Domain Names

27 April 2007

Protecting Your Domain Name: Get your .com and addresses that are similar Practical eCommerce

Domain names are addresses. But, of course, a domain name generates traffic, which means it is also a major sales source. The traffic could result from those typing in your name in the address bar of the browser, or it could be from search engines grading your website higher because of the close relationship between a search and your domain name. The value is self-evident. Yet, rarely do we find clients with a clear understanding of how to protect this asset. There are state and federal laws that protect a domain name if you are using it to identify your goods or services. But there are some common sense, easy and inexpensive steps you can take to protect this asset: Make sure you "own" the name; Make sure you get the .com; Buy the common misspellings; Monitor the web and Buy domain names.

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The EU weaves itself a fantastically tangled web The Daily Telegraph

Viviane Reding, the EU's media commissioner, was last week trumpeting the success, since it was launched last year, of the EU's own internet "top-level domain name" ".eu". "After just one year," she crowed, ".eu has become a well-established part of Europe's cyberspace." She announced that since last April its 2.5 million registrations have been exceeded in Europe only by our ".uk" and Germany's ".de", ranking it as the seventh most popular web address on the planet. What Miss Reding did not reveal was that up to four-fifths of these registrations are, in effect, something of a sham; and that the new address has thrown large parts of the European Commission's own Europa website, one of the biggest in the world, into chaos.

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25 April 2007

No LDN in .co.uk BBC

London can feel like a country in its own right. Our city could stake a claim for being the global capitals of finance, media, the arts, retail, sport, fashion... the list could go on and on. So why not have our own domain name? www.good-idea.ldn? ... So what about London getting its own TLD name, '.ldn'? As the global city par excellence, the idea surely merits serious consideration. After all, you do not need to be British to call yourself a fully-fledged Londoner, so using '.co.uk', may not have the same appeal that '.ldn' could have.

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24 April 2007

More Domain Names Sell than you Think - “unreported” domain name market dwarfs reported sales Domain Name Wire

Ron Jackson of Domain Name Journal claims the domain name sales market is much larger than you think. He publishes the week's highest reported domain name sales on his website, but these are a small portion of the sales - many others go unreported. Many are bought by large corporations or trade hands between people that would rather not announce it to the world.

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What is a Domain Name Worth to an End User? - Forget pay-per-click multiples. Domains are most valuable to end users Domain Name Wire

What is more valuable for the domainer - pay per click or selling a domain to an end user? Domain Name Wire suggest it's to the end user after the editor more than quadrupled his money in less than 12 months on a domain name sale. Using a broker to market the domain to companies that sold the related product brought in a five-figure sale. The domain was for a software category and brought in premium pay-per click advertising. The article looks at the value of the domain to the purchaser, and why it was valued highly.

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20 April 2007

Vint Cerf surveys his domain Scripps News

Vinton Cerf sees a reflection of our best and worst instincts in the internet in a story that comes out of a speech given on Monday. The story notes what most surprised and pleased him "has been the continuing avalanche of free information that's become available since the advent of the worldwide Web in the mid-1990s." The worst aspects were "spam, viruses, worms ... fraud and worthless content" noting these are already problems in other contexts, and that fraud has occurred for decades via the telephone and the Postal Service. The article concludes "Cerf apparently has no plans to ease into retirement. 'I consider it a successful day,' he said, 'when I wear out two 26-year-olds.'"

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Political pressure on porn? by Stephen Balkam Baltimore Sun

What does this somewhat obscure international organization (ICANN) have to do with how the Internet will be managed and how governments around the world will view their role in regulating content? Quite a lot - and not necessarily all good. ... So, where does all this leave ICANN? While some will be cheering the decision, many more will be left wondering how this body can retain whatever semblance of transparency, objectivity and independence of government interference it claims to possess. The decision by ICANN, influenced as it has been by political pressures, chips away at the fundamental value of the Internet. For all of us involved in the online world - and that is virtually all of us - this is a worrying trend.

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What is a Domain Name Worth to an End User? Domain Name Wire

A couple weeks ago Domain Name Wire more than quadrupled my money on a domain name sale. The domain was purchased less than a year ago at a reseller market. A broker was used to market the domain to companies that sold the related product, bringing in a five-figure sale. (The domain nor the actual sales price is not disclosed for confidentiality reasons.) While the domain name didn't get many clicks, it is the title of an entire software category dominated by large companies such as Sun and Oracle; the term receives 5,000-10,000 searches per month and advertisers are paying $5-$10 per click for this term.

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19 April 2007

ICANN's Application for Temporary Restraining Order Against RegisterFly Has Been Granted ICANN

RegisterFly has been ordered by US Federal Court Judge, Manuel J. Real, to hand over to ICANN current and accurate data for all of its domain names now that ICANN's application for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against RegisterFly was granted yesterday. Under the TRO, RegisterFly is also obliged to provide this data every seven days, plus immediately allow ICANN staff access to the company's records and books in order to perform an audit.

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U.S. House bill clarifies ban on Web names resembling those of U.S. agencies International Herald Tribune

A 1994 law that bars "any" use of a name of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service and their initials, logos and other symbols to solicit business by for-profit organisations is to be clarified in a House vote by specifying that the prohibition against "any" includes domain names. The law also states that a disclaimer is not a defense against either civil or criminal action. The change follows warnings twice in the last three weeks by the Internal Revenue Service commissioner about confusion over the official Web site of his agency and commercial firms playing off that confusion.

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18 April 2007

us: Evil and its profiteers following the Virginia Tech shooting

To show some people have no remorse or morals, a number of mindnumbingly awful people have registered domain names relating to the recent shootings in Virginia, just like was done following other disasters around the world in recent times such as the tsunmai and hurricanes. For example, a resident of Virginia has registered vtmurders.com, vtmurders.info, vtkillings.com, and choseung-hui.com (the name of the suspected killer). The first three domains are available for $250K and the last one for $1 million. A number of domains are available on eBay, while other domain names have been registered to look like they're charities attempting to raise money to assist the victims. Click on the link for a list of some of the domains.

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The State of Global Cybersquatting in 2007 Internet Business Law Services

This article reports recent notable cases, trends in cybersquatting, and strategic developments being advanced against the issue Cyberquatting is the predicament of the Internet era following the recent WIPO release on cybersquatting statistics. The article notes the "WIPO complained the domain name system itself was in danger of becoming a mere forum for 'speculative gain' as cybersquatters have snapped up many choice addresses associated with top businesses, brands and other trophies in this intellectual property skirmish." The article concludes "cybersquatting remains a serious issue that can only be reigned in through government action, better laws, the organization of groups to lobby against it and private owner's vigilance. Billions of dollars in commerce are at stake, and therefore good legislation and strong responses against these thieves of intellectual property must be encouraged across the globe."

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Domain Name System shows signs of stress from financial maneuverings Computerworld

Another article looking at cybersquatting from Computerworld who looks at the efforts required by large companies to keep on top of cybersquatters, with the head of global privacy at InterContinental Hotels Group, Lynn Goodendorf, claiming she receives "about 100 e-mail alerts concerning potential trademark infringements from three different domain monitoring services." Monitoring these potential infringements requires a lot of time, and money tracking down registrants who often give incorrect or private Whois data with Subpoenas sometimes needed to uncover the identities of individuals. Defensive registration works to a point, but Goodendorf says it's impossible "to anticipate every name combination". Computerworld then says "the Domain Name System is showing signs of being out of control" and gives some statistics on how domain names are used.

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Cybersquatting Can Yield Pay-Per-Click Bounties Computerworld

Computerworld in another article says "Regardless of whether a domain name is legitimate, the economics of registering it are the same. The registrar makes money. The registry that manages the TLD under which the name is registered is also paid. ICANN gets a cut of the registration fee as well. And for illegitimate domains, the moneymaking doesn't stop there." Further, for illegitimate domains, the moneymaking doesn't stop there" with many domains "'parked' at advertising services or intermediary portal sites that automatically populate pages with links to ads. For instance, microsotf.com takes you to such a page."

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Hunting for typosquatters The Key blog

This blog posting notes the domains "that make the most money on parked pages--are often those that infringe on trademarks. Hence, typosquatting, where someone registers a misspelled version of a company name or a product name, is booming." A recent start-up, CitizenHawk, has developed TypoSquasher. TypoSquasher "crawls the Web to identify misspelling of domain names and identifies possibly trademark infringements, in part by matching names against the government trademark database". The article gives the example of domains including "google" total 37,544. The article notes the irony here being "Google is making money off of many of them by serving up the ads".

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17 April 2007

Securing the Root: What is DNSSEC, what's the controversy? by Brenden Kuerbis Internet Governance Project

[IG Editor's note: [This] is an overview of DNSSEC written for a non-technical audience, however, it assumes some basic knowledge of the Domain Name System (DNS) and public-key cryptography concepts. The point is to provide enough detail to allow us to understand how chosen technology and institutional design creates Internet governance dilemmas. If there is technical blunder, my apologies - by all means let me know. Clear concepts are a baseline for productive debate. And as I said previously, see the actual specifications (RFC 4033, 4034, 4035) or other reference material, e.g., Geoff Huston's article series or Ron Aithchison's work for more detailed technical explanations.]

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Domain Name System shows signs of stress from financial maneuverings ComputerWorld

Cybersquatting -- the practice of registering Internet domain names that poach well-known trademarks -- is profitable for just about everybody involved. Money is made off of registration fees and advertising, and even the regulator of the Domain Name System gets a piece of the action. But it's not so lucrative for corporate officials like Lynn Goodendorf, who heads global privacy at InterContinental Hotels Group PLC.

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IPv6 by Susan Crawford Susan Crawford blog

Here's a link snapshot report that tells us how we're doing with IPv4 numbers (a link is provided). It says we'll run out in 2012 or so. That's not very far away. In 2005, the US Office of Management and Budget said [warning, pdf] that businesses should plan to move to IPv6-enabled hardware and software. But for people who aren't selling to the government, the economic incentive to move to IPv6 isn't great. (The people who are selling to the government have to move along.)

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16 April 2007

Pacific accused of being haven for online fraudsters Stuff

Scammers are said to be drawn to the domains of New Zealand's neighbours, says Reuben Schwarz. The web domains of New Zealand's closest neighbours in the Pacific stand accused of being a haven for spam, scams and viruses. The problem centres, some say, on lax policies for registering domain names that make them a magnet for criminals.

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Afilias Notice of .info Fee Change to Registrars ICANN

In a letter to Paul Twomey, ICANN's CEO, Afilias advised the fee charged to registrars for a .info domain will rise to $6.15 on 15 October 2007. This follows the announcement of a fee increase for .com and .net domains effective on the same date. For the letter, see:

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us: ICANN board member berates 'woefully unprepared' DHS The Register

Burke Hansen writing in The Register notes a report that Susan Crawford recently took a swipe at security standards in place at the DHS. The Register reports Crawford as saying, the DHS is woefully unprepared for what lies ahead and that it has a long way to go. She notes “’from the outside, it looks as if [DHS] doesn't really know what it's doing,’ and that ‘[T]hey're trying, but many of their efforts lack timeframes for completion.’ Other problems, such as a high turnover rate among senior officials at DHS, have had an impact, but there seems to be a general failure of imagination at the agency. Crawford has been advocating the creation of a new internet governance group to tackle the problem.” The article concludes “The notoriously ineffectual ICANN seems an unlikely agent to do the job because of its fear of confrontation and a general disinterest in policing cyberspace – even in a largely technical sphere that cuts to the core of ICANN’s mission, which is to protect the integrity and stability of the net itself. “[Crawford] wants an ICANN-style multi-stakeholder entity that is not the ICANN we currently know and love. Of course, that begs the question of whether or not two ICANNs are really better than one.”

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14 April 2007

New .asia domain name set for launch Netimperative

New .asia domain names are to go up for grabs this European summer, and NetNames is warning UK businesses to protect their brands from rivals and cybersquatters by registering early. With around 900,000 .jp domain names and 780,000 .cn domain names registered among the 73 countries in the Asia/Australia/Pacific region that will be entitled to register in .asia, there is expected to be some vigorous competition for many domain names. It is expected there will be four registrations periods: the first sunrise period, expected to begin in June for government bodies; second sunrise period from September to be open to trademark owners; the third sunrise is period from November for any company operating in the Asia-Pacific region and finally the .asia domain name will then go into the so-called 'landrush' phase, pencilled in for February 2008 and open up to anyone in the region. TechNewsReview.com.au will keep you informed of developments.

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13 April 2007

us: Pryor abandons xxx domains for porn Arkansas News Bureau

Sen. Mark Pryor, the sponsor of bills to prevent children from accessing pornography on the Internet, has abandoned an effort to require an .xxx domain name for sites with adult content. Pryor, D-Ark., and Max Baucus, D-Mont., took a new approach on a "Cyber Safety for Kids" bill they introduced on Wednesday, compared to an unsuccessful measure in 2006. This year's bill would require age verification before computer users can access pornographic sites.

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Long-running battle over sex website is testing new cyber-laws The Times

"The dispute over what is arguably the most lucrative domain name in existence - sex.com - has rumbled on for in excess of 10 years" says The Times' Jonathan Richards. The dispute involves Gary Kremen, who Richards notes "has been trying to get the name back since it was stolen from him 12 years ago." But the dispute has "also made a significant contribution to the emerging field of internet law." The courts awarded Kremen $65m in damages for earnings by Stephen Cohen who stole the domain name, and punitive damages. However Kremen has not seen a cent of the money. A number of cases have occurred, with a case in 2003 involving ARIN recognising domain names as property. Since then ARIN have won a case upholding the company's guidelines that "IP resources are non-tranferable, may not be sold or assigned, and may only be transferred upon ARIN's approval of a formal transfer request." Richards notes this "ruling is significant not only because it gives ARIN ... continued control over the allocation of internet numbers, one of the most crucial pieces of the internet's architecture. It also maintains a shift towards recognising internet resources as having property rights attached." Chris Reed, professor of electronic commerce law at Queen Mary University, is quoted as saying: "Internet addresses are going the same way as other internet resources - such as domain names - in that they are being treated more and more as a piece of personal property. "What the court is saying is: 'Yes, there is a property right associated with an internet address, but in order to 'own' it, you have to sign up to certain terms - as in the case of domain names, where the owner has a contractual relationship with a registry."

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New domain proposals must learn from .eu - the success or otherwise of .eu IT Week

A year on from its inception in April 2006, there are now over 2.5m .eu domain names, and there are a few takes on its success or otherwise. Some stories such as in CNet note .eu is now the Europe's third most popular TLD and the seventh most popular globally, with a 17 percent increase in registrations in the past five months. Germany, followed by Britain and The Netherlands have been responsible for the most registrations. Other stories such as in IT Week note some experts have claimed actions of domain name speculators may have scared off potential customers and restricted growth when Eurid was forced to suspend 74,000 domain names and sue 400 registrars for breach of contract. Another IT Week story, comments that there are very few .eu domain names in actual use, with most redirecting to another domain name such as a .com or other ccTLD one. This IT Week story claims "while few organisations desire a European identity, many might welcome a suitable industry-specific domain with strictly enforced eligibility requirements, along the lines of the current .aero. A .bank domain is also mentioned.

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