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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»

Continued Controversy Over Google Ads on Typosquatted Domains

Regular readers of this site would be familiar with the ongoing legal battles involving the practice of typosquatting; the registration of misspelled domain names of well know brands with the intention of making a profit. Taking advantage of the fact that millions of online users mistype addresses of websites they intend to visit, typosquatters register common misspelled versions of popular sites and make money by displaying ads. Google's AdSense for Domains (AFD) program, often used for displaying such ads, has been particularly targeted by trademark owners which according to McAfee's SiteAdvisor, serves ads on more than 80% of typosquatting sites recently uncovered. more»

Who Needs More TLDs?

ICANN's Sydney meeting has come and gone, with the promised flood of new Top-Level Domains (TLDs) claimed to be ever closer to reality. Does the world need more TLDs? Well, no. Way back in the mid 1990s, it seemed obvious that Internet users would use the DNS as a directory, particularly once early web browsers started to add .COM to words typed in the address bar. This led to the first Internet land rush, with heavy hitters like Procter and Gamble registering diarrhea.com in 1995... 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»

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»

The .TK Domain Generates 10% of Tiny Pacific Nation's Wealth

Tokelau, a non-self-governing colonial territory of New Zealand that comprises three tropical coral atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, has come up with a novel way of making money via its country code top-level domain name .TK. Tokelau may only have 1,500 inhabitants and be a two-day boat trip from its nearest neighbor but selling its .TK domain is reaping benefits. A Dutch entrepreneur who bought the address now offers a free domain name service in return for targeted ads. The deal has allowed Tokelau to add 10% to its GDP as well as gain personal computers and net access for residents. 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»

Ron Paul Caught in Domain Dispute with Supporters

Former U.S. presidential candidate and congressman Rob Paul has filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization against the registrants of RonPaul.com and RonPaul.org in order to gain control of the domains. 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»

Google Reveals Top 10 Malware Sites From Its Index

While scanning its index, Google in the last two months reports to have found more than 4,000 different websites suspected of distributing malware by massively compromising popular websites. "Of these domains more than 1,400 were hosted in the .cn TLD. Several contained plays on the name of Google such as goooogleadsence.biz, etc.," says Google's security team member, Niels Provos, in a blog post today. more»

Affidavit Shows Errors in Homeland Security Domain Seizures

TechDirt reviewed the affidavit filed by the United States Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement division when seizing various hip-hop and bittorrent-related domain names recently, and discovered some very deep misunderstandings of how content appears on web sites. 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»

CircleID's Top 10 Posts of 2015

Once again it is time for CircleID's annual roundup of top ten most popular posts featured during the past year (based on overall readership). Congratulations to all the 2015 participants and best wishes in the new year. 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»

Still Missing in Action

After wading through the various IANA Notice of Inquiry (NOI) submissions I thought I would take a break and do a secondary review of the recently concluded ICANN regional meeting in San Francisco. In doing this review there were three things that kind of jumped out at me as still missing in action. more»