Tag Archives: Minds+Machines

Minds + Machines Announce New gTLD Initiative

Minds + Machines, one of many offering services for new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs), is expected to announce it will offer a package of services for as low as $25,000 that will include everything from application to operation of a gTLD according to a Domain Incite report.

Minds + Machines, according to an announcement on their blog that is sans prices – these are expected to be announced at the International Trademark Association (INTA) conference in Washington DC this week – outlines its services saying they will be able to handle everyting from application to operation.

The conditions for the possible $25,000 package are not yet available, but expect more information soon.

Minds+Machines Owner Links Up With Neustar

Top Level Domain Holdings, the parent company of Minds+Machines, has announced an exclusive arrangement with Neustar to offer registry services to cities, regions, and other geographical top-level domains such as .bayern, .berlin, .mumbai and others.

Under the terms of the arrangement, Neustar and TLDH, along with its wholly owned subsidiary, Minds + Machines, will work together exclusively in respect of all geographic gTLDs pursued by TLDH, apart from a short list of those already in progress. TLDH will oversee sales, marketing, registrar relations, ICANN compliance and other management functions, while Neustar will provide back-end registry and DNS services.

“Neustar has a proven track record working with governments to support geographic top-level domains, including .US. They are a large public company with substantial financial reserves, known for their solid, responsive, and trustworthy services, as well as their world-class DNS services. That’s a very attractive profile to governments,” said Antony Van Couvering, CEO of TLDH. “This is a great collaboration for these top-level domains.”

“We are looking forward to working with TLDH,” said Ken Hansen, Senior Director, Registry Services for Neustar. “TLDH is very innovative, professional and customer focused, and we are pleased to collaborate with them for these important clients.”

TLDH will continue to use Espresso, TLDH’s own registry services platform, for non-geographic gTLDs. Espresso is based on CoCCA, which powers over 30 ccTLDs worldwide. “Espresso is a flexible registry solution, proven world-wide,” said Van Couvering. “In this case, we’re teaming up with Neustar because their company profile, along with their long and successful history in the gTLD space, makes this a compelling offering for city and regional gTLDs.”

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:
www.mindsandmachines.com/2011/05/intellectual-property-interests-line-up-to-crucify-icann-in-congress

Will Blocking TLDs Fracture the Internet?

With blocking of internet content pervasive by many regimes around the world, the most well-known being the Great Firewall of China, Minds+Machines’ Antony Van Couvering examines the issue in light of ICANN’s approval of the .XXX Top Level Domain and the Indian government’s announcement that they will block access to any .XXX website.

Writing on the Minds+Machines blog, Van Couvering says “the creation of new TLDs which are offensive to someone, somewhere, will probably increase it. But will it fracture the Internet?”

He asks the question in light of ICANN George Sadowsky’s dissent when ICANN approved the .XXX TLD at their board meeting that concluded the recent Silicon Valley San Francisco meeting.

In part, Sadowsky said, as quoted by Van Couvering:
Fourth, and extremely important, I believe that the future of the unified DNS could be at stake [if .xxx were approved].

I submit that the approval of the application for dot xxx could encourage moves to break the cohesiveness and uniqueness of the DNS.

In my judgment, it would undoubtedly lead to filtering the domain, and quite possibly instigate the erosion, degradation, and eventual fragmentation of the unique DNS root.

Now, while we know that filtering already exists, I believe that the creation of dot xxx would mark the first instance of an action by this board that may directly encourage such filtering, posing a risk to the security and stability of the DNS.

In my judgment, the board should not be taking actions that encourage filtering or blocking of a domain at the top level.

Further, I believe that the filtering of so-called offensive material can provide a convenient excuse for political regimes interested in an intent on limiting civic rights and freedom of speech.

Further, I believe that such moves provide an incitement to fracture the root, a concern that we’ve recognized in preparation for the new gTLD program as a distinct threat to the security and stability of the DNS.

However even with Sadowsky’s considered view, Van Couvering concludes that “when we look at what blocking actually is, and what it does, I think the fears are unfounded. People will find a way to see what they want to see, and ignore stuff that they don’t like. Blocking of a TLD by a local government is not going to lead to the fracturing of the Internet. If the case of Egypt is any guide, it’s more likely to lead to the fracturing of the local government.”

To read this posting by Antony Van Couvering in full on the Minds+Machines blog, see:
www.mindsandmachines.com/2011/04/will-blocking-a-tld-fracture-the-internet

Minds+Machines Parent Reports Losses

Top Level Domain Holdings, the parent company of Minds+Machines, has reported another six months of steep losses as it patiently waits for ICANN to launch its new TLD round, reports Domain Incite.

The report says that the company, listed on the stock exchange London, reported revenue for the period to the end of April of £32,000 ($49,000), with a loss of £462,000 ($708,000).

To read this Domain Incite report in full, see:
domainincite.com/loss-making-mm-predicts-december-new-tld-announcement/