News and Updates

Edible Arrangements sues to get Edibles.com

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2020-08-13 20:20

Company alleges that the valuable domain name infringes on its ‘edible’ mark.

Edible Arrangements, a franchisor of stores that sell fruit arrangements, has filed a lawsuit (pdf) in an effort to get the domain name Edibles.com.

The company appears to have changed the primary branding on its website from Edible Arrangements to Edible within the past three years. It owns Edible.com and forwards it to EdibleArrangements.com.

World Media Group, LLC, which owns a number of valuable domain names, currently uses the Edibles.com domain name to promote a dietary app.

Edible Arrangements alleges this app is a ruse:

Rather, the EDIBLES App is a generic food database that merely sources data from the United States Government, giving the strong impression that the EDIBLES App is a sham and ruse merely to reserve for Defendant the Disputed Domain for potential and speculative future use and development while preventing Edible from using it and intentionally attempting to attract uses for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion as to source or affiliation with Edible.

In its lawsuit, Edible Arrangements argues that the domain name Edibles.com infringes on its mark for “Edible”.

The plural form of Edible’s incontestable EDIBLE mark has no material distinction from the Defendant’s EDIBLES, and the two are therefore legal equivalents such that there is a likelihood of confusion.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court – Northern District of Georgia, where the company is located.

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Categories: News and Updates

Squadhelp adds visual images and Google Sheets features

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2020-08-13 17:36

New system adds (mostly) relevant images to each domain.

I can’t recall any domain marketplace/landing page company iterating as fast as Squadhelp is with its new White Label Marketplace. The company seems to be pushing out big updates every week.

The two most recent ones are big.

First, you can now sync your portfolio using Google Sheets. You open a Google Sheet with the data, make your updates, and then Squadhelp pulls the new data in.

I know that many marketplaces have .csv options for syncing, but the Google Sheets method is much easier.

Second, Squadhelp added a feature to add relevant visual images to all of your domains. Visual images are an alternative to logos. Squadhelp charges $5 for logos, but domain investors can add visual images to all of their domains automatically and for free using this new feature.

Here’s what one of my domains looked like without the visual image and then with it:

 

And here’s how the list of domains on my marketplace looks before and after:

I categorized all of my domains prior to initiating the images. The images aren’t perfect; you’ll note a picture of a tax return for “Scientific Staffing” and a dentist for “Vancouver Dermatologist”. You can change the images for individual domains to make them better.

Domains with visual images aren’t eligible for ad retargeting like logos are. (Part of the $5 logo fee goes toward the retargeting ads.) Squadhelp CEO Darpan Munjal told me that the company is considering an option for retargeting of domains without paid logos.

Squadhelp’s White Label Marketplaces are still in closed beta that requires an application. The company hopes to open up the beta in a couple of weeks.

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Categories: News and Updates

Calculator.com owner dismisses stolen domain case against Stands4

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2020-08-13 16:21

Domain owner dismisses case after domain buyer agrees to not contest her ownership.

The owner of Calculator.com has dismissed her lawsuit with prejudice against Stands4 Ltd.

Stands4 bought the domain name for $180,000 in June. But it turns out—at least on the face of it—that the domain name was stolen and the company unknowingly bought it from the thief.

Chloe Alston, who originally registered the domain with her father, filed a lawsuit after discovering that the domain name was in Stands4’s name. Stands4, which also owns Grammar.com, Lyrics.com and Scripts.com, spent $50,000 developing a new site on Calculator.com. That site was only briefly on the web before a judge in Florida issued a Temporary Restraining Order.

The dismissal states:

Stands4 hereby gives notice that it will no longer contest the Plaintiff’s ownership of the mark and domain name calculator.com, and Plaintiff hereby states that she is satisfied that Stands4 did not act in bad faith in relation to the acquisition of the calculator.com domain name.

This suggests that Alston understands that Stands4 didn’t know it was buying a stolen domain, and that Stands4 now agrees that the domain was stolen and it belongs to Alston.

What happens next? Stands4 is out $230,000. I can’t see them dropping the matter here.

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Related posts:
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Categories: News and Updates

Picking up short Pinyin domains

Domain Name Wire - Thu, 2020-08-13 13:38

They have a limited market unless they are more generic.

Regular readers know that I don’t invest in Pinyin domains. This is because I want to sell my domains to the entire world but Pinyin names are often limited to the China market. Interestingly, I’m seeing Pinyin domains dropped regularly that can be registered for mere $10 a pop.

For example, the following two Pinyin domains were deleted on August and therefore were available for registration.

Geleshi.com was first recorded by Wayback Machine in 2016 but the site had no contents. In 2017, it was owned by the big seller HugeDomains.com. Geleshi is 3-pin and has 7 characters. Ge Le Shi may have multiple Chinese meanings, such as 歌乐视 (suggesting a music video channel) and 格乐事 (suggesting matters related to happy things).

Rongjixi.com was first recorded by Wayback Machine in 2018 but the site had no contents. Rongjixi is 3-pin and has 8 characters. Rong Ji Xi may have multiple Chinese meanings, such as 融计息 (related to finance) and 荣基喜 (a thriving foundation of happiness).

Having said that I don’t invest in Pinyin domains, I actually own a few of them – although not intentionally. Here are two for illustration.

Hemola(dot)com is 3-pin and has only 6 characters. He Mo La may have multiple Chinese meanings such as 鹤默拉 (associated with crane, silence, and pull). Because the name is very generic, it can be used in almost any business field.

Bibale(dot)com is 3-pin and has only 6 characters. It was first recorded by Wayback Machine in 2008 but I don’t see any site development over the years. Bi Ba Le may have multiple Chinese meanings such as 币霸乐 (associated with money, master, and fun), which can be used in money-related fields.

As you can see, my favorite Pinyin domains are very short and also pronounceable. They can be used both inside and outside China. How did I find them? I use ExpiredDomains.net, choose the Deleted Domains category, and specify 2-word English domains. (It’s still a mystery to me. I intend to see English-based domains but the search result does include Pinyin domains.)

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Categories: News and Updates

List 001: Handpicked Expired Domains Are Back! (101 Available Domains)

Dot sauce - Wed, 2020-08-12 21:01

Today we’re bringing back a DotSauce classic, our handpicked expired domain lists. It was a favorite among all our readers and network of domain resellers.

In our previous lists, on average, an impressive 73% of domain names we selected were registered by our subscribers.

The domain names contained in this list were available as of the time of publishing on August 12th, 2020 5:00PM EST.

Sign up for a subscription to our Handpicked Expired Domains club for just $20 for the first month to get instant access to this list, our archive and all future lists.

You can cancel your subscription at anytime.

A total of 101 domain names available to register are included in this list to celebrate our re-launch. I’m planning to post a new list at least once a week. Enjoy!

List 001: Handpicked Expired Domain Names Available to Register (70 Available Domains)

This list contains the following breakdown of domain names that recently dropped and are available to register.

  • (1) One word domain name
  • (84) Two word domains
  • (11) Three word domains
  • (5) 6-letter domains
  • (2) Pronounceable 5-letter domains
  • (4) Short brandable domains

Bonus List: Available Domains from our Archive (31 Available Domains)

And here is the list itself…

  1. The list is only available to subscribers. Sign up now to view the list.

4 Domains have been claimed so far.

Subscribe Now & Get Access Every Week

Already a subscriber? Sign in

Stay tuned for next week’s list! You can get notifications on our Twitter, Facebook and by Email.

List 001: Handpicked Expired Domains Are Back! (101 Available Domains) DotSauce Magazine

Categories: News and Updates

SmartTiles.com UDRP: there are lots of uses for this domain

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2020-08-12 18:44

Domain investor shows that there are lots of uses for the domain and he has a legitimate interest in holding the domain as an investment.

A domain name investor has successfully defended his domain name SmartTiles.com in a UDRP. The case decision is notable for a couple of reasons:

1. It’s very brief.

2. It validates registering a domain name that’s a trademark in some circumstances, especially if lots of people use the term.

Ehren Schaiberger, who represented himself in the proceedings, argued that he had rights or legitimate interests in the domain name SmartTiles.com because he is in the business of registering, holding, and selling domain names, and there are many of uses for the disputed domain name unrelated to the Complainant, Quinco & Cie Inc.

Quinco & Cie Inc holds a trademark that predates Schaiberger’s registration.

The three-person National Arbitration Forum panel wrote:

Respondent argues that it uses the domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services because Respondent is in the business of registering, holding, and selling domain names. Registration of a domain name for the purposes of resale may qualify as legitimate use of the domain name under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii). See Platterz Inc. v. Andrew Melcher, FA 1729887 (Forum June 19, 2017) (holding that “investing in genuinely generic terms, for purpose of resale, is a legitimate business and that the acquisition of domain names consisting of common, dictionary terms for resale can confer rights and legitimate interests upon entrepreneurs who engage in this activity”). Respondent argues that it purchased the disputed domain name for resale because it had a variety of potential uses. Respondent provides examples of commercial uses of the term “smart tiles” to illustrate the wide scope of possible uses. See Resp. Annex B. The Panel finds that Respondent has rights and legitimate interests in the disputed domain name under Policy ¶ 4(a)(ii).

Quinco & Cie inc uses the domain name TheSmartTiles.com.

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Categories: News and Updates

What domains should this startup should consider upgrading to?

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2020-08-12 17:35

This Chinese startup should consider upgrading its domain. Here are some suggestions.

I read news about companies in China regularly, and I often see many choosing domains that are difficult to remember and not brand matching. Here is one that I recently came across.

Kuai Tu (快兔=speedy rabbit) is a logistics startup founded in 2017. When it began, Kuai Tu settled on the domain KTU56.com. The name consists of three parts: K from “Kuai”, Tu the entire word, and 56, which rhymes with Wu Liu (物流=logistics). These three different parts make the domain difficult to remember.

Business boomed. Kuai Tu completed Series Pre-A and Series A rounds in 2018. The startup then expanded its services to multiple cities in China. In 2019, it raised Series A+ funding and then Series B round early this year. Kuai Tu also changed its name to Kuai Yun Tu (快运兔=speedy transport rabbit).

Apparently, the startup has not upgraded its corporate domain. Entering its new name in Baidu still leads me to KTU56.com. What are the domains Kuai Yun Tu should consider upgrading to? Here are my suggestions.

  • KYT.com
  • KYT.cn
  • KuaiYunTu.com
  • KuaiYunTu.cn

All of the domains are brand-matching. The best one must be KYT.com because it is short and easy to remember. In addition, KYT.com can be used both inside and outside China because it is much easier to pronounce than “Kuai Yun Tu” when used outside China. Many companies have chosen this route to go global, such as JD.com (Jing Dong), ZBJ.com (Zhu Ba Jie), and DJI (Da Jiang Innovations).

There are still many companies in China like Kuai Tu waiting to upgrade to better domains. Since corporate China prefers .com, this also suggests opportunities for domain investors holding short and meaningful .com domains.

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Categories: News and Updates

15 end user domain name sales

Domain Name Wire - Wed, 2020-08-12 13:11

A young entrepreneur, a driver testing company, and a DJ bought domain names at Sedo this past week.

 

Sedo’s top public sale over the past week was BuyWeed .com for $50,000. Other than being in Florida, we don’t know anything about the buyer yet.

Here’s a list of end user sales this past week. You can see previous lists like this here.

Founders.net $37,500 – Lukas Mankow, a young German entrepreneur, forwards the domain to his personal website LukasMankow.com

RoadTest.com $16,500 – Forwards to MPUTest.de, a site about MPU tests. In German, MPU stands for “medical-psychological examination” and encompasses the exams given to drivers to make sure they can drive and have the appropriate reaction time, concentration and attention. This type of test is also used in aviation for pilots and air traffic controllers.

RealisticLoans.com $8,999 – This is an odd name for a loan site, but that’s precisely what it is.

Alavis.com $8,050 – Alavis, a company that sells nutritional supplements for horses to support joint health. It currently uses Alavis.cz for its website.

TAAL.in $5,500 – Merapos Private Limited, a website and digital services firm in India.

Lium.com $5,000 – This domain was bought by Infill Thinking, an information forum founded in 2016 to deliver updates, analyses and research to business decision-makers in the oil and gas industry.

Gonz.com $4,500 – This website is for a Miami-based DJ named Gonz.

ArtPix.com €3,900 – Artpix 3D bought this domain. The company engraves user’s pictures inside crystal keepsakes. ArtPix3d.com is its main website.

Autoly.com $3,800 – This is an app/mobile solution to measure customer engagement with autos. Potential users of this app would be auto showrooms, dealers and manufacturers who can benefit from the data being analyzed from the sensors connected and measured by this mobile app.

TheArtShop.com $3,000 – Digital marketing agency Agency Red bought this domain name.

MaxLine.net $2,800 – Make Cents, Inc is a loan provider. The company is a corporation of the “Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation,” a sovereign nation located in the US.

TheRockShop.com $2,500 – This is an e-commerce site for clothing, accessories and other apparel products in the “rocker” or “goth” genre/style.

Worth.nl €2,500 – Forwards to Worth.systems. Worth is a full-service digital agency based in Reading, England and Rijswijk, the Netherlands.

Zoya.ro €2,940 – Forwards to Zoya.bg, a Bulgarian e-commerce site for organic products including raw super-foods, natural health and beauty products, cleaning and household items.

CloverMarketing.com $2,400 – Clover Marketing bought this domain name. It is a Marketing Services consultancy focusing on the A/C, HVAC and heating industries.

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Categories: News and Updates

New FLATSite Converter Aims to Make WordPress Sites Faster, More Secure and Cheaper to Host

DN Journal - Tue, 2020-08-11 21:16
Domain industry veteran launches new service designed to convert WordPress sites into lean, low cost, secure websites that can be hosted anywhere.
Categories: News and Updates

Efty teams up with Dan.com, also introducing marketplace

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2020-08-11 21:03

Efty users will be able to accept payments through Escrow.com or Dan.com.

The domain name industry creates strange bedfellows.

For example, you might look at Efty.com and Dan.com as competitors. Both offer landing page services to domain name investors.

Yet they don’t have the same solution set, and that’s where a new partnership comes into play.

More than just landing pages, Dan.com is a payment platform. It accepts many types of payments with limited friction.

So Efty is integrating Dan.com payments into its platform. Sellers will be able to add Dan.com buy now buttons so customers can complete their transaction with a payment through Dan.com. Efty already integrates with Escrow.com.

Efty is also introducing a marketplace so that names listed on its platform are searchable. Efty won’t take a cut, so it’s effectively commission-free before payment processing charges to Dan.com or Escrow.com.

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Categories: News and Updates

The Defense Department Opening Large Areas of Mid-Band Spectrum to Help US Compete With China in 5G

Domain industry news - Tue, 2020-08-11 19:51

On Monday, the Trump administration announced plans to auction off 100 megahertz of mid-band spectrum dedicated initially to military purposes for commercial use starting in mid-2022 to fuel 5G network deployment in the United States. "With this additional 100 MHz, the U.S. now has a contiguous 530 megahertz of mid-band spectrum from 3450-3980 MHz to enable higher capacity 5G networks," said Dana Deasy, Department of Defense Chief Information Officer. In April, FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly had urged President Donald Trump to cut through red tape and get the Pentagon to give up some of its frequencies. "The U.S. does not have the luxury of waiting years to provide spectrum for 5G services, especially when competitors such as China can move expeditiously to reassign spectrum frequencies by leveraging all the resources and power of their centralized, Communist regime," said O'Rielly.

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More under: Access Providers, Broadband, Mobile Internet, Policy & Regulation, Telecom, White Space, Wireless

Categories: News and Updates

Internet Society Calls the US Clean Network Program a Political Act, A Push Towards "Splinternet"

Domain industry news - Tue, 2020-08-11 19:18

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announces the Clean Network program / AUG 5, 2020

The Internet Society (ISOC) has condemned the U.S. Clean Network Program announced last week, which proclaims to safeguard America's critical telecommunications and technology infrastructure. The program aims to primarily root out major Chinese tech products from the U.S. system, but ISOC warns that these measures will "only increase the global momentum towards a 'Splinternet' — a fractured network, rather than the Internet we have built over the last four decades and need now more than ever." ISOC adds: "This is part of a larger disturbing trend where governments directly interfere with the Internet, attempting to score short-term political points without regard to the long-term damage that results." Michael R. Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State notes that more than thirty countries and territories are now Clean Countries, and many of the world’s biggest telecommunications companies are Clean Telcos.

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More under: Internet Governance, Policy & Regulation

Categories: News and Updates

Time to Stop Talking About Unserved and Underserved

Domain industry news - Tue, 2020-08-11 18:14

I work with communities all of the time that want to know if they are unserved or underserved by broadband. I've started to tell them to toss away those two terms, which is not a good way to think about broadband today.

The first time I remember the use of these two terms was as part of the 2009 grant program created by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009. The language that created those grants included language from Congress that defined the two terms. In that grant program, unserved meant any home or business that has a broadband speed of less than 10/1 Mbps. Underserved was defined as homes having speeds above 10/1 Mbps but slower than 25/3 Mbps.

As far as I can tell, these terms have never been defined outside of broadband grant programs. However, the terms began to be widely used when talking about broadband availability. A decade ago, communities all wanted to know if they were unserved or underserved.

The terms began to show up in other grant programs after 2009. For example, the FCC's CAF II grant program in 2015 gave money to the largest telephone companies in the country and funded 'unserved' locations that had speeds less than 10/1 Mbps.

The same definition was used in the ReConnect grants created by Congress in 2018 and 2019. Those grants made money available to bring better broadband to areas that had to be at least 90% unserved, using the 10/1 Mbps definition.

The biggest FCC grant program of 2020 has scrapped the old definition of these terms. This $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) grant program is being made eligible to Census blocks that are "entirely unserved by voice and with broadband speeds of at least 25/3 Mbps". That seemingly has redefined unserved to now mean 25/3 Mbps or slower broadband — at least for purposes of this federal grant program.

There are also states that have defined the two terms differently. For example, the following is the official definition of broadband in Minnesota used when awarding broadband grants in the state:

An unserved area is an area of Minnesota in which households or businesses lack access to wire-line broadband service at speeds that meet the FCC threshold of 25 megabits per second download and 3 megabits per second upload. An underserved area is an area of Minnesota in which households or businesses do receive service at or above the FCC threshold but lack access to wire-line broadband service at speeds 100 megabits per second download and 20 megabits per second upload.

It must also be noted that there are states that define slower speeds as unserved. I'm aware of a few state broadband programs that still use 4/1 Mbps or 6/1 Mbps as the definition of unserved.

The main reason to scrap these terms is that they convey the idea that 25/3 Mbps broadband ought to be an acceptable target speed for building new broadband. Urban America has moved far beyond the kinds of broadband speeds that are being discussed as acceptable for rural broadband. Cable companies now have minimum speeds that vary between 100 Mbps and 200 Mbps. Almost 18% of homes in the US now buy broadband provided over fiber. Cisco says the average achieved broadband speed in 2020 is in the range of 93 Mbps.

The time has come when we all need to refuse to talk about subsidizing broadband infrastructure that is obsolete before it's constructed. During the recent pandemic, we saw that homes need faster upload speeds to work or do schoolwork from home. We must refuse to accept new broadband construction that provides a 3 Mbps upload connection when something ten times faster than that would barely be acceptable.

Words have power, and the FCC still frames the national broadband discussions in terms of the ability to provide speeds of 25/3 Mbps. The FCC concentrated on 25/3 Mbps as the primary point of focus in its two recent FCC broadband reports to Congress. By sticking with discussions of 25/3 Mbps, the FCC is able to declare that a lot of the US has acceptable broadband. If the FCC used a more realistic definition of broadband, like the one used in Minnesota, then the many millions of homes that can't buy 100/20 Mbps broadband would be properly defined as being underserved.

In the last few months, the FCC decided to allow slow technologies into the $16.4 billion RDOF grant program. For example, they've opened the door to telcos to bid to provide rural DSL that will supposedly offer 25/3 Mbps speeds. This is after the complete failure in the CAF II program, where the big telcos largely failed to bring rural DSL speeds up to a paltry 10/1 Mbps.

It's time to kill the terms unserved and underserved, and it's time to stop defining connections of 10/1 Mbps or 25/3 Mbps as broadband. When urban residents can buy broadband with speeds of 100 Mbps or faster, a connection of 25/3 should not be referred to as broadband.

Written by Doug Dawson, President at CCG Consulting

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More under: Access Providers, Broadband, Policy & Regulation

Categories: News and Updates

Let’s talk about Sex (.com) at NamesCon

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2020-08-11 16:03

Kieren McCarthy and I will discuss the fight for one of the world’s most valuable domain names.

Many of you know that Sex .com sold for a (then record) $13 million in 2010.

That’s the boring part of the story.

Next month at NamesCon Online, I’ll interview journalist Kieren McCarthy about the fight for Sex .com before the record-breaking sale. A fight involving two men who would stop at nothing: Stephen Cohen, the man who stole the domain name and fled from justice. And Gray Kremen, an internet entrepreneur who had to go to ridiculous (and expensive) lengths to get the domain name back.

We will discuss:

  • How Cohen tricked the .com registry (Network Solutions at the time) into transferring the domain to him
  • What Cohen did to his mansion before handing the keys over to Kremen
  • How the two antagonized each other in late-night phone calls as they battled in court
  • If that gun battle in Mexico really happened

McCarthy’s book is a fantastic read for anyone who is interested in domain names and crime capers. You can buy a copy here. And join us next month for a lively talk.

Post link: Let’s talk about Sex (.com) at NamesCon

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Categories: News and Updates

Afilias to Protect TLDs Against Potential "Orphan Glue" Exploits

Domain industry news - Tue, 2020-08-11 15:16

Afilias has informed registrars and registry clients that it is taking steps to remove orphan glue records from 200+ TLD zones in its care. This will eliminate the potential for a handful of domain names to be misused. 

"Glue records" enable websites and other uses of domain names to work on the internet. They are related to DNS domain name delegations and are necessary to guide iterative resolvers to delegated nameservers. A glue record becomes an orphan when its parent nameserver record is removed from the DNS but the corresponding glue record remains. (See ICANN's Security and Stability Advisory Committee's (SSAC) SAC048 for a detailed explanation.) While some orphan glue is always expected to exist, e.g., when the parent domain is suppressed from publication in the DNS in the course of normal registry operations, we would expect the number of such records to be relatively small.

Following information passed on by responsible sources, graduate students Gautam Akiwate at UC San Diego and Raffaele Sommese at University of Twente, Afilias identified a handful of domain names among the 20 million names we support that relied upon orphan glue records that have no corresponding parent domain in the registry. These records persisted after the parent nameserver records were deleted, as part of the normal deletion of a domain name. Theoretically, the deleted names could be re-registered for nefarious purposes and redirect queries to an unintended destination. The possibility of such a case led us to take immediate action. 

Afilias' plan is to remove all such problematic orphan glue records and adjust security settings to prohibit the persistence of such records when names are deleted in the future.

Afilias has notified registrars so they can inform the few domain owners who currently rely on orphan glue records to make appropriate adjustments immediately. Registry operators need take no action.

Written by Dr. James Galvin, Director, Technical Standards and Strategic Relationships at Afilias

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More under: Cybersecurity, DNS, Domain Names, Registry Services, New TLDs

Categories: News and Updates

What is special about Chip domains?

Domain Name Wire - Tue, 2020-08-11 13:13

Kassey Lee explains the concept of Chip domains.

Remember the Chip boom in 2015/2016? Chip was the talk of the town when it was introduced to the domain circle as a new investment theme. Even today, there are many investors trading in this category. The question remains: what is really special about Chip domains?

Chip stands for “Chinese premium”. It refers to a name which does not contain the letters A, E, I, O, U, and V. While such names can be of different lengths, investors often focus on 4-letter domains because of historical reasons. Some investors also write the term in its plural form “Chips”.

In China, letters can be used as acronyms for Pinyin words. Therefore, a Pinyin-based company can use a matching Pinyin or acronym domain. A good example is Jing Dong, the third largest internet company in the world. Jing Dong owns both JingDong.com and JD.com. The name “Jing Dong” is 2-pin (two Pinyin words).

If a company name is 4-pin (or longer), then its acronym becomes very useful because of its length. Investors are attracted to 4-letter domains because these domains have genuine demand from corporate China as acronyms.

Among 4-letter domains, Chip domains are most valued because of one reason. Generally speaking, a Chip domain can represent more names than a non-Chip domain. In other words, a Chip domain may be sold to more companies. This is seen in the following table.

Letter Pinyin representation A Yes, but very limited E Yes, but very limited I No O Yes, but very limited U No V No Others Yes, many possibilities

Although investors value Chip domains more, non-Chip domains are still used in China. For example, Yi Xi Wei Wei (伊西威威) is an ecommerce startup which recently raised Series B+ funding. Its corporate domain is ECVV.com (two Vs not W). The domain is used because ECVV rhymes with Yi Xi Wei Wei.

Because Chip domains can shorten long Pinyin names, they have genuine use in corporate China and therefore will continue to be in good demand.

Post link: What is special about Chip domains?

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Categories: News and Updates

ICANN to try Kuala Lumpur again in 2022

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2020-08-10 18:47

Organization plans Annual General Meeting for Malaysia after canceling this year’s meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

ICANN has announced that its Annual General Meeting in 2022 will be in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The meeting will take place September 17-22, 2022.

ICANN had planned to hold its Policy Forum this June in Kuala Lumpur. But, like all of its planned meetings this year, it was moved online due to Covid-19.

As of right now, ICANN’s meetings for next year are still planned for in-person events in Cancun, The Hague, and Seattle. I wouldn’t book my plane tickets just yet, though.

The other planned meetings for 2022 are in San Juan and The Hague.

Post link: ICANN to try Kuala Lumpur again in 2022

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Holding Trump Accountable Under Public International Law

Domain industry news - Mon, 2020-08-10 17:02

Trump and his enablers are well known to disrespect if not disdain legal systems, including public international law. He has effectively abrogated every treaty instrument relating to international communications at the whim of a tweet. His behavior has dishonoured the USA in a way that will take years to remedy. Trump's actions to ban access to Android Operating System updates on Chinese products have significantly harmed cybersecurity worldwide. His latest summary actions against Tik-Tok and We-Chat to further a Trump Firewall are beyond reprehensible.

However, international legal systems still exist and can be leveraged to begin holding Trump accountable. Some of the potential causes of action are legislative in nature and operate over a longer time period. There is a relatively unknown mechanism for reporting infractions and enhancing accountability that is described here. Although, these actions must be done by Nation State representatives, they can potentially be very effective and enhanced as a result of Trump's extraordinarily egregious behavior.

Public International Law of the ITU

The treaty instruments of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have provided the fundamental foundation for all international telecommunication since 1850. Every nation in the world exercises exclusive, absolute sovereignty over its communication networks and services. However, through the ITU treaty provisions which have been universally ratified, those same nations agree to interconnect their communication networks, transport traffic, and allow for services across their borders for larger social and economic good.

All electronic communications today are based on these treaties. Except during time of war, no nation is permitted to take the kinds of unilateral actions taken by Trump. Consistent adherence to these norms has existed over the past 170 years among almost all nations and remain a bedrock of international cooperation.

Causes of action pursuant to ITU Resolutions 64 and 69

The idea for a global norm to ban unilateral, discriminatory denial of access to network facilities and services arose at the ITU's World Telecommunication Development Conference at Buenos Aires in 1994 and resulted in the adoption of WTDC-94 Resolution 5. When the nations of the world convened at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference at Kyoto later that year, they placed the norm in the Final Acts of the ITU (Kyoto) treaty instrument as Resolution 64 – Non-Discriminatory Access to Modern Telecommunication Facilities and Services. It resolved "that there should be non-discriminatory access to telecommunication technologies, facilities and services established on the basis of ITU-T and ITU-R recommendations" and called for the ITU to play a leading role to implement the norm.

Eight years later, when the nations of the world convened at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference at Marrakesh in 2002, a concern for non-discriminatory access to Internet resources was expressed by the German ambassador to the assembled nations. He stated that "the [Internet] should, therefore, be regarded as an important part of national infrastructures and non-discriminatory access for all citizens and companies to a stable and secure network must be assured." See Minutes of the First Plenary Meeting, Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-02), 25 Sep 2002.

In 2006, at the Antalya Plenipotentiary Conference, Resolution 64 was expanded to include "Non-discriminatory access to modern telecommunication/information and communication technology facilities and services."

Two years later, when the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) was convened at Johannesburg in October 2008, a collective concern arose that unilateral actions might be taken to access Internet-based services. The result was Resolution 69 directed at all Nation-States "to refrain from taking any unilateral and/or discriminatory actions that could impede another Member State from accessing public Internet sites, within the spirit of Article 1 of the Constitution." Article 1 is a list of the eighteen reasons why all nations have entered into a universal treaty that enables global communications among themselves and extends back to 1850.

Especially significant was that WTSA-2008 provided a cause of action mechanism for Resolution 64 infringements — in the form of a process to enable a nation to report incidents of where another nation impeded access to Internet services. This Resolution 69 mechanism was subsequently implemented via a web-based infringement portal that allowed not only reporting, but for responses by the alleged infringing nation. The concept was to allow both for transparency and due process and enable global shaming for egregious unilateral behavior.

As concern over unilateral Internet actions grew after 2008, the support for Resolutions 64 and 69 among the world's nations increased significantly. At the Plenipotentiary Conference at Busan in 2014, the WTSA Resolution 69 provision was added to Resolution 64 of the ITU treaty, stating that nations should "refrain from taking any unilateral and/or discriminatory actions that could impede technically another Member State from having full access to the Internet, within the spirit of Article 1 of the ITU Constitution and the WSIS principles."

The expanded scope of concern was also reflected at the WTSAs held in 2012 and 2016. The scope of Resolution 69 was widened to include "use of Internet resources and telecommunications/information and communication technologies," and numerous links to other related intergovernmental activities and mandates were identified. Additional responsive actions were also added to encompass and involve almost all ITU bodies, including "to submit contributions to the ITU-T study groups that contribute to the prevention and avoidance of such practices."

As Trump became increasingly unstable and hostile to international cooperation after coming into power, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference held at Dubai in late 2018 witnessed a new focus on Resolution 64. Its non-discriminatory access norm appears no less than 22 times throughout the treaty instrument. See Final Acts of the Plenipotentiary Conference (Dubai, 2018).

At this point, the actual reporting of incidents pursuant to Resolution 69 has been minimal — consisting of 37 incidents identified by Sudan against the United States between 2009 and 2016. The incidents reported are actually very good examples of unilateral, discriminatory transgressions of Resolution 64 and include USA impairments of access to website and cybersecurity tool providers, operating system vendors, application providers and associated services. The last two incidents were filed in April and May of 2016 and describe several incidents, including the banning of access to Apple Inc. iPhones, iPad and Operating Systems. Rather embarrassingly, the USA has never once provided a response.

Potential Actions Against Trump

As a result of Trump's recent actions and in light of the next WTSA being held in three months with preceding meetings of ITU-T Study Groups, there are several potential actions that could ensue to implement the Resolution 64 treaty provisions.

The simplest action would simply consist of any of the 192 other ITU Member States to begin filing Resolution 69 complaints concerning Trump's actions similar to those done by Sudan using the extremely easy on-line filing process. Although USA citizens adversely affected by Trump's banning cannot themselves file an incident against Trump, other national administrations could file on behalf of individuals, classes of individuals, or organizations in the USA. The net effect of this activity in itself can be reported publicly and would constitute a global shaming of Trump's behavior and an affirmation of public international law.

Resolution 69 also provides for several additional actions that significantly further amplify the submissions. The ITU-T bureau Director is required to integrate and analyse the reported incidents in reports to the Member States, the Standardization Advisory Group, and the next WTSA, which occurs in November.

Any ITU-T members can also make submissions "to the ITU-T study groups that contribute to the prevention and avoidance of such practices." With several study group meetings occurring in the coming weeks, actions could be undertaken there through submissions that establish new work items and provide reports to the WTSA-20.

The three ITU Directors (Telecommunication Standardization, Radiocommunication and Telecommunication Development Bureaus) must also "report on progress on [the Article 69] resolution through a report of the Secretary-General to the ITU Council.

It is the WTSA-20 itself, however, that could serve as a means for collective legislative action against Trump's unlawful behaviour that profoundly affronts the basic tenets of the ITU and international cooperation for global communication. Here, there are many options ranging from enhancement of Resolution 69, creation of new ITU-T Questions for multiple Study Groups, and recommendations to the next Plenipotentiary Conference. Provisions could even be made for entities other than Nation States to file incident complaints.

It is noteworthy that WTSA-20 convenes on 17 November — exactly two weeks after the U.S. national election that should likely expel Trump from office. However, Trump's representatives will still be representing the U.S., and the new Biden Administration will not come into power for two months. As occurred in the past, it seems essential for the nations of the world to strongly condemn Trump's conduct and to set both a benchmark and a continuing mechanism for promoting acceptable behaviour under public international law. In a world of global 5G/F5G extraterritorial virtualized architectures and services, that benchmark concerning unilateral or discriminatory actions that could impede technically another Member State will be especially critical.

Written by Anthony Rutkowski, Principal, Netmagic Associates LLC

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No B.S. – DNW Podcast #298

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2020-08-10 15:30

This domain company won’t give you any bullsh*it.

There are many paths to growing a business, but domain name registrar Gandi has taken an unusual one: 100% of its business is from word-of-mouth. The registrar has grown to over 40 million euros in annual revenue without spending a dime on advertising. On today’s show, Gandi CEO Stephan Ramoin talks about how the company’s tagline No B.S. (and they actually write it out) has defined its approach to business and what the future may hold.

Also: Domain thief on the loose, GoDaddy and Wix hit customer milestones, PayPal’s domain protection.

Sponsor: Donuts

Subscribe via Apple Podcasts to listen to the Domain Name Wire podcast on your iPhone or iPad, or click play above or download to begin listening. (Listen to previous podcasts here.)

Post link: No B.S. – DNW Podcast #298

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Categories: News and Updates

CentralNic first half revenue eclipses $110 million

Domain Name Wire - Mon, 2020-08-10 15:14

Q2 wasn’t as bad as thought.

Domain name company CentralNic (London AIM: CNIC) announced today that its first-half 2020 revenue will be more than $110 million. This is more than it generated in all of 2019.

The revenue jump is largely due to acquisitions, the biggest of which was Team Internet. Team Internet operates domain monetization companies ParkingCrew and Tonic.

The results are somewhat of a surprise. CentralNic hired research firm Edison Investment Research to cover the company, and its initial report forecasted about $100 million revenue for the half. Edison predicted a drop in Q2 due to challenges with online ads during the pandemic.

Apparently, the ad landscape was better than expected during the quarter.

CentralNic will report its full results for the half on September 1.

Post link: CentralNic first half revenue eclipses $110 million

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