Domain Names

26 December 2007

Microsoft Sues Registrar for Typosquatting PC World

Microsoft has sued registrar Red Register claiming that it is illegally profiting from Microsoft's trademarks reports IDG in PC World among other publications. "In a lawsuit filed in Seattle earlier this month Microsoft alleges that Red Register snatched up 125 domain names, all 'confusingly similar to Microsoft's Marks' in order to profit from Web advertising, a practice known as typosquatting and cybersquatting," the report continues.

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24 December 2007

Verizon and Internet REIT Settle Lawsuit

Verizon and Internet REIT have announced an amicable resolution of the lawsuit filed by several Verizon companies against Internet REIT claiming violations of the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.

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ICANN Posts 2007 Annual Report ICANN

ICANN has released its second annual report, covering in detail the organization's achievements and progress over the past 12 months. "I am delighted to announce the release of our second annual report," said Dr Paul Twomey, ICANN's President and CEO. "As an organization we have made great progress this year, both in terms of policy work and in the quality of our operations. We have also made great efforts in relation to transparency and accountability".

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22 December 2007

Obama-Cinton campaign attacks moves to domain names

Although Sen. Barack Obama has pledged to keep criticisms of his rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, focused on the issues, ABC News is reporting his campaign has secretly registered the domain name desperatehillaryattacks.com, a web site that may seem to insult the former First Lady personally.

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20 December 2007

.Mobi: A Safe Real Estate Bet E-Commerce Times

With mobile internet use on the rise, the E-Commerce Times looks at .mobi and concludes that .MOBI domain names are a safe bet as an investment. The article notes the potential for .MOBI with so many potential users of content on mobile devices and a survey that found more than four in 10 U.S. mobile users will look at phones with strong Internet features when they buy next.

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11 million Taiwan-based domain names

The number of domain names associated with Taiwan was almost eleven million in July 2007 according to a recent news release. Of these domain names, there are 5.11 million .TW domain names, and "5.70 million second-level domains with '.hinet.net,' the only non-country-code domain specific to Taiwan." And there has been a 19.2 per cent growth in the last twelve months.

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18 December 2007

Defendants Respond to Dell's Anti-Tasting Suit by John Levine Circle ID

The defendants in Dell's domain tasting suit responded last Friday writes John Levine in Circle ID. John comments that their response looks "pretty feeble." John says "Their main argument is that they're just the registrar, and deny Dell's claim that the registrants are fakes made up by the registrar. They also argue that they're not infringing, they didn't use the names in question in commerce, they were just acting as helpful search engines, you know, like Google or Yahoo. (The comparison to Google and Yahoo is theirs.)"

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16 December 2007

Job.at sells for €408,000

Job.at sold for €408,000 this week, the highest value of any .at domain name sold to date, and second highest value of any domain name sold in a German-speaking country. The highest known sale prior to this was Mozart.at for €70,000 in the .AT ccTLD and US$695,000 for poker.com, bought by a German company. There have been other unreported .AT sales, but it is not believed any of these were above €200,000.

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14 December 2007

Are domain name registrars responsible for intellectual property infringement? The Whir

Following the recent "case filed by Dell against a number of domain tasters and their registrars attempts to hold the registrars liable for infringing some of Dell's intellectual property," The Whir's David Snead asks if "those who facilitated the infringement of the copyrighted work were liable as third parties since they facilitated the infringement, and profited from it through the fees they collected."

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CEOs and Directors Need to Tackle Cyber Security Threats ICANN

ICANN have released the news release below suggesting that CEOs and company directors need to tackle cybersecurity threats, as well as publishing a story on the ICANN blog. It is described as the must read paper on cybersecurity for CEOs. "One thing is clear -- every business, every government, every organization that uses the Internet in its day-to-day operations is vulnerable. Simply put, cyber security is no longer 'one for the IT department.' Just as CEOs and Directors are responsible for ensuring that their Chief Financial Officers manage funds properly, they must now satisfy themselves that the Chief Information Officer has taken steps to safeguard the organization's resources."

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13 December 2007

Hollywood writers score domain name in writer's strike

One can be excused for not registering every domain name to cover every event. But sometimes missing out on a domain name can be a little embarrassing. Such is the case in the current dispute between the Hollywood studios who "say they don't know enough about the Internet to pay writers what they seek for the streaming and downloading of their shows, they might not be kidding," according to this article in the Los Angeles Times.

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The $345 million domain name - business.com

Building a business on the back of a great generic domain name can be a very profitable business. Jonathan Weber, writing in The Times, has a story on Jake Winebaum who, along with his associates paid US$7.5 million for the domain name business.com back in 1999. Many, especially those with little knowledge of domain names, deemed this a seemingly crazy price for a generic domain name. But as The Times writes, the company Winebaum built with the name - a business-to-business directory and advertising network - was recently sold for an impressive $345 million, which shows at the very least that paying a lot of money for a web address can sometimes be worthwhile.

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12 December 2007

Mobile to account for 30% of music retail value by 2011, leading to increased demand for .mobi domains

Mobile music is on the rise, currently representing around 13% of global recorded music retail value according to a new industry report from Understanding & Solutions. The report forecasts an increase to almost 30% by 2011, amounting to US$11 billion and helping to offset some of the decline in packaged music revenues. This rapid growth is no doubt reflected in the recent sale of music.mobi for US$616,000.

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dotMobi auction points to directions in online mobile entertainment

DotMobi are especially pleased with their recent auction of dotMobi names with a record-breaking auction that generated approximately US$2.3 million in domain name sales. 100 domain names were made available through Sedo Of these, 95 were sold. The highest sale was for music.mobi, selling for $616,000 and games.mobi for $401,500 - both surpassing former "price leader" flowers.mobi, which sold for $200,000 in 2006.

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10 December 2007

New York Times on Seussical-Sounding Web Site Names New York Times

The evolution of domain names from ones that more or less specified what you were going to find at a web site - Sears.com, Staples.com, McDonalds.com and Microsoft.com are examples given - to those that are there to catch your attention, often with no rhyme or reason other than it's a somewhat nonsensical name is the focus of a recent New York Times article. The article notes "These days, startups take the lazy way out: they choose goofy-sounding nonsense words. They think they're being clever by being unclever."

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NZ banks told to 'do their bit' to fight phishing attacks ComputerWorld

New Zealand banks could protect customers from phishing attacks by making a simple change to their internet address protocols at little or no cost, says Thom Hooker, director of operations at SMX, an Auckland based anti-spam and anti-virus email service provider. "They're putting a lot of onus on the users but they should be doing their bit at their end," he says.

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09 December 2007

Domain name fraud at Microsoft

Proving that organisations need to be vigilant about all aspects of their finances, a story has emerged today of a former Microsoft employee associated with the company's notorious December 1999 Hotmail outage has been charged with fraud. ComputerWorld and InfoWorld [IDG] both have stories on Carolyn Gudmundson who was indicted last "Thursday on charges that she raked in more than US$1 million during a four-year period by falsifying expense reports she filed for domain name registration charges."

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08 December 2007

ANZ takes aim at cyber squatters over use of websites The Age

Following hot on the heels of Dell taking on cybersquatters, an Australian/New Zealand bank with branches in Asia and the Pacific, the ANZ Bank, has also taken action to reclaim two domain names from Asian cyber squatters who used the bank's name to attract visitors, but made money by selling links to the ANZ's competitors and pornography reports The Age.

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07 December 2007

WIPO allows 'freedom of speech' cybersquatting ZDNet

"Registering a domain name similar to that of another organisation and then using the URL to protest against its namesake's products or services is acceptable, according to the WIPO. Erik Wilbers, acting director of the Arbitration and Mediation Center at WIPO, says that companies will increasingly lose domain disputes against individuals or groups that use them as a platform for critical speech against a business" according to a story this week in ZDNet.

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Shorter URLs help phishers hook more victims CNet

CNet have published the following story on phishers taking advantage websites with shorter domain names, with fraudulent phishing URLs consistently having lengths of between 30 and 37 characters previously, however phishing host names have shrunk down to an average of only 17 characters in recent weeks.

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06 December 2007

Reputation of UK Brands Dramatically Affected by Phishing Attacks according to Survey Commissioned by Cloudmark

Cloudmark Inc., the global leader in carrier-grade messaging security, today announced the results of a survey conducted on its behalf by YouGov, which revealed that public confidence in consumer brands is dramatically affected by phishing attacks, with 42% of people surveyed feeling that their trust in a brand would be greatly reduced if they received a phishing email claiming to be from that company. The survey also showed that the majority of consumers feel that the responsibility for protection against phishing attacks lies with themselves, their service provider and the service provider that transported the phishing emails.

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Nominet sees opportunities and risks IT Week

IT Week reports on the October registrar conference and what 2008 will mean for the domain name industry in the UK. The report notes, "There were also warnings from some quarters over the continued rise of the practice of domain tasting, and firms were urged to tightly manage their domain name portfolios."

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Latino groups seek .LAT domain to transcend political boundaries ars technica

Jacqui Cheng writes in ars technica on the proposal for a .LAT gTLD for the Latino community: The Latino community may soon have its own top-level domain, .LAT, if a proposal by two organizations goes through. eCOM-LAC, an organization that works to ensure regional representation of Latin America, and NIC Mexico, the entity that manages the top-level domain of .MX for Mexico, announced the new extension earlier this month as an effort to "identify, differentiate, and add value to Internet resources related with Latinos."

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05 December 2007

Business should fund domain name police, says expert Out-Law.com

A technology law expert has called on the business world to set up a policing outfit to tackle cybersquatters reports OUT-LAW.COM. The call comes as Dell raises the stakes in the fight against domain hoarders, demanding compensation of $1 million per name in a lawsuit. John Mackenzie, an intellectual property and technology law expert at Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind OUT-LAW.COM, said that businesses should band together to tackle the multi-million dollar cybersquatting industry pro-actively.

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AllBusiness.com domain sells for US$55m

Online business resource AllBusiness.com has been acquired by Dun & Bradstreet for approximately US$55 million to enhance its internet presence reports The Associated Press. AP further reports the site will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of the veteran commercial info company with Kathy Yates remaining as CEO. Dun & Bradstreet expects the acquisition to generate about $10 million of incremental revenue in 2008.

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