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To Meow or not to Meow: .CAT TLD approved by ICANN

The Sponsored TLD .CAT got the green light to move ahead from ICANN this week, another of the sTLD proposals in the second round of submissions to gain momentum toward being added to the root. When I shared the news today with folks, the most common response was a tongue in cheek response, 'Where is .DOG?'. ...Still, comedy aside, this is not a TLD for animal species, but rather for a language. more

Most Popular Invalid TLDs Should Be Reserved

Some of the root server operators post public statistics for their domain name traffic at the top-level. For example, the graph (which can take a bit of time to generate, given ICANN's slow servers) for the L-root server's most popular Top-Level Domain (TLD) queries demonstrates, to no one's surprise, that .com is king. What's more interesting, though, especially given the new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) debate, is to look at the most popular invalid (non-existent) TLDs. more

Why the Lawsuit Against .XXX Maybe the Best Sales Tool Ever For New gTLD Applicants

"There is a serious danger that ICM will establish and monopolize such a distinct market. As consumers seeking adult content become more aware of the .XXX TLD, registering and displaying websites in other generic TLDs may not easily be substituted for registration in the .XXX TLD." No that statement is not from the ICM Registry's sales material. more

ICANN and IAB Ask VeriSign to Suspend Site Finder

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has released an "Advisory" concerning VeriSign's deployment of DNS wildcard (Site Finder) service: "Since the deployment, ICANN has been monitoring community reaction, including analysis of the technical effects of the wildcard, and is carefully reviewing the terms of the .com and .net Registry Agreements. In response to widespread expressions of concern from the Internet community about the effects of the introduction of the wildcard..." more

NXDOMAIN Substitution: Good or Evil?

It might seem a little strange, but in the current economics of the market in registration of DNS names it appears that the set of names that are not "visible," or at least not associated with any dedicated network service point, represents a far larger set, and has a far higher total value to the DNS name registration industry, than the set of network-visible service endpoint domain names. In other words, there appears to be a larger and more valuable market for names that do not exist than for names that do. more

Mozilla Implements TLD Whitelist for Firefox in Response to IDN Homographs Spoofing

Mozilla Foundation has announced changes to Firefox concerning Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) to deal with homograph spoofing attacks. According to the organization, "Mozilla Foundation products now only display IDNs in a whitelist of TLDs, which have policies stating what characters are permitted, and procedures for making sure that no homographic domains are registered to two different entities." Following is a statement explaining the current status of the Mozilla changes to Firefox regarding IDN... more

Internationalizing Top-Level Domain Names: Another Look

A paper by Dr. John C. Klensin, former Vice President of Internet Architecture at AT&T, a Distinguished Engineering Fellow at MCI WorldCom, and Principal Research Scientist at MIT. This paper has been reproduced with kind permission from the Internet Society. "Over the last few years, rising interest in internationalized domain names has been accompanied by interest in using those names at the top level and, in particular, replacing or supplementing country-code based domain names with names in the language of the relevant countries. This memo suggests that actually creating such names in the DNS is undesirable from both a user-interface and DNS management standpoint. It then proposes the alternative of translating the names so that every TLD name is available to users in their own languages." more

Latest Cybersquatting Stats from WIPO

According to latest reports from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), allegations of cybersquatting by trademark holders continued to rise in 2008, with a record 2,329 complaints filed under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). This represented an 8% increase over 2007 in the number of generic and country code Top-Level Domain (gTLDs and ccTLDs) disputes handled and brings the total number of WIPO cases filed under the UDRP since it was launched ten years ago to over 14,000. To improve efficiency and respond to growing demand, WIPO has proposed an "eUDRP Initiative" to render the UDRP paperless... more

Analysis of Domain Names Registered Across Multiple Existing TLDs and Implications for New gTLDs

The following is an analysis based on the hypothesis that trademark holders are not, in general, registering their trademarks as domain names across the existing top-level domain namespace. To determine if the hypothesis is true, we examine domain names registered in the popular generic top-level domains ("gTLDs" such as .com, .net and .info), also using other publicly available information such as the USPTO database of trademarks, the English dictionary, DNS entries, UDRP records and whois records. more

Reduce the Risk of URL Shorteners to Your Brand With Your Own TLD

A very real and potentially dangerous issue for brands is the continual reliance on obscure country code domains for URL shortening services. Recent reports have emerged that the country code domain .ly will no longer allow domains with 4 or less characters to be registered by users outside of Libya. What exactly does that mean for marketers that are using popular URL shorteners like bit.ly and ow.ly today? It means more risk. As a brand owner who is spending thousands or even millions of dollars on your social media campaigns, the solution is very simple - get your own top-level domain, and control your own destiny. more

More Top-Level Domain Wildcards

With all of the recent excitement about *.cm, the Cameroonian wildcard that someone is using to collect vast numbers of mistyped .com addresses, I wondered how many other wildcards there were at the DNS top level. There's a total of 13. Half of the wildcards are harmless. The *.museum wildcard leads to a registry page that helps guess what you might have been looking for. ...The .mp page also claims that .mp is for Mobile Phone rather than for the Marianas Islands, but they're hardly the only small poor island to try to cash in on their ccTLD, and they at least run it themselves. more

GG, IM, and JE: Welcome (officially) to ISO3166, Good Bye GB

I am often asked how to get a ccTLD by folks just coming in to the domain industry. There is RFC1591 as a start for reading material on the subject matter, and then there is ICP-1. I defer them to IANA, who defers to ICANN, who in turn defers to ISO and the ISO3166-1 list being the definitive list, and then you have to factor in some of the "reserved code elements" from their decoding table to normalize 3166 against the list of IANA Country Codes for ccTLD delegations like .EU. How does one get their ccTLD into the ISO list? The ISO in turn (likely due to the masses that contact them hoping to list their country) defer the criteria for what it is to be a 'country' for being on the 3166-1 list, and partially defer to the United Nations. more

gTLDs: Why Are Your Overarching Issues Not Relevant In IDN ccTLDs?

"If I would have a voting right, I would vote like this" said Janis Karklins, chair of the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) as he empathically raised two arms in the air. He was showing his, and the GAC's, overwhelming support for the ICANN Board unanimously (barring one abstention) passing the resolution that ratified the IDN ccTLD Fast Track process, propelling it toward an imminent release. A standing ovation was given from a grateful and exuberant audience and everyone seemed pleased with this momentous decision. more

The World's Most Dangerous Country Code Top-Level Domains

If you want to know the world's most dangerous country code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs), ask an anti-virus software company. McAfee has released its list of most dangerous country codes. Here are the top five... more

Lawsuits Filed Against ICANN-VeriSign Settlement

The new organization called Coalition for ICANN Transparency (CFIT) has filed a lawsuit against ICANN and VeriSign in order to stop implementation of the proposed .com registry agreement. According to its description, "CFIT is a not-for-profit Delaware corporation based in Washington, D.C. CFIT’s supporters include individuals, organizations, institutions and companies who are committed to the core principles on which ICANN, the internet governing body is founded." more