News and Updates

DomainSherpa Lives Again! MediaOptions to Resume Production After Buying Site from Michael Cyger

DN Journal - Mon, 2017-10-30 10:31
Two months ago Michael Cyger shocked the industry by retiring, but the site is coming back in January under new owners.
Categories: News and Updates

Internet Society Guyana Chapter Officially Launched During Internet Week Guyana

Domain industry news - Mon, 2017-10-30 05:36

"The creation of the Internet Society Guyana Chapter comes at a critical time in Guyana where international issues, such as the .amazon TLD, net neutrality, internet governance, connecting the next billion users and Guyanese issues, such as liberalization of the telecommunication sector becomes paramount in national and international dialogues” Hinds said.

Finally, Guyanese Internet users at all levels who are interested in internet governance issues and policy-making now have a local organization to address their interest. The Internet Society, a leading advocate for the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for everyone, announced on October 10, 2017, at the official launch of the Internet Society Guyana Chapter that they were happy to finally have Guyana onboard. It serves as a major development for the telecommunication sector in Guyana since we are currently in the process of liberalizing the telecommunication sector.

The Internet Society Guyana Chapter along with St. Vincent and the Grenadines came onboard together, thereby increasing the number of English speaking chapters in the Latin America and Caribbean region. This number has now increased to five.

The Internet Society Guyana Chapter was officially recognized as a chapter of Internet Society on July 19, 2017. Internet Society Guyana Chapter serves Guyana in the Latin America and Caribbean region by promoting the core values of the parent body.

These core values of Internet Society include improved quality of life, well-informed individuals, the genius of the Internet, enduring and sustainable progress, technical standards and Internet operating procedures, the social, political, and economic benefits and lastly rewarding and productive.

Internet Week Guyana was hosted by the Ministry of Public Telecommunications, in collaboration with Latin America and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC), the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), the Internet Society (ISOC), the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU).

Tuesday, October 10, 2017, was designated Internet Governance Day during the recently concluded event, on that date Internet Society Guyana Chapter seized the opportunity to officially launch with a cocktail held the evening at 19:00 hours at the Pegasus hotel. The chapter officially launched with a membership of 28 persons. At the end of the week-long event, the membership increased from 28 to 41. This shows that the outreach at Internet Week Guyana was a successful one.

Attending this event was Mr. Shernon Osepa, Manager, Regional Affairs for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Internet Society and Miss Nancy Quiros, Manager of Chapter Development in Latin America and the Caribbean at the Internet Society. Mr. Lance Hinds is currently serving as the chapter's Interim Chairman; Miss Jennifer Britton — Interim Executive Vice Chairman; Mr. Lenandlar Singh — Interim Administrative Vice Chairman, Mrs. Yvette Philander — Interim Financial Officer / Treasurer and Miss Malisa Richards — Interim Secretary.

The Internet Society Guyana Chapter is a non-governmental organization subscribing under its Internet Society. To become a member of Internet Society Guyana Chapter, it is required that an individual registers with Internet Society as a Global Member first. Persons interested in joining the Guyana Chapter must be a citizen of Co-operative Republic of Guyana (by birth or naturalization). Guyanese citizen will not be restricted to living in Guyana only, a member of the ISOC Guyana Chapter can also be residing outside of Guyana. The individual can request to join the Guyana chapter after registering as a global member and meet the above requirements. The registration page to become a global member is located here. There's no cost associated with registration as a global member of the Internet Society or becoming a member of the local chapter.

The founders of Internet Society Guyana Chapter are Mr. Lance Hinds and Miss Malisa Richards. Initial discussions with Internet Society to form the local chapter commenced in 2012 by Mr. Lenandlar Singh. These discussions proved futile. Miss Malisa Richards after returning from ICANN 58 in March 2017, where she attended as a fellow committed to the establishment of Internet Society Guyana Chapter. In addition, Mr. Lance Hinds represents Guyana on the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) at ICANN meetings thought that it was necessary at this time in Guyana. Both parties agreed to establish the local chapter. Contact was made with the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Managers at Internet Society. After this contact was established, we were referred to the Internet Society LAC Chapter Development Manager who provided guidance and direction in the establishment of the local chapter.

The main purpose of the Guyana Chapter is to connect Guyana while working with others through the multi-stakeholder model, advocating for equal access to the Internet and striving to make Guyana a better place. While executing the work of Internet Society at the local level, the local chapter strives to engage its membership in activities aimed at advancing their professional development, creating an awareness as well as the facilitation of Information and Communication Technology professionals and organizations in Guyana, supporting education in Guyana wherever the need exists, provide reliable information and educational opportunities, encourage innovation and creativity and outreach efforts that address the humanitarian, educational, and societal contexts of online connectivity.

The Internet Society Guyana Chapter will provide a national voice on policy-relevant issues and advocate for Guyanese priorities at the international level. It will also in the near future begin to develop public policy, community and educational programs to help forge a strong national community on Internet governance. The website is currently under development, as such, we are asking interested persons to send all relevant emails to Internet Society Guyana Chapter officially launched during Internet Week Guyana.

Written by Malisa Richards, Web Services Manager

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More under: Internet Governance

Categories: News and Updates

RIPE 75: Imprssions of the Meeting

Domain industry news - Sun, 2017-10-29 23:08

RIPE held its 75th meeting in Dubai in mid-October. As usual, there was a diverse set of presentations covering a broad range of activities that are taking place on today's Internet. The topics include issues relating to network operations, regulatory policies, peering and interconnection, communications practices within data centers, IPv6, the DNS, routing and network measurement. If that's not enough, the topic of the Internet of Things has been added as a Working Group in the RIPE pantheon. If you add address policy, database and RIPE services to the mix, you get a pretty packed five days with topics that would appeal to most Internet folks.

Here are my impressions of the meeting, covering just a small subset of the presentations made at the meeting.

Measurement Tools

Richard Cziva presented on his research work in building a real-time TCP latency measurement tool capable of visualizing traffic carried on a 10G circuit. This was a fascinating triumph of using open source tools combined with some neat hacking. This "RURU" tool starts with a passive optical fibre tap on a 10G service. This is fed into a server equipped with an Intel 10Gps network card. This is a critical part of the exercise, as the potential packet rate easily exceeds the processing capacity of the server. However, the tool uses the Intel processing card and the DPDK library to perform the packet processing. The processing is relatively straightforward, in that it is looking for TCP handshakes, and recording the times between the SYN and the SYN/ACK and the SYN/ACK and the ACK. The challenge is to perform these measurements and then feed them into a visualisation display system in real time so that the entire profile of connections that take place on a high speed trunk fibre circuit can be visualised as they occur. I'm not entirely sure of its utility as a network management tool, but the tool's graphics were indeed very cool!


ARCEP reported on a couple of recent issues concerning interconnection disputes in France. The first concerned a dispute between the transit provider Cogent and Orange, a major access provider in France and elsewhere, but I understand that only the French Orange was involved in this particular dispute. The terms of the peering agreement stipulated "approximately equal" traffic volumes to be exchanged between the two parties, but when Cogent carried traffic from Megaupload, the traffic balance shifted significantly, and Orange refused to provide capacity increases to alleviate congestion on the peering link. The French Competition Authority rejected all of Cogent's allegations, finding that requesting payment in the case of a highly asymmetric traffic exchange does not in itself constitute an anti-competitive practice. However, the French Competition Authority had accepted a transparency commitment subscribed to by Orange in order to clarify the relationship between Orange's domestic network and its transit activity.

The dispute with Cogent started in 2011 and lingered on until the Paris Court of Appeal rejected Cogent's claims, effectively confirming the findings of the Competition Authority. A similar dispute arose in 2012 between Google and Free, a major retail ISP in France. In this case, Google complained over the alleged use of traffic shapers by Free on YouTube streaming traffic. Free is alleged to have limited YouTube traffic, and in early January 2013, it installed ad-blocking software on its routers, something it later ended after a regulatory intervention.

Orange, Cogent, Telia, NTT Google, and Free have all had disputes over forms of interconnection in France, and the regulator is favoring a role of facilitating case-by-case dispute resolution rather than either using industry-wide regulatory edicts or simply referring the parties to the legal system. The regulator does not see itself as shaping the market but encourages the various service providers in each case to find an acceptable outcome that is market-based. In my view, this position does seem to create a somewhat awkward relationship with the French ISP industry, and doubtless, the three-way tensions between transit providers, access networks, and content networks will continue. To underline the importance of content in this market, the report noted that some 70% of the traffic in the French IP networks was streaming traffic. Most of this traffic originated in the large Content providers and the CDN aggregators, so Google dominates with 55% share of the overall content volume, followed by the usual mix of Netflix, Facebook, Akamai, Apple and Amazon, together with the regional OVH and the French Canal+ .

Routing and Measurement

The Route Views project has been in place for many years, and it is a very valuable resource relating to the behavior of BGP over the years. This was complemented by the RIPE NCC's Routing Information Service, and more recently PCH has also started a project of operating route collectors at exchanges.

Isolario is another route collector project, operated by IIT-CNR in Italy. Its distinctive feature is the ability to perform near-real-time feeds out of the route collector, using a path attribute compression technique to allow the system to operate efficiently and quickly. I have always used the route collector data to ask questions about BGP events in the past. The Isolario system allows this to extend to BGP events happening in close to real time. One of the features that this approach exploits is the observation that the new information load in BGP is far less than the traffic load. Much of what BGP provides in updates is not unique to a simple prefix, and not unique over time. I'm not sure how I could use such a real-time feed myself, but I'm keen to give it a try!


The Border Gateway Protocol is a venerable protocol these days and has been holding the Internet together for some 25 years. At its heart, it's the same protocol, but it has had its fair share of adornment with sundry bells and whistles over the years. Nokia's Greg Hankins reported on some recent work in refining aspects of the way that BGP works. I must admit to a certain level of fascination with the BGP protocol, so I'll take a little time here to work through the finer details of his presentation

  • RFC7999 defines a "remote Blackhole" community. An operator may attach this community to a prefix that is the target of an incoming traffic attack. The effect of this is that neighbouring networks that honour this attribute will not pass traffic towards the originating AS, but instead will locally sink the traffic. This means that while the target prefix is still offline, collateral damage that may have overwhelmed all available capacity leading to the target network will be mitigated in this approach. A somewhat perverse side effect is that this has been cited as a reason for deaggregation of route advertisements, as blackholing the more specific route will have less of a side effect on services in adjacent addresses than if the aggregate were to be blackholes.
  • The next recent change is RFC8192, which changes the default neighbour configuration to an implicit DENY ALL policy clause. This way, route advertisements will not occur until explicit route policy clauses are added to the router config. It's a bit like setting the switches to OFF before applying power to a circuit.
  • RFC8092 cuts through years of pointless IETF quibbles over exactly how we would integrate 32 bit AS numbers into BGP communities by defining a small set of community formats that mimic the functionality provided by 16t bit communities. Who would've thought that it would take so long to adopt the obvious approach!
  • RFC8203 does not appear to be all that useful at first glance. When you shut down a BGP session you are expected to prove some readable text as to why the session is being closed, and this will be transmitted to the other side of the peering session. But there is the potential for operators to use standard message templates to show that a planned event is taking place and the session is anticipated to be restarted at a certain time and integrate this into network management systems.
  • draft-ietf-grow-bgp-gshut proposes form of "graceful" shutdown where an attribute can be attached to an advertised prefix that signals to its peers to drop the local preference of an advertised prefix. This should trigger the peer to select an alternate route for the prefix if one exists, so that a subsequent withdrawal of the prefix would have minimal impact on all peers.
  • draft-ietf-grow-bgp-session-culling proposes some form of managed session shutdown such that the control plane traffic is suspended and a hold timer is started. When this hold timer expires, the traffic over the link is also suspended. Between the conventional operation of BGP keepalives and grateful shutdown, this looks to me to be a largely superfluous adornment to BGP and the fact that the BGP world appears to have got on just fine for 30 years without it does not make a convincing case in my mind that this is a necessary addition to BGP.


Babak Farrokhi from Iran gave a fascinating presentation on the DNS in a curious case of broken DNS responses. His investigations started with failed outgoing mail and posing queries to both his local DNS resolver and to the IP address of Google's Public DNS services also resulted in incorrect responses.

In one case the response was a badly formatted DNS packet and the time difference between the query and the response was unusually short. From this came the first rather clever tool: dnsping. It looks like ping but rather than sending UDP packets or ICMP echo requests, dnsping sends DNS queries and times how long to get the matching response. Because of DNS caching, repeated queries to the same recursive resolver with the same query name should produce elapsed times comparable to that of a simple ping to the same IP address. When in this case the dnsping shows substantially smaller response times than ping for the same resolver IP address then there is a good case to suspect some form of DNS interception is being used in the network. But where? This lead to the next tool he wrote: dnstraceroute. It's the same principle as conventional tracerout: namely sending packets within increasingly longer TTL values in the IP header and collecting the ICMP "time exceeded" responses that come back. This creates a hop-by-hop packet trace from the test point right to the interception location! That's very cunning! And of course, there is also the domain "". When you query this domain for a TXT record, the response is the IP address, country and AS number of the resolver which performed the query on your behalf. This provided the platform for a test using the RIPE Atlas probes: What proportion of DNS queries to Google's Public DNS Server are being redirected to elsewhere? The answer is somewhat disturbing, in that across 484 probes using UDP and IPv4 some 2% of the queries (9 in total) were being redirected. The number falls to 1% (5 in total) when using TCP. What can you do about this? If your concern is that your local DNS environment is being compromised, or if you are concerned that your local DNS environment is leaking information about your queries then perhaps the best answer is to use a local DNS resolver that supports DNS privacy. This will place your queries in an encrypted session with a remote DNS recursive resolver, relying on encryption to effectively hide your queries from local inspection or tampering. The DNS Privacy Project ( is a good place to start, and for a local DNS resolver that supports this approach, try Stubby. As Babak observed: "Don't trust your upstream, encrypt as much as possible."

Transport and Encryption

On this subject of "encrypt as much as possible" was a related lightning talk on QUIC. QUIC is a protocol originally developed by Google and rolled out in the Chrome browser since 2014. It evidently is now 35% of all Google traffic and 7% of all Internet traffic. Among many attributes, QUIC has a minimal exposure of information. It is part of the observation about the pervasive use of intercepting middleware on the Internet and the regressive stance taken by IP carriers. Every exposed bit in a transport session is a bit that will be exploited by middleware and will be interested in a fixed manner, so its a bit that can never change thereafter. Equally every exposed bit can be used against us in the future. So Quic's stance is to expose as little as possible. Obviously this approach has generated some reaction. Network operators are, predictably, unhappy about this development, and there is some resistance in the IETF to standardise this universal approach to encryption of the entire session. My opinion? I'm with Google on this. The only defence against the ubiquitous wiretapping mentality of IP carriers is to encrypt it all. So lets push everything below the visibility of this pernicious middleware!

Building Networks

It's been many years since small teams in the academic and research environment built Internet networks from scratch. But that's exactly what SUNET has done in Sweden, and we heard of the work in Sweden to install a green field 100G backbone network for the national academic and research sector. In their case, a number of existing arrangements all ended at much the same time, including IRUs on fiber lines, write off of the book value of existing equipment, DWDM leases and such. Given this, it was possible to design a new network without legacy elements for the country. The 8.2K fibre network uses Ramen optical amplifiers with care attention to loss and reflection. In the high-speed world reflection is a very significant concern. In the line cards for the electronics, the line card itself contains the optical transport interface and DWDM. The allows for fewer components in the network. The basic network design is a ladder with cross-connects, ensuring diversity in the ladder paths. As with many networks, these days some 90% of the configuration in the routers is centrally orchestrated rather than manually configured.

Encryption and Privacy

Integrity and privacy in the DNS continue to be a concern, and NLnet Labs' Benno Overeinder looked at the current state of DNS resolvers in attempting to address these issues. The first is that of privacy of DNS requests, addressing concerns that a user's DNS queries are being inspected and potentially intercepted. The best response we have in this space is to use DNS over TLS, or, potentiality DTLS (DNS over TLS adapted for UDP), assuming that DTLS implementations are available for use at some point. The crypto is much the same, is that there is a TLS handshake where the client needs to authenticate the server's credentials against a local trust anchor store. The problem is that with so many CAs issuing certificates, the implicit assumption that all CAs never lie has proved to be a remarkably poor assumption. In this scenario, DANE is a decent response, where the credentials of the named server are contained in the DNS, and are themselves protected by DNSSEC. This creates an obvious circularity of using the DNS to check the credentials of a DNS server and the potential of being led astray is obvious. The response is to make use of DNSSEC chain extensions in the TLS exchange and rely on the DNS Trust Anchor alone to validate the presented credentials. This approach is useful in the context of using a trusted recursive resolver and setting up a secure and private communication channel with that resolver.

This is a small selection of the material presented at RIPE 75. The complete set of presentations can be found on the RIPE 75 meeting web site.

Written by Geoff Huston, Author & Chief Scientist at APNIC

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More under: Access Providers, Cybersecurity, DNS, Internet Protocol, IP Addressing, Networks, Policy & Regulation, Privacy

Categories: News and Updates

Thick Whois for .com delayed 6 months

Domain Name Wire - Sun, 2017-10-29 14:16

Deadline pushed back thanks to contract negotiations and GDPR.

ICANN’s Board has agreed to delay enforcement of thick whois in .Com, .Net and .Jobs by six months due primarily to concerns over the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

These domains are due to switch from a “thin Whois” to “thick Whois” for new registrations in May 2018. This means that instead of the registrar being the source for registrant and contact information, the registrars will pass this information to Verisign instead. Whois queries will call Verisign instead of the registrar.

Registrars asked for a delay implementing this for two reasons. First, Verisign is changing the contract with them to allow for thick whois and negotiations of these terms are ongoing. Second, all parties in the domain ecosystem are figuring out how to handle the EU’s GDPR.

ICANN agreed to a six-month delay of enforcement, so the new deadline for thick Whois for new registrations of these domains is October 28, 2018. The deadline to transition existing domain registrations in these extensions to thick Whois is the end of July 2019.

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Categories: News and Updates

Why Integrating IPAM Matters and How to Achieve It

Domain industry news - Fri, 2017-10-27 20:50

IPAM solutions are the source of truth for IP resources on the network, but when performing IPAM functions such as assignments, reconciliations, DNS updates, network plans, or Regional Internet Registry (RIR) requests, IPAM is often limited by its integration with an OSS. Operational teams can find it challenging to complete routine tasks without an integrated IPAM solution due to siloed data pools and swivel-chair environments.

Unintegrated IPAM can also create risks to subscriber services. When large volumes of IPv4 resources are assigned on a network, name-space collisions caused by duplicate IP assignments may interfere with service quality. A centralized IPAM solution integrated with your OSS helps to significantly reduce the risk of IP resource interferences due to automated rules that verify IP statuses before assignments are made. This simple check can make the lives of your customer service representative (CSR) team much less complicated.

Though the sheer volume and unique nature of IPv6 addresses reduce this risk, there are many use cases where a network engineer, administrator, or CSR are required to rapidly pull up IP address information. Integrating your IPAM solution can also help translate IP address management tasks into configurable business flows. This gives operators the ability to not just manipulate an IP block, but also to deploy a new service to customers by configuring business rules within the IPAM solution and extending them to the OSS workflows.

Having this functionality at your CSRs' fingertips is one way to go, but ideally, you want to require human intervention only under exceptional circumstances. Being able to define automated business rules that conform to processes is paramount for a system to be integrated seamlessly into a larger provisioning ecosystem. If done properly, this further reduces operational needs while granting faster visibility into the central repository of IP resources.

There are a number of methods for operators to integrate IPAM solutions into their existing OSS, however, REST APIs offer the most accessible way for the majority because of their fast performance, reliability, and their ability to be managed and updated during operations without affecting the system as a whole. REST notifications also offer a means for subnet and node status changes to integrate into downstream billing systems or automatically trigger other OSS functions. When block status changes occur, these automated rules can simplify processes even further and provide accurate information to administrative and billing departments.

Some operators are now taking the next step by encapsulating the network flow changes with automatic scope deployment, offering DHCP and routing element configuration to reduce event-routing tasks, streamline audit processes, and create scriptable logic that automates IP configurations.

IPAM and OSS integration is a vital component when future-proofing network services. By aggregating customer information in a central repository, where financial, service agreement, and IP resource information can be found with ease, while additionally simplifying processes with configurable and automated business rules, will bring OPEX benefits to operators of any size.

Written by Gareth Barnes, Product Manager at Incognito

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More under: DNS, IP Addressing, IPv6, Networks

Categories: News and Updates

Losing a UDRP Case: Questionable Decision or Questionable Submission?

Domain industry news - Fri, 2017-10-27 19:56

Complainants naturally want to prevail on their claims of alleged infringing conduct and respondents (when they appear) naturally do their best to resist having their domain names taken from them in proceedings under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), but their success depends on their submitting the right constituents of fact and proof. In a forum that has adjudicated over 60,000 cases, it would be surprising if there were no questionable or badly reasoned decisions. However, for the most part (and without excusing anomalies) panelists generally get it right even if the reasoning is sometimes perfunctory and sloppy; they are able to draw upon a well-articulated body of principles (that carry precedential weight) gathered in WIPO's Jurisprudential Overview 3.0 (most recent edition published this past May, briefly discussed in Charting the Balance between Trademark Owners and Domain Name Holders: A Jurisprudential Overview).

Nevertheless, parties (usually respondents, but not always) sometimes have to make a trip to a court of competent jurisdiction (in the U.S. a district court under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act) (Examples:, LLC. v. Wills, 14-cv-00946 (D.Colorado July 21, 2015) (Austin Pain Associates v. Jeffrey Reberry, FA1312001536356 (Forum March 18, 2014) (Defendant-trademark owner capitulated, entered into a consent judgment, and agreed to pay plaintiff $25,000); Telepathy, Inc. v. SDT International SA-NV, 14-cv-01912 (D. Columbia July 9, 2015) (SDT International SA-NV v. Telepathy, Inc., D2014-1870 (WIPO January 13, 2015). Defendant-trademark owner capitulated in a Consent Judgment and agreed to pay Plaintiff $50,000 together with a permanent injunction; Mrs. Jello, LLC v. Camilla Australia Pty Ltd. 15-cv-08753 (D. NJ 8/1/2016) (Camilla Australia Pty Ltd v. Domain Admin, Mrs Jello, LLC., D2015-1593 (WIPO November 30, 2015) (Camilla Australia, now defendant, stipulated to vacate the UDRP award in its entirety).

The "sometimes but not always" of mark owner filing an ACPA action is illustrated with Direct Niche, LLC v. Via Varejo S/A, 15-cv-62344 (S.D. Fla., August 10, 2017) reversing UDRP award, VIA VAREJO S/A, v. Domain Admin, D2015-1304 (WIPO October 17, 2015) (<>).

For losing, there are three possibilities: panelists either simply get it wrong (even though the record is sufficient), or the record is deficient of facts and proof, or panelists have an implicit bias. While I think the third may play a role (more likely in cases in which there is abusive conduct), it is unwise to extrapolate a bias from one case. This is not to say there are not panelists who lean more heavily in one direction than the other but it is (I think) better to focus on the submitted record and proof. Silence, for example, when explanation or evidence is expected can be lethal; it is likely to draw an adverse inference (for complainants when they argue common law rights; and for respondents, when they argue good faith which is contradicted by the evidence). As a general rule, too heavy on complaining or denying and lightness of proof is not a good combination.

There is no remedy under the UDRP for mark owners whose rights postdate registration of domain names and lack proof of earlier common law rights. To my knowledge, there are no recent cases of any Panel granting a complaint where respondents have priority. Yet, mark owners continue to initiate complaints on the theory they have a "better right" to corresponding domain names and should certainly prevail when respondents default in appearance. But, there is no such law either for a "better right" or for default judgment under the UDRP — Charles E. Runels, Jr. v. Domain Manager / Affordable Webhosting, Inc., Advertising, FA1709001749824 (Forum October 23, 2017) (<>. Respondent appears); Sanabul v. Wasea Qubadi, FA1709001748693 (Forum October 18, 2017) (<>. Default); and Advanced Payment Solutions Limited v. RC Webmaster / Red Cedar Services Inc., FA1707001740742 (Forum August 21, 2017) (<>. Default).

In Sanabul, (the Panel observed):

Complainant has not only failed to establish secondary meaning, it fails to even mention it in its sparse complaint. Although this is a default case and the standard is, therefore, low, it is not non-existent. The Panel finds that the Complainant has failed to carry its most important burden here: to establish cognizable trademark rights.

Complainants whose marks postdate domain name registrations could not have an actionable claim because (absent telepathic powers) a mark not yet in existence, could not have been known to the registrants, and therefore the corresponding domain names could not have been registered in bad faith.

Of the overreaching kind of complaint, it cannot be said decisions dismissing them are questionable or bad in the sense of justice betrayed; panelists are simply applying the principles of UDRP jurisprudence. (It should be pointed out also that for claims of this type, complainants have no remedy under the ACPA either, Philbrick v. Enom, 593 F.Supp.2d 352, 375 (D. New Hampshire, 2009) ("Because the plaintiffs' mark is not distinctive (or famous) [before the domain name registration], it is simply not entitled to protection under the ACPA.")

On the respondent side, sufficiency is not measured by fervent counter-narratives of good faith. That is not the way to prove lawful registration if the evidence supports the opposite conclusion. In Edge Systems LLC v. Rafael Aguila / Edge Systems UG, FA1709001749820 (Forum October 23, 2017) Respondent argued that the terms "hydra" and "facial" were generic but

Respondent's argument that it has been innocently using descriptive terms within the Disputed Domain Name and thereby make functional descriptive reference to Respondent's products is unpersuasive. This is because of the addition of the element "-md" to the element "hydrafacial" within the Disputed Domain Name. To whatever extent the element "hydrafacial" might be descriptive, that does not extend to the element "-md." This latter element is out of place with respect to a functional description of Respondent's products, but it is necessary for a complete copying of Complainant's Mark. The inclusion of this element, "-md," could only have been the result of an intentional copying of Complainant's Mark.

Coincidentally, Complainant had also obtained a judgment from a U.S. district court that Respondent had passed itself off as Complainant and sold Respondent's products as those of Complainant's. Offering counterfeit goods violates the terms of the registration agreement even if the uniform resource locator contains generic elements.

In NYSE Group, Inc. v. Val Sklarov / BentleyTek / America 2030 Capital, FA170900 1748855 (Forum October 23, 2017) (<> + 20 other domains including <>) Respondent argued that Complainant had no actionable claim for cybersquatting since Respondent was a Ukrainian citizen: "Complainant does not have rights in the NYSE mark throughout the world, specifically in Ukraine, where Respondent resides." That's not the law either. Mark owners have protectable rights regardless the jurisdiction of respondents' residences, so that even though URLs may be generic (although not in the case of NYSE) their incorporation into domain names can still violate the UDRP.

In any event, most marks are composed of dictionary words, letters of the alphabet, or numerals. All generic in a cultural sense; but elevated to distinctiveness when associated with goods or services signifying their source. Incorporating invented words in domain names like LEGO, IKEA, GOOGLE, TELSTRA, among others but also including marks composed of personal names that have acquired distinctiveness with strong market presences are almost invariably opportunistic.

But marks composed of dictionary words (chosen by brands for good reason, namely they already have an established presence in the culture) raise an entirely different problem. Single words (except where they have ascended to the well-known or famous, APPLE for goods and services having nothing to do with fruit) are generally considered weak, and although words like "Polaris" can conceivably be used in noninfringing ways, their incorporation in domain names fail to persuade without explanation and proof. It would be difficult to explain "play" and "boy" (for example) unless the resolving website is clearly not capitalizing on PLAYBOY, Playboy Enterprises International, Inc v. Wu Hongyan, D2017-1633 (WIPO October 11, 2017).

The Respondent in Polaris Industries Inc. v. SILENX CORPORATION, FA1710001752319 (Forum October 16, 2017) argued that <>

was registered as a reference to the Celestial North Star, named Polaris, to which astrophotographers must align their equipment. Complainant, therefore, does not have exclusive rights to the word "POLARIS" as it relates to astronomy.

And why not? But unless these contentions are supported by plausible explanation and proof complainant will prevail. In Polaris Industries, Respondent's denials are undermined by the website's content. The same result is seen in Steelcase Inc. v. DNS ADMIN / NOKTA INTERNET TECHNOLOGIES, FA1709001749849 (Forum October 6, 2017) () even though a plausible explanation for noninfringing use could be made for "steel" and "cases."

Losing can also mean (for complainant) the UDRP is the wrong forum for a remedy — Bulbs 4 East Side Inc., d/b/a Just Bulbs v. Fundacion Private Whois/ Gregory Ricks, D2013-1779 (WIPO January 13, 2014) (<>. Complaint denied, but mark owner succeeded in an ACPA action, Bulbs 4 E. Side, Inc. v. Ricks, (S.D. Tex., Houston Div. July 18, 2017). Respondent had prevailed in an earlier UDRP proceeding, Superiority, Inc. d/b/a Just Bulbs v. none/, D2003-0491 (WIPO October 9, 2003) (the earlier Panel noted that the respondent had "evinced good faith by removing light bulb advertisements from its site subsequent to being notified of the dispute" and commencing to advertise flower bulbs at the website. Accordingly, the panel held, "Respondent has a legitimate interest in using the domain name for flower bulbs." But later it began advertising light bulbs, which brought on the federal action; yes, for "just" and "bulbs."

I got into a conversation with an investor at the MERGE Conference a week or so ago about generic terms, when and under what circumstances they are lawfully registered as domain names when they postdate mark acquisition. He thought Dana Bissett v. Domain Privacy, FA1609001693416 (Forum October 7, 2017) combining "wonder" and "forest" may be an example of a "bad" decision. From one perspective this is a close case — the parties are continents away, Canada and Australia, and the words are out of the dictionary — but the choice is nevertheless suspicious because the word combination is unexpected. In this situation, a respondent is expected to explain its choice, but here it defaulted and although default is not conclusive its silence was.

In granting the complaint, the Panel discounted hyperlinks to goods and services unrelated to complainant's business because it makes no difference where the hyperlinks take visitors if other factors taken together (the Panel uses the phrase "having regard to the totality of the evidence") are conclusive of bad faith. Here, "Complainant has provided email correspondence where the Respondent purportedly offered to sell the domain for $1000."

Ordinarily, two or three-word combinations common to the culture will generally favor respondent ("just bulbs" for flower bulbs is fine) while uncommon or unexpected will favor complainant; they are both colloquially distinctive as well as distinctive in a trademark sense. The more unexpected the combination, the more explanation and proof is expected from the registrant as to its choice. (Silence can be fatal in these circumstances as already noted!)

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

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Categories: News and Updates

Jay Westerdal buys for $340,000

Domain Name Wire - Fri, 2017-10-27 17:17

Domain name was part of a bankruptcy auction.

Domain investor and DomainTools founder Jay Westerdal has acquired the domain names, and the® trademark in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy auction.

The auction was for assets of Vanity Shop of Grand Forks, Inc. and the court has approved the sale.

Westerdal bid $340,000 in a Chapter 11 telephone auction for the domain name. According to the auction transcript (pdf), a company in The Netherlands called Xenax was the initial high bidder at $330,000. After the creditor committee conferred, Westerdal chimed in saying he was on the other line and wanted to bid again at $340,000. Xenax objected but they accepted Westerdal’s bid anyway. has some history. The domain was lost in a very bad UDRP decision and then the owner sued to stop the transfer. The companies later settled and the owner transferred the domain name to Vanity Shop.

Westerdal founded DomainTools but later sold the company. Currently, he operates new top level domain names such as .feedback.

Hilco Streambank marketed the bankruptcy assets.

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Domaining Europe to return to Valencia in 2018

Domain Name Wire - Fri, 2017-10-27 13:26

After a stop in Berlin, European domain conference moves back to Valencia, Spain.

A popular European domain name conference has picked its venue for 2018.

Domaining Europe will return to Valencia, Spain next year for its tenth anniversary. The event will be held at the Hotel Sorolla Palace June 7 to 9, 2018.

Host Dietmar Stefitz looked for venues elsewhere in Europe but determined that Valencia offered the best combination of location and pricing. Rooms at the hotel will be only €80, making the event affordable for everyone in the domain name community.

More information and details about the hotel are online at Hotel reservations are now available but event registration hasn’t opened yet.

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.Com/.Net base grew by 1.47 million in Q3

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2017-10-26 20:41

Growth in base outpaces Verisign’s forecast.

Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN), the domain name registry for .com and .net domain names, reported results for Q3 after the bell today.

The total base of registered .com and .net domain names increased 1.47 million over the quarter. Verisign had forecast growth of 0.8 million to 1.3 million registrations, so it continued its trend of coming in above its forecast. The company forecasts an increase of 0.4 million to 0.9 million in Q4 2017. If I were an analyst, I’d probably peg it at about 1.0 million.

There were 8.9 million new domain name registrations for .com and .net in the quarter, compared to 8.3 million for the same quarter in 2016 and 9.2 million last quarter.

Verisign’s Q3 revenue was $292 million, up 1.7 percent from the same quarter in 2016.

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13 recent end user domain name sales

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2017-10-26 17:35

From to, here are domain names that end users bought this week.

When a new company or brand launches, one of the key but often last-minute checklist items is to obtain the relevant domain names. There are two acquisitions on this week’s list that are examples of this.

A company called 247 rebranded as, but also acquired as it launched. Yoss, a new company from Adecco, uses but acquired right before launching.

Let’s take a look at some of the end user domain name sales that took place on Sedo over the past week.

(You can view previous lists like this here.) £10,000 – The domain was under whois privacy and now shows native advertising company AdNow LLP as the owner. I think this is the buyer, not the seller. I don’t see anything on the company’s website that uses the term nost. €10,000 and $4,000 – French pharmaceuticals company Biocodex bought two more domain names. $9,895 – A guy named Vick Strizheus is getting ready to launch a site. $9,138 – How’s this for a business: Bedford industries started by making twist ties and now makes other packaging materials. I assume the clipband is a type of package fastener. $5,500 – Helectron Oy Ab in Helsinki, Finland uses the country code domain $5,000 – A company called [24]7 rebranded to [24], but smartly also picked up $5,000 – Family Services Toronto has a service called Passport. The site says “Passport is a program that helps adults with a developmental disability to participate in their communities, and helps caregivers take a break from their caregiving responsibilities.” €3,900- Staffing company Adecco partnered with Microsoft to create Yoss, which was announced today. Yoss is a freelancer site and appears to be the main domain. The company does not own; a guy whose last name is Yoss has that one. €3,900 – Quintar seems to be an Asian cryptocurrency trading app. $3,500 – Hybrid News ltd has a number of websites including one about studying abroad. $3,500 – This domain is for the men’s clothing show Chicago Collective. $3,000 – Interiology Design Co. is an interior design company. $2,500 – Localite Inc seems to be a new travel company.

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Categories: News and Updates

GoDaddy wants to patent “Determining Status of a Domain Name Registration”

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2017-10-26 15:21

Patent application describes way to speed up domain lookups.

Domain name registrar GoDaddy (NYSE:GDDY) has filed a U.S. patent application (pdf) for “Determining Status of a Domain Name Registration”.

Yes, we’re talking about figuring out if a domain name is available to register. In fairness, the title of the patent makes it sound simpler than it is. It’s really about reducing the resources required and latency in the process.

First, a registrar can check the domain against a downloaded zone file from the registry. If it’s not on that list, it can then check it against the registrar’s own zone file. If that still doesn’t find a hit, it can do an EPP request to the domain registry. More checks can be done depending on the result. Of course, if it finds a hit at any stage in this process it can determine that the domain is already registered.

I believe that GoDaddy is using locally-stored data like this for initial domain lookups, especially when it provides a list of suggested names that don’t exactly match the domain name searched. When you click on search results it quickly shows a message “Verifying Availability”. Sometimes a message is returned saying it is no longer available.

Chris Ambler, Charles Beadnall and Moninder Jheeta are listed as inventors.

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Truth: you need your own website, not Facebook

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2017-10-26 13:13

Oatmeal comic sums it up.

There are still a lot of small businesses out there that only have a Facebook presence rather than a website they own and control. As any business on Facebook will tell you, though, a Facebook page is at mercy of Facebook and its monetization goals.

Over time, Facebook has pulled pack how many of your “fans” on Facebook actually see what you post as a business. It appears to be going in the wrong direction, too. The company is testing relegating business posts to a separate feed in users’ timelines. This could crush businesses that rely on Facebook for a lot of traffic. The ironic thing is that many of these businesses paid Facebook to help grow their follower base on Facebook. Now they have to pay again to reach them.

Matthew Inman summed it up in a great comic. As if on cue, Facebook even suggested he pay $2,000 to reach more people.

Reaching people on the internet.

— Matthew Inman (@Oatmeal) October 25, 2017

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$2 Million Blockbuster and a Pair of 6 Figure Sales Headline This Week's Domain Sales Chart

DN Journal - Thu, 2017-10-26 00:32
The domain aftermarket is continuing its 4th quarter hot streak with three more big sales and a strong supporting cast.
Categories: News and Updates

Dell Loses Key Customer Support Domain Name for a Month, Site Exposed to Questionable Content

Domain industry news - Wed, 2017-10-25 20:19

The website designated by Dell Inc. to help customers recover from malicious software and other computer maladies may have been hijacked for a few weeks this summer by people who specialize in deploying said malware, reports Brian Krebs in KrebsOnSecurity. "Sometime this summer, was suddenly snatched away from a longtime Dell contractor for a month and exposed to some questionable content. More worryingly, there are signs the domain may have been pushing malware before Dell’s contractor regained control over it. ... It’s not yet clear how or why got away ... But someone at SoftThinks apparently forgot to renew the domain in mid-June 2017."

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Another “forgot to renew domain, service went down” story

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2017-10-25 18:29

This time a Dell domain is dropped.

Earlier this week I wrote about how part of IBM’s cloud infrastructure went down when it failed to renew two domain names.

Krebs on Security has another example, this one coming from a provider to technology giant Dell.

A backup provider called used the domain name, but it expired and was sold through DropCatch in June. (Yes, that’s a 33 letter domain name. It’s a reminder that it’s not the quality of the name that matters when a domain expires…it’s the importance of what it connects to.)

Brian Krebs notes that the domain name, which PCs could connect to, got flagged for malware after it was parked. It’s unclear how that happened and it also doesn’t mean that malware was actually served on the domain.

This case is unique because Dell stopped using the backup service a year ago. But since computers might still make calls to it, the domain name needs to be renewed until this is no longer possible.

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Kevin Ham sells domain names to GoDaddy

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2017-10-25 16:27

GoDaddy continues to gobble up large domain name portfolios.

Just a week after completing a deal to acquire Donuts’ portfolio of about 200,000 domain names, GoDaddy appears to have purchased legendary domain investor Kevin Ham’s domain name portfolio, or at least part of it.

I detected a large number of domain names transferring to GoDaddy today and they all lead back to companies Kevin Ham has been associated with. The domain names were previously under Whois privacy at Uniregistry, and many of them have previously promoted that they are available for purchase through, a broker service associated with Ham.

Kevin was profiled in a Business 2.0 story “The Man Who Owns the Internet”. I have reached out to people at Kevin’s company to confirm.

GoDaddy has acquired a handful of large portfolios in recent years. They have effectively bought out some of the largest domain name investors, including Michael Berkens. Their goal is usually to take portfolios that weren’t marketed through syndicated listings at Buy Now prices and increasing their sales velocity by setting reasonable prices in the Afternic distributed system.

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Male enhancement doctor goes limp in cybersquatting dispute

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2017-10-25 15:15

Doc wants old domain name without paying the asking price.

A male enhancement doctor has been found to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking in his attempt to get the domain name

Charles E. Runels, Jr. is known for his enhancement method that he markets under the names Priapus Shot and P-Shot. He started using these names this decade, but he wanted to enlarge his brand by acquiring the domain name was registered in 2002. Runels tried to buy the domain name but he didn’t make a large enough offer.

So, as plan B, he filed a cybersquatting complaint under UDRP. Part of his argument was:

On information and belief, Respondent, for an extremely minimal investment, speculated that the Domain Name would become commercially valuable, and registered the Domain Name for the sole purpose of selling, renting, or otherwise transferring the Domain Name for valuable consideration in excess of the out-of-pocket costs directly related to the Domain Name. Once Complainant’s business activities using the trademarks PRIPAUS SHOT and P-SHOT caused the Domain Name to acquire value, for valuable consideration far in excess of Respondent’s out-of-pocket costs directly related to the registration and parking of the Domain Name, Respondent offered to sell the parked domain name to Complainant initially for $150,000.00 and then for $35,000 in a subsequent counteroffer.

That argument was obviously not well received by the panel.

Runels also cited an old case as an example of a panel finding that a domain could be registered in bad faith even if it was registered before a trademark existed. But the panel in that case actually decided that bad faith registration was not proven.

Unsurprisingly, the panel found against Runels and also that he was guilty of reverse domain name hijacking.

Runels was represented by Sheryl De Luca of Nixon & Vanderhye P.C. The domain owner was represented by Zak Muscovitch of Muscovitch Law P.C.

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Categories: News and Updates Promises No Chargebacks Ever for Users of New API Announced Today

DN Journal - Wed, 2017-10-25 15:13
In another shot across PayPal's bow, has announced a new public API that eliminates the risk of chargebacks.
Categories: News and Updates releases beta API for escrow integration

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2017-10-25 12:33

API makes it easy for third-parties to integrate escrow services. has released a new API in beta.

According to the company, the API will make it easy for websites, marketplaces, classifieds sites, shopping carts, and mobile apps to integrate’s services. The company says it’s as easy as integrating payment methods such as Stripe and PayPal. already has integrations with many marketplaces, but I believe these were custom integrations. Now there’s a centralized API that any service can use.

Details of the beta API, including documenation, are here. has long been the dominant escrow service for domain name transactions. It handled over $200 million in payments in the first half of this year. acquired the company for $7.5 million in 2015.

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New Wave of Ransomware Spreading Rapidly Through Russia, Ukrain and Other Nations

Domain industry news - Wed, 2017-10-25 00:08

A new wave of ransomware called "BadRabbit" is targeting Russia and Eastern Europe, affecting Russian Interfax news agency and reported flight delays at Ukraine’s Odessa airport. Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai reporting in Motherboard: "Once [the malwae] infects a computer, Bad Rabbit displays a message in red letters on a black background, an aesthetic used in the massive NotPetya ransomware outbreak. The ransom message asks victims to log into a Tor hidden service website to make the payment of 0.05 Bitcoin, valued at around $282 at the time of writing. The site also displays a countdown of a little bit over 40 hours before the price of decryption goes up."

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