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The Empire Strikes Back: "New" Verisign Hums a Familiar Tune

Losing your monopoly must be hard. True, few companies ever experience that particular breed of angst, but if Verisign's reply to even modest success in the new gTLD marketplace is any indication, it must be very hard to say goodbye. We understand why they're worried... The quality of newly registered .COM names is dropping and has been for years. And there is nothing Verisign can do about it. So welcome to the fire sale. more»

The Real Facts About New gTLDs

Many with financial interests in new gTLDs, such as Donuts, have painted a rosy picture of how new gTLDs create greater availability of meaningful domain name options that the global masses have been waiting for. Their message seems to be: FINALLY, there is an alternative to .com in new domain extensions like .guru, .photography, .blackfriday and .tips. But, the reality is that we have always had options other than .com to choose from when registering a domain name. The challenge isn't choice, its relevance and credibility. more»

Early Data Suggests New gTLDs Perform Well in Search Environment

Internet addresses registered in new gTLDs are holding their own against -- and in some cases outperforming -- comparable addresses registered in legacy domains like .COM, according to new data that provides the best window yet into the operational functionality of new gTLD addresses. A question on everyone's mind in the run up to new gTLDs was: how would new domains perform in the wild against legacy domains on the key criteria of search? more»

Wait and See Approach on Abuse

Wait and see approach on abuse attracts ICANN Stakeholder attention: A few weeks ago I made a detailed argument as to why product safety applies to domains, just like it does to cars and high chairs. I also argued that good products equal good business or "economically advantaged" in the long run. Then I really made a strong statement, I said if we don't actively engage other Internet stakeholders -- those that interact with our products, we would eventually lose the opportunity to self-regulate. more»

Section 3.18 of the 2013 RAA: Reasonable Investigations, Appropriate Responses

Section 3.18 of the ICANN 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) contains language requiring registrars to investigate and respond to abuse complaints. Nearly one year into the new RAA's effective period, what do we know about Section 3.18? If a person or entity wants to submit a complaint, what should they keep in mind? This article reviews the meaning of Section 3.18, how to leverage it, offers a list of do's and don'ts for complainants, and offers a few recommendations for registrars. more»

Experience and Evidence Point to Strong Renewal Rates for New TLDs

In the tenth month of the revolutionary expansion of generic top-level Internet domains, global registrations in new gTLDs reached more than three million addresses, providing the clearest illustration yet of the strong international appetite for new, relevant addressing options. As we near the first full year of new gTLD availability, focus now shifts to another critical metric -- renewals -- which we expect to show similar strength based on history and data analysis. more»

Domain Name Abuse Is a 4 Letter Word

There has been a lot of back and forth recently in the ICANN world on what constitutes domain abuse; how it should be identified and reported AND how it should be addressed. On one side of the camp, we have people advocating for taking down a domain that has any hint of misbehaviour about it, and on the other side we have those that still feel Registries and Registrars have no responsibility towards a clean domain space. (Although that side of the camp is in steady decline and moving toward the middle ground). more»

ICANN (TBD): Why is ICANN Always to Blame and What to Do About It

With great anticipation I waited for the most recent Applicant Guidebook version 4 aka DAG4. I was looking forward to seeing gTLD program timeline. Was it possible that ICANN would give us another timeline and be firm with it? And then I saw it. Those 3 letters next to the new October 2010 launch date: tbd. So the date is October 2010 but it is "To Be Determined"? On one hand we have a set date but on the other hand it is yet to be determined. more»

Where Is Cyberspace?

In my first CircleID post, I compared the cyberspace to a farmland, which has to be cultivated and developed. I ended by asking: Where is cyberspace? I have asked this same question from many people, many of whom are internet experts. They all said the cyberspace is in the computers, networks, or servers, or the Internet itself. I agree with these cyberspace ideas. In addition, my opinion is a bit different. more»

Afnic Reporting About Impact of New TLDs on Traditional TLDs

The October 2014 edition of the Afnic Industry Report on Domain Names is out with focus on the impact of the hundreds of new TLDs on "traditional" players. The October 2014 issue shows that gTLDs (.com, .biz., etc.) are impacted by the massive influx of new TLDs on the market whereas ccTLDs (.fr, .re, ...) are better resisting the newcomers. more»

Towards More Efficient Registry-Registrar Relations

On the morning of Wednesday 15th October, the The Domain Name Association (the DNA) held an important working group meeting during ICANN 51 Los Angeles. The topic was to discuss several operational issues between registries and registrars. The meeting's unofficial ongoing name is the Registry-Registrar Operations Working Group. The meeting was a continuation of an inaugural meeting that was held back in June of this year, and covered in a Industry Association: An Implementation Model circulated by the DNA from September 17, by Executive Director Kurt Pritz. more»

Some Thoughts on the ICANN EWG Recommended Registration Directory Service (RDS)

It has been my distinct pleasure to serve on ICANN's Expert Working Group on gTLD Directory Services (EWG). We put in many long months and what seemed like countless hours of research, discussion, meetings, and deliberations on how to tackle a clean-slate approach to gTLD directory services, popularly known as "WHOIS". In our Final Report, the Expert Working Group (EWG) recommended a Registration Directory Service (RDS) to replace today's WHOIS, providing a next-generation system to better meet the needs of the evolving global Internet with greater accuracy, privacy, and accountability. more»

Building a Better WHOIS for the Individual Registrant

Today, anyone can use WHOIS to identify the organization or person who registered a gTLD domain name, along with their postal address, email address, and telephone number. Publishing this data has long been controversial, creating a system riddled with problems. On one hand, anonymous access to all WHOIS data enables misuse by spammers and criminals and raises concerns about personal privacy. On the other hand, incomplete or false WHOIS data prolongs Internet outages and leaves crime victims with little recourse. more»

New gTLD Abuse Trends Beginning to Emerge

With just over 2.4 million New gTLDs registered, abuse trends are beginning to emerge. Earlier this month we conducted a review of the top 100 most highly-trafficked Web property names across the top 5 most popular new gTLD registries. It is apparent that the abuse we had expected has occurred -- just not where we had anticipated. more»

New gTLD Fees Threaten the Diversity of the Name Space

The great promise of the new gTLD programme is not that it will spawn dozens of .COM clones, but rather that it will lead to the creation of a global constellation of unique names embraced by specific interest groups. As an ICANN community, our challenge now is to ensure that the policy framework we've created to manage new gTLDs advances that vision by not penalising the very sorts of domains that the programme was designed to encourage. more»