News and Updates

Google sues more “Google Listings” telemarketers

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2018-05-30 14:53

Google files lawsuits against companies that it claims mislead businesses about their Google listings.

If your phone number is associated with a business, there’s a great chance you’ve been on the receiving end of telemarketing calls or robocalls like this. The caller usually claims to be affiliated with Google or Google itself.

Google has fought back against some of these companies in the past, and it is turning to the courts again in an effort to take stop several other companies it alleges are misleading consumers.

The search giant filed one lawsuit in California and two lawsuits in Florida.

The California suit is against Kydia, Inc., d/b/a BeyondMenu. Google alleges (pdf) that the company is misleading restaurant owners in an effort to get access to their Google listing and link to BeyondMenu’s restaurant ordering service rather than directly to the restaurant’s site.

The Florida lawsuits (pdf, pdf) name the following companies:

Supreme Marketing Group d/b/a Small Business Solution and d/b/a Claim My Biz
Pointbreak Media LLC, d/b/a Point Break Solutions and Kivanni Marketing
Modern Source Media, LLC
Modern Spotlight Group, LLC
Modern Spotlight, LLC
Perfect Image Online

Looking back at the case filed against Local Lighthouse in 2015, it appears that Local Lighthouse admitted its actions and agreed to not do it anymore…but I don’t see any financial penalty in the judgment (pdf). Unless Google brings down the hammer on companies that do this, they will continue to proliferate.

© DomainNameWire.com 2018. 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 Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission.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 copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

Related posts:
  1. YouTube Chases Down YouTube.net
  2. Google Steps Up Domain Name Arbitration Cases
  3. FairSearch files formal objections against Google’s .search, .fly and .map TLD applications
Categories: News and Updates

New .ICU Extension Became Latest New gTLD to Enter General Availability This Afternoon

DN Journal - Tue, 2018-05-29 21:00
With registration prices as lows as $1.49 (at places we checked) the new .ICU extension entered General Availability this afternoon.
Categories: News and Updates

ICANN vs EPAG/Tucows: Tucows Releases Statement on What They're Doing and Why

Domain industry news - Tue, 2018-05-29 18:07

As I noted over the weekend, ICANN has instigated legal action against EPAG, an ICANN accredited registrar based in Germany that is part of the Tucows group.

ICANN claims that the case is to "preserve WHOIS data", but Tucows asserts in their statement that the ICANN approach is flawed. It's not a frivolous statement, but one they've backed with fairly detailed rationale — and this is just their public statement and not a formal legal filing.

Tucows explains that they rebuilt their systems and processes based on GDPR and its principles:

"In order to have a domain registration system reflective of 'data protection by design and default', we started with the GDPR itself and crafted our procedures and policies around it. We built a new registration system with consent management processes, and a data flow that aligns with the GDPR's principles. Throughout the registration life-cycle, we considered things like transparency, accountability, storage limitation, and data minimization."

ICANN's temporary specification, which was only finalised about a week before the May 25th GDPR deadline, requires registrars to collect and process all existing domain name registration contacts, which Tucows had issues with for a number of reasons:

"...it also required us to collect and share people's information where we may not have a legal basis to do so. What's more, it required us to process personal information belonging to people with whom we may not even have a direct relationship, namely the Admin and Tech contacts."

From exchanges I've had with several large registrars it's apparent that in many, if not the majority, of cases the contacts are identical, which is something that Tucows note:

"However, in the vast majority of gTLD registrations, the Registrant (Owner), Admin, and Tech contacts are the same. As such, collection of Admin and Tech contacts is meaningless, as the data belongs to the Registrant."

So the case in Germany will, in Tucows' view, come down to whether ICANN's rationale for collecting and processing all of these contacts is really viable in relation to GDPR. Kevin provided an overview of how the various ccTLDs across Europe are handling whois in light of GDPR, and while there is divergence, many of them have reduced collection and display. In many cases the only data that is being processed relates to the registrant.

You can read the full statement on the Tucows site here.

Written by Michele Neylon, MD of Blacknight Solutions

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More under: Domain Management, DNS, Domain Names, ICANN, Privacy, Whois

Categories: News and Updates

What Domain Names Get Transferred: Why and Why Not?

Domain industry news - Tue, 2018-05-29 17:50

Think of trademarks situated on a continuum with famous and well-known at one end and less well-known or unrecognized by average consumers at the other. On one end there is certainty of infringement, Koppers, Inc., Koppers Delaware, Inc. v. Jorge Villalva, D2018-0764 (WIPO May 10, 2018) (<koppers-us.com>) as well as other well-known marks such as Accenture, Agfa, Northface, Carrefour, Virgin, and Chatroulette; at the other end, certainty of having the complaint denied either for lack of proof or overreaching, Advanced Personnel Systems, Inc., v. Domain Admin / Mighty Products, Inc. FA1804001780243 (Forum May 25, 2018) (as well as other marks composed from generic elements and used according to their meaning, such as Secret and Dribble (dictionary words), AEX (random letters), Rioja (geographic), and Insure My Food and My Boutique (common phrases).

At some point along the continuum, it becomes uncertain whether respondents registered accused domain names in bad faith, and the question has to be answered by examining the facts. An interesting example is Philip Morris Products S.A. v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC / Tony Mak, D2018-0602 (WIPO May 17, 2018) complaining about, which by all appearances is a legitimate generic ensemble of words. Complainant owns HEETS and HEATSTICK. But in this case

The Panel accepts the Complainant's assertion that website content can be considered in order to assess confusing similarity. Such content may support a finding of confusing similarity… In the present case, the Respondent's website features the widespread use of the Complainant's IQOS mark, the use of the word "sticks" as a menu item corresponding to an element of the Complainant's HEATSTICKS mark and a large number of images bearing the Complainant's branding.")

More likely than not complainants with strong marks prevail and those with weak marks will not. As the mark descends the scale in strength, complainants must marshal ever more persuasive evidence that they have an actionable claim, as did Philip Morris Products in persuading the Panel to look at the content of the website. The results are predictable in unexceptional cases: complainants prevail on proof of abusive registration, and lose because their proof falls short of establishing abusive registration. Respondents prevail when their registrations are lawful, and lose when their arguments for good faith registrations lack merit and are indefensible.

Marks composed of terms having deep market penetration internationally — AGFA-Gevaert N.V. v. Ums United Medical System, D2018-0713 (WIPO May 7, 2018) (<agfaz.com>) — or whose marks are composed of parts not commonly associated together even though ordinary dictionary words — Coolmath.com LLC v. Kenan Yazici, Cenebaz.com, D2018-0646 (WIPO May 1, 2018) (COOL MATH and <newcoolmath.com>) have a lighter burden than marks composed of generic or common lexical parts — NLY Scandinavia AB v. Alexander Tchousov, PS Pay Solutions UG, D2018-0498 (WIPO May 8, 2018) (NELLY and <nelly-model.com>).

Nevertheless, complainants (even those with strong marks) and defendants (with potentially strong defenses) must approach the UDRP demands respectfully. For example, in explaining why transfer can be denied even for marks of international status, the Panel noted in AFGA-Gevaert that

The Complainant asks the Panel to infer that the Respondent must have registered the disputed domain name in the knowledge of the Complainant's trademark and with the intention of taking unfair advantage of the goodwill attaching to that mark. However, while the Complainant asserts that its AGFA trademark is famous worldwide, it has produced no evidence of its trading or of the reputation of its trademark.

The Panel continues:

A complainant should not expect a UDRP panel to have knowledge of the reputation of its trademark and the Complainant in this proceeding has taken a significant risk by failing to exhibit the evidence in question.

Fortunately for AGFA-Gevaert the Panel found other evidence in the exhibits. The better practice, though, is to allege rights in the complaint supported by documentary evidence in the Annexes.

Somewhat lower on the continuum is COOLMATH (contested domain name is coolmath.com>). Despite the common words the combination "cool" and "math" is not an everyday phrase; it creates a distinctive impression which is not the case with "smart search." In an earlier Cool Math case, Coolmath.com LLC v. PrivacyGuardian.org / Aamir Munir Butt, cool math games, D2016-2203 (WIPO December 4, 2016) (<coolmath-mathgames.com>, Respondent appeared and argued that the phrase "cool math" is in common use and pointed to a number of websites incorporating the mark. However, the Panel concluded that "it [is] likely that many if not all of them are seeking to trade on the back of the Complainant's reputation.... [It] does not see them as evidence of the Complainant's trademark having become generic."

As marks descend the scale to the middle or weak-end of the continuum Panels expect a more robust marshaling of supporting facts and evidence. In the "smart search" case cited in the first paragraph, the three-member Panel found

Respondent has been utilizing the disputed domain name as a parking page for PPC advertising links. [However,] [n]one of the links appear to be related to Complainant, its trademark or its business. Instead, the links seem to reflect descriptive matters that one might search for on the Internet, such as "games" and "movies." Because these links are sufficiently related to a website that offers "smart" "search" on the Internet, and because none of the links are related to Complainant or its personnel staffing program, the Panel finds that Complainant has failed to establish that Respondent lacks rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain name.

Even further down the continuum is SECRET, FriendScout24 GmbH v. Protection of Private Person / Besnik Lajqi, L.M.Z Meida Solutions SH.P.K., D2018-0531 (WIPO May 15, 2018) Complainant argued that the incorporation of its figurative trademark in the domain name, <secret-hot.com> supports its claim. However,

the Complainant's figurative trademark consists of a generic term "secret" in stylized format. The Panel notes that the Complainant has no trademark registrations for "Secret" on its own without stylization. Such figurative mark does not provide the Complainant with registered trademark rights to the word "Secret" on its own.

Similarly in NLY Scandinavia AB v. Alexander Tchousov, PS Pay Solutions UG, D2018-0498 (WIPO May 8, 2018) Complainant's NELLY mark is also a common woman's name and the content on <nelly-model.com> referred to a model by that name. The Panel explained that

there is no evidence that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant or its trademark rights prior to the Respondent's registration of the disputed domain name. Further, and contrary to the claim made by the Complainant, the content of the website does not suggest any connection between the model ["Nelly"] that is depicted on the website and the Complainant's business, and there is no indication that the disputed domain name is used to capitalize or otherwise take commercial advantage of the Complainant's trademark rights or is used with the intention of disrupting the Complainant's business.

Marks composed of geographic place names such as RIOJA are treated as generic terms, as are random letters, unless there is such identification or other evidence that the domain names were registered with complainants in mind then complainant prevails as happened in Philip Morris Products but not in Smart Search. Failure of proof as to identification and intention to take advantage of Complainant's stylized word mark is precisely the reason the Panel rejected Complainant's contentions in Regulatory Board of the Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin (D.O.CA) v. Domain Hostmaster, Customer ID: 43528876679114, Whois Privacy Services Pty Ltd / Privacy.co.com, Inc Privacy ID# 1027108 / Kevin Daste, D2018-0168 (WIPO May 4, 2018):

notwithstanding the weaknesses in the Respondent's case, the Panel has not been given a good reason to conclude that, whenever the Respondent registered the disputed domain name, it most likely did so with reference to the Complainant's trademarks, rather than (a) purely for its geographical meaning, as the Respondent claims or (b) more likely, but also uncontroversial in the context of this case, because it reflected a kind of wine which emanated from a particular region and bore a particular style or quality.

The same point is also made for the three-letter domain name "aex" in Euronext N.V. v. Huang tian wei, D2018-0348 (WIPO April 12, 2018) in which the Respondent argues that the letters AEX are not exclusively associated with the Complainant and can have many different meanings. The Complainant suggested that the Respondent was aware of the Complainant's AEX mark and, being in a "similar" business, sought to create confusion and "subvert" the Complainant's business. However, "[t]he argument is not persuasive" because

[t]he three-letter string is not especially distinctive. "EX" is used as an abbreviation for a financial "exchange" in many contexts, as in "AMEX" for the American Stock Exchange and "FOREX" for foreign exchange. "AEX" could indeed be suggestive of an automated exchange, as the Respondent claims… [Moreover,] [t]he Complainant's website provides information about traditional capital markets and stock exchanges, while the Respondent's website is a trading platform for nontraditional cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether.

This principle of assessing short letter strings as good faith registrations when they are capable of having multiple associations is deeply embedded in the jurisprudence; AEX is simply the latest example. In descending order of strength, when complainants' claims are denied it is because they either fail to satisfy their burden or respondents have satisfied theirs in establishing rights or legitimate interests in the domain names. It might be noted that in all these cases, the great value of these decisions is educational in the best sense; Panels try to make it as clear as possible Why and Why Not complaints for cybersquatting are dismissed. Parties and their representatives should listen carefully!

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

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More under: Domain Management, Domain Names, UDRP

Categories: News and Updates

.XYZ gets another win against Verisign

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2018-05-29 17:29

Appeals court decision gives XYZ another chance to be awarded legal fees.

It’s been over three years since Verisign (NYSE: VRSN) sued XYZ, the seller of .xyz domain names, for false advertising.

The District Court granted summary judgment in favor of XYZ in November 2015 but that wasn’t the end of it. XYZ asked the court to award attorney’s fees, at which point Verisign appealed the summary judgment decision to the Court of Appeals.

XYZ prevailed again in the appeal, which meant that the lower court could then consider XYZ’s request for attorney’s fees. The lower court found that the case did not qualify as exceptional and denied XYZ’s request for Verisign to pay its growing legal bills.

Then it was XYZ’s turn to appeal. It argued that the District Court applied the wrong standard–“clear and convincing evidence” instead of “a preponderance of evidence”– when considering the legal fees.

The Court of Appeal just found (pdf) in XYZ’s favor. It has remanded the case to District Court, agreeing that the lower court applied the wrong standard in its decision. It also clarified that XYZ does not need to show that Verisign acted in bad faith to prove an exceptional case worthy of legal reimbursement.

As with the original lawsuit, the stakes are higher for XYZ and Verisign. The millions in legal fees XYZ has accrued are a big deal to it and just a rounding error to Verisign.

© DomainNameWire.com 2018. 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 copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

Related posts:
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  2. Negari and .XYZ file Brief in Verisign Appeal
  3. Verisign signs .com contract extension, amends cooperative agreement
Categories: News and Updates

Drew Wash develops businesses on premium domains – DNW Podcast #186

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2018-05-29 15:30

Drew Wash made a big bet that led to a business generating $1 million recurring per year.

In 2007 Drew Wash mortgaged his house to buy the domain name Towing.com. It was a big risk that has paid off. On today’s show, Wash explains how he has developed businesses on premium domain names. He is starting a documentary video series in which he will try to develop three premium domains into businesses with $25k in monthly recurring revenue…it’s going to be a blast (and educational) to follow.

Also: Tired of GDPR yet? GoDaddy’s Whois, home.loans, how to park .app domains and Wonder Woman 2.

Subscribe via iTunes to listen to the Domain Name Wire podcast on your iPhone or iPad, view on Google Play Music, or click play below or download to begin listening. (Listen to previous podcasts here.)

© DomainNameWire.com 2018. 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 copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

Related posts:
  1. The challenges of new TLDs with Tobias Sattler – DNW Podcast #177
  2. Sandeep Ramchandani, CEO of Radix – DNW Podcast #183
  3. Jen Sale of Evergreen – DNW Podcast #185
Categories: News and Updates

Undeveloped adding SSL to all landing pages

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2018-05-29 14:39

Marketplace is adding SSL to landing pages, starting with .app.

Domain name selling system Undeveloped.com is adding SSL certificates to all domain names parked on its service, the company has informed Domain Name Wire.

Starting now, you can park .app domain names on Undeveloped and the service will create an SSL certificate for them. The company is not stopping there; by the end of the week it hopes to have all domains on the service (including .com) using SSL certificates.

The move is important for a couple of reasons.

First, Google is requiring second level domains on some of its TLDs to have an SSL certificate in order to resolve.

Second, Google’s Chrome browser is steadily warning people away from pages that aren’t secure. This could reduce sales conversions.

Some parking services are getting around the SSL issue by forwarding domain names to secure page on the marketplace’s URL, but adding SSL to the individual domain names is ultimately a better solution.

Marketplaces can do this using the free LetsEncrypt service, but some programming work is required.

© DomainNameWire.com 2018. 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 copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

Related posts:
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  2. Domain inquiries could drop next month. Blame SSL.
Categories: News and Updates

Tucows responds to ICANN legal action related to GDPR

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2018-05-29 13:53

World’s second largest domain name registrar lays out its position on GDPR as it relates to domain registrations.

On Friday, the day that the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect, ICANN filed a legal action in Europe against Tucows’ registrar EPAG. ICANN asked for a temporary injunction after EPAG notified ICANN it would no longer collect administrative and technical contact details for domains in an effort to comply with GDPR.

Tucows has issued a statement about its position, and it goes a long way to explaining the rationale behind its GDPR-related decisions.

At a high level, there are two things to mention when it comes to Tucows and GDPR.

First, Tucows has been the most forward-thinking and forward-planning registrar when it comes to Whois. At least from a public perspective, Tucows has been laying the groundwork for its plans publicly for many months. Then ICANN passed down its mandate with just days before GDPR went into effect.

Second, there is some nuance to what EPAG said that it would not collect that I didn’t pick up Friday evening in ICANN’s statement: ICANN will continue to collect registrant data for customers; its opposition is to collecting administrative and technical contact data.

Here are the items Tucows explains in its statement:

Personal data collection – Tucows takes issue with collecting admin and technical contacts in addition to registrant contacts. It points out that, while many times the contact details are the same for all contact types, this isn’t always the case. And when it’s not, Tucows is potentially collecting the personal data of people it doesn’t have a contractual relationship with.

This is a good point and one worth considering: do we really need all of these contact types for domains?

Personal data transfer to the registry – Tucows questions the need to pass personal data to registries under the thick Whois model, and points out that the thin Whois model under .com and .net has worked fine. There has been a movement to move everything to thick, in which the registries maintain the data. But plans to move .net and .com to thick have been delayed thanks to GDPR.

Personal data display– ICANN’s temporary specification for Whois requires registrars to display the organization name, state/province and country of the registrant in Whois. Tucows is opposed to publishing the organization name because it says many people don’t understand this field and enter their personal name instead of a company name.

Tucows concludes its response by saying it hopes the legal action will bring clarity. As I mentioned in the post Friday, I think Tucows was in favor of ICANN filing its legal action because it will force a response from EU courts about how they will interpret GDPR. More than anything, all parties in the domain ecosystem just want to know what they need to do to comply with the law.

© DomainNameWire.com 2018. 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 copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

Related posts:
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  2. Time is ticking, and domain transfers are still up in the air
  3. Namecheap leaps up .com chart as PDR falls
Categories: News and Updates

ICANN Files Legal Action Against Domain Registrar for Refusal to Collect WHOIS Data

Domain industry news - Sun, 2018-05-27 16:58

Germany-based ICANN-accredited registrar EPAG owned by Tucows has informed ICANN that it plans to stop collecting Whois contact information from its customers as it violates the GDPR rules. As a result, ICANN on Friday filed legal action against the company asking the court for "assistance in interpreting the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in order to protect the data collected in WHOIS." John Jeffrey, ICANN's General Counsel and Secretary says: "We are filing an action in Germany to protect the collection of WHOIS data and to seek further clarification that ICANN may continue to require its collection. It is ICANN's public interest role to coordinate a decentralized global WHOIS for the generic top-level domain system. ICANN contractually requires the collection of data by over 2,500 registrars and registries who help ICANN maintain that global information resource."

Update May 28, 2018: Tucows issues a statement on ICANN legal action. "Fundamentally, ICANN and Tucows disagree on how the GDPR impacts our contract. The facts and the law as we see them do not support ICANN’s broader view of what will impact the security and stability of the internet. Neither do we find the purposes outlined in the temporary specification proportional to the risks and consequences of continuing to collect, process and display unnecessary data."

Update May 31, 2018: German regional court has determined that it would not issue an injunction against EPAG. John Jeffrey, ICANN's General Counsel and Secretary responds: "While ICANN appreciates the prompt attention the Court paid to this matter, the Court's ruling today did not provide the clarity that ICANN was seeking when it initiated the injunction proceedings. ICANN is continuing to pursue the ongoing discussions with the European Commission, and WP29, to gain further clarification of the GDPR as it relates to the integrity of WHOIS services."

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Categories: News and Updates

China: We Lead 3GPP Wireless Standards

Domain industry news - Sun, 2018-05-27 03:06

Huawei, Intel and Deutsche Telekom announcing the completion of the world's first 5G interoperability test. Photo: HuaweiIn 2018, nothing can get approved in 3GPP that China strongly opposes. In the past, 3GPP often was a battle between a few American giants and their European peers. A Qualcomm or a Nokia will still be heard, but the power has shifted. I haven't seen evidence that the Chinese influence has made for better or worse standards.

There are now over a billion 4G subscribers at the big 3 Chinese telcos, by far the largest equipment buyers. Nokia, Ericsson, and the other vendors do not dare oppose their largest customers. Qualcomm, which sends 60 people to 3PPP, has been in crisis as the Chinese have held up their $44B purchase of NXP. The stock dropped $10B after the 4/16 ZTE incident.

Huawei and ZTE each have thousands of patents in wireless and submit hundreds of proposals in standards. OF Week reports:

"There are more than 30 Chinese people holding key positions in the standards organization, voting power exceeds 23%, the number of contributions is 30%, and lead projects account for 40%."

Some 3GPP working groups have open mailing lists, where I see Chinese submissions are ubiquitous.

The Chinese companies are now working together closely, under public pressure. $50B Lenovo makes phones as well as computers and made the mistake of supporting a Qualcomm proposal over a Chinese one. They have been eviscerated as "unpatriotic" by the Chinese press and made a public statement they have changed their vote.

Edison Lee at Jefferies reckons Chinese could capture up to 20 percent of essential 5G patents. That would make them the most important force in this generation of technology,

ITU standards are dominated by CJK, China, Japan, and Korea. I'm on the U.S. State Department ITAC, where CJK majorities at ITU meetings are common. The United States under Trump has been speaking out on the U.S. role in standards. The U.S. blocking of Broadcom/Qualcomm was justified as "protecting American leadership in standards." All governments lie, but I think this claim was strictly ignorance.

In the last ten years, the U.S. has become a secondary player in standards.

For anyone still doubting the ability of China to take a lead in telecom, here's a recent award. The panel was distinguished and largely from Europe and the U.S.

Written by Dave Burstein, Editor, DSL Prime

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More under: Mobile Internet, Wireless

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GDPR PII Time-Bomb? Kill it With Fire!

Domain industry news - Sun, 2018-05-27 01:40

Hi! My name is spamfighter. I investigate spam and phish in a post-GDPR dystopia. Recently, I invented Fire, to save you millions of €uros.

One day, my Boss suggested I automate some of my processes. I, for one, welcome our Robot Overlords (and a happy boss), but I can be exacting about the tools I use. Perhaps not to the degree of the infamous Van Halen 'no brown M&M's' contractual clause but I have no patience for poorly-designed software, and truly dislike typing when a click will do, if you get my drift (save your breath Poindexter, I lived life on the CLI when the great VMS-UNIX wars raged, then discovered Clarus the Dogcow, and have never looked back).

I was apprehensive, but 200 open BBEdit documents suggested I might need help. I asked my friend Adam, a cargo cult programmer by trade, to watch my flow. "AH-hah!" exclaimed when he soon spotted my most obvious pain point: VirusTotal. My long-outdated query tool demanded a replacement.

There was nothing available off-the-Git-shelf, you see, since most VT Tools focus on Malware aspects of the service. That's not where I live, though. So we built a tool for me.

VirusTotal Batcher (VTB) is tuned for optimum speed when handling both the passive DNS part of VT - IPs and Domains and URL score queries, as well as including URL submission (force-scoring), a function missing from most other tools. Oh, and One Last Thing: VTB can display the live resolution IP of a host alongside the historical passive DNS info. Simple, but massively important in some aspects of my work. Boom.

Adam saw me fiddling with some data one day. The sad truth is he had become aware of my hidden shame. You see, my jam tends to be an unholy amalgam of compromised sites, malicious domains, third-level TLDs, sub-domain providers' hostnames, and Short URLs. The task, one I did often, is the laborious, boring and error-prone work of reducing these to the smallest element needed for reports to various service providers for remediation.

Say hello to my little friend dMunge. Munge brings all the domains to the yard; has the Alexa Top 1 Million memorized down cold, a user-defined Whitelist to prevent false positives, and a Service Provider list to highlight those if you wish. dMunge refines millions of entries to the base unit and format needed for abuse reporting, at supersonic speed.

We had entered the test phase when Adam requested a data-set sufficiently large and complex to really put dMunge under stress. I had one, but it contained personal information and thus came with strict confidentiality constraints. I couldn't even show it to him.

I told Adam about the problem: Email Addresses. Did I hear you pshaw? Go ahead and try to get rid of email addresses, at scale ... I'll wait here. ... Back so soon? Yeah, I know! A simple search for @ fails, because the @ appears elsewhere in logs AND not in every email address AND even some file attachments have @ their naming convention. I began to hate the @.

Happily, the only other requirement I had was a simple one: That the log file maintain absolute data integrity beyond the address change. Easy-peasy. :-|

Email addresses are seemingly simple to eliminate in theory, devilishly difficult in practice, and potentially expensive mistakes under GDPR. Send an unreacted address to the wrong place, and someone in Europe becomes a Euro Millionaire. Whoops.

Our widget Fire eliminates those pesky email addresses and serves up a log-file so clean it will be a hit at your next Article 29 Working Party party.

ORDER BEFORE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT
By now, you are surely asking where can you get these miraculous utilities. They needed a home befitting their station in life. Enter the sensory abomination WHOis Apocalypse

Please, help yourself. They are free (nor are they loss-leaders to paid versions) and MIT Licensed.

learned a lot of things in this process:

Doing stuff like this exercises the creative part of my brain, not unlike the part I used when I was in the music industry.

Great coding is extremely difficult. We saw stuff out there that is so poor it would have to be twice as good to be half-assed. I'm not saying our stuff is perfect, but we tested our stuff. A LOT. Adam wanted to strangle me when the tools failed the tests I devised. A. LOT.

One super-cool thing about tool-making is that not everything has been invented. Adam and I created three things for my benefit, and we hope, for others.

Doing stuff like this is fun, and I now have a cunning plan to develop something so epic that epic just resigned.

If you use the tools and like them, or hate them, please give us feedback. Heck, fork them if your vision differs.

Hey, by the way, in his spare time Adam wrote some cool articles on the History of Computer Programming that are popular over at Medium and I can be found pondering how to use VR to bring peace to the middle east.

Written by Neil Schwartzman, Executive Director, The Coalition Against unsolicited Commercial Email - CAUCE

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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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.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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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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Inaugural Heritage Auctions Domain Event in New York City – Live Results

Domain Name News - Thu, 2013-11-21 23:55

We were will be live blogging the results of the inaugural Heritage Auctions Domain Event in New York City today. There are no guarantees that this list is correct or complete as this are not official or officially approved results.

The auction sold 26 out of the 68 domains for a total of $419,970. Domains that did not sell in the live auction will be available on Heritage Auction’s website for two weeks at their reserve price as a Buy it Now price.

The top 5 sales of this auction were:

  1. XZ.com for $138,000
  2. Animation.com for $112,125
  3. Hemisphere.com for $34,500
  4. AIE.com for $23,000, BusinessPhone.com for $23,000
  5. Numismatics.com for $17,250

Please note that all domains occur a 15% bidder premium, noted in our total and in the last column of the table below. See the full live blogged results after the jump.

 

Lot #Domain NameReserveSold?Sale PricePrice w/ Commission 87001DupontCircle.com$7,000SOLD$7,000$8,050.00 87002OJX.comno reserveSOLD$3,666$4,215.90 87003CoinCompany.comno reserveSOLD$1,600$1,840.00 87004DoctorateDegree.com$10,000SOLD$11,500.00 87005ChicagoWine.comno reservepass 87006Animation.com$95,000SOLD$97,500$112,125.00 87007KCY.com$7,000pass 87008FXTrading.com$25,000pass 87009SellShort.com$6,000SOLD$6,000$6,900.00 87010Dayton.com$95,000pass 87011Coins.ca$35,000pass 87012Comics.ca$20,000pass 87013AIE.com$20,000SOLD$20,000$23,000.00 87014ZQF.comno reserveSOLD$3750$4,312.50 87015EqualRights.com$15,000pass 87016DVDs.com$50,000pass 87017CommercialArt.com$3,888pass 87018Burbank.net$5,000pass 87019FFQ.com$3,500SOLD$5,000$5,750.00 87020Numismatics.com$15,000SOLD$15,000$17,250.00 87021Charge.me$3,000pass 87022BusinessPhones.com$20,000SOLD$20,000$23,000.00 87023AKU.com$20,000pass 87024Sociology.com$40,000pass 87025SellGoldCoins.com$2,000SOLD$2,600$2,990.00 87026KFX.com$8,000pass 87027Marilyn.com$30,000pass 87028NL.com$385,000pass 87029ExecriseGloves.com$1,500SOLD$1,500$1,725.00 87030Keynesian.com$30,000pass 87031CakeMix.com$10,000pass 87032NumismaticsBlog.com$500pass 87033MutualFunds.com$1,000,000pass 87034GIU.com$6,500SOLD$6,500$7,475.00 87035BulkDiapers.comno reserveSOLD$500$575.00 87036Hemisphere.com$30,000SOLD$30,000$34,500.00 87037Alexandria.com$200,000pass 87038Downline.com$10,000pass 87039ActiveStocks.comno reserveSOLD$850$977.50 87040TheCoinBlog.comno reserveSOLD$325$373.75 87041Bicycle.com$200,000pass 87042HJR.com$9,300pass 87043FootballUniforms.com$18,000pass 87044Suit.com$95,000pass 87045OJQ.com$4,500pass 87046GradedCards.com$1,500SOLD$1,500$1,725.00 87047BasketballMemorabilia.com$1,500pass 87048VJZ.com$4,500pass 87049SmartTVs.com$5,000SOLD$5,500$6,325.00 87050GolfLessons.com$75,000pass 87051JazzBlog.comno reservepass 87052MyCoinCollection.com$500SOLD$600$690.00 87053Tie.com$100,000pass 87054UncutDiamonds.com$3,000pass 87055QR.com$200,000pass 87056NewTees.comno reserveSOLD$250$287.50 87057WOJ.com$6,500pass 87058FootballlEquipment.com$2,500pass 87059ItalianSuits.com$10,000pass 87060LuxuryBags.com$40,000pass 87061KCJ.com$9,300pass 87062SwissChronograph.com & SwissChronographs.comno reserveSOLD$550$632.50 87063PX.net$10,000pass 87064CurrencyExchange.com$220,000pass 87065DiveSuits.comno reserveSOLD$500$575.00 87066OpalEarrings.com$3,500pass 87067XZ.com$120,000SOLD$120,000$138,000.00 87068PHQ.com$3,500SOLD$4,500$5,175.00 !ERROR! E2 does not contain a number or expression!ERROR! F2 does not contain a number or expression Auction Total$419,970

 

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Buenos Aires Airport closure leaves many ICANN 48 attendees stranded

Domain Name News - Fri, 2013-11-15 15:27

As the 48th ICANN meeting is set to start in Buenos Aires, many of the attendees were stranded today in Montevideo, Uruguay  and other South American airports due to an airport closure in Buenos Aires. An Austral Embraer ERJ-190 on behalf of Air Austral/Aerolineas Argentina coming from Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), overrun the runway and only came to a halt after the nose of the machine had hit the localizer antenna about 220 meters/730 feet past the runway end at 5:45 local time this morning (UTC-3). None of the 96 passengers was injured and they were all taken to the terminal. According to reporting of the airport there was a cold front passing through the area at the time. The airline reports that the incident occurred due to a sudden change in wind direction and speed.

Flights into the aiport resumed again after about three hours, but some attendees will now only arrive tomorrow. DNN was not able to confirm if any ICANN 48 attendees were on the flight itself.

 

[via AVHerald and the ICANN Social Group on Facebook, picture posted on twitter by @JuanMCornejo]

 

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Demand Media to Spin Off Domain Registration Business into RightSide [Press Release]

Domain Name News - Tue, 2013-11-05 15:25

As already predicted by Andrew over at DNW:

Demand Media Announces Key Executives and Name for Proposed Domain Services Company

Company Will Lead Expansion of Generic Top Level Domains under Rightside Brand; Taryn Naidu Selected as Incoming CEO

November 05, 2013 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

SANTA MONICA, Calif.–()–Demand Media, Inc. (NYSE: DMD), a leading media and domain services company, today announced that Taryn Naidu, who currently serves as Demand Media’s Executive Vice President of Domain Services, will become the CEO and a Director of the newly formed domain services company that is proposed to be spun off from Demand Media. Demand Media also announced that it has selected the name Rightside Group, Ltd. (“Rightside”) for the spun off domain services business.

“It’s an exciting time for us, as new gTLDs start going live this year and our path to becoming an independent public company as a leader in our industry progresses.”

Rightside will be a Kirkland, WA based technology and services company for the Internet domain industry. The company will advance the way consumers and businesses define and present themselves online through a comprehensive technology platform making it possible to discover, register, develop, and monetize domain names. Rightside will play a leading role in the historic launch of new generic Top Level Domains, and the name represents a new way to navigate the Internet, while establishing the new company as the one to guide users in the right direction. It’s everything to the right of the dot – and beyond.

Taryn Naidu, who has led Demand Media’s domain services business since 2011 will become Chief Executive Officer of Rightside, upon completion of the separation. Additionally, Rightside executive management will include Wayne MacLaurin as Chief Technology Officer and Rick Danis as General Counsel. David Panos will be appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Shawn Colo, Demand Media’s Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, will be appointed as a Director of Rightside in connection with the separation.

“Establishing the leadership team and brand identity of the proposed new company marks an important milestone in achieving our plan to separate our business into two distinct market leaders,” said Demand Media Interim President and Chief Executive Offer Shawn Colo. “I am pleased to announce a very strong executive team led by Taryn. This team has a wealth of industry experience, has played an integral role in building the largest wholesale domain registrar and is driving the transformation of this business into one of the largest end-to-end domain name service providers in the world.”

“Rightside’s mission will be to help millions of businesses and consumers define and present themselves online. We’re able to deliver on this through our distribution network of more than 20,000 active partners, one of the leading domain services technology platforms, a large number of applications for new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs), and a deep bench of industry talent,” said Taryn Naidu, newly designated incoming Chief Executive Officer of Rightside. “It’s an exciting time for us, as new gTLDs start going live this year and our path to becoming an independent public company as a leader in our industry progresses.”

About Rightside

Rightside plans to inspire and deliver new possibilities for consumers and businesses to define and present themselves online. The company will be a leading provider of domain name services, offering one of the industry’s most comprehensive platforms for the discovery, registration, development, and monetization of domain names. This will include 15 million names under management, the most widely used domain name reseller platform, more than 20,000 distribution partners, an award-winning retail registrar, the leading domain name auction service and an interest in more than 100 new Top Level Domain applications. Rightside will be home to some of the most admired brands in the industry, including eNom, Name.com, United TLD and NameJet (in partnership with Web.com). Headquartered in Kirkland, WA, Rightside will have offices in North America and Europe. For more information please visit www.rightside.co.

About Demand Media

Demand Media, Inc. (NYSE: DMD) is a leading digital media and domain services company that informs and entertains one of the internet’s largest audiences, helps advertisers find innovative ways to engage with their customers and enables publishers, individuals and businesses to expand their online presence. Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, Demand Media has offices in North America, South America and Europe. For more information about Demand Media, please visit www.demandmedia.com

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