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Closed Generics Debate Rages On

The new gTLD program continues to throw up last-minute debates on what is acceptable as a TLDs and what is not. The latest such verbal joust centers around closed generics. These are generic terms being applied for by applicants whom, should they be successful, will not open the TLD up to everyone on an equal access basis. As an example, think .book being run by Amazon and only available to Amazon customers. more»

Tight Control Over Domain Names Will Damage The Internet

BBC is running a commentary by Bill Thompson today arguing that the Internet's core architecture should be kept open both technically and in terms of freedom of expression -- such as the introduction of new top-level domains. Giving every interest group, lobbying organisation and corrupt government a veto is what ICANN needs to avoid, says Bill Thompson. From the story: "ICANN is currently making some decisions that will have a massive impact on the net over the next few years, and we need to make sure that it takes into account the wider feelings of the whole community instead of responding solely to pressure from established interest groups..." more»

Dot Travel Still Isn't Dead Yet

I've writen several blog entries about the continued downward swirling motion of Tralliance, the company that runs the registry for .TRAVEL. In this month's installment, as told in their quarterly 10-Q SEC filing, they flirt with bankruptcy but may well end up more stable than before. One of the more eye-catching paragraphs says... more»

When Did CIRA Become the Commercial Internet Registration Authority?

Nearly ten years ago, the Government of Canada wrote a letter to the chair of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) that set out the framework for the management of the dot-ca domain. The government articulated a vision of the dot-ca domain as a “key public resource” and called on CIRA to act in an open and transparent manner. CIRA has long sought to live up to those standards, but in recent months the organization has shown an unmistakable shift toward prioritizing commercial gain over the public interest along with a troubling move toward secret decision making... more»

Kentucky and the Gambling Domains

A recent law suit in Kentucky has attracted world-wide attention because it could create a very dangerous precedent – the application of local law to the domain name system and Internet web sites that are available globally... Even though the Kentucky case only involves Kentucky gambling laws, the dangerous precedent is that regimes around the world with oppressive local laws restricting speech or religion might attempt similar litigation. more»

Poll on New TLDs Shows Value of Brand Loyalty, Willingness to Try New Equivalents to .COMs

Internet users are willing to navigate to, use, and trust new web addresses that will be flooding the Internet later this year, and brand name websites will carry more weight with Internet users than generic sites. These are among the results of a public opinion survey commissioned by FairWinds Partners. The poll also found that the owners and operators of these new addresses should be technically prepared or risk driving away or losing traffic intended for their sites. more»

Former ICANN Executive Kurt Pritz Joins Domain Name Association as Executive Director

Former ICANN executive Kurt Pritz has assumed the role of interim Executive Director for the Domain Name Association, a newly formed non-profit business association that represents the interests of the domain name industry. Kurt will be working with and representing DNA during the ICANN-48 meetings in Buenos Aires. He played a key role in the growth of ICANN and is best known as the architect of ICANN's new gTLD program. more»

The 'Domain Rights Dozen' - ICA's RPM Revision Review Principles

As the fall of 2012 begins the implementation of rights protection mechanisms (RPMs) for new gTLDs is reaching a critical stage... Given the half year interval between the upcoming Toronto ICANN meeting and the following Beijing meeting in April 2013, it is highly desirable, and perhaps essential, that community discussion in Toronto result in a clear consensus on how RPM implementation should proceed if new gTLDs are to launch without further delay and if potential registrants are to perceive them as acceptable platforms for speech and commerce. more»

Google Instant - Great for Top Internet Brands

In late September Google introduced Google Instant, an auto-complete algorithm that assists users in searching with greater speed. Google's new service predicts search queries in real time, can catch a mistake if the user mistyped and guides users to previously performed searches. This new service greatly benefits top brands on the Internet and those that have purchased key words and ad words; while it might not be as beneficial for companies with low website traffic or those that are not well known. more»

A Modest Proposal for ICANN

When it comes to accountability, ICANN would rather be compared to other U.S. nonprofit companies than to the regulatory bodies it more closely resembles. If they truly wish to be treated like a nonprofit, rather than a regulator, there is a very simple solution: make all contributions strictly voluntary. more»

Japanese ISP Buys Z.com Domain For Close to $7 Million

One of Japan's leading Internet services providers and domain registrar, GMO Internet, Inc., today announced the acquisition of the single-character domain name, Z.com for JPY ¥800 million (close to USD $7 million). According to the company, the acquisition is part of a plan to unify its global strategy under the brand name, Z.com and building GMO's "core values and objectives into the Z.com brand" more»

Really? A Hearing on New gTLDs at this Late Stage?

To the dismay of many (and the chagrin of some), it appears as though the US House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet will be conducting a hearing on New generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). Meanwhile, ICANN is careening towards the finish line of the new gTLD Program with a vote by the ICANN Board scheduled for June 20th. Just what this all means remains to be seen. more»

Last Minute Surge of Opposition to VeriSign .NET Auto Renewal

The current .NET Registry Agreement between ICANN and VeriSign is due to expire on 30 June 2011. On April 11 2011 ICANN posted a proposed draft renewal agreement for public comment. Under the terms of the existing agreement, which contracted a 6 year term starting July 1 2005, renewal is automatic unless VeriSign commits some egregious breach of terms. more»

The Maturing Domain Industry

Day one of the Digital Marketing and gTLD Strategy congress is happening in London today. As we inch ever closer to new gTLDs actually launching on the Internet, business models and marketing approaches are becoming clearer and better defined. This was evident in today's presentations and workshops, with applicants and current TLD operators alike showing much greater depth of thought into how these namespaces might actually be of use to Internet users. more»

How Many TLD Applications Will ICANN Receive?

This post could be subtitled: "The Wisdom of Elites." I polled some people I know in the domain field (plus Andrew Goodman, who wondered what the hell I was going on about). I asked them a simple question: "For the record, how many new TLD applications do you think there'll be?" Most of these people know the domain name world very well, but from different perspectives. Journalists, registrars, intellectual property attorneys, domainers, registry operators, TLD aspirants, entrepreneurs, domain aftermarket auctioneers, civil society activists... more»