France is resuming collection of a special tax on Big Tech companies like Amazon and Facebook despite the threat of U.S. retaliatory tariffs on French Champagne, cheese, handbags and other goods.
A French appeals court upheld an order for Google to open negotiations with French publishers over payments to use their news content.
France’s ccTLD grew 3.7% in 2019, totalling 3,428,951 domain names under management as of 31 December, an increase of 123,655 in the 12 months according to Afnic’s Annual Report released this week. This makes .fr the ninth largest ccTLD in the world according to Verisign’s Domain Name Industry Brief.
A top French court on Thursday struck down critical provisions of a law passed by France’s parliament last month to combat online hate speech, dealing a severe blow to the government’s effort to police internet content.
France will tax big digital businesses this year whether there is progress or not towards an international deal on a levy, its finance minister said on Thursday, adding such a tax had never been more legitimate or more necessary.
A post on the Afnic blog this week is intended to give food for thought on what makes up a successful top-level domain, suggesting one way could be via the 7 As â awareness, amplitude, advantage, access, adoption, activity and affect.
For each TLD, the post by LoÃ¯c Damilaville notes, there are different metrics. Legacy gTLDs, new gTLDs and ccTLDs are all different, and even within the differing TLDs there are differing metrics â success for a .brand gTLD is completely different for a generic gTLD or ccTLD. And even with generic gTLDs there are differing metrics.
So a summary of the 7 As as outlined by Damilaville, who is a Deputy Director General at Afnic, manager of the French ccTLD .fr as well as 17 new gTLDs and a number of ccTLDs for French territories, are:
1) Awareness: the most well-known market factor as well as relating to an objective reality: âdomain names in general such as new TLDs still suffer from a certain lack of awareness among the general publicâ and âindividuals are simply unaware of this precious tool for consolidating their online presence.â
2) Amplitude: refers âto a TLDâs volume potential in terms of target audience and catchment area.â This varies from highly restrictive TLDs to open generics such as âthe highly restrictive .BANK, to the .COOP for cooperatives, for example, which cannot really be consider as âfailuresâ when they achieve tens of thousands of names. As for ccTLDs, which usually have local reach, Amplitude will depend to a large extent on the spread of the Internet in the particular country.â
3) Advantage: âthe advantages generated by the TLD for both clients and the registry with its registrars. Itâs the âvalue-addedâ in the wider sense that will explain why registrars will be more or less inclined to suggest this TLD to their clients.â
4) Access: this refers to âmarket access, meaning their capacity for being listed with the right registrars for the target audience.â This varies for .com that is available through almost all ICANN-accredited registrars while by âway of contrast, some TLDs are only issued by a handful of registrars, which can compromise their development. ccTLDs are often marketed by their own local registrar networks, a minority of which have the sole status of âICANN registrarâ, although this does not prevent them from developing a dense network across national territory.â
5) Adoption: is the TLD seen as a âmust-haveâ or ânice- to-haveâ when it comes to Internet presence? The answer Damilaville notes âwill often depend on the target audience, but we can look at the example of .CORP / .BRAND, which are currently ânice-to-haveâ for major groups but might become âmust-haveâ in a few decades.â
6) Activity: âa TLD will last if it is economically viable, but also if it can be sure of a good renewal rate. This relates in part to the use that owners make of the names. Is it sites providing content and functionalities that can extend as far as e-commerce? Or is it just parking pages or websites generated automatically but of no interest to visitors?â
7) Affect: lastly ââAffectâ is also about the renewal rate, representing the retention rate that goes beyond the actual level of usage.â
To read Damilavilleâs column Key success factors for Internet extensions: an evaluation grid in more detail, go to: https://www.afnic.fr/en/resources/blog/key-success-factors-for-internet-extensions-an-evaluation-grid.html
SIDN Labs, Afnic Labs and Grenoble Alps University have commenced a new research project on the âClassification of compromised versus maliciously registered domainsâ (COMAR).
The Franco-Dutch project, which commenced on 1 October, will address the problem of automatically distinguishing between domain names registered by cybercriminals for the purpose of malicious activities, and domain names exploited through vulnerable web applications. The project is designed to help intermediaries such as registrars and ccTLD registries further optimise their anti-abuse processes.
The ultimate goal of COMAR is to develop a machine learning-based classifier that labels blacklisted domains as compromised or maliciously registered, then extensively evaluate its accuracy, and implement it for a production-level environment. They also plan to study the attackersâ profit-maximising behaviour and their business models. The project will apply a classifier to unlabelled domain names of URL blacklists, for example, to answer the following question: do attackers prefer to register malicious domains, compromise vulnerable websites, or misuse domains of legitimate services such as cloud-based file-sharing services in their criminal activities?
COMAR is a joint project of SIDN Labs, Afnic Labs, and Grenoble Alps University. SIDN is the country code top level domain (ccTLD) registry for .nl, Afnic for .fr and Grenoble Alps University is aiming to establish itself as a leading cybersecurity research centre in the RhÃ´ne-Alpes region in France.
For more information on the research project, see:
Brazilâs ccTLD manager, NIC.br, announced [Portuguese only] Monday theyâve reached the 4 million registrations mark after âmore than 25 years of flawless operationâ.
There are over 120 second level domains under which .br domain names can be registered from blog.br and wiki.br for individuals to eng.br and adv.br for liberal professionals, tv.br and tur.br for legal persons, rio.br, sampa.br and curitiba.br for cities those reserved for specific purposes such as gov.br, jus.br, b.br and org.br among others. Some of these have as few as 10 registrations, while the largest, com.br has 3,645,125 accounting for 91.2% of all registrations.
According to the latest Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief, .br is the seventh largest country code top level domain (ccTLD). Verisign already had .br at 4 million domain name registrations at the end of 30 June, probably through rounding, up in this case, to the nearest hundred thousand. Chinaâs ccTLD was the largest with 22.7 million followed by Tokelauâs free .tk (21.5m), Germanyâs .de (16.3m), the United Kingdomâs .uk (12.0m), Russiaâs .ru (5.9m), the Netherlandsâ .nl (5.8m). Following .br is the European Unionâs .eu (3.8m), Franceâs .fr (3.2m) and rounding out the top 10 is Italyâs .it (3.1m).
Revenues from .br registrations allow NIC.br to, in addition to providing and maintaining the infrastructure behind .br, invest in a series of actions and projects that generate benefits and improvements to the internet infrastructure in Brazil. These include the operation of internet traffic exchange points, which promote the interconnection of networks that form the Internet in Brazil, reducing distances and costs; the handling security incidents and tracking internet statistics.
Nic.br notes that other advantages of registering .br domain names include additional security features, such as token and encryption, that strengthen both the accounts of Registro.br users, and their respective domains. There is another recent feature: a redirection feature that lets you point a .br domain to any URL, whether it’s on a website or the preferred channel on social networks, keeping identities and active tags on the Internet permanently. Servers distributed by Brazil and other regions of the world guarantee speed and reliability in the resolution of .br and a team exclusively dedicated to meet and assist users in their doubts complete the description.
Global domain name registrations continue to rise, with approximately 332.4 million registrations at the end of 2017 across all top level domains, according to the latest Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief out today. The increase for the fourth quarter was approximately 1.7 million domain names, or 0.5%, from the third quarter and 3.1 million, or 0.9%, year over year.
Within this slight increase there are notable declines â that of .net which declined to 14.5 million at the end of December from 15.0 million at the end of the third quarter and 15.3 million at the end of 2016. Five years ago at the end of 2012 there were 14.9 million .net registrations.
There was also a decline in the total number of new generic top level domains (new gTLDs) registrations. Among the new gTLDs there were approximately 20.6 million registrations, or 6.2% of total registrations across all TLDs. This was a decrease of approximately 0.5 million registrations, or 2.4% for the quarter, and approximately 5.0 million registrations (19.5%) year over year. The top 10 ngTLDs represented 48.9% of all new gTLD registrations.
But of course there were increases. The big behemoth, .com, saw registrations rise to 131.9 million at the end of 2017 compared to 130.8 million 3 months earlier, 126.9 million 12 months ago and 106.2 million at the end of 2012.
Total country code top level domain (ccTLD) registrations were approximately 146.1 million, a 1.0% increase over the third quarter of 2017, and a 2.4% increase year over year. Registrations at the end of the third quarter of 2017 were 144.7 million, 142.7 million 12 months ago and 110.2 million 5 years ago when the 12 month growth rate for ccTLDs was 21.6% in 12 months.
Without including .tk, ccTLD registrations increased approximately 0.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, a 0.5% increase compared to the third quarter of 2017 and ccTLDs increased by approximately 2.3 million registrations, or 1.8%, year over year.
The top 10 ccTLDs as of 31 December were .cn (China), .tk (Tokelau), .de (Germany), .uk (United Kingdom), .ru (Russian Federation), .nl (Netherlands), .br (Brazil), .eu (European Union), .fr (France) and .au (Australia). As of the end of 2017, there were 302 global ccTLD extensions delegated in the root, including Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs), with the top 10 ccTLDs composing 65.5 percent of all ccTLD domain name registrations.
New .com and .net domain name registrations totalled 9.0 million during the fourth quarter of 2017 compared to 8.8 million for the fourth quarter in 2016 and 8.0 million 5 years earlier in 2012.
The French railway operator SNCF launched their new home online this week with their home page now oui.sncf. SNCF is one of the most prominent brands to make the switch to a new gTLD, particularly in Europe. The previous home of SNCF online, voyages-sncf.com, now redirects to the new domain name. The launch is part of a major rebranding which includes new social media pages including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
There are currently 7 domain names registered, 3 of them parked, under the new generic top level domain according to nTLDstats.com with SNCF using the .fr registry provider Afnic for backend registry services.
The change is part of a massive transformation that the railway operator hopes will see an additional 15 million customers per year by 2020, a five-fold growth in low fare passengers, a €1.5 billion investment in rolling stock and a €300 investment in on-board WiFi. The change is to counter the growth of low-cost airlines and bus services. The new low-cost TGV services will become OUIGO. The rebranding of the TGV service will commenced with the Paris-Bordeaux route on 2 July.
The rebranding of Voyages-SNCF.com to use a new generic top level domain will certainly raise awareness in France of the new gTLDs as most French people will use their national railways. One quarter of all French SNCF tickets are sold through the website. Under voyages-sncf.com there are 14 websites in 6 languages.