Category Archives: Domain Name Registrants

Cancer Patient for Domain names

first-aid.jpegA cancer patient was so impressed by his NHS treatment he has been inspired to spread his English pride via the internet. Maidonian John Sewell found himself overflowing with patriotism after receiving treatment for Hodgkin’s disease at Wexham Park Hospital.

Overcome with the need to celebrate our nation’s strengths, he launched a campaign on St George’s Day to ensure a corner of the world wide web remains ‘Forever English’.

The web entrepreneur is campaigning for England to have its own domain name, .eng and has set up an online petition. He has collected more than 350 names in the past eeek and will take the final tally to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The Pinkneys Road resident said: “I’mproud of the NHS and England and feelquite patriotic about doing something for England.”

The 46-year-old said: “The major driving force for this campaign was beingill. Being treated by the NHS made me realise how great it is to be in this country. I wouldn’t have had any better care anywhere than I received in Wexham.”

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Google Trumping Domains ?

Robin Cannon in Search Engine Journal asks the somewhat puzzling question, ‘Is Google Trumping The URL?‘ Apparently more and more people use Google to find websites than type in the URL in the address bar of their browser. As he says:

When there’s a simple box to fill in with your search term, and you know exactly what you’re looking, why bother to use the address bar? If statistics on popular searches are anything to go by, it looks like many people aren’t bothering with that inconvenient “www” and “.com” and are just going straight through Google.

Using the Google search box instead of the address bar opens up a whole new world. Typing in only the domain name without the dot-com may or may not bring you to the dot-com website. It all depends what Google feels is the most relevant result for the word you have typed in. If you can get your dot-net, dot-org or dot-ca website to be #1 in Google, then you’ll win the searcher’s click. Dot-com domains are no longer invincible on the web. As so often happens, the Internet with Google’s help is levelling the playing field.

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Typosquatters Under Fire

It’s estimated that some nine million Americans will have their identities stolen this year, many with the Web as the unwitting accomplice. That is, of course, a very big number and a very big problem. So big, in fact, it nearly obscures an analogous crime.

It’s also one perpetrated via the Web. This time, its victims are companies, and the villains go by names like typosquatters. And the crime? It’s known as brandjacking.

That name might be amusing if it didn’t ruin so many marketers’ hard work. And that, dear reader, is frightfully easy: All a perpetrator has to do is register a misspelled version of your brand name and build a bogus Web site for it. Then he places ads on the site and profits from the pay-per-click traffic revenue that should be yours. And while he’s busy siphoning off your revenue, your confused customers end up on a misleading or unsavory page they associate with your brand.

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Comment : This is the reason why all companies should brand protect there names.

Nominet Election Result

Nominet members have elected one of its leadership’s sharpest critics to the board in a divisive election that some feared could jeopardise the not-for-profit UK domain registry’s future in its current form.

The results will again raise serious questions over Nominet structure. Some members have been calling for the way it operates to be changed.nominet.jpg

One such member is Jim Davies, a solicitor who the board had taken the extraordinary step of asking members to vote against. He was elected yesterday as a non-executive director. He has been a vocal opponent of the way Nominet adminsters domain disputes, including its recent decision, which was overturned this week by an independent appeals panel.

Gordon Dick, who the company did not lobby against, was reelected to the non-executive position he has held since 2004.

Also at its AGM in London yesterday, the executive failed to pass changes to the Nominet constitution that would have granted it powers to appoint two unelected board members. “Special resolution 6” was approved by about 60 per cent of voters, short of the 75 per cent required. A series of other special resolutions were all passed near-unanimously.

Turnout was slightly higher than at recent elections, but still poor at just over 15 per cent.

Davies was one of three candidates who were against special resolution 6. The board argued that the change was essential to ensure that the board is qualified to govern the company and so told members to approve it. Chief executive Lesley Cowley also said that the existing board structure, together with low turnouts, makes Nominet “vulnerable to capture” by parties that might act in their own interests rather than those of the 3,000 members.

The question of what to do with Nominet’s £15m surplus loomed large over the election. With the election of Davies, the long-running row over whether to reduce prices for web addresses looks set to intensify.

Critics charged that special resolution 6 was a power grab that would effectively mean Nominet would be controlled by unelected directors.

Emily Taylor, Nominet’s legal and policy director emphasised today that the members’ wishes will be respected. “It’s not a question of disappointment…we have to listen to the members,” she said.

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.DE Divided

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The digital divide that separates rich and poor nations by their unequal access to information technology also exists within Europe’s biggest economy, German industry association Bitkom said on Monday.

Western German states such as Hesse and Bavaria dominate Internet addresses ending in the German “.de” country code domain, with the country’s five former Communist eastern states coming bottom of the list.

On average, there were 138 Internet addresses registered per 1,000 inhabitants in western states, twice as many as the average of 69 per thousand in the east, said the IT, telecoms and new media association, Bitkom.

Germany was divided in 1945 following its defeat in the Second World War and reunited in 1990. Despite hundreds of billions of euros in investment in the east, Germany’s eastern states are still poorer and suffer higher unemployment.

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Mark Van Dyke The Domain Nostradamus

In the early days of the commercial Internet, Mark Van Dyke worked with a company that had the foresight to register a number of domain names, including,, and other college mascot names. The plan was to provide alumni and other fans with lifetime e-mail addresses displaying their favorite team.

One of those domain names,, has evolved into a flagship Web site for one of four companies Van Dyke now owns and operates.

Activv LLC operates, a site providing information and resources to soldiers and their families;

822 Media operates sites for North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Wyoming lotteries, and an emerging group of college sports sites;

Sun Key Publishing owns 11 military-themed sites, including and social sites for members of the military; and registers lifetime e-mail addresses using college mascot names.

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.CA Domains Not reaching expectations


Oh, dot-ca. This week, the gatekeepers of the Canadian parts of the Internet celebrated a faintly telling milestone: the registration of the one millionth domain name that ends in “.ca.” They had a banquet and everything. Internet celebrities flew in from across the country to be there. These probably weren’t the Internet celebrities you know – nobody, to the best of my knowledge, set off Diet Coke-and-Mentos rockets – but rather the types who hooked Canada up to the Internet in the first place.

It’s funny, this domain-name nationalism. Back in 1987, when John Demco, a computer administrator at the University of British Columbia, decided to sign Canada up to an emerging new standard of online addresses, there wasn’t much demand. But then, there was hardly any Internet in Canada either, just a collection of isolated university networks that would eventually coalesce into the Net we know today.

The .ca domain has grown with the Internet, and exploded with the advent of the World Wide Web. But for all its successes, the .ca domain still suffers from that most Canadian of afflictions: a conflicted second-fiddle status, next to the behemoth that is .com. That domain, the favourite of Americans and companies around the world, has a cool 76 million names registered, to our one million.

If there’s a truism on the Internet, it’s that everyone wants an address that ends in .com. An address like that means prestige and global stature, which is why it’s almost impossible to get a good one any more. Online startups have long since been reduced to mangling the language in new and exciting ways just to find a free domain name. I was about to suggest “” as an example of the kind of unfortunate domain name that’s still free, but upon checking, I see that it’s been taken, too.

Not so north of the border! In fact, you could register right this instant, because the market for Internet addresses just isn’t as hot. To a certain extent, it’s understandable: Who wants to look provincial on the world stage?

But even where it comes to websites that are by and for Canadians, there’s a pronounced reticence to embrace the .ca. Take national newspapers – institutions that are usually among the first to swathe themselves in local colours to establish their credentials. The great newspapers of Fleet Street have no problem using the British country code. You can read the Times of London at, or the Guardian at In fact, the British have registered upwards of six million .uk addresses. Meanwhile, in Paris, Le Monde is quite happy to slap a “.fr” on its domain name; ditto Le Figaro and Libération.

But the Canadian media won’t go near its own name. Most Canadian media properties buy up both the .ca and .com versions of their names, and simply redirect visitors to the latter address. Who among the constellation of Stars and Suns advertises its website as a “.ca”? Even Canada’s National Newspaper is at theglobeandmail-dot-com, thank you very much.

I heard this attitude for myself when I registered a Canadian name for my own website. A friend scoffed that it was clearly a second-rate address. (Not true. It was merely a second-rate website.) I wouldn’t have paid him much heed, but for the fact that, ever since, people have regularly forgotten that the address ends in a “.ca”, sending e-mail meant for me off to some American server instead. The concept of a .ca website seems anathema to so many around here.

But really, as with anything that smells of national identity, this comes down to the Americans. That’s because America is the world’s other great nation that disdains its own country code.

It’s important to remember that Internet addresses work in a tree-shaped hierarchy. At the top are the “top-level domains” – the part that comes at the end of every website address, like .com, .net, .org, and country codes like .ca or the American .us.

But Americans have no use for the .us addresses. You hardly ever see the things; only 1.4 million of them have been registered. Since America spawned the Internet, it got dibs on the top-level domains at the top of the hierarchy. Sites ending in .gov are reserved for the U.S. government. Sites ending in .mil are reserved for the U.S. military. And American companies, seeing no need to specify their Americanness when the Internet was an American innovation, went straight for the .com names.

This is unbearable to Canadian sensibilities. Under these circumstances, embracing websites that end in .ca would be tantamount to admitting that the United States is larger, older, richer, more powerful, and that Canadians did not in fact invent the Internet. So the Canadian establishment did the only reasonable thing: dive headlong for .com addresses so we wouldn’t look second-rate.

In the end, market forces will make .ca more appealing than it’s been in the past, as I’m sure whoever picks up will attest. In the meantime, the rest of us should look at rewiring our biases about the stature of our national address. A domain by any other name would smell as sweet.

.Asia Hot or Not Domain Appraisal Contest

DotAsia unveils first-of-its-kind Hot or Not Domains Appraisal Contest!
The contest has been soft launched through the and The goal of the contest is to encourage mass market participation in domain appraisal and to promote the awareness and appreciation of .Asia domains.

To win, a contestant must pick domain(s) that receive the highest winning bid in both .Asia Sunrise and Landrush auctions AND hold the closest predictions to the actual auction winnings. We are giving out up to US$15,000 in Cash Prizes!

Weekly contest will start in May for special cash prizes; a Grand Prize of US$10,000 for the final contest winner will be given out during the ICANN meetings in Paris. Registrars are free to enter too!

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Domain Name Game Still Going Strong

People scoffed when investment firm eCompanies paid $7.5 million for the Web address in 1999 from a person who had paid $150,000 for it.

The purchase, though, shined a light on a secretive world where people actively and aggressively buy and sell Web domain names.

Thousands of Web addresses were bought in the early days of the dot-com boom on a hunch by people who expected Internet real estate would appreciate in value.

They were right, and still are.

In July, directory services firm R.H. Donnelley (NYSE:RHD) RHD bought for … $345 million. Reportedly, Dow Jones and the New York Times NYT also were interested in buying the site.

The domain name business has matured since the early speculation days., for example, wasn’t just an empty site. It’s a repository for ad-supported business-to-business e-commerce Web links, ranging from business travel and construction services to legal services and industrial goods. It claims sales of $50 million last year.

The domain name industry has largely consolidated into a handful of big players that have received hundreds of millions in funding in the past year. Companies or individuals are paying tens of millions for thousands of domain names sold in a single block. Last year, Seattle-based Marchex MCHX paid $164 million to the holder of some 100,000 domain names.

The best generic names were taken long ago, but that hasn’t stopped domain name seekers from coming up with ideas for new ones. One analyst estimates that up to 45,000 domain names are registered each day; 146 million domain names were in use as of Sept. 30, 31% more than a year earlier. So says VeriSign (NASDAQ:VRSN) , which operates the Domain Name System servers that support the dot-com and dot-net top-level domains and provides services to companies that sell domain names to end users.

Domain names often sell for thousands of dollars into the many millions. In 2006, sold for $7.5 million while sold for $12.5 million. sold for $5.5 million in 2003. sold for $2.1 million last year. In all, 33 sites have sold for $1 million or more, according to research firm Zetetic.

Bold Early Adopters

“This field got started by a group of very early adopters, bold business people willing to take the risk,” said Courtney Montpas, an executive vice president at Demand Media. The company buys and sells domain names and provides other services that help domain name owners build their business.

Demand Media, based in Santa Monica, Calif., received $100 million in a funding round last July, led by Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) GS. Demand Media has raised $320 million since its launch two years ago.

Another big player,, last month said it received $150 million in a funding round from private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners. owns 700,000 domain names and helps service and maintain another 2.4 million domains owned by others.

Oversee also has a $100 million credit line from Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) , says Lawrence Ng, Oversee CEO.

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Tucows Fights off Car Dealership

Tucows wins UDRP decision for

Domain registrar Tucows has successfully defended against an arbitration proceeding over the domain name, which the registrar acquired with its NetIdentity purchase. NetIdentity holds nearly 40,000 surnames and offers email addresses at those names, such as

The complaint was filed by Ken Batchelor Cadillac Company, a car dealership in San Antonio, Texas. The National Arbitration Forum panel determined that Batchelor Cadillac did not establish rights in the mark “Batchelor”. Establishment of rights to the mark is one of three requirements to win a UDRP. The complainant must also show that the registrant had no rights or legitimate interest in the name and the domain was been registered in bad faith. The panel did not weigh in on the latter two because of the lack of trademark.

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