Domain Names

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.

Read full article

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.

Read full article

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.

Read full article

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."

Read full article

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.

Read full article

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."

Read full article

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".

Read full article

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.]

Read full article

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.

Read full article

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.)

Read full article

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.

Read full article

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:

Read full article

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.”

Read full article

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.

Read full article

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.

Read full article

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."

Read full article

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.

Read full article

Proposed Australian personal properties securities register to include domain names News.com.au

In Australia there is a proposal from the federal government for a national personal properties securities register to replace disparate state systems that add to business costs and would record a broader range of property types. The significance of this register is it would include domain names. The proposal will be discussed at a meeting of state and territory premiers and the prime minister on 13 April.

Read full article

Banks should learn from the XXX debacle The Times

Bringing accountability to a more risqué online neighbourhood is a good idea writes Bernhard Warner, but "directed at the wrong industry. Warner writes "a designated triple-X zone may work in the real world, but it's foolish to think it will keep minors from gaining entry to racy websites" and that ICANN "was right to vote it down." The years spent on this decision would have been better spent on "more pressing net governance issues such as taking on fraudsters". Warner says "Apacs, the UK payment processing trade body, reports that 14,000 attempts to snare customers' bank or credit card details were made using fake websites in 2006, an 800 per cent year-on-year increase." A part of the solution - Mikko Hyppönen and F-Secure's proposal for a .safe or .bank TLD.

Read full article

Cumulative Number of Registered .JP Domain Names Exceeds 900,000 Japan Registry Services

JPRS announced the cumulative number of registered .JP domain names as of April 1, 2007 exceeded 900,000, hitting 908,329. .JP ranks 10th in the number of registrations among 250 ccTLDs worldwide.

Read full article

12 April 2007

.ie domain registrations exceed 75,000 Business World

The number of .ie domain registrations has exceeded 75,000 registrations, according to IEDR. Domain name registrations are up 30% compared to the same period last year. .ie domains now account for almost 40% of the Irish domain market with .com domains accounting for approximately 33%. Irish companies represented 83% of all .ie domains at end 2006.

Read full article

11 April 2007

In the wake of RegisterFly, is ICANN taking flight? The Register

Burke Hansen writing in The Register looks at "the RegisterFly disaster". Hansen says a "change of character for ICANN to become a little independent of the Department of Commerce would provide a gloss of independence from the smothering bosom of the American Department of Commerce as well as potential protection from American litigation". Hansen asks what does ICANN have in common with the Red Cross, and why would it "need a structure that virtually eliminates accountability when more accountability is what the ICANN stakeholders keep demanding?" Hansen congratulates ICANN on its "improved access and clarity to its website recently", but is concerned that this could be one step forward, 2 steps back. Hansen further says that ICANN has more in common with the International Olympic Committee, and it "would be unfortunate if ICANN were to take advantage of the RegisterFly mess as an excuse to lock itself away from public opinion the way the IOC has."

Read full article

The online use of trademarks and their potential impact on dilution Internet Business Law Services

Trademarks and their potential for dilution have appeared as issues that must be addressed in the arena of the Internet. A federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that Uzi Nissan's use of his Internet sites was diluting the value of the Nissan's company's trademark. U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson must determine whether Internet addresses will be returned to the the automaker or stay with the man who has used his family name on a succession of businesses from mobile auto repair to exporting to computers.

Read full article

Infrastructure ENUM by Geoff Huston Circle ID

After much initial fanfare a couple of years ago ENUM has matured to a state where it is currently yet another under-achiever in the technology deployment stakes. ENUM initially presented itself as a very provocative response to the legacy telco position of monopolising public voice services through their exclusive control over the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and the associated controlling position over the telephone number space (the so-called "E.164" number space, after the ITU-T recommendation E.164 which recommends country code assignments for switched telephony services). The perception was that ENUM was going to dismantle these levers of control and open up the voice market to a new wave of competitive carriers. If the address plan was the key to the PSTN, then ENUM was intended unlock this network and position the new wave of VOIP carriers to take over any residual treasures of the traditional voice market.

Read full article

In the wake of RegisterFly, is ICANN taking flight? The Register

In the aftermath of the ICANN meeting in Lisbon, the RegisterFly disaster continues to inspire both litigation and paranoia. Those connecting the dots are convinced that an ICANN report debated at the Lisbon meetings exploring the possibility of changing ICANN to an international organization along the lines of the International Red Cross is an attempt by ICANN to slither out of this whole mess.

Read full article

Registrar Solutions