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Top-Level Domains / Recently Commented

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»

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»

$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»

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»

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»

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

Allen Grogan, ICANN's Chief Contract Compliance Officer, has written a blog post today concerning a formal letter it has received asking the agency to halt the rollout of .SUCKS, a new gTLD operated by Vox Populi Registry Inc. As it stands, a ruling against Vox Populi by ICANN could result in federal prosecution or other legal action, according to ICANN officials. 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»

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»

com.google April Fools' Is No Laughing Matter: What .google Could Mean for Other .brands

When April Fools' Day rolls around each year, Google is generally one of the front runners for jokes -- often making headlines for its quirky gimmicks. This year was no exception. On April 1st, Google launched its first domain name under the recently delegated .google Top-Level Domain (TLD), a massive milestone for all .brand TLD owners. Google is encouraging millions of people around the world to visit: www.com.google. more»

Premium Generics, the Domain Industry's Luxury Goods

Categories. The mere mention of the word risks eliciting groans from any domain industry specialist. In the run up to the new gTLD program, this concept was oft discussed. It seemed obvious to most that TLDs were not a homogenous ensemble but instead, could exist in many different shapes and sizes. Except to ICANN staff. They systematically refused to entertain the notion of categories. Even when ICANN Board members suggested some kind of recognition for different TLD types should be hardwired into the program! 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»

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»

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

Kieren McCarthy reporting in the Register: "The intellectual property constituency (IPC) of domain overseer ICANN has formally asked the organization to halt the rollout of the controversial .sucks top-level domain, due to start on Monday." 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»