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ICANN Regional Meeting and More Questions on nTLDs

Congratulations and thanks to ICANN for hosting the North America Regional meeting at the Sheraton in downtown Toronto, Canada. This event was done first class and was in my opinion a highly successful meeting... At this regional ICANN meeting many interesting topics were covered. Some topics though not at the foremost of my mind, surprisingly were not only highly interesting but very informative. more

ICANN Must Simultaneously Reveal TLD and Second-Level Registration Rules

I outline two possible drawbacks with the idea of first revealing rules for the new proposed Top-Level Domains (TLDs) and then for second-level registrations. I propose a lottery process to initially allocate second-level domain names. A number of people have voiced concerns about the idea of automatically granting the winner of the TLD a monopoly power over second-level domain registrations. We should also be worried about the financial interest ICANN has in not providing the rules for the two-level registrations simultaneously. more

Corporate Domain Registration Practices in Light of New gTLDs

For years, corporate domain name administrators have scoffed at every new second-level and third-level country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD) liberalization, and rightly so. Until recently, most had continued the practice of registering significant numbers of variations, misspellings and typo-squats. While I have never encouraged the practice of registering every variation in every geography, as this becomes prohibitively expensive over time... With what seems to be the imminent launch of hundreds of new TLDs as a result of ICANN's new initiative, companies appear to be saying enough is enough, and meaning it. more

New gTLDs: Let the Gaming Begin (Part I - TLD Front Running)

A series of recent applications for national trademark rights in terms that correspond to likely strings for new top-level domain names, or TLDs, (e.g., ".BLOG") highlight just one way in which ICANN's new generic TLD (gTLD) application process is likely to be "gamed." But it is also a strategy to which some trademark holders may feel compelled to resort to defend their rights to that string. Unfortunately, it does not appear that ICANN is addressing these important public policy considerations. more

Examininng Value in New ICANN TLDs on Search and Navigation, Companies, Domain Registries

I outline the implications for value presented by ICANN's proposed introduction of new Top-Level Domains (TLDs) on user search and navigation, companies, and registries... For the new tools to be value adding they should facilitate navigation, reduce search cost, or provide actionable branding information through marketing. Unfortunately, the new TLDs bring in a mixed bag of value-adding and -destroying tools. more

Comment on the Kleiman/Komaitis Proposal on Multiple IP Clearinghouses for the New gTLD Process

I recently learned about a meeting that took place between ICANN staff and Noncommercial Users Constituency (NCUC) members Kathy Kleiman and Konstantinos Komaitis regarding the Implementation Recommendations Team (IRT) recommendations for the protection of intellectual property rights in new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). My comment relates to the White Paper published by Ms. Kleiman and Mr. Komaitis with respect to the notion of having multiple Regional Trademark clearinghouses (TMCs). For the reasons stated in this comment, the KK Proposal fails a number of the benchmarking checklists used by the IRT in evaluating proposals. more

DotEco Bids Heat Up - Catfight Anyone?

The new Top-Level Domain (TLD) process is occupying a lot of people in the domain name industry at present. While some people are obviously very much against the entire concept of new TLDs, there are plenty of people and organisations who support the project. But what happens when you have more than one organisation vying for the same namespace? ...Seemingly the competition between two rival bids for .eco (doteco) has been getting more than a little dirty in the past few weeks. more

Domain Name Registry-Registrar Vertical Separation: The Economic, Anti-Trust Red Herring

ICANN has operated on the fundamental principle that there should be separation within the domain name marketplace between registries (wholesale) and registrars (retail). This fundamental principle has been a pillar upon which ICANN has provided registrants (consumers) with increased choice, innovation, and price savings. Therefore it was with great surprise when ICANN staff unilaterally undertook this initial vertical separation analysis through exclusive consultation with ICANN contracting parties (registrars and registries), while totally excluding non-contracting parties (individual, business and non-commercial registrants)... more

A Framework for Selecting New TLDs

Your corporate domain names send implicit messages (signals) through their Top-Level Domains (TLDs) and their second-level words. Shape your domain names so to send the right messages and to avoid sending unintentionally confusing messages. The post focuses on a framework to help bidders determine which TLDs send messages that are potentially profit generating... Soon TLDs such as ".car," ".cars," ".green," and ".eco" will be available to any qualified body whose request is favored by the allocation system. The system being discussed is a combination of beauty contests and auctions. more

How Unconscionable is the Profit That Verisign Makes from Its Registry?

VeriSign makes a great deal of money from the .COM and .NET registries. Can we tell how much they make, and how much that might change if the CFIT lawsuit succeeds? It's not hard to make some estimates from public information. The largest gTLD registry that VeriSign doesn't run is .ORG, which was transferred a few years ago to the Public Internet Registry (PIR) which pays Afilias to run the registry, and uses whatever is left over to support the Internet Society (ISOC)... more