Tag Archives: Donuts

Daily Wrap: ICANN in Toronto and New gTLDs And “Super-Fadi”

Domain Incite has a few stories we need to catch up on as part of our Daily Wrap, mostly relating to new generic Top Level Domains and the ICANN meeting in Toronto last week.

The first Domain Incite story relates to Donuts, the applicant to ICANN for the largest number of gTLD strings (397), who have outlined their preferred method for resolving conflicts for strings where there is more than applicant. “Donuts is backing a private auction model designed and managed by Cramton Associates as its preferred solution for resolving its 158 new gTLD contention sets,” the report notes.

Donuts believe “that private auctions will be faster and cheaper for applicants than the process set out by ICANN as the ‘last resort’ method for resolving contention sets.”

The article concludes “there’s no denying that Donuts has a greater incentive than most to have a consolidated auction. By its own admission, it’s an eight-person operation without the manpower to negotiate 158 contention sets.” So a little bit of self-interest.

Domain Incite also turns its attention to Fadi Chehadé, or “Super-Fadi”, the new ICANN CEO who was attending his first ICANN meeting in the role, “managing to impress pretty much everybody [Domain Incite] spoke to.”

“Now Chehadé has turned his attention to the formative Trademark Clearinghouse and the Registrar Accreditation Agreement talks, promising to bring the force of his personality to bear in both projects,” the report notes.

“I’m coming out of Toronto with two priorities for this year,” he said during an interview with ICANN’s media relations chief, Brad White, last Friday.

“The first one is obviously to get the Trademark Clearinghouse to work as best as possible, for all parties to agree we have a mechanism that can satisfy the interests of the parties.”

“The second one is the RAA,” he said. “Without question I’m going to be inserting myself personally into both these, including the RAA.”

“These are both difficult problems,” Domain Incite notes.

In the third Domain Incite report in our catch-up, “ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee has given four new gTLD applicants cause to breath a sigh of relief with its official advice following last week’s meeting in Toronto.”

“The last-minute reprieve comes in the form of a list of specially protected strings matching the names of intergovernmental organisations that is much shorter than previously demanded.”

“Led by a US proposal, the GAC has told ICANN to protect the name of any IGO that qualifies for a .INT domain name.”

Number four is that “ICANN last week formally approved new rules that could allow incumbent registry operators to own registrars that sell domains in their own gTLDs,” meaning that Verisign would be allowed to sell .COM domains directly.

Outside the world of ICANN’s meeting in Toronto, but in the new gTLD arena, Domain Incite reports “Image Online Design, which unsuccessfully applied for the .WEB gTLD all the way back in 2000, has sued ICANN, alleging trademark infringement and breach of contract.”

And in another lawsuit, “alternate root player Name.Space has sued ICANN for trademark infringement and anti-competitive behaviour, saying ‘insiders’ have conspired to keep it out of the new gTLD program.”

Meanwhile in non-Domain Incite news, “governments have been considering their options with regard to intervening against applications for new generic top level domains, which are currently being processed by ICANN,” writes Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch.

In her report, Ermert notes that “in their report published after the end of ICANN meetings last week, governments listed consumer protection, competition issues and the number of defensive registrations a new zone might attract. They also listed specific topics of top-level domains (TLDs, such as .com) about which they have ongoing concerns, including religious terms, names that target regulated sector industries (like finance or health), generic names if applied for exclusive use, and as well ‘intellectual property rights, particularly in relation to strings aimed at the distribution of music, video and other digital material.’”

Also looking at the ICANN meeting in Toronto was Fairwinds Partners who described the (almost) week-long meeting as having a “slight change in atmosphere.”

“For example, senior government officials conducted a high-level meeting in conjunction with an ICANN public meeting for the first time ever today. ICANN’s new President and CEO, Fadi Chehadé, has appointed an array of new staff members and indicated during his remarks at this morning’s welcome ceremony that ICANN is on the precipice of an organisational shift. And hundreds of attendees here in Toronto are participating in an ICANN meeting for the first time.”

Fairwinds notes that “it seems a foregone conclusion that the New gTLD Program, largely due to its sweeping scope and pervasive effects, will change certain aspects of the ICANN system. And while the exact nature and extent of those changes is still not completely clear, we are feeling the first waves of those changes at this meeting here in Toronto.”

Another to look at the ICANN meeting in Toronto was Stéphane Van Gelder, Registry Relations and Strategy Director for NetNames as well as being Chair of the GNSO.

Van Gelder has a list of topics outlining what happened, these being outlining how new gTLD applications will be approved, “ICANN told by EU agency that proposed data verification measures infringe data protection laws,” and the outlining of the myICANN.org website.

Donuts Selects Architelos’ NameSentry For Anti-Abuse Tool

Donuts logo[news release] Architelos, Inc., a domain name industry consulting and managed services provider, and Donuts Inc., a registry for new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs), said today Donuts will adopt NameSentry, Architelos’ software-as-a-service platform for detecting and mitigating domain name abuse.

The patent-pending NameSentry application protects new gTLDs from phishing, malware, spam, botnets and other types of abuse. Already operational, it’s the first independent, third-party resource of its kind for the domain name industry.

“In our gTLD applications, we detailed eight new stringent mechanisms for protecting rights holders and combating potential abuse, protections that intentionally exceed those required by ICANN,” said Donuts co-founder and CEO Paul Stahura. “NameSentry gives us another set of tools to gather data and quickly mitigate any problems.”

Stahura said the system is impressive thanks to its range of capability and ease of implementation. “NameSentry gives us the additional benefit of Architelos’ experience in abuse prevention, ready to be put to use.

“We are thrilled to be selected by Donuts,” said Architelos founder and CEO Alexa Raad. “By adding NameSentry to their extensive set of protection mechanisms, Paul and his team are very clear that Donuts won’t tolerate abuse. As the largest applicant by number of applied-for gTLDs, working with Donuts is a significant opportunity for Architelos to help ensure new namespace is safe for all users.”

About Donuts Inc.
Donuts is a domain name registry that is widening competition and choice in Internet identities through hundreds of new top-level domain name choices, securely operated in multiple languages and character sets. Donuts is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., with offices in Los Angeles, Calif. and Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.donuts.co or follow Donuts on Twitter @DonutsInc.

About Architelos, Inc.
Architelos, Inc. provides strategic consulting and managed services for clients in the Domain Name System (DNS). The Architelos team of executives is unique in having over 30 years of experience, and a track record in building, launching and managing multi-million name gTLDs. Clients include new as well as existing generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) and Country Code (ccTLD) registries. Architelos has locations in Leesburg, VA, Los Angeles (LA), Toronto and Dublin, as well as data centers in Toronto and LA. For more info follow Architelos on Twitter and Facebook.

Daily Wrap: gTLD Roadmap, .GREEN, .ECO, Verisign Registrar Agreement, .CN and Google in Russia

A new roadmap for new generic Top Level Domains will be released by 6 August the board of directors’ New gTLD Program Committee said in a report, Domain Incite reported.

The report also provides some more information on how the 1930 gTLD applications will be processed “they’re being grouped by applicant and/or by back-end registry provider, in an attempt to create efficiencies” the Domain Incite report says with evaluators eventually being able to process 300 applications per month.

Meanwhile someone is out to get Donuts with a number of complaints about applications by the applicant for over 300 gTLDs. The comments relate to one of the company’s original directors who Domain Incite reports “seems to own several domain names containing Disney and Olympics trademarks.”

It’s not going to be easy for some of the smaller organisations who are part of a tussle for a gTLD. One is .GREEN with four applications, and one of the applicants, the DotGreen Community, have written to the GAC, and according to another Domain Incite report, “DotGreen does everything but ask outright for the GAC to object to its three competitors’ .GREEN applications.”

Meanwhile in an opinion piece, The Guardian asks if .ECO could be “force for environmental change” and then whether “will .ECO improve corporate sustainability performance or become the digital version of corporate greenwash?”

The article by an expert in CSR says “of the four applicants to run .ECO, one commercial applicant has applied to run a total of 306 domain names and another 91. I think it is safe to say they are in it for the money.” But the author singles out one application as being different – that one is a community bid convened by Vancouver-based Big Room. “The doteco.org community bid has been put together after an exhaustive five-year process of consultation and policy development with stakeholders from the environmental and sustainability community including over 50 international groups such as Greenpeace International and WBCSD.”

There are a number of changes being introduced as part of Verisign’s registry-registrar agreement for .COM which coincide with the new registry agreement Verisign recently signed with ICANN. One of the changes that has raised some concerns among its registrar channel is the requirement for “24/7 support for customers whose .com domains have been hijacked,” Domain Incite reports. The change is of concern to some of the smaller registrars who may not be able to provide such support.

The number of objectors to new gTLD applications have now surpassed applications, Domain Incite notes, with a rundown on who some of the objectors are and why they are objecting. Highlighted are objections by Save the Children (who is objecting to all four .HEALTH applications), International Olympics Committee (objecting to .SPORT applications it does not support) and Lego Juris (who has lodged complaints over about 80 applications).

And in the last Domain Incite report in today’s Daily Wrap, “ICANN director Judith Vasquez applied for a new gTLD but then withdrew the bid at the last minute.”

There were 8.73 million domain names registered in China at the end of June with 3.98 million of these being .CN domains, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) said on Monday according to a report in the Global Times.

The report noted that the number of websites using .CN was up 460,000 in the first half of 2012, making this the fastest biannual growth since 2008 according to the CNNIC.

And in Russia Google is disputing the registration of a couple of domain names. “The Moscow Commercial Court has turned down Google Inc’s motion to speed up the review of its complaint against Weblink Ltd regarding its use of Googl.Ru and Gugl.Ru domain names as the expert appraisal currently underway makes this impossible, the court told the Russian Legal Information Agency,” according to a report by the Russian Legal Information Agency.

Daily Wrap: Including Donuts, Demand Accused Of, But Denies, Unsuitable gTLD Applicants

Donuts, applicants for more gTLDs then any other, along with Demand Media, have been accused of being unsuitable to participate in ICANN’s new gTLD programme, according to Domain Incite reports.

However Donuts have responded refuting the allegations that Demand Media, Donuts’ provider of backend registry services should be banned because of their history in losing cybersquatting cases.

The allegation against Demand Media and Donuts has come from Jeffrey Stoler of Boston law firm McCarter & English who wrote to ICANN’s leadership and the chair of the Governmental Advisory Committee, according to the Domain Incite reports.

When ICANN made their Big Reveal in June, it was revealed Donuts had applied for 307 gTLDs themselves and Demand Media another 26.

Meanwhile there are some busy people submitting comments on gTLD applications with Domain Name Wire noting that a trademark manager at Sunkist Growers Inc had submitted 467 comments on individual applications. The report notes that while the 467 applicants are identical, it appears they have targeted specific applications.

Meanwhile Go Daddy’s chief executive Warren Adelman stepped down this week with his replacement being an executive from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, one of its owners. According to the New York Times, “Go Daddy named Scott Wagner, a senior member of K.K.R.’s Capstone division, as its interim chief while it looks for a permanent new leader. While the company didn’t name a reason for Mr. Adelman’s stepping down, it said that the executive will remain at the company as a special adviser for strategy and global policy.”

Doh! Nuts! Donuts Applies For 307 gTLDs!

The biggest portfolio of new gTLD applications to date has been announced by Donuts, with more than $100 million to finance applications their ambitious plans for 307 generic Top Level Domains, using capital from multi-billion dollar private equity and venture funds.”Finding a usable Internet address is a real problem. There are more than 125 million total names in the top five TLDs, with three fourths of them in .COM alone,” said Donuts CEO Paul Stahura. “The Internet was opened for worldwide use almost 20 years ago, and we’ve had only 22 generic names made available since then. We’re overdue for expansion.”Stahura also anticipates strong competition to the currently dominant .COM extension. “This expansion is going to be disruptive in a positive sense. There’s no question competition is coming to .COM and other TLDs — how much of the market the new TLDs will take from them is what remains to be seen.”Funding partners include Austin Ventures, Adams Street Partners, Emergence Capital Partners, TL Ventures, Generation Partners and Stahurricane (Stahura’s investment fund).Stahura said Donuts is ready to raise additional funding should circumstances warrant. “Our investors are very optimistic about both this opportunity and our plans,” he said.”Donuts has a compelling approach to TLD expansion,” said Chris Pacitti, General Partner of Austin Ventures. “Paul has put together the strongest team in the industry, and that team has identified the optimum approach to securing and operating TLDs, presenting actual choice to end-users, and protecting rights holders. Donuts is going to be a formidable presence in Internet namespace growth.”Donuts has selected Demand Media Europe Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Demand Media, Inc. (NYSE: DMD), as its registry services provider.Donuts was founded by Paul Stahura, Richard Tindal, Jonathon Nevett and Daniel Schindler — four industry veterans with extensive experience in registry and registrar operations and industry governance, and who have successfully launched TLDs, built industry-leading companies, and brought value and choice to the domain name marketplace.They have also recruited some prominent people including former ICANN Chief Financial Officer Kevin Wilson and former SnapNames and Oversee.net executive Mason Cole.Donuts is mindful of the intellectual property rights of others and has struck a careful balance between consumer and business safety and open access to second-level names. The company has consulted with international law enforcement and IP interests to bring nearly two dozen new rights protection mechanisms that raise user safety to a new level.Further, Donuts is committed to addressing potential abuse in new TLDs and will aggressively deal with sources of problem behaviour with new forceful mechanisms that far exceed the powerful protections afforded in the introduction of new TLDs.