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01|18|2012 06:15 pm EDT

PIPA co-sponsor Richard “Dick” Durbin Wrote Me. . . Little Old Me !

by Adam Strong in Categories: News

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SOPA and PIPA are the hot topic today but according to Digital Trends writer Andrew Couts PIPA may be closer to passing as time for a vote draws near.

PIPA, on the other hand, is still very much alive. It has already passed through committee hearings — a step further than SOPA ever took. And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has so far stood firm on bringing PIPA up for a vote before the full Senate on January 24.

While another sponsor, Senator Patrick Leahy seems to have given a little ground with proposing “that the positive and negative effects of this provision be studied before implemented, so that we can focus on the other important provisions in this bill”
It’s my understanding that the bills differ in the powers and process that the Justice Department is given when  taking down a site and also the requirement that sites linking to that content would have to police the content of where those links go.  However, both bills create a whole host of other problems, no matter that one fixes a problem that the other contains.  A simple read over at the EFF site explains most of this in much greater detail than I care to go in to or bore you with.  The entire PIPA legislation can also be viewed  here
I emailed my Senator (Richard Durbin, Democrat, from Illinois) to express my concerns and this is the form letter I received.
Dear Mr. Strong:
Thank you for contacting me to express your concern about the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property (PROTECT IP) Act of 2011 and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). I appreciate hearing from you.
The bipartisan PROTECT IP Act (S. 968), which was based on last year’s Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, would authorize the Department of Justice to pursue court orders to take action against websites that are dedicated to selling pirated and counterfeit goods. I am a cosponsor of S. 968.
It is important to note that this legislation seeks to address a serious problem without inappropriately restricting Internet freedom. The Justice Department currently lacks tools to effectively enforce anti-piracy and counterfeiting laws against websites that are dedicated to distributing material in violation of these laws.
This legislation seeks to address this problem by enabling the Justice Department to target these websites through court orders, while also providing the websites with the opportunity to petition a court to lift an order. The bill is narrowly tailored so as not to include legitimate websites and it includes important procedural protections to prevent misuse of this authority. For a court order to be issued, the Justice Department must show that the website in question is directed at customers in the United States and that it harms holders of U.S. intellectual property. In addition, the Department is required to promptly serve notice of the action after the filing.
S. 968 provides a narrower definition of a website “dedicated to infringing activities” than the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act. In addition, while the PROTECT IP Act would authorize the Attorney General and rights holders to bring actions against online infringers operating a rogue website or domain, the remedies are limited to blocking financial gains of the site but not blocking access. Also, this bill ensures that third-parties (e.g. internet service providers, payment processors, advertising networks) are not overly burdened to comply with an order beyond what is feasible and reasonable.
In May 2011, this bill was approved unanimously by a voice vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate will vote on whether to bring debate to a close on PROTECT IP Act in January 2012.
In the House of Representatives, Representative Lamar Smith of Texas introduced the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), H.R. 3261. This bill has many of the same provisions as the PROTECT IP Act, such as providing the Justice Department with legal tools to prevent foreign websites from selling copyrighted material to American consumers. However, H.R. 3261 has more stringent requirements for third-parties to comply with court orders. This bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
Effective enforcement of intellectual property laws is critical to the encouragement of innovation and the creation of jobs. In recent years, we have seen a proliferation of Internet websites that are devoted to the unauthorized distribution and sale of pirated and counterfeit goods. These websites deprive innovators and businesses of revenue and result in the loss of American jobs. In addition, these websites present a public health concern when they sell counterfeit, adulterated, or misbranded pharmaceutical products.
I will keep your views in mind as the Senate considers this issue in the coming months.
Sincerely,
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator

08|31|2011 05:03 pm EDT

More Than 215 Million Domain Names Registered World Wide

by Frank Michlick in Categories: News

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Verisign has released their latest issue of their quarterly Domain Industry Brief (PDF) today.

The second quarter of 2011 closed with a base of more than 215 million domain name registrations across all Top Level Domains (TLDs), an increase of 5.2 million domain names, or 2.5 percent over the first quarter. registrations have grown by more than 16.9 million, or 8.6 percent, since the second quarter of 2010.The base of Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) was 84.6 million domain names, a 3.6 percent increase quarter over quarter, and an 8.4 percent increase year over year in the base.

The .com and .net TLDs experienced aggregate growth, surpassing a combined total of 110 million names in the
second quarter of 2011. This represents a 1.8 percent increase in the base over the first quarter of 2011 and an 8.3 percent increase over the same quarter in 2010. new .com and .net registrations totaled 8.1 million during the quarter. This reflects a 2.0 percent increase year over year in new registrations, and a 2.3 percent decrease in new registrations from the first quarter.

The order of the top TLDs in terms of zone size changed slightly compared to the first quarter, as .cn (China) moved from ninth to eighth largest TLD, dropping .eu (european union) from eighth to ninth.The largest TLDs in terms of base size were, in order, .com, .de (Germany), .net, .uk (united Kingdom), .org, .info, .nl
(netherlands), .cn, .eu and .ru (russian federation).

For the full website, read “The State of the Domain” on the Verisign Site.

07|26|2011 01:44 pm EDT

KeySystems and NameDrive Merge into KeyDrive SA

by Frank Michlick in Categories: News

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As DVMag reports (German) that the Luxemburgian Investment Fund BIP Investment Partners announced today that it is combining the Registrar Key Systems (St. Ingbert, Saarland) with the domain parking company Namedrive (Luxemburg) in a new holding company named Keydrive S.A. based in Luxembourg. The new ownership was already added to NameDrive’s ICANNWiki entry earlier this month.

NameDrive had been restructured and received an investment by BIP earlier this year.

While information on the new holding is not yet available in the registry of Luxembourg, DVMag was able to confirm that Horst Siffrin is the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Keydrive SA and Alexander O. Siffrin who also is CEO of Key Systems GmbH will become Chairman of the Board of Management.

BIP owns 26.04% of KeyDrive SA and has invested a total of 6.1 M Euro according to the semi-annual filing of BIP, valuating the company at 23.42 M Euro. Prior to the forming of the new company BIP held 6.8 M Euro of Key-Systems GmbH, owning 33.33% of the company.

Apparently some of the shares are owned by IS Inter-Services GmbH, which calls itself the German Holding for the KeyDrive SA. General Manager of this company are Alexander O. Siffrin and Dr. Eva C. Siffrin-Kokert

Keydrive.com is owned by Frank Schilling’s NameAdministration (whois).

07|07|2011 06:39 am EDT

Google Removes the .CO.CC Domains its Search Index

by Frank Michlick in Categories: News

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As reported by The Register, Google removed over 11 million .co.cc subdomain from its search index, since the company considered too many of the sites “spammy”. Free .co.cc subdomains are offered by a Korean company. The company also offers bulk registrations of 15,000 subdomains for a fee of $1,000. According to the company’s website they have 11,397,608 subdomains registered in 5,738,580 accounts.

Google classes the firm as a “freehost”, and has exercised its right to block the whole domain “if we see a very large fraction of sites on a specific freehost are spammy or low-quality”, according to Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team.

The company said in a recent blog post: “To help protect users we recently modified those [malware-scanning] systems to identify bulk subdomain services which are being abused. In some severe cases our systems may now flag the whole bulk domain.”

The Anti-Phishing Working Group reported (PDF) 4,963 phishing attacks origination from co.cc domains in the second half of 2010.

11,397,608

06|17|2011 03:46 pm EDT

Breaking : Three Oversee Execs Dropped

by Adam Strong in Categories: News

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DNN received an unconfirmed report today that Oversee.net had let go of several of it’s key executives, including President and CEO Jeff Kupietzky. It was also believed that because of these changes that the board had taken over.

When questioned about the topic Oversee’s Mason Cole confirmed with us over the phone that four three executives were leaving, but he would provide no further comments about HR matters.  Cole informed us that Kupietzky was staying with the company.

We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.

UPDATE and CORRECTION : Mason Cole gave DNN notice that he incorrectly stated that 4 executives were leaving.  He has since corrected his statement. Only 3 executives had “departed in an executive realignment”.  Cole also confirmed our information that the executives departing were veteran Oversee staff  members Ryan Berryman, SVP and General Manager, Emerging Businesses, Jack Nelson VP of Human Resources and Peter Celeste, SVP and GM, Monetization Services Division.

06|07|2011 05:01 pm EDT

Latonas.com Relaunches as Web Site Brokerage

by NewsDesk Editor in Categories: News

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According to a press release sent out today, Latona’s, formerly an auction platform for generic domain names has been relaunched as a brokerage firm for money generating web properties.

Rick Latona defines web properties as, “A digital asset that resides in cyberspace such as a website, domain, Facebook fan page, Twitter account, YouTube channel, email marketing lists, mobile phone and tablet applications”. Latona went on to explain that what makes his new venture stand out is that any “property” that gets listed must generate cash flow and the asking price can’t be more than five years earnings. He continued, “when discussing our new strategy we put as much effort into what not to sell as we put into what to sell.” Latona’s will still sell domains from time to time but only money making domains.

Or in Rick’s words, “It’s difficult to sell speculative premium domains for five or six figures, much less seven figures when the state of the world has people selling homes and businesses at a fraction of their true value. What sells in 2011 is cash flow. Buyers want to the stability and earnings. Occasionally domain owners can get lucky with a good sale but it’s nearly impossible for a brokerage firm to make a business out of selling them. Actual big sales are just too rare”.

Each listing on the site will remain there for six months or until sold. The team at Latona’s has been busy lining up agreements but will be rolling out and announcing the listings on a weekly basis, adding inventory at a rate of five to fifteen properties per week. Their reasoning is that the market can only digest so much at once. Listings will be announced in newsletter format and newsletters will only be sent out once a week to avoid sending too much clutter. Interested parties can subscribe on the website to receive these listings. Submissions will also be reviewed; those who wish to have their properties included and marketed can fill out the submission form on the site .

05|17|2011 03:47 am EDT

Frank Schilling Switches To Google Feed, Begins Offering Parking Services (InternetTraffic.com)

by Frank Michlick in Categories: News

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The domain industry sees many changes. With the downturn of PPC revenue, many of the old-school domainers started to respond more actively to sales inquiries in order to make up for the loss. While it appears that PPC income is not yet on the rebound, many domain investors have been looking to development and other methods of generating additional revenue. Especially with domains that were using a Yahoo! PPC feed the change has been very noticeable.

Driven by the pinch of lower PPC revenues on a Yahoo!/Bing feed, it appears Frank Schilling’s NAMedia has recently switched to a Google feed. The company has also removed their social application originally launched as Note.com, then rebranded as Chatr and now finally Postboard. Via Email Schilling told DNN:

“In the early days of the oil-boom you could literally drill a hole in the ground with a hand-drill and strike a small gusher of oil. Then as the shallow oil ran out.. the hand-drill guys invested in bigger rigs and more sophisticated machinery. Today you have elaborate rigs manned by the hand drillers grandchildren, striking huge oilfields, miles below the sea floor. Many of the people behind the drilling equipment quite literally learned on the job. There is no university for this. The domain traffic business is very much like that. The last ten years have seen an evolution where things have gotten much more sophisticated. A few of the larger operators have embraced technology and grown to deal with the changed landscape in paid search. Google has become a critical partner in the evolution of type-in traffic monetization. The level of technical efficacy required to play there is higher though.

I remain hopeful that Yahoo will turn its third party marketplace around so it remains attractive to domain traffic, but that job is really Microsoft’s responsibility now, and it remains to be seen whether Microsoft cares enough to solidify third party publisher payouts and to fairly value domain name type-in traffic against other forms of traffic in the channel such as Error Search and Keyword Marketplace Arbitrage.”

Aside from switching parking feed providers NAMedia is also allowing others to use this new feed. Schilling created a site at InternetTraffic.com inviting people to apply for a “A no-frills domain monetization platform, for experienced type-in traffic operators.” and promising that “You will make significantly more money here“. According to WannaDevelop’s Mike Cohen, the service is being tested by the likes of Rick Schwartz, Chad Wright, Garry Chernoff, Alex Lerman. [Update] According to our friends at HosterStats, there are currently over 14,000 domains pointing to the service’s nameservers.

“I’m looking for high quality type-in traffic partners to grow a long-term and stable traffic co-operative. I’m in a great position to do this, having a unique structure with a very large tranche of owned and operated traffic. I don’t need (or want) to create a huge profit center for myself on the back of my fellow domainers traffic. This is about trying to reward those who innovate by returning the bulk of the revenue to them, so they can do what they do best.. Everyone who has joined to date, is pleasantly surprised when they see what their traffic is really capable of.”

05|16|2011 12:23 pm EDT

ccTLDs.com Forum Purchased by EuroDNS

by Frank Michlick in Categories: News

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As reported earlier by DomainGang, Rick Latona’s ccTLDs.com Forum has found a new owner and has relaunched after billions of spam messages have been removed.

DNN spoke to Xavier Buck Executive Director and CEO of the new owner – domain registration company EuroDNS: “Our company always stood for promoting ccTLDs and that we believe the forum suits our services we believe in“.

The company is looking for local country partners to manage individual sections/ccTLDs within the forum. Buck went on to say:

We want to open it up to the community and hope to get local players to contribute to the forum. These partners would be allowed to manage their own sections as it were their forum. Our goal with ccTLDs.com is not to make money with it but to to make sure a dedicated place exists that regroups knowledge and exchange for all cctlds.

03|03|2011 08:00 am EDT

Domain Industry Veterans Partner to Launch Domain Guardians

by Frank Michlick in Categories: News

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Domain Guardians provide protection and management of domains in the event of death or disability

Domain name industry experts Mike Robertson, Jen Sale, Bill Vanderent, Adam Strong and Paul Keating have partnered to establish Domain Guardians, an ICANN accredited registrar providing domain estate planning and management services to domain professionals. The team will be launching the company and services at the upcoming ICANN Silicon Valley meeting in San Francisco, CA, USA from March 13-18, 2011.

The combination of Dark Blue Sea alumni, Robertson, Sale and Vanderent, along with Strong and Keating, offers over 50 years of combined experience in the domain industry. “Working with a group of this caliber is humbling, and we’re all very excited to offer the domain community a comprehensive suite of services that provide real value,” stated Robertson of this opportunity.

Domain Guardians has developed Domain Legacy to technically and legally protect and manage domain assets in the event of a portfolio owner’s death or disability.

Paul Keating, prominent domain lawyer, recognizes the complicated nature of managing a portfolio, “No one lives forever, and most domain investors are not planning enough for the future. Managing domains across multiple registrars and monetization providers is a daunting task. It requires a great deal of skill developed on the back of years that may include lost opportunities, missteps and other failures. What will happen to the asset base and income streams when the manager is no longer “there” because of a death or disability? How will our survivors cope in an industry where contacts and experiences are shared by word of mouth?

Veteran domain professional, Adam Strong, addresses the importance of Domain Legacy for your loved one’s protection and peace of mind, “Like other domain investors, I’ve thought, ‘Who’ll take care of my domains when I’m gone?’… I’ll be transferring my assets to my loved ones, who unfortunately don’t have the skills or desire to continue managing my business. It gives me peace of mind to know that they can trust the expertise of Domain Guardians to do this for them. Every domain investor with a valuable portfolio should protect the future of that portfolio.

For more information, and to arrange a meeting with the team at ICANN, please email hello@domainguardians.com.

Disclaimer: Adam Strong is also Managing Editor & Owner of DNN.

[via Press Release] (more…)

03|01|2011 05:45 pm EDT

Health Officials Find Source of Legionella at Playboy Mansion

by Adam Strong in Categories: News

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The LA Times is reporting that Los Angeles health officials have discovered the Legionella bacteria in a water source at the famous Playboy Mansion.  In case you haven’t been following the story, hundreds of Domain Fest attendees reported symptoms similar to those common in cases of Legionnaires and Pontiac Fever after attending Domain Fest events.

Speculation from conference attendees centered around activities at the Playboy Mansion because of it’s array of water sources including a pool, the famous grotto and fog machines used on the dance floor.

An attendee from Europe was one of the first reported on DnJournal to have been diagnosed with Legionnaires.  As the reports started mounting a health department investigation began.  As you can expect if you put the name Playboy and disease together, you’re sure to instigate a media frenzy, not to mention a few stand up comedy bits.

Early on in the investigation, Playboy officials and even Hugh Hefner himself came out stating “There is no truth in the rumor that anyone caught anything at the Playboy Mansion. Nor is there any evidence.” It’s good to see that they’ve isolated the source and that this can be fixed.

Elliot Silver has pointed out that the CDC did not confirm that the illness attendees experience was a result of the reported Legionella bacteria found at the Mansion.

This does not however confirm Legionella as the source of the illness, as Legionella bacteria are commonly found in moist or wet environments. “We are still considering several possible causes of illness,” said Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of Public Health and Health Officer.

Ok, so they found the source and they’re not going to say that this is what caused the illnesses.  Fair enough but it appears that the deductions are already being made by LA Times.