Cybersquatting / Recently Commented

Bringing Order to The World's Cybrary: New TLDs Make Sense to Organize the Chaos of the Internet

There has been considerable debate on whether the Internet needs new Top Level Domains. Advertising advocacy groups have objected to the expense of re-investment in online branding. There's a lot of work involved in telling the world .BEYONCE is where you will now find all official Beyonce related information. I'm wondering, why would anyone object to some order being applied to the internet? more»

Typosquatting Continues to Pose Dangers to Enterprises, Consumers

While typosquatting is not a new phenomenon, recent research highlights that it is being used to collect sensitive corporate information from employees and lure consumers to interact with dubious websites. ... Security consultancy Godai Group recently uncovered the use of a specific type of typosquat - a "doppelganger domain" - to collect sensitive enterprise information via email-based attacks. more»

A Made Up Fantasy and the ICANN gTLD Reality

Gary Elliot, chairman of the Association of National Advertisers and vice president of global marketing at Hewlett-Packard, wrote a column in Advertising Age titled "ICANN's Promises Aren't Simply Speculation, They're Outright Fantasy." His arguments opposing ICANN gTLDs are similar to the other heads of various advertising associations around the world. While the main powerbrokers of the global advertising sector are mum, their association heads are using the same circulated message of cyber-squatting fears without any solid proof. Here is my analysis and an open challenge to the trade. more»

UK Domain Registry Considers Criminal Domain Takedown Rules

Nominet, the registry that handles .uk domains, is moving ahead with proposed rules (PDF) that could allow law enforcement agencies to request a domain be shut down without a court order. The registry launched the process in response to a request from the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). more»

War of Words - the gTLD Weaponry

Why would the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), representing 400 member organizations and their 10,000 brands that spend $250 billion annually, be so wrong about ICANN's generic top-level domain (gTLD) program? They're complaining as if new gTLDs are being sold overnight in dark alleys with a no questions asked policy in exchange of a large suitcase filled with newly printed currency. This is definitely not the case, so what did they miss? more»

Who Will Give Birth to the gTLD's First Billion-Dollar Domain Baby?

When all you have is a hammer, everything appears to be a nail. The generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) are not just about trademark filing and battle posturing or cyber-squatting. They are about the potential to create unusual global intellectual properties offering multiple opportunities for rapid image expansion and - most importantly - the achievement of market domination via name identity. more»

Corporate Domain Registration Practices in Light of New gTLDs

For years, corporate domain name administrators have scoffed at every new second-level and third-level country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) liberalization, and rightly so. Until recently, most had continued the practice of registering significant numbers of variations, misspellings and typo-squats. While I have never encouraged the practice of registering every variation in every geography, as this becomes prohibitively expensive over time... With what seems to be the imminent launch of hundreds of new TLDs as a result of ICANN's new initiative, companies appear to be saying enough is enough, and meaning it. more»

Mooning the Porn Stars

Steve DelBianco did a great job of discussing the rocky relationship between ICANN's Government Advisory Committee (GAC) and the Board of Directors, in his piece entitled ".XXX Exposes the Naked Truth for ICANN". I've been keeping an eye on the adult industry press to see what their reaction is to the .XXX debacle. But before we start, let's get something out of the way. more»

ICANN Board: You Got It Right. Then You Got It Wrong. Now, Get It Right Again.

The ICANN Board has itself in a pretty pickle. The Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) Consultancy with the Board in Brussels was an apparent non-starter. After hundreds of man-hours' worth of comments provided by the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC), the Board continues to claim that it lacks sufficient information on trademark issues in order to respond to concerns. more»

A Tribute to the STI (Special Trademarks Initiative Team)

In the ICANN world, our relations are often a little tumultuous, as policy-making bodies can be. As I look back on my experiences over the last decade at ICANN (and many committees, working groups and task forces), one stands out for its quality, dedication, professionalism and hard work. That's the Special Trademarks Initiatives Working Team, or the STI. I was proud to be a part of the Team as an Non-Commercial Stakeholders Group (NCSG) representative, and this tribute reflects my high regard for the Team and the recommendations it produced. more»

2010 Domain Name Year in Review - Oh, What A Year It Was!

Many of us were expecting radical changes in 2010 to the domain name market. There definitely were some of those -- just not the ones I expected. From the seizure of domains names by the US Government to ICANN's removal of restrictions on Registry/Registrar cross-ownership, 2010 was a year full of surprises. In this post, I've compiled what I think were the biggest domain name stories in 2010. more»

Domains and the Freedom to Speak

For a very long time, predating the birth of ICANN, there's been a running battle about what should be required when one registers domain names. To oversimplify quite a lot, one side sees domain names as an essential component of free speech, so anyone should be able to register any domain without limit, the other notes that they're primarily used for commercial purposes and they enable quite a lot of mischief, so the more control, the better. more»

The Trembling Trademark Owners

Why is so much fear being created in the name of protecting trademark owners? Say, if ICANN allowed some third party a generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) called .panasonic will the sky fall? No, not at all, as Panasonic, the true and rightful TM holder will hit the unauthorized gTLD with a 2x4 and no judge would oppose issuing a cease-and-desist order. Now the other question is... more»

Who Is Blocking WHOIS? Part 2

We have just returned from the Brussels, Belgium ICANN meeting where we released our Registrar audit, the Internet "Doomsday Book." There are many topics covered in the report, but we wanted to follow up specifically on the issue of WHOIS access and add data to our previous column Who Is Blocking WHOIS? which covered Registrar denial of their contracted obligation to support Port 43 WHOIS access. more»

Wildcarding Subdomains Is OK; Reverse Domain Name Hijacking Isn't - Goforit v. Digimedia

This is a super-interesting dispute involving two not-so-interesting litigants. The plaintiff Goforit runs a type of meta-search engine at After spending 5 minutes at the site, I couldn't identify a single reason why anyone would want to use it. Also inexplicably, Goforit appears to be quite pleased with its trademark rights in "Goforit," a term that seems more like an exhortation than a trademark. more»