Domain Names

Domain Names / Recently Commented

Narcotics Traffic Is Not Part of a Healthy Domain System

A stack contrast is emerging within the DNS between providers who tolerate blatantly illegal domain use and those who do not. Our study, just published here focuses on five U.S.-based providers, their policies, and their response to reports of opioid traffic within their registry or registrar. There are many providers, not covered here, who removed hundreds of domains selling opioids and I applaud their efforts. more»

Thoughts on the Proposed Copyright Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy

A proposal from the Domain Name Association (DNA) would provide copyright owners with a new tool to fight online infringement -- but the idea is, like other efforts to protect intellectual property rights on the Internet, proving controversial. The proposed Copyright Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy is one of four parts of the DNA's "Healthy Domains Initiative" (HDI). more»

Next gTLD Round - A Seven Year Itch?

Five years ago today, the ICANN Board committed to opening a second application window for the New gTLD Program as expeditiously as possible. The same resolution also directed the ICANN CEO to publish a document describing the work plan required prior to initiating a second application window. Ask a Board member or ICANN staff when they expect the next application window to open, and they will inevitably suggest 2020 -- another three years away. more»

ICANN Fails Consumers (Again)

In its bid to be free of U.S. government oversight ICANN is leaning on the global multistakeholder community as proof positive that its policy-making comes from the ground up. ICANN's recent response to three U.S. senators invokes the input of "end users from all over the world" as a way of explaining how the organization is driven. Regardless of the invocation of the end user (and it must be instinct) ICANN cannot seem to help reaching back and slapping that end user across the face. more»

Using Domain Name Privacy/Proxy Services Lawfully or to Hide Contact Information and Identity

Privacy/proxy services carry no per se stigma of nefarious purpose, although when first introduced circa 2006 there was some skepticism they could enable cybersquatting and panelists expressed different views in weighing the legitimacy for their use. Some Panels found high volume registrants responsible for registering domain-name-incorporating trademarks. Others rejected the distinction between high and low volume as a determining factor. more»

Is 2017 Crunch Time for the Domain Industry?

Verisign's spent the best part of 2016 putting out warnings. The .COM operator and domain industry heavyweight highlighted its Q3 earnings report with a stern "Ending Q4 '16 Domain Name Base expected to decrease by between 1.5M to 2.8M registrations from the end of Q3 '16". A forecast which the company said was based on "on historical seasonality and current market trends." As 2016 drew to a close, the downturn seemed to materialize... more»

Overseas TLD Registries Licensed by Chinese Government

It was reported that .XYZ, .CLUB and .VIP have obtained official license from the Chinese government. The approval notices can be found on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology ("MIIT"), the domain name regulator in China. It is the first batch of overseas top-level domains (TLD) being officially approved. Previously, only two legacy TLDs -- .COM and .NET -- have been issued such approval. The "green light" means that Chinese registrars are able to sell these domains legally in China. more»

Excessive Offers to Sell Domain Names: Evidence of Bad Faith or Bona Fide Business Practice?

Not infrequently heard in domain name disputes are cries of shock and gnashing of teeth that domain name holders may lawfully offer their inventory at excessive prices. Take for example TOBAM v. M. Thestrup / Best Identity, D2016-1990 (WIPO November 21, 2016) (<tobam.com>). Respondent accused Complainant of bullying which Complainant denied... more»

A Real-Names Domain Registration Policy Would Discourage Political Lying

I've discussed the role of the Internet in creating and propagating lies in a previous post, noting that Donald Trump lied more frequently than Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders during the campaign. Now let's look at fake news like the claim that Pope Francis had endorsed Trump. The fake post features the following image and includes a "statement" by the Pope in which he explains his decision. more»

How Did We Get Here? A Look Back at the History of IANA

October 2016 marks a milestone in the story of the Internet. At the start of the month, the United States Government let its residual oversight arrangements with ICANN over the operation of the IANA lapse. No single government now has a unique relationship with the governance of the protocol elements of the Internet, and it is now in the hands of a community of interested parties in a so-called Multi-Stakeholder framework. This is a unique step for the Internet and not without its attendant risks. How did we get here? more»

2017, Year of Consolidation for Domain Name Market, AFNIC Study Suggests

AFNIC, the domain name registry for .rf (France), recently conducted a study of major trends for "Legacy gTLDs" or traditional TLDs such as .biz, .com, info, etc., as well as country code TLDs corresponding to territories such as .de (Germany), .fr (France), and .uk (United Kingdom). The new TLDs have note been included in this study since they are still something of a "new development", but will be included in the future, AFNIC says. more»

Another Free Registry Software Option

Google has recently announced the release of Nomulus, its free, open source registry software, triggering discussion of its impact on the industry. Afilias has over 15 years of experience in registry operations, and offers the following initial thoughts... First, free registry software is not new.CoCCA has offered this option for years, and TLDs such as .CX (Christmas Island) and .KI (Kiribati) use it. It is supported on a "best efforts" basis and appears to meet the limited needs of a few small operators. more»

Refutation of the Worst IANA Transition FUD

Of all the patently false and ridiculous articles written this month about the obscure IANA transition which has become an issue of leverage in the partisan debate over funding the USG via a Continuing Resolution, this nonsense by Theresa Payton is the most egregiously false and outlandish. As such, it demands a critical, nearly line by line response. more»

When 'Confusing Similarity' in UDRP Cases Gets Confusing

The first element of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) requires a complainant to prove that the disputed domain name "is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which the complainant has rights." It's unusual for a complainant to fail on this first of three prongs, but one recent case demonstrates just how uncertain the UDRP can be sometimes. more»

A Look at New gTLDs Numbers… We're Doing Good

Like it or not, new gTLDs are here and they're here to stay. If it is still common to read that the ICANN new gTLD program was a failure and few users are using new domain names, numbers show the opposite. I recently read very rude critics addressed to new gTLD applicants but surprisingly, critics often come from ".com" investors and my understanding of this is that new domain names lower their margins ...since the domain name offer is now larger. more»