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03|31|2010 12:15 am EDT

Domain Registrar Tucows/OpenSRS Reaches 10 Million Domains Under Management

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Up to the Minute

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Tucows (NYSE AMEX:TCX, TSX:TC) announced today that it had passed 10,000,000 domains under management. The number includes names that are registered through ICANN accredited registrars using the company’s OpenHRS solution. Tucows uses the OpenSRS brand for its wholesale services.

03|30|2010 11:18 pm EDT

Sex.Sex Trademark Owner Searching For A Buyer

by Adam Strong in Categories: new gTLDs

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Sex seems to be a hot topic in domain land. DNN was tipped about an Ebay auction in which a trademark for sex.sex is for sale.

The owner of the trademark believes that his mark for sex.sex , filed in July 2008 with a claimed first use in commerce of March 2009, will provide a leg up in the inevitable quest to capture the new TLD .sex

The owner states in the Ebay auction description :

The sex.sex trademark is valuable because:

* The bidding for the TLD .SEX won’t just be about the highest price – it must also reflect existing trademarks and business names. We believe that owning the sex.sex trademark will provide an advantage when ICANN make their decision.
* If a bidder is successful in obtaining the TLD .SEX without ownership of sex.sex, they should be obliged to allow the sex.sex trademark holder to register www.sex.sex on their system.
* Registering a trademark is complicated, there are lenghty approval process and proof of usage issues.

Is sex.sex the best word combination if there were a .sex gTLD ?  We can think of quite a few words that go before the .sex that would make more sense and seem to be much more targeted than this.

Trademarking of popular phrases occurred with the release of .EU and other extensions, and we suspect there will be more filings of trademarks and claims like this when other new gTLDs actually go live.  There was also a great deal of trouble getting .xxx approved, so why would a .sex TLD be any easier to get approved.

03|30|2010 05:29 pm EDT

Mike Mann Conditionally Agrees To Donate His Portion Of Sex.com To PETA

by Adam Strong in Categories: Legal Issues

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As if the whole saga of Sex.com being stolen and then given back to the original owner wasn’t a strange enough story, now Mike Mann, who is one of several reported owners of Sex.com, has agreed to donate his portion of the domain name to the animal rights activist group PETA.

As Domain Name Wire points out, PETA is known for grabbing headlines by chiming in on hot topics with off the wall suggestions had suggested in a letter that the owners donate the domain to them. Writing on their blog about the donation, they add Mann’s donation to the “Things that nonbelievers thought were never going to happen”.  I’m sure PETA didn’t really see this one coming either.

Mann has stepped up to the plate and said he’d donate his share of the Sex.com domain to PETA on the condition he receives a $50 million tax deduction for the donation.   Sure, why not .  Mann is seeking the IRS to accept HIS appraisal of the domain name at $50 million .  Why his appraisal ?  Well because Mann claims to be the world’s foremost authority on domain values.

The Sex.com domain is caught up in a huge legal tangle as creditors sought to recoup their investment and auction the domain which was set for last week.  ESCOM a company partially controlled by Mann declared bankruptcy shortly before the auction which indefinitely postponed the auction of the domain.  This new little wrinkle should continue to drag things out and complicate the matter even more and bring more mainstream press interest. . . .Good or bad ?

03|30|2010 01:22 pm EDT

Idealab sells Top10.com to UK Company for 1 Million in Cash & Equity

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Domain Sales

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Incubator Idealab sold the domain name Top10.com for $200,000 USD in cash and a 7% equity stake in the new Top10.com Media Ltd. company. Idealab founder Bill Gross will join the advisory board of the company.

Top10.com has been purchased by the team behind Top 10 Broadband and Top 10 Mobile Phones, comparison sites targeting the UK market.sector. Prior to today’s rebranding the company’s sites attracted a combined 1.5 million UK users a month according to their press release. Both sites have been amalgamated and are being re-launched under the Top10.com umbrella as of today. The company, which was founded in 2006, appears to also own the top10.co.uk domain name. Top10.com Media employs 20 staff in its Central London offices and is privately owned by its four co-founders, Tom Leathes, Harry Jones, Alex Buttle, and Andrew Cartland.

View the full press release after the jump.

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03|30|2010 12:54 pm EDT

.TEL IDN Domains to Launch June 15th

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Registries

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Telnic, the operator of the .TEL domain, announced today that the registry will launch IDN domains for .TEL in 16 languages on Tuesday, June 15th, 2010. Registrations will be served through accredited registrars on a first come, first served basis starting as of 3pm BST.

The languages supported as of the initial launch are Chinese, Danish, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. The registry expects to add more languages as it works with the community in order to determine Demand.

“If you’re a Jörn, Júlia or Bjørn, or a Chlöe, ? or B?a?ej, you will now be able to get your .tel name in your own language, opening up a significant number of names for individuals and businesses to register,” said Khashayar Mahdavi, CEO of Telnic Limited.  “As your single point of contact, we’re pleased to be able to offer these IDN .tel names so that many more people can get the benefit from being discoverable on the internet with a place they can own and control.”

Further information regarding .tel names and IDNs can be found at http://telnic.org .

03|29|2010 05:48 pm EDT

Sedo sells Files.com for $725,000 USD

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Domain Sales

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It looks like this week was a good week for the domain market place Sedo, as they sold Files.com for $725,000 USD. Prize.com sold for $100,000 and OnlineCasino.se sold for $32,000 USD.

See the full list of reported Sedo.com sales after the jump.

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03|29|2010 02:51 pm EDT

CreditReport.com Buys CreditScore.com Domain, Deal Reportedly Bigger Than Toys.com

by Adam Strong in Categories: Domain Sales

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Domain name broker Derek Giordano informed DNN that he has brokered a major deal assisting in the sale of CreditScore.com.  The buyer CreditReport.com made the announcement in a press release today. The sale was reportedly in excess of $5 Million dollars (or bigger than Toys.com).

The company has not provided any details on the actual price, so this one likely won’t be recorded in the “domain history books”.  It’s still a great sale and one that shows that there’s still buying and selling even in a tough economy. Congrats to buyer, seller and Giordano

03|25|2010 12:44 pm EDT

DomainFest One-Day Events Coming to Florida and NYC

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Events

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DomainSponsor‘s DOMAINfest brand is now also adding networking events to their busy schedule of events. Besides  DOMAINfest Global which was held in January in Santa Monica and DOMAINfest Europe in Prague in October, the company is now introducing two one-day networking events in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and New York City, NY.

The one-day events will be held on May 13, 2010 at the W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale and on August 18, 2010 at the Grand Hyatt in midtown Manhattan, immediately following the Affiliate Summit East conference.

The events will feature subject-matter experts invited to facilitate free-flowing power networking  sessions that will kick off each event from 1:30 pm to 3:30pm EDT. Moniker will conduct a live auction of premium names from 4:00 to 7:00 PM EDT, followed by a private dinner party hosted by DomainSponsor.

Registration for both Power Networking events will be available online at www.domainfest.com on Monday, April 12, 2010.  The registration fee will be $175 per event.

03|24|2010 10:55 am EDT

DomainMadness 2 Auction Sells 21 Domains for $209,692 USD

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Domain Auction

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The Domain Madness 2 Live Auction which ended yesterday sold 21 of 76 domains for $209,692 USD, bringing the average sales price to $9,985.33. Leading the pack was the sale of CamRoulette.com, which apparently only has been registered last year. The domain changed owners in February of this year for an unknown sum and now sold in the auction for $151,000 USD. See all of the sold names after the jump.

Disclaimer: DNN Editor Adam Strong provides consulting services for DomainConsultant.com (more…)

03|22|2010 02:09 pm EDT

Iron Mountain to Provide Additional Audit Services for Registrar Data Deposits to ICANN

by Frank Michlick in Categories: ICANN / Policy

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When ICANN introduced the mandatory Registrar Data Escrow (RDE) for registrars in 2007, the program was a direct result of the problems experienced with the registrar RegisterFly. ICANN requires all registrars to deposit a copy of their whois information with an approved RDE provider in order to protect registrants from the loss of their domain. The system is trying to encourage registrars to deposit the underlying whois information for domains under whois privacy (which was one of the issues at Registerfly, since some of the ownership data was lost). Registrars under the old Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) can still deposit whois proxy information, but the new RAA forces registrars to inform their registrants if this is the case.

In November of 2007, ICANN selected Iron Mountain as the preferred provider for RDE services. While registrars are free to select another (ICANN approved) provider, most, if not all, chose to go with Iron Mountain, also since there would be no additional cost involved. Today Iron Mountain announced in a press release, that it now offers an audit service for the submitted information.

With the ICANN Deposit Audit Service (IDAS) application, Iron Mountain systematically audits registrar escrow deposits, measures the integrity of those deposits, and reports the results to ICANN. The new application supplements Iron Mountain’s Registrar Data Escrow service. With this service, domain name registrars periodically escrow their registration information records to safeguard these intellectual property assets. Because the registration data is placed in an escrow account with Iron Mountain and verified through the IDAS application, it can be effectively retrieved by ICANN in the event of a technical, operational, or business failure of a registrar.

The additional reports will be used by ICANN to audit compliance of registrars. Details on how the audit works were not provided, but it can be assumed that the deposited data would be verified and compared with zonefile and registry records, since bulk querying the whois-servers of registrars would be against their terms of use.

“The goal of the data escrow program is to help ensure the security and stability of the Domain Name System by protecting the data associated with registered domain names in a secure escrow account,” said Mike Zupke, ICANN’s registrar liaison manager. “Iron Mountain’s Deposit Audit Service is the next step in a full range of programs and procedures that will work to safeguard registrants and maintain Internet stability.”

Disclaimer: This article has been syndicated from DomainCocoon’s corporate blog. Frank Michlick, Editor at DNN, also is founder of DomainCocoon.