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The Lowdown



April 8, 2008 Post

Here's the The Lowdown from DNJournal.com! Updated daily to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry!

Compiled by Ron Jackson (Editor/Publisher)

 

Did he really say that? I wasn't going to comment on this until I hear what ICANN CEO and President Paul Twomey has to say about it, but since many other sites are already buzzing (and possibly jumping to conclusions) about it, I'll offer my initial thoughts on the developing 

brouhaha. 

It started when an article at GulfNews.com (a site that covers developments in the Middle East) had Twomey lumping domainers into the same category as cybersquatters  and typosquatters when he spoke at an Internet conference in Dubai last week. When commenting about the possible introduction of new TLDs and IDNs that would allow local languages to be used on both sides of the dot,  reporter Scott Shuey quoted Twomey as saying that while many would welcome the ability to have domain names in their native languages, there are a number of downsides, including cyber-squatting, typo-squatting and domaining

Shuey added (and the absence of quotation marks in his article leads me to believe these are his words, not Twomey's) "Domaining, which is technically legal, is still somewhat controversial. Domainers purchase non-trademarked domain 

Dr. Paul Twomey
ICANN President and CEO

names in the hopes of either reselling the name at a profit. Some websites have resold for millions of dollars. Other domainers "park" the domain in order to generate advertising revenue. A parked site usually reroutes users to a website that contains ads. While a number of international laws and internal procedures discourage squatting, domaining is going to be an issue, Twomey said."

My initial reaction when I read this article is that Dr. Twomey would not say something so appallingly ignorant and I think that will turn out to be true. Twomey is familiar with the domain business and I had a front row seat when he delivered a solid keynote address at the 2006 Domain Roundtable conference in Seattle.  

I am cautious about taking the comments attributed to him at face value because it is a sad fact that people are frequently misquoted in news reports. It has happened many times to me when I have been interviewed by others, including top notch news organizations. In fact the most blatant instance of this occurred when a Washington Post reporter (who has since left the paper) twisted things I said beyond recognition. The Post just won six Pulitzer prizes this 

week so if it can happen there it can happen anywhere. 

The Internet Commerce Association is sending Twomey a letter asking him to confirm what was said in Dubai. If it turns out he really did say this then my opinion would be that he should resign from ICANN. However, until I hear it from the horse's mouth I will have a real problem believing the comments attributed to Twomey are accurate.
(Posted April
8, 2008)


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