Domains (generic) -- gTLDs

Story
30 November 2012

US government intervenes, raising questions about ICANN stewardship

Verisign shares have plunged 15 percent, wiping $850 million off the company's value, on the news that it will not be allowed to raise prices on dot-com domains for the next six years.

The current wholesale price for dot-coms stands at $7.85 and the company had already agreed a six-year extension on its right to exclusively sell the domains with DNS overseeing organization ICANN. That agreement mirrored one signed in 2006 that allowed Verisign to raise the price by seven percent in four of the six years the contract ran.

However the contract was subject to approval by the US Department of Commerce and it decided to remove the price-rise clause before signing. A short statement issued by the DoC quoted Assistant Secretary Larry Strickling saying that "consumer will benefit from Verisign's removal of the automatic price increase".

Story
12 October 2012
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GAC chair Heather Dryden discusses how government objections to new gTLD applications are going to work, and possible advice about further protections in the domain name system.


PODCAST

The governments of the world won the right to object to any of the 1,927 applications for new Internet extensions - and they are going to use that right.

We spoke to GAC chair Heather Dryden who explained how the "early warning" process is going to work and when the governmental "No" will be delivered.

The whole process of precise comments on particular applications is "a real change for the Committee", Heather notes. It is also "a test for GAC to deliver advice and early warning in the near term".

There will be a two-tier system with "early warnings" able to come from any single government, and then the much stronger "GAC advice" representing the consensus view of governments as a whole. The later is "much harder to accomplish - and that's by design".

Story
12 October 2012
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IPRota CEO Jonathan Robinson walks us through the new gTLD rights protection mechanisms, in particular the Trademark Clearinghouse.


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With an explosion in Internet extensions starting in just six months, the protection of trademarks has become a "cornerstone" of the program and vital to the success of the program, argues Jonathan Robinson, the CEO of a company that specializes in making it work.

We talked to Jonathan about the various rights protection mechanisms in place, why they were crucial, and what still need to be completed before they could go live.

The biggest focus of recent attention has been the "trademark clearinghouse" that will let trademark holders register their details once and have them picked up across all new Internet registries. There are "some real issues in implementing this" explains Robinson. The "devil is in the detail" and in some cases actual efforts to put systems in place is raising questions about the original policy decisions.

Story
12 October 2012
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Blacknight CEO Michele Neylon talks RAA, the Trademark Clearinghouse and the problem of registrar on-boarding that hasn't been addressed.


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"Hell yes. Without a doubt. Absolutely. Totally." As Ireland's largest registrar, Blacknight will be going to the ICANN Toronto meeting focused not on new gTLDs but the revised contract that all registrars sign with ICANN.

We spoke to Blacknight's CEO Michele Neylon who walked us through why the RAA revision process has been so contentious and what the current sticking points are. "If law enforcement and the GAC are willing to accept that they have got a lot of what asked for, but are not going to get the rest now" then the issue may finally be resolved, Michele notes.

The issue is all about checks and validation - something that the facts show cause businesses to avoid registering domains. But validation doesn’t necessarily bring greater security, he argues. On top of that are concerns that data retention rules mean that Blacknight would literally have to break the law.

Story
12 October 2012
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Whaddaya take for this old dot-nag?

Seven of the 1,930 applications for new Internet extensions have been withdrawn so far, leaving each applicant with a bill of $55,000.

Six of the withdrawals have been made public, including three brands and three seemingly generic names that are reserved for country-only use. Details of the seventh withdrawal will be made public when ICANN has refunded $130,000 of the $185,000 application fee.

The three brands are: Rogers Communications' Chatr budget mobile service; Eli Lily's Cialis impotence drug; and pump manufacturer KSB, applying for its own name. So far, none of the company have offered an explanation for why they withdrew.

Story
11 October 2012

ICANN COO explains the new new gTLD batching system


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A break-through, a fudge, or the best of a bad job? We spoke to ICANN's Chief Operating Officer Akram Atallah about the new proposal to hold a special draw sometime in December to decide which new gTLD applications will go first.

The proposal, revealed just a few days before ICANN's meeting in Toronto, will see applicants buy a $100 ticket in order to be entered into a draw. Each applicant will then get its own number and be ranked accordingly. The lower the number, the faster your application will be processed.

The draw is likely to be held in Los Angeles - but Atallah told us that ICANN has applied for licenses in a number of different jurisdictions just in case - and you don't have to turn up in person (you can pay a law firm to represent you).

Transcript
23 July 2012

Stéphane Van Gelder: Thank you very much. Welcome everyone to this Council call on July the 20, 2012. And we have apologies from Wolf. He will be absent on this call.

Jeff Neuman will only be able to be with us for the first 30 minutes. So and that’s why we’re trying to start as soon as we can.

And Mason Cole will not have Internet access. So Mason if you’re on the line and you need to ask questions please just speak up so that I know that you need to be counted in the queue.

[Roll call]

Stéphane Van Gelder: Thanks Glen. And just for the record I will note that I am also present. And come to any statement of interest updates?

Hearing no updates, any calls to review or amend the agenda please?

Thomas Rickert: Would it make sense to discuss the defensive registration subject and the IOC debate while Jeff is on the call? This is (Thomas) sorry. Jeff would you like that?

Jeff Neuman: This is Jeff. That’s fine. I mean I can listen to the recording but if you guys want to do that that’d be great.

Story
21 June 2012
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Should generic top-level domains be under sole control of one company?


Controversy is brewing over some companies plans to make generic gTLDs private online spaces

In November 1999, in one of its first actions, ICANN came good on its mandate to introduce competition within the Internet's infrastructure and signed an agreement with Network Solutions that required it to allow other companies to sell registrations under the dot-com registry.

It was the beginning of a rule that no Internet registry can sell domain names under its own name, and it should give ready access to other companies that wish to. The result was an explosion of competition, and a drop in domain prices from $50 to $6 a year.

Story
21 June 2012
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After years of playing the coy .virgin, waiting for the right moment to say yes, the excitement of ICANN's potential suitors is writ large in their .love letters posted in that most unreliable of matchmakers, the TLD Application System (Is that an 18-letter long string in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me working again?)

Not all suitors will be rewarded, and none will get their $185,000 engagement rings back, so it's only fair to award applicants for efforts to stand out in a very crowded room.

In London within a few weeks there's a big sporting event whose name cannot be mentioned in the context of gTLDs. So, taking inspiration from the only successful thing Greece currently can claim credit for (and they need plenty of credit), here are...


The Definitely Not The Oly*pics gTLD Awards


Sympathy award for applicants whose exec team had 'good ideas' for top level domains

Purely a demonstration sport, so no medals, but a tie between:

.americanexpress (15 characters)

.allfinanzberater (16 characters)

Story
12 June 2012

How digital archery threatens to become the organization's Battle of Hastings


Harold's demise as captured in the Bayeux Tapestry: is ICANN about to make the same mistake as the last Anglo-Saxon king of England?

Harold Godwin's army was already tired. The same day word arrived that Duke William II had landed on the English coast seeking the throne, the king's men had fought at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.

Determined to show he was in charge, Harold raced down to the village of Hastings, ignoring advice to let his men rest and to spend a day gathering reinforcements. Just a few hours later, he was dead, famously struck in the eye by an arrow; an event forever recorded in the Bayeux Tapestry.

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