NameStarter.com :: domaining business blog // Domaining for Domainers

Archive for the ‘Domainnamewire’ Category

Cayenne Sex: Porsche tries to take down escort’s website

July 19, 2019Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on Cayenne Sex: Porsche tries to take down escort’s website

Car company was upset about escort’s website that referred to Porsche’s SUV.

Picture of three chili pappers in red, green and yellow with the words "Cayenne Sex"

The car company Porsche filed a cybersquatting complaint against an escort service’s website but ended up flaccid.

Porsche was upset that an escort service used the domain name CayenneSex(.)com. Porche makes an SUV called the Cayenne. And it was clear that the sex service’s owner thought about the car company when creating the site. An archive of the site (translated into English) notes “Hot as the Porsche & Sharp like the Chili Pepper!!!”

But World Intellectual Property Organization panelist John Swinson determined that Porsche didn’t show that the escort service lacked rights or legitimate interests in the domain. He said the reference to Porsche was fairly nominal and perhaps the chili pepper was more important.

Swinson had some fun with this case, doing some of his own research into peppers and sex:

The Panel notes that, while the term “cayenne” is indeed a trade mark owned by the Complainant, perhaps even a well-known or famous one, it is also a type of chilli pepper which is known for being particularly hot or spicy. (It is even apparently believed by some that the aphrodisiac power of hot chilli peppers can be somewhat amazing.)

Even though it lost the case, Porsche might have succeeded in its goal. The domain name no longer resolves to a website.

© DomainNameWire.com 2019. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

Appeals court affirms injunction against DomainTools

July 19, 2019Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on Appeals court affirms injunction against DomainTools

DomainTools must take down .NZ Whois records while lawsuit proceeds.

DomainTools logo

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled in favor of .NZ domain manager Domain Name Commission in a fight against DomainTools.

Domain Name Commission (DNC) sued DomainTools last year for harvesting New Zealand’s .NZ Whois records for its service. A Federal District Court granted a preliminary injunction against DomainTools that prevent DomainTools from collecting more .NZ Whois records and required it to remove previously published records while the lawsuit proceeded.

DomainTools appealed against the injunction, but the appeals court just affirmed (pdf) the lower court’s decision. This means that DomainTools will have to comply with the injunction while the lawsuit proceeds.

DNC recently filed a similar lawsuit against Whois API.

© DomainNameWire.com 2019. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

MMX settles .London deal, plans share buyback

July 18, 2019Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on MMX settles .London deal, plans share buyback

Company can finally put .London fiasco behind it.

Picture of stock ticker board with words "earnings announcement" below it

MMX, aka Minds + Machines Group Limited (AIM: MMX), announced preliminary results for the first half of 2019 today. It also made two big announcements.

Cash inflows in the half were $8.6 million compared to $6.3 million in the same period last year. The company received $1.6 million from losing top level domain auctions. It also says that the ICM Registry portfolio of domains (adult domains including .xxx) has stabilized and the company believes it can make them grow going forward.

Looking beyond the numbers, MMX made two big announcements.

First, it has made an agreement on one “legacy contract” that should settle it once and for all. While the company doesn’t identify which TLD the contract covers, it’s an open secret that it’s .London.

The company will make a one-time payment of $5.1 million to cover all of its liabilities on the .London contract. That’s better than its current estimated liability of $7.9 million. .London will go down as one of the worst new TLD deals ever, and having it behind the company will be a big boost.

Second, the company is going to use up to £1 million of its cash reserves to buy back shares. This should help put a floor on the share price for a while. Shares have traded at about 5.0-6.5 pence for the past six months.

© DomainNameWire.com 2019. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

Marketing a Teenage TLD

July 18, 2019Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on Marketing a Teenage TLD

[Editor’s note: This is a sponsored post by Lori Anne Wardi of Neustar]

Hi, my name is Lori Anne Wardi and I’m a domain junkie.

I’ve been buying, selling, studying, developing, dreaming about, promoting and preaching the bible of domain names since 2000. With many years as a domain investor under my belt, I got the opportunity to join the founding team of .CO Internet in 2009 as the Director of Marketing. From 2010 through today, it has been amazing to watch .CO grow from 28,000 domains under management to well over 2.2 million – and become the domain of choice for many of the world’s leading innovators, entrepreneurs and startups.

In 2014, when .CO Internet was acquired by Neustar, this born and bred New Yorker was given the chance to serve as the General Manager for the launch of New York City’s .nyc domain.  Working with the Neustar team to help turn the greatest city brand in the world into the one of the greatest city TLDs in the world was beyond rewarding, amidst all of the excitement and novelty of the new gTLD program.

Launching a brand and building a community around a domain extension is the best kind of challenge – it pushes your creative and strategic brains at the same time and forces you to think outside the box. But not every domain extension has the luxury of starting with a blank slate. Let’s take the .US domain, for example.  With 17 years under its belt, it’s hardly a brand new, baby namespace. So exactly how does a teenage TLD, like .US, stand out in a marketplace with more than 1,000 shiny new competitors?

Keeping .US fresh after 17 years

I know that the topic of .US marketing has occasionally inspired some very, shall we say, “spirited” commentary by domain investors. I mean, I read all the domain blogs too!  I get it, and it’s for good reason. As investors, we want to know that the TLDs we invest in are being well managed and marketed, and are building an engaged, loyal customer base of end-users in today’s increasingly crowded and complex marketplace.

After 17 years as the .US Administrator, there are a host of different strategies and tactics that Neustar’s marketing team uses to keep .US fresh, relevant and in demand by end-users. I could rattle on about how we use things like programmatic advertising, paid search, influencer marketing, retargeting, content marketing, and the like. But don’t worry, I won’t bore you with all the gory details. My goal today is just to give you a quick flyover view of our approach to defining and engaging with the .US target market.

’Micro-targeting’: The many faces of .US

It is marketing 101 that you need to clearly define your target market for any product, service or brand. As the country code domain extension for the United States of America, our most obvious end-user target market is, you guessed it, American businesses, organizations and individuals.

While “Americans” are obviously a cornerstone of our marketing, if our marketing whizzes had just written “America” next to “target audience” and patted themselves on the back for a solid day’s work, I suspect our marketing campaigns would go over like a led balloon.  Luckily, that has not been the case.

Instead, our team has developed a ‘micro-targeting’ approach; essentially, breaking our audience down into niche segments that each have unique and interesting motivations for using .US domains – and then building creative, relevant campaigns for each of these groups.

Some of these groups are attracted to the national pride and patriotism of the .US domain, others we’ve reached by thinking laterally about the TLD and leaning into the use of the word “us” to build special campaigns to represent community, connection and relationships.

More than just registrations, the ultimate goal of our micro-targeting is to ensure that there is genuine, meaningful usage of the .US domain, which ultimately is one of the best barometers for domain registries in assessing the health and viability of any namespace. Here are just a few examples of the unique end-user target markets we engage with as part of the .US community.

Small businesses – Dream with .US

SMBs in the USA are the bread-and-butter for .US domains. More than just a domain, .US supports small and medium sized businesses with tools and resources to help business owners launch and manage their websites, including step-by-step guides on topics ranging from choosing a domain, to lead generation, to social media and SEO. To spread the .US message to SMBs, we participate in a variety of business focused tradeshows and events, and leverage popular promotional channels like podcast advertising, social media and search engine marketing, among other things.

Social media for .US domain - domain name choice for small business owners

Political & civic engagement – Campaign with .US

Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, or everything in between, for political candidates, advocates and activists in the US of A, the .US domain is clearly a perfect match. Our “Campaign with .US” initiative helps these highly-engaged and passionate people and groups connect their cause(s) with their country through a .US domain.  Since there are so many options available for ad targeting based on job title, group association and user search history that indicates political involvement, we have the opportunity to be hyper focused in our approach and deliberate in our messaging.

Images of Campaign with Us from .US domain

Engaged couples – This is .US

One example of how we have used the concept of “us” to market the .US domain is by tapping into the wedding website market. Our “This is .US” campaign encourages newly engaged couples in the United States to create their wedding website on a .US domain, and to grow their website as their relationship and family develops. There is a wealth of behavioral and interest targeting data available to identify those preparing for an upcoming wedding, so we can be sure to reach the right people at the right time with our message.

This is Us engaged couples pictures for .US domain

Families – Thankful for .US

Again, emphasizing the word ‘us’, our “Thankful for .US” campaign encourages American families to secure their personalized family web address on .US domain.  A family web address can be a place to share your family story or a platform to keep in touch with long-distance or extended family members whether through building a website or creating a family email group. There’s a strong case that family websites and emails are more personal, accessible and private than many popular social media sites, which let’s face it, are increasingly being criticized for harvesting our personal family data in sometimes mysterious (and often unwanted) ways.

Images of families for Thankful for .US domain

 

The Story of .US

At the end of the day, the best kind of marketing is the kind you don’t do yourself: word of mouth. Building a sense of community, ownership and loyalty around the .US domain enables us to let our satisfied customers tell their stories — promoting .US in the process.

Our recent “Story of .US” video campaign featured real .US customers from a wide array of backgrounds showcasing their businesses and brands – and explaining their affinity for the .US domain in their own words. From the multi-billion dollar tech behemoth Zoom.US, which just had the most successful IPO of 2019, to a group a high-schoolers who have started their own web development business — it’s extremely gratifying for us to see and hear real customers enthusiastically sharing their .US stories with the world.

Please take some time to watch some or all of the videos in “The Story of .US” campaign – you can find some of them below, or all of them on our website here.  We are extremely proud of this campaign and hope you find it inspiring too.

Collage of .Us videos

The next 17 years and beyond

It has been an honor for the Neustar team to launch, build, grow and shape the .US namespace, from inception to today. But we’ve never rested on our laurels and we certainly don’t plan to do so now. In the years ahead, we are committed to continue refining our marketing strategy, innovating on new and unique marketing campaigns, engaging our community of brand ambassadors and supporting ongoing growth and success of the .US TLD.

Ultimately our goal is to ensure that the millions of individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations, community groups, couples, families, startups, solopreneurs, veterans, dreamers, makers and more who are building their future on .US – as well as those who invest in the .US namespace – can rest assured knowing that .US is one of the most trusted, dynamic and in demand TLDs in the world.

If you know of any cool .US customers, or stumble upon any “in the wild” – please reach out and let us know.  We are always looking for new and interesting ways to shine the light on the great things happening in the .US namespace!  You can learn more about .US at www.about.us, and can contact us comms@registry.neustar.  Thanks for reading!

© DomainNameWire.com 2019. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

PIR (.org) releases annual report, shows impact from new Afilias deal

July 18, 2019Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on PIR (.org) releases annual report, shows impact from new Afilias deal

Margins are up thanks to renegotiated contract with Afilias.

Chart showing Public Interest Registry bookings and operating income by year

Public Interest Registry (PIR), the organization that operates the .org top level domain, released its 2018 annual report today.

The report includes data for 2018 and gives the first indications into its new contract with Afilias to run the technical backed of the registry.

PIR put the technical contract out to bid in 2016. Twenty companies responded to the RFP but PIR decided to stick with Afilias.

The new contract started in 2018. In 2017 PIR paid Afilias $37.8 million, which is much higher than many registry operators would charge.

We won’t know for sure how much Afilias earned on the .org contract in 2017 until PIR files its 2018 tax return later this year. But it is notable that PIR’s operating income increased from $38.9M in 2017 to $45.9 million in 2018, an improvement of $7.0 million.

The total cost of revenue in 2018 was $32.9 million.

Afilias’ fees aren’t the only thing in these numbers. And, frankly, I expected to see a bigger change under the renegotiated contract. It’s possible that the new contract reduces prices over time to reduce the impact on Afilias.

The full annual report is here.

© DomainNameWire.com 2019. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

U.S. Gov gives Neustar 10-year extension on .Us domain

July 17, 2019Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on U.S. Gov gives Neustar 10-year extension on .Us domain

Neustar wins contract to continue operating .Us through 2029.

Image of flag of United States of America in background with words

The U.S. government has extended its contract with Neustar to operate the .Us domain name extension for up to the next ten years, until 2029.

National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced today that the contract was awarded on June 28. The government does not pay Neustar to run .Us but Neustar collects registration fees from .us registrants.

Neustar has operated the namespace since 2001. As a country code domain with numerous third-level registrations by local government entities, it has added complexities compared to most top level domains.

There are over 2 million .us domains under management.

.Us hasn’t established the foothold that some country code domains, such as .de (Germany) have. That’s because of the U.S.’s early role in the internet. Many people think of .com as the de facto country code of the United States.

© DomainNameWire.com 2019. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

Republicans nuke .GOP domain to take down fundraising rival

July 17, 2019Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on Republicans nuke .GOP domain to take down fundraising rival

The top level domain operator of your domain name can play God.

Error page at Give.GOP, which has been taken down

You can no longer access Give.GOP thanks to a dispute between .GOP operators and the site owner.

He who controls the top level domain can control all of its registrants.

That’s the lesson for users of .GOP domains.

The .GOP registry, which is operated by Republican State Leadership Committee, has forced the owner of Give.GOP to take down his site because it was worried that it was taking away focus from a Donald Trump-endorsed competitor, Politico reports.

According to .GOP’s acceptable use policy, its philosophy that “The Registry supports the sharing of diverse ideas over the Internet and intends for the online community to fully reflect the varying viewpoints and debates taking place in our community.”

Well, as long as those viewpoints don’t conflict with Republican State Leadership Committee’s viewpoints.

I don’t see any way that Give.GOP violated the use policy. But, like most acceptal use policies, it states that the registry can do whatever it wants. In fact, it could divert Give.GOP traffic to another domain, if it wishes.

Give.GOP probably should have gone with a .com domain. Or .Republican,which is run by a more neutral operator, Donuts.

GiveGOP.com forwards to Give.GOP. It’s hard to tell who owns it because of blocked Whois records.

© DomainNameWire.com 2019. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

18 end user domain sales up to $55,000

July 17, 2019Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on 18 end user domain sales up to $55,000

.Co has a strong week and an end-user buys a three-letter .com domain.

Picture of a robot at a tradeshow with a virtual remote operator

Attend a real tradeshow virtually? That’s ExpoBot’s pitch. It bought ExpoBot.com at Sedo. Picture from ExpoBot.com.

Imagine attending a trade expo virtually through a robot. That’s the idea behind ExpoBot. I guarantee you its $5,000 domain purchase is small potatoes compared to its R&D budget.

ExpoBot.com is just one of many excellent end user sales at Sedo that closed this past week.

Here’s a look at sales to end users that recently closed at Sedo. See prior end user lists here.

IKG.com $55,000 – An end-user, three-letter domain purchase. Harsco Industrial IKG bought the domain and forwards it to HarscoIKG.com.

Simplist.com $30,000 – This is a product development company. Its brands include Custom SLR performance camera gear, Think Ergo ergonomic wear and FLYT minimalist accessories.

Buck.co $19.888 – I’m going to count this as an end user even though we don’t know who bought it yet. The price is an end user price for .co. The Whois currently shows hosting service Media Temple.

MyAlternatives.com $11,250 – Alternatives Funeral & Cremation services, which uses the domain MyAlternatives.ca.

Property.co $10,000 – The buyer is setting up a real estate search site on the domain.

Voltix.com €10,000 – Voltix Inc provides commercial and residential electrical services.

Bike2Go.de €7,485 – Bulls is a bicycle brand. The domain currently forwards to bulls.de.

9mile.com $5,500 – Forwards to 9mile-vodka.com, a new vodka brand launching soon. The site is still in development with a release time listed as July 2019.

ExpoBot.com $5,000 – I thought this was a joke at first but it’s real. This company has a robot that can attend your tradeshow. Picture a robot moving through an expo floor, and on the other end a “visitor” is interacting with the robot via a webcam.

BeyondBlack.com $4,000 & BBlack.com $3,500 – These two keyword domains were purchased by web development shop Sevenval Technologies GmbH. They are likely for a client.

LaunchOne.com $2,900 – Forwards to LaunchOne.net, a company focused on pharmaceutical launch services.

BuildingInnovation.org $2,788 – This will be the website for National Institute of Building Sciences’ Building Innovation conference.

LoveMeHair.com $2,662 – Forwards to LuvMeHair.com, an artificial hair and wig products company. Luv fails the radio test so this was a smart buy.

TheLearningHub.com $2,488 – Forwards to AACSB.edu. AACSB International (AACSB) is a global nonprofit education association focused on leadership training.

DrProperty.com €2,400 – A marketing website for properties in Dubai.

EasyMediaKit.com $2,000 – An online tool for companies to make media kits. It generates the template based on a website. It’s clever.

DropBoy.com €2,000 – DropBoy is a dispatch system between a distributor and delivery drivers.

© DomainNameWire.com 2019. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation loses attempt to get ABC.net

July 17, 2019Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on Australian Broadcasting Corporation loses attempt to get ABC.net

Australian public broadcaster loses attempt to get 24-year-old ABC.net domain name.

Screenshot of ABC.net.au for Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Australian Broadcasting Corporation lost its attempt to get ABC.net

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), Australia’s national broadcaster, has lost a cybersquatting complaint it brought against the domain name ABC.net.

The broadcaster failed to convince a World Intellectual Property Organization panelist that the domain name was registered in bad faith. After all, it’s a very common term.

The domain owner registered it in 1995 while working at an ISP, and later put the domain name to use.

ABC didn’t seem to mind much about the domain until the domain owner contacted it in 2017 advising that he was receiving misdirected emails.

This is the second UDRP decision in as many days in which misdirected email was discussed. In both cases, the owner of a ccTLD was losing email to another domain. ABC’s website is ABC.net.au. In a recent case for Farrer.com, the Complainant used farrer.co.uk and was losing email to the .com.

Panelist Rober Badgley did not find that ABC filed the complaint as attempted reverse domain name hijacking. He noted that, while its complaint was slanted to its preferred narrative, it did not make false statements or glaring omissions. Badgley wrote, “this may be more a case of lacking appreciation of the nuances of this case than a calculated attempt to wrest a domain name from an innocent and smaller party.”

© DomainNameWire.com 2019. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.

Afilias to offer Registry Lock service

July 17, 2019Domaining, DomainnamewireComments Off on Afilias to offer Registry Lock service

28 more top level domains can be locked at the registry level.

Picture of lock on bars with the words "Registry Lock" above it in black letters on yellow background

Afilias is the latest domain name registry to offer a Registry Lock service for websites that need added protection against hijacking and nameserver changes.

Registry Lock is very different from locking a domain name at a registrar. A typical domain lock means a domain can’t be transferred to another registrar until it is unlocked in the registrar interface.

Registry Lock requires manual authentication with both the registrar and registry before changes can be made to a domain.

Different registries have different procedures, but Registry Lock usually requires a domain owner to request a change with the registrar and then the registrar completes a manual process with the registry to allow the change. Domain registrar Blacknight explains the process on its website.

It’s a necessary service for big websites, and would have saved the New York Times from having its nameservers hijacked in 2013.

As of 2013, .com registry Verisign charged $10 a month for its Registry Lock service. Registrars typically charge $300-$600 per year because of the manual work involved. I suspect registrars will charge a similar price for Afilas’ service, although brand protection registrars often bundle it with other services.

The Afilias service will be available for 28 top level domains.

© DomainNameWire.com 2019. This is copyrighted content. Domain Name Wire full-text RSS feeds are made available for personal use only, and may not be published on any site without permission. If you see this message on a website, contact copyright (at) domainnamewire.com. Latest domain news at DNW.com: Domain Name Wire.