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Domain Names / Recently Commented

Only Bad Actors Should Worry About the URS

With DNS abuse a topic of increased concern throughout the community, any controversy over adopting the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) for all generic top-level domains (gTLDs) seems misplaced. The URS was designed as a narrow supplement to the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), applicable only in certain tightly defined circumstances of clear-cut and incontrovertible trademark infringement involving the registration and use of a domain name. more

Uniform Rapid Suspension Not Appropriate for .com Domain Names

The Internet Commerce Association has been actively involved for the last four years on the ICANN Working Group reviewing the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) policy and the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). The Working Group is currently wrapping up its review of the URS. The UDRP will be reviewed in an upcoming second phase. more

Too Little, Too Late? Why ICANN's Proposed WHOIS Access System Isn't Worth It

After two years of grueling, complex and contentious debate, the ICANN EPDP team delivered its Phase 2 Final Report on July 31st, 2020. Unfortunately, and disappointingly, the policy recommended for the so-called "System for Standardized Access/Disclosure" (SSAD) fails to meet the needs of the users it supposedly is designed to benefit. more

Afilias to Protect TLDs Against Potential "Orphan Glue" Exploits

Afilias has informed registrars and registry clients that it is taking steps to remove orphan glue records from 200+ TLD zones in its care. This will eliminate the potential for a handful of domain names to be misused. "Glue records" enable websites and other uses of domain names to work on the internet. They are related to DNS domain name delegations and are necessary to guide iterative resolvers to delegated nameservers. more

Why the Pandemic Makes Domain Names More Valuable Than Ever

In the United States, at least 25,000 brick and mortar businesses will close in 2020 due to the Coronavirus (source: Coresight). I believe this will only be the tip of the iceberg. The businesses that fight to stay alive will become 100% dependent on the Internet to generate their revenue. No longer able to rely on foot traffic to their old brick and mortars, the popularity and brand-ability of their websites will solely dictate their ability to survive in the coming years. more

What Trademark Owners Need to Know to Avoid Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

A cybersecurity company recently attempted reverse domain name hijacking for an exact match domain name of its brand, and in so doing, failed in both its bid to take ownership of the domain and potentially damaged their reputation by using this somewhat nefarious tactic and abusing the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) process. more

Don't Kid Yourself, dotCOM Is King for Branding Your Business

There are now more than 1,000 top-level domains (TLDs), but which is best for branding yourself or your business? With search engines, does it even make a difference? What does it matter which TLD you chose as long as you rank high enough on Google? That is what many would have you believe, but there is one power greater than any search engine... At one time, my brother and I owned Rate.com. more

The State of DNS Abuse: Moving Backward, Not Forward

ICANN's founding promise and mandate are optimistic -- ensure a stable and secure internet that benefits the internet community as a whole. Recent months, however, have highlighted the uncomfortable truth that ICANN's and the industry's approach to DNS abuse is actually moving backward, ignoring growing problems, abdicating on important policy issues, and making excuses for not acting. Further, the impending failure of ICANN's new WHOIS policy to address cybersecurity concerns will add fuel to the fire, resulting in accelerating DNS abuse that harms internet users across the globe. more

Beware of Abandoned Domain Names in this Turbulent Time and as the Global Economy Changes

The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused worldwide disruption -- for whole nations and their economies. Unfortunately, there will be some side effects for businesses. A number of brands will disappear from the streets and shelves, as businesses that fail to weather the storm will have to fold. Companies that do survive will likely focus more on their core markets, pulling brands out of higher risk, less profitable markets... more

Explaining the Legal Enforceability of the PIC Proposed by Ethos for .ORG

Ethos Capital has recently announced that it has voluntarily proposed to add an amendment to Public Interest Registry's (PIR) .ORG Registry Agreement with ICANN in the form of a Public Interest Commitment, also known as a "PIC." In the press release Ethos indicated that the PIC would become "legally binding" and "enforceable" both by ICANN and by members of the community. I anticipate that some would ask a number of logical questions: How would that work in practice? more

Is Booking.com a Generic Term?

A fundamental rule of trademarks is that they have to be distinctive, and that nobody can register a trademark on a generic term like "wine" or "plastic." In a case decided today by the U.S. Supreme Court, the court decided 8-1 that online travel agent Booking.com could register its domain name as a trademark. In this case, I think the majority got it wrong, and Justice Breyer's lone dissent is correct. more

Article 22 of the GDPR Should Not Preclude Contemplated Automation

There is an ongoing disagreement among various members and groups in the ICANN community regarding automation -- namely, whether and to what extent automation can be used to disclose registrant data in response to legitimate data disclosure requests. A major contributing factor to the complications around automation has been confusion about how to interpret and apply Article 22 of the GDPR. more

Top-Level Domain Bias in Search Engine Indexing and Rankings

As a search engine optimization (SEO) and domain name consultant, one of the questions I get asked most often about domain names is whether or not the domain name or TLD (Top-Level Domain) matters. Will the domain name ending have an effect on SEO or search engine rankings. Are certain domain name endings preferred by the search engines over other domain name extensions? I decided to answer this question... more

Your Domain Name Does Matter in Search Results – Microsoft Says So!

I stumbled upon a study conducted by Microsoft eons ago back in the paleolithic era of search; 2012... It is about how "premium domains" are perceived by the consumer when seeing them in the search results compared to a lower value "non-premium" domain. I like to use quotations sparingly, but I felt it was necessary because the varying opinions on premium v non-premium domains is a bridge I do not want to cross in this post.  more

Thumb on the Scales

Does the ICANN Board putting its thumb on the scale, change the status quo assumption of a Policy Development Process (PDP)? The primary assumption of most PDPs is that, in the absence of consensus for change, the status quo remains. Otherwise, Policy would be made by fiat by the PDP's Chair or Co-Chairs and there would be a mad rush to occupy those unpaid, thankless positions. more

Industry Updates

Detecting Possible Domain Generation Algorithm-Related Threats Using Typosquatting Data Feed

Subdomain Lookup as Part of Cybersecurity Best Practices

Using WHOIS History and Other Intelligence Sources for Establishing Potential Attack Surfaces

Radix Announces the Launch of Namify

Radix's H1 2020 Premium Domains Report

Verisign Q2 2020 Domain Name Industry Brief: Internet Grows to 370.1 Million Domains in Q2 of 2020

i2Coalition and DNA Merger Creates North America's Largest Internet Infrastructure Advocacy Group

DNS Records Lookup of "Walmart Drive-In Movie Theater" Domains Indicates Likely Typosquatting

June 2020 Dot Brand Insights Report: How .SHARP Surged to the Top of the Alexa Rankings

What a WHOIS Registrant Lookup Can Tell about "Kanye West" Newly Registered Domains

2008 vs 2020: Analyzing Domain Names in a Global Recession

Host to IP and DNS Analysis of Dozens of Fortnite-Inspired Typosquatting Domains

MarkMonitor Releases New gTLD Quarterly Report for Q2 2020

Bulk Domain Lookup of 3,000+ NRDs with "Deal" Word Strings Appearing Days before July 4

Bulk WHOIS Lookup of Florida SMMC Lookalike Domains Shows Signs of Typosquatting