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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

ICA Legal Counsel Says New Agreement Between ICANN and the U.S. Government Could Speed Up IDNs But Delay New gTLDs

Internet Commerce Associated Legal Counsel Phil Corwin has posted a letter on the ICA website detailing how he thinks yesterday's new Agreement of Commitments (AOC) between ICANN and the U.S. Government will affect several key issues of interest to the domain industry.

One of Corwin's section headers said "New gTLDs Will Take a Back Seat to IDNs." On that topic he wrote, "The AOC conspicuously endorses the introduction of non-Latin character International Domain Names (IDNs) at country code TLDs (text in Italics is taken directly from the AOC): DOC…endorses the rapid introduction of internationalized country code top level domain names (ccTLDs), provided related security, stability and resiliency issues are first addressed. 

Simultaneously, it gives tepid non-endorsement to new gTLDs, first stating: Nothing in this document is an expression of support by DOC of any specific plan or proposal for the implementation of new generic top level domain names (gTLDs) or is an expression by DOC of a view that the potential consumer benefits of new gTLDs outweigh the potential costs. And it later adds this requirement: ICANN will ensure that as it contemplates expanding 

Phil Corwin
ICA Legal Counsel

the top-level domain space, the various issues that are involved (including competition, consumer protection, security, stability and resiliency, malicious abuse issues, sovereignty concerns, and rights protection) will be Adequately addressed prior to implementation...

Corwin went on to say "The very use of the word “contemplates” (and every word is carefully negotiated in a document such as this) indicates a stage of the new gTLD process far earlier than an imminent opening of the application window in the first quarter of 2010, as “contemplates” is generally synonymous with “thinks about”. And the additional verbiage indicates a belief that the introduction of new gTLDs is not a foregone conclusion and that the Draft Applicant Guidebook has not yet adequately addressed these matters of concern."

Corwin added, "Given the recent GAC (ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee) call for many additional studies prior to the introduction of new gTLDs, and its resistance to allowing for unlimited applications (see http://www.internetcommerce.org/GAC_to_ICANN_gTLDs), it hardly seems likely that the newly empowered GAC will give a green light to near-term opening of the new gTLD application window."

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In other news, Oversee.net has announced a partnership agreement with Dark Blue Sea's Domain Distribution Network (DDN) that it says will significantly expand marketplace options for aftermarket domain name buyers and sellers who utilize Oversee’s SnapNames and Moniker services.  

For sellers the DDN agreement means those listing names for sale at Moniker and SnapNames can opt in for listing on DDN’s network of partner registrars. Once listed, the seller is not required to perform any manual tasks to complete the sale. At the same time, sellers listing names through DDN will have their names automatically listed at Moniker’s registrar and on the SnapNames aftermarket platform with a “buy it now” price.  

For buyers DDN-listed names bring additional fresh inventory to SnapNames and Moniker listings and transactions are fully automated, with instant transfer of the domain name.

Both companies hailed the agreement as a step in attracting new customers from different sectors of the economy to the domain name space. Oversee.net CEO and President Jeff Kupietzky said “Domain names are growing in value as an asset class. Corporations, brand marketers, individuals and investors now understand that having the right domain name is essential for value creation online. Our arrangement with DDN will bring additional breadth to our marketplace.”  

While we are on the subject of the Domain Distribution Network, we want to wish the DDN's Business Development Manager Jen Sale well on her current trip to the Sudan with the Door of Hope charity organization. They are there now filming a documentary about devastation in the African nation and what can be done to help spur development there.

Jen wrote on her blog, "I want to be a part of something BIG. Special. Good. Inspiring. I don’t want to be a taker in life. I want to be better. I want to help people in need, and I can. So I’m going to." Anyone who has met Jen knows her "can do" attitude well and you can bet that she will do everything in her power to help anyone she encounters in need.

Door of Hope is a child-focused, non government organization established to help alleviate the suffering caused by poverty in developing nations. They do that by supporting projects that preserve, improve and sustain the quality of life of children in their communities. 

Jen Sale

(Posted Oct. 1, 2009)

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