Domain Names

28 April 2007

ICANN releases toolkit for handling new TLDs InfoWorld

ICANN has released a toolkit for Web site designers and application developers to fix problems caused by recently added Internet addresses. Some Web sites and applications are rejecting addresses ending in newer Top-Level Domains such as ".mobi" or ".info," causing inconvenience for users. ICANN's toolkit includes a piece of code that fixes the problem by allowing applications to check the validity of an e-mail address or Web site against the "root-zone," a master list where Web sites with certain TLDs can be looked up. That look-up translates the URL of a Web site from words into a numerical address that allows the page to be called up by a browser.

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RegisterFly swatted by federal court The Register

ICANN revealed US District Court Judge Manuel Real has issued a preliminary injunction in its favor allowing for the immediate termination of its Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) with dysfunctional registrar RegisterFly.

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27 April 2007

Denic report on the state of .de ("Modern Communication is spelled with .de") Denic

Denic have released a report on the state of domain names for .de up to the end of 2006. The report is very comprehensive. On the distribution of domain names, this varies widely throughout Germany. Munich city has the highest density of domain names, closely followed by Nürnberg, Bonn, Munich State and Düsseldorf. In centres of industry there are higher registrations than in rural areas, and registrations are higher in the western than in the eastern part of Germany. Comparing Bundesland (states), more domains are registered in Hamburg per capita, followed by Berlin, Hessen and Bayern. On a city-by-city comparison, the most domain names are registered in Berlin, followed by Hamburg and Munich. Approximately 80% of domains are registered to individuals and 580,000 (around 6%) registered outside of Germany as of end 2006.

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RegisterFly fire sale at hand? The Register

The Register asks if RegisterFly could be up for sale? The Register has seen a copy of a letter of intent from Cogit offering to buy out RegisterFly's CEO and sole shareholder Kevin Medina for $1.15m. The Register notes for the deal to proceed, it will have to proceed fast as RegisterFly would be worth nothing if it loses its accreditation. Further, a sale would not be a "bad thing for RegisterFly's long-suffering customers" The Register is also somewhat skeptical of ICANN publicly citing "accreditation through purchase as a principal cause of the RegisterFly debacle as "it seems self-serving of ICANN to claim that if only it could have rejected RegisterFly's application in the first place this would never have happened, when it took ICANN over a year to address the problem in any meaningful way, and even then only grudgingly after scathing public criticism."

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Nominet and Oxford Brookes team up to fight domain name fraud (reg req’d) IT Pro

Nominet and Oxford Brookes University have teamed up to develop technology designed to stamp out fraudulent abuse of domain names in the UK. The UK registrar will use advanced data mining and visualisation techniques researched by the university to develop algorithms and software tools that can help detect fraudulent use of the .uk.

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Legal: Your Domain Is At Risk Practical eCommerce

The lawyers at my firm represent registrars. We also represent domain name owners. And we sometimes represent domain name thieves (yes, everyone is entitled to an attorney). Here is an insider's perspective on the new dynamics at play in domain name cybersquatting. Most domain owners think their registrar is licensed by some governmental agency with oversight responsibilities. That's not really the case. The due diligence of ICANN and registries in approving registrars is virtually nonexistent. All it takes to become a registrar is payment of the $10,000 fee. Yet my impression is that consumers take from the registrars a false sense of comfort -- as if their mere existence ensures domain names will be protected.

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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


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 '', 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,,, and (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, 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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