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Freedom of Expression Chilled by ICANN's Addition of Speech Restrictions in DNS

Freedom of expression on the Internet is at risk from ICANN's recent decision to prohibit anyone but one specific type of doctor from using the word within the .doctor new gTLD space. Last month, ICANN's New GTLD Program Committee decided that only "medical practitioners" would be allowed to register a domain in the .doctor name space. ICANN's decision to exclude numerous lawful users of the word, including a broad range of individuals who are in fact doctors, comes at a time when the world is watching ICANN to see if it can adequately protect Internet users' rights in the absence of US Government supervision. more»

Save the Date: .US Public Stakeholder Town Hall (April 22, 1-3 ET / 10-12 PT)

.US is the top-level domain for the United States of America. As stakeholders in the .US ccTLD, we all share a vested interest in making sure that .US continues to be a vibrant namespace that reflects the diversity, creativity and success of our people. As the Internet continues to grow and evolve, it's important that the .US domain does too. To meet these needs, Neustar and the usTLD Stakeholder Council plan to hold a virtual .US Public Stakeholder Town Hall Meeting. more»

No Easy Solutions to TLD Branding and Labeling

The introduction of unlimited numbers of new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) has increased customer and company confusion about the role of brand names and their product labels, as noted in an earlier post. This essay outlines the various possible scenarios for coupling TLD branding and labeling, and it explains why duplicating the benefits of branding under.com may be difficult. more»

Estimating Trademark Claims Notice Suppression of Non-Infringing New gTLD Registrations

On February 2nd ICANN staff announced the release of a Draft Report: Rights Protection Mechanisms Review that is open for public comment until May 1st. This Draft Report is preliminary to an Issues Report requested by the GNSO Council that is due to be delivered by September 30th, and that may set the stage for a Policy Development Process (PDP) on Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) that could commence in 2016. Such a PDP could consider comprehensive reform of these RPMs as well as of the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). more»

The .DOCTOR Quarantine

ICANN should reconsider its decision to quarantine .DOCTOR, given that it's not even sick. In an utterly surprising move, ICANN staff and the Board's New gTLD Program Committee ("NGPC") recently informed the applicants for .DOCTOR that it has singled out the gTLD as a test case for controlling content and limiting speech on the Internet. In the epitome of top-down policy making, ICANN issued an edict that it will implement nearly year-old advice from the Government Advisory Committee ("GAC") differently from all other similarly situated gTLDs and in contravention of subsequent GAC advice. more»

Don't Confuse Brand and Category-Label New gTLDs

The domain name industry gets brand and label confused. A brand sums up what makes a company unique to its customers. A label tells what category a company goes in; it sums up what the product has in common with other products of that type. Sedan and SUV are category labels; Volvo is a brand, one that means safety to customers. Similarly Tesla Motors has its distinctive "Tesla" brand, but it introduces products to its users as "electric vehicles." more»

ICANN Should Not Ululate Over "Booking.com" IRP Outcome: Decision Exposes Failure of Accountability

The IRP Panel that was tasked with deciding the Booking.com vs. ICANN IRP that was filed regarding the application for the .hotels new gTLD name has made a decision that seems favorable to ICANN as the Defendant. However, this is not a victory for ICANN but an indictment of the ICANN procedures and accountability systems which are widely viewed as detrimental to new gTLD applicants. more»

ICANN 52 Singapore - Important Issues for Brand Owners

ICANN community has a lot on its plate for 2015, and at this first full meeting of the year, we are all jumping into the work with both feet. Here are some of the main issues for brand owners: Sorting out the long-awaited transition from U.S. Government oversight to a truly multi-stakeholder model of governance; ensuring Registrant data (Whois) accuracy, accessibility and privacy (where appropriate); launching reviews of the new gTLD program; and protecting/preserving the robust business and brand voices in the process. more»

Google Chose to Win .APP in an ICANN Auction for $25m - Why?

For those who don't know, there are typically 3 methods of resolving contention sets in the new gTLD world... Given that Google is a portfolio applicant of over 100 gTLDs why did it elect to go for an ICANN Auction and make all details of the auction public? Disclosure of the winning bid by Google certainly makes a statement, it's very newsworthy, but does it serve Google's purposes, since it is in other contention sets for some popular strings and a bar has been set? more»

Choose a gTLD for Love or for Added Value?

The decision to bid for a new gTLD can be driven by reason or by love. Either the applicant practices strategic and financial valuation, or the applicant falls for an idea implicit in the gTLD. The second group had better be very lucky or have some motivation besides profit. They enjoy little chance of economic viability. Worse, they follow up their poor initial selection with similar bad calls about their marketing message. more»

The DNS Still Isn't a Directory

Back in the mid 1990s, before ICANN was invented, a lot of people assumed that the way you would find stuff on the Internet would be through the Domain Name System. It wasn't a ridiculous idea at the time. The most popular way to look for stuff was through manually managed directories like Yahoo's, but they couldn't keep up with the rapidly growing World Wide Web. Search engines had been around since 1994, but they were either underpowered and missed a lot of stuff, or else produced a blizzard of marginally relevant results. more»

Minimum Disclosure: What Information Does a Name Server Need to Do Its Job?

Two principles in computer security that help bound the impact of a security compromise are the principle of least privilege and the principle of minimum disclosure or need-to-know. As described by Jerome Saltzer in a July 1974 Communications of the ACM article, Protection and the Control of Information Sharing in Multics, the principle of least privilege states, "Every program and every privileged user should operate using the least amount of privilege necessary to complete the job." more»

The Dot Green gTLD and the Domain Name Delusion That Foretells General gTLD Disaster

I admire Annalisa Roger. I know from my single email interaction with her that she means well. Nonetheless, dot Green apparently ranks below 330 in the list of operational new gTLDs with an apparent total of 117 domains, give or take a few. Why is this the case? It seems to me that dot Green is one the few new gTLDs that actually deserves support... The notion that most generic gTLDs [like dot Green] are already positioned to accommodate brand channel partners such as this or that 'brandchannel.green' is illusion. more»

CMO Offers Fresh View on New gTLDs: "They're a Channel, Not Just a Label"

Several years ago, I had a very interesting conversation with a talented marketing executive from Portland, Oregon who joined the DotGreen Community, Inc. Board of Directors. When I told him about the new gTLD program, which was then under development at ICANN, Dave Maddocks immediately understood the value of what new gTLDs would mean to all businesses that have an online location. more»

With .APP, ICANN's Auction Piggy Bank Just Got Even Bigger

ICANN reports that Google paid over $25 million for .APP in the February 25 domain auction. They were willing to bid $30M, but it's a second bid auction so that was just enough to beat out whoever the second highest bidder was. The auction proceeds piggy bank just nearly doubled from $34M to about $59M dollars, and ICANN still has no idea what to do with it. more»

News Briefs

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

Website Usage Trends Among Top-Level Domains

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Minds + Machines Updates – Sponsor

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. ›››

TLDH Announces Sales Channel and gTLD Portfolio Update

Top Level Domain Holdings (AIM: TLDH) today announced the following updates on further development of its sales channels to consumers, Minds + Machines' OPEN Priority Reservation program, and progress within its portfolio of gTLDs. ›››

TLDH Group Signs 6 New Top-Level Domain Contracts With ICANN

Top Level Domain Holdings (AIM:TLDH) has signed contracts with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") for five new top-level domains (gTLDs) wholly-owned by the Company: .horse, .cooking, .casa, .fishing, and .budapest. ›››

Industry Updates

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