Tag Archives: CADNA

CADNA Warns Of Dodgy Websites In US Holiday Shopping Season

It’s the time of the year when Americans go a bit crazy with shopping, online and offline. During last year’s Cyber Monday, Americans spent $1.98 billion shopping online, topping Thanksgiving online sales by 17 percent.But with such large amounts of money being spent, scammers are always going to follow. The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) has looked at this, examining “the registered typo variations of the top 100-trafficked websites as determined by Interbrand,” writes Yvette Miller in the Huffington Post. “We found 2,089 domain names in this category,” she write, and then they “examined the registration information and content for each domain.””The data showed that only 19 percent of the domain names resolved to the target content, which means the marketplace is full of bad actors trying to fool consumers.”Miller then examines the common ways scammers take advantage of the unsuspecting, trusting online shopper. These are:

  • pay per click (PPC) sites – the most common websites with a typo domain –PPC advertisements are tools used to monetise the internet user traffic that arrives at a domain name
  • scam/malware sites – two percent of the sites CADNA examined hosted scams or potentially harboured malware through prompts to enter information for a prize or, perhaps, prompts to download files from the website
  • “affiliate” sites – where “brands offer affiliate programs, which allow third party website owners to post the brands’ links and banners on the third party site or to send traffic to the brand’s site directly through domain forwards (watch what happens in the browser bar — you’ll notice the redirect). In return, the owner of the site hosting the link receives a commission for every click-through that results in a purchase”.

CADNA doesn’t want to scare shoppers. Miller concludes by writing “Be careful this holiday season: Only visit sites that have been clearly advertised. Double check the spelling in the address bar if something looks a bit off. Don’t divulge personal information where you’re not used to doing so. And don’t download suspicious-looking attachments.”The full article is available at www.huffingtonpost.com/yvette-miller/cyber-safety-on-cyber-mon_b_4351639.html.

NTIA Asks ICANN, Nicely, To Consider Poor, Beleaguered Trademark Holders

Various arms of the US government have been asking ICANN to reconsider and even delay the introduction of new generic Top Level Domains, however the National Telecommunications and Information Administration has been reticent to criticise the organisation and has generally offered ICANN support. Until now.While not asking ICANN to stop the introduction of new gTLDs, the NTIA’s Lawrence Strickling has written to ICANN (here and here) suggesting that as they move forward with the programme’s introduction, he urges the organisation “to consider implementing measures: (i) to minimise the perceived need for defensive registrations; (ii) to implement promptly ICANN’s existing commitments for law enforcement and consumer protection; and (iii) to ensure better education of stakeholders.”The Strickling letter seems to be saying to ICANN that while we support the introduction of new gTLDs, to stop some US marketing and advertising organisations, albeit often with a global membership, complaining please publicly at least take into account their concerns.The NTIA has obviously been receiving the same barrage of complaints that several US government departments, politicians and even ICANN has been receiving mainly relating to trademark issues from the very same organisations that virtually ignored six years of ICANN’s consultation.Expanding on the points in the letter, the NTIA says that following “recent discussions with stakeholders, it has become clear that many organisations, particularly trademark owners, believe they need to file defensive applications at the top level.” The NTIA suggests “it appears that this possibility might not have been fully appreciated during the multistakeholder process on the belief that the cost and difficulty of operating a top-level registry would constrain companies from filing defensive registrations.”The NTIA also suggests ICANN should consider “whether there is a need to phase in the introduction of new gTLDS” once ICANN has been able to assess the total number of applications.Their third point notes that “it has become apparent that some stakeholders in the United States are not clear about the new gTLD programme” and Strickling urges ICANN “to engage immediately and directly with these and other stakeholders to better educate them on the purpose and scope of the program as well as the mechanisms available to address their concerns.”One could possibly read this to say the dunces that have failed to be engaged in the development process for new gTLDs despite ICANN’s multistakeholder approach need to have their hands held and explained the process. Or in the case of the Association of National Advertisers, who submitted comments around 1998 during ICANN’s extensive consultation, conveniently forgot about the whole thing for three years until after the programme was approved, some help with their amnesia.These complaints have been pursued by the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse, who unlike of the several organisations that have recently started voicing their concerns, have been involved in the process for some years.CADNA has strong reservations about the introduction of new gTLDs, the organisation wants to work with ICANN to address the issues they see.”CADNA looks forward to working constructively with ICANN, the Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Congress to make the policy better,” said Josh Bourne, President of CADNA. “With ICANN set on moving forward with the New gTLD Programme in less than two weeks, there are certain clear, straightforward changes that could be made to the policy that will improve it for businesses and the Internet community at large.”CADNA has a number of requests for ICANN including announcing when the next round of applications for new gTLDs will be, a lessening of the burden on trademark owners and improving consumer protection, “consider adopting a pricing structure where a single applicant applying for multiple gTLDs pays a reduced rate for the subsequent gTLD applications” and allowing non-profits wanting to apply for their gTLDs to participate in the Applicant Support Programme.CADNA also says The US Congress should take much-needed action to improve the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act and for the NTIA, that if ICANN is awarded the new IANA contract following its expiration in March 2012, its structure and policy development process should also be subject to an audit.

CADNA Asks ICANN For More Considerations For Brand Owners

The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) and its sister organisation FairWinds Partners are taking a dual approach to dealing with new gTLDs.CADNA has asked ICANN to give more consideration to brand owners and announce a second application period for new gTLD applications as they consider brand owners to have their backs against the wall.”One of the biggest responses we have heard from brands is that they feel as if their backs are up against a wall,” explained CADNA President Josh Bourne. “The fact that ICANN has only offered one opportunity to apply for new gTLDs has created a sense of chaos among brands, who feel as though ICANN is forcing them into making a ‘now or never’ decision that could impact both them and their consumers. Knowing that they will have the opportunity to apply again after having the chance to see if new gTLDs become valuable will go a long way toward relieving that anxiety.”CADNA has been very critical of the new gTLD process, but unlike the advertising and marketing associations that have belatedly banded together to form the Coalition for Responsible Internet Domain Oversight (CRIDO), they at least accept new gTLDs are coming, but want to strengthen protections for brand owners.CADNA says that “while it does not oppose fostering innovation and improving competition on the internet via an expanded domain name space, CADNA recognises that one of the major sources of dissatisfaction and apprehension among brand owners is the fact that they feel that, in a sense, they are being held hostage.”With this acceptance of the inevitability of new gTLDs, CADNA’s sister organisation FairWinds Partners have formed a consultancy to advise brand owners on the opportunities and challenges they present.FairWinds will be offering advice for brands on every aspect of the new gTLD programme beyond just the complex process of applying for and managing a new gTLD. Their philosophy is that a comprehensive consultative process, paired with the creation of key deliverables, will give brand owners the greatest chance of extracting value from new domains.

CADNA Hosts “What”s at Stake” Conference to Discuss New gTLDs with Brands, will Submit Proposal to ICANN

[news release] Over 85 representatives from global brands joined The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) for its “What”s at Stake: The Reality of ICANN”s New gTLD Program for Brands” conference at the Institute of International Education”s Edgar J. Kaufman Conference Center in New York City yesterday. Presented in coordination with engageSimply and HUM: Human Unlimited Media, “What”s at Stake” provided brand representatives with a forum to discuss their concerns about new gTLDs, and to gain insight into ICANN from veterans of the ICANN community, including ICANN”s founding Chairman Esther Dyson.

The morning began with welcoming remarks from engageSimply CEO Judy Shapiro, a key organizer of this conference. After CADNA President Josh Bourne and other CADNA members gave an overview of the New gTLD Program, Michael Palage, Esther Dyson and Micah Donahue, all of whom have worked with ICANN in various capacities, offered a look inside the process that led to the fast-approaching introduction of an unlimited number of new gTLDs.

A third panel discussed the implications that new gTLDs will have for developing countries and consumers, as well as how they will affect Internet security. While some believe that certain new gTLDs will offer increased security, others are convinced they will only multiply the amount of security issues online, and that perhaps with such a large number of new gTLDs to remember, consumers will suffer much greater levels of confusion. Next, a panel of marketers discussed what brand owners need to be thinking about in order to adapt their digital strategies to account for new gTLDs. The panelists addressed the challenges involved in developing plans to effectively utilize new gTLDs, as well as the importance of bringing together key professionals from the legal, marketing and IT departments to deal with this new development.

Finally, Josh Bourne delivered closing remarks and outlined the conference”s proposal to ICANN:

“ICANN has an image problem,” Bourne stated plainly. “Businesses are outright angry with ICANN because of the way that this program has been structured. We are not trying to derail the rollout of new gTLDs altogether, but rather, we are proposing an opportunity for ICANN to make this Program much less detrimental to brands and businesses. By setting a date for when it will open a second application window, ICANN has the chance to alleviate a great deal of the anxiety and frustration that businesses are feeling over the fact that they feel forced into applying for new gTLDs in early 2012 in order to not be left behind. Right now, businesses feel like their backs are against the wall, and they don”t like it.”

CADNA plans to submit a formal proposal requesting that ICANN begin a policy development process to determine when it will open a second application round later this week.

The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the systemic domain name abuses that plague the Internet today. For more information, please visit www.cadna.org.

This CADNA news release was sourced from:

US House Committee To Lend An Ear to IP Interests In Another New gTLD Beat Up

ICANN has been summoned to appear before the House Judiciary Committee who will hold a hearing called ICANN Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD) Oversight Hearing. Getting the short straw from ICANN to appear has been Kurt Pritz, who will front a committee that seems mostly to have the ear of intellectual property interests.”Arrayed against [Pritz] are a parade of intellectual property interests, some reasonable, some pur et dur lobbyists for complete corporate hegemony over all aspects of the Internet,” writes Antony Van Couvering on the Minds+Machiines blog. “Not invited are any existing registries, any potential candidates, anyone representing free-speech concerns or civil society. Except for Kurt, it’s all intellectual property interests, all the time.”Van Couvering lists those attending as witnesses with their credentials. They are:

  • Steve Del Bianco, Net Choice. As a Washington insider, Steve Del Bianco is not a surprise choice. Last time he testified, he brandished a label-making machine, saying that new gTLDs were just labels. Expect a new prop or other easy-to-grasp soundbite prepared for the benefit of our elected representatives.
  • Mei-lan Stark, Fox Legal. I’m not familiar with this person, but I wouldn’t be going out on a limb to suppose that Fox Legal hates new gTLDs, especially given that “fox” is a common English word, which makes it hard to reserve entirely to themselves.
  • Steve Metalitz, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP. Steve Metalitz sticks to his guns but he is someone looking for a solution, not a disruption.
  • Mike Palage, Pharos Global. Mike seems to love the exercise of government power, but sings to his own tune, preferably with a puzzling metaphor as lyrics.
  • Joshua Borne, CADNA. CADNA never met a restriction on domain names or free speech that it didn’t celebrate with a press release. A reliable source of the most extreme and outrageous positions.

CADNA, who has been strongly opposed to the introduction of new gTLDs said in a statement that:
“This hearing was absolutely necessary. Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Watts and the Subcommittee will quickly learn through routine questioning that ICANN is badly in need of attention. It has failed time and time again to be responsive to the Internet community,” CADNA President Josh Bourne states. “This hearing is not about whether the ICANN model is right or wrong; the hearing is about whether ICANN is functioning properly and representing the interests of the Internet community in a manner commensurate with the responsibilities it was given.”But CADNA has used some dubious statistics in its time against ICANN’s proposed new gTLDs, with Van Couvering demolishing these arguments in postings titled “Survey Shows Brands Don’t Register Defensively in New gTLDs” and “What Cost New gTLD Trademark Infringements to Brands?“, both back in February 2010.Van Couvering writes that Pritz is a great choice to represent ICANN as “most of those testifying have been targeting Kurt Pritz for years now at ICANN meetings, and Kurt has always responded with civility.””It should be clear to everyone that there will be no new information coming out of this hearing. If previous meetings in front of this committee are any indication, the congresspeople have little insight into the issues. They will be reading the polemics handed to them by their lobbyists and staff, and will not be asking follow-up questions unless those too have been prepared.”Van Couvering also believes the hearing should not derail the new gTLD process. And “while the House of Representatives can do what it wants, the ‘approved’ channel for governments to beat up on ICANN is the GAC, which is finally getting well integrated into the ICANN process and has become part of the ICANN community, whether you like its positions or not. Just another reason I’ve learned to stop worrying and love the GAC.”To read Antony Van Couvering’s posting on the Minds+Machines blog in full, see:

CADNA Launches Another Spurious Survey On Costs to Brand Owners of New gTLDs

The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) has released a report claiming that the introduction of new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) as proposed by ICANN will cost brand owners worldwide over $746 million.However the study is part of the propaganda CADNA regularly releases based on the premise, as they claim, that the cost to individual brand owners will be “about $500,000 each if one conservatively estimates that the average brand owner will defensively register 3 domain names per gTLD, that the average price of domain name registrations in sunrise periods of new gTLD launches will be $500, and that brands will not necessarily participate in each gTLD launch equally.”However one needs to consider whether brand owners will really bother with defensively registering their brand names in small gTLDs. Currently very few brand owners bother with small country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs), so why will it be any different small gTLDs? For a large number of ccTLDs brand owners ignore registering domain names, either defensively and/or to promote their products in the local community, until there is a critical mass of domain names registered.Backing up this view is a survey by Minds + Machines, who have a vested in this process admittedly as they are proposing to apply for several gTLDs when ICANN begins taking applications.In their survey of the domain registration behaviour of Fortune 100 companies, they found that they have not registered many of their trademarks in recently created gTLDs. In a sample of 1,043 brands, they found that they were registered in less than 30 per cent of the eight new open gTLDs created after 2001.The survey theorised that if historical registration data is a guide, brands are unlikely to undertake many defensive domain name registrations in the proposed new gTLDs, and furthermore are unlikely to be the victims of cybersquatting.In an earlier study by Minds + Machines, they found that the cost of enforcement of trademark rights in new gTLDs is likely to be small – on the order of $0.10 per registered trademark, per year.Additionally, ICANN is proposing to create a Trademark Clearinghouse and Uniform Rapid Suspension procedure to protect trademarks in the new gTLD programme.So yes, brand owners will often find they have additional costs in the new gTLDs. But the costs will be miniscule compared to the claims made by CADNA, but still significant.