Domain Names

28 February 2007

Proposed ICANN policy could lead to domain name censorship ARS Technica

ICANN is set to get involved in politics. An ICANN draft policy that will govern the creation of new top-level domains would restrict anything that "shall promote hatred, racism, discrimination of any sort, criminal activity, or any abuse of specific religions or cultures." The new rule has some critics crying "Censorship!"

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Power-Grab: ICANN to Become Internet's "Word Police" (NCUC news release) Blogger News Network

This news release from ICANN’s Non-Commercial Users Constituency (NCUC) results from a proposal they submitted to “protect freedom of expression and innovation in the introduction of new” gTLDs. The news release notes the NCUC is troubled by the GNSO’s draft recommendation “to create string selection criteria that would prevent the registration of a new gTLD string that contains a controversial word or idea. In the 13 February 2007 GNSO draft report, proposed Term of Reference 2(v) of the string criteria states that ‘the string should not be contrary to public policy (as set out in advice from the Governmental Advisory Committee)’.”

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In China, Google grapples with Gmail domain dispute CNet

Google is having trouble getting hold of gmail.cn with the company that currently holds the domain name refusing to sell it to Google and seem to be not interested in negotiating, refusing to answer phone calls and reply to emails. The Reuters article notes “the Gmail.cn case may prove more trying, given that intellectual property issues in China can become complicated by politics, the source added, especially between U.S. and Chinese firms.”

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Reserved Domain Names in the Italian Legislation Internet Business Law Services,

Reserved Domain Names in the Italian Legislation According to Italian Law, in article 3.4 of the Rules of Assignation of Domain Names, some domain names are reserved, and so, they are not assignable or they are assignable only to predetermined subjects. The rules refer in particular to geographical names of regions, provinces, municipalities, and their two-letter abbreviations, including the translation of such names in English or other languages different from Italian.

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TRAFFIC Conference Sold Out, Auction List Released Domain Wire

Next month's TRAFFIC domain name conference is sold out and Moniker has released the auction list for its live auction.

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26 February 2007

A domain just right for mobile Web surfing International Herald Tribune

Help is on the way for Internet surfers who have steered clear of the wireless Web because text, photographs and icons seem to find their way to the most random of spots on their phone's small screen. ... The dot- mobi sites have fewer graphics, photos and overall content than their sister sites that are accessed from a computer. More than 375,000 dot-mobi domain names have been registered, and about 25,000 are operational, the company said in Barcelona at an industry conference this month. The first site went online in September.

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24 February 2007

Eurid invites comments on registrar code of conduct InfoWorld

The European Registry of Internet Domain Names (Eurid), manager of the ".eu" top-level domain, is accepting public comments on a draft code of conduct for domain registrars.

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ICANN rides to the rescue in Registerfly meltdown The Register

Following criticism in The Register of ICANN's lack of action on the RegisterFly issue, The Register covers ICANN taking as "increasingly desperate and angry domain holders" are claimed to have "nowhere else to turn". The Register notes a letter posted on the ICANN blog by Kurt Pritz that threatens to revoke Registerfly's domain accreditation unless the company cleans up its act in the next 15 days. The Register article notes a "two-year timeline of customer complaints of alleged Registerfly misbehaviour," with ICANN supposedly steadfastly maintaining, "at least publicly, that disputes between a domain holder and a registrar were not its responsibility."

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Poacher turned gamekeeper BBC

BBC's Click radio programme looks at the appointment of Kieran McCarthy, interviewing Kieran, allowing him to give his views on his new job and what he wants to achieve, especially given his previous criticisms of ICANN.

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23 February 2007

What does it take to run a TLD registry? ICANN blog

That's the question that has been reverberating around one of the mailing lists that covers Internet issues. It's an important question, and once in which we hope our community have some answers - or, at least, some pointers. What does it take to run a Top Level Domain Registry? And what's more easy to run: a ccTLD or gTLD?

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Registerfly.com threatened with ICANN shutdown Computer Wire

ICANN has given scandal-hit domain name registrar Registerfly.com 15 days to sort its problems out or risk losing its license to sell domains.

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Registerfly files suit against ousted CEO The Register

The split between the founders of Registerfly.com took a tawdry turn last week, as court documents filed by John Naruszewicz and Unifiednames, the corporation that owns Registerfly.com, made some shocking allegations against ousted CEO Kevin Medina. The complaint seeks compensatory and punitive damages, and alleges that 75,000 domain names were lost in January 2007 alone due to failure to remit registry fees. The complaint goes on to accuse Medina of using corporate accounts as private slush funds, thereby failing to maintain sufficient float to cover registry fees.

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22 February 2007

Big names may not prevail in domain disputes CNet

Looking at UDRP and the success of small firms, this article looks at how sometimes they can win. Two cases are examined - wargames.com and pig.com. In both cases they "bucked the trend" of large company/trademark holders winning their domain names. In the former, the arbitration panel found the registrant used the domain name first for pay-per-click advertising and then as an online store to sell military simulation war games. The panel found there was a bonafide offering of goods. In the latter, the panel did not find that the domain name was registered to take advantage of the claimant, New Pig's trademark. Instead, it was used to display pay-per-click links related to the generic term "pig." The panel found that Pig.com was registered in good faith based on the dictionary meaning of the word "pig."

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Doubts over internet porn domain Computer Business Review

The resurrected proposal to open an internet domain reserved for porn web sites is looking less likely to succeed according to CBR Online, with ICANN's board of directors last week expressing 'serious concerns' about it. Concerns of ICANN directors include that the adult industry might not want .xxx. The report says 3 directors claimed to have no serious concerns, 8 did, while "Paul Twomey fence-sat." The article also notes "According to ICANN's minutes, of the 88 adult webmasters that contacted ICANN during a recent public comment period, only 23 were in favor of the domain."

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Runet: domain registration market assessed CNews

CNews, a Russian news outlet, examines the Russian domain name business and estimates the domain registration market in 2006 as being worth 375mln rubles ($14m). Of this, 15% was spent to support the domain RU infrastructure, the rest on registrars. The number of second-level domain names grew by 60% and is expected to reach 1mln this coming autumn. There are some interesting statistics including the average age of domain owners is 26 (previously 28); there were 718,000 domains registered in 2006 growing to 756,000 in February 2007 and there being only 5 of the 248 ccTLDs demonstrating double figures increase – these being .at, .es, .fr, .us as well as .ru.

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21 February 2007

Entrepreneurs are taking advantage of a five-day grace period to sample millions of domain names International Herald Tribune

This Associated Press story compares buying clothing to domain names - with the practice of domain tasting akin to buying clothes on a credit card in that one has a period in which one can return both. The article notes "entrepreneurs have turned the return policy into a loophole for generating big bucks". Further, "Experts believe spammers and scam artists are also starting to use the grace period as a source of free, disposable Web addresses." The article also notes there were an "average tasting of 1.2 million names each day in December, compared with 7,200 two years earlier" using data from Name Intelligence while "Legitimate registrations made up 2 percent of the registrations at the end of 2006, down from about half in 2004." Another point the article makes is of "A newer variant, sometimes called 'kiting,'" that "involves the same company reregistering the same name every fourth or fifth day to hang onto it in perpetuity, without ever paying for it."

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20 February 2007

Registerfly on the fly, ICANN on the run The Register

The Register questions the role of ICANN in this article about Registerfly - a US-based registrar that has 900,000 customers and 2 million domain names. The Register asks "just what is ICANN responsible for, anyway?" Apparently there is a power struggle between two Registerfly partners with customers left "scrambling to recover domains that were not automatically renewed as agreed, or were paid for and for no apparent reason allowed to lapse well before the agreed upon expiration date." The Register asks"what of ICANN's decision to simply refer customers back to Registerfly, when the reason they are contacting ICANN in the first place is for a problem concerning domain registration that Registerfly either cannot or will not resolve on its own? If ICANN itself is either unable or unwilling to handle a problem of this magnitude, what is the point of having ICANN around?" The Register concludes "With ICANN watching from the sidelines, customers can only hope that local or federal authorities will step in. Stay tuned.

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19 February 2007

Google sues Polish poets over gmail.pl Middle East Times

Google has launched legal action against a group of Polish poets, demanding that they give up their Internet domain name gmail.pl, a member of the cultural collective said Friday. Google claims the group of poets, known as "Grupa Mlodych Artystow i Literatow," or Group of Young Artists and Writers, has no rights to gmail.pl. The group claims they have no intention to give up the name.

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16 February 2007

It’s Tax Time for Domain Name Owners - Domain names are uncharted territory for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service Domain Wire

This article examines a new area of tax and addresses the tax implications of domain names and how domain name owners, especially those with large portfolios, and should they be included on tax returns in the USA. No doubt there will be corollaries with other jurisdictions. Issues addressed include how purchases are accounted for, registrations and sales are also examined. The article quotes a guide by a CPA called "The Domain Tax Guide, 2007 Edition". Issues the guide covers are there is only one reference to domain names by the IRS; domains can be classified as capital assets or business assets and the implications; how to organise a domain name business; how does a domainer do their tax return; the difference between domain registration and purchase fees and how to account for them; what is the useful life of a domain and how is this important; and what deductions can be made.

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Israeli Court Holds that a DNS Definition may be Retained as Security for Payment of Debts Internet Business Law Services

"The Israeli Magistrates Court of Tiberias held on December 17, 2006 that DNS definition is an asset which may be retained by a creditor as means to persuade a debtor to pay its debt. The Court stated that even if seemingly intangible, the DNS requires physical maintenance work and therefore can be said to be "physically held" and thus capable of being retained as security for ensuring payment." However the article also notes that "these decisions do not hold any precedential value for the Israeli courts in future cases."

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ICANN U-turn over outdated domains Multilingual Search

The proposal to delete some outdated ccTLDs by ICANN is addressed by an article in the Russian language Cnews and reported in English by Multilingual Search. The article claims the proposal has been derailed. Following discussions in Sao Paulo, Cnews claims "the public proceedings have been dogged by protests and threats of legal action from domain owners, less than happy at the prospect of loosing their domain, marketing and branding expenses. ICANN finally agreed to leave the extensions alone."

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“organic-spintronics.eu” becomes .eu domain name number 2,500,000 (news release) Eurid

.eu passed the 2.5 million mark with the registration of the domain name "organic-spintronics.eu" by the Italian company Organic Spintronics Srl via the Italian registrar Tuonome.it.

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Domain pulse 2007: Captivating internet issues - report (pdf) Domain Pulse

Domain Names between Speculation and Benefits. This was the motto of the specialist "Domain pulse" conference held in Baden on 8 and 9 February, which attracted more than 240 participants from Switzerland and abroad.

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Domain Pulse 2007 presentations Domain Pulse

Presentations from the recent Domain Pulse are now online including a presentation from yours truly, with most presentations in German.

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15 February 2007

ICANN Office of the Ombudsman Introduces Web Log ICANN

The ICANN Office of the Ombudsman, www.icannombudsman.org, has introduced a new blog at http://omblog.icann.org/

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