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Domain Name Developments Briefing Notes for Com Laude Clients & Contacts

COM LAUDE
announced that the process to expand the number of gTLDs had the green light: “The ICANN Board today accepted a recommendation from its global stakeholders that it is possible to implement many new names to the Internet, paving the way for an expansion of domain name choice and opportunity.The potential here is huge. It represents a whole new way for people to express themselves on the Net. It's a massive increase in the 'real estate' of the Internet." There’s not much chance of the bandwagon halting. ICANN has published an anticipated timeline and directed staff to complete work on an implementation plan which will be presented to the Board for approval at the 33rd ICANN Open Meeting to be held in Cairo in November 2008.

Summer Issue: August 2008
In this issue:
I I I I Briefing on new gTLDs: what we know, what we think, winners & losers ICANN policies: an end to Add Grace, GNSO reform and RAA review Formality changes at 13 ccTLDs DRS updates from CAC, Nominet & Afnic

Part One: gTLD News
New gTLDs: where are we now?
Today there are 21 gTLDs. In two years time, there may well be 121 or 221. In a decade it is possible that there could be as many gTLDs as there are categories in the Yellow Pages, a melange of generic terms, city and place names, titles of indigenous peoples, cultural and social indicators and trade marks. Indeed, it could be that gTLDs will outnumber ccTLDs, a sobering thought for the IP community.

What do we know for certain about the new gTLD process?
Generic Top Level Domains are managed by ICANN, the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers, a not-for profit corporation based in California which currently creates policies through a bottom-up process, under the oversight of the US Department of Commerce. Provided you meet the rules of the registry, anyone anywhere can register a gTLD. GTLD registries are currently split between Sponsored gTLDs (registries for a well-defined community such as members of the International Co-operative Society who are eligible for a .coop) and Unsponsored gTLDs such as .info which was designed as a simple alternative to .com. On the last day of the 32nd ICANN Open Meeting on 26 June 2008, Dr Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN, The ICANN Team running the new gTLD process is led by Kurt Pritz, Senior VP of Services and Karla Valente, gTLD Program Director. They have appointed a number of consultants to work with them on the development of an objective application and evaluation process including Deloitte Audit & Enterprise Risk Services from Belgium which has been drafting the Request for Proposals (RFP) (which is what ICANN calls the application form). Together they have designed a staged application process as follows: I A draft of the Application Form and the base contract will be published; I Following comment from the internet community, the Application and Base contract will be finalised;

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I Towards the end of a four month “period for communication” the final application period will open , for 45 days; I Applications must be accompanied by a fee at a level to be announced; I All complete applications will be posted on ICANN’s website after the Application Period closes; I Applications will be divided into two categories: Open applications “from any type of applicant” including a trade mark owner applying for .BRAND Community applications which “address a clearly identified, organised and pre-established community with a finite membership” . The character string that is applied for must be “strongly and specifically associated with the community” and there must be a “dedicated registration and use policy” I The Initial Evaluation phase will feature: an examination of the character strings applied for. ICANN has commissioned an algorithm to expose clashes with existing TLDs (gTLDs and ccTLDs) and reserved names a Technical Evaluation: “Applicants must demonstrate competence to run a registry in compliance with industry protocols and standards” a Business Evaluation: “Applicants must demonstrate the capability of running a stable registry”; I If an Applicant fails the Initial Evaluation, it can apply for Extended Evaluation which may require the payment of an additional fee; I An Objection process will then be opened during which applications can be opposed on four grounds: 1. String confusion (to avoid user confusion) 2. Existing legal rights (so IPR are protected) 3. Morality and Public Order (to spare the blushes of governments) 4. Community Objection (expected from religious organisations, indigenous groups, geographical communities) I Objections will be managed by one of four independent DRS providers.The same DRS provider will handle all objections under one of the above categories.The rules, procedures, principles and fees will be created by each DRS provider in conjunction with ICANN. If there is more than one objection to an application, it may be consolidated with other complaints; I “String Contention” between two applicants who want the same gTLD will be resolved through mutual discussion, a Comparative Evaluation process or an

auction. As the new gTLD Policy Process favoured Community applications, a Community application that can demonstrate it will “clearly and convincingly add more value to the global internet namespace” will win over an Open application during Comparative Evaluation. I Applications that are approved will be recommended to the Board for approval. Delegation of a character string into the root of the internet will depend on the applicant demonstrating it has fulfilled all of the baseline criteria in the contract. ICANN will agree a time period with each separate applicant.

What don’t we know about the process?
I The exact timing: it appears that applications will open in Q2 2009 but the history of gTLD expansion is littered with broken deadlines. I The amount of the application fee: there has been speculation that it could be as low as $100,000 to be accessible to community groups or as high as $500,000 to deter speculative bids. Will any proportion of the application fee be returned by ICANN if an application fails? I The cost and process of mounting an objection: this is a vital piece of information for trade mark owners who may find that someone wants to turn their mark into a gTLD. I The model of auction, the auction provider and how funds generated during an auction are to be used has yet to be determined. I Who will apply: Several organisations have announced their intention of applying for gTLDs such as .berlin; .paris; .nyc; .arab; .fam (for families); .africa etc but who else is waiting in the wings? I How many applications there will be and how many will be approved: delegates at the ICANN Paris Meeting were talking about 100 or 200 applications but if the application fee is affordable, there could be 500 or even

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1,000 applications. Previous gTLD rounds featured a competitive tendering process with the Board selecting winners following a series of discussions some of which were in private.This time it is running an open, objective process designed to encourage good applications. I When the application process will next open after the 2008/9 round: ICANN has implied that this is not a one-time process. Depending on the number of applications it receives, it might be that ICANN will open an application window every year for the foreseeable future or it might be that this is the only chance for five years.

commercially advantageous to apply for a gTLD that matches the name of a trade mark. Whilst there is a compelling case for some organisations born of the internet age, many others can easily resist this opportunity.The question of whether to apply for a generic term that relates to a class of goods or services – such as BMW applying for .AUTO or British Airways applying for .AIRLINE is another matter. Perhaps we will see the dominant players in a business area coming together under a flag of convenience to apply for a term that reflects their mutual interests.

Who will be the winners?
ICANN: ICANN is securing its long term financial future with the new gTLD programme. It currently receives $0.20 per for each gTLD registration. 100 or 200 new gTLDs mean more funds from the application process and more funds every year from these sources. The new gTLD programme will support an expansion of ICANN’s activities, new staff and offices in several parts of the world as well as raising its profile with governments. Supporters of the democratisation of the domain name system beyond the English language: “One of the most exciting prospects before us is that the expanding gTLD system is being planned to support extensions in the languages of the world," said Peter Dengate Thrush, ICANN's Chairman at the Paris Meeting, anticipating that some new gTLDs will offer full IDN registration from go-live."This is going to be very important for the future of the Internet in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia." Currently the DNS only supports 37 Roman characters (A-z, 0 -9 and the hyphen). The technical companies who can operate back-end registry systems: in a gold rush, it is those who sell the picks and shovels who make a fortune. ICANN is prioritising stability so it may be essential to feature a proven TLD registry operator in an application. Some new gTLD applicants who will find that that their vision captures the imagination of the public and fulfills a so-far unspoken need. Some registrants who are currently labouring under a domain name that is far from ideal because their first choice was already taken under .com. If a new extension for their sphere of business is created, it might be that they will be able to raise their profile on the internet after spending just a few dollars on a new domain name that fits perfectly.

What worries us?
The protection of IPR during the new gTLD process is a subject that ICANN has neatly avoided. At the Paris Meeting, the Intellectual Property Constituency attempted to fill this gap when it launched a booklet, edited by Nick Wood of Com Laude and sponsored by MARQUES, called“A Perfect Sunrise?” which examines the pre-launch Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPM) that have been tried by both gTLD and ccTLD operators. The launch was attended by over 150 delegates, several of whom enquired why ICANN is not mandating a standardised pre-launch RPM for all applicants in the same way as the UDRP is a standardised post-launch RPM. In fact ICANN attempted this through a formal Working Group process in 2007 but there was no consensus following objections by registry operators and registrars who were concerned to protect the interests of Domainer clients. Therefore it is up to each applicant to design and operate a pre-launch RPM that best suits its model of registry. (For a free copy of “The Perfect Sunrise?” mail us at info@comlaude.com or see the link from our website). Charter enforcement is vital: if a new gTLD such as .berlin is designed for the people of Berlin, it seems logical to us that only those who can demonstrate a nexus with Berlin should be allowed to register. However, conversations with several aspiring applicants – including .berlin – have revealed that many intend to allow anyone to register anything without scrutiny. We hope that the validation of IPR that successive gTLD and ccTLD registries have adopted since the launch of .eu in 2005 will be continued, but this is not certain. IP owners will face a significant set of new challenges. It will take a major increase in resources to monitor the rules of 100 - 200 new registries and a substantial increase in budget to fund a protective registration programme.Time must also be found to monitor all applicants for“string contention”– and of course there is the question of whether it would be

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The search engine operators because if gTLDs proliferate, no-one will try to guess at a domain name by using so-called “Direct Navigation” (typing what you think is the right company name and domain extension straight into a browser). The chances of finding what you want will be just too remote. Instead it will be far simpler to go to Google, Yahoo!, MSN or other search engine providers. The owners of good .com names: in ten years time, the value of a strong .com could rise as it is taken as an indicator of a well-established business, an early adopter of the internet, an organisation that stands secure above the noise of the new gTLD process. Domainers who will have that many more extensions to speculate with. ICANN Accredited Registrars as only they can sell gTLDs.

2 November 2008, the draft Application form and Base Contract should have been published, the DRS providers appointed and a global communications campaign to encourage applicants and raise awareness will be underway. We should also know the exact date in 2009 when the 45 day Application Period will open and the costs of applying. We probably aren’t going to apply for .COMLAUDE in the first round but with our experience of working on two successful gTLD bids in earlier rounds, we are looking for a small number of IP owners who we can work with on a strategic approach to the new gTLD process. This might mean creating a new strategy for protecting IP in the domain name system, monitoring applications in order to mount an objection or even developing a bid. We have put in place back-end technical operators, a project management team that understands ICANN plus financial experts. After all, whatever measures ICANN puts in place, it is hard to see this as anything than another internet land grab. Love it or loathe it, you cannot ignore it.

Who will be the losers?
The IP community: a proliferation of registries means more infringement or more cost for defensive registrations (as discussed above); The ccTLDs, possibly: just as they were gaining ground on the gTLDs, along comes this initiative. Will it be more important for you to register and maintain your brand around the world or under the gTLDs? Some existing gTLDs: it has been suggested that some of the current gTLDs, especially those that were designed to be alternatives to .com or those that have failed to capture the public imagination such as .NAME may lose market share. Some new gTLD applicants who are accepted: winning through the ICANN process does not guarantee success. Whilst some Sponsored gTLDs such as .CAT count success by more than just the number of registrations (for example by the number of pages on the internet in Catalan under .CAT registrations), many speculators will want their registries to be immediately successful, returning investors a tidy profit. This cannot be guaranteed. After all, there was no public outcry for new gTLDs. It was only the ICANN community, dominated by registry operators (who hope to market their technical systems) and registrars (who hope to sell more and more registrations) who called for the expansion of the gTLD space.

A welcome end to the Add Grace period
The ICANN Board has finally voted to end domain name tasting by registrars who exploit the Add Grace Period. At the Paris Open Meeting on 26 June 2008 the Board approved a proposal to levy the $0.20 cent ICANN fee on every domain registered, whether or not it is deleted within the five day Add Grace Period, starting from 1 July 2008. The Add Grace Period (AGP) was introduced as a safety net for registrars, giving them a five day grace period following registration, during which they could delete domains registered in error (e.g. with a spelling mistake) or by third parties using fraudulent credit cards.The system was abused by domainers who would register thousands of domain names every day,“taste”them to see if they attracted sufficient traffic during the five day window to justify the annual registration fee and delete those that did not. Those that did attract sufficient traffic often ended up with Pay Per Click sites. The wording of the Board resolution runs:“During any given month, an Applicable gTLD Operator may not offer any refund to a registrar for any domain names deleted during the AGP that exceed (i) 10% of that registrar’s net new registrations in that month (defined as total new registrations less domains deleted during AGP), or (ii) fifty (50) domain names, whichever is greater.”

What happens next?
By the time the 33nd ICANN Open Meeting starts in Cairo on

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It is still possible that tasting will occur but the costs are going to be much higher. Let us consider the maths: in a five day period, a domainer registrar might register 100,000 .com domains and only keep 500 - deleting 99,500. When the Add Grace Period was there to be exploited, the domainer registrar would only have been charged the ICANN fee at point of registration ($0.20) and the registry levy ($6.42 per annum). This means they would have been charged $100 (500 x 0.20) plus $3,210 ($6.42 x 500) making a grand total of $3,310. Under the new policy, a domainer registry tasting 100,000 domains would be charged $20,000 (100,000 x 0.20) in ICANN fees and the registrar levy of $3210 (500 x $6.42 ) on the retained domains making $23,210 in total.

the Business Constituency and the ISP & Connectivity Providers.The last three constituencies are where you will find representatives from the private sector and commerce who do not have a contractual relationship with ICANN.The GNSO forms Working Groups to address issues from IDNs to Domain Tasting, recommending improvements to the Board through a Policy Development Process (PDP). Since the end of 2007, a process has been under way to “improve the GNSO” At the ICANN Meeting in Paris a . magnificent lobbying effort co-ordinated jointly by the Business, ISP and Intellectual Property Constituencies persuaded the ICANN Board to delay approval of a controversial plan by the so-called “Board Governance Working Group on GNSO Improvements” that would have seen the votes and influence of the private sector reduced. Instead the Board directed the GNSO to convene a small working group featuring one representative from each constituency plus other key parties including the Nominating Committee of the Board to come up with a “consensus recommendation on GNSO restructuring”by no later than 25 July 2008. This working group strived to find a compromise solution acceptable to all, with Steve Metalitz, President of the IPC, representing the interests of trade mark owners. Here’s an extract from the summary that the Working Group finally sent to the ICANN Board on 25 July 2008: “In the end, the group has reached consensus…on a number of general concepts and principles regarding the future structure, composition and operation of the GNSO Council. Where possible, the group also made the effort and achieved agreement on a number of specific voting mechanisms and voting thresholds ranging from Board representatives to specific Policy Development Process (PDP) decision points including such matters as the initiation and approval of a PDP, among others. There were also a number of areas where the group did not reach consensus because there was not sufficient time to complete the work, or because there were fundamental differences in views that could not be overcome. In particular, there was a specific disagreement over the existence of a third Nominating Committee appointee slot on the Council that prevented consensus on specific aspects of the new Council structure and its composition and ultimately resulted in the Nominating Committee Appointee representative withdrawing support from the general consensus” . Where to next? Will the ICANN Board seek to build on the consensus that has been found or impose a solution? At the ICANN Paris Meeting, a breakfast was held between members

ICANN proposes changes to Registrar Accreditation Agreement
The Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) governs the relationship between ICANN and the 900+ registrars who are accredited to sell gTLDs. ICANN is now proposing changes to the RAA in four main areas: I Enforcement: amendments designed to enhance registrar compliance and ICANN's enforcement of the RAA; I Registrant Protection: amendments aimed at protecting the data and overall interests of registrants; I Promoting stability: amendments aimed at ensuring that all registrars operate to mandated, minimum standards; I Modernisation of the agreement: amendments to update the provisions in light of industry developments, ICANN policy and the law. Practices which are under scrutiny include the warehousing of domains by registrars, the cross-ownership of registrars by registry operators, the practice of associated groups of companies acquiring several accreditations, for example to further their goals as Domainers, and the security of registrant data. For further information, go to www.icann.org/en/topics/raa/.

GNSO: Remaking the balance of power in ICANN
The Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO) is the key part of ICANN where the private sector contributes to the creation of policy. It is made up of six constituencies, namely the gTLD Registry Operators, Accredited Registrars, the NonCommercial Interests, the Intellectual Property Constituency,

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of the Board and representatives of the three private sector constituencies. Time and time again the point was made to ICANN that unless it allows the private sector a place at the table where policy decisions are made on an equal basis with the contracted parties (the registries and registrars who derive their income from selling domains), the private sector will withdraw its support and seek to engage directly with governments over the running of the domain name system. We’ll know by the time of the next ICANN Board Meeting in Cairo in November 2008 if anyone was listening.

(a unique achievement for a gTLD operator), Telnic have published the full details of its Sunrise, which commences on 3 December 2008, two months in advance of the Landrush, which opens on 3 February 2009. General Availability begins on 29 March 2009. Here is a summary of the key points of the Sunrise, taken from their excellent website at www.telnic.org/launchsunrise.html.
Key Point Timing Description Sunrise opens at 15:00 GMT on 3 December 2008 and closes 23:59 GMT on 2 February 2009. Applications will only be accepted from ICANN accredited registrars Owners and licensees of trademarks registered with national effect may apply. Trademarks must have been applied for prior to 30 May 2008 and registered prior to 3 December 2008. Applications may be based on both word and figurative (device) marks that consist exclusively or predominantly of words Sunrise registrations will carry a threeyear term The selection method is first-come, firstserved. The Validation Agent will review applications for conformity with the Sunrise Policy All Sunrise applications will be validated by Deloitte If an application is rejected, the applicant will have 10 days to file an appeal. If an application is accepted, third parties will have 10 days to file a challenge Registrations during Sunrise are subject to the standard registration conditions contained in Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and the Sunrise Policy provided below

.INFO: domain of choice for malware
Eligibility

This is being a long, hot summer for .INFO. First Google dropped .INFO domain names from its rankings, albeit temporarily. Then McAfee, the anti-virus software maker, published its second “Mapping the Mal Web Report” which identifies the domain extensions which carry the highest number of so-called “malicious websites” .INFO was the . highest ranked gTLD with some 11.7% of sites posing a security threat whilst .HK (19.2%) and .CN (11.8%) were the most risky ccTLD sites. .AU and .JP were the safest ccTLD registrations.

Term Selection method Validation Reconsideration

.ORG: first to introduce DNSSEC
The Public Interest Registry had its request to implement Domain Name Security Extensions (DNSSEC) approved by the ICANN Board at the Paris ICANN Open Meeting in July. DNSSEC is designed to protect servers from attacks, such as DNS cache poisoning. It is a set of DNS extensions which provide origin authentication of DNS data, and data integrity. This is a timely development. In January 2008, Dan Kaminsky, a network security analyst who specialises in domain name issues, discovered a serious vulnerability in the Domain Name System which would allow hackers to redirect Internet users to fake sites, even if they had entered the correct domain name in a browser. Kaminsky informed major net operators (ISC, Cisco, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft among others) in secret about this flaw and worked with their engineers to develop a patch.This patch was released in the second week of July 2008. We immediately applied it to all of our servers.

Sunrise Policy

If you are still confused about .TEL check out the videos and demonstrations available at www.telnic.org/businesslanding.html. These demonstrate the USP of .TEL which can be summed up as a flexible global contact directory. The marketing blurb says that, “.Tel is a service that allows individuals and businesses alike to store and manage all their contact information and keywords directly in the DNS without the need to build, host or manage a website” . What we’ve concluded is that a .TEL domain can add real value to us in our business, enabling us to keep in touch seamlessly according to priorities we set.There’s been a trend in recent TLD launches towards defensive registration, with IP owners securing key terms only, because ownership is simpler and cheaper than recovery. Certainly, that’s what we have done. However, we’re making plans to use the .TEL registrations we are going to apply for as soon as we can. It’s not just that Telnic are our neighbours and we manage their domains. It is because .TEL offers a real innovation in internet communication.

.TEL: USP explained; dates and Sunrise confirmed
In the last Com Laude Newsletter we summarised how the .TEL Sunrise would work. Now almost five months in advance

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Part Two A world of ccTLDs
.AR – New sub-domain and IDN characters
Argentina has launched a new sub-domain, .TUR.AR for “any registered company recognised by the National Tourism Secretary of Argentina” In other words, the extension is aimed . at airlines, hotels, tour operators and travel agents. Overseas companies who desire a .TUR.AR registration will have to demonstrate a local presence. Argentine companies must provide a company registration number. This month a process is starting for the introduction of IDN registrations under .AR featuring both Spanish and Portuguese characters. For example, if you have informacion.com.ar you will now be able to register información.com.ar. The allowable character sets are: "á" ,"â", "ã", "à", "é", "ê", "í", " ó", "ô", "õ ","ú", "ü" "ñ" y "ç". There is a 100 day priority registration period for the holders of current .AR registrations who wish to secure the IDN equivalent.

replace the local DRS and restrictions will be lifted on who can become an authorized registrar.

.DE – Two letter registration allowed
Germany: the Higher Court of Frankfurt has ordered German registry DENIC to allow auto manufacturer Volkswagen to register the two letter domain VW.DE. This may open up the way for further two letter registrations.DENIC had argued that registrations with two digits might be confused with the country code suffixes. However, there is no country code VW.

.GW – Redelegation and reactivation
Guinea Bisseau: IANA has redelegated the .GW domain to the Fundação IT & Media, Universidade de Bissao at the request of the Guinea Bisseau Government. Karl Kotowski, President of the Fundação has plans to reactivate this domain before the end of the year.

.IE – Milestone passed
Ireland: 100,000 domains have been registered in the Republic of Ireland.The decision to relax the requirement for every new applicant to supply supporting documentation showing incorporation of a local company or a nexus with Ireland has led to a surge in registrations.

.AU – Liberalisation by degrees
Australia: New regulations governing the transfer or sale of .au domain names, first announced by AUDA, the Australian Domain Names Authority last December, came into force last month. You can now offer your .au domain name for sale to another entity provided the purchaser complies with the eligibility rules. Some restrictions remain: you cannot register a domain for the purpose of selling it or transfer a domain for six months after registering it except under “special circumstances” which are not defined in the leaflet AUDA has published, available at: www.auda.org.au/pdf/registrant-transfer.pdf.

.LV – Registry checks CTM database
Latvia:The .lv registry like most others forbids the registration of a domain that matches a third party’s trade mark. However, unlike most other domain registries, the Latvians run a check against the on-line CTM database and raise an objection if the name requested matches a trade mark belonging to another party.

.BE – IDN introduction postponed
Belgium: those good folk who run the .BE registry have the technology in place to introduce IDN registration. However, before proceeding they undertook a consultation process only to find that 2/3rds of registrars were against the idea.The implementation has therefore been postponed.

.ME – 80,000 registrations but who are the buyers?
Montenegro: When the .ME registry officially opened for live, real-time registrations on 17 July 2008 more than 50,000 new domain names were registered in the first two days, building on the 30,000 registrations made under the Sunrise and Landrush periods. The first "live" name registered was YUSU.ME (no pun intended). The top 10 countries by origin of registrant were: 1. United States 50 % 2. United Kingdom 11% 3. Germany 9% 4. Canada 5% 5. China 3% 6. France 3% 7. Netherlands 2% 8. Australia 1.5% 9. Israel 1% 10. Spain 1%

.CO – New managers and new DRS
Colombia: The Ministry of Communications in Colombia has appointed new managers for .CO and as a result a number of changes are planned including registration directly under .CO from 2009, registration with accented characters (Ñ) and possibly full IDN registration.The UDRP may be introduced to

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As“me”is not a common word in Germany, France Israel, China or Spain, what does this tell us about these early adopters? Were they genuine end users or speculators?

.MX – Control passes to registrants
Mexico: NIC Mexico has introduced a new ownership schedule so that the Registrant rather than the Administrative Contact will have control over the ownership of a .MX domain. Changes and updates must be approved by the Registrant. NIC MX is also planning to introduce a Registry-Registrar model rather than requiring all registrants to work through the registry itself.

We advise all users to carefully consider what DNS services they require, the basis on which they wish to secure them and who they wish to obtain them from. There are numerous market players, including roughly 250 separate TLD service providers, which directly issue domain names on a global basis. SIDN – which assigns .nl names – is one of those providers. Such TLDs are formally registered and recognised by ICANN. “Naturally, one option that a user has is to obtain a subdomain from an alternative provider.However, we advise registrants to compare both prices and service conditions before entering into a contract with a provider.” See: www.sidn.nl/ace.php/c,728,5881,,,,Information_about_co_nl. html Meanwhile SIDN is introducing a quarantine period for lapsed .NL domain names from 30 August 2008. When a domain is cancelled by its registrant or by SIDN, it will be placed in quarantine. For a period of 40 days only the original registrant will be able to re-register the domain name. A good thing, we say.

.NL – Registration at 3rd Level under co.nl
Netherlands: EuroDNS, a registrar based in Luxembourg, is marketing registrations under .CO.NL as“a brand new horizon for Dutch and International enterprises….like .NL but with additional flexibility” .What this means is that having acquired the two letter domain name CO.NL, they are marketing registrations at the third level e.g. YOURBRAND.CO.NL. We have always been concerned at this practice.There is nothing illegal about it but unwary registrants might believe they are entering into an agreement with an official ccTLD registry, not a private company. What would happen if EuroDNS received an offer of say £1 million for .CO.NL? Would they sell the domain and allow all registrations at the third level to drop? Probably not in this case because EuroDNS has gone to extraordinary steps to dress up .CO.NL like an official ccTLD sub-domain. There is going to be a Sunrise Period with validation by Deloitte Laga and registrants of current .NL names will be“Grandfathered” meaning offered registration in , a priority period.Registrars will be accredited and there will be a Dispute Policy. What do SIDN, official operators of .NL, think of all this? On their website they say: “First, we wish to stress that SIDN, the .nl registry, is not associated with co.nl. Anyone, anywhere in the world, may register a domain name at the first level below .nl. Furthermore, the registrant of such a name is free to use it in any way that is consistent with SIDN’s General Terms and Conditions. One of the things that the registrant of a .nl domain is free to do is to create subdomains within the registered domain. ... “Second, it is important to understand that anyone who registers a co.nl label is NOT registering a .nl domain name. They are buying a commercial service from a Luxemburgbased company that has registered the .nl domain name co.nl.

.NU – Numerics allowed
Niue, the Pacific island whose extension means “Now” in a cluster of Northern European countries, has launched the extension of three and four letter numeric domains such as 888.NU.This follows the recent example of countries including the Netherlands and Singapore.

.PL – Home of the domainer
Poland: NASK, the Polish Research & Academic Computer Network, which administers the .PL extension and registered the millionth .pl registration in May 2008 announced last month that its role is “to support an active trade in domains” . Head of the NASK Internet Domains Division, Andrzej Bartosiewicz said, “Approaches to the value of internet domains has changed in recent years. Not so long ago, a domain was treated quite “technically” as an address necessary for a correct operation of business servers or electronic mail. Currently, the domain becomes an interest having a real market value due to its growing importance both in traditional and developing internet business. It can be “bought” “sold” “rented” or treated as a profitable , , investment instead of putting money in more traditional forms of investment, such as shares or real estates.” Therefore NASK has established a range of services designed to encourage the Aftermarket including a 52 Day Free Credit period for accredited registrars, formalised Domain Name Tasting (DNT)“so the customer can check during the period of

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14 days profits and possibilities which his/her domain gives, as well to test the traffic before registration” a Wait List Option , so you can buy first place in a queue for a name after the current registrant lapses it, a list of expired names and unlimited access to Whois information.

and earning click-per-view revenue) is not of itself objectionable under the Policy. However, the Expert will take into account: the nature of the Domain Name; the nature of the advertising links on any parking page associated with the Domain Name; and that the use of the Domain Name is ultimately the Respondent's” Administrative changes include the introduction of an Experts Review Group to provide a peer review of decisions prior to publication, an increase in the word count for submissions up to 5,000 words and the acceptance of electronic evidence. Go to: www.nominet.org.uk/disputes/drs/policyandprocedure/.

Part Three Domain Dispute News
CAC drives for e-filing of UDRP complaints
CAC, the Czech Arbitration Court which runs the DRS for .eu and has been approved as a new UDRP panel provider for gTLD disputes, has applied to ICANN to test-run two modifications that it wishes to introduce to the UDRP process featuring a simplified way of sending signed hardcopy complaints and the printing and delivery of signed electronic documents. CAC is pushing as hard as it can to introduce e-UDRP filing. Anyone who has laboured to produce hard copy bundles of complaint after complaint, paying substantial courier costs will support their efforts. Further details of the trial, which has yet to be approved by the ICANN Board, can be found at: http://www.icann.org/udrp/proposals/cac-pilot-projectsdescription-18jun08.pdf.

AFNIC launches fast new DRS for new registrations
French registry AFNIC, launched a new dispute resolution procedure on 22 July 2008 for all registrations under .FR and .RE (Reunion Island). Based on a French Decree of 6 February 2007, which supplements the French Post and Electronic Communications Code, the new procedure protects any name identical to a surname or any name protected by an intellectual property right in France or in the European Union. A panel consisting of the CEO and four senior members of AFNIC appointed by the CEO will analyse complaints brought under the new Policy and render a decision in cases of obvious abuse such as where the domain name is identical or confusingly similar to a trade mark, where the registrant lacks any legitimate right or interest and is not acting in good faith. A complaint under the new procedure can be based on registration or use in bad faith and the remedies are the transfer or deletion of the domain. It costs €250 plus VAT and is designed to be simple, fast and effective – though note that this new procedure appears to be applicable only to domain names that were registered or renewed on or after 22 July 2008, when it was introduced. See: http://www.afnic.fr/doc/ref/juridique/parl_en

Nominet UK DRS review calls domainers to account
Nominet UK has updated its Dispute Resolution service (DRS) from 28 July 2008. Here’s a summary of the three major changes: I Expedited process: in cases where there is no response, the complainant is given the option of obtaining a summary decision from an Expert, at a cost of £200 plus VAT.The expert will not be required to write a full decision with reasoning, but only to certify that Rights and Abusive Registration have been made out by the Complainant; I Definition of Rights: The policy now recognises that Rights may exist in descriptive terms that have acquired a secondary meaning; I Abusive Registration: The Policy confirms that certain activities such as domaining are not in themselves an Abusive Registration, but that cases involving domaining will depend on their particular facts. In particular paragraph 4(e) of the Policy reads:“Sale of traffic (i.e. connecting domain names to parking pages

Part Four A Miscellany of News and Views
ICANN Hacked
ICANN and IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority which adds new domain extensions into the world root) suffered the indignity of having some of their domain names

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high-jacked on 27 June 2008, the day after they had announced the expansion of the gTLD system. ICANN.COM, ICANN.NET, IANA.COM and IANA-SERVERS.COM were hijacked by a Turkish group of hackers that calls itself NetDevilz. Anyone who tried to visit these sites was greeted with a message that read: "You think that you control the domains but you don't! Everybody knows wrong. We control the domains including ICANN! Don't you believe us?" An ICANN spokesman said the redirection was corrected within 20 minutes and that an investigation is underway to determine how the hackers succeeded – though it has been claimed by commentators that NetDevilz simply sent an e-mail from an account they had hacked into.

variation comes from CNDNPC. The twist is that they are actually registering domains, not just threatening to do so. They will ask for $1,000 but accept $100 if you want to buy them – though we recommend that our clients tell them that they are monitoring the domains for activity but will not buy them. Here’s a copy of one of their emails: Hello Sir, We supply domain name protection services. In order to keep domain names (XXXX-XXXX.cn,XXXXXX.com.cn from being registered or used in bad faith, we registered them, and we are about to transfer them to the right owner. We find them pretty useful to your business, and they are important to you in the future. We will transfer them to you if you are interested in them, and charge only a fee for each domain name. Sorry for the disturb if any, and welcome to China to visit Olympic Games. Best Regards. CNDNPC

News from the Auctions
Sex.info was sold at auction earlier this month. The first bid was for $800, the second for $22,000, the fourth for $100,000, the tenth for $175,000. The 13th and final bid? $202,000 which just exceeded the $200,000 minimum. Meanwhile Fairwinds, the consultancy run by two former Register.com sales managers is still trying to sell Pharmacy.com for $50 million. They’ve sent around over 100 emails to companies they feel should be interested in this bargain and created a very attractive website. The domainer community are not impressed. Bloggers claim this is an astonishing price for an undeveloped domain and point out that Fairwinds are also CADNA, the Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse.

For more information on any of the matters raised here, please contact us directly: nick.wood@comlaude.com

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116 Long Acre Covent Garden London WC2E 9SU UK www.comlaude.com

How many domains are there? Chinese surge, Slamming continues
The total number of domains registered across all TLDs was 162 million at the end of Q1 of 2008, claim Verisign, with ccTLDs numbering 63 million, up 33% over the same quarter in 2007, thanks largely to double digit growth in China, Poland, Russia, Spain and France. 14 million new registrations were filed during the period, up 17% on Q1 2007. Now it appears that China is overtaking Germany to become the world's largest country code for domain names with an average of between 400,000 - 500,000 registrations every month. At the end of Q2 there were 12,300,000 .CN registrations compared to 12,098,279 .DE domains. We know that the Chinese are active filers: appeals from Slammers to our clients show little sign of abating.The latest

Tel: +44 (0) 207 836 0070

Disclaimer: Information in this bulletin has been compiled from research at the domain name registries, directly from sources and over the internet. We advise you to contact Com Laude at info@comlaude.com before taking any action in case there are errors due to matters beyond our control.

© Com Laude August 2008.

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