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$59M and Counting: ICANN Board Downgrades Community Say on Use of Last Resort Auction Proceeds

ICANN's new gTLD program provides for last resort auctions to settle contention sets where the competing applicants are unable to reach agreement by negotiation or private auction, with the proceeds going to a segregated ICANN account. With the recent $25 million bid of Google to secure control of the .App registry the total proceeds of those ICANN auctions has swelled to $58.8 million. The final sum by the end of the first round could go higher, perhaps to more than $100 million. That's serious money. more»

Metrics for New gTLDs Performance

The essay describes six groups of gTLD performance indicators: (1) the presence of a secondary market; (2) uses of second-level domain names; (3) the identity of the owners of parked and not-in-use domain names; (4) domain name renewals; (5) the market size of the supporting complementary assets; and (6) the character of the person in charge of a given registry. A time-trend of these indicators would convey any price inefficiencies and bubbles, and the health of the industry. more»

Will the Fast-Approaching Deadline for .brands Catch Many by Surprise?

29 July 2015 is a big day for .brands. It's the date when all ICANN Registry Agreements (RA) must be signed. Once the RA is signed, the fees to ICANN and your Registry Services Provider kick in. As certain as you can be that ICANN will begin sending invoices, you can also expect to receive increased scrutiny internally. Questions are inevitable. People will want answers; what is the plan for this thing? How does it fit into our long term corporate goals? Do marketing have a plan to use the TLD in the upcoming launch of our new product? more»

New ".trademark" gTLD is Here

Few Brands have noticed it yet but a company has applied for a domain name extension which literally means ".trademark". The company is based in Hong-Kong and its name is "Huyi Global .商标 Domain Registry". The ".商标" is what we call an International Domain Name extension (IDN) and it means ".trademark" in Simplified Chinese. It is pronounced: "Shang Biao". more»

ICANN.WTF? FTC & OCA Asked Whether .SUCKS is a Law Breaker (Part II)

The first part of this article reviewed the actions taken by ICANN in response to a March 27th letter from the Intellectual Property Constituency (IPC) alleging that the pricing of Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) registered terms by the .Sucks registry were "predatory, exploitative and coercive" and requesting that ICANN halt the registry's rollout. This second part explores additional ramifications of ICANN's decision to request two national regulators to review the legality of the registry's operation. more»

Framing New gTLDs' Marketing Message

In an earlier essay, I outlined a focused, cooperative marketing strategy that would be a first step for marketing new gTLDs. After that first initiative, gTLD registries' marketing strategy must focus on the complementarities between .com, and new neutral (such as .global and .web) and branding and labeling gTLDs. The legacy domains and the newcomers can work together nicely. If we don't realize this, all Internet users will lose out. more»

ICANN.WTF? FTC & OCA Asked Whether .SUCKS is a Law Breaker (Part I)

On April 9, 2015 ICANN took the unprecedented step of asking two national consumer protection agencies whether the .Sucks registry, one of the new gTLDs it has approved and which is currently in its sunrise registration period, has a business plan which violates any laws or regulations those agencies enforce. This is the equivalent of sending a message stating, "Dear Regulator: We have lit a fuse. Can you please tell us whether it is connected to a bomb?" more»

3 Steps for Managing ICANN Registry Compliance

If you are like the majority of Registry Operators we have spoken to, you may now be thinking that compliance with your new gTLD Registry Agreement is much more difficult than first envisaged -- especially if you are one of the lucky operators which have been chosen for ICANN's latest round of registry audits! You may also be surprised at the number of questions and requests that you need to respond to. more»

How Much Money Is There in Complaining?

Although I don't have a lot of sympathy for the trademark lawyers' argument that trademark holders need to register .sucks domains cheaply before anyone else can, there is one point at the end of their letter that's worth a look. The registry contract for .sucks, between Vox Populi and ICANN, has this sentence that appears (as far as I know) in no other registry contract, in the section on Registry-Level fees. more»

The 3 Biggest Challenges Facing New gTLDs

When ICANN announced the nTLD program, thousands of applicants threw their hats in the ring. It seemed pretty straight forward; the existing TLDs were running out of short meaningful options, all that was needed was to create newer options that would be more relevant for specific sets of customers. Years later, the process is well underway; hundreds of nTLDs have hit the market, yet less than 10% of those that have gone live seem to have found success. more»

ICANN and a Lot of Other People Outsmart Themselves With .SUCKS

Good taste has never been a criterion in ICANN's new domains program, and domains including .fail and the remarkably vulgar .wtf have become part of the DNS with little comment. Now we have .sucks, which is intended to empower consumers, but does so in a way so clumsy that ICANN is asking regulators in the U.S. and Canada for an excuse to shut it down. more»

We Need a Focused, Cooperative Strategy for Marketing New gTLDs

This essay discusses recent findings on the difficulty of overcoming decision bias, and it argues that this factor, when combined with a diverse and fragmented demand for new gTLDs, makes a focused marketing strategy crucial to the success of the program. In addition, success requires cooperation among registries and resellers when it comes to sales and marketing. Impulse buying aside, a product's sales are driven by the product's utility... more»

Did Google's Infrastructure Coup Work?

There is no doubt that the Google fibre rollout in Kansas City has been a success. Take-up rates are as high as 75%. However, when it was first announced in 2010, we stated that the real reason behind Google's entry into this market was to prove that FttH can be cost-effective and can generate a profitable return -- in the hope that the sluggish telcos would become more active in the rollout of FttH networks. Yet, Google is proving that this indeed can be done, the telcos remain sluggish in deploying FttH. more»

Registration Operations is More Than Just Registering Domain Names

Perceptions can be difficult to change. People see the world through the lens of their own experiences and desires, and new ideas can be difficult to assimilate. Such is the case with the registration ecosystem. Today's operational models exist because of decisions made over time, but the assumptions that were used to support those decisions can (and should) be continuously challenged to ensure that they are addressing today's realities. Are we ready to challenge assumptions? Can the operators of registration services do things differently? more»

New gTLDs and Universal Acceptance

Universal Acceptance is the topic of the moment, explained in one simple sentence: in the new gTLD world, it means that various groups (the DNS, ICANN and a few others) are working hard to make new domain names better accepted by the existing technical Internet infrastructure. A video extracted from the "ICANN 52" meeting explains it in 50 slides but I suggest a pause on slide 17, because it shows where the issues are and what remains to be fixed to give the ultimate answer to that question. more»

News Briefs

ICANN Asks U.S. Federal Trade Commission Whether .SUCK is Violating Any Laws

Dot-Sucks TLD Accused of Predatory, Exploitative and Coercive Practices

Internet Grew by 4 Million Domains in 4Q 2014, Reaching 288 Million Worldwide

Google Wins .APP New gTLD Auction for $25 Million

AFNIC: 2014 Was the Year of the Big Bang for nTLDs

Group Forms Universal Acceptance Iniative for New gTLDs

Symantec Chosen as Verification Agent for .bank and .insurance TLDs

Total Domains Reach 280 Million Worldwide

U.S. Court Overrules Attempt to Seize Iran's, Syria's and North Korea's Domains

Afnic Reporting About Impact of New TLDs on Traditional TLDs

Afilias Announces Plan to Raise $100 Million via London AIM Exchange

The .eco TLD Awarded to Coalition of Over 50 Environmental Groups

European ccTLDs Have Reached 66.5 Million Registrations, CENTR Reports

Amazon Wins Bid for .Buy TLD at $4.6M

New Top-Level Domains Shaking the Main Established Registrars, AFNIC Reports

First World Domain Day Conference Concludes in India

Global Domain Name Registrations Reach 276 Million, Increase of Over 19M From Last Year

EURid Compensates Carbon Emissions With Wind Turbines

Impartiality of Dot Pharmacy TLD Questioned

Scotland's New TLD .scot Goes Live

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Minds + Machines Updates – Sponsor

First Premium .yoga Domains Up for Auction

With the excitement and success of the release of top-level domain, .yoga, Minds + Machines (LSE: MMX) and SnapNames have paired up to bring the very first .yoga online auction. ›››

Lou Andreozzi to Lead New .Law Top-Level Domain

Minds + Machines announces the appointment of Lou Andreozzi, former Chairman of Bloomberg Law and CEO of LexisNexis North American Legal Markets, Martindale Hubbell and lawyers.com, as CEO of .law. ›››

Minds + Machines in 2014 and 2015

On January 1, 2014, Minds + Machines was trading at 14p. As of yesterday our share price was 7p. You might conclude from this that our company has declined by a factor of two. But from our perspective, exactly the opposite has happened. Why the disconnect? ›››

DNW Podcast Interview with Antony Van Couvering

Antony Van Couvering, founder and CEO of Minds + Machines was recently interviewed by DNW's Andrew Allemann discussing new Top-Level Domains. ›››

Auction and Sales Channel Update

Minds + Machines has announce that following the recent series of private auctions, the Company will receive in aggregate $4.4 million (approximately £2.8 million) for withdrawing its applications on .latino, .school and a third domain application that at present cannot be named due to the rules governing the private auction process. ›››

Update on Minds + Machines' Top-Level Domain Launches

During this September, ten domains within MMX's portfolio were launched -- .bayern, .beer, .cooking, .country, .fishing, .horse, .london, .rodeo, .surf and .vodka -- representing less than a third of the current portfolio of uncontested domains in which Minds + Machines has an interest. ›››

Auctions Update: MMX Wins .law and .vip

Minds + Machines Group Limited (AIM:MMX), the publicly quoted owner and operator of Internet top-level domains, is delighted to announce that it has won the auctions for .law and for .vip. ›››

Industry Updates

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