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Daily Wrap: Verisign Caught Sponsoring .COM “Analyst”, Aust Govt Objecting to .FOOD and .APPLE,

Verisign logoIt seems Verisign is paying an analyst who has written more than a dozen favourable articles about the .com TLD and questioning the new gTLDs, according to a Domain Incite report.

The report says Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst at ZK Research, writes a regular column for Network World called Network Intelligence and the .com registry operator has admitted it “sponsors” the analyst.

The articles appear to have been removed in the last day or two.

The Australian government has raised concerns that “Lifestyle Domain, a subsidiary of Scripps Networks, which owns television’s Food Network and Food.com. Scripps Networks wants to run ‘.food’ as a closed string,” according to a World Trademark Review report. “Its argument that it should be afforded ‘.brand’ status resting on a US trademark registration for ‘FOOD’. However, its efforts are generating considerable protest, including from one of ICANN’s powerful government stakeholders.”

ICANN warned six pending new gTLD applications – ‘.dvr’, ‘.data’, ‘.food’, ‘.grocery’, ‘.hotels’ and ‘.phone’ – in June that their plans to operate exclusive registries would not be allowed during the current round of applications, the report notes. Scripps won .food at an auction but “rather than agreeing to run ‘.food’ as an open domain, Scripps Networks has instead applied to be designated by ICANN as a ‘.brand’ gTLD.”

“In public comments, the Australian government renewed its opposition to the operation of ‘.food’ as a closed gTLD, citing its potential negative effects on competition.”

And the .apple gTLD was delegated to the technology company on Wednesday, according to another Domain Incite report. The gTLD will be closed, so only Apple will be able to register domains in the gTLD. What the company will do with its gTLD wasn’t said in the article and hasn’t been announced.