tasting" has drawn the ire of PIR (the Public
Interest Registry), the entity that operates the .org
extension. Domain tasting is the widespread practice among
certain registrars in which they register virtually all
deleting domains, keep any that have existing traffic that can
be monetized, then cancel all of the others before the 5-day
grace period expires so they don't have to pay the central
registry for them. In a letter
to ICANN, PIR President & CEO Edward G.
Viltz said he is concerned about this practice threatening
the stability and security of the Internet. He called on ICANN
to undertake a thorough study of domain tasting. Viltz also
said that current domain registrants, most of whom are
unaware of the practice, should be informed that their domains
may have monetary value that others can exploit if the domains
are allowed to expire.
highly focused conference for owners of geographic
domains will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago
June 2 and 3. The 2006
GeoDomain Expo will be presented by Associated
Cities, operators of a network that includes
dozens of premier city sites like NewYorkCity.com, LosAngeles.com
and Chicago.com. The registration fee is $395
for Associated Cities members and $595 for non-members.
Rooms at the Hyatt can be booked for $199 a night (using the
conference reservation code) until May 5.
you have ever wondered how some of those domain
country codes from small nations wound up being operated
by private businessmen in other countries, an excellent
article by Christopher Rhoads in the Wall Street
Journal March 29 provides some fascinating insight. Rhoads
details how American entrepreneur Bill Semich wound up
operating the .nu extension assigned to the tiny
Pacific Ocean island nation of Niue (population 1,200).
The article was originally available only in the WSJ's print
edition and on their subscription website. However, other
newspapers around the world have now picked up the
article so you can read it at no charge.
you have been living in a cave you have heard about
British college student Alex Tew's success with his MillionDollarHomePage.com.
Of course whenever someone makes money with a new idea it
inspires legions of others to try the same thing. We would
normally ignore the copycats, but Global Publications Ltd. caught
our attention today (March 30) when the UK company
launched a new site coupling the pixel sales concept with a
premium domain name - commerce.co.uk.
The domain had been used for Global's corporate website for
the past ten years but Managing Director Barry
retooling the site as an online business directory will give
the name a new lease on life. Ad space costs £1 per
pixel (with a minimum order of 100 pixels) and
Global says ads purchased will remain online for at least 5
you wonder what is fueling the current boom in the
domain market, just look at the ongoing migration of
advertising dollars to the web. The UK's Internet
Advertising Bureau said spending on internet advertising
has jumped more than 65% in Great Britain since
last year. The IAB now expects online advertising will surpass
print advertising within two years! IAB chief Guy
Phillipson said "These figures
surpassed all of our initial expectations."
plans for the new .mobi extension (restricted to mobile devices and sites providing services for them)
have been posted at the dotmobi
website. Initial registrations will begin May
22 with a one-week industry sunrise period in which
companies that are members of mobile industry organizations
can register their trademarked domains. That will be followed
by a 70-day trademark sunrise period starting June
12 that will be open to all other trademark holders.
General registration for everyone else begins August 28
with a two-week land rush when the most desirable .mobi
domains may be registered at a premium price. After the land
rush all remaining domains will be available indefinitely at
standard registration prices.
Australian Domain Authority (auDA.org)
is about to make an important decision on how that country's com.au
country code can be used and you can have a say in the outcome
(regardless of whether you are Australian or not). The
extension has been heavily restricted in the past, with
registrations limited to those who use the domains for
approved business purposes. The issue now is whether
monetizing domains via PPC (pay per click) advertising
is a legitimate business purpose. In October 2005 auDA warned
those who had registered multiple .com.au domains for PPC
purposes that their names could be deleted and in fact
that has happened to some domain owners. In the face of
challenges from those who lost domains, auDA has decided to
solicit public comment to determine whether their rules should
be relaxed to allow PPC use. You can post your opinion and
read the comments others have left on this
page at auda.org.
GoDaddy.com Chairman and Founder Bob Parsons took a
shot at the pending ICANN-Verisign .com contract agreement
in the company's March newsletter. In an introductory note,
Parsons said "Members of Congress have already expressed
concerns (Editor's Note:
see next item), and we at Go Daddy will be doing all we can to
convince Congress, the Department of Justice and
the Department of Commerce that it is anti-competitive
and simply a bad deal for the industry and registrants
everywhere. Many of you have contacted us, asking how you can
voice your opinion, and just as importantly, what exactly you
should say. Take time now and email your elected officials.
This link provides an
example of what you can put in that message. Of
course, the words you choose are your decision, but I urge you
to let your voice be heard."
Florida Democratic Congressman Robert Wexler has
released a letter
calling on the House Judiciary Committee to formally
investigate the controversial .com
settlement agreement between ICANN and Verisign.
Wexler believes the committee
needs to act before the Department of Commerce (which
is responsible for overseeing ICANN) simply rubber stamps a
deal that many believe is anti-business, anti-consumer and
anti-competitive. Wexler said “I am deeply concerned that
the Department of Commerce is going to approve the assignment
of control of the largest database on the Internet - the
registry of .com domains - without adequate time for review,
public comment or government scrutiny required of a deal of
this importance to global commerce and security."
The new .travel extension that went live in
January 2006 got a boost March 21 when travel site developer Intellistrand
LLC announced the purchase of 127 .travel domains from
Tralliance Corporation, the New York-based company that
serves as the registry for all .travel domain names. The
includes such domains as houston.travel, vegashotels.travel,
parishotels.travel and londonhotels.travel. Nine
sites are already live including dallas.travel,
Intellistrand says the
other sites are in development and will all be launched by
The European Union's new .EU extension opens for
public registration April 7 (for residents and
companies operating in EU countries). In their March
predicted strong demand for the new TLD, noting that 320,000
registration applications have already been placed during the
Sunrise period for trademark holders. Sedo added that many
expect .eu to log more than 1 million registrations in its
first year which would be a first for a new extension.
The proposed .xxx extension that is currently in
limbo got a couple of new backers when U.S. Senators Mike
Pryor (Arkansas) and Max Baucus (Montana) introduced
bill March 17 supporting creation of the domain.
The two Democrats want the Department of Commerce (who
has jurisdiction over ICANN) to push for adoption of
the extension as a new home for all adult content. They want
to see x-rated material excluded from existing
extensions like .com, .net and .org.
Pryor and Baucus say if adult content is limited to a .xxx
extension parents can use filtering software to prevent their
kids from seeing it. (Editor's
Update: Under pressure from
governments around the world, ICANN shelved further
consideration of .xxx at their March meeting in New
Zealand, dimming the prospects for .xxx being activated
any time soon, if ever).
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority
administrators of Canada's .ca country code, threw a
haymaker at ICANN in an open letter released March 17.
CIRA accused ICANN of abandoning its core values and
said ICANN's Feb. 28 approval of their controversial .com
contract agreement with Verisign is the latest evidence
of this. In the letter,
CIRA said that until ICANN considers their concerns they are
voluntary contribution of funds to ICANN (with those
contributions held in trust), suspending consideration of any
accountability framework, declining to host or sponsor any
ICANN event and will cease chairing the ccNSO's IANA
The parent company of BuyDomains.com
has purchased Florida-based PPC provider GoldKey.com.
A joint announcement from the two companies issued March 17
said "we are pleased to announce that GoldKey has
been acquired by Domain Services, LLC (a division of YesDirect,
Inc.). YesDirect also owns and operates BuyDomains.com,
Seeq and the YesDirect Network." The
release added "We expect to significantly enhance domain
parking performance, experience and overall value. In the
coming weeks, look forward to new enhancements, features and
opportunities to enjoy the benefits of the new Goldkey."
A recent survey by the statistics company IPWalk.com
revealed 40-50% jumps in domain registration rates in Russia,
Canada and Luxembourg over the last 9 months of
2005. Growth in the U.S. was also robust at 30%.
Surprisingly two countries known for strong IT sectors, Taiwan
and India, showed almost no domain registration growth
at all. The full article is here.
Mainstream media's recent infatuation with
domain names shows no signs of slowing down. The Wall
Street Journal published an article on drop catching in
their print edition Feb. 22 (also available online but only to
WSJ subscribers) and Canada's Ottawa Citizen just
published another piece on the same topic March 16. The latter
article by Peter Hum is being picked up by newspapers
throughout Canada and has been posted on the Vancouver
Giant German corporation Deutsche Post (owners of
the shipping company DHL), had their hands
slapped by a WIPO panel March 1 when their
attempt to take the generic domain Post.com away from NJDomains
failed. The panel stopped just short of labeling the Deutsche
Post filing a reverse hijacking attempt, but did say
"the Panel is firmly of the view that parties should take
great care before making allegations of the type made in this
case by the Complainant. The very serious allegations against
the Respondent were not justified." The Panel emphasized
that "a complainant should not commence UDRP proceedings
unless believing on reasonable grounds that the Complaint is
justified and that the allegations made against the respondent
are legitimate and based on fact." Attorney Ari
Goldberger handled the successful defense of NJDomain's
right to Post.com.