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11|01|2013 11:27 am EDT

Web.com signs 2013 RAA, launches expression of interest site [Press Release]

by Frank Michlick in Categories: new gTLDs

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New gTLD Extensions | Get the right targeted domain name for you and your business | Web.com 2013-11-01 11-29-24

Another group of registrars will be switching to the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) with ICANN, allowing them to participate in selling new gTLDs. Web.com owns the original Domain registrar, Network Solutions and Register.com. The company also launched an expression of interest site for new gTLDs, promising a “Best price guarantee” and 10% discount for a “buyer’s club”. It appears that there’s no cost to participating in this club.

“We are staying ahead of the curve with our customers at the top of our minds,” said David Brown, Chairman and CEO of Web.com. “As owner of two of the largest retail registrars in the world, we are committed to enabling our customers to be among the first to acquire new gTLDs.”

See the full press release after the jump.

(more…)

10|23|2013 03:25 pm EDT

First four new gTLDs in the Root Zone

by Frank Michlick in Categories: new gTLDs

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The first four new gTLDs of this latest round have just been added to the root zone, even though the IANA database has not yet been updated.

The four strings delegated are:

  • شبكة  (xn--ngbc5azd) –Arabic for “web/network”, Registry: International Domain Registry Pty. Ltd.
  • онлайн (xn--80asehdb) – Cyrillic for “online”, Registry: CORE Association
  • сайт (xn--80aswg) – Cyrillic for “site”, Registry: CORE Association
  • 游戏(xn--unup4y) – Chinese for “game(s)”, Registry: Spring Fields, LLC

The delegation doesn’t mean that those names are available for registration at this point, as the registry operators have yet to announce their sunrise launch phase where trademark holders can registrar domain names.

See the full press release from ICANN after the jump.

(more…)

09|19|2013 12:50 pm EDT

Go Daddy Acquires Afternic [Press Release]

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Acquisitions

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So here’s the official Press Release for the acquisition of Afternic and Smartname by Go Daddy from Namemedia.

GoDaddy Acquires Afternic – Primes Domain Aftermarket For New TLDs

Move Also Delivers Improved Service, Selection & Speed to More Aftermarket Customers

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Sept. 19, 2013) – GoDaddy, the world’s leading domain name provider, has acquired Afternic, one of the industry’s leading domain name aftermarket companies based in Waltham, Massachusetts. The move creates an unprecedented level of domain name aftermarket inventory from one source and a frictionless marketplace – enabling buyers to purchase registered domain names offered for sale quickly and easily.

The move also bolsters ICANN’s upcoming Top Level Domains (TLD) program by fueling a more diverse aftermarket. Afternic’s Domain Listing Service (DLS) displays domain names at more than 100 different registrars – including 18 of the top-20. This gives new TLDs registries and resellers the best chance and easiest way to showcase their aftermarket domain names. As an example, instead of choosing a single registrar to sell an already registered name like Pizza.NYC – the name can be offered across the entire DLS network – giving the seller the most exposure and customers the best experience.

“Having the right domain name is vital, no matter your venture,” said GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving. “GoDaddy is working to bring the ‘domain aftermarket’ together with new registrations and make both super-simple to access. Our customers need an easy way to buy the name they want, regardless of whether it’s new or has been registered previously. This acquisition forms a registrar-led process that creates faster and more trusted transactions across the board.”

DLS gives buyers a more diverse range of results and affords sellers more exposure to customers searching for domain names. A domain name can be listed at a single registrar and also displayed across the registrar network – without any more work from the domain owner. GoDaddy plans to incorporate the DLS into its domain search results and add its aftermarket domain name inventory to the DLS in the coming months.

“The success of the new TLDs and the aftermarket relies on a tight-knit group of diverse registrars and Afternic has done tremendous work to bring everyone together,” said GoDaddy Vice President and General Manager Mike McLaughlin.

Industry partners Web.com, operator of Network Solutions and Register.com, and Tucows.com fully support GoDaddy’s new registrar-led model. “This is a terrific move by GoDaddy and a real milestone for the domain industry,” said Tucows CEO Elliot Noss. “Making it easier for customers to find, buy and manage aftermarket domain names is important. That is why GoDaddy, Tucows and other large registrars are working together for the industry and for customers.”

Afternic’s Fast Transfer network completes the transaction instantly, and will leverage the full security of GoDaddy’s world-class architecture, without requiring days for a domain name to transfer or having to negotiate confusing industry regulations.

“GoDaddy’s adoption and endorsement of Afternic as the standard for Fast Transfer will accelerate the growth of the domain aftermarket across the entire industry,” said Afternic SVP of Business Development Bob Mountain – who will remain Afternic’s Chief Revenue Officer. “Registrars around the world are realizing that the aftermarket presents a significant opportunity for revenue growth. GoDaddy’s acquisition and investment in Afternic is a win for registrars, domain owners, and customers, and will provide the necessary scale to grow the aftermarket for years to come.”

“Afternic and GoDaddy share a vision for creating a unified domain aftermarket,” said Kelly Conlin, the Chairman and CEO of NameMedia, Afternic’s parent company. “By operating Afternic with the interests of the registrars and their customers first and foremost, this transaction not only fulfills this vision, but reinforces that registrars are the very best place to find all available domain names.”

GoDaddy plans to keep the Afternic staff in the Boston area.  GoDaddy is also acquiring SmartName, a domain parking service, as well as NameFind, a new service for helping entrepreneurs brainstorm a brand name for their business. NameMedia will continue to operate its BuyDomains.com marketplace of proprietary domain names and its website development group. Conlin will remain Name Media’s Chairman and CEO, while also becoming a strategic advisor to the Afternic management team following the acquisition.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

To see Afternic’s inventory – visit Afternic.com.
GoDaddy’s expired domain name auctions will be held at Auctions.GoDaddy.com.

[via Press Release]

09|11|2013 09:54 am EDT

Demand Media Names Wayne MacLaurin Senior Vice President of Technology for United TLD [Press Release]

by Frank Michlick in Categories: People

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Wayne MacLaurinDemand Media Welcomes Wayne MacLaurin as Senior Vice President of Technology for United TLD

World-Class Registry Strengthens Technology Resources to Focus on New gTLDs

Kirkland, Washington – September 11, 2013Demand Media (NYSE: DMD), a leading media and domain services company, today is pleased to announce its recent hire of Wayne MacLaurin, who joins the company as Senior Vice President of Technology for United TLD, a Demand Media subsidiary. United TLD is investing in infrastructure to become a world-class registry and leader in new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) services. MacLaurin is responsible for managing the technology roadmap and day-to-day operation of the registry systems, as the company prepares for the advent of new gTLDs expected later this year.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Wayne to the Demand Media team in his new role,” said Taryn Naidu, executive vice president of Demand Media’s Domain Services business. “As a former colleague, I know Wayne possesses a rare combination of leadership, technical prowess and business acumen. He gets things done, without cutting corners, and has built an excellent reputation in our industry through his technical contributions in the ICANN community and beyond. ”

Originally from Ottawa, Canada, MacLaurin has navigated a variety of senior management roles within the technology industry throughout the course of his notable career. Most recently, MacLaurin served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Sedari, a registry consulting and outsourcing service. He was the CTO of the Momentous Group of Companies, a Canadian domain name marketing services group, and was actively involved with both NameScout.com, a large ICANN accredited registrar, as well as Pool.com, a leading provider of premium domain services. He also founded one of Canada’s leading ISPs, and was responsible for introducing world-class services to large customer bases and comprehensive policies for Internet access.

From 2010 to 2012, MacLaurin was the Executive Director of the Domain Name System Operations Analysis and Research Center (DNS-OARC), a non-profit composed of 70 member companies that come together to focus on improving the security, stability and understanding of the DNS infrastructure.

With the domain industry poised to introduce a rush of new characters to the right of the dot, United TLD strives to bring these new gTLDs to market in a simple and profitable way for all parties.  By building a portfolio of new gTLDs on a proven platform with exceptional services and support, the company seeks to transform the way the world connects and organizes on the web.

About Demand Media

Demand Media, Inc. (DMD) is a leading digital media and domain services company that informs and entertains one of the internet’s largest audiences, helps advertisers find innovative ways to engage with their customers and enables publishers, individuals and businesses to expand their online presence. Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, Demand Media has offices in North America, South America and Europe. For more information about Demand Media, please visit www.demandmedia.com.

08|30|2013 04:02 pm EDT

ICANN Announces Conclusion of New gTLD Initial Evaluations [PR]

by Frank Michlick in Categories: new gTLDs

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Major Milestone Reached in New Domain Program

Los Angeles, California ICANN’s Generic Domains Division announced today the conclusion of the Initial Evaluation (IE) phase of the new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLD) program. More than 1,700 applications have now moved to the next steps in the program.

“This is an extraordinary landmark which demonstrates the progress in this program,” said Akram Atallah, President of ICANN’s Generic Domains Division. “We are looking forward to the innovations that these new introductions will enable on the Internet.”

Out of the 1,930 new gTLD applications submitted, a total of 1,745 applications passed Initial Evaluation, 32 have gone into Extended Evaluation, and 121 were withdrawn from the program.

“It would be an understatement to say we are excited to reach this point,” said Christine Willett, Vice President of gTLD Operations. “Applicants worked hard on their applications and the evaluations were complex and rigorous. We are pleased that 90% of the original applications passed Initial Evaluation – this is a clear and distinct success.”

Applications that passed IE will proceed through the program based on their complexity. Some may move straight to the Transition to Delegation phase, while others may have to go through additional steps, such as dispute resolution and string contention.

As another indicator of the progression of the New gTLD Program, 12 additional registry agreements have just been signed, 11 of which are the first English character TLDs. The contracts govern the registry and administration of a dozen new gTLD’s.

ICANN’s new gTLD program is the result of 8-years of study, 47 public comment periods, which produced over 2,400 comments, 55 explanatory memoranda and 7 versions of the new gTLD Applicant guidebook.

###

For more information about the new gTLD program, go to: http://newgtlds.icann.org/en

For more information on the status of a specific application, go to: https://gtldresult.icann.org/applicationstatus/viewstatus

[via Press Release]

07|31|2013 07:34 pm EDT

New gTLD applicant Radix launches Photo Contest for Registrars

by Frank Michlick in Categories: new gTLDs, Up to the Minute

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Radix Registrar Contest

It appears that the registry operators for new gTLDs have started the courting for registrars with some marketing efforts. DirectI’s Radix registry has launched a photo contest for registrars to find the best pictures representing one of their 29 new gTLD applications. The twist? The photos are to be shot with a Polaroid camera that will be provided to the registrar teams by the registry. The winning registrar will receive $1,000 USD for a day out/party. Registrars have to submit their photos by September 10, 2013.

[hat tip to Jean Guillon]

07|11|2013 11:44 am EDT

The Internet Architecture Board considers Dotless Domains Harmful

by Frank Michlick in Categories: ICANN / Policy

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The Internet Architecture Board (IAB), which is a committee of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) issued a statement today that it considers Dotless domains, such as the proposed “SEARCH” by Google harmful and will not work together with currently used procedures. As the statement explains:

Unfortunately, dotless domains will not work as intended by TLD operators in the vast majority of cases. As recommended by IETF standards track RFCs, existing deployed systems apply a search list to single-label names prior to attempting to resolve them. As a result, the resolution of dotless domains depends on local configuration such as the search list. For example, in a location where “example.com” is included within the search list, the URL http://printer1/ will generate a query for “printer1.example.com”, whereas in a location where “example.net” is in the search list, it will generate a query for “printer1.example.net”.

Aside from the Google proposal for its application for ‘SEARCH’, apparently this practice currently is already used by some existing Top Level Domains according to the statement.

With this background the IAB issues the following recommendations:

  1. The IAB strongly recommends against considering, implementing, or deploying dotless domains.
  2. The IAB believes that dotless domains are inherently harmful to Internet security.
  3. Applications and platforms that apply a suffix search list to a single-label name are in conformance with IETF standards track RFCs. Furthermore, applications and platforms that do not query DNS for a TLD are in conformance with IETF standards track recommendations intended to minimize security vulnerabilities and reduce load on the root servers.

[Hat tip to Michele Neylon of Blacknight, IAB Statement]

12|18|2012 06:48 pm EDT

Report from the ICANN Prioritization Draw for New gTLDs

by Joe Alagna in Categories: new gTLDs

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The following is a guest post by Joe Alagna, GM North American Markets at CentralNic. He attended yesterday’s prioritization draw at the LAX Hilton in Los Angeles. His summary outlines the results of the lottery draw along with some important information regarding the timeline of the new gTLD process.

Yesterday, ICANN held the prioritization draw and assigned priority to each new gTLD application . The first thing I noticed as I started my day is Uniregistry’s Santa Claus milling around the hotel and wishing applicants a Merry (dot).Christmas. I think he really added to the event; it was appropriate for the season.

The event was well attended. All the largest applicants were present and interested in the drawing. We saw Donuts, Google, Uniregistry, TLDH, and others; about 300 – 400 people. The mood in the drawing room was all about “focus”. You could see that applicants were taking this seriously and that they wanted to know where they’ll stand over the next year.

The drawing began with a “glitch”. The auctioneer’s microphone stopped working and, apparently, the electricity to their systems was halted for a while. Everyone waited patiently and eventually things got started.

All applications were assigned priority numbers but the applications where drawing tickets were not purchased, were drawn last. There were 108 IDNs with tickets and 1,658 Non-IDNs with tickets to draw. So the drawing didn’t end until about 10:30 PM. The drawing proceeded in four stages:

  • IDNs with tickets
  • Non-IDNs with tickets
  • IDNs without tickets
  • Non-IDNs without tickets

The first ticket drawn was an IDN for Catholic Church in Chinese. The IDN drawing went quick. The last ticket drawn out of those that actually purchased tickets was a Donuts string, .finance. Some applicants, including Google, did not purchase tickets [for all of their applications] as part of a strategy, seemingly because they did not want priority for certain strings.

After a quiet start, where everyone listened and focused intently on what strings were being drawn, ICANN’s new gTLD Director, Christine Willett, announced that it would be OK to cheer if your string was picked. That gave the room some permission to have fun and cheering occurred but it didn’t stop the fact that there were a lot of strings to pick. The die hards hung it out, but most people went to dinner and got the results online later.

People who had uncontested strings were especially happy to get low numbers because they could get their strings in the root much earlier. I was really happy with how this turned out. Most participants felt that the drawing was done thoughtfully and fairly.

If you are an applicant, here are my estimates of the best and worst case scenarios moving forward.

The applicant’s likely situation now:

  • ICANN has stated that no contracts will occur before the April 2013 ICANN meeting.
  • You have passed the Administrative Checks
  • You have passed the DNS Stability test (all apps have passed)
  • Hopefully, you have received no Early Warnings from ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee (GAC)
  • Hopefully, you have no obvious String Similarity Issues, subject to ICANN’s evaluation which should be released very soon (a recent progress report said November 2012 ?)
  • Hopefully you have no obvious Geographic Name Similarities, subject to ICANN’s evaluation which should be released very soon (a recent progress report said November 2012)

Best case scenarios moving forward

  • In Feb. or so, you pass Background Screening.
  • In Feb. or so, you pass Registry Services Screening.
  • You receive no Public Objections related to String Confusion, Legal Rights, Limited, Public Interest, or Community.
  • Between March and August, you pass Financial Evaluation.
  • Between March and August, you pass Technical & Operational Evaluation.
  • Between March and August, you execute a contract with ICANN.
  • No lawsuits are filed that extend the process.
  • Between March and August, your gTLD is delegated to the root of the Internet and goes live.

Possible worst case scenarios

Worst case scenarios include the opposites of what you see above, which can either stop the application or add 12 to 18 months to the process of getting your new gTLD working. If you were able to get a low number, you could see something much closer to the Best Case Scenario and get your gTLD(s) working by the middle or end of 2013.

We have one more step in the process behind us. I wish you all the best moving forward!

 

12|17|2012 04:24 pm EDT

ICANN new gTLD Prioritization Lottery Draw – General Information

by Frank Michlick in Categories: new gTLDs

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Some quick information regarding the ICANN new gTLD Prioritization Lottery Draw, which happens shortly:
  • 1766 tickets were sold, 92% of applications (1920 total)
  • First draw is for IDN applicants (108 out of 116 applications purchased tickets)
  • Second draw for non-IDN applicants
  • Third draw for the remainder of applications that did not purchase a ticket (142)
The proceeds of $176,600 for the ticket sales will go to the following three charities:
  1. Kiva Microfunds
  2. Invenio
  3. Wikimedia Foundation

The draw has not yet commenced, apparently due to a “power outage”. Official reason is a “glitch”. For a while it appears that the audio of one of the remote participants was audible through the stream.

 

12|17|2012 03:38 pm EDT

Watch the ICANN new gTLD Lottery Draw

by Frank Michlick in Categories: new gTLDs

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And here’s where to watch the ICANN new gTLD lottery draw live today – either via the embedded stream below, or you can also watch it directly on Ustream or via Adobe Connect. The draw is expected to start at 4pm EST, 1pm PST which is 21:00 UTC.



Streaming live video by Ustream