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Latest U.S. Government statement on GDPR and Whois

Fri, 2018-05-18 15:58

Government is looking into Article 49 exceptions of GDPR.

David Redl, who runs the U.S. government’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), has repeatedly spoken against GDPR’s potential effects on Whois. Yesterday, at a meeting of National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC), he gave further remarks about the issue and what the U.S. government is currently doing about it:

And so far, the EU’s guidance issued for implementing the GDPR is vague and insufficient. American companies and the U.S. government do not have an adequate basis on which to comply with the law.

We are seeking a broader interpretation of Article 49 of the GDPR, which provides exemptions for data transfers that are necessary for “important reasons of public interest.” This would not only address our concerns with regard to WHOIS, but would also address the potential interruption of U.S.-EU cooperation in many other public interest areas.

Absent a broader interpretation of Article 49, a short-term moratorium on GDPR enforcement with regard to WHOIS may be necessary. If not, then come May 25, we anticipate registries and registrars will stop providing access to WHOIS directories and services. The loss of access to WHOIS information will negatively affect law enforcement of cybercrimes, cybersecurity, and intellectual property rights protection activities globally. To all of you who know the importance of these issues, I ask that you make your voices heard.

© 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 Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission.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. Redl groups “Right to be Forgotten” with other censorship, calls it “regrettable”
  2. Will May 2018 be the death of Whois?
  3. I just fixed Whois and GDPR
Categories: News and Updates

Sahar Sarid arrested on charges related to Mugshots.com

Thu, 2018-05-17 20:31

California AG files criminal charges against Sarid and three other people it says were behind extortion scheme.

The alleged owners of Mugshots.com might find their own mugshots on the site soon.

This includes domain name investor Sahar Sarid.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced charges of extortion, money laundering, and identity theft against the four alleged owners yesterday. Sarid was arrested in Florida and his mugshot is available here.

According to the Attorney General, Mugshots.com posts mugshots of people who are arrested. If they want the mugshot removed they have to pay a fee, even if they were never charged or were arrested in error.

Sarid is based in Florida and the state of California wants to extradite him to California to face the charges.

© 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.

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Categories: News and Updates

Now is the time to join ICA

Thu, 2018-05-17 19:04

There’s a lot worth fighting for in 2018.

This year is going to be an important one for the domain name industry and domain investors.

Domain investors face serious headwinds from the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. Changes to Whois will drastically change how we securely transfer domain names, find domains to buy, and communicate with domain buyers.

And later this year we’ll find out if the U.S. NTIA renews its cooperative agreement with Verisign, which could have a big impact on .com domain name prices.

This is a lot to keep up on, and I doubt many domain investors reading this have taken any action with regards to these, such as participating in a working group on the Whois user accreditation model.

One group that is participating in these groups and advocating for your needs is the Internet Commerce Association (ICA).

I’ve personally never been more confident in ICA’s leadership, and it would be wise to consider joining as a member. You can join online, and individuals can join for just $50 a month. That’s less than the cost of many domainer service subscriptions, and it will have a great impact on the future sustainability of your business.

© 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.

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Categories: News and Updates

Donuts invests in Cognate, a blockchain-trademark company

Thu, 2018-05-17 13:00

Cognate uses blockchain tech to record proof-of-use of trademarks.

Donuts.Ventures, the investing arm of new top level domain name registry Donuts, has invested in Cognate. Cognate uses blockchain technology to record proof-of-use of trademarks.

I interviewed Cognate founder Bennett Collen on DNW Podcast #137. At the time, the business was based on saving records to show common law trademark rights. Since then, the company has added the ability to add proof-of-use for registered trademarks.

There are a number of potential ways that Donuts can help Cognate grow, including assisting the company with getting into the registrar channel to sell the product to business owners.

Donuts.Ventures’ other two public investments include Netki and GeoNetwork.

© 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. Trademark Clearinghouse extends alert service beyond 90 days
  2. New TLD company Architelos sued after threatening IP Law Firm
Categories: News and Updates

ICANN publishes FY 2017 tax return including employee compensation

Wed, 2018-05-16 16:59

Latest tax filing sheds light on employee compensation.

ICANN has published its tax return (pdf) for FY 2017, which ended in June of 2017.

From a public gawking perspective, the tax return includes salaries and total compensation of many of the non-profit’s top employees.

This year’s return lists 20 employees with total comp of $367,000 or more. This includes retirement contributions (ICANN chips in 5% of salary to the 401(k) and matches up to 10%) and nontaxable benefits.

159 people received at least $100,000 of reportable income. That’s about the same as the prior year.

© 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. ICANN Asks for Your Feedback on “Expressions of Interest”
  2. As many as 1,409 top level domains on the way
  3. It’s Official: first 4 new TLDs have been delegated
Categories: News and Updates

Selection bias and domain name appraisals

Wed, 2018-05-16 15:37

Only looking at the domains you sell will skew your opinion of domain name appraisals.

Automated domain name appraisals, such as those provided by Estibot and Godaddy, are extremely controversial in domainer circles. Focusing on cases in which domains sell for much more than the appraised value is an easy way to try to discredit these appraisals.

Consider this post that Mike Mann made on Facebook comparing his sales to GoDaddy’s appraisals:

He notes “All inclusive of our top sales, not selective.” Yet, by focusing only on his top sales, he is making a great example of selection bias.

Mike holds out for top dollar on his domains. So of course when he gets this top dollar, the number is going to be way off from an automated appraisal.

If someone appraises my domain at $10,000, and I refuse to sell it for less than $20,000, then the appraisal (whether automated or by a human) is going to seem wrong.

What about the domains that didn’t sell? Did they not sell because the price expectation was too high?

I recall a conversation at DomainFest many years ago. I was riding home from a party with a couple of other people, including a domain owner who makes lots of five and six-figure sales. That evening he had asked several people how much some of his domains were worth. These were all domains he had sold already. The domainers’ estimates were all over the place and didn’t match the sales prices.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone.  Appraising domains is difficult.

Rather than focus on the accuracy of any one domain appraisal, I think people should use appraisals differently.

They should also not let selection bias color their impression of domain appraisals.

© 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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Categories: News and Updates

Hexonet is locking all domains in prep for GDPR

Tue, 2018-05-15 18:08

Company takes precautions to reduce chances of domain theft after GDPR.

Domain name registrar Hexonet is taking two security precautions in preparation for GDPR, and I expect other registrars will implement similar changes.

First, it is turning on transfer lock for all domain names that aren’t ccTLDs. Customers can still unlock the domains to start a transfer. Any domain that is unlocked by a customer will automatically relock after 30 days.

Second, it is issuing new and stronger transfer authorization codes for domain names at the registrar.

The security is necessary because the transfer process for domain names is going to change once Whois records are obscured to comply with GDPR. Technically, transfers will not be able to proceed for thin-Whois domains like .com under the currently-approved ICANN rules if the gaining registrar can’t access the current owner’s email address. So some domain registrars are taking it into their own hands and are skipping a key step of the transfer process in which the gaining registrar gets approval from the current domain registrant. (Learn more about this here.)

This means it will be easier for someone who gains access to authentication codes to transfer domain names.

© 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. Will May 2018 be the death of Whois?
  2. Top 5 Domain Name Stories from August
  3. I just fixed Whois and GDPR
Categories: News and Updates

.Travel domains are now easier to register

Tue, 2018-05-15 17:50

Complicated step of acquiring ID number from registry has been removed.

Domain name registry Donuts acquired the .travel top level domain name earlier this year. Now, as expected, it has made it easier to register second level .travel domains.

Registrants will no longer need to acquire a Unique Identifying Number from the .travel registry before registering the domain name. They will just need to check a “self-certification” box at their registrar to certify that they are a member of the travel community.

Moniker is one of the first registrars to implement this change. Here’s how it looks when you register a .travel domain at Moniker:

EnCirca and Name.com, the two largest registrars for .travel, have not yet implemented this change.

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Categories: News and Updates

GoDaddy gets patent for “Earmarking a short list of favorite domain names or searches”

Tue, 2018-05-15 16:51

Patent describes way to save searches for the benefit of both searchers and registrars.

The U.S Patent and Trademark Office has granted patent number 9,972,041 (pdf) to GoDaddy for “Earmarking a short list of favorite domain names or searches”. The company applied for the patent in February 2015 and the patent was granted today.

The concept is to allow domain searchers to save their searches and for registrars to use this data to customize the user’s experience over time. With regards to domain searchers:

Applicant has identified multiple weaknesses in presently existing systems and methods for searching, selecting and registering domain names. No options in presently existing systems and methods allow a user to create a short list of favorite domain names or domain name searches that reflect the user’s interest in the domain names prior to entering a purchase path. A user may be unsure whether they want to purchase a domain name, but may not want to lose their research, including the original search parameters used, regarding an available list of search results and/or domain name suggestions. Currently, a customer’s only options with regard to searched and recommended domain names or searches include registering the domain name, adding the domain name to a shopping cart (if available) or ending the domain name search session, thereby risking the loss of the user’s domain name research, such as the parameters used to generate the desired search results.

For domain name registrars:

Specifically, a domain name registrar may want to customize a user experience or merchandising opportunities by applying machine learning to user interest patterns. These user interest patterns may include price points, preferred extensions (e.g., TLDs) and preferred subject matter (e.g., keywords in SLDs).

The inventors listed on the patent are Tapan Kamdar (VP of Product Management) and Garrett Matsudaira (Senior Director Mobile UX).

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Categories: News and Updates

Google finally helped new TLDs, but let’s not make it bigger than it really is

Tue, 2018-05-15 16:01

.App helped, but making a big deal out of a throwaway line in Google’s marketing doesn’t.

When ICANN revealed the list of applications for new top level domain names in 2012, it seemed that Google and Amazon would help drive the market for new domain names.

Google applied for over 100 domain names and Amazon applied for 76. Even though Amazon originally didn’t plan to open any of them up to the public, having two of the FANG companies make such as large investment was a good sign. These two companies have the power to change how the web is used.

Then it came time for the auctions, and these two companies lost a lot of the domains they applied for. Their interest seemed to fizzle.

They were slow to roll out the domains they did end up winning. (Google’s .Soy launch wasn’t exactly highly anticipated, after all.) Amazon took a curious approach to distributing its domains that made it difficult to register them.

Last week’s rollout of .App was a sign of “what could have been.” Google can make buzz and that’s exactly what it did.

This will bring much-needed attention to new TLDs, but let’s not take it too far. For example, let’s not misconstrue a basic marketing statement from Google to bring up the whole search engine debate again.

I was disheartened to see this post.

Google must feel like a politician with its choice of words carefully examined…and subsequently taken out of context.

If any other registry put out a throwaway marketing line like “Now, with a unique domain, it’ll be easier for people to find your app,” we’d all shrug. It’s a common refrain for new TLDs.

Suggesting that this might be Google’s way of admitting that top level domains impact search rankings is grasping at straws. On the contrary, Google has repeatedly said that your choice of TLD doesn’t impact your rankings.

It’s possible that a good new TLD will impact rankings. I believe that good search terms that span the dot can get a bit of a lift based on the anchor text people use to link to them, or a bit of exact match benefit.

But let’s not misconstrue a basic marketing message and make it something bigger than it really is. Let’s not think that Google is dropping a hint that flies in the face of all of its public statements. It just doesn’t make sense.

© 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. .App domains are off to a strong start with brands
  3. .App continues to explode, Coinbase registers nearly 100 .app domains
Categories: News and Updates

NameJet notable sales from April

Tue, 2018-05-15 15:14

Major hotel chain lets great geo hotel domain names expire.

NameJet reported 132 sales in April for a total of $658,517.

As usual, I’ve pulled out the ones that grabbed my attention. Among these is a slew of valuable domain names that hotel chain IHG let expire.

At the request of a reader, I’m going to start publishing the full list. It is below the featured domains.

Shenhua.com – I’ll let one of my Chinese readers give me a better translation than what Google tells me. A number of companies use this name.

Geographic.com – Elliot Silver bought this domain. Here’s why.

iPets.com $12,777 – This domain sold for $75,000 in 2008.

HealthyTeeth.org $10,395 – The domain was previously owned by the Nova Scotia Dental Association. I’m guessing by the price that it got a lot of traffic.

Eagerly.com $9,400 – Someone was eager to buy this domain.

Hollywoodhotels.com $7,501, NashvilleHotels.com $6,100, MemphisHotels.com $4,290, SanDiegoHotel.com $3,088, LosAngelesHotel.com $2,450
– IHG, which runs Holiday Inn, Kimpton, Staybridge, and InterContinental, owned these domain names. They were full deletions. Namebio also shows that SanAntonioHotels.com sold for $6,459 on the same day, but it’s not on the list for some reason.

DomainAcademy.com $5,100 – Michael Cyger bought this domain name for his domain investing education business.

SamsungSmartSwitch.com $4,000 – This has UDRP written all over it.

Gutterball.com $3,101 – A Fun brand for an entertainment or jokes site. I wouldn’t use it for bowling because of the negative connotation in that sport. Oh, and like many words, there’s an Urban Dictionary definition for this.

MetalHeads.com $2,195 – This goes down as the deal of the month.

Domain NameSale Price shenhua.com48111 center.org45000 syv.com23000 globalnews.com18000 geographic.com17710 4734.com15688 ipets.com12777 healthyteeth.org10395 diko.com10110 68819.com9401 eagerly.com9400 68836.com8599 striving.com8100 shera.com7988 islandair.com7856 hollywoodhotels.com7501 glacierbay.com6877 zewo.com6300 beautyqueen.com6160 nashvillehotels.com6100 cace.com5900 annes.com5352 hehi.com5200 kucha.com5199 abee.com5133 domainacademy.com5100 nexos.com5100 bd.tv5000 naturalscience.com4989 nebi.com4888 dekk.com4886 agustin.com4651 56658.com4545 mountaingate.com4456 sonomarealestate.com4333 tyty.com4302 genomes.com4300 68865.com4299 68826.com4299 62882.com4299 98816.com4299 76886.com4299 77969.com4299 62886.com4299 55797.com4299 38829.com4299 56628.com4299 38835.com4299 85775.com4299 98665.com4299 55368.com4299 68863.com4299 55718.com4299 memphishotels.com4290 solan.com4289 jardineria.com4277 island.org4269 2fc.com4156 fav.org4100 bannerstands.com4034 samsungsmartswitch.com4000 paymentsolutions.com3999 eroica.com3950 f60.com3911 onlines.com3833 inma.com3766 firs.com3600 ccaa.com3600 ennweekly.com3499 syle.com3423 earrings.net3400 cagdas.com3234 4ww.com3200 gutterball.com3101 aristos.com3099 sandiegohotel.com3088 robizone.mobi3034 ssbet.com3008 t678.com2940 sast.com2933 fepproject.org2900 atlantahotel.com2852 botanico.com2771 globalocean.com2766 zosi.com2740 18332.com2700 lh7.com2700 easychair.com2656 dbsgroup.com2611 tehgladiators.com2600 academploy.com2600 letssaythanks.com2600 document.org2600 ikka.com2573 nyartsmagazine.com2555 vusu.com2522 kacie.com2510 wed.net2505 mediacoin.com2500 facefind.com2488 losangeleshotel.com2450 picorivera.com2433 newsuv.com2400 accesories.com2400 antel.com2355 dealmania.com2355 lost-in-translation.com2332 50026.com2319 agrix.com2313 25009.com2300 lovelycharts.com2300 kerber.com2288 footballcoach.com2250 divingshop.com2221 1dx.com2210 metalheads.com2195 49959.com2110 tablets.net2100 kocak.com2099 diane.net2060 carpet.org2031 turnkeyrealty.com2011 labelstore.com2007 smallcaps.com2005 83536.com2000 83227.com2000 32006.com2000 lezy.com2000 yhwt.com2000 gangle.com2000 fets.com2000 leeners.com2000

© 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. NameJet sellers at center of shill bidding questions
  3. Here’s what NameJet is doing about shill bidding
Categories: News and Updates

Jen Sale of Evergreen – DNW Podcast #185

Mon, 2018-05-14 15:30

With two decades of experience in the domain business, Jen Sale shares her perspective on the current market.

This week on the DNW podcast we talk with Jen Sale, a long-time fixture in the domain name industry who now runs the domain name brokerage Evergreen. We talk about how the domain industry has evolved over the past two decades and what Jen is seeing in the domain market in 2018. Also, in a busy news week, we review the Google .App launch, Whois records, earnings at GoDaddy, Tucows and Wix, and why you need to transfer your domain names this week.

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:
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  2. The challenges of new TLDs with Tobias Sattler – DNW Podcast #177
  3. Sandeep Ramchandani, CEO of Radix – DNW Podcast #183
Categories: News and Updates

NamesCon to bid adieu to The Tropicana

Mon, 2018-05-14 13:53

2019 will be the last year for NamesCon at The Tropicana in Las Vegas.

If you enjoy The Tropicana Hotel’s mysterious “resort fee”, smokey atmosphere, horrible room service and aging rooms, I have bad news for you: NamesCon is leaving the venue.

The conference has decided to pack its bags and move to another venue after the January 2019 show.

And while many will push for a familiar city such as Los Angeles or Miami, I’d like to propose splitting the difference and holding it in Austin.

Here are some reasons NamesCon 2020 should take place in Austin:

  • While Austin was once a sleepy college town, the metro area now has over 2 million people. It also has the tallest residential tower west of the Mississippi.
  • It’s in the Central time zone, so people from the coasts don’t have to deal with a three hour time difference.
  • Our average high temperature for late July January is in the low 60s.
  • Austin’s trendiest mixed-use project is called The Domain, so we could hold a domain name conference at The Domain.
  • We have the world’s best barbecue and great vegan food, so both Scott Ross and Jeff Sass can be happy.
  • You can fly direct from Frankfurt and London.

© 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. Women in Domaining comes to NamesCon
  3. Women in Domaining returns at NamesCon
Categories: News and Updates

O.com might be coming, along with other single letter .com domain names

Fri, 2018-05-11 16:17

ICANN moves forward with Verisign plan to auction O.com domain name.

Single letter .com domain names are very rare. They aren’t just limited to the 26 letters of the alphabet; there are just three.

Verisign (NASDAQ:VRSN), the registry for .com, isn’t allowed to allocate any single letter .com domain names. Three .com domains were registered before this restriction: q.com, x.com and z.com.

CenturyLink owns Q.com, which was used by Qwest. Elon Musk (re) acquired X.com last year for an undisclosed amount. Nissan sold Z.com to GMO for $6.8 million in 2014.

That’s it, but this might change soon.

In November 2017, Verisign submitted a request to ICANN to allow it to release the O.com domain name. Verisign wants to auction the domain name and donate the proceeds to charity.

It likely picked this domain name because competition for it should be high. Overstock.com really, really wants the domain.

ICANN was concerned that allowing Verisign to auction the domain could be a competition issue, so it referred the matter to the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice. The DOJ declined to open an investigation into it.

So ICANN is moving forward. The .com contract would need to be amended to allow for the sale of O.com, and it has opened a comment period for the amendment.

What’s Verisign’s game here if it is going to donate the proceeds to charity? There are two possibilities that come to mind.

One is that Verisign is using this as a proof-of-concept and hopes to be able to sell other one letter .com and .net domains in the future and keep the proceeds.

Alternatively, if it never gets to keep the proceeds, Verisign could use the press from this domain (and future one letter domains) selling for a lot of money to solidify .com’s brand.

© 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. A .com price freeze through 2024 more likely?
  2. Breaking: Verisign loses appeal in .XYZ lawsuit
  3. Verisign signs .com contract extension, amends cooperative agreement
Categories: News and Updates

My thoughts on Tucows’ earnings report

Fri, 2018-05-11 13:27

Tucows reported nice increases in revenue and income. There are changes afoot in its business, though.

Tucows (NASDAQ:TCX) reported first quarter earnings after the market closed Wednesday. The headline numbers are:

  • Net revenue up 38% YoY to $95.8 million
  • Net income up 53% YoY to 3.7 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA up 64% YoY to $10.4 million

Domain segment revenue increased from $50.3 million in Q1 2017 to $72.2 million in Q1 2018.

But…these numbers are a bit tricky to compare. Tucows acquired Enom on January 20, 2017, so the numbers get a bit of a lift YoY. A bigger impact was the bulk transfer of Namecheap names in January this year. Domain registrars recognize revenue over the life of a domain name registration. Transfering these names to Namecheap accelerated revenue recognition to the tune of $14.6 million.

On the cost side, it accelerated its recognization of $14.5 million in prepaid registry expenses.

This shows just how low the margin was on Enom’s Namecheap deal. However, the company benefited by monetizing Namecheap’s expired domain names.

Tucows CEO Elliot Noss also provided some commentary suggesting headwinds in the mobile access business Ting. When Ting came on the scene, the mobile phone business was a complete mess. Everyone hated their mobile provider, and this played in Ting’s favor. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Ting is probably flattered right now. Both secondary brands and major ones have imitated some of Ting’s approach, and fewer people are looking to switch mobile providers now. It will be interesting to see how this plays out for Ting in the coming years.

I’m always a bit amused by stock analyst’s questions. I realize that they are covering lots of companies. I also realize they can ask the company questions while not on the investor conference call. But I’m amused at how pointless some questions are while they miss more important questions when it comes to updating their models. (I’m not channeling Elon Musk. He actually dismissed important questions.)

For example, a big question analysts should be asking is what impact the price increases at Enom and OpenSRS will have on both attrition and gross margins going forward. These seem like fairly drastic price increases for some customers and need to be baked into models. Maybe the net increases aren’t that big if most domains are at resellers with high volumes. The models should also assume some attrition due to the price increases.

Another interesting question is what impact GDPR changes have on revenue. This is a question people should be asking other public registrars. Specifically, if the registrar keeps personal information out of Whois for free, what happens to Whois privacy revenue? How much money are registrars making from Whois privacy?

© 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. Tucows acquires eNom from Rightside
  2. Tucows changes domain name price structure
  3. Consensus be damned: here’s how transfers will work at Tucows after GDPR
Categories: News and Updates

Here’s why it’s going to be hard to sell your .App domain names

Thu, 2018-05-10 16:08

Buyers will have a difficult time contacting you.

Over 150,000 .App domain names have already been registered. While some of these are being put to use, domain name investors are certainly a big reason the numbers are so high.

People wishing to sell their .app domains are going to face a challenge. This challenge goes above and beyond the question of what a new TLD is worth in the aftermarket. The question is:

How the heck are domain buyers going to find you?

.App domain names don’t work unless you have an SSL certificate installed on the domain name. This means you can’t park the domain names unless you set up an SSL for the domain.

SSLs can be obtained for free, but it requires some work.

I thought you’d be able to just forward your .app domain to a secure page, but that’s not the case. (It works on the Safari mobile browser because apparently, that doesn’t use the HSTS preload list, but other major browsers do.)

Clearly, putting a “for sale” billboard on your .app domain will require a lot more work than with most other domains.

OK, OK…but can’t people just look you up in Whois?

Nope.

Google Registry’s Whois records only show the state and country of the domain owner. Records also show your organization name if you have one.

There’s no email address. No phone number. Not even a snail mail address.

That really just leaves marketplaces like Sedo and Afternic for selling these domains. (Currently, Afternic supports .app but Sedo doesn’t.) You can hope that someone is savvy enough to go to one of those marketplaces and find your domain but it seems like syndicated listings at registrars will be your best best.

Or you need to suck it up and get an SSL cert or an SSL-friendly landing page service for your domains.

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Categories: News and Updates

Wix adds 231K paid subscribers, 5.9M registered users in Q1

Thu, 2018-05-10 14:23

Site builder now has 3.4 million customers who can use a domain name with their Wix site.

Wix (NASDAQ:WIX) released earnings for the first quarter of 2018 yesterday.

The website builder company reported $137.8 million in revenue for Q2 2018, up 49% YoY. It also generated $21.4 million in free cash flow for the quarter.

The company added 5.9 million registered users during the quarter and added 231,000 net premium (i.e. paying) subscribers.

That brings its total premium base to 3.4 million.

Aside from representing Wix’s paid customer base, premium subscription numbers are important because Wix requires a premium plan in order to connect a domain name to a website. Its most basic $5/month package allows customers to connect to a domain and its $11-and-up packages include a free domain when paid annually.

Revenue from domain name registrations has historically accounted for 7% of Wix’s revenue. This equates to nearly $10 million in domain registration revenue in Q1.

The company is a reseller and does not use its own accreditations for domain registrations.

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Categories: News and Updates

GoDaddy stock up after earnings

Wed, 2018-05-09 15:09

Investors cheer GoDaddy’s start to 2018.

GoDaddy (NYSE:GDDY) reported earnings after the bell yesterday and investors were happy with the results. Shares are up 4% as of 11 EDT today.

Revenue was up 29% in Q1 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2017. Keep in mind that the Host Europe Group acquisition wasn’t completed until the second quarter of 2017, so much of this growth is due to the acquisition.

Domains business segment revenue hit $292 million, up from $241 million in the same quarter of 2017. It was up from $282 million in Q4 2018. Although Q1 is generally a good one for domains, keep in mind that revenue from domain registrations is recognized over time.

Speaking of which, GoDaddy’s total bookings in Q1 hit $783 million.

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Categories: News and Updates

Time is ticking, and domain transfers are still up in the air

Wed, 2018-05-09 14:26

Registrars and ICANN still discussing how to handle transfers after GDPR.

As domain name registrars and registries start masking email addresses in Whois to comply with GDPR, the domain name transfer process as we know it will break. The current owner’s email address is required to comply with the current ICANN process.

No email, no transfer*. At least not a compliant one.

Registrars are obviously worried about this. A big part of their business is convincing people to transfer domain names to them. So they came up with a proposal for how to handle transfers without email addresses. They have since modified the proposal so that an affirmative approval by the existing registrant is no longer required. Here’s the proposal in a nutshell:

1. Domain owner gets authorization code from losing registrar.
2. Domain owner provides authorization code to gaining registrar.
3. Losing registrar sends email to owner of record.
4. If owner of record does not cancel transfer, the transfer proceeds after five days.

This is what Tucows, the second largest domain name registrar, has already announced it will do.

But ICANN has not yet provided its blessing.

In a May 4 letter to the TechOps subcommittee of the Contracted Party House inside GNSO, which is making the interim transfer policy proposal described above, ICANN proposed an alternative way for gaining registrars to access the domain owner’s email address:

In order to provide the gaining registrar with access to the Transfer Contact’s email addresses, we propose that the authorization code be expanded to become the existing string plus the concatenation of the emails of the Registered Name Holder and the Administrative Contact with some separator to be defined (e.g., comma). For example, if the current authorization code for a given name is “NBGj67kGiPRRnGrP”, the registrant email is “registrant@example.com”, and the admin contact email is “admin@example.com”, the new authorization code would be: “NBGj67kGiPRRnGrP,registrant@example.com,admin@example.com”. To be clear, every time there is a change in the registrant or admin contact, the authorization code would need to be updated appropriately. The first part of the new authorization code should continue to be renewed or updated as per current registrar procedures.

I’ll give credit to ICANN for thinking outside the box here. And if this idea had been floated many months ago, it might work. But it introduces technical issues (and a GDPR question about providing this data to the gaining registrar). These can’t be addressed before May 25, the TechOps subcommittee told ICANN.

So where does this leave us?

With our without ICANN’s blessing, we know that some gaining registrars will no longer send the currently required verification email (Form of Authorization) to the existing registrant and will just assume it’s a valid request.

This means you need to be extra vigilant about protecting both your email account and registrar account. I suppose that the most likely way someone would get your authorization codes is to hack your email or registrar account. And if they get access to either of those, they can hijack the approval process by changing the email address on record.

But Lord help us if a thief hacks a registrar’s database and can access the auth codes.

* Domain registrars can still access the email address in some instances, such as a thick Whois registry that provides the info via EPP call. However, this isn’t always the case, and won’t apply to .com and .net domains.

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Categories: News and Updates

.NYC travel and tourism domain name auction ends Thursday

Wed, 2018-05-09 13:26

Museum.nyc, Shows.nyc and more are up for grabs.

The .NYC domain registry is holding an auction of travel and tourism related domain names at Sedo that ends on Thursday. Bidding is restricted to people who live or own a business in New York City.

Already, you might view the auction as a success. The Broadway League Inc., which owns Broadway.org, bought BroadwayTickets.nyc before the auction started for $25,000. The domain name was supposed to be in the auction.

With one day to go, bidding in the auction is fairly light with just 9 of the 24 domains receiving bids, and these with just one each. The top bid is only $510.

However, this is typical of these types of auctions. They tend to attract bids in the final hours. Domains like Shows.nyc, Tour.nyc and Theaters.nyc should end up selling for much more.

.NYC has held three auctions previously. A real estate auction pulled in over $70,000 in sales led by RealEstate.nyc for $21,300. A fashion auction had $90,000 in bids, although the top sale for $37,000 never closed. A tech-themed auction had $29,000 in sales.

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Categories: News and Updates

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