million numbers transferred between private parties. In the first half of 2018, over 24 million numbers were transferred — putting 2018 on track to reach the highest volume of ARIN registration transfers ever.

Despite the IPv4 marketplace's success, it operates inefficiently. There are no established standards of conduct, little transparency, and even less accountability. Many participants in the market struggle to define, from a legal perspective, what is being bought and sold. Contract terms and conditions can vary significantly, often derived from other industries and not always fit for the nuances of IPv4 transactions. There are no accepted means to establish market value. Market trades are handled via ad-hoc bi-lateral negotiations. And total transaction costs (e.g., registry charges, legal fees, escrow account charges, and broker/sales agent commissions) are not always apparent.

Notwithstanding these inefficiencies, buyers and sellers who follow key market-proven tips and practices can trade and transfer numbers successfully.

1. Define Your Preferred Deal Structure Early

Before participating in the marketplace, both buyers and sellers should understand the specific exclusive rights in IPv4 numbers that can be conveyed, identify and assess the trade-offs of the available deal approaches, and select the approach that best fits their business objectives. For both buyers and sellers, flexibility is vital to maximizing the value of their transactions.

One-time asset sales agreements are common. But large deals can also include options, installment payments and phased delivery, and other creative, value-enhancing features such as allowing the buyer to pay a portion of the purchase price in the form of credits that the seller can use to offset purchases of unrelated enterprise services supplied by the buyer.

2. Select the Right Advisors

The burgeoning IPv4 broker industry is an artifact of the new market. There are a slew of brokers now offering services specifically to IPv4 market participants. This pool of participants will keep increasing. There are no meaningful barriers to entry for IPv4 brokers. There also is no self-regulatory or independent body to enforce minimal qualifications, experience or codes of conduct. Many (incorrectly) assume that brokers appearing on the ARIN, RIPE and APNIC facilitator lists have been vetted by the RIRs to meet minimum experience, skill and ethical standards. The RIRs do not perform any such vetting. In fact, they expressly disclaim responsibility for the quality or suitability of their registered facilitators. Consequently, assessing the qualifications and ethics of prospective brokers, and managing the quality of their performance once engaged, is critical to success for market participants.

Buyers or sellers planning to enlist the assistance of a broker, advisor or other form of intermediary should test the broker's experience and understanding of the industry by interviewing multiple brokers and researching the credentials and backgrounds of the firms' professionals. Getting references in this business can be tough; no one wants to go on record.

The brokerage or market services agreement should clearly describe when the intermediary earns its fees and when those fees are payable. The service agreement should also disclose whose interest the broker represents, including whether it receives any form of compensation or fees from other parties in the deal. Setting and documenting expectations up front will help avoid disputes down the line.

3. Perform Due Diligence

Immediately upon initiating trade discussions, the prospective buyer and seller should sign a mutual confidentiality agreement and conduct due diligence.

Buyer due diligence begins when it obtains from the seller or its broker the specific designation of the available IP address range. The buyer should verify that the prospective seller is an active organization in good standing by checking the records of the secretary of state where the company is organized, examining corporate credit ratings and, for publicly traded companies, reviewing recent SEC filings. Buyers should also confirm that (a) the selling entity is, in fact, the current registrant or a legal successor of the listed registrant by investigating the RIR registration records for the IPv4 space being sold, and (b) the individual purporting to represent the seller is authorized to act on the seller's behalf.

A buyer should require its seller to disclose material facts about the block for sale, including whether (i) any of the numbers are currently in use, (ii) any third-parties have made a competing claim to control the block, or (iii) there are any known inaccuracies in the RIR registration records. Buyers also may want to analyze the reputation and prior usage of the numbers in the available block. Thorough due diligence may involve even more comprehensive written questions presented by the buyer to seller.

Seller due diligence is less intensive but still necessary. Eventually, trades become public knowledge when the RIR registration records are updated. Many sellers care about their reputations and prefer to conduct business with organizations that have compatible values. IPv4 transactions are no different.

Sellers should know their buyer's business before proceeding to the contract phase, and should also establish criteria to filter out potential buyers with whom the seller will not conduct business as part of its go-to-market strategy. In addition, the seller's due diligence should examine the potential buyer's ability to fulfill the payment terms of the contract. This financial assessment will determine when it may be prudent to require an up-front deposit or employ an escrow as part of the payment terms. Sellers should also verify the authority of the people claiming to represent potential buyers.

Where registration transfer is a closing condition, examining the seller's prior transfer experience and its ability to successfully register with the relevant RIR the quantity of numbers purchased is important. For buyers in the ARIN or APNIC region, sellers should consider, and weight favorably, offers from buyers that have been pre-qualified by the applicable RIR to receive the block sizes in the deal. Pre-approval will alleviate some uncertainty in the registration transfer approval process.

No transaction is without some risk. The objective of properly conducted due diligence is to identify — before the agreement is signed — transactions that present unreasonable or readily avoidable risks. If due diligence reveals that these risks are within acceptable parameters for both buyer and seller, the parties can then enter into contract negotiations to fairly allocate reasonable risks between them.

4. Focus on the Terms and Conditions that Matter

The uncertainty or misperception about the legal rights attached to IPv4 numbers causes some buyers to define in their asset purchase agreements the rights they believe they will acquire, relying on their experience with traditional tangible property-based asset purchase arrangements or merger and acquisition deals.

Buyers, for example, seek guarantees that they will receive good and clear "title" to the IPv4 numbers. Recognizing that ownership of IP numbers is not settled law, sellers, who may otherwise believe they possess title to their numbers, should resist contractually overcommitting to convey title — at least until the question of ownership is resolved by the courts. On a related point, some buyers demand sellers represent and warrant that they will convey to the buyer unconstrained exclusive use rights. But IP numbers are part of the Internet Protocol, which relies on the operation of interconnected global registries, servers and networks. And any range of IP numbers can be used without constraint on private networks. Sellers' promises to convey exclusive rights in their IPv4 numbers should, therefore, be limited to the right to register in the RIR system, and use for Public Internet routing, the IPv4 numbers being traded.

Some additional key contract terms to focus on include:

  • Clear termination triggers that can only be invoked prior to the closing of the transaction
  • Appropriate limits on liabilities and disclaimers for both parties
  • Descriptions of any responsibilities and liabilities that survive the closing, and if some survive, for how long
  • Representations and warranties tailored for the manageable risks and conditions specific to IPv4 sales and transfers
  • Scope and duration of each party's post-closing obligations
  • Delineation of the duties, liabilities and costs that are assumed by the buyer once the IPv4 addresses are sold versus those that are retained by the seller
  • Terms that secure the transfer and payment (e.g., third-party escrow) for the in-scope address space

Ready to Navigate the Market

The private IPv4 market is evolving. It has been used effectively to redistribute millions of underutilized IPv4 assets, yet buyers and sellers continue to face obstacles. Market participants can achieve their business objectives by employing market-proven tips and best practices. Network operators that lack the resources or insight to navigate the challenges of today's market remain at risk of being competitively disadvantaged.

Written by Marc Lindsey, President and Co-founder at Avenue4 LLC

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More under: IP Addressing, IPv6

Categories: News and Updates

22 end user domain sales up to €75,000

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2018-07-10 16:12

Maker of Jose Cuervo is among the end users that bought domain names at Sedo.

Sedo had a strong week for end user sales a couple of weeks ago, led by the €75,000 sale of a domain name to a company in Germany. Other notable buyers include the major of Jose Cuervo tequila, a company that is part-owned by Bosch, and a gaming company that bought

Let’s get to the list….

(You can view previous lists like this here.) €75,000 – Tasko Products GmbH operates an online shop at $25,000 – 70times1 Limited is a performance marketing company. The domain name does not yet resolve. $13,500 – Alsid is a directory security company. €10,000, €5,000 and €8,000 – EnID European NetID Foundation. $7,500 – Boxt connects consumers to heating system installers. Bosch is an investor. $7,500 – The page currently resolves to a quiz and shows the image of a book about franchising called “Hire Yourself” by Pete Gilfillan. I can’t confirm 100% that this is the buyer, but it looks like it. €5,500 – Jambit GmbH is a German software company. It already owns, but this is a nice shortener. $5,500 – Ms Photo Publishing Ltd is a Hong Kong publisher of photography. $4,750 – The domain forwards to, home of a shoe company called John Foos. $4,569 – Coolback Company. As best I can tell, this company is based in the Netherlands and recently rebranded from the name Optixolar BV. $4,000 – Payment Solutions, Inc., a payments company that uses the matching .net domain name. €3,840 – Casa Cuervo, S.A. de C.V. is the listed registrant. It’s part of a corporate family called Becle, S.A.B. De C.V. It’s better known as the company that makes Jose Cuervo tequila. $3,800 – Gamurs Pty Ltd. is a gaming company that specializes in eSports. $3,000 – Expload is a game developer. $3,000 – Glacier Hills Credit Union must plan to use this for a marketing campaign. I love seeing three-word phrases like this sell. $2,888 – Goya GmbH seems to be a vacation/retreat company. $2,600 – Blockchain Business News Network €2,500 – The website mirrors, which appears to be a print publisher. $2,499 – Verified appears to be some sort of ID verification service. $2,300 – La Rosa Development is a real estate firm in Florida.

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Categories: News and Updates

Application Fees for New gTLDs Could Be Artificially Kept High

Domain industry news - Tue, 2018-07-10 03:59

"It's possible that application fees for new gTLDs could be artificially propped up in order to discourage gaming," reports Kevin Murphy in Domain Incite: "In the newly published draft policy recommendations for the next new gTLD round, ICANN volunteers expressed support for keeping fees high 'to deter speculation, warehousing of TLDs, and mitigating against the use of TLDs for abusive or malicious purposes'. ... I wonder how much of a deterrent to warehousing an artificially high application fee would be; deep-pocketed Google and Amazon appear to have warehoused dozens of TLDs they applied for in the 2012 round."

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More under: ICANN, New TLDs

Categories: News and Updates

Did the Buyer Pay $12 Million? - Best WIPO Panelist Identified - .LLC Enters Landrush

DN Journal - Mon, 2018-07-09 23:20
Several notes today - was the sales price of $12 million? - if a UDRP is filed against you who is the best panelist to have on your case? - Another new gTLD enters landrush.
Categories: News and Updates

Domain King Rick Schwartz – DNW Podcast #193

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2018-07-09 15:30

The Domain King talks domain names on the DNW Podcast.

This week’s guest is one of my most requested guests, “Domain King” Rick Schwartz. We discuss how Rick is investing in domain names today (you might be surprised), how he views the domain sales market in 2018, and why he believes it’s not too late to become a domain name investor.

Also: A very viral video, reverse domain name hijacking and Verisign’s latest patent.

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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Related posts:
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Categories: News and Updates

Every domain investor should read this first-hand account of domain investing

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2018-07-09 14:13

This first-hand account underscores the opportunities and challenges of domain name investing.

I was scrolling through Twitter on my mobile phone on the July 4 holiday when I came across a chart showing a .NYC investor’s domain sales. I didn’t see that it was attached to an article and questioned how much investment it took to get the sales.

This weekend I had time to go back and read the article, and I highly recommend every domain investor to read it. Not just new TLD investors. All domain investors.


First, it’s a rational discussion of a domain investor’s sales. No hatred, no assumptions, and lots of humility.

Second, it provides unprecedented transparency of the investor’s results. Lots of times we see tweets about big sales and high returns on individual domains, but they are outliers. This post gets into the nitty gritty including how much the investor, Matt Gill, has spent amassing his domain portfolio. While making sales is great, we all have carrying costs and replenishment costs to consider.

Third, it’s a good picture of the challenges of domain investing. The comments are pretty good, too, pointing out the cost of your time researching and buying domains. Matt has had to work hard to select and sell his domains.

I’m not going to give away everything that’s in the article because Matt deserves to have you read it yourself.

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Categories: News and Updates

European Data Regulators Throw ICANN Back to the Drawing Board for a Third Time on Whois Privacy

Domain industry news - Sun, 2018-07-08 05:42

In a letter to ICANN, the chair of the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) makes it plain that even the organization's "interim" plan is fundamentally flawed, reports Kieren McCarthy in the Register. "European data regulators have torn up the latest proposal by internet overseer ICANN over its Whois data service, sending the hapless organization back to the drawing board for a third time. ... In what is perhaps the greatest blow to ICANN's credibility, the EDPB undercuts ICANN's legal appeal to a ruling it lost last month in German court, stating clearly that it cannot force people to provide additional "admin" and "technical" contacts for a given domain name — something some were hoping would act as an effective workaround to the privacy law."

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More under: DNS, Domain Names, ICANN, Internet Governance, Policy & Regulation, Privacy, Whois

Categories: News and Updates

Never Say Never! Owner Decides to Sell After All - Multi-Million $ Name Goes to Monaco

DN Journal - Fri, 2018-07-06 21:20
3 months ago the owner of declared the name was not for sale at any price. He must have had a change of heart - the domain has a new owner now.
Categories: News and Updates

Notable NameJet sales from June 2018

Domain Name Wire - Fri, 2018-07-06 15:01

Here are the domain names that sold on NameJet last month.

NameJet reported 101 domain names that it sold for at least $2,000 in June for a total of $472,000.

Here are 7 of note: $23,800 – Why so much? It was a website run by several universities. I imagine it has some nice juicy backlinks. $23,800 – Although this would be a great site for educational material, I suspect it will be used for porn. $7,865 – There are a lot of financial firms called LoanStar that use inferior domains. $4,127 – A very common term, but I’m not sure how I’d use the domain. $3,477 – There are plenty of business coaches out there that would benefit from owning this domain name. $3,201 – Yes, x, is next to s on the keyboard. $2,600 – A growing medical field.

Here’s the complete list of NameJet sales over $2,000 last month.

Domain NameAmount qwe.com31400 netwellness.org23800 sexeducation.com18900 0721.com16100 8437.com16000 dqo.com14500 uzy.com13400 89.tv10000 plenum.com7877 loanstar.com7856 accredit.com6999 doitnow.org6088 t59.com5500 r28.com5500 j71.com5300 98856.com5218 porn.biz5205 harold.net5100 dig.org5000 criminologist.com4999 aerovision.com4977 taiyou.com4833 98836.com4599 18829.com4599 98852.com4599 63558.com4599 18837.com4599 98556.com4599 77289.com4599 77298.com4599 defeated.com4557 bp8.com4211 ticketco.com4179 riskfreetrial.com4127 nudy.com4100 ecruises.com4080 menage.com4001 twww.com4000 heja.com4000 vipconcierge.com3992 customdogtags.com3989 a-k.com3950 universaltime.com3900 worklink.com3900 totalbody.com3855 mattressworld.com3756 vintagewatch.com3710 s81.com3633 londonengland.com3600 bizcoach.com3477 9229.net3412 freedesign.com3412 comedykings.com3300 pca.net3300 inxurance.com3201 bookfree.com3200 aroy.com3200 k222.com3100 paladin-press.com3100 7s.net3010 nashcoin.com3000 bevis.com3000 thermalimaging.com2988 hh44.com2922 greyzone.com2911 80066.com2900 secureproxy.com2802 pornex.com2790 biomatrix.com2788 cleansheet.com2716 28876.com2700 automark.com2655 digitaltrade.com2633 ivtherapy.com2600 ambe.com2585 techdrive.com2570 swkj.net2548 resim.net2499 gpwiki.org2450 summeroflove.com2444 globalideasbank.org2422 constructiontoys.com2402 42022.com2400 bngroup.com2301 ina.net2250 bodyarts.com2212 gotodeals.com2204 fastrecovery.com2200 textit.com2188 armadagroup.com2133 harari.com2130 dibcoin.com2119 domainspot.com2102 54432.com2100 eproductions.com2100 waikikibeach.com2088 fitnow.com2011 sexmall.com2010 93382.com2000 19963.com2000 futureofwebapps.com2000

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Categories: News and Updates

High Ticket Item Attracts Six Figures to Top This Week's Domain Sales Chart

DN Journal - Fri, 2018-07-06 00:38
This has been a .com kind of week. 11 of the top 12 sales on our latest all extension Top 20 Sales Chart are .coms led by a chart-topping $102,000 sale.
Categories: News and Updates social media guy’s Tesla video goes viral with help of Elon Musk

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2018-07-05 19:40

With a little help form Elon Musk and Tesla, Jared Ewy’s video explodes.

If you’ve never met’s Jared Ewy before, hopefully you’ve at least seen some of the funny videos he has created for the company.

He just created his most viral video ever and it has nothing to do with domain names and With a little help of a retweet by Tesla and a like by Elon Musk, Ewy’s video of him surprising his family with a new Tesla Model 3 has been viewed over 650,000 times. The tweet itself has 16,000 likes.

It’s a fun video. And I really hope the car purchase wasn’t a complete surprise to Jared’s wife, ’cause that crosses a line I wouldn’t dare touch.

That one time I surprised my family with a @Tesla Model 3.

— Jared Ewy (@Jaredewy) July 3, 2018

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June’s top DNW stories

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2018-07-05 16:49

Here’s a rundown of the top stories and podcasts on DNW from last month:

1. Timing is everything: why .XXX dwarfs other adult top level domain names – The .XXX namespace and others recently sold by ICM Registry paint a picture of how difficult it is to market a new TLD in a crowded environment.

2. Yes, your domain name registrar has made it impossible for people to contact you – The general internet public is just learning about the Whois ramifications of GDPR.

3. Man gets 20 years in prison for trying to steal a domain name – A man is headed to prison after an unusual physical attempt to steal a domain name.

4. to go private in $2 billion acquisition – The final price could be higher if competing offers come in.

5. Namecheap starts sending expired domains to GoDaddy Auctions – Namecheap is the latest domain name registrar to sign up to sell expired domains through GoDaddy.


All About .Me – I chat with .Me registry CMO Natasa Djukanovic about how the .Me domain name came to be.

Three companies using new TLDs – Three individuals who registered new TLDs for their businesses explain why.

The Amazon FBA business model – Learn about FBA, a unique ecommerce opportunity.

John Pollard: How to grow the usage of domain names – Donuts’ EVP of Registry explains how he believes domain names can find new uses.

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  3. Minds + Machines acquires .XXX top level domain operator ICM Registry
Categories: News and Updates

Verisign patents “Methods and systems for creating new domains”

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2018-07-05 14:31

Verisign patents aspects of its TLD creation and management system.

A diagram from Verisign’s patent for TLD management.

When companies started applying for new top level domain names, most of them reached out to existing registry services providers to handle the backend management of those domains. Companies like CentralNic, Neustar and Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN) were eager to sign contracts with registries.

Managing lots of new top level domain names added to the complexity of existing systems, though. Registries built new management platforms or restructured their existing ones to accommodate the variety or rules these new TLDs came with..

Verisign, the .com registry, just got a patent (pdf) for certain aspects of its TLD management system.

Titled “Methods and systems for creating new domains”, U.S. Patent number 10,015,134 has 21 claims related to its domain management system. Here’s the abstract:

Systems and methods for creating a new domain, such as a top-level domain or a second-level domain, make use of a Domain Manager that enables a user to enter data that is necessary or optional to implement the creation of a new domain. Systems such as, for example, a Registry and one or more Registrars, may use the data defined by the Domain Manager to create a new domain.

Getting the patent has been a long road. It began with 30 claims back in 2011.

CIRA, the .ca domain name registry, has a pending patent for aspects of its TLD management system.

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Miray Software AG nailed for reverse domain name hijacking

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2018-07-04 18:01

German software company Miray Software AG has been found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking over the domain name The company uses the German country code domain name

The owner of the domain name, who is located in the United States, registered the domain name shortly after Miray claims that it went into business in 2000, but before it had any web presence or had filed trademarks. The company essentially admitted that the domain name owner did not register the domain name to target the software company’s nascent business.

Miray Software subsequently tried to buy the domain name but could not come to terms.

On the issue of registration and use in bad faith, the panel noted:

The Panel merely notes that a registrant who has registered a domain name in good faith is entitled to behave as the Respondent has done in this case, namely to publish any or no content at the associated website, to name its price for such domain if approached by an interested party if it is willing to enter into negotiations to sell it, and ultimately to break off communication with a prospective purchaser if suitable terms cannot be agreed.

Panelist Andrew D. S. Lothian heard the case for World Intellectual Property Organization.

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Categories: News and Updates

Cuban "Technological Sovereignty" - a Walled Garden Strategy?

Domain industry news - Tue, 2018-07-03 21:34

ToDus, a messaging application described as a "Cuban WhatsApp" and Apklis, a distribution site for Android mobile apps, were featured at the First Computerization Workshop held recently at the Universidad de Ciencias Informáticas (UCI).

One might ask, why do we need a Cuban WhatsApp and Apklis when we already have WhatsApp itself and the Google Play Store?

ToDus seems to duplicate WhatsApp's features. Users can send messages, photos and other files to individuals or groups of up to 250 members and, like WhatsApp, it is secure — messages are encrypted and stored on users phones, not toDus servers. (ToDus users cannot speak with each other using this version of the program, but that feature will be added). Since toDus is a free app, I believe it could be listed on the Google Play Store as well as on Apklis.

The key difference between toDus and Apkis and WhatsApp and the Play Store is that the former run on Cuba's national intranet, not the global Internet. One could argue that this duplication is done to lower operating costs or improve performance. I don't know how Cuba's international access is priced, but it seems that the marginal cost of international traffic for a chat app used by 11 million people would be very small and the latency difference imperceptible. (If Cuba is trying to save on communication cost or cut latency, they would be way better off pursuing an undersea cable between Havana and Florida).

Yadier Perdomo, Director of Networks at UCI, may have alluded to a more significant motivation when he stated that toDus "guarantees technological sovereignty, something that similar products, such as WhatsApp and Messenger (from Facebook), do not do." I am not sure what he means by "technological sovereignty," but it seems consistent with an overall effort to focus on domestic as opposed to global communication and services. Furthermore, ETECSA is rolling out 3G mobile connectivity (and experimenting with 4G) and evidently planning to charge less for access to the national intranet than the Global Internet.

Does this point to a strategy of encouraging a Cuban "walled garden" that favors intranet communication and services (and El Paquete Semanal) over Global Internet communication and services?

That policy would have two negative side effects. For one, it would create two classes of Cuban users — the relatively poor, mass population that predominantly uses mobile phones on the intranet and elite users with access to the global Internet using computers as well as mobile phones. The Internet-enabled users would have access to more information and more powerful application and be better able to create content.

Second, while Cuba can create and support a simple application like toDus on its own, they lack the scale and resources to create complex and mass-data dependent applications — Cuba's Ecured will never be as comprehensive as WikiPedia, their Mapa service will never be as useful as Google Maps, there can never be a Cuban equivalent of Google Translate, etc.

One might justify favoring the intranet over the Internet as an interim step to what the Cubans call "the computerization of society," but it is a drain of resources in the short run and a dead-end in the long run. Cubans should focus on things in which they have a comparative advantage — as the saying goes, "do what you do best and link to the rest."

Well, brings me to the end of this post, but I want to add two miscellaneous tidbits — kind of a PS:

1. If you go to the Internet portal of Cuba's intranet, you see links to toDus and Apklis. Both are broken, but the Apklis link is to not to What's up with that?

2. The names and logos of Apklis and toDus are completely goofy. The toDus logo is evidently a reference to the Cuban tody bird and I cannot guess the rationale behind the Apklis butterfly. One thing is clear — neither name or logo says anything about the corresponding service, though one might guess that Apklis has something to do with APKs.

As of now, the Internet portal of Cuba's intranet is unreachable and versions cached at the Internet Archive do not have links to toDus and Apklis.

Written by Larry Press, Professor of Information Systems at California State University

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More under: Access Providers, Censorship, Internet Governance, Policy & Regulation

Categories: News and Updates

Photos & Highlights from the 2018 NamesCon China Conference in Shanghai

DN Journal - Tue, 2018-07-03 20:20
The 2018 NamesCon China conference was held in Shanghai June 27-29. We have photos & highlights from the big event in the Far East.
Categories: News and Updates

Trump's Tweets Flouting the Cybercrime Treaty Curbs on Racist and Xenophobic Incitement

Domain industry news - Tue, 2018-07-03 01:57

The existence of the 2001 Cybercrime Convention is generally well known. The treaty has now been ratified/acceded to by 60 countries worldwide, including the United States. Less well known is the existence of the Additional Protocol to the Convention ”concerning the criminalization of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems." The Additional Protocol has 30 ratifications/accessions — although not including the United States — which asserts that the First Amendment to its Constitution would preclude adherence to the provisions.

Next week, Cybercrime signatories and legal experts will gather for an annual ensemble of meetings and workshop in Strasbourg to review the state of the instrument and its implementation. One significant contemporary development that deserves substantive treatment at the meeting is the failure to apply the Additional Protocol to the incessant, pervasive racist and xenophobic Trump tweets and the significant resulting global harm occurring. Trump is the ultimate virtual elephant trampling in the meeting room.

The Additional Protocol

Although the national and international law needed to provide adequate legal responses to propaganda of a racist and xenophobic nature had its origins following World War II, the concern over use of computer systems did not occur until the 1990s. The emergence of heavily promoted, globally interconnected and unregulated DARPA internets in the mid-90s coupled with the marketplace demise of more regulated and secure OSI internets, resulted in a rapidly scaling array of cybersecurity challenges. One of those challenges was the ability for highly motivated groups promoting racism and xenophobia to organize and propagate their material via DARPA internets.

Developments began unfolding in 1997. In June of that year, the EU Council of Ministers established the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia. In October 1997, the Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe on the occasion of their Second Summit met to seek common responses to the developments of "new information technologies."

A few weeks later in November 1997, the UNHCR held a seminal workshop in Geneva on the "Seminar on the role of Internet with regard to the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination." Especially chilling was an NGO presentation by the Paris-based Centre Simon Wiesenthal of statistics on the exponentially increasing hate sites and groups organizing via DARPA internet technology.

By 2001, the problems were significantly worse, and those meeting to produce the Cybercrime Convention found that "the emergence of international communication networks like the Internet provide certain persons with modern and powerful means to support racism and xenophobia and enables them to disseminate easily and widely expressions containing such ideas." This concern resulted in an explicit Additional Protocol to the Cybercrime Convention that defined racist and xenophobic material, the dissemination proscribed, measures to be taken at the national level, and apply a number of the Cybercrime Convention provisions.

"racist and xenophobic material" means any written material, any image or any other representation of ideas or theories, which advocates, promotes or incites hatred, discrimination or violence, against any individual or group of individuals, based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin, as well as religion if used as a pretext for any of these factors. (Art. 2)

distributing, or otherwise making available, racist and xenophobic material to the public through a computer system. (Art.3)

Each Party shall adopt such legislative and other measures as may be necessary to establish as criminal offenses under its domestic law, when committed intentionally and without right… (Art. 4)

Each Party shall adopt such legislative and other measures as may be necessary to establish as criminal offenses under its domestic law, when committed intentionally and without right, aiding or abetting the commission of any of the offenses established in accordance with this Protocol, with intent that such offense be committed. (Art. 7)

The associated Explanatory Report provides further history and amplification on the provisions.

Rather little, however, was done for more than a decade. A cursory informal survey of the Council of Europe site finds a significantly rising concern over the manifestation of racism and xenophobia beginning around 2016 and becoming exponentially worse over the past two years. Plainly, the chief executive of one of the Convention's more prominent signatories who began leading a rather expansive resurgence of racism and xenophobia globally presented a challenge that was unanticipated and included an unprecedented affront to legal systems and norms of behavior. Now, the ultimate question for those assembling in Strasbourg in 2018 is whether they can simply ignore what has been occurring over the past eighteen months.

Trump's Promotion of Racism and Xenophobia

It is relatively well-established that Donald Trump on a massive scale has been manifesting actions contravened by Art. 3 of the Additional Protocol that are aided and abetted through social media. There are hundreds of articles on his actions that unfold every day in highly respected publications.

Some investigators have even compiled extensive lists of evidence. See, e.g., New York Times, "Donald Trump's Racism: The Definitive List."

It is not apparent, however, that any responsive actions have actually been taken by the Additional Protocol signatories pursuant to Arts. 4 and 7, notwithstanding the ease with which the Trump's offensive traffic can be blocked. Although the European Commission has sought to apply its own recommendations to control proscribed online content, it has not apparent it has ever addressed Trump's racist and xenophobic tweets, much less sought to proscribe them.

Perhaps more concerning is that the social media service most extensively employed by Trump asserts an affirmative defense that "world leaders" are allegedly exempt from the Convention's Additional Protocol provisions. See Twitter, Inc, "World Leaders on Twitter."

The matter has, however, risen to such prominence that it was addressed in a Washington Post editorial several months ago with respect to domestic law. See The Washington Post, "The 3 loopholes that keep Trump's tweets on Twitter."

Resulting Harm by Inaction

Trump's flouting of the Cybercrime Convention's Additional Protocol provisions on racism and xenophobia is plainly reprehensible. The damage of the global rule of law and sense of acceptable conduct by a national leader is profound and long-lasting. The harm to society globally is equally grave — giving rise to destabilizing hate groups and terrorism in countries throughout the world. See "Palgrave Hate Studies Cyber Racism and Community Resilience." See also Simon Wiesenthal Center's "2017 Digital Terrorism & Hate Report Card: Social Media Giants Fail to Curb Online Extremism."

The inaction has even spurred the emergence of an entirely new market for racist and xenophobic products.

One of the additional disconcerting developments and serious consequences, however, is the Cybercrime Convention signatories and Octopus community largely ignoring a profound problem posed when one of their own signatories goes rogue with a chief executive who is the de facto leader of a global racist and xenophobic movement through Twitter. When even the most prominent public figures in the United States are profoundly embarrassed by Trump's racist and xenophobic behaviour — which is presently uncontrollable domestically — there is a continuing hope that international forums might step up, speak out in defence of their own treaty provisions, and call for responsive action by signatories. Will they?

Written by Anthony Rutkowski, Principal, Netmagic Associates LLC

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More under: Cybercrime, Internet Governance

Categories: News and Updates

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