News and Updates

What COVID-19 Means for Network Security

Domain industry news - Wed, 2020-05-13 01:04

The COVID-19 Pandemic is causing huge social and financial shifts, but so far, its impact on network security has gone under-reported. Yet with thousands of companies worldwide requiring millions of employees to work remotely, network administrators are seeing unprecedented changes in the ways that clients are using their networks and new threats that seek to leverage the current crisis.

VPNs Show Explosive Growth

A quick Google search for "work remotely" gives an indication of one type of company that is going to massively benefit from the massive shift to remote working: VPN providers. Almost every article focused on how to work with remote teams recommends that businesses give all their employees VPNs.

Recent reports suggest that this has already begun. Statistics from VPN provider NordVPN show the US has experienced a 65.93% growth in the use of business VPNs since 11 March, with the biggest gain being in desktop users.

This is both good and bad news for network security. It's great, of course, that users are now encrypting sensitive commercial and personal data. On the other hand, some network engineers are struggling to manage users on systems that make use of IP addresses for authentication.

Growth in VPN usage in countries with large COVID-19 outbreaks (by Statista)

Changes in Network Usage

Another shift caused by the current pandemic has been an unprecedented spike in voice and video traffic. Verizon has previously reported that voice usage has long been fluctuated due to the popularity of texting, chat, and social media. Last week, though, voice traffic increased 25%. Their network report shows the primary cause of this is users accessing conference calls, but people are also talking longer on mobile devices, with calls lasting 15% longer.

From a network security perspective, this could be a huge problem. Voice data typically requires high amounts of processing power to encrypt, and so a spike in voice traffic is going to put an extra load on existing encryption systems.

This is already apparent, in fact. With so much voice traffic flooding networks, Ookla says it has started to see a degradation of mobile and fixed-broadband performance worldwide. Comparing the week of 16 March to the week of 9 March, the mean download speed over mobile and fixed broadband decreased in both Canada and the U.S.

Responding to these changes — at least in the short term — is going to require a process of employee management, rather than technical upgrades. Network admins who are seeing huge spikes of voice data on their networks, accompanied by performance issues, should report this to executives who can remind staff that they (hopefully) have many other ways to communicate with each other.

Emerging Threats

Finally, it's becoming increasingly apparent that hackers are taking advantage of the pandemic to spread malware. Security analyst Check Point's Threat Intelligence has reported that since January 2020 there have been over 4,000 coronavirus-related domains registered globally. 3% of these websites were found to be malicious, and an additional 5% are suspicious. Corona-related domains are 50% more likely to be malicious than other domains registered in the same period, and also higher than recent seasonal themes such as Valentine's Day.

These threats come at a very vulnerable time for network administrators. Many staff are working from home, and so the corporate firewalls that can stop employees falling victim to a scam are no longer in place. In addition, the panic caused by the virus means that employees are more likely to be taken in by a seemingly innocent site or email.

Responding to these threats relies, again, on educating staff about the importance of cybersecurity when working from home. They should be taught how to secure their home systems against common forms of cyberattack and should be extremely wary of COVID-19 information that doesn't come from a trusted source.

The Future

At a broader level, these shifts could change the way that networks are planned. Some have noted that the sudden spike in remote working might not automatically disappear once the pandemic is over: instead, many firms will realize the benefits of remote working, not least for their fixed costs, and make this standard in the future.

Because of this, Tom Nolle, president of CIMI Corporation, has argued that the current shutdown "could eventually produce a major uptick for SD-WAN services," particularly for MSPs. This will mean that the short-term changes in network usage caused by Corona might not be so short-term after all. In other words, this crisis might be the new normal.

Written by Gary Stevens, Front-End Developer

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More under: Coronavirus, Cybersecurity, Networks

Categories: News and Updates

Donuts is removing restrictions on .Place domains

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2020-05-12 21:47

Everyone will be allowed to register .place domains (again).

Domain name company Donuts is making .place a generic domain again.

In 2018, the company partnered with Geo.Network to use .place domains in its geofencing platform.

Donuts said at the time, “The TLD .PLACE will now be used exclusively for end users (people, businesses and other organizations) who wish to create, name and assign specific rules and permissions for their geofences.”

The company restricted .place registrations to people using them with the geofencing platform.

It doesn’t seem to have taken off; there are only about 3,500 registered .place domains.

On June 1, Donuts will remove the restrictions. People will be able to use .place domains just like other domains.

Donuts will continue its partnership with Geo.Network. .Place domains can be registered for geofencing applications or for regular websites.

Retail prices should be about $10 for the domains. It should compete well with other generic extensions like .site and .online.

Post link: Donuts is removing restrictions on .Place domains

© 2020. 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 editor (at) Latest domain news at Domain Name Wire.

Related posts:
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  2. Donuts wins two more string objections, settles another
  3. Yesterday’s 5 new TLD launches total about 2,500 registrations
Categories: News and Updates

Five Common Issues in Domain Management, and Solutions

Domain industry news - Tue, 2020-05-12 20:26

Has your organization ever missed renewing a domain name? You really don't want to be in the news for that. Just look up "company forgot to renew domain name” and read about the historical consequences of missing vital domain name renewals. They range from failed services or infrastructure, lost revenue, lost business partners, wrecked reputation, hefty regulatory fines, to even the collapse of a business.

Even though some of these top search engine results page (SERP)1 articles may date before 2015, the challenge of domain management still exists today. The overseer of the domain name system (DNS), The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), published a report in each of 20182 and 20193 that investigated the issues and challenges impacting domain name registrants. Both reports found that the majority of domain registrants were challenged with domain management, including domain transfers between registrars, domain name renewals, general registration support, issues with country code top-level domains (ccTLDs), etc.

Collectively, these issues are a huge burden for large corporations. Often times, large corporations such as Forbes 2000 companies have hundreds or thousands of domain names to manage, and these large numbers may give rise to the following challenges.

Issue #1: missed renewals

These hundreds or thousands of domain names vary in expiration dates, and their renewal notices are emailed to the organization's domain administrator. Should this person move on without proper handover, the new administrator may not have the login credentials to the registrar portal. Or, the corporate credit card tied to the domain account expires without anyone noticing. In other words, should these emails and domain renewals be missed for any reason, there is no other way that a domain owner will be alerted to expiring domains or be able to respond nimbly if disaster strikes.

Solution: Set your domains to auto-renew by default so that your organization never misses a domain renewal, and opt for credit on account instead of using a credit card.

Issue #2: risk and complexity of domain management and using many registrars

The complexity of domain name management arises when a single centralized team devotes resources to handling domain requests from different business units, administers the unique registry requirements of each registration, and tallies what each business unit should pay for their respective portfolio of domains at the end of each year. With decentralized management, it doesn't get better with different business units handling their own domain portfolios, and domain policies are disparate and vary within each unit.

Furthermore, when corporations use more than one registrar to manage domain portfolios, this adds a layer of complexity in management.

Multiple registrars also mean sensitive information is recorded with multiple parties. This increases the risk of account hijacking and losing control of domains if some of the registrars have weak security controls in place.

What are weak security controls? These are registrar platforms with bad security practices that hackers love, such as lenient password policies, no two-factor authentication, little to no restriction of access to critical DNS zones, poor cybersecurity awareness and training among their staff, lack of performing regular cybersecurity drills, and not enough scrutiny of the security vulnerabilities of the registrar platform software and servers being used.

Solution: Configure your registrar preferences to enable each business unit to manage their own domains under a parent account to be billed separately. In addition, you'll want to consolidate your domains with a security-conscious enterprise-class corporate domain registrar whose systems are designed with security first, and whose staff are well-versed in phishing methodology.

In particular, your registrar should provide you with secure access to its domain and DNS management systems (and secure access through two-factor authentication, IP validation, and federated ID). A provider should also enable you to control user permissions, and use advanced domain security features such as registry and registrar locks and DNS security extensions (DNSSEC), for example.

Issue #3: difficulty handling registry requirements and registering all the extensions you want

Different domain registry operators impose different criteria for registration, and in some cases, throughout the lifetime of the domain names. For instance, .MM (Myanmar) registrations are highly laborious and .AU (Australia) registrations require an active Australian presence or qualifying Australian trademark throughout the lifetime of the domain name. Even if enterprise systems are able to connect with their domain registrar systems, the amount of manual work involved in the management of the domain portfolio may require one individual's priority over other projects at various points throughout each year.

In addition, different registrars have varying domain endings on offer. Most registrars will offer .COM for example, but not every registrar offers ccTLDs such as .LY and .AR. What should a corporation do when their regular registrar does not allow them to register ccTLDs in countries, cities, or territories that they plan to do businesses in? They look for a registrar that does, usually using what they can find within a tight timeframe.

Solution: Partner with an experienced corporate registrar that knows the ins and outs of each registry requirement, offers you the ability to register domain names from all around the world, and curates vital information that enables you to make the best decisions.

Issue #4: complications in transferring domain names and poor service support

Large corporations commonly transfer domain names from one registrar to another after mergers and acquisitions. Most companies consolidate domain names with one domain registrar to enforce uniform domain name policies, and standardize prices, platforms, workflows, and expected service levels. The domain administrator usually faces the burden of managing a highly tedious, painstaking, and almost impossible task, which involves coordinating manual authorization requests with every registrar for each domain transferred.

When compounded with urgent business requests for domain registrations, the domain administrator is also burdened with locating a registrar who can support the domain extension, and is responsive and sensitive enough to deal with often confidential registrations (especially in the case of a campaign or launch).

Solution: Lean on your registrar to manage the entire transfer process on your behalf, freeing you up to do what you do best. Your registrar should also provide timely, and the most relevant information, as well as 24/7 support to help keep your reputation and brand assets safe.

Issue #5: determining options to combat infringement

Domain monitoring alerts corporations to possible domain infringements, but when detected, takedown mechanisms range from cease and desist, arbitration, to dispute resolution procedures. Which is most suitable? What are the criteria for each, and at what costs? Are there other options to prevent all these from happening in the first place?

Solution: Seek advice from an experienced provider who can assess each situation and act in your best interests. Besides domain management services, a corporate registrar should offer all-encompassing brand protection services that include monitoring, enforcement, takedown of domain names, social media handles, mobile apps, internet content, and more.

In summary, many of the domain management issues faced can be minimized by having clear policies and working with the right registrar. Good corporate registrars should have the breadth and depth to help mitigate the risk and disruption to their workflows and businesses, to take some of the burdens off corporations to protect their brands, reputation, and revenue, so that they can focus on doing what they do best, and reduce any damage by third parties.

  1. When you conduct an internet search, the SERP lists the results that you can click on. 
  2. Report: Issues and Challenges Impacting Domain Name Registrants published 26 September 2018 
  3. Report: Issues and Challenges Impacting Domain Name Registrants published 29 April 2019 
  1. This article originally published on Digital Brand Insider.

Written by Connie Hon, Domain Product Manager at CSC

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More under: Domain Management, Domain Names, Brand Protection

Categories: News and Updates

.Org registry sale officially terminated

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2020-05-12 18:56

Public Interest Registry notifies ICANN that the deal is dead.

Even though all parties had already said this publicly, Public Interest Registry (PIR) made it official today: the transaction for Ethos Capital to acquire Public Interest Registry has been terminated.

The registry for .org domains sent a letter (pdf) to ICANN today informing it of the termination.

The letter states, “While we reserve all of our legal rights, we will not be pursuing an ICANN Request for Reconsideration or taking any other action to try to revive the Transaction.”

I’m not sure what legal rights it would pursue, but this might be an effort to head off any talk of transferring the .org registry to another party. In a message linking to the letter, PIR CEO Jon Nevett noted:

…because a sale to Ethos was not “consummated” after the ICANN rejection, the door is closed on ICANN transferring .ORG to any other registry operator. Such a transfer by ICANN is a contractual impossibility under our registry agreement.

I believe he is correct. The contract between PIR and ICANN states:

…any consummated change of control shall not be voidable by ICANN; provided, however, that, if ICANN reasonably determines to withhold its consent to such transaction, ICANN may terminate this Agreement pursuant to Section 4.3(g)…

This seems to say that ICANN can terminate the agreement if it withholds consent and PIR still goes through with the change of control. It could be written more clearly, though.

Nevertheless, there have been some calls in the community to strip Internet Society and PIR of the .org contract.

Post link: .Org registry sale officially terminated

© 2020. 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 editor (at) Latest domain news at Domain Name Wire.

Related posts:
  1. ISOC chapter breaks ranks, criticizes deal to sell .Org
  2. 4 U.S. lawmakers question .Org sale
  3. Guest editorial: ISOC’s broken funding model and profligate spending
Categories: News and Updates

International Pandemic Contact Tracing Standards Group Formed

Domain industry news - Tue, 2020-05-12 18:45

The formation of an international pandemic contact tracing standards group was announced yesterday. Designated E4P, it is being established as an open public-private initiative under ETSI to "develop a framework and consistent set of specifications for proximity tracing systems, to enable the development of applications and platforms, and to facilitate international interoperability" that also provide for privacy protection.

ETSI is ideally placed to undertake the work with the necessary stature, leadership, and resources. It hosts the largest ICT standards activities in the world for an array of highly-active work on mobile, fixed, and Internet networks and services — including 5G. It exists as both a global standards body as well as the European Union's approved standards arm for some normative areas. Its specifications, reports, and guides are open and freely available online with permanent, well-versioned identifiers and code templates. It has a proven record of developing global consensus-based standards very quickly. It conducts standards testing services to demonstrate the effectiveness and undertake improvements. It has long operated on the cutting edge of technology across almost every market segment. It is privacy sensitive. It also proactively collaborates with almost every other ICT standards body in the field. It operates virtually on a global scale.

ETSI itself has more than 900 members from 65 different countries that include government agencies, private companies and academic organizations. However, the pandemic contact tracing activity is being formed as what is known as an Industry Specification Group (ISG), which does not require ETSI membership and operates more flexibly. Several years ago, ETSI began creating ISGs for 5G related specialized tasks such as 5G virtualization — which brought hundreds of companies and organizations together to kick start 5G's basic platform. Anyone can join the pandemic contact tracing group simply by going to the E4P group portal, selecting Member or Participant, and completing the online form. Its initial meeting will occur on 26 May.

Given the ongoing global pandemic, the importance and timeliness of the group is worth emphasis. Global, regional, and national health and disease control bodies worldwide have been underscoring the critical importance of effective contact tracing to control the spread of viruses. The challenges will exist for a long time — likely indefinitely. Yet at the moment, the contact tracing ecosystem is in chaotic disarray with hundreds of insular projects and platforms being instantiated all over the world. There is a significant lack of awareness of each other, much less interoperability, comparability, or consideration of privacy. The new E4P group should provide an effective means to deal with a critical global need. Hopefully, the many diverse national and private efforts will see the value in international cooperation and participate in E4P.

Written by Anthony Rutkowski, Principal, Netmagic Associates LLC

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More under: Coronavirus, Internet Governance, Mobile Internet, Privacy

Categories: News and Updates

Domain stocks rebound with the market

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2020-05-12 16:52

Many domain name companies are faring well during the pandemic.

On March 14, I wrote about how domain name stocks fared during the pandemic market crash up through the close on March 13. The market wasn’t done capitulating, but stocks have rebounded nicely since then. The NASDAQ is up 17% since I wrote that story, the Dow is up 4% and the S&P 8%. Still, all three of the indexes are off their 2020 highs.

No domain names stocks have returned to their high prices of earlier this year, but two are up for the year: Verisign and GoDaddy.

Here’s a look at how domain stocks have fared this year.

Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN): Verisign is up 10% for the year and is down just 2% from its high earlier this year. .Com has proven resilient in the face of the pandemic, even getting a lift from Covid-related registrations and businesses transitioning online. It doesn’t hurt that ICANN agreed to let it raise prices 7% a year for the next four years.

Tucows (NASDAQ: TCX): Shares in the company that owns Enom have dropped 16% from their peak on January 16 and are down 10% on the year. The price has rebounded 18% from when I published the earlier story.

GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY): Go Daddy-O! Shares have surged 37% since March 13 and are up 11% on the year. They are down just 4% from their 2020 high.

Endurance (NASDAQ: EIGI): Shares are down 48% on the year and 53% from their 2020 high but are up 7% from the close on March 13.

CentralNic (London AIM: CNIC): I hesitated to include CentralNic and the next two companies in this post. They are thinly traded so changes might not reflect the current market. But CentralNic’s shares are now even for the year and off just 4% from their high at the beginning of the year. The stock is up 27% since the last story.

MMX (London AIM: MMX): New top level domain operator MMX (Minds + Machines) has seen its stock fall 26% from its peak on February 7. It’s down 8% on the year and down 1% since the last story.

NameSilo (OTC: URLOF): Shares in this registrar are down 54% since January 9. The stock is down 50% on the year and has dropped a further 9% since March 13.

I do not own individual shares in publicly-traded domain name companies to avoid a conflict of interest. Mutual funds I own, including index funds, do hold some of these stocks.

Post link: Domain stocks rebound with the market

© 2020. 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 editor (at) Latest domain news at Domain Name Wire.

Related posts:
  1. Tucows sold $3.2 million of domains to GoDaddy (and more from earnings call)
  2. A strong month for .Com
  3. .Com Winners & Losers: A strong month for NameSilo
Categories: News and Updates

The hidden message about domains in this Apple store notice

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2020-05-12 13:10

There’s a lesson for researching Chinese end users.

Covid-19 is changing how consumers shop. In China, for example, you are required to wear a mask and have your body temperature taken before you can enter a store. Some stores may give you additional instructions.

I found an interesting message when I was reading Business Insider a few days ago. If you click the link and scroll down, you’ll see a photo showing a notice posted at the door of an Apple store in Shanghai.

It tells you to visit to purchase Apple products or receive further assistance. Apple owns, so why does it use the longer instead? Let’s go back to history.

In the early days of domain names, many countries only allowed registration of subdomains (third level domains) at a few stipulated domains. In other words, registrations at the second level were not allowed. Over time, many countries relaxed the rules and allowed registration of domains directly. Some recent examples are .uk, .au, and .nz.

When China joined the web in 1990, only subdomains of a few selected domains (,,,,,, as well as geo domains (such as and could be registered, according to Wikipedia. No one could register a .cn domain directly.

In 2000, therefore, Apple could only (and did) register It then officially entered China in 2001.

The Chinese government opened up registration at the second level in 2003, but by then, Apple’s Chinese web presence was firmly built on Apple registered but forwards it to

Today, when you search for “apple” using Baidu, you’ll see in the search result. The entry is also marked with the words “官方” (official=verified), which indicates that is the corporate domain of Apple in China. (By the way, I have not come across such practice outside China.)

Note that .cn now has nine times as many registrations as

So, what’s the hidden message? When you are doing end user research, be sure to check both .cn and Otherwise, you might miss out on some potential buyers of your domain.

Post link: The hidden message about domains in this Apple store notice

© 2020. 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 editor (at) Latest domain news at Domain Name Wire.

Related posts:
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  2. Apple begins forwarding to its web site — and it’s tracking it, too
  3. Apple created the i-era. Is it abandoning it?
Categories: News and Updates

Call for Participation – ICANN DNSSEC and Security Workshop at ICANN68 Virtual Policy Forum

Domain industry news - Mon, 2020-05-11 22:37

If you are interested in speaking at the ICANN 68 DNSSEC Workshop, please send a brief (1-2 sentence) description of your proposed presentation to by 29 May 2020. This online workshop will be Monday, 22 June 2020, from 02:00 – 04:30 UTC (10:00 – 12:30 Kuala Lumpur)

We are doing something new this time and would like to get a feel for attendance for this virtual meeting. Please RSVP here:

Call for Participation

The DNSSEC Deployment Initiative and the Internet Society Deploy360 Programme, in cooperation with the ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC), are planning a DNSSEC and Security Workshop for the ICANN68 Virtual Policy Forum being held from 22-25 June 2020.

This workshop will be held on Monday 22, June 2020 10:00 – 12:30 Kuala Lumpur (02:00 – 04:30 UTC).

The DNSSEC and Security Workshop has been a part of ICANN meetings for several years and has provided a forum for both experienced and new people to meet, present and discuss current and future DNSSEC deployments. For reference, the most recent session was held at the ICANN67 Virtual Meeting on 11 March 2020. The presentations and transcripts are available at:

The DNSSEC Workshop Program Committee is developing a 3-hour program. Proposals will be considered for the following topic areas and included if space permits. In addition, we welcome suggestions for additional topics either for inclusion in the ICANN68 workshop, or for consideration for future workshops.

1. Global DNSSEC Activities Panel

For this panel, we are seeking participation from those who have been involved in DNSSEC deployment as well as from those who have not deployed DNSSEC but who have a keen interest in the challenges and benefits of deployment, including Root Key Signing Key (KSK) Rollover activities and plans.

2. DNSSEC Best Practice

Now that DNSSEC has become an operational norm for many registries, registrars, and ISPs, what have we learned about how we manage DNSSEC? Do you still submit/accept DS records with Digest Type 1? What is the best practice around key roll-overs? What about Algorithm roll-overs? Do you use and support DNSKEY Algorithms 13-16? How often do you review your disaster recovery procedures? Is there operational familiarity within your customer support teams? What operational statistics have we gathered about DNSSEC? Are there experiences being documented in the form of best practices, or something similar, for transfer of signed zones? Activities and issues related to DNSSEC in the DNS Root Zone are also desired.

3. DNSSEC Deployment Challenges

The program committee is seeking input from those that are interested in implementation of DNSSEC but have general or particular concerns with DNSSEC. In particular, we are seeking input from individuals that would be willing to participate in a panel that would discuss questions of the following nature:

  • Are there any policies directly or indirectly impeding your DNSSEC deployment? (RRR model, CDS/CDNSKEY automation)
  • What are your most significant concerns with DNSSEC, e.g., complexity, training, implementation, operation or something else?
  • What do you expect DNSSEC to do for you and what doesn’t it do?
  • What do you see as the most important trade-offs with respect to doing or not doing DNSSEC?
4. Security Panel

The program committee is looking for presentations on DNS and Routing topics that could impact the security and/or stability of the Internet:

  • DoH and DoT implementation issues, challenges and opportunities
  • RPKI adoption and implementation issues, challenges and opportunities
  • BGP/routing/hijack issues, challenges and opportunities
  • MANRS implementation challenges and opportunities
  • Emerging threats that could impact (real or perceived) the security and/or stability of the Internet
  • Domain hacking/hijacking prevention, best practice and techniques
  • Browser related security implementations
  • DMARC Challenges, opportunities and Best Practices
  • BGP Flowspec challenges, opportunities and Best Practices

If you are interested in participating, please send a brief (1-2 sentence) description of your proposed presentation to by 29 May 2020.

We are doing something new this time and would like to get a feel for attendance for this virtual meeting. Please RSVP here:

Thank you,
Kathy and Andrew

On behalf of the DNSSEC Workshop Program Committee:
Mark Elkins, DNS/ZACR
Jacques Latour, .CA
Russ Mundy, Parsons
Ondrej Filip, CZ.NIC
Yoshiro Yoneya, JPRS
Fred Baker, ISC
Dan York, Internet Society

Written by Dan York, Author and Speaker on Internet technologies - and on staff of Internet Society

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More under: DNS, DNS Security, ICANN

Categories: News and Updates

Practical Pointers for Paring Domain Name Portfolios

Domain industry news - Mon, 2020-05-11 19:05

As we enter the new normal, many legal departments have already begun looking for ways to reduce spend even as they are being asked to register COVID-19 domains. IP maintenance fees for patents, trademarks and domains are a natural place to start. While paring back patent and trademark portfolios can yield some significant savings, it's well-known that most corporate domain name portfolios contain registrations that are no longer needed. Domain names for products never launched, no longer supported or campaigns that have long-since-ended are prime candidates. That said, culling portfolios can be a time-consuming project and one that is often fraught with risk if names that are in-use are allowed to lapse.

So when looking to pare portfolios, how can domain name professionals make informed decisions?

Gain insight into traffic

Understanding traffic can be helpful in determining whether a domain should be allowed to lapse. Keep in mind that much of the traffic reported by your registrar's web forwarding solution is likely generated by bots — but these figures can still provide a point of comparison. And by leveraging your registrar's web forwarding solution in conjunction with UTM codes, web analytics solutions can provide detailed insight into exactly the pages being viewed, the length of sessions, and order flow.

Understand usage

This is critical, simply checking to see whether a domain name resolves to a website is insufficient for determining whether it is in-use. To fully understand whether a domain is in-use, domain professionals should check for the existence of DNS records, which provides a more complete view into whether a domain name is actually being used.

Track history

Given the expense and effort to recover domains, names transferred as a result of a UDRP, court-order or C&D, are generally not ones that should be allowed to lapse. With access to historical information, domain professionals can easily ensure that these names continue to renew.

Identify brand use

One school of thought is that domains containing variations of brands should never be allowed to lapse as they are often targeted for re-registration by speculators who monitor expiring domains.

Assign value

Many corporate portfolios contain hidden gems. They often consist of three- or four-character domains, as well as generic terms. While these domains may not be in-use, may generate little traffic, and do not contain brand terms - these domains should not be allowed to lapse. The value of these domains on the secondary market can be considerable. Companies can consider selling generic, unused domain names either by listing them on domain sales platforms or with the help of domain name brokers.

Obtain approval

If domains are not in-use, receive little traffic, were not previously recovered, do not contain brand terms and have no intrinsic value, then domain professionals should consider allowing names to lapse, only after obtaining approval from the team which had originally requested the registrations. Documenting this approval will help to address any future questions regarding why names were allowed to expire.

At the end of the day, however, the big question to ask is, if these domains are re-registered, will it matter? The answer to that question will largely be driven by the company's industry, tolerance for risk, and desire for cost-savings. For some companies, the risks associated with paring portfolios will just be too high. But even if that is the case, companies can still endeavor to make more strategic domain registration decisions going forward.

Written by Elisa Cooper, SVP Marketing and Policy at Brandsight, Inc.

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More under: Coronavirus, Domain Management, Domain Names, Brand Protection

Categories: News and Updates

The Internet Turbocharged Globalization

Domain industry news - Mon, 2020-05-11 18:22

Just in time, it is becoming local as well.

Back around the turn of the century, the Internet reduced international communication costs by 99% in just a couple of years. In 1998 phone calls to China and India from the US cost more than $1.00/minute, and data communication costs were similarly high. International supply chains were very difficult to set up and costly to manage because of the cost of communication. Internet telephony brought call rates down to pennies per minute, partly through technology and partly by making an end-run around the international telephone cartel managed by the UN. A huge investment in undersea fiber and technical advances in fiber capacity, as well as Internet pricing, brought data rates down as well. The Internet model made these advances in communication accessible to almost anyone who could get access to the Internet, not just to large corporations.

A factory in China could then look at graphic specs from a US prospect as easily as a US-based competitor could. Discussing a bid across oceans was no more expensive than across town. The enormous amount of data exchange needed to manage an international supply chain was no longer significantly expensive. Collaboration was enhanced in ways that would have been unimaginable just a few years previously. Innovation flourished. Globalization was turbocharged.

Globalization accomplished many great things. Worldwide, there was an explosion out of poverty with a consequential increase in education and life expectancy. Child mortality plunged, and birth rates went down in tandem. Consumers in the already-developed world had access to a plethora of incredibly cheap goods, including generation after generation of more and more powerful electronics — almost all of which were built in the developing world.

We ignored the dangers of over-concentrated and complex supply chains. In a world where prices can be readily compared, the temptation to go for a momentary price advantage by concentrating supply overshadowed the fragility of single-sourcing and long supply chains.

Then the virus hit the fan

We couldn't even get enough masks to protect our hospital workers. They come from abroad and "abroad" needed its own production. Tried to make masks and found out we don't make enough specialty paper or elastic domestically. Tried to make ventilators, but all the parts come from somewhere else. South Korea went immediately to test and trace; we couldn't because we didn't have enough test kits or chemicals to use with them. South Korea is a lot closer to the beginnings of its supply chains than we are. Many of our supply chains run through South Korea.

The Internet made it too easy for us to outsource too much too far away; short-term thinking made us ignore the risk of no plan B.

Better late than never, the Internet has also come to the rescue

Work at home lets many of us "non-essential" workers continue to work.

Americans all over the country began making masks. They used the Internet locally both to scratch up raw materials and to make their masks available to those in need. Local businesses and non-profits with 3D printers downloaded open-source specs for face shields and other medical necessities and started printing. The Internet made it easy to find a local restaurant that can deliver and possible for the restaurant to stay at least partially open. Those who needed to stay tightly locked down were able to find local delivery services for groceries; those who couldn't pay found local volunteer organizations, which had sprung up to meet their need. Certainly no nirvana but better than it would have been if the Internet weren't there for us to collaborate on.

After years of talking about it and experimenting around the edges, both education and medicine went online because they had to. We learned how to Zoom.

Local has been everything in this crisis. One state is not like another; even regions of the same state are different. Local news and information are critically important. In Vermont and much of the rest of the country, local daily newspapers have withered away, and local tv and radio have cut their news staffs. VTDigger, Vermont's online news source (on whose Board I am) has had a fourfold increase in traffic. Hyper-local Front Porch Forum is at the heart of self-help and help-your-neighbor efforts in almost every town in Vermont. Select Board meetings on Zoom are at least as accessible as they were in person.

Some of this has been so good that we won't try to do it all in person even when the bug's been banished back to the bat cave. Traffic may be reduced permanently by telecommuting. We can make room for social distancing in offices by having only a fraction of the workforce come in each day (if at all). Perhaps the same will be true for schools. Telemedicine can increase the availability of healthcare and reduce cost. Online college might actually be free. Just-in-time local 3D print-to order-shops will take some of the business from globalized supplied chains and add security.

But there is one enormous "but": we must make sure everyone has access to highspeed broadband. The quality of all these online solutions is marred by the fact that a small minority does not have broadband access; we can't switch service delivery online while even a small minority don't have access. It will be a crucial part of planning for not only the next emergency but also recovery from this one to achieve broadband for all. We can do that.

Written by Tom Evslin

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More under: Access Providers, Broadband, Coronavirus

Categories: News and Updates

Top domain name registrars

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2020-05-11 16:15

A monthly look at the latest .com data

ICANN has published the latest official data from Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN) about the .com namespace. This registrar-by-registrar report covers January 2020.

Here’s how registrars did in terms of new .com registrations:

1.* (NYSE: GDDY) 1,060,845 (904,896 in December)
2. Tucows** (NASDAQ:TCX) 205,518 (165,119)
3. Namecheap Inc. 197,210 (162,806)
4. Endurance+ (NASDAQ: EIGI) 140,818 (154,234)
5. Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) 138,028 (127,652)
6. Alibaba (HiChina) 116,153 (155,992)
7. Dynadot 82,150
8. Wix (NASDAQ: WIX) 77,686 (64,869)
9. West 263 73,295
10. 1&1 71,196

Here’s the leaderboard of the top registrars in terms of total .com registrations under management as of the end of December 2019.

1. GoDaddy* 52,061,831 (51,788,723 in December)
2. Tucows** 12,807,781 (12,837,586)
3. 7,137,113 (7,154,081)
4. Endurance+ 6,810,266 (6,807,222)
5. Alibaba 5,852,372 (6,014,079)
6. United Internet^ 5,507,431 (5,508,700)
7. Namecheap 5,322,270 (5,232,862)
8. Xin Net Technology Corporation 4,136,931 (4,286,667)
9. Google 3,199,382 (3,109,392)
10. GMO 2,296,219 (2,278,000)

Many domain companies have multiple accreditations and I’ve tried to capture the largest ones. See the notes below.

* Includes GoDaddy, Wild West Domains and 123 Reg
** Includes Tucows, Enom, Ascio and EPAG
+ Includes PDR,, FastDomain and Bigrock. There are other Endurance registrars, but these are the biggest.
++ Includes Network Solutions,, and Crazy Domains/Dreamscape
^ Includes 1&1, PSI, Cronon, United-Domains, Arsys and world4you

Post link: Top domain name registrars

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Categories: News and Updates

Domains at the Supreme Court – DNW Podcast #285

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2020-05-11 15:30

SCOTUS debates domain names and trademarks.

There was a spotlight on domain names last week in a place where you wouldn’t expect it: The U.S. Supreme Court. The court heard oral arguments in a dispute over whether or not should be able to trademark It was fascinating to listen to the court drill both sides in the issue. On today’s show, Internet Commerce Association general counsel Zak Muscovitch and I discuss the hearing and the role the ICA might play in the court’s decision. We also talk about ICANN’s decision to block the sale of .org to a private equity company and what it means for the future of ICANN.

Also: Domain registrations soar, GoDaddy reveals acquisition prices, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine jokes about domains.

Sponsor: Donuts

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: Domains at the Supreme Court – DNW Podcast #285

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Categories: News and Updates

What's Next for Ethos

Domain industry news - Sun, 2020-05-10 18:44

Since last fall, Ethos has actively engaged with ICANN and .ORG communities regarding our proposed acquisition of Public Interest Registry (PIR). Through that process, we demonstrated our desire to ensure that .ORG continues and thrives as an exemplary service for the mission-driven community. ICANN has now declined to consent to the proposed change of control of PIR. We respect the ICANN multistakeholder model, but we disagree with and are disappointed by ICANN's decision. What is more worrisome is not the decision, but the path and the motivations behind it. We hope that together we can pivot and refocus our efforts to strengthen ICANN's bottom-up multistakeholder model.

Throughout this process, we listened intently to the .ORG community and responded accordingly. We offered to make unprecedented legally-binding commitments through a Public Interest Commitment (PIC) because we respect this community and its important role in shaping the Internet ecosystem and serving the non-profit and mission-driven organizations. Moreover, this community would have been our customers. We were prepared to do everything to keep our customers satisfied.

Our original motivation for investing in PIR was our desire to support and uphold the visions of PIR and ISOC. We saw an opportunity to support PIR's growth and expansion through reinvesting its revenues in the .ORG platform. We believed that new investment and innovation could deliver significant benefits for the .ORG community while maintaining the Registry's core values of stability, security and reliability. We wanted to build an even stronger .ORG and enhance the benefits it offers to the .ORG community and users around the world. We also believed that ISOC would benefit from this partnership. The proceeds of the sale would have been used to further ISOC's mission and help enable an open Internet for all.

We would like to thank both the leadership and teams at the Internet Society and PIR for their partnership over these past several months. The Internet Society and its team's steadfast commitment to making the Internet accessible to all and to promoting it as a resource to enrich people's lives should be commended and sustained. We admire the dedication of PIR's team to its mission of empowering people who are committed to improving our world. By providing a secure, stable and reliable online platform for mission-driven organizations, PIR has been a champion for the .ORG community. We are confident that PIR will continue to be a strong advocate and ally for .ORG registrants.

Ethos was founded as an investment firm focused on helping companies drive growth and transformation, while committing to operate ethically, responsibly, and in the best interests of all our stakeholders. We believe there is a balance between the typical metrics of success, such as financial growth and profitability, and socially responsible initiatives. We want to make it commonplace to hear the terms "public good" and "profit" together. We planned to use our investment in PIR as an opportunity to demonstrate Ethos' values fully — that prosperity can be built and shared, and innovation has the power to fuel growth and success for all. While this opportunity with PIR has passed, Ethos' work will continue, and we look forward to building new partnerships where we can demonstrate that doing "well" and doing "good" can go hand in hand.

Written by Erik Brooks, Founder and CEO at Ethos Capital

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More under: Domain Names, ICANN, Internet Governance

Categories: News and Updates's Latest Quarterly Domain Investment Index Report Filled With Key Sales Data

DN Journal - Fri, 2020-05-08 20:01's latest Domain Investment Index covering the 1st quarter of 2020 show total sales on their platform jumping more than $10 million over prior quarter.
Categories: News and Updates

New data explains the Chinese domain name market

Domain Name Wire - Fri, 2020-05-08 13:40

Kassey Lee examines data about domain registrations and web usage in China.

The 45th China Statistical Report on Internet Development (in Chinese) has just come out. It is an important survey because it gives us the big picture of the Chinese internet economy in general and domain market in particular.

This article is an update to what I wrote six months ago, so please refer to “Chinese domain market – the big picture” as well.


The number of internet users has increased to 904 million, but the penetration rate is 65%, so there is still room for growth.

The number of websites has been declining in the last two years, but the survey has not provided any explanation. I speculate that ecommerce sites such as Taobao and are too successful and keep a lot of sellers within their economies.

The total number of domains registered in China jumped to 51 million, which is due to the inclusion of the 10.1 million domains from new extensions (released in 2014 and later) for the first time.

.Com grew by 16.4%, making it the fastest-growing traditional extension in China.

.Cn was not too bad, up by 5.7%,

.中国 (China IDN) is on the downward trend.

.Net is down.

.Org is back to its 2013 level.

.Info’s future is not so great.

.Biz needs rescue.

Overall, .com and .cn are the winners, and new extensions have become significant enough to be included in the survey.

Here are additional highlights from the report.

  • There are now 710 million online shoppers, and the use of mobile payments is widespread. Retail sales last year amounted to 10.6 trillion yuan, indicating a massive digital economy in China.
  • Online education users doubled to 423 million and will grow tremendously because of the lingering effect of Covid-19.
  • Among the Top 30 global internet companies in 2019, the US took away 18 companies and China managed to get 9, indicating the importance of both the US and China in the global internet economy.
  • The number of Chinese unicorns increased by 74 to reach 187 startups, which is an excellent source of buyers of expensive domains.
  • The Chinese government has announced placing blockchain at the core of innovation, so there should be a lot of interest in blockchain-related domains from China.

Post link: New data explains the Chinese domain name market

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Categories: News and Updates

Tucows: Domain registrations are way up during pandemic

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2020-05-07 21:46

“We are seeing years of economic transformation jammed into weeks or months,” Tucows CEO Elliot Noss says.

Domain name, fiber and mobile company Tucows (NASDAQ: TCX) reported earnings after the bell today.

The company pulled in $84.0 million in revenue for the first year of 2020, up 6% year-over-year. Its adjusted EBITDA number soared 34% to $12.7 million and net cash from operating activities was up 57% to $14.1 million.

Tucows’ Domain Services segment accounted for $59.5 million revenue, up from $55.7 million a year ago. Its gross margin in the Wholesale domain business increased 20%.

The Ascio acquisition helped bolster these numbers.

Tucows even had a good quarter for selling domains from its surname portfolio ($409,000), which is all that remains of its owned-and-operating domain portfolio after selling the rest to GoDaddy. The company offers email addresses using its surname domains but sometimes sells the names.

Beyond the numbers, it’s worth reading Tucows’ report on the quarter (pdf). Tucows CEO Elliot Noss does a great job explaining what he sees happening in the world due to Covid-19.

On domain names:

The domains business has seen the most remarkable immediate impact, which will not really show up until the second quarter. New domain registrations are way up in the past month or so. We are seeing first-hand the rush for offline businesses to market, transact and fulfill online. We are seeing years of economic transformation jammed into weeks or months…

…In the last few weeks we have seen a significant bump in transactions as businesses globally try to quickly move online, and as displaced workers look to  ntrepreneurship as the next stage in their career paths. We saw this begin to emerge in late March and it is still going strong. With tens of thousands of resellers and millions of end user customers, our Domains business has proven resilient through several economic cycles, but we are seeing something singular in this current, unprecedented environment. It feels like years of change being crammed into weeks or months. This is more interesting for what it says about the economy than it is material to our business, as new registrations make up only 20% of total transactions historically.

On the economy and future:

…We are planning for the current circumstances, with minor variability, to persist for the foreseeable future. And we are planning accordingly. We are rethinking our installation practices, our marketing practices, our human resources practices, our product offerings and more; and in almost every case, we believe the changes we are making and will continue to make, are more or less permanent.

We believe this because we believe that the changes wrought by this pandemic are not new. Rather they are significant accelerations of previously existing trends.

So what are the changes that we believe we have some certainty about?

It seems obvious that work from home, a trend we were fortunate to be in front of, will greatly accelerate. This has implications not only for the amount of office space a company needs, but also the shape of that space. It also opens up the world as a source of talent. Thus a significant rethink in the way we approach technical talent, and in fact a rethink of all of our people practices.

There will be less business travel, and in fact travel of all types. I have travelled 10-12 weeks a year consistently for the last twenty years. I will never travel that much in a year again. The whole retail, travel and hospitality industries are reconfiguring before our eyes and will never be the same.

We see equally significant and permanent changes in automotive and fashion. And combining those with retail, travel and hospitality, and the whole world of marketing as we knew it changes…

You can read Noss’ complete comments here (pdf).

Post link: Tucows: Domain registrations are way up during pandemic

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Categories: News and Updates

GoDaddy assigns $88.5 million value to Frank Schilling’s domain portfolio

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2020-05-07 18:19

Company assigns accounting value to Frank Schilling’s domain portfolio, which it acquired this year.

GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY) has assigned an $88.5 million accounting value to the approximately 375,000 domain names it acquired from Frank Schilling this year.

The company’s 10-Q filing with the SEC states:

The aggregate purchase price for the acquisitions completed during the three months ended March 31, 2020 was preliminarily allocated based upon our assessment of acquisition-date fair values with $54.0 million allocated to goodwill, none of which is tax deductible, $88.5 million to domain portfolio indefinite-lived intangible assets, $15.8 million to other identified finite-lived intangible assets and $9.1 million of net liabilities assumed.

That means the accounting value is about $235 per domain name.

Companies have varying incentives for how they value things for accounting purposes.

Technically, GoDaddy acquired three businesses from Frank Schilling. GoDaddy also acquired Over in the first quarter, which obscures the total consideration paid to Schilling. The 10-Q states:

In February 2020, we completed two acquisitions for net cash purchase consideration of $149.2 million, of which $2.8 million is payable in future periods upon expiration of the contractual holdback period. One of the acquisitions was the first of a series of three related transactions, the latter two of which were completed in April 2020 for additional cash purchase consideration of $44.9 million, of which $1.4 million is payable in future periods upon expiration of the contractual holdback period. As the three related transactions were in contemplation of one another and formed a single transaction designed to achieve an overall commercial effect, they will be accounted for as a single business combination. The acquisitions were not material to our results of operations.

Post link: GoDaddy assigns $88.5 million value to Frank Schilling’s domain portfolio

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Categories: News and Updates

GoDaddy domains revenue hits $356 million

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2020-05-07 16:36

Domain name business keeps growing at GoDaddy.

GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY) reported first quarter earnings yesterday after the market closed.

First quarter revenue was $792 million, up 12% year-over-year. Bookings increased 9% year-over-year to $951 million.

The domains segment grew 11% year-over-year to $355.9 million. That’s up from $352.3 million in Q4 2019.

This business segment should see a boost going forward from the Uniregistry acquisition. It gives the company more registrations as well as a fresh domain portfolio to sell from, and aftermarket revenue from domain sales on the Uniregistry marketplace.

The company is also adding Neustar to its stable, but the company says the financial impact will be small.

For Q2, GoDaddy expects 7% year-over-year revenue and bookings growth as it faces headwinds from Covid-19. The pandemic impacts the company on both the revenue and efficiency side; call center reps working from home aren’t as efficient as in an office environment.

No analysts on yesterday’s call asked about the impact of Whois privacy changes.

Shares in GoDaddy are up 5% today as of 12:37 PM EDT.

Post link: GoDaddy domains revenue hits $356 million

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Categories: News and Updates

Last month’s top 5 domain stories

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2020-05-07 16:03

Three-letter domains and a Chinese perspective.

Here’s a look back at the top stories on DNW last month (as ranked by views) plus a link to all of the new podcasts.

1. It’s crazy that 3 three-letter domains dropped this month – People are letting valuable domain names expire.

2. Meet Yue Dai, the man who owns the most two-letter .com domains – Chinese domain investor Yue Dai has a stellar domain name portfolio. Read what he thinks about the domain market.

3. GoDaddy goes vertical with Neustar registry acquisition – The world’s largest domain name registrar will become a wholesaler of top level domains.

4. Redacted Whois at GoDaddy: a revenue hit but better customer experience – It’s time for GoDaddy to make a change but it needs to manage the revenue downside.

5. Amazon slashes affiliate payouts up to 80% – Website owners that depend on Amazon’s affiliate program got unwelcome news in April.


What this domainer learned – Listen

Domains in Hollywood – Listen

Bored Humans – Listen

Liquidating your domain names – Listen

Post link: Last month’s top 5 domain stories

© 2020. 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 editor (at) Latest domain news at Domain Name Wire.

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Categories: News and Updates

Raise your glass! 15 end user domain sales up to $160,000

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2020-05-07 13:15

A beer site, a banking service, and a fragrance brand bought domain names.

You can raise your glass to this week’s top end user sale at Sedo for The buyer also acquired the content of the beer-themed site.

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. €149,000 – Bier is German for beer. We don’t know who the buyer is, but this was a domain + site acquisition, including the content about — you guessed it — beer! The price equates to about USD $160,000. €67,850- Corium International is a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of new trans-dermal healthcare products. is its current domain. $17,999 – According to the website, Oxygen is “a fresh new bank account for free thinkers, rebels and entrepreneurs”. $11,400 – Callback Technologies develops tools that simplify filesystem implementation and operating system request interception. Their products help create virtual disks and custom storage solutions, implement on-the-fly encryption, restrict access, audit and control system activity, and more. This is a great name and forwards to the much longer $10,070 – Forwards to, a manufacturer and exporter of fragrances, cosmetics, etc.  I don’t see any brands called ‘liki’ on the website, so it might be for a new product. $6,900 – This website is a landing page for several personal training related offerings that use the Body Design brand, including online personal training, operating systems for personal trainer entrepreneurs, various certifications within the fitness and nutrition fields and nutrition coaching. $5,000 – I’ll admit to being confused about what this site does after visiting its website. Very confused! €5,000 – Forwards to, an awards series honoring senior-level women executives across numerous industries. $4,490 – Kamera is a media agency focused on short-form content licensing and management. $3,800 – This website is still under development, but the description in the browser tab says it will be offering free online coding courses. $3,500 – The domain has a coming soon page that says, “Helping Consumers Organize and Make Their Data Work for Them”. I assume this is a hack of the word ‘locker’. €2,439 – Forwards to, a German mattress brand and retailer. $2,000 – Nano Telecom Inc. is a telecommunications company and service provider out of Miami, FL. $2,000 – SOHOMD offers teletherapy and telepsychiatry services for anxiety, depression, and ADHD. SOHOSPHERE is the name of its newsletter. €2,000 – A German toy retailer. The word translates to “play box” in German.

Post link: Raise your glass! 15 end user domain sales up to $160,000

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