ICANN is seeking speakers for their next (virtual) for their pre-ICANN72 ccTLD News Sessions on 6 and 7 October. ccTLDs with a best practice, project solution or case study to share with the broader community or even a market development, or perhaps legal or operational news that is engaging, relevant and informative to other ccTLDs from across the world are requested to put their hands up and nominate themselves.
South Africa’s ccTLD registry ZACR (ZA Central Registry) has announced the introduction of a Registry Lock as a means of better protecting registrants from domain name theft. And ZADNA announced last week they will be increasing the registry fee for .za domain names on 1 April 2021.
Over 12,000 .org.za domain names are set for deletion on 1 September as their registrants have failed to transfer them to a ZACR-Accredited Registrar.
The ZA Central Registry suspended 15,420 .org.za domain names on 1 September 2016 yet to date the 2,394 registrants have heeded ZACR’s many requests to prevent their eventual deletion by migrating to ZACR-Accredited Registrars leaving around 12,677 domains set for deletion.
“It is good news that many org.za domain name holders have transferred their domains to ZACR-Accredited Registrars since September 2016. However, we are concerned that many more still have not made the transition,” said ZACR CEO, Lucky Masilela.
The ZACR has previously communicated its intent to suspend non-compliant org.za domains from 1 September 2016 and to finally delete them on 1 September 2017.
Any org.za names that have not been transferred to ZACR-Accredited Registrars by 1 September 2017 will be deleted and made available for re-registration on a first-come, first-served basis. Registrants will therefore lose important org.za domains associated with their brand names as well as expose themselves to possible cost implications later on through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process.
A complete list of domain names that remain on the org.za default registrar is available at org.za default registrar and will be updated periodically.
To be eligible for a .org.za domain name, registrants must be a South African citizen or resident or an organisation that is constituted in South Africa as a company, statutory body, partnership, charity, NGO, trade union, political party, religious institution, club or other type of association or a foreign organisation that is licensed to trade or operate in South Africa or an owner of, or an applicant for, a South African registered trademark. Registrants must use the registered name only for nonâcommercial purposes.
ICANN has finally been able to delegate the .africa new gTLD to ZA Central Registry following the rejection of a request for a preliminary injunction brought in a Los Angeles court by rival applicant DotConnectAfrica. The injunction was sought to prevent ICANN delegating the new gTLD.
The ZACR application was supported by over 75% of African countries, well above the ICANN requirement of the 60% support needed. In addition, the ZACR bid was endorsed by the African Union Commission.
“The California Superior Court has ruled that a ‘covenant not to sue’ found in the .africa domain application likely bars claims by applicant DotConnectAfrica Trust against ICANN for alleged fraud and unfair business practices,” reported Bloomberg BNA. “The court rejected DCA Trust’s bid to stop ICANN from granting competing applicant ZA Central Registry the rights to .africa until the case is resolved.”
It was the second time a judge had ruled in favour of ICANN to allow the delegation of a new gTLD and “uphold an important piece of the legal framework underlying ICANN’s expansion of the domain name space. Under the covenant, internet domain applicants agree not to challenge ICANN decisions in court. They instead must rely on ICANN’s accountability mechanisms, such as the reconsideration and independent review processes.”
ICANN had previously rejected the DCA bid due to, in part, a lack of support from African countries. But it may not be the end as DCA has been reluctant to step down from the fight even when repeated decisions going against them with the court case ongoing for around one year.
At a recent conference in South Africa, there was a push among registrars for allowing second level registrations of .za domain names.
Currently registrations under .za are at the third level, for example .co.za. But at the recent iWeek conference ZA Domains’ Jade Benson said he thought the country was ready for the introduction of second level domains for the South African ccTLD, according to a Business Live report.
The South African interest in second level registrations follows their introduction in .uk and .nz in 2015 and their approval to be introduced in .au following a consultation.
According to Business Live, Domain Name Authority (Zadna) CEO Vika Mpisane said a shift to second level registrations wouldnât happen without the registryâs blessing.
âMpisane cited a survey that Zadna conducted in 2010, which showed that people were satisfied with the use of .co.za. The respondents were not keen on an additional domain name such as .za. Mpisane says Zadna would run another survey to determine whether an additional domain name was necessary.believes there is no need to run another survey, because there is enough support for the introduction of .za.â
But Benson doesnât see the need for another survey and the domain industry believes the survey is out of date. “The sooner it is implemented the better,” Benson said.
“Variety is the spice of life, and typically consumers who cannot find their desired .co.za domain would look to international registrars to purchase a .com or similar,” says Benson. “.za domains would provide them with an alternative opportunity to find their desired domain name and ensure that small business and consumers are supporting local businesses.”
Lucky Masilela, the CEO of ZACR, a non-profit organisation, says the price of new domain names needs to be addressed to make it affordable to switch to or add the .za.
“For us itâs not about making money,” he says. “We are positioning it for future use and giving people more choice.”
Shorter extensions may find more favour. Wayne Diamond from domains.co.za says that from a brand-building perspective, the .za has “fantastic potential”.
“We need to stay relevant and need to make future-proof decisions and [introducing .za] follows on what other countries have done,” he says.
In South Africa there has also been the introduction of three city gTLDs – .capetown with 4,780 registrations, .joburg (3,620) and .durban (2,590). There are some in the South African domain industry such as Benson who believe they have been a failure.
ZACR has struggled to achieve a higher number of sales for new domains, mostly because of a “monopoly within the market and exorbitant pricing”, said Benson according to the report. However Masilela said as there are fewer registrars who sell the gTLDs compared to the .co.za, this has limited their potential.
The full Business Live report is available at:
The three South African city new generic Top Level Domains have had their wholesale prices reduced to the same price as .co.za domain names, the ZA Central Registry has announced.
The âprice freezeâ for the .capetown, .joburg and .durban gTLDs is currently underway and runs from 4 July to 23h59 (SAST) on 8 July with the goal of boosting registrations.
There are currently about 10,500 South African city gTLD domains that have been registered by the ZACR and its registrar partners since they became available for public registration in July 2014.
“There is huge local and overseas interest in South Africa’s three major cities, both from a business and tourism perspective. We expect ZAdotCity registrations to experience continued sustained growth, as well as a significant spike during our Winter Price Freeze Sale” said Lucky Masilela, ZACR CEO.
They wonât give up. They have little support within Africa, yet DotConnectAfrica (DCA) has not given up hope they will win the rights to operate the .africa gTLD.
In the latest instalment, a Californian court has granted a Preliminary Injunction for DCA in a case against ICANN and the ZA Central Registry. What it means is they will be able to continue litigation over the gTLD application that has already been rejected twice.
âDistrict judge Gary Klausner ruled yesterday that the litigation waiver all applicants had to sign when they applied may be unenforceable,â reported Domain Incite.
ââThe Court finds substantial questions as to the Release, weighing toward its unenforceability,â he wrote.â
âCalifornia law says that such waivers cannot stop people being sued for fraud, and fraud is what DCA is alleging.â
âCombined with previous revelations in the .africa case â where ICANN’s staff were shown to have unduly influenced the process, covered up the fact and then denied having done so â the decision represents yet another mark against the nonprofit which hopes to take over the task of allocating all internet names and numbers from the US government later this year,â reported The Register in another report.
More details are available in both reports. But what it means is that DCA has at least some hope of gaining the rights to operate the gTLD.
And on another gTLD application, this time for .kids, the âDotKids Foundation has comprehensively lost is .kids Community Priority Evaluation,â reports Domain Incite.
âThe companyâs CPE results came out at the weekend, showing a score of 6 out of the 16 available points, a long way short of the 14-point passing score.â
âLike other âcommunityâ new gTLD bids before it, .kids failed because the Economist Intelligence Unit panel decided that the application was an attempt to create a community rather than represent an existing one.â
And ever wondered about the Chinese perspective on domain name disputes? If so, Lung Tin Intellectual Property Agent may have come to save you! Theyâve published on Lexology âWhat Do You Need to Know About Domain Name Disputes? from the Chinese Perspectiveâ.
The .africa bid by ZA Central Registry received a boost this week when a controversial rival application from DotConnectAfrica (DCA) was rejected by the Governmental Advisory Committee, with DCA being invited to withdraw its application, reports MyBroadband.co.za.The bid by DCA was always seen as being unlikely to succeed for several reasons, one of the main ones being it did not have the key support of African countries and the African Union.The ZACR bid to manage .africa had the support of over 40 of the 54 countries African countries.”Some 75% of African countries have now endorsed the ZACR bid for .africa, well above the ICANN requirement of 60% support needed. In addition, the ZACR bid is endorsed by the African Union Commission,” says ZACR Africa Liaison, Koffi Fabrice Djossou, in a statement reported in BizCommunity.”The ICT ministers meeting was sufficiently satisfied that the ZACR, the most diverse bidding entity, has the required technical, administrative and financial know-how to make a success of Africa’s proposed new home on the web,” added Djossou.gTLD was always seen as the frontrunner, especially after it was has selected by the African Union as its preferred registry operator to administer the domain.With DCA’s bid to manage .africa rejected, it now means ZACR is now the only remaining applicant for the pan-African gTLD.