Category Archives: Domain Name Registrars

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.

Further Information : http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/05/03/is-google-driving-down-the-value-of-domain-names

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.

Further Information : http://www.brandweek.com/bw/magazine/features/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003798268

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 myspace.co.uk 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 .co.uk 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.

Further information : http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/02/nominet_election_result_2008/

Domain Name Game Still Going Strong

cnnmoney.gif
People scoffed when investment firm eCompanies paid $7.5 million for the Web address business.com 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 business.com 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. Business.com, 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, diamond.com sold for $7.5 million while sex.com sold for $12.5 million. Casino.com sold for $5.5 million in 2003. Computer.com 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, Oversee.net, last month said it received $150 million in a funding round from private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners. Oversee.net 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.

Full Article at http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/newstex/IBD-0001-22895497.htm

COM.AU Australian Property Boom

auda.jpg

    *Dot.au is the “Old Kent Road” to its dot.com “Mayfair” neighbour. But that could change soon, reports Stewart Carter.

AUSTRALIAN model, musician, dancer, actress and net entrepreneur Estelle Asmodelle is advertising her supermodel.net.au domain name for sale.

Her modelling agency business, Supermodel, already has a well-established website at supermodel.com.au, so she figures she’ll make an easy $10,000 from the .net equivalent.

It’s not going to set any records – not like, say, melbourne.com or perth.com which sold recently in the US for $US700,000 ($A762,000) and $US200,000 respectively, or bored.com which sold for $US4million earlier this month.

Strictly speaking, Estelle shouldn’t do it. It is illegal to advertise Australian domain names (those ending in .au) for sale – or more accurately, it’s prohibited under the rules of the industry regulator Au Domain Administration Ltd (auDA). A purely commercial trade of domains is also against the rules.

But Chris Disspain, chief executive officer at auDA, said people like Estelle needn’t worry. “The auDA board has recently accepted the recommendations of our review panel to lift the ban on advertising Australian domain names for sale,” he says. Work on implementing the change in policy has already begun and could be finished by as early as June this year. “We’ve got some administrative bits and pieces to work out first, and then there’ll need to be some changes made to the software and systems used at the registrars. We’re also mindful there’ll need to be a program of public education so the general public is aware of the new policy.

“I’m concerned to make sure that we don’t see a situation arising where domain name consumers are ripped off, and conned into paying too much for a com.au domain name. Likewise we want to make sure that we don’t get people conned into selling them for too little. In other words we want to make sure there’s going to be an informed marketplace.”

Industry experts say an informed marketplace is likely to be a real problem to start with, if only because the current auDA policy has been so restrictive.

Bruce Tonkin, chief technology officer at Australia’s biggest domain name registrar, Melbourne IT, says auDA’s current rules restrict transfers of domain ownership to a very specific set of exceptional circumstances.

“The current policy doesn’t allow domain names to be transferred or sold like other business assets. Essentially, you have to sell the whole business to sell the name.

“They have to apply to us for a transfer, and we have to check that the applicant has the authority to transfer the name, and there’s usually some sort of legal deed that has to be attached, along with a statutory declaration.

 Full Article at http://www.theage.com.au/news/biztech/the-coming-dot-au-property-boom/2008/02/26/1203788290820.html

Network Solutions sued Company guilty of defrauding millions

netsol.jpg

LOS ANGELES — Network Solutions has forced millions of people to buy Internet domain names from them instead of cheaper competitors through a scheme that’s netted the firm millions of dollars, a federal class action lawsuit filed today by Kabateck Brown Kellner, LLP states.

ICANN, whose policies facilitate the scheme, is also named in the suit, filed in U.S. District Court, Central District of California.

“Imagine if you asked a car dealer if they had a black convertible and were then forced to buy the car from them. Would you get a good deal? Each time someone asks Network Solutions about a domain name, the firm creates a monopoly for itself, forcing consumers to pay the price they demand,” said Brian Kabateck, lead counsel in the class action and Kabateck Brown Kellner’s Managing Partner.

Whenever someone searches for the availability of a domain name through Network Solutions’ website, the company immediately registers the name for itself, preventing other companies from selling it and forcing consumers to pay Network Solutions’ expensive fees.

If a consumer were to go to another, cheaper site to register the name, they would find the name is “unavailable.” Consumers are never informed that inquiring as to a name’s availability through Network Solutions results in the company holding a monopoly on selling that name.

This allows Network Solutions to continue charging substantially higher prices for domain name registration. Network Solutions charged $34.99 to register the name sought by this suit’s lead plaintiff. A competitor would have charged $9.99.

Network Solutions’ scheme is made possible by ICANN. ICANN allows companies that sell domain names to avoid paying registration fees for names cancelled within five days. Thus, Network Solutions can defraud customers at no cost to itself.

ICANN is aware that Network Solutions is abusing this policy and yet continues to facilitate its actions.

ICANN is the international organization, headquartered in Marina Del Rey, CA, that regulates domain names and other Internet protocols.

Kabateck Brown Kellner is one of the nation’s foremost consumer law firms. Its clients have won more than $750 million against Google, Yahoo!, Farmer’s Insurance, Eli Lilly and others. As a plaintiff’s-only firm, Kabateck Brown Kellner is always on the consumers’ side.

Article at http://www.ksbitv.com/technology/15946332.html

Investors poised to cash in on Cuba domain names

The day has finally come for PostCastroCuba.com.

Miami criminal defense attorney Oscar Estevez thought it was a catchy phrase when he bought the name three years ago, and he wanted to develop it into a site for discussions on Cuban business and politics when the regime changed.

But now he wants to sell it — for at least $3,000 — because he doesn’t have the time to develop the site. Plus, he said he isn’t as politically passionate as other Cuban-Americans.

”I’m Cuban, but I’m not into the whole thing as local Cubans are in Miami,” Estevez said. “I think there still is the option to make money. I don’t think I’m the right person for that, though.”

For years, Internet entrepreneurs have snatched up domain names related to Cuba, waiting for the day they can turn the website into a business — or sell it to someone who will.

Monte Cahn, founder and president of domain name registrar Moniker, said he has numerous clients that registered Cuba-related names in the ’90s with speculation that someday there would be a regime change.

Sites with names like CubanCigars.com or CubanGolfResorts.com have the greatest potential for profit if America is allowed to conduct business with Cuba, Cahn said.

”They will be one of the fastest little countries, I assume, to get back on the Internet and start to communicate,” Cahn said.

It’s the travel-related names that will be the most popular to develop, but not far behind will be the development of the service-related names, like CubanBank.com, Cahn added.

Rob Sequin, publisher of HavanaJournal.com, owns about 2,200 Cuba-related domain names, and has developed 37 of them. The developed ones include Cuba.tv, CubaLegalServices.com and CubaMed.com.

”I’ve gotten a lot of phone calls and a lot of e-mails in the past couple of days with people asking me about my domains,” said Sequin, who is based in Massachusetts. “I’ve always planned for this day, but I never planned for the day after.”

He said he has no plans to build out or unload a bunch of his sites right now, but he’s starting to draft a gameplan of what he’ll do.

“For me, it’s not about selling them, it’s about developing them.”

AsiaRegistry.com Ready for the .ASIA Landrush

    DotASIAMELBOURNE, Feb. 19 / Instra Corporation’s
AsiaRegistry.com, Asia Pacific’s leading Domain Name registrar, is ready
for the launch of the .ASIA Landrush scheduled on 20th February 2008, the
world’s first domain name extension for the Asia Pacific Region.

    Leona Chen, spokesperson for the DotASIA Organization anticipates a
Huge Landrush. Leona comments, “We are ready for something big. All of our
people and systems are in place, and we look forward to the commencement of
the .ASIA Landrush.”

    With already 30,780 .ASIA domains submitted during the Sunrise Period,
the Landrush is anticipated to be massive, with domain registrars globally
submitting hundreds of thousands of .ASIA domain names. Duplicate Domain
names submitted during the Landrush stage will go into a live domain name
auction.

    Chloe Li, Director of Operations for Instra Corporation, commented,
“Today is a special day for us. We have worked hard for this moment, and we
believe .ASIA will become a world leading domain name. We are pleased to
see that the Asia Pacific region finally gets its own unique online
identity.”

    The scope of the .ASIA TLD has been defined by ICANN, and includes over
70 countries, with coverage from the Middle East, to the Far East and
Oceania regions. Applications will only be considered from organizations
officially registered in one or more of these countries. AsiaRegistry will
provide a Local Address for clients outside of the Asia region, such as for
applicants that are located in America, Europe, or Africa.

    Phillip Parker from Instra Corporation’s AsiaRegistry said, “It’s an
important time for corporations around the world, especially with trademark
and brand infringement occurring on mammoth proportions. It is imperative
that these corporate brands protect their name in the .ASIA Name space.”

    Following the successful European .EU domain launch in 2006, .ASIA is
the next geographic region Top Level Domain to be introduced.

    .ASIA domain names can be registered online at:
    http://www.asiaregistry.com
    Additional details about the .ASIA domain name can be found online at:
    http://www.dotasia.org
    About Instra

    Instra Corporation is a worldwide player in the Domain Name and ENUM
industry, with its head office in Melbourne, and sub-branches across
America, Europe, and Asia. Instra Corporation is a pioneer of developing
convergence technologies for local presence services.

    Convergence. It is more than just a domain.

    For more information about Instra Corporation and Asia Registry, please
visit:

    http://www.asiaregistry.com

    For more information, please contact:

     Chloe Li
     Tel:   +61-397831800
     Email: media@instra.com

Domain Name Law and Regulation Seminar & Book Launch

International Domain Name Law - ICANN and the UDRP by David Lindsay cover imageThere will be a seminar on domain name law and regulation, and launch of the book “International Domain Name Law: ICANN and the UDRP”, in Melbourne on Wednesday 20 February for our Australian readers. Continue reading Domain Name Law and Regulation Seminar & Book Launch

How Rampant is Cyber & Typo Squatting? Just Ask WIPO After Reviewing Wipo.com!

Enrico Schaefer imageby Enrico Schaefer
How prevalent is cybersquatting and typosquatting asks Enrico Schaefer in this article in Circle ID? He suggests taking a look at www.wipo.com, and then comparing it with the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s web site at wipo.org. Enrico goes on to say, “Ironically, the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center handles a majority of the UDRP domain dispute arbitrations internationally. The very organization which is invested with the authority by ICANN to resolve cybersquatting and typosquatting disputes internationally under the UDRP is, by all appearances, being squatted.” Continue reading How Rampant is Cyber & Typo Squatting? Just Ask WIPO After Reviewing Wipo.com!