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New ICANN Requirements for New gTLDs Are Irrelevant

ICANN is barking up a number of wrong trees with the latest version of its Evaluation and Questions Criteria for generic top-level domains (gTLDs). The document asks for financial projections, the applicant's goals for its TLD, and the benefits the applicant expects to derive. All that information is meaningless. more»

Is WCIT Failure the Start of a Digital Cold War?

This was never part of the plan. Going into the Dubai World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) two weeks ago, there was optimism aplenty. After weeks of online and media campaigning, proponents of a free Internet had managed to scare everyone into thinking that WCIT was tantamount to digital Armageddon. This had the effect of defusing the conference before it even started, or so it seemed... more»

DOTCOM Act Passes House as Rubio Leads Senate Call for IANA Oversight Hearings

The Shimkus Amendment to the $601 billion National Defense Authorization Act (HR 4435) passed the House of Representatives on May 22nd by a mostly partisan vote of 245–177. While all 228 Republicans present and voting supported the amendment only 17 Democrats voted "aye", with 177 in opposition. Final passage on the entire bill was a bipartisan vote of 325–98. The Senate has not yet passed its version of a FY 2015 Pentagon funding bill, and once it does all the differences between the two versions must be reconciled before it can be sent to President Obama for his signature. more»

Cybersquatting Rose 33 Per Cent Over 2007

According to recent reports, cybersquatting continued to be the most prevalent form of online brand abuse after a 33 per cent jump in the past year. The latest Brandjacking Index from MarkMonitor found significant drops in domain kiting and related pay-per-click fraud. This trend is attributed to aggressive legal actions by brand holders as well as increased scrutiny by domain name oversight agency, ICANN. However, phishing techniques and targets continued to evolve in 2007, and the report highlighted a 533 per cent increase in phishing attacks against the retail and services sector. more»

1770 Domain Disputes Filed with National Arbitration Forum in 2008, Over 12K Since 1999

The National Arbitration Forum today announced that a total of 1,770 cases were filed in its domain name dispute resolution program in 2008. The National Arbitration Forum, approved by ICANN, provides domain name dispute resolution services under policies like the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). Nearly all 1,770 cases filed (98%) in 2008 involved UDRP domain names, like .com and .org and the rest involved usDRP domain names with the .us extension, according to the announcement... more»

FTC Chief Concerned Over Most New gTLD Bids

Kevin Murphy reporting in DomainIncite: The US Federal Trade Commission is still "looking at" ICANN's new gTLD program amid concerns that most of the applicants applied defensively, it has emerged. ... "We have been very, very concerned about ICANN and their dramatic expansion of the domain names, which we think will cause consumer confusion and even worse lead to more areas where malefactors can hide from the law while defrauding consumers," FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz said. more»

New gTLD Clearinghouse Rule Proposed for European Trademarks

Adam Smith reporting today in the World Trademark Review blog: "Trademarks that have undergone examination based only on absolute grounds of refusal will be welcomed into the Trademark Clearinghouse proposed for the new generic top-level domain (gTLD) space. The news came from Kurt Pritz, senior vice president, services, at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), who was speaking at a roundtable hosted this morning by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO)." more»

ICANN Should be Reformed Before "Privatization", Says New Study

The Technology Policy Institute (TPI), an IT and communications policy think tank, has just released a paper proposing that "ICANN's governance structure should be dramatically reformed to make it more accountable before the current tie with the U.S. Department of Commerce is allowed to expire." The paper titled "ICANN At a Crossroads: a Proposal for Better Governance and Performance" is written by Thomas M. Lenard, President and Senior Fellow at TPI, along with Lawrence J. White, Professor of Economics at the NYU Stern School of Business. The 52-page study also asserts that ICANN must have a clear focus on encouraging competition with minimal role as a regulator with respect to the creation of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). more»

New gTLDs: If I Knew Then, What I Know Now…

If only I had been able to predict the new gTLD future, but alas my crystal ball (well, really it's a Magic 8 Ball ®) did little to help me. And I really doubt that 5+ years ago, when this new gTLD journey began, that anyone could have predicted where we are now. All that said, back in 2008, I wish I could have known that... more»

Kieren McCarthy: Issue Guide to ICANN San Francisco Meetings

As the ICANN's 40th international meetings start off in San Francisco, Kieren McCarthy, General Manager (US) of the Global Internet Business Coalition (GIBC), and founder of the .NXT conference, has released a guide for the most important topics (listed below) with some added commentary, background and links to relevant resources. more»

WIPO's Misleading Release

The World Intellectual Property Organization put out a release yesterday trumpeting an eight percent increase in domain name disputes handled by WIPO. In 2008 there were 2329 complaints filed with WIPO, the most ever. WIPO uses the increase to raise questions about the possible increase in the number of available generic top-level domains... more»

New gTLDs and Children

At first blush most are unlikely to see the relationship between new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) and children. However, as a father and someone that has worked with approximately 50% of all new gTLDs approved by ICANN over the last decade, I have a unique perspective that may shed some light on this analogy. Hopefully, as the ICANN community begins to seek closure in connection with the new gTLD implement process, this article may offer one perspective as to what lies ahead. more»

Islamic TLDs and the Challenge of Good Governance

As governments ask themselves whether they should not be the only ones in charge, and everyone else is more determined than ever to stay involved, Internet governance is now a front-page topic. But away from the theoretical debates about which model is best, one real-life situation may end up looking strangely like a vindication of the multi-stakeholder model by governmental organisations. The situation in question is that of Islam and Halal. Two applications that look like they are caught in a kind of new gTLD program groundhog day. more»

ICANN Chief Announces Departure Via Twitter

ICANN's CEO and President, Rod Beckstrom, has announced that he will be stepping down in July of next year. The announcement came via Twitter of all places, with a press release, presumably with more details, due sometime soon... With the launch of the new Top-Level Domain (TLD) program scheduled to officially launch early in 2012 maybe Beckstrom feels that his job "is done", or maybe there's another motive behind his departure. more»

What's the ROI on a $20m TLD Auction?

ICANN have taken a solid stance in regards to contention sets, with those yet to be resolved soon to be forced into auctions of last resort in the coming months. As expected, this has increased the velocity of private settlements between applicants, either via deals or private auctions. It seems like most applicants (wisely) don't want to see their funds going into ICANN coffers unnecessarily. more»