Category Archives: Domain Name Registrars

Encouraging news for CEOs – 82% think they're less important than a good web address…

Encouraging news for CEOs – 82% of companies think they’re less important than a good web address…

According to a survey by web specialists Sedo, four-fifths of respondents said that losing their domain name would be more damaging than losing their CEO – while 72% said getting the right online address in the first place was more important than getting the right office or even the right staff. Sounds like the kind of attitude that all those failed dotcoms had at the start of the decade…
On the other hand, it’s true that companies are now desperate to get their hands on memorable addresses – as shown by the huge sums paid for exclusive domain names like and whenever they come onto the market. As we do more and more of our shopping, socialising and information-gathering online, companies with a prominent web presence have a big head-start on the competition. Continue reading Encouraging news for CEOs – 82% think they're less important than a good web address…

100,000th For World's Second Safest Domain

The IE Domain Registry, the managed registry for Ireland’s official internet address today announced that the number of domain name registrations in Ireland had passed the 100,000 mark.
Internet community leaders, resellers, business and consumer groups gathered in Dublin last night to celebrate this significant achievement for Ireland’s top level domain. This milestone figure indicates new levels of growth and e-commerce activity amongst Ireland’s growing online population. Continue reading 100,000th For World's Second Safest Domain

100,000th For World’s Second Safest Domain

The IE Domain Registry, the managed registry for Ireland’s official internet address today announced that the number of domain name registrations in Ireland had passed the 100,000 mark.

Internet community leaders, resellers, business and consumer groups gathered in Dublin last night to celebrate this significant achievement for Ireland’s top level domain. This milestone figure indicates new levels of growth and e-commerce activity amongst Ireland’s growing online population.


The surge in demand for over the past twelve months can be attributed to three key factors. In April 2007 the local namespace was ranked the second safest country code domain name in the world by the 2007 McAfee Site Advisor Report, making it an attractive choice for businesses seeking a secure online trading environment. Secondly, a relaxation of the rules for registering personal domains followed in October 2007, when almost 3,900 domain name registrations were recorded the following month. The upward trend looks set to continue into 2008. The first four months of this year show the IE Domain Registry averaging over 3,000 domain registrations per month, a record quarter for the Registry. Thirdly, the cost of registering or renewing a domain fell further when a 5.8% price cut was announced in January 2008; the fifth consecutive price cut by the IE Domain Registry in as many years.

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Mayweather Jr goes for his 1st round against Cybersquatters

LAS VEGAS—Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. scored a TRO in the first round of a federal cybersquatting lawsuit against the operators of a Web site using the domain name “” without his backing.boxing16.jpgA U.S. District Court judge in Las Vegas issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday to stop “an entity of unknown origin” called Atlanta Sports & Entertainment Marketing from using Mayweather’s name and likeness on the site.

U.S. District Court Judge Philip Pro set a May 28 hearing on a preliminary injunction, ordered the domain name frozen, and declared Mayweather likely to succeed on the arguments of the cybersquatting case.

“Mayweather has demonstrated that he will suffer irreparable harm,” the judge wrote, because the defendant could transfer ownership and force Mayweather to file more lawsuits to “chase the infringing domain name.”

Atlanta Sports & Entertainment Marketing did not immediately respond to messages left by e-mail and telephone with domain name registrar Network Solutions LLC in Herndon, Va.

A Network Solutions spokeswoman cited a company privacy policy and said she could not release information about the Web domain registrant.

Mayweather’s lawyers also did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Melbourne IT goes beyond its domain

Melbourne IT has recorded its fifth consecutive year of double-digit growth and expects the trend to continue as the internet becomes ever more important to world commerce.

Having started as purely a domain name registrar spun off from the University of Melbourne, the company now has a market capitalisation of more than $260 million and a global business in internet-related services with offices in 18 countries and more than 600 staff.

Reporting to the company’s annual meeting yesterday, chief executive Theo Hnarakis said: “This is only the start for us. As much as domain names are important, and we are the fifth-largest registrar in the world, a lot of these new services we are introducing will continue to add incremental profit growth to the business.”

The recent launch of Advantate, a joint venture with Fairfax Digital in services for small to medium business in Australia and New Zealand, was an example of where the company wanted to go, he said.

“When we started, 99% of our revenue came from domain name registrations. Now more than 50% of overall revenue comes from IT services and last year more than 50% of revenue came from overseas. We expect that (percentage) to continue to grow,” he said, most of it from IT services.

The big development for the company had been its move into corporate brand protection and analysis, Mr Hnarakis said. “A lot of new e-commerce initiatives are rising all over the world and it is important to protect not only the identity and the brand, but also the transaction itself. Melbourne IT is positioning itself in a terrific place where we can offer new services such as digital certificates, website encryption and other services to ensure protection of the transaction.”

Chairman Robert Stewart told shareholders that the company’s revenue rose from $103.8 million in 2006 to $154.4 million in 2007 producing earnings before tax of $20.1 million, compared with $8.3 million in 2006, a rise of 141% year-on-year.

Mr Stewart said 2007 was the fifth year in a row of strong growth in revenue, profit and dividends. $12 million in debt had been paid down and a debt facility cancelled, meaning that at December 31, 2007, the end of the company’s financial year, it was debt free.

The company paid a final, fully franked, dividend of 7 a share, compared with 4.5 the previous year, a rise of 56% in shareholder return. Melbourne IT closed up 5 at $3.30.

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.COM still the most attractive domain name

A top-level domain (TLD) is the final part of a domain name — the letters that come after the dot. The most famous is .com, but there are others — .net, .org, .tv and .us, for example. But none holds as much allure as the .com extension.
As of May 2008, there were 76,007,285 active and registered .com domain names. This compares to 11,397,594 .net names, 6,772,308 .org names, 5,037,335 .info names, 1,968,760 .biz names, and 1,412,141 .us names.

There are a number of factors that have given the .com domain name its leadership spot among the top-level domains. One issue, of course, is that it was one of the first domain name extensions available (along with .net, .gov and .edu). Other extensions were added later, including .aero, .biz, .coop, .info, .museum, .name, .pro (Nov. 2000), and .mobi (2005). The .tv extension has existed since 1996 as a country code for Tuvalu. In 2000, the country struck a deal to make the extension widely available to people outside of the country, and in 2006, .tv was first widely marketed as an extension for the entertainment industry. So .com had a pretty significant head start.

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ICANN plans to launch new algorithm

ICANN logoA computer scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology has developed an algorithm designed to help create new top-level internet domains.

As new domains are added to the familiar .com, .info and .net, the algorithm checks whether the newly proposed name is confusingly similar to existing ones by looking for visual likenesses in its appearance.

Having visually distinct top-level domain names may help avoid confusion in navigating the ever-expanding internet.

It may also help to combat fraud by reducing the potential to create malicious lookalikes, such as .c0m with a zero instead of .com, according to developer Paul E. Black.

Black’s algorithm compares a proposed generic top-level domain (gTLD) with other TLDs and generates a score based on their visual similarities. For example, the .c0m scores an 88 per cent visual similarity with .com.

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Sunrise for .ME domain names

From the 6th of May until May 20, anyone with a trademark is eligible to apply for a name with the suffix .me, the assigned top-level domain for the Southern European nation Montenegro. domen-logo.gif

The country has made the .me domain available to interested parties worldwide, hoping to capitalize upon the myriad of uses the extension holds in the English language while keeping its own “,” “,” and “”

During this sunrise period, only owners of trademarks/service marks dated before June 28, 2006 may vie for a domain name. After this period, the registry will be closed until June 6, at which point auctions will begin for the names which received multiple applications. Domains with only a single application will be awarded.The “Landrush” for public application will begin on June 6 and last until June 26, when the registry again closes. Similar auctions will take place for Landrush domains with multiple applicants. Open registration will begin on July 17, and records of who purchased such domains as “,” and “”.

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Canada Efficient Whois Changes

.Ca is getting a whois overhaul. Perhaps the rest of the domain world can use it as a framework.

There have been a number of suggested changes to ICANN’s whois framework. But Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is making changes to its .ca country code on its own. Canada-based domain registrar Tucows (AMEX: TCX) is reporting that CIRA will make sweeping changes to its whois policies on June 10:

-Whois registrant data will be made private by default. It will be “opt-in” if registrants want their information public.
-Whois data for corporations and organizations will be public by default with an opt-out in certain circumstances. (This may mean that domains with an organization as the registrant will not get privacy).
-.Ca domain registrants can be contacted via a contact form on CIRA’s web site

I’m generally in favor of keeping domain registrant data public. But CIRA’s new policy reminds me of an idea I proposed a while back: “masking” e-mail addresses in whois.

Essentially, all domain names would be assigned a masked email address such as This would be a forwarding address to the registrant’s actual email. This would serve a couple purposes:

1. ICANN could track whois spammers
2. If the email forward bounced, ICANN would know that the registrant had invalid information and could inform their registrar

I think we’ll see changes to whois privacy rules for non-country code domains in the future. But the future may be a ways off.

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Wipo & Orion Bancorp

A US court has ordered a company to use ‘negative keywords’ to avoid being associated with another firm’s trade mark. The innovative order was one of a series of measures ordered by the judge.

Orion Bancorp took Orion Residential Finance (ORF) to court in Florida over ORF’s use of the word ‘Orion’ in relation to financial services and products, arguing that it had used the term since 2002 and had held a trade mark for it since then.

ORF offered some similar services to Orion, mostly related to housing finance. It was ordered by the US District Court for the Middle District of Florida from to refrain “from any and all use of the term Orion, Orion Residential Finance, or any other confusingly similar term”.

The judge in the case went further, though, restraining ORF from “purchasing or using any form of advertising including keywords or ‘adwords’ in internet advertising containing any mark incorporating Plaintiff’s Mark, or any confusingly similar mark, and shall, when purchasing internet advertising using keywords, adwords or the like, require the activation of the term ‘Orion’ as negative keywords or negative adwords in any internet advertising purchased or used”.

Keyword advertising is the display of adverts on search results pages which are triggered by the use of a certain term in the search itself.

By ‘negative adword’, the judge is referring to the fact that keyword advertising systems allow someone to instruct the system never to display their advert when a certain term is searched for, as well as to pay to have their ad displayed when a certain term is searched for. Google, which runs the market-leading AdWords system, calls them ‘Negative Keywords’. In Yahoo!’s equivalent system, advertisers can list terms as ‘Excluded Words’.

Orion Bancorp took the case over the domain name, but took a general trade mark case rather than a specific domain name case to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)’s dispute resolution service.

The ruling was a default judgment, since ORF did not submit an opposing case, though it was represented by a lawyer in the hearing itself.

The judge said that ORF “is and has been actively engaged in the business of offering to the consuming public financial and real estate related services utilizing the term ORION or various iterations thereof, including use in interstate commerce, on various signs, advertising, slogans, promotional material, a top level domain name at and other matters containing the term “Orion”, all without Plaintiff’s authorization or consent”.

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