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Domain Names / Recently Commented

ICANN Proposed Interim GDPR Compliance Model Would Kill Operational Transparency of the Internet

ICANN has consistently said its intention in complying with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is to comply while at the same time maintaining access to the WHOIS domain name registration database "to greatest extent possible." On February 28, ICANN published its proposed model. Strangely, while ICANN acknowledges that some of the critical purposes for WHOIS include consumer protection, investigation of cybercrimes, mitigation of DNS abuse, and intellectual property protection, the model ICANN proposes provides no meaningful pathway to use WHOIS in those ways. more

GDPR and What Comes Next: The Parade of Horribles

The compliance deadline for the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is nearly upon us, the unveiling of a proposed model to bring WHOIS into compliance is said to come from ICANN next week, and everyone is scrambling to understand all that's involved. Implementation of a revised WHOIS model is clearly on the horizon, but what comes after may be the real story! Specifically, if WHOIS information becomes more than nominally restricted, what's the consequence to the data controllers (ICANN and the contracted parties) who implement this revised model? more

WHOIS Inaccuracy Could Mean Noncompliance with GDPR

The European Commission recently released technical input on ICANN's proposed GDPR-compliant WHOIS models that underscores the GDPR's "Accuracy" principle - making clear that reasonable steps should be taken to ensure the accuracy of any personal data obtained for WHOIS databases and that ICANN should be sure to incorporate this requirement in whatever model it adopts. Contracted parties concerned with GDPR compliance should take note. more

GDPR - Territorial Scope and the Need to Avoid Absurd and Inconsistent Results

There is an urgent need to clarify the GDPR's territorial scope. Of the many changes the GDPR will usher in this May, the expansion of EU privacy law's territorial scope is one of the most important. The GDPR provides for broad application of its provisions both within the EU and globally. But the fact that the GDPR has a broad territorial scope does not mean that every company, or all data processing activities, are subject to it. more

The Future of .COM Pricing

When you've been around the domain industry for as long as I have, you start to lose track of time. I was reminded late last year that the 6-year agreement Verisign struck with ICANN in 2012 to operate .com will be up for expiration in November of this year. Now, I don't for a second believe that .com will be operated by any other party, as Verisign's contract does give them the presumptive right of renewal. But what will be interesting to watch is what happens to Verisign's ability to increase the wholesale cost of .com names. more

What's So Outrageous Asking High Prices for Domain Names?

Panels appointed to hear and decide disputes under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) have long recognized that three letter domains are valuable assets. How investors value their domains depends in part on market conditions. Ordinarily (and for good reason) Panels do not wade into pricing because it is not a factor on its own in determining bad faith. more

The Rise of a Secondary Market for Domain Names (Part 4/4): Facilitating the Secondary Market

The defining of rights in the UDRP process is precisely what WIPO and ICANN contemplated, but it is unlikely they foresaw the destination of the jurisprudence. Since its inception, UDRP Panels have adjudicated over 75,000 disputes, some involving multiple domain names. (These numbers, incidentally, are a tiny fraction of the number of registered domain names in legacy and new top-level domains, which exceeded 320 million in the first quarter 2017). more

In Memoriam:

I have hesitated in writing this memorial for because I did not want to announce a demise that may not be true or the fear that my saying it will make it so. The website went dark for a short period in 2017, before being restored after a brief shutdown, and (I thought) it could happen again. I was waiting for history to repeat itself. But, the website remains dark, without explanation, and I fear it will not return. We lost it on or about January 6, 2018. more

First Do No Harm: Ensuring Compliance with the EU's GDPR While Preserving Access to WHOIS Data

There is growing concern about how ICANN will comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), whose enforcement sanctions come into force in May of 2018. How will ICANN comply with GDPR without unduly restricting global Internet users' access to the public WHOIS database? For nearly the past 20 years, Internet users, businesses, law enforcement and consumer protection agencies have relied on WHOIS as a necessary resource. more

New UDRP Filing Fees at Czech Arbitration Court

The Czech Arbitration Court (CAC) has long offered the least expensive (by far) filing fees for complaints under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), but its fee are about to become more expensive, at least in most cases. CAC's base UDRP filing fee (for a dispute involving up to five domain names and a single-member panel) will increase on February 1, 2018, from 500 euros to 800 euros. As of this writing, that's equivalent to about U.S. $600. more

Domain Name Disputes Break Two Records in 2017

The year 2017 turned out to be a record-setting year for domain name disputes, in two ways: The number of complaints filed as well as the total number of domain names in those complaints. Specifically: The number of cases at WIPO crept up to 3,073 from 3,036 in 2016 (the previous record), a modest gain of just over 1 percent. Those cases included 6,370 domain names, up from 5,354 in 2016 (also a record-setting year), a spike of nearly 19 percent. more

Q&A With Rami Schwartz, Founder and CEO of .tube

After its initial launch in 2016 and with over 1,800 domains registered, the .tube TLD recently released over 25,000 previously reserved domains as part of a broader re-launch of its business and brand. I spoke with Rami Schwartz, Founder and CEO of .tube about the journey so far and about what's in store for .tube in the New Year... "We're used to fighting against companies much larger than us and prevailing - our history has seen us come up against the likes of the Mexican Government and Google..." more

WHOIS: How Could I Have Been So Blind?

A colleague was recently commenting on an article by Michele Neylon "European Data Protection Authorities Send Clear Message to ICANN" citing the EU Data Commissioners of the Article 29 Working Party, the grouping a determinate factor In the impending death of WHOIS. He is on point when he said: What the European Data Protection authorities have not yet put together is that the protection of people's mental integrity on the Internet is not solely due to the action of law enforcement... more

'Combosquatting': New Attention for an Old Problem

A study (18-page PDF) from researchers at Georgia Tech and Stony Brook University has attracted attention to what it calls "combosquatting," but the practice has been around since the early days of domain name disputes. The study says combosquatting "refers to the combination of a recognizable brand name with other keywords (e.g., and" It adds that this practice differs from other types of cybersquatting "in two fundamental ways. more

GDPR: Registries to Become Technical Administrators Only?

On 11 December 2017, about 25 participants from Europe and the US attended the public consultation for the brand new GDPR Domain Industry Playbook by eco (Association of the Internet Industry, based in Germany) at the representation of the German federal state Lower Saxony to the European Union in Brussels. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) poses a challenge for the Registries, Registrars, Resellers and ICANN. more

Industry Updates

ICA Statement on UDRP Decision: Overreaching Panelists and Interference With Domain Market

Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief: Internet Grows to 332.4 Million Domain Registrations in Q4 2017

Startups on Radix Domains Rake in $436M in VC Funding

Paving the Path to the Brandsight Beta: Development and Release of Our Domain Management Product

Radix Appoints Sandeep Ramchandani as CEO

A Re-Examination of the Defense of Laches After 18 Years of the UDRP

Afilias Selected to Provide Registry Services for .PR ccTLD

Afilias Selected to Provide Registry Services for .AU ccTLD

Radix Set to Cross $12 Million in Annual Revenue in 2017

Why UDRP Panelists Must Follow the Policy: A Look at the Decision

Top 10 Trending Keywords in .COM and .NET Registrations in October

Radix Reports Subsequent Renewal Rate of 77% for Three of Its Largest TLDs

Verisign Launches NameStudio to Help Businesses and Individuals Find Great Domain Names

Startup on Radix Domain has More Downloads on Play Store Than Lyft and Hulu Combined

Radix's .TECH, .STORE, .ONLINE and .FUN Get Approval from the Chinese Government