News and Updates

GoDaddy is paying $218 million for Neustar’s registry business

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2020-05-06 20:31

Company discloses acquisition price for Neustar business.

GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY) unveiled its acquisition price for Neustar along with GoDaddy’s first-quarter earnings today. It is paying $218 million for the business and expects the transaction to close “in the coming months.”

The domain name company announced the acquisition last month.

With Neustar, GoDaddy will now control both the wholesale and retail side of many domain names. Neustar operates .us, .co, and .biz, among other domain names.

Neustar is currently owned by a private equity consortium led by Golden Gate Capital, which scooped up the business in 2017. The registry business sale is a carveout of the marketing data, security, and intelligence company.

Post link: GoDaddy is paying $218 million for Neustar’s registry business

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  3. GoDaddy will continue publishing most domain owner data
Categories: News and Updates

The Evolution of 5G

Domain industry news - Wed, 2020-05-06 19:16

Technology always evolves, and I've been reading about where scientists envision the evolution of 5G. The first generation of 5G, which will be rolled out over the next 3-5 years, is mostly aimed at increasing the throughput of cellular networks. According to Cisco, North American cellular data volumes are growing at a torrid 36% per year, and even faster than that in some urban markets where the volumes of data are doubling every two years. The main goal of the first-generation 5G is to increase network capacity to handle that growth.

However, if 5G is deployed only for that purpose, we won't see the giant increases in speed that the public thinks is coming with 5G. Cisco is predicting that the average North American cellular speed in 2026 will be around 70 Mbps — a far cry from the gigabit speed predictions you can find splattered all over the press.

There is already academic and lab work looking into what is being labeled as 6G. That will use the terabit spectrum and promises to potentially be able to deliver wireless speeds up to as much as one terabit per second. I've already seen a few articles touting this as a giant breakthrough, but the articles didn't mention that the effective distance for this spectrum can be measured in a few feet — this will be an indoor technology and will not be the next cellular replacement for 5G.

This means that to some degree, 5G is the end of the line in terms of cellular delivery. This is likely why the cellular carriers are gobbling up as much spectrum as they can. That spectrum isn't all needed today but will be needed by the end of the decade. The cellular carriers will use every spectrum block now to preserve the licenses, but the heavy lifting for most of the spectrum being purchased today will come into play a decade or more from now — the carriers are playing the long game so that they aren't irrelevant in the not-too-distant future.

This doesn't mean that 5G is a dead-end, and the technology will continue to evolve. Here are a few of the ideas being explored in labs today that will enhance 5G performance a decade from now:

  • Large Massive Network MIMO. This means expanding the density and capacity of cellular antennas to simultaneously be able to handle multiple spectrum bands. We need much better antennas if we are to get vastly greater data volumes into and out of cellular devices. For now, data speeds on cellphones are being limited by the capacity of the antennas.
  • Ultra Dense Networks (UDN). This envisions the end of cell sites in the way we think about them today. This would come first in urban networks where there will be a hyper-dense deployment of small cell devices that would likely also incorporate small cells, WiFi routers, femtocells, and M2M gateways. In such an environment, cellphones can interact with the cloud rather than with a traditional cell site. This eliminates the traditional cellular standard of one cell site controlling a transaction. In a UDN network, a cellular device could connect anywhere.
  • Device-to-Device (D2D) Connectivity. The smart 5G network in the future will let nearby devices communicate with each other without having to pass traffic back and forth to a data hub. This would move some cellular transactions to the edge, and would significantly reduce logjams at data centers and on middle-mile fiber routes.
  • A Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Layer. A huge portion of future web traffic will be communications between devices and the cloud. This research envisions a separate cellular network for such traffic that maximizes M2M communications separately from traffic used by people.
  • Use of AI. Smart networks will be able to shift and react to changing demands and will be able to shuffle and share network resources as needed. For example, if there is a street fair in a neighborhood that is usually vehicle traffic, the network would smartly reconfigure to recognize the changing demand for connectivity.
  • Better Batteries. None of the improvements come along until there are better 'lifetime' batteries that can allow devices to use more antennas and process more data.

Wireless marketing folks will be challenged to find ways to describe these future improvements in the 5G network. If the term 6G becomes associated with terabit spectrum, marketers are going to find something other than a 'G' term to over-hype the new technologies.

Written by Doug Dawson, President at CCG Consulting

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More under: Mobile Internet, Networks, Telecom, Wireless

Categories: News and Updates

New Guta.com Market Report Shows Covid-19 Impacting Sales But 1-Word Dictionary .Coms Still Shine

DN Journal - Wed, 2020-05-06 19:12
Domain brokerage Guta.com has released their latest quarterly report on aftermarket sales. Things slowed down in 1Q-2020 but there was one bright spot.
Categories: News and Updates

Lessons from three recent domain sales

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2020-05-06 18:23

Here are three lessons to sell more domains.

I’ve made three small (one very small!) domain sales over the past 10 days, and each of them comes with a lesson. Here they are:

The follow-up

Some sales discussions go stale. It makes sense to follow up from time-to-time on previous negotiations to see if the buyers are still interested. Last week I rekindled five prior negotiations at Uniregistry. So far, I’ve closed one.

The first sale was for a domain I picked up on GoDaddy closeouts six months ago. I hadn’t received any inquiries on the domain since the last person inquired, and the domain had a buy now price of $1,500. The buyer was still interested but at the lower level. The domain doesn’t have a lot of commercial value. It might have sold for the buy now price eventually, but a bird in the hand…buy, sell, rinse and repeat. I sold it for $820.

Lesson: follow up with stale sales leads. 

The expiring domain

On Domain Name Wire Podcast #260, Richard Lau and James Morfopoulos gave an excellent tip for domains you’re about to let go: list them on Afternic for $59 or $79.

I look through my domains 3-6 months in advance and turn off auto-renew if I don’t plan to renew them. James’ tip was to lower the buy now price on Afternic to increase the chances of a sale for domains you’re letting go. I dropped the price to $59.

This is a domain I had owned for over 10 years and received zero inquiries on. It was going to the waste bin and I was going to receive $0 for it when it expired two weeks from now. Instead, I got $44 after commission.

That’s infinitely more than I was going to receive.

Lesson: as part of your process of turning off auto-renew, lower the sales price on Afternic for one last chance at a sale.

The quick sale

The final sale was for a domain I bought on GoDaddy a couple of weeks ago for a nominal amount. It sold on Afternic about a week later for $3,300.

It’s likely that the buyer had been interested in the domain but didn’t know how to acquire it when it expired. When they saw the buy now option, they jumped on it.

Lesson: immediately list your domains for sale on Aftenric after acquiring them.

Post link: Lessons from three recent domain sales

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Categories: News and Updates

Web.com refreshes Register.com, lowers pricing

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2020-05-06 15:29

It no longer costs an arm and a leg to register a domain at Register.com. Just an arm.

It’s purple. And slightly less expensive.

Register.com has teased customers over the past month with emails saying that change was coming. Today, that change dropped.

On the front end, the biggest thing you’ll notice is an upgraded color scheme. But Register.com promises that its platform has been redone under the hood.

In an email to customers, Register.com also says that it has revised its prices on the most popular domains. Indeed, both Register.com and Web.com’s other major register, Network Solutions, appear to have dropped their prices on .com domains.

You can now register a .com domain for an industry-leading $25/year. By industry-leading, I mean the highest price possible.

It also appears that this price is promotional for one or two years. I don’t have any domains at Register.com to test, but at Network Solutions, it seems that .com domains renew for $37.99. (I should note that this price is higher than the site’s official price list.)

One under-the-hood experience that I doubt has changed is how the company issues authorization codes to transfer domains. It appears to take a few days still to get these codes.

Post link: Web.com refreshes Register.com, lowers pricing

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Categories: News and Updates

56.com and the power of short numeric domains

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2020-05-06 13:39

This domain sold for a lot and it certainly has valuable uses.

George Kirikos frequently demonstrates his great skills in finding valuable information about domains. Recently, he dug up some old stuff to reveal the price of the domain 56.com.

In a post he wrote on the Namepros domain forum, he discovered that the owner wrote down $7.2 million in value of the domain, meaning it paid at least $7.2 million to buy the domain in 2014. This is spectacular when you compare, for example, that 37.com sold for only $1.96 million in the same year.

56.com has an interesting history in terms of its business side. It was registered in 1998 and then developed into a free email service called Le You (乐邮) in 2005. The number 56, however, only partially matches the brand — where 6 rhymes with Le.

Later that year, 56.com was turned into a video site called Wo Le (我乐=I have fun). Here, the domain is fully brand-matching, with 56 rhyming with Wo Le. It was a big hit, becoming the largest video-sharing site in China.

Then, the business was sold to Renren for $80 million in 2011, and then to Sohu for $25 million in 2014 when Renren ran into some financial difficulty. Sohu removed the “Wo Le” brand and started using purely the number 56.

From the history of 56.com, you can see that the domain is very versatile. It was used in the entertainment industry, and it was given a Chinese meaning at one time but the meaning was dropped later without any problem.

In fact, the domain is also great for the logistics industry because 56 rhymes with Wu Liu (物流=logistics). This is even more significant when you consider that China is the largest logistics market in the world. Many logistics companies are already using 56 in their domain names. (See my article “The number 56 has a special place in domains“.)

Number-number domains are powerful because they are short enough to be easily remembered. In China, you also have the option of either using the number only or giving it a meaning, as demonstrated in the history of 56.com.

Post link: 56.com and the power of short numeric domains

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Categories: News and Updates

Internet Governance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Part 5: Article 15-17

Domain industry news - Wed, 2020-05-06 00:40

Articles 15, (revisited)16-17, Freedom of Assembly, Economic and Social Rights. Co-authored by Klaus Stoll, Prof Sam Lanfranco, Sarah Deutsch1

Internet Governance, like all governance, needs to be founded in guiding principles from which all policy making is derived. There are no more fundamental principles to guide our policy making than the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (UDHR). This article as Part 5 of the series of articles2 (published in installments), and we are revisiting Article 15 to look at empowered Digital Citizenship and Internet Governance, to move on to the rights to a family and property3.

Article 15: (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.

Article 15: (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

In the previous article of the series, we looked at the Rights and Obligations of digital citizenship. As promised in Part 4, we will now further explore empowered digital citizenship and Internet Governance.

Empowered Digital Citizenship: Internet Governance and a Better Future

This series examines what the UDHR tells us about what could be, and maybe what should be, our rights and obligations in the digital spaces of the Internet ecosystem. Across communities, there is not likely to be one unique path or one unique arrangement of mechanisms. Here, we only propose an aspirational starting point, beginning with engaged digital stakeholders as individuals and as members of communities.

This part of the series is being written at a time when the world is gripped in a global pandemic that is unleashing virus-driven illness and death on a scale not seen in over a century.4 This pandemic is both a health and an economic crisis, and a crisis where we are relying as never before on digital technologies to carry on our personal, business and public lives. Internet access has become a literal matter of life and death. The realities of digital space are impacting on, and affected by, the pandemic as much as are our literal and biological realities. There is a growing understanding that the virtual and the literal are integral parts of both our individual and our collective realities.

This crisis is pitting public health concerns against economic concerns, reflected in debate on how to balance health strategies (testing, isolation, social distance) with the health of the economy (jobs, income, output). It is also raising issues around regulations and policy directives as complements to, or in competition with, social-behavioral norms. These issues always reside just below the surface in Internet citizenship and Internet policy discussions. How do we decide the tradeoff, under uncertainty during this pandemic, when we think about mandating society's protection of common good, balanced against the rights and duties of persons? Let's deal with that for a moment.

"The common good is about how we live together in community. It's about the ethical ideals we strive for together, the benefits and burdens we share, the sacrifices we make for one another. It's about the lessons we learn from one another about how to live a good and decent life."
Harvard political philosopher Michael Sandel5

"We" appears five times in Sandel's definition of the common good. In contrast, the UDHR is highly focused on the individual, on the "Me".6

The definition, defense and exercise of one's rights and duties as a person never occur apart from one's membership within the larger community. While the rights focus on the person, the duties are focused on the community. The relationship between the person and the community has never been more relevant to social policy and social behavior than in today's digital age.

The traditional notion of community is heavily constrained by time and space and shaped by historical experience. The pervasive and global scope of the Internet means that in actuality (literally), one's presence and residence are in multiple communities that operate across time and space. Peoples' online simultaneous residences range from long-standing spaces to extemporaneous "pop-up" communities such as the multitude of such "gatherings" in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The global and instantaneous venue of the Internet presents an aspirational starting point to engage digital stakeholders in shaping policy and behavior for both individual rights and for obligations on how communities live together.

Individual rights, within Internet governance, do not come from simply imposing a predetermined governance model onto the Internet ecosystem. Nor can a social fabric of acceptable behavior be simply willed into being. They are not like simple decisions, like deciding about driving on which side of the road. Establishing the rights and duties of digital citizenship will likely be a two-stage process.

The first stage will involve identifying and subscribing to a set of basic principles, much like those in the UDHR. The second stage will be the process of legislative and behavioral changes over time, changes that flesh out the rights and duties of one's digital citizenship, both at the national and the global levels. Just as the rights and duties of literal national citizenship have developed and changed over time, digital national citizenship will go through the same process.

It is likely that global digital citizenship will develop in two directions, upward from the refinement of national digital citizenship, and downward from principles and ideas starting with the notion of a global digital citizenship that exists in addition to and partially apart from one's national digital citizenship.

The processes used to define digital citizenship cannot be independent of the governance process used to govern a country and define literal digital citizenship. This suggests that the processes used to define digital citizenship are both constrained by existing governance processes, also have the potential to address some of the contemporary failings of governance processes in democratic countries.

The current Internet ecosystem is a toxic stew of good information and analysis, poisoned by abundant doses of bad information, false news, and lies. It is a bit like the State of medicine in the late 19th century when medications ranged from folk remedies to benign untested remedies, snake oil salesmen and the outright poisonous.

At the national level, one's rights and duties of digital citizenship will come to have the same legal status as one's literal citizenship. The reverse may not, and need not, be the case. Estonia is a country with a strong digital residency regime. A foreigner may acquire national digital e-Residency without being a literal resident of the country. A digital resident may have no literal residency rights.7

The challenge before us now is:

What should be the rights and obligations of a digital resident's digital citizenship?

There is no "off the shelf" prepackaged answer to that question. The rights and obligations of both state-level and global digital citizenship are, and must be, a work in progress, developing top-down in the form of rules and regulations, and developing bottom us as behavioral norms are woven into the social fabric and implicit social contract. The questions to be addressed here include:

  • How are the rights and duties of global digital citizenship related to those of national (state-level) digital citizenship?
  • What levels of stakeholder engagement are called for in the policy development process around digital citizenship rights and obligations?

Some will argue that there is a need for something akin to a global cyber state overseeing the development, administration and enforcement of the rights and duties of global digital citizenship. Others will object, arguing that such an approach is impractical and a global cyber state infringes on the sovereignty of the nation-state.8

There is however a middle ground — one with a long history in terms of dealing with issues at the global level. That middle ground between no global governance and an unpalatable global governance is the use of multilateral agreements.9 One possible path forward involves exploring policy processes (mechanisms) and efforts that involve engaged multi-stakeholderism at the bottom, and state-led multilateralism at the top.10

The physical nation-states play an ambiguous role when it comes to protecting digital citizenship rights. They are developing policies related to national digital citizenship, while trying to extend that control into global cyberspace. Such strategies are bound to experience extreme difficulties in the borderless cyberspace of the Internet ecosystem. These issues become even more challenging when such national policies inevitably clash with each other across jurisdictional boundaries.

So long as states fail to recognize the global borderless nature of cyberspace, their efforts to protect their citizens in global cyberspace will always be inadequate. It will take states entering international treaties that regulate the digital relationships between literal states in order to ensure that the rights of their citizens are respected in borderless cyberspace.

At an individual level, empowered digital citizenship should bring the right to access global cyberspace, the right of protection by the State, and the obligation of the State to engage in multilateral efforts to protect its citizens' global digital rights. On the other hand, state-level interference with cyberspace, such as network takedowns, constitute an abridgment of principle-based rights of digital citizenship in both national and global cyberspace.11

Article 15: (2) states that: "No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality." This confronts us with an interesting conundrum in global cyberspace. While one's national and global digital residency can be protected or abridged by the actions of one's nation-state, and by multilateral agreements, what might it mean to change one's digital nationality? As well, given the fluid definition of nationality, one may well possess multiple digital nationalities. If states arbitrarily abridge digital citizenship rights in cyberspace, what are the citizen's options? One can, of course, exercise engaged participation to try to enshrine and protect digital rights. One can resist when confronted with tactics contrary to the universal principles enshrined in the UDHR, or enshrined in subsequent global digital citizenship covenants.

Does one have a right, or a possibility, to secede? The answer is both a yes and a no. One can secede from a state's jurisdiction by emigration, but one cannot secede from the global cyberspaces of the Internet ecosystem any more than one can secede from earth's gravity. The mere fact of existing now makes one a resident of global cyberspace. One is likely to have residency even prior to birth.

What this means is one's presence is preordained, that one has a duty and an obligation to willfully become an engaged digital citizen in the cyberspaces of the Internet ecosystem from the moment one is capable of measured and deliberate action. This does not mean a childhood engagement in the governance processes, but it does mean a progressive learning and understanding of integrity-based engagement in policy and behavioral norms that make one a responsible, engaged digital citizen of the national and global internet ecosystems.12

Disenchantment, Digital Governance and Engaged Digital Citizenship

One cannot opt-out of cyberspace any more than one can opt-out of gravity. One can, however, be disenchanted with one digital residency, be that one's digital residency where one possesses literal citizenship or one of several virtual residencies in communities. One can be alienated from the governance and socio-economic processes that surround a particular digital residency. How individuals are treated within their digital residency has consequences for their literal lives. It can promote engagement as citizen stakeholders or disengagement as alienated digital citizens.

The three sources of frustration, disappointment and concern are:

  1. underdeveloped governance mechanisms and social norms (embedded in society's social contract and social fabric) that fail to facilitate a safe and secure existence in one's literal and virtual life.
  2. lack of confidence in the integrity of digital business and governance practices as they impact the personal (e.g., privacy and security). Here — confidence goes beyond privacy and security to trust in the Internet not only from an infrastructure perspective, but as a trusted source of information, e-commerce, etc. The recent fraud associated with our current COVID19 crisis is a good example of how the trust in the Internet can be eroded if abuse is not addressed.
  3. the absence of adequate stakeholder dialogue and engagement in policy planning, in implementation and in the capture and use of lessons learned.

The lack of an appropriate governance mechanism, and of an appropriate social contract woven into the social fabric can be explained, if not excused, by the relative newness of the cyberspaces of the Internet ecosystem.

The resulting lack of confidence by stakeholders and the questionable integrity of many digital business and governance practices are clearly issues to be addressed. Progress on both depends on improving stakeholder engagement in planning, implementation, and advances base on lessons learned.

The challenge at hand is clear. It is to move from disenchanted and indifferent residency to engaged citizenship in cyberspace, a move to an engaged residency that sees the rights and obligations of digital citizenship codified at the appropriate levels of governance and acceptable behavior woven into the social fabric.

Here the focus in on rights and obligations at the global level, in those spaces and regions of the global Internet ecosystem that are beyond the reach of individual nation-states, those spaces where residency may be within multiple communities. Progress here will likely require cooperation via multilateral, intergovernmental, and international mechanisms.

The contemporary response to issues of personal privacy and security, and to entanglement with questionable digital business and governance processes is the common refrain:

"Somebody should do something about that."

The refrain presents both problems and suggested approaches.

The "that" referred to in the refrain is seldom clear enough to be the target of focused stakeholder engagement in the policy process. A wider discourse is needed to specify and assign priority to the "that" list for policy development. Is "that" personal data privacy, false news, faulty analysis, or what? How is the solution to be a blend of governance actions and a rebuild of the social fabric and underlying social contract to accommodate new behaviors in the new realities of digital residency in the Internet ecosystem?

The "somebody" is equally problematic; who is that, who should do what? Digital residency in the global Internet ecosystem does not fall under the jurisdiction of existing regimes of sovereign governance. Whatever process is used to enact policy, it must pass through some governance mechanism. That will require a blend of multilateral, intergovernmental, and international venues. This process will have to strike a balance between what needs to be codified and what should be nurtured in a digitally enhanced social fabric and social contract.

The "something" is the most problematic element in the refrain. The governance mechanism must operate through a venue of sovereign participants. The something, as policies, regulations, or whatever, must help define and respect the rights and duties of digital residency and digital citizenship, and contribute to the rebuild of the social fabric and underlying social contract.13 Because these are hard issues, the outcome often reverts to doing nothing. Doing nothing in the face of clear harm is not a sustainable approach and only further erodes consumer trust. Again — COVID19 presents a good case study to show how dependent we all are at this time in history on the Internet to stay connected, to learn, to have access to information, entertainment, e-commerce...etc.

The notion of nationality contained in the UDHR, as ambiguous as it may be, presumes that nationality needs to be respected under the relevant sovereign law. Extending the principles of the UDHR protections to the global digital residents of the Internet is the central task of Internet Governance activity, an activity that needs to be stakeholder grounded at the bottom, and a blend of legislated agreements and social fabric/contract efforts.14

Presence and Association in the Digital Age

While the virtual reality of cyberspace and the literal reality of physical space blend into the seamless larger lived reality, there are points in the UDHR that remind us of major differences between the virtual and the literal.

Article 16, with its focus on marriage and the family, is a good example of this.

Article 16: (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

Article 16: (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

Article 16: (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

What are the analogs to family and marriage in the Internet ecosystem? Also, the disruptions of this digital age remind us that the social fabric is a patchwork quilt, occasionally in need of alterations and repair.

Certain parts of Article 16 link to the core principles of the UDHR and are timeless, while other parts reflect the social norms of the time. At its core is the equitable treatment of the genders regarding the rights of legal union and protection by society and the State.15 One possible relevance is about the possibilities of digital marriage, performed online. This emulates a traditional literal marriage, but what if an authorized officiant is not present, does the marriage have legal standing?16 There are lessons here from the current COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 illness can come on suddenly and with life-threatening consequences. Many risk reaching imminent death without a will, and quarantine prohibits witnessing signatures. Governments quickly adjusted to accept remote witnessing, by digital video. The point of this example is that what was only acceptable literally will increasingly be accepted virtually, in the digital venue.

Returning to Article 16 for insights regarding what is/are the "fundamental group unit[s] of digital society" and their entitlements "to protection by society and the state," the UDHR focus is on the family. One does not necessarily have to focus on "The family." Going back to UDHR Article 11 and the freedom of assembly and association, various digital groupings, above and beyond various forms of digital marriage, can be considered as entitled to such protection.

Digital personas and groupings of digital personas (digital nations) also need protection in cyberspace for whatever purposes those relationships are formed so long as they are within the limits of the law. This is a pressing and difficult area since social media site owners are making independent, non-transparent and unaccountable decisions as to which individual and groups can have residency in their regions of cyberspace, and what digital personas are to be constructed or allowed to exist, based in part on the purposes and intent of the groups and to large degree on the business interests of the social media site provider.17

This is an area where reflection and dialogue are called for, in order to fashion regulations acceptable business practices, to reach a consensus on applicable social norms, and to establish dispute resolution mechanisms.

Property, Ownership and Behavior in the Internet Ecosystem

The advent of the digital spaces on the Internet ecosystem has prompted a massive creation of digital properties and a massive "land grab." This is promoting the need for deeper reflection on society's notions of property, property ownership and property use.

Regarding property (in the literal world), Article 17 of the UDHR is very clear.

Article 17: (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

Article 17: (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Whatever is defined as property, one has the right to ownership and the right not to be arbitrarily deprived of one's property. Of course, ownership can be subject to a multitude of restrictions, covenants and entitlements, as in the case of land where there are zoning regulations, and riparian water rights.18

What property is less clear in the Internet ecosystem? What are the "properties" of Internet properties? What are the rights and obligations of ownership for such properties? The technical infrastructure of cyberspace, the machines, cables and satellites, the buildings, etc. are clearly properties in the traditional sense. The digital services they provide are a more complicated area. Many of the services are only enabled by legal and regulatory relationships with governments. Technically and legally, even Internet domain names are not owned properties. Their use is via a contract with an Internet registrar that has a contract with a registry that has, in turn, a contract with ICANN.19

Privately-owned undersea cables need landing rights at a country's shoreline. Satellites and wireless terrestrial systems need legal access to limited radio-frequency bandwidth. Government policies on competition and monopolies may dictate shared access by competitors, and the terms of that shared access. There are disagreements about regulations and terms of access, based on the extent to which user access should be treated as a public good, and providers should be treated as regulated utilities or be left to face unfettered market forces.20

Much of the value of a presence in the Internet ecosystem comes from the rights of ownership and/or access to digital assets and processes. While intangible in a literal sense, they are real in a substantive sense, in terms of the impact of the realities of life, community, commerce and governance. Included in this basket of intangibles are domain names, intellectual property, digital processes, and the ever-increasing and important assembly, storage, and use of archived data. While intellectual property is included in the UDHR's definition of property, it is important that these are not stand-alone rights but must be balanced with other human rights. For example, if an internet intermediary receives a demand letter from an IP owner today to cut off a person's internet access based on an allegation of IP infringement, the property rights in Article 17(1) must be balanced with the UDHR's other rights. That termination demand must be balanced with Article 11 (1), which states that,

"Everyone charged with a penal offense has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense."

As a practical reality that is clear from surviving during the time of a global pandemic, terminating Internet access would mean possibly disconnecting an individual, an entire family, or even a broader community from access to the Internet. The Internet is the only way digital citizens have to access goods and services, participate in their education, and for some, the only way to communicate with their loved ones. Termination of Internet access based on the property right clashes with UDHR Article 12, which states no one should be subject to arbitrary interference with his family, home, or correspondence. Article 10 confirms that citizens are entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations. Article 9 states that no one should be subject to arbitrary exile, and in this case, the blunt remedy of terminating one's internet access based on third party allegations of property rights disputes would result in a form of digital exile. Article 26 recognizes everyone's rights to education, and Article 27 recognizes the right to participate in cultural events, both of which, in today's pandemic, are only available through online access.

How the rights and duties of digital citizenship are defined and respected depends on how each of these intangibles is understood and handled, both via legislation and regulation, and via community norms woven into society's social fabric and its underlying social contract. As illustrated by the examples above, the need to get this balance right is essential.

Regarding the scope of property rights, countries may even differ on what constitutes "property." Japanese law states that "Data is intangible and not subject to ownership under the Civil Code."21 Japan differentiates between personal and non-personal data, as well as intellectual property rights in digital cyberspace. However, the law does not address the fact that so-called non-personal data, collected from non-transactional behavior (e.g., browsing) and from ambient sources (digital apps, Internet of Things, facial recognition, etc.), is nevertheless tagged to individuals. Such data is used to construct individual digital personas for a myriad of economic, political, and other purposes. It is constructed with neither the awareness nor the consent of the targeted person.

The landscape of the Internet ecosystem is rich with properties, and potential properties, that have considerable commercial value. The notion of intellectual property — whether trademarks, trade names, materials subject to copyright protection or patent protection, are virtual assets that have tangible value as digital commercial properties. Much of that tangible value depending on the data that flows through the Internet's infrastructure, the digital applications used to process it, and the ultimate uses to which it is put.

This poses a host of issues regarding what are the parameters of those properties. What are the rights and obligations of those property owners/holders? What are acceptable processes within digital cyberspace? What are the rights and obligations of those whose data is the raw material that feeds those processes and gives value to those properties and processes? What rights does the individual have to those personas constructed to assess one's personal, commercial and political behavior and tendencies, and what rights to the uses to which they are put?

What is clear here is that there is a rich agenda of work to be carried out with respect to understanding the notions of property within the Internet ecosystem. That understanding is integral to building responsible and effective Internet governance, as well as weaving norms of acceptable behavior into society's social fabric.

These understandings and agreements around them are integral to drafting appropriate regulations for the rights and duties of one's digital citizenship in the Internet ecosystem. Stakeholder engagement is essential in governance, and it is integral to society's efforts to rebuild a disrupted social fabric and underlying social contact to provide a guidance matrix for acceptable behavior within the Internet ecosystem.

There is a need for both a governance structure that produces effective Internet governance and a stakeholder lead rebuild of the social fabric in order to identify and protect the rights and duties of engaged digital citizenship.

Reflecting on the UDHR, it is important to remember that while data is virtual, it becomes as real as a rock in our hand when it impacts our individual and collective realities. Intangible data becomes tangible and real through the effect it has on our literal world. The digital and literal realms may be thought of as "separate but inseparable." Together they constitute the reality in which we now live.22

Data Ownership and related IP property issues: My Car is Spying on Me

Nothing becomes property until it has value in use. Medieval English village common lands, and tribal lands globally, were communal with common access. They became "enclosed" (privatized), when exclusion and entitled access brought benefits of some, while diminishing the rights of others. The ownership and value of data are experiencing a similar enclosure movement as the result of three factors that are coming to fruition at the same time.

The first two factors are the quantum leaps in the capacity to store and process data. The third is the rapid growth of fifth-generation wireless communications technology (5G) for digital cellular networks.

Together they expand the ability of the broadly defined Internet of Things (IoT) to generate and share data in real-time.23 For example, autonomous vehicles share data at speeds necessary to support navigation in real-time. Such data is available in real-time, and in archived format, for other uses. Vehicular and cell phone data story plot lines are already standard fare for tracking "persons of interest" in popular television, movies, and online video, and have been used by countries like South Korea to track human movement for dealing with contact and isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Archived vehicular date is time, space and process specific and already being used by manufacturers, insurance companies and others.24 Who has what rights to what, and on what conditions, in terms of the data I produce, and the data capture about me by ambient devices? My car, my cell phone, and my heart monitor, all share data on me with others elsewhere in the Internet ecosystem. Sharing it to what ends? My car is spying on me, I am not sure to what uses, and I probably don't like that.25 Even data that is said to be anonymized, can readily be used to re-identify an individual with just a few added data elements.

This example demonstrates that ownership of an IoT "thing" (here, the car) means that owning the thing does not establish either data ownership or data control.26 The properties of digital properties, the ownership of digital properties, and the rights and duties of the producers and controllers of digital properties are all areas of ongoing policy development. It is crucial that those policy processes involve stakeholder participation by engaged digital citizens, while at the same time, society defines the fundamental notions of the rights and duties of digital citizenship.

We share the same common lands today as the medieval English village if we acknowledge those common interests. The global pandemic has led some to acknowledge that intellectual property rights might lead to societal roadblocks to finding urgent cures and treatments. Some technology companies recently took the lead in announcing they will remove IP property roadblocks and grant free temporary licenses to their patented and copyrighted technologies to allow others to pursue treatments and cures without fear of IP legal ramifications. The Open COVID Pledge is an innovative example of how the global commons can be invoked to protect the broader public good when it is needed most.27

https://www.law360.com/ip/articles/1265926/tech-titans-commit-to-freeing-ip-to-aid-pandemic-response

Data Markets and Data Owner/Controller Data Rights

There are massive markets for data, markets for specific data subsets and markets for so-called big data. The uses of such data can be for honorable uses such as epidemiological health studies, for exploitive commercial or political ends, or for nefarious cybercrime purposes. Even when uses are prohibited, such as when law enforcement agencies are not allowed to use applications that track cell phone use, agencies can and do turn to third party entities that scrape, purchase and sell carrier cell tower data.28

Different regions of the globe are at different stages in thinking about legislation and regulations to deal with intellectual property, data ownership, and data privacy. Europe has enacted The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Passed by the European Union (EU), it has extraterritoriality elements and imposes obligations on organizations anywhere, so long as they target or collect data related to people in the EU. The US Congress has held hearings on data privacy and ownership issues, but there has been little movement in terms of legislation. Last year one, then-Democratic presidential candidate, Andrew Yang, included "data as a property right" a central policy platform of his campaign29. The proposal was scarcely developed. Both the EU and US are considering wholesale overhauls to intellectual property laws and safe harbors from liability under the US Digital Millennial Copyright Act and the EU's E-Commerce Directive. Whether new intellectual property rights will result in new liabilities and negatively impact citizens' and right to access the Internet remains in play.

We are early in the necessary discussions around the rights and terms of access to data, how those rights and terms are reconciled with regard to the rights and obligations of digital citizenship, and how those rights are protected and those duties are carried out. Personal data as a tradeable good, or its uses by the data controller, risk the establishment of a form of digital slavery, where one's digital personas were in the service of other. That would constitute not just an assault on one's digital rights but, in a world where the digital and the literal are "separate but inseparable," that would constitute an assault on one's fundamental human rights under the UDHR.

We have focused on the rights side of one's digital presence, one's ownership of digital properties. In this article, we opened the door a bit on digital obligations, but little has been said about the obligations that come with digital property ownership. That side of the coin will be dealt with when we get to the UDHR's Article 29:2, which states:

"In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society."

The existing scope and scale of low integrity and predatory digital business practices operating in the cyberspaces of the Internet ecosystem are neither desirable nor sustainable. Many of them violate the notions of decency and trust that were integral to the social fabric and underlying social contract that we built for our literal world. The challenges here offer an opportunity to both push for integrity in digital business practices and to cultivate engaged stakeholder learning and participation in those efforts. The newness of the digital context and the long history of defending universal human rights offers an opportunity for engaged stakeholder participation in shaping the digital reality within the principles that guided the UDHR.

Our journey thus far through the UDHR has shown us the need for a governance process with its foundations in an empowered digital citizenship. The underlying principles of internet governance, at every level, can largely draw on the principles on which the UDHR is based.

As we continue and complete our journey through the rest of the Articles of the UHDR, we will more deeply understand how those principles can serve as the building blocks for the rights and duties of digital residency and citizenship in the cyberspaces of the Internet ecosystem. In the next piece in this series, we turn to UDHR Article 18, which addresses one's right to freedom of thought and religion or belief and explore what it means for the rights and duties of digital residence and citizenship.

  1. The authors contributed this article solely in their personal capacity, to promote discussion around the UDHR, digital rights and digital citizenship. The authors can be reached at and . 
  2. Part 1-4 are available at: http://www.circleid.com/members/8325/ 
  3. This series of articles are presented a bit like preparing the foundation for a house, where the house is the "house of regulations and rights" in the digital age. An understanding of the desired digital rights, and the pitfalls from policy and regulation, is required to build a sturdy and relevant platform of digital rights.

    These articles are also a contribution to the upcoming 75th UN UDHR anniversary and as a start of an Internet ecosystem-wide discussion around digital rights and policy development. Comments are welcomed. (Send comments with "UDHR" in the subject line to klausstoll@thebrocasgroup.com ). Comments will be used to update this digital rights discussion in subsequent articles. 
  4. This is being written on World TB (Tuberculosis) Day. We would be remiss if we did not remind ourselves that TB is a more persistent and ongoing illness with 10 million new cases in 2019 and 1.5 million deaths. It commands less attention because its victims tend to be the poor and marginalized at the edges of the global economy. 
  5. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/24/opinion/covid-ethics-politics.html 
  6. This is neither the time nor the place to explore the balance between individual rights and the common good in the UDHR, other than to observe that the UDHR was being drafted immediately after, and under the shadow of, a period of some of the most egregious violations of the rights and dignity of individual in the history of humanity. 
  7. Estonian e-Residency is a government-issued digital identity and status that provides access to Estonia's transparent digital business environment. E-Residency allows digital entrepreneurs to manage business from anywhere, entirely online. https://e-resident.gov.ee/ 
  8. There is a long history of distrust around the notions of global governance, both as it may infringe on national sovereignty and on those personal rights and obligations that are secured under nation-state jurisdiction. One can see elements of this distrust and displeasure in the pro-Brexit arguments the underlay the UK exit from the European Community. 
  9. Multilateralism emerged as a post-WWII mechanism based on the failures around global cooperation that plagued the world, with terrible consequences, between WWI and WWII. See: The Economic Consequences of the Peace, written by the British economist John Maynard Keynes and published in 1919. His call for multilateral policies was ignored after WWI. He was instrumental in the growth of multilateralism after WWII. 
  10. Examples include the multistakeholder processes of the International Labor Office (ILO), and the various multilateral accords on the sea, the atmosphere, space, and other more specific issues. What they may lack is adequate multistakeholder engagement throughout the policy-making and implementation processes. 
  11. The role of the Internet during the COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the growing understanding that access to (presence on) the Internet is an essential service, and increasingly seen as an essential element of the common good, to live a good and decent life 
  12. It should be noted that the learning involved in being an engaged and responsible global and national digital citizen will likely have transferable lessons regarding being an engaged and responsible national literal citizen. 
  13. Processes in these new digital territories are likely to be complicated by sovereign states seeking to engage in elements of extraterritoriality. 
  14. While not explored in detail here, part of rebuilding the social fabric and social contract will likely involve education around "digital civics", meaning a combination of understanding digital governance processes, and one's role in the digital ecosystem as an engaged digital citizen. 
  15. In these times, society is slowly broadening its notions and its understanding of gender and of what constitutes, under the permission and protection of law, states of legal union under the law. Whether the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society can be debated. Other societal groupings may be as or more important depending on the context and the issues at hand. There is clearly a different context when considering groupings in the digital spaces of the Internet ecosystem. 
  16. https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/i-just-attended-the-first-stateless-digital-marriage-but-im-not-sure-if-it-can-change-the-world-a6782941.html 
  17. This is not to say that there should be no restrictions, but that restrictions should have some accountability and recourse to dispute resolution processes. A group that violates the law (e.g., engaged in child abuse) is easy to deal with. Groups advocating for community cases and public interest concerns are more problematic, and hence presence and deletion should be guided by a mix of regulations, community standards, transparency, and dispute resolution mechanisms, and not just the bottom line profits of the platform provider. 
  18. Riparian rights are a system for allocating water among those who possess land along its path. 
  19. Literal and virtual notions of property are already causing friction within the Internet ecosystem. Some companies (Amazon, Patagonia) acquired domain names (as intellectual property) before counties had time to object and there have been ongoing struggles between countries whose territorial features are coveted by companies seeking those names as corporate intellectual property. 
  20. These are not arcane issues. During the COVID-19 pandemic large populations that were cut off from internet access, for political reasons, suffered much greater risks to life due to lack of information and an inability to use the Internet and cell phone service for access to essential medical services and supplies. 
  21. The Japanese government, at the same time, differentiates nevertheless between personal and non-personal data. "Data is intangible and not subject to ownership under the Civil Code. Non-personal data may, in principle, be freely used — based on personal contracts, for example — except for legally protected intellectual property falling under copyright, trade secret, or other legal statutes." , Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, METI. See: https://www.meti.go.jp/english/press/2017/pdf/0530_002b.pdf 
  22. Rolf Landauer, The Physical Nature of Information, 217 PHYSICS LETTERS A 188, 188 (1996). This statement is based on his earlier article "Information is Physical", 44 PHYSICS TODAY 23 — 29 (1991). 
  23. There is a tendency to treat the Internet of Things as all those connected devises and applications that have come along after the personal computer and the cell phone. However, in terms of functionality and the issues around data ownership, Internet governance, and the rights and duties of one's digital and literal personas, computers and cell phones should be considered as within the universe of the Internet of Things. 
  24. For example, many jurisdictions are having debates about installing traffic cameras to both help manage traffic flows and ticket traffic violations. The data flows from AI-enhanced vehicles will make such cameras redundant, with the policy issue becoming who has what rights to the data generated. 
  25. For further thoughts how AI impacts on today's driving experience see: Stoll, "Questions of a Global Digital Citizen Before She Enters Her First Self Driving Car", CircleID 
  26. In some areas, this has already led to legislation and regulations. Car manufacturers refused independent licensed garages access to the technical manuals and specialized devices to service their vehicles. Gradually US state legislation required the right of licensed garages to purchase the manuals and devices. A similar issue is growing in the farming sector. Currently, John Deere tractor's electronics can only be serviced by a John Deere technician. John Deer argues that the tractor is sold but the software is provided under contract. 
  27. https://www.law360.com/ip/articles/1265926/tech-titans-commit-to-freeing-ip-to-aid-pandemic-response 
  28. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/12/19/opinion/location-tracking-cell-phone.html 
  29. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/15/opinion/andrew-yang-privacy-internet.html 

Written by Klaus Stoll, Digital Citizen

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More under: Coronavirus, Internet Governance, Law, Policy & Regulation

Categories: News and Updates

GoDaddy hosting accounts hacked

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

Unauthorized access happened in October last year and impacted SSH logins only.

GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY) has informed some of its webhosting customers that their accounts were breached last year. The company submitted the breach notice (pdf) to the State of California on Sunday. The incident happened in October 2019.

In a letter to affected customers, GoDaddy said that an unauthorized individual gained access to the login information used to connect to SSH on their hosting accounts.

SSH, also know as Secure Shell, is frequently used for secure file transfers and other processes.

GoDaddy has no evidence that the perpetrator added files or modified accounts. The breach only impacted hosting accounts and not other information in GoDaddy customer accounts.

GoDaddy is providing free Website Security Deluxe and Express Malware Removal to impacted customers for one year. GoDaddy typically charges $20/month for the security service and $25/month for the malware removal service.

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UDRP panel: listen to John Berryhill

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2020-05-05 15:02

Grocer fails to heed John Berryhill’s good advice.

A New York grocery chain has been found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking after it filed a cybersquatting case against the domain name dagostino.com.

D’Agostinos Markets, Inc. filed the case even though domain name attorney John Berryhill clearly explained to it why it would lose a UDRP and likely be found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking, according to the decision.

The grocery chain sent a cease & desist letter to the owner, Lulu D’Agostino Murphy. Notice the family name.

Berryhill responded, explaining why the case was bunk.

In finding reverse domain name hijacking, the National Arbitration Forum panel wrote:

Complainant was on notice in a letter authored by John Berryhill, Esq., Respondent’s then counsel in response to Complainant’s cease and desist letter setting forth in great detail the relevant facts demonstrating Respondent’s rights or legitimate interests in dagostino.com… Mr. Berryhill informed Complainant that the domain name was purchased by Respondent’s father Joseph D’Agostino and used by him in connection with his computer business, and subsequently transferred to and used by Respondent in her business in the same field. Complainant was also informed that if he were to proceed with the UDRP Complaint Respondent would counterclaim Reverse Domain Name Hijacking.

Complainant knew or should have known from Mr. Berryhill’s voluminous references to cases and law and that the domain name was registered and is being held by a member of the D’Agostino family, all set forth in detail, that its Complaint had no chance of succeeding on the merits. It was, in short, a complaint that should never have been launched.

The panel was also frustrated that the Complainant was unfamiliar with the jurisprudence of UDRP and its evidentiary demands.

Although Berryhill sent the response to the cease & desist letter, Brett Lewis of Lews & Lin represented the domain owner in the UDRP. Nicholas C. Katsoris represented the grocery chain.

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Categories: News and Updates

English domains have great future in China

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2020-05-05 13:06

Chinese companies often choose English domain names.

I read VC news almost every day, which gives me a good understanding of what domains the future business leaders in corporate China prefer.

A number of years ago, I followed the popular wisdom that Chinese companies use Chinese-character based names and therefore Pinyin domains only. However, when I started looking deeper into this issue through reading, my view has changed.

Almost every day now, I see Chinese companies using English-based domains – along with those using Pinyin-based domains, of course.

I have recorded 207 startups reported in VC news in March. Many of these companies use English-based domains, and some of them are listed below.

Startup Pinyin Corporate domain 喜茶 Xi Cha HeyTea.com 纷来 Fen Lai HereStarter.com 赛恩贝 Sai En Bei ScioBio.com 银基 Yin Ji InGeek.com 锐翌 Rui Yi Realbio.cn 铁马 Tie Ma ChinaIronHorse.com 启英泰伦 Qi Ying Tai Lun ChipIntelli.com 埃睿迪 Ai Rui Di iReadyit.com 炼石 Lian Shi CipherGateway.com 博思美 Bo Si Mei BonSmile.com 乔斯 Qiao Si JoysKid.cn 捷会易 Jie Hui Yi EventBank.com 纽脉 Niu Mai NewMed.cn 天创 Tian Chuang TopScore.com.cn 聚客通 Ju Ke Tong JukeTool.com 贝宝 Bei Bao Babel.finance 创飞 Chuang Fei cChain.top 茶佳 Cha Jia TeaPlus.cn 无限向溯 Wu Xian Xiang Su WifiPix.com 冲量 Chong Liang Impulse.top 蚂蚁智联 Ma Yi Zhi Lian AntLink.com 代码星球 Dai Ma Xing Qiu CodePlanet.cc 信用生活 Xing Yong Sheng Huo WeCreditLife.com 凯卡博 Kai Ka Bo jLife.vip 微导 Wei Dao LeadMicro.com 泰和诚 Tai He Cheng ConcordMedical.com 摄星 She Xing StarSee.cn 望石智慧 Wang Shi Zhi Hui StoneWise.cn

As you can see, the Chinese names of the companies have not stopped them from choosing English-based domains over Pinyin-based domains.

Also, I have made two observations: (1) simple English words are used, and (2) .com is the most popular extension.

Your domains may have end users in China. If you want to explore potential buyers, try the tips I shared in the articles How to sell domains to China, Three steps to Chinese end user research, and A quick tip for Chinese end user research.

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Liquid Domain Market Platform LMXE Rebrands as LMX.com with New Features Added

DN Journal - Mon, 2020-05-04 22:26
Giuseppe Graziano's LXME has become a full featured platform renamed LMX.com that is designed to fast track trading of liquid .com domains.
Categories: News and Updates

Amazon Will Thrive After COVID-19

Domain industry news - Mon, 2020-05-04 18:48

Amazon has already received a retail windfall, but their infrastructure will be more important in the long run.

Amazon has already received a retail windfall, but their infrastructure will be more critical in the long run.

My final exam this term will include a take-home question: How will COVID-19 affect the fortunes one of the major Internet companies — Apple, Google, Facebook, or Microsoft?

I didn't include Amazon because they are an obvious winner. On December 30, 2019 Amazon stock was selling for $1,847.84 per share and on May 1, 2020 it was $2,286.04, a 23.7 percent increase. The government gave trillions of dollars to consumers and, at the same time, told most brick and mortar retailers they had to close, creating a double windfall for Amazon and other online retailers.

Since its inception, the Internet has enabled us to substitute communication for transportation. (See, for example, my 1998 pilot study at Hyundai USA). The rate of that substitution is a function of technological improvement and experience with the technology by users and organizations. COVID-19 has led to the invention of new use cases for communication in lieu of transportation and forced organizations and individuals to learn to use the technology. That will cause an increase in the rate of substitution of communication for transportation, which will increase demand for Amazon's infrastructure and services. While Amazon is known for retail, they are a major infrastructure company, which will be more important in the long run..

Amazon & Jeff Bezos' infrastructure and services

More companies will establish affiliate retailer stores at Amazon.com and those that are already there will see increased sales. (In 2018, third-parties accounted for 58% of Amazon retail sales). There will be increased demand for Amazon fulfillment and delivery services as well as their credit cards.

Organizations that need to tighten their belts to survive after COVID-19 will want to cut costs and staff, making Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Cloud Storage more attractive than on-premises information technology. Organizations that fail as a result of the pandemic will free up IT people and potential entrepreneurs to create startups to exploit novel Internet use cases that were made apparent by COVID-19. Many of those startups will be run out of Amazon datacenters.

Space is a long-term growth sector, and Amazon will benefit from that as a space infrastructure company. They are investing heavily in the launch business and recently (along with two others) received funding as part of NASA's ambitious lunar program. Amazon's ground station service will be attractive for space startups with little cash to spend on building out their own ground infrastructure.

Amazon's forthcoming broadband Internet service satellite constellation got a boost with the recent bankruptcy of OneWeb, which was shaping up to be a major competitor. OneWeb says COVID-19 precipitated their bankruptcy and Amazon may purchase the company or a portion of its assets.

Amazon's Echo voice platform is also the leader in the growing voice-application sector.

In addition to being strong in retail and infrastructure, Amazon is rich. They had $55 billion cash in the quarter ending March 31, a 33.8% year-over-year increase. Many people will be looking for jobs after COVID-19, and Amazon will be able to afford to hire them. They will also have the funds to buy companies. How about Zoom? (If they can't afford something, they can probably get a loan from Jeff Bezos, who has a net worth of $138.5 billion).

Finally, in addition to generating revenue, Amazon's infrastructure will yield increased amounts of information in the post-COVID era. That information will enable them to better allocate resources and investments and make dynamic pricing decisions.

One caveat — all of this is good news for Amazon post-COVID, but if it is too good, they may face anti-trust action.

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

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More under: Cloud Computing, Coronavirus, Data Center, Web

Categories: News and Updates

.Symantec heads to the trash bin after rebranding

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2020-05-04 17:16

NortonLifeLock has no need for .Symantec.

.Symantec is the latest dot-brand domain name to be dropped by its owner (pdf). But it’s not only because the brand owner isn’t using the top level domain.

Online security company Symantec changed its name to NortonLifeLock last year. It then sold its Symantec brand to CA, Inc. CA is a subsidiary of Broadcom. If you visit Symantec.com, you’ll end up on a page on Broadcom’s website, noting that Broadcom now operates Symantec’s enterprise products.

This is the inverse of one of the complaints I hear about dot-brands and new top level domains. Only brands that existed in 2012 have any shot of owning a dot-brand top level domain right now because that’s the lat time companies could apply for top level domains. The adoption of dot-brand domains is stunted without an ongoing way to apply for these domains.

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MarkMonitor parent Clarivate cuts costs and revenue guidance for Covid

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2020-05-04 16:33

Company will slash costs this year to keep earnings on track.

Clarivate Analytics (NYSE: CCC), parent company of MarkMonitor’s domain name business, released earnings today.

Revenues were up 2.8% year-over-year for the first quarter of 2020, coming in at $240.6 million. The company had a net loss of $74.0 million but its Adjusted EBITDA number climbed 32.% year-over-year to $78.2 million. Adjusted net income was $25.5 million.

The company expects a revenue hit this year due to Covid-19 and is slashing costs to compensate. It has lowered its annual adjusted revenue guidance from $1.16 billion to $1.19 billion down to $1.13 billion to $1.16 billion.

It plans to cut costs $30 million this year due to Covid, on top of the $70-$75 million it cut in 2019. $5 million of the $30 million will be permanent savings. This should keep its adjusted measures on track to meet prior guidance.

Its guidance is predicated on the virus being brought under control by the end of Q2, a gradual lifting of restrictions/movement of labor in mid-to-late Q3, and a recovery starting in early Q4.

Post link: MarkMonitor parent Clarivate cuts costs and revenue guidance for Covid

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Categories: News and Updates

Building and selling websites – DNW Podcast #284

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2020-05-04 15:30

Learn how Marc Andre sold four websites for over $1 million in total.

Many domain investors talk about building their domains into websites and selling them. Today, I interview Marc Andre of VitalDollar, who has done just that. Marc has built four different websites and sold them for over $1 million in total. Marc explains how he created the sites, monetized them, and sold them. You’ll also learn about metrics and considerations when selling a website.

Also: .Org bombshell decision, Covid-19 impact and more.

Sponsor: DAN.com

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

Post link: Building and selling websites – DNW Podcast #284

© DomainNameWire.com 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) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

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  2. Panama, Sherpas and the Domain Market with Andrew Rosener – DNW Podcast #180
  3. John Pollard: How to grow the usage of domain names – DNW Podcast #188
Categories: News and Updates

ICANN: Not opposed to private equity-owned registries

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2020-05-04 13:26

Despite .org decision, ICANN not opposed to private equity companies in the domain name business.

ICANN doesn’t condemn private equity in the domain business despite .org ruling.

Last Thursday, ICANN’s Board of Directors decided to nix a deal for Internet Society to sell the .org registry to a private equity company.

The domain name overseer made sure to draw a distinction between this deal and others and to state that it’s not opposed to private equity in the domain name business:

The ICANN Board’s action should not be read to provide any commentary on the propriety of for-profit entities operating gTLD registries, nor as any prohibition or judgment on the role of private equity firms controlling registry operators. The considerations in front of the Board here are specific to this transaction, particularly in light of the long-standing history of the .ORG registry.

That’s a good thing because private equity loves domain names and is already entrenched in the industry.

A private equity company currently owns Neustar’s registry business. That business is being sold to GoDaddy, which was previously private equity-owned.

Abry Partners owns Donuts, the new top level domain name company with the most extensions.

Private equity loves domain name registrars, too. Siris Capital owns Web.com.

Domain name registrars and registries make good investments. They are simple to understand and deliver predictable, recurring revenue streams.

ICANN had many concerns about a private-equity takeover of a non-profit managing one of the most important registries. But that does not extend to the industry as a whole.

This post has been updated to remove a reference to PE investors still owning a large portion of GoDaddy. They have sold their holdings.

Post link: ICANN: Not opposed to private equity-owned registries

© DomainNameWire.com 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) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

Related posts:
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Categories: News and Updates

Brooklyn Nine-Nine domain name humor

Domain Name Wire - Sun, 2020-05-03 16:22

Boyle buys a domain name for $11,000 and Terry ends up selling the domain for him.

Sergeant Terry Crews and Detective Charles Boyle discuss their business with a funny domain name. Photo from the Brooklyn Nine-Nine Facebook page.

Characters in sitcoms sometimes mention domain names during episodes, and the studios usually register these ahead of the air date. That’s the case with a funny domain in episode 12 Brooklyn Nine-Nine this season. But it goes beyond just mentioning a domain name—one character pays $11,000 for the domain, and they end up selling it.

In the episode, Detective Charles Boyle turns Sergeant Terry Crews on to the healing powers of bone broth. The two decide to go into business together, and Boyle suggests they use the domain name WorkplaceBoneBuds.com. He apparently doesn’t recognize the sexual connotation.

Boyle ends up buying the domain name for $11,000. When the business fails, Crews manages to sell the domain name to someone else for $11,000. Boyle is surprised that someone else had a similar idea for a business. Crews informs him that the buyer plans to use the domain for a website that helps people in the same workplace hook up.

NBCUniversal registered WorkplaceBoneBuds.com in November 2019, but it doesn’t resolve.

Post link: Brooklyn Nine-Nine domain name humor

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Categories: News and Updates

NamesCon Registration Prices go Up Tomorrorow

Domain Name News - Sat, 2013-11-30 18:57

What’s the perfect thing to do after celebrating Thanksgiving with your family? Get right back to work and plan for the new year. And to get into the domaining mood right in the new year, what’s better than a domain industry conference at a low price? Today’s the last day to get your NamesCon tickets for the event from January 13th to 15th in Las Vegas, NV for $199 + fees. Fees double tomorrow to $399.

Richard Lau, the organizer of the event told DNN: “We are at over 200 attendees already and expect to hit more than 400 at the conference. The opening party on Monday (6:30pm – 9pm) will be hosted by .XYZ at the Tropicana, and the Tuesday night party will be at the Havana Room at the Tropicana from 8pm-midnight.

With hotel prices as low of $79 a night +$10 resort fee at the Tropicana right on the strip this ‘no meal’ conference is shaping up to be the event for the industry in 2014.

The event has already attracted sponsors like:

Further sponsorships are available.

Keynote speakers are:

If you need another reason to attend – you even meet DomainNameNews in person there :)

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Categories: News and Updates

.DE Registry to add Redemption Grace Period (DENIC)

Domain Name News - Tue, 2013-11-26 19:49

As of December 3rd, 2013, DENIC, the operator of the .DE ccTLD will also introduce a Redemption Grace Period (RGP) that allows the original domain owner to recover their expired domain for up to 30 days after the expiry, the same as for gTLDs.

See the full press release after the jump.

Redemption Grace Period for .DE name space kicking off in early December

New cooling off phase to prevent unintentional domain loss

Effective 3 December 2013, the managing organization and central registry operator of the .DE top level domain, DENIC, will launch a dedicated cooling-off service (called Redemption Grace Period – RGP) which shall apply for all second-level domain names in the .DE name space. This procedure shall protect registrants against an unintentional loss of their domain(s), as a result of accidental deletion.

Under the RGP scheme, .DE domain names shall no longer be irretrievably lost, following deletion, but instead initially enter a subsequent 30-day cooling-off phase, during which they may solely be re- registered on behalf of their former registrant(s).

RGP cooling-off provisions shall allow former registrants to redeem registration of the subject domain names, by having recourse to the related Restore service, through a registrar. Only if no redemption is requested, during the 30-day RGP phase, the relevant domain names shall become available for registration by any interested party again. At the time being, similar regulations are applied by other top level domain registries already.

Registrars redeeming a deleted .DE domain name for the original registrant will have to pay a Restore fee and may pass on the related costings.

Deleted .DE domain names placed in cooling off, from RGP implementation, will be earmarked by a redemption period status in the DENIC lookup services (whois) accessible at www.denic.de.

As a consequence of the above measures, the current DENIC .DE domain guidelines shall be superseded by new, amended ones from the date of RGP launch, i.e. 3 December 2013, which shall then be permanently published at http://www.denic.de/en/domains/general-information/domain- guidelines.html.

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Categories: News and Updates

Andee Hill forms EscrowHill.com backed by Gregg McNair

Domain Name News - Mon, 2013-11-25 16:00

Andee Hill, who recently left Escrow.com where she was Director of Business Development, has created a new licensed escrow company, Escrow Hill Limited with he backing of entrepreneur Gregg McNair.

 

“When Andee told me she was thinking about forming her own escrow business I was immediately enthusiastic. I have a reputation of connecting some of the best people in our industry and Andee is at the top both professionally and as an amazing human being,” McNair said.

 

EscrowHill.com’s team includes Ryan Bogue as General Manager and Donald Hendrickson as Operations Manager. Both have worked in the business of online escrow under Hill’s direction for over fifteen years combined. Together with Hill’s experience the new team offers over thirty years of online escrow experience!

“During my fifteen years in this business, I have handled just about every aspect of online escrow. Regardless of my title, I have always known that understanding the client’s needs and providing excellent and secure service is invaluable. I have been fortunate to work with the industry innovator from day one. I have seen what works and what doesn’t. I have been even more fortunate to have created great relationships and trust with industry leaders. At EscrowHill.com I know I can do an even better job,” Hill said.

“Gregg has earned a strong reputation for honesty, integrity and for successfully making businesses work. He also has incredible enthusiasm and a heart for helping others. All are key factors in me wanting Gregg to support my endeavor at EscrowHill.com,” Hill continued.

McNair has assumed the non-operational role of Chairman, supporting Hill and her team with whatever it takes to build the best escrow business on the planet.

Marco Rinaudo, Founder and CEO of domain registrar Internet.bs, another one of Gregg McNairs investments,  has been appointed CTO of EscrowHill.com. Rinaudo, who has been a leader in the international hosting and registrar space since 1995, said, “EscrowHill.com is formed and supported by the very best people in the industry. Our team has built the most sophisticated on-line internet escrow platform, fully automated and with more advanced security features than any other.

See the full press release after the jump.

Andee Hill forms EscrowHill.com

AUCKLAND NZ: One aspect of the domain space that bridges the whole industry is that of escrow; and the one person better known than any other in that context is the former Director of Business Development at Escrow.com, Ms. Andee Hill.

Ms. Hill has established the licensed international escrow enterprise, Escrow Hill Limited with the backing of long time friend and industry entrepreneur, Gregg McNair.

“When Andee told me she was thinking about forming her own escrow business I was immediately enthusiastic. I have a reputation of connecting some of the best people in our industry and Andee is at the top both professionally and as an amazing human being,” McNair said.

EscrowHill.com’s dream team includes Ryan Bogue as General Manager and Donald Hendrickson as Operations Manager. Both have worked in the business of online escrow under Hill’s direction for over fifteen years combined. Together with Hill’s experience the new team offers over thirty years of online escrow experience!

The domain industry is undergoing incredible change and EscrowHill.com is positioned to provide secure, yet flexible, state of the art products and services. EscrowHill.com will be able to meet the needs of both past and future generations of domain buyers, brokers and sellers. Hill’s reputation as an honest, discreet and hard working professional will now aspire to a new level.

“During my fifteen years in this business, I have handled just about every aspect of online escrow. Regardless of my title, I have always known that understanding the client’s needs and providing excellent and secure service is invaluable. I have been fortunate to work with the industry innovator from day one. I have seen what works and what doesn’t. I have been even more fortunate to have created great relationships and trust with industry leaders. At EscrowHill.com I know I can do an even better job,” Hill said.

“Gregg has earned a strong reputation for honesty, integrity and for successfully making businesses work. He also has incredible enthusiasm and a heart for helping others. All are key factors in me wanting Gregg
to support my endeavor at EscrowHill.com,” Hill continued.

McNair has assumed the non-operational role of Chairman, supporting Hill and her team with whatever it takes to build the best escrow business on the planet.

Marco Rinaudo, Founder and CEO of Internet.bs has been appointed CTO of EscrowHill.com. Rinaudo, who has been a leader in the international hosting and registrar space since 1995, said, “EscrowHill.com is formed and supported by the very best people in the industry. Our team has built the most sophisticated on-line internet escrow platform, fully automated and with more advanced security features than any other.

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