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Surprise? Facebook doesn’t apply for .Facebook

June 13, 2012Domaining, Domainnamewire, facebook, new tlds, UncategorizedComments Off on Surprise? Facebook doesn’t apply for .Facebook

Facebook doesn’t apply for any top level domains.

Back in April AdAge reported that Facebook wasn’t applying for a new top level domain. I found that surprising, and wrote:

Of course, it’s entirely possible that AdAge just didn’t talk to the right person within the companies. A Facebook spokesperson told AdAge that the company wasn’t apply for .Facebook, but you never know.

I later contacted Facebook after the application period was closed, thinking the company would let on what it’s plans were. They responded “no comment”.

Now the list it out and it’s official: Facebook didn’t apply for .facebook. Or anything for that matter.

I’m frankly surprised.

I also noticed that it looks like eBay skipped on .ebay and .paypal, two others that I thought would be on the list. Twitter is absent too.


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Facebook gets FacebookOfSex.pro domain name

June 12, 2012Domaining, Domainnamewire, facebook, facebookofsex, Policy & LawComments Off on Facebook gets FacebookOfSex.pro domain name

Social network registers two Facebook sex domains.

Last year Facebook sued FriendFinder Networks over its FacebookOfSex.com web site, ultimately resulting in a transfer of the domain name to Facebook.

Now the company has registered two similar domains, FacebookOfSex.pro and Facebooksex.pro. The two domains were previously owned by a registrant called “Netud” in France.

You may be asking yourself, isn’t .pro for professionals only?

I guess you weren’t aware that there’s a profession called FacebookofSex.

The official qualifications for .pro include:

- Provides professional services
- Admitted to or licensed by a government certification body or jurisdictional licensing entity recognized by a governmental body that regularly verifies the accuracy of its data
- In good standing with the licensing authority

And technically, as a registrant, you must be able to provide a profession-specific information such as license number.

So did the previous registrant of FacebookofSex.com or Facebook itself provide their pornographers license numbers?

Nah. Back in 2005 registrars and the registry found clever ways around these rules.


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DNW’s new TLD roundup: the good, the bad and the funny

June 1, 2012.sucks, association national advertisers, Domaining, Domainnamewire, facebook, google, momentous, new tlds, radix, tldh, Uncategorized, zipposComments Off on DNW’s new TLD roundup: the good, the bad and the funny

From brands to portfolio players, here’s a look at what we know so far.

The “big reveal” of who applied for what top level domains isn’t until June 13. But that didn’t stop a lot of companies from making their own announcements over the 36 hours since the application window closed.

Here’s my roundup and analysis:

Google

Google announced four domains it is applying for, but AdAge reports the company is applying for upwards of 50 domain names.

The announcement came from Vint Cerf, Google’s “Chief Internet Evangelist”. He also happens to be the former Chairman of ICANN’s board. One thought is if Cerf is trying to throw ICANN a bone here. Not in the form of money, because we all know ICANN’s coffers are going to be a lot fuller than we expected just months ago. It’s more of a “we believe in ICANN and what they’re doing” statement. Still, I think Google could have done this by applying for perhaps a dozen domains including some non-.brand domains. So this seems like a bit more. It seems like Google sees benefits to new top level domains.

But I gotta ask: .lol? Really?

Facebook

Is Facebook applying for .facebook or anything else?

A Facebook spokesperson told AdAge a couple months ago that it wasn’t applying. But it’s hard for a spokesperson to answer a negative like that. A TLD initiative could come from anywhere within the company.

And a lot has happened since two months ago.

I reached out to Facebook yesterday to ask again if they applied for any new TLDs. All they would say is “no comment”.

I’d be willing to bet money (or rapidly devaluing FB shares) that Facebook applied for something.

TLDH and Directi

Two of the big “portfolio” applicants have announced their applications.

Top Level Domain Holdings, which owns Minds + Machines, applied for 92 domains, 68 of which are on its own behalf. (Others are with partners or on behalf of clients.)

It’s not very surprising to me that the company applied for .green. It has an entity set up to apply for .eco, but that one could be messy. This will be a battle to watch.

The company also applied for two IDN top level domains.

TLDH applied for a lot of common strings that will be in contention.

The same can be said for Directi’s new Radix company (see disclosure). The company applied for 31 strings. Company founder Bhavin Turakhia told DomainIncite he expects every one of the names to be in contention with other applicants.

GoDaddy

One of the companies both TLDH and Radix will have to face off with is Go Daddy. I broke the news Wednesday night of the company’s applications for .home and .casa. Not surprisingly, .home has multiple applicants. Slightly surprisingly, so does .casa. It will be interesting to see how these play out.

The brand scare continues

The notion that brands must apply for their .brand to keep others from doing so certainly played a role in applications. You can blame Association of National Advertisers in part for this. But I’ve got to wonder what consultant convinced lighter maker Zippo that it needed to apply for .zippo.

Here’s a quote from an article in The Economist:

Jeff Duke, general counsel at Zippo, a lighter-maker, says the firm already spends $3m a year “playing whack-a-mole” with claim-jumpers—a tidy sum for a small manufacturer, albeit one with a big brand. The expansion will “multiply our headaches”, he predicts. Zippo will apply for .zippo, even though “we don’t have any great plans for it.”

This is a prime example of a domain that didn’t need to be applied for on a defensive basis.

.Sucks

This one, courtesy of a Momentous (Pool.com) subsidiary, is sure to be a punching bag. Regardless of the true intent, the company will be hard pressed to convince anyone that it’s not merely a stick up to get brands to protect themselves.

Momentous figures to profit from new TLDs from others in the coming years. It’s offering a digital archery service. It’s also sure to have a lot of clients for sunrise auctions.

Things are getting interesting…

Disclosure: I work with Directi’s media companies. I have not been involved with Radix.


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Google wants to patent making online ads social

May 10, 2012Domaining, Domainnamewire, facebook, google, online ads, patents, Policy & LawComments Off on Google wants to patent making online ads social

Company files two patent applications for making online ads social.

Google has filed two patent applications related to social interactions with online advertisements.

The applications, 20120116871 and 20120116867 (pdf), were filed in November and just published today. Both are titled “Social Overlays On Ads”.

The patent applications describe systems in which social overlays are placed on ads. For example, an ad my show how many people in your particular Google+ circles like an ad. It could also integrate into Google’s +1 system. If you +1′d an ad, members of your Google+ circles would then see that you like the ad. Viewers could also republish an ad to their social network, similar to how you can share a photo on Facebook now.

In the example below, the ad has a social overlay that says how many people in the user’s location +1′d the ad.

This idea sounds familiar to me. Let’s see, where have I seen something like this already…


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Facebook Recovers 14 Typo Domains That Were in Lawsuit

October 6, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, facebook, facebook domains, Policy & LawComments Off on Facebook Recovers 14 Typo Domains That Were in Lawsuit

Defendants hand domain names over to Facebook.

Facebook has recovered 14 Facebook.com domain name typos that were named in its massive cybersquatting lawsuit filed in July.

The domain names were most recently using the PrivacyProtect.org whois masking service.

The names transferred to Facebook include:

acebook.com
facdbook.com
facdebook.com
facebokok.com
facebooc.com
faceboock.com
faceboof.com
facebooi.com
facebool.com
faceboook.com
faceboow.com
facfacebook.com
facfebook.com
wwwfacebok.com

These aren’t the first domains from the lawsuit the social network has recovered. It recently recovered facebcook.com and one or two other domains.

[Update 10/7/11: Facebook recovered another couple dozen domains today]

It’s unknown if the defendants that owned these domains agreed to pay a settlement in addition to transferring the domain names.


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Facebook Registers FBPAC Domains Previously Owned by American Farm Bureau

September 25, 2011american farm bureau, Domaining, Domainnamewire, facebook, Policy & LawComments Off on Facebook Registers FBPAC Domains Previously Owned by American Farm Bureau

Facebook makes intriguing domain registrations.

Facebook has yet to settle an ongoing trademark dispute with American Farm Bureau despite paying millions to buy the FB.com domain name from it.

Now Facebook may have upped the ante, registering FBPAC.org and FBPAC.us. The two domain names were previously registered to American Farm Bureau until they expired in 2009. American Farm Bureau owns FBPAC.com and FBPAC.net.

Although the farmer lobbying group doesn’t operate the domain names, it’s clear that PAC stands for Political Action Committee.

So this begs the question, what is Facebook’s interest in these domain names? I can think of two possibilities:

1. It wants to use them in it current tiff with American Farm Bureau.

2. It’s starting its own PAC.


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Facebook Close to Settling Long Running Dispute Over “FB”

August 23, 2011american farm bureau, Domaining, Domainnamewire, facebook, fb.com, Policy & LawComments Off on Facebook Close to Settling Long Running Dispute Over “FB”

Facebook and American Farm Bureau may be close to settling FB trademark dispute.

Facebook is getting close to settling a trademark dispute with American Farm Bureau over the mark “FB”. It all comes down to one sentence.

The intriguing dispute started when Facebook filed a trademark application for “FB”. American Farm Bureau, a lobbying group for the agriculture industry, initiating proceedings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to reject the trademark.

During the proceedings Facebook acquired the domain name FB.com from American Farm Bureau for what may have been over $8 million dollars. Although Mark Zuckerberg claimed the deal settled the dispute, that was not the case.

The two sides have been working on a settlement and it appears it is close. The latest filing from the parties asking for more time to settle the matter claims (pdf):

“The parties reported that they have an agreement in principle, that drafts have been exchanged between the parties, and that one issue in a single sentence remains to be addressed in the draft agreement.”

I can’t imagine what that one issue is, but it appears a settlement is near.


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Facebook Files Massive Cybersquatting Lawsuit

July 28, 2011Cybersquatting, Domaining, Domainnamewire, facebook, Policy & LawComments Off on Facebook Files Massive Cybersquatting Lawsuit

Lawsuit goes after typosquatters who redirect to survey offers.

As reported on Elliot’s Blog today, Facebook has filed a lawsuit against dozens of people for allegedly typosquatting on its domain names.

One of the interesting aspects of this case is what the defendants are allegedly doing with the domain names. Instead of parking them with traditional pay-per-click providers, they are forwarding them to survey sites that mimic Facebook in some way.

This type of typo monetization is becoming more popular as the opportunity to monetize some typos is limited on traditional parking platforms. In fact, there’s an entire parking company based around these CPA survey offers that started business just a couple months ago.

If seeing a parked page with pay-per-click links bothers trademark holders, they’ll be even more upset about seeing their would-be visitors tricked into supplying their email address to an affiliate site.


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Mike Mann Ordered to Transfer 21 Domains to Facebook

May 25, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, facebook, Mike Mann, Policy & LawComments Off on Mike Mann Ordered to Transfer 21 Domains to Facebook

Facebook awarded 21 trademark-infringing domain names.

A World Intellectual Property Organization panel has ordered BuyDomains founder Mike Mann and his company Domain Asset Holdings to transfer 21 domain names to social networking site Facebook.

The domain names all include Facebook plus an additional word, such as AboutFacebook.com, FacebookFest.com, and FacebookStuff.com.

The case was delayed at first over some confusion apparently caused by Mann’s legal team. The legal team apparently asked domain name registrar DomainDiscover to cancel the domain name registrations and the registrar complied. This put the domain names in pending delete status.

After realizing the problem, DomainDiscover went to .com registry VeriSign to get the domain names restored.

Mann did not respond to the complaint.


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[Updated] ICANN Sends Breach Notice to EuroDNS Over Facebook UDRP

April 21, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, eurodns, facebook, Policy & Law, udrpComments Off on [Updated] ICANN Sends Breach Notice to EuroDNS Over Facebook UDRP

ICANN threatens EuroDNS if it fails to transfer domain name to Facebook.

ICANN has sent a Notice of Breach (pdf) to popular European domain name registrar EuroDNS for its failure to transfer a client domain name after an adverse UDRP decision.

In September 2010 a EuroDNS client lost a UDRP for Facebok.com (with one ‘o’), which is certainly a common typo for the popular social network. As of today the domain name is still in the client’s hands. It forwards to a page offering a “Facebook survey”.

Domain name registrars have ten days to transfer a domain name after receiving communication from the UDRP provider of an adverse decision unless the respondent files a lawsuit over the domain name.

In this case it’s about six months late.

This may be a case of a domain slipping through the cracks, although ICANN says it:

had multiple communications with EuroDNS on 31 March 2011, during which time ICANN informally encouraged EuroDNS to comply with the Panel decision and warned EuroDNS of the consequences of not doing so.

EuroDNS has 15 days to cure the breach.

[Update: EuroDNS has released the following statement]

As you know, EuroDNS is a respected member of the ICANN Community and has always scrupulously abode by ICANN Policies. This case is no exception as, contrary to what the letter implies. Furthermore please also know that the implementation of the UDRP decision was initiated the next day of our receipt of the WIPO email. We indeed do not want to breach and obviously have no interest in blocking a rightful transfer nor impede a WIPO decision.

Now, where it gets complicated – and what ICANN surprisingly does not mention in their letter – is that, on the same day, both we and the complainant of the UDRP were served summons to appear in front of the Luxembourg civil court. The court papers said that the Respondent to the UDRP has stolen the domain name from them and asked for a local judge to prevent us from transferring the domain name to anyone until the ownership of the domain name be ruled… This case is still pending and each party is currently submitting their pleadings to the court.

We are therefore in an incredible position where if we transfer the name before the judge’s ruling we will be accountable in our own country and if we don’t transfer the name we are in breach of the RAA.

We have informed ICANN, WIPO and the Complainant of these facts and ICANN specifically told us in an email dated March 31st they would « have the document translated and reviewed for compliance with priority» (French being the official language in Luxembourg) and get back to us. The public letter published last night is the first time we heard back from ICANN ad as you can see no reference is made to our exchange with them nor to the court papers which they did acknowledge receiving. Maybe ICANN is lacking a translator?

While we were prevented to finalize the implementation of the UDRP decision, we did initiated this process and the complainant’s counsel was even sent the Authcode for the proper transfer, as soon as we could handle the WIPO decision. The sole reason why the transfer has not taken place yet is to allow for the civil court of our country to render their ruling. Indeed the lawsuit did not come from the respondent per se, but considering it came from someone alleging fraud and impersonation, and asking a judge to prevent us from allowing this asserted offense to continue, it is quite difficult for us to make a decision.

Now considering ICANN late notice, the easy thing to do would be to abide by the UDRP and we are obviously prepared to do so as we always were. Nevertheless, the question remains : should we simply ignore a judiciary court case against us in our own country – that could prevent us from operating the transfer since it is was asked of the judge – because of our RAA’s obligations ? We would gladly do so, but ICANN needs to make their choice crystal clear, after having -this time – read all the relevant documents.


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