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Verisign files patent application for way of transfering hosting on DNSSEC Domains

October 5, 2012Domaining, Domainnamewire, patents, Uncategorized, VeriSignComments Off on Verisign files patent application for way of transfering hosting on DNSSEC Domains

Application describes way to change hosting on DNSSEC enabled domains without any downtime.

Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) bring all sorts of security benefits, but it can make changing hosting providers more challenging.

Verisign has filed a patent for systems and methods for making the process of changing web hosts on a DNSSEC-enabled domain easier (pdf).

Here’s the challenge, as the company describes in its application named “Transfer of DNSSEC Domains”:

With the introduction of DNSSEC into vast registries, such as the .com and .net registries, DNS hosting transfer of a DNSSEC enabled domain brings with it the potential for resolution problems. Such problems may result in domains not resolving securely, or not resolving at all, which can have significant detrimental effects on e-commerce and other high-traffic sites. For DNSSEC, enabled domains, in addition to managing the switchover of nameservers, the change in registrars and/or hosts involves managing the Delegation Signer (DS) resource records in the parent zone and the list of DNSKEY records across the old and new child zones to ensure that the DNSSEC chain will continuously validate during the transfer.

And here’s the gist of what Verisign wants to patent:

Systems and methods of transferring a DNSSEC enabled domain from a losing hosting provider to a gaining hosting provider are described in which the transfer of the domain may be achieved without disruption to a DNSSEC validation of the domain. Systems and methods, such as those directed to registry and/or registrar servers, may include transferring a DNSKEY or Delegation Signer (DS) record from a gaining hosting provider to a losing hosting provider prior to transferring the domain from the losing hosting provider to the gaining hosting provider. A gaining hosting provider may sign DNS records of the domain with the gaining hosting provider DNSKEY prior to transferring the domain from the losing hosting provider to the gaining hosting provider. Additionally, a registry server, or similar device, may be configured to act as an intermediary between the losing hosting provider and the gaining hosting provider during the transfer process.

The application was filed April 1, 2011 and just published yesterday.


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Verisign wants patent on “non-existent domain” analysis tools

October 4, 2012Domaining, Domainnamewire, Expired Domains, nxd data, patents, VeriSign, verisign nxdComments Off on Verisign wants patent on “non-existent domain” analysis tools

Company files patent application related to NXD data analysis.

Verisign has made great strides in opening up its treasure trove of data related to traffic to non-existent domain names (NXD).

Now it wants to patent some of its methods.

The company filed a patent application (pdf) for “Traffic Like NXDomains” in March last year. The application was just published today.

The application explains how its NXD tools benefit domainers:

Maintaining and interpreting records related to user requests for domains can be valuable for several reasons. For example, companies and individuals known as “domainers” regularly buy and sell domain names to earn a profit. These domainers generate income through domain parking and/or website development, as well as domain reselling, but typically rely on revenue generated from advertising click-through traffic. Thus, domainers desire NXDs exhibiting high Internet traffic in order to buy and register those NXDs.

Using current systems, domainers must blindly request and then review information regarding DNS requests associated with a set of NXDs in order to identify the high-traffic NXDs. After reviewing the requested information, the domainer will purchase a subset of the NXDs considered high-traffic and establish a web site for each of these domain names. Once the domainer has purchased a domain name and establishes a monetization mechanism, such as a website, they are able to collect and analyze additional information related to the site’s positive traffic, such as unique visits, click-traffic, and other indicators of site performance. Using this information regarding a site’s positive traffic, the domainer can better identify valuable domain names and generate revenue from them by, for instance, placing advertisements on such sites.

Currently, however, no system exists that enables domainers to capitalize on the collected positive traffic information to find additional NXDs of value. Instead, domainers must repeat the process of blindly requesting and reviewing NXD information, purchasing a subset of the NXDs, establishing sites for the associated domain names, and observing the positive traffic for these new sites. Thus, domainers are currently unable to leverage the discovery of a valuable domain name to find additional NXDs expected to exhibit similar traffic patterns. Therefore, a need exists for a tool able to suggest NXDs with DNS traffic similar to an identified domain name.

The patent application then describes numerous ways of analyzing NXD data.


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Guy mad about CentralNic domains sues ICANN and Network Solutions

August 3, 2012centralnic, Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann, lawsuit, Policy & Law, VeriSignComments Off on Guy mad about CentralNic domains sues ICANN and Network Solutions

Fun Friday reading.

I read a lot of lawsuits involving domain name companies. Occasionally I come across a “pro se” suit, in which the plaintiff doesn’t have legal representation.

Nine times out of ten these pro se cases I read involve a plantiff who’s a bit crazy. Like the “nude artist” who’s mad at NameMedia about a domain name.

Here’s another one (pdf), just filed in United States District Court against CentralNic, Network Solutions, VeriSign, ICANN, eNom, and the registrant of a third level .com domain.

The case was filed by Graham Schreiber, the owner of Landcruise.com. It’s a doozy, complete with a cover letter, colored fonts, all sorts of {brackets}, ~ symbols, and way to many commas per sentence.

Basically, Schreiber is mad that a company in the United Kingdom registered Landcruise.uk.com. uk.com domains are actually third level domain names offered by CentralNic.

The owner of Landcruise.uk.com, Lorraine Dunabin, also owns Landcruise.co.uk.

Back in 2011 Schreiber filed a Nominet dispute over Landcruise.co.uk. He subsequently withdrew the complaint because he thought Nominet could actually handle .uk.com disputes. For some reason Schreiber is more concerned with .uk.com than .co.uk, because he thinks it creates more confusion with his .com. He later refiled the Nominet case and lost.

He could just file a WIPO complaint over the CentralNic domain name, but he has some hard-to-decipher beef with WIPO about them not providing him with enough statistics.

He’s peeved at ICANN for not responding to his complaints other than with “form letters”.

He’s mad at Network Solutions for two reasons. First, they are the registrar for CentralNic’s uk.com domain name. Second, he put so much faith in Network Solutions that he felt compelled to register a bunch of other CentralNic domains there to protect his brand.

> Network Solutions, based on their significant history, within the Internet, give credibility to the products they sell. As such, their selling the “diluted” ~ “.com’s” of CentralNic, compelled me to buy many of the outstanding domains, as I’ve been a client of theirs since the beginning, I felt obliged to purchase the remaining “dilutive” .com ~ name spaces, so that no other individuals, such as Lorraine, would create problems for my business.

> Now, with a greater understanding of CentralNIC; and reading/understanding their Terms and Condition, at a deeper level > (link to terms) “11. Domain names are registered on a first come, first served basis.” < it become quite clear that there is a GENTLE SHAKEDOWN happening; and that I must therefore buy again my business name, with the left side of the .com, or risk dilution...

Just imagine how this guy will feel when he finds out that anyone can create a third level domain “landcruise.” under their second level .com domain!

Schreiber wants the damages awarded from this suit to go to his rotary club.

As silly as the suit is, Schreiber does have a point: I think a lot of consumers are confused about just what CentralNic third level domain names are.


© DomainNameWire.com 2011.

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Behold, the .com ticker!

July 27, 2012Domaining, Domainnamewire, Uncategorized, VeriSign, zone fileComments Off on Behold, the .com ticker!

An up-to-date number of .com registrations.

As I mentioned last night, Verisign has started released daily domain counts for both the .com and .net namespaces.

The information is now available at this page.

The data includes both domains that are in the zone file as well as registered domains that don’t have nameservers (and thus, don’t show up in the zone file).

As of this morning there are over 104 million .com domain registrations and close to 15 million .net registrations:

The number of unconfigured nameserver domain names has been estimated before. It appears the current number is well below some third party estimates, although those estimates are a half year old.


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VeriSign blames domain monetization for lower renewal rate

July 26, 2012Domain Parking, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Uncategorized, VeriSign, vrsnComments Off on VeriSign blames domain monetization for lower renewal rate

Lower than usual renewal rate blamed on search engine changes.

Verisign had its second best quarter ever for new domain name registrations last quarter, but its renewal rate was lower than usual.

The company cites two reasons. First, there were large promotions by domain registrars a year ago (apparently mostly from one large registrar) that led to an uptick in new registrations that came up for renewal last quarter.

Second, and more interesting, Verisign blames “search engine adjustments”.

…search engine adjustments made over the past several months affected the economics, which drove domain monetization rates in the first half of 2012. While monetization rates have increased for better performing sites, lower performing sites do not seem to be benefiting.

This is somewhat perplexing. The company clearly refers to domain name monetization in its call, but it seems that it’s talking more about auto generated or low quality web sites. Google did take efforts in recent months to kick parked domains out of its index. But the context of the call also seems to refer to web sites.

In other notable Verisign news, the company announced that it will start providing on its web site more frequent updates to the .net and .com domain name base.


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VeriSign applies for 9 transliterations of .com and 3 of .net

June 13, 2012Domaining, Domainnamewire, idns, Uncategorized, VeriSignComments Off on VeriSign applies for 9 transliterations of .com and 3 of .net

VeriSign’s IDN plans finally unveiled.

Internationalized Domain Name investors, your wait is over. We now know the transliterations of .com and .net that VeriSign has applied for.

You can read more about VeriSign’s plans for how it will offer these to owners of existing second level IDNs for .com and .net here.

Please comment if you want to say what language these are…more to follow.

Also, VeriSign applied for .verisign (no surprise) and .comsec.

xn--fhbei Transliteration of com Arab
xn--j1aef Transliteration of com Cyrl
xn--11b4c3d Transliteration of com Deva
xn--c2br7g Transliteration of net Deva
xn--pssy2u Transliteration of dot net Hans
xn--3pxu8k Transliteration of dot com Hans
xn--c1yn36f Transliteration of dot com Hant
xn--t60b56a Transliteration of dot net Hang
xn--mk1bu44c Transliteration of dot com Hang
xn--hdb9cza1b Transliteration of com Hebr
xn--tckwe Transliteration of com Kana
xn--42c2d9a Transliteration of com Thai


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Domain stocks doing very well this year

May 30, 2012Demand Media, dmd, Domaining, Domainnamewire, tcx, Tucows, Uncategorized, VeriSign, vrsn, web.com, wwwwComments Off on Domain stocks doing very well this year

Tucows more than doubles and other domain stocks also on a tear.

It has been a decent year for the NASDAQ so far. But returns on domain stocks have been exceptional.

Consider Tucows (TCX), which opened the year at 75 cents. It has more than doubled to $1.52 at today’s open. The company continues to buy back stock, but I also think there’s overall enthusiasm for its domain business and the prospects of its mobile phone offering Ting.

Demand Media, which owns eNom, has jumped 35% this year to today’s open of $9.52. Investors are becoming more comfortable with the company’s ability to adapt to search engine algorithm changes. It’s also well positioned to take advantage of new top level domains. As a registrar, it will certainly profit from other company’s new TLDs. More risky is its $18 million bet on its own new TLDs.

Web.com (WWWW), which owns domain registrars Register.com and Network Solutions, is also up 35% this year to today’s $15.97 open.

Finally, .com and .net registry VeriSign (VRSN) has marched forward 9% this year. It has a lot of new TLD clients (over 200 applications), but I suspect its revenue from new TLDs will remain insignificant compared to its .com registry revenue for the foreseeable future.


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VeriSign releases more traffic data about unregistered domains

May 11, 2012Domaining, Domainnamewire, Expired Domains, VeriSign, verisign domainscore, verisign domainview, verisign labsComments Off on VeriSign releases more traffic data about unregistered domains

.com and .net registry provides added detail about NXD traffic.

VeriSign has enhanced its DomainScore tool to provide more insight into the traffic unregistered domains receive.

DomainScore provides a relative score for the amount of traffic an unregistered domain name receives. But this so-called “NXD” traffic doesn’t qualify the type of traffic very well. That’s part of the reason people complain that they register a domain with a high score based on VeriSign’s data and don’t get any traffic.

The latest update includes time-of-day and location information about unregistered domain traffic.

The column chart above is an example of the traffic insight you can get. Lots of requests but few unique requests? That should be a warning sign. When the traffic comes in may have to do with the type of site.

The geo location data is helpful for a number of reasons. One obvious one: if you’re going to park the domain, you probably want traffic from the U.S. rather than China because it monetizes better.

VeriSign has also enhanced the user interface and historic data for its DomainView tool.


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Overstock.com: We’d still really like O.com

May 11, 2012Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann, o.com, overstock.com, single letter .com, Uncategorized, VeriSignComments Off on Overstock.com: We’d still really like O.com

Overstock.com pleads for single letter .com domains in VeriSign contract renewal.

For many years Overstock.com has had an obsession. An obsession with getting the domain name O.com.

As you may know, there are only three one letter .com domains ever registered: q.com, x.com, and z.com. These were registered (and grandfathered) prior to a restriction on one character .com domains being put in place.

Since then, Overstock.com has done everything possible to angle itself for getting o.com whenever it becomes available.

Its latest action is to urge ICANN to make one letter .com domains part of VeriSign’s renewal of the .com contract with ICANN.

One thing’s a good bet: if ICANN ever allows single letter .com domains then Overstock.com will pay whatever it takes and sue whomever it has to in order to get the o.com domain name.

Back in 2005, Overstock.com started beating the drum to release single letter .coms. Here’s how domain attorney John Berryhill tells it in a 2008 article:

The subject of allocating single character domain names has captured the attention of the ICANN community to varying degrees from time to time, primarily depending on the interested efforts of Overstock.com and its advocates. For example, just prior to the December 2005 ICANN meeting in Vancouver, a press release was circulated, and its authors managed to pimp their claim that ICANN was weighing the release of single character domain names to a variety of media outlets (e.g. ICANN weighs single-letter Web addresses USA Today, November 28, 2005). During the 2005 Vancouver meeting, one of the more interesting exhibit tables was run by Overstock.com, for the purpose of distributing baseball caps embroidered with the letter “O”, apparently for the purpose of impressing on the minds of the ICANN community that Overstock.com claims a pre-eminent interest in the letter “O” – and apparently oblivious to the fact that Oakley has longstanding rights in the mark “O” for sportswear. Hence, while rumors spread that Oprah was coming to visit ICANN, the presence of blatant trademark infringement at an ICANN meeting by a member of the Business Constituency was, at least, entertaining.

Overstock.com has always argued that single letter domains should respect “prior use”. Of course, a domain like o.com can’t have any prior use. But that hasn’t stopped the company; it has registered trademarks for o.com. In fact, someone has at least attempted to trademark every single letter .com that could exist. (This is similar to all the companies trying to trademark non-existent top level domains.)

Overstock.com’s obsession with o.com is widely seen as its reason for pursuing other single letter domain names such as o.biz and o.info. It helps the company establish more rights to o.com (at least that will be its argument). It even went so far as to rebrand to o.co, only to pull back.

VeriSign floated an idea of offering single letter .net domain names back in 2010, but later withdrew its request.

One of the tricky parts for VeriSign is the windfall offering single letter .com domains would create. Who should get this money? A lot of people in the internet community would argue it’s certainly not VeriSign that should pocket the money.

VeriSign likely doesn’t want to bring up the single letter issue as it renews the contract. It doesn’t want to do anything to upset the apple cart. The .com monopoly is good enough for it.

So while others debate whether new IP protections should be included in the .com contract or challenge VeriSign’s .com price hikes, Overstock.com continues to focus on a mission. A mission it’s been working on for at least 7 years.


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VeriSign: 5.2 Million More Domain Names

August 31, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, Uncategorized, VeriSignComments Off on VeriSign: 5.2 Million More Domain Names

Base of registered domain names continues to grow.

VeriSign released its quarterly Domain Name Industry Brief today, reporting that the total base of domain names increased by 5.2 million last quarter to 215 million.

Registrations have grown by more than 16.9 million since the second quarter of 2010.

The total base of .com and .net domain names passed 110 million. There were 8.1 million new .com and .net registrations during the quarter. VeriSign manages the registry for both of these top level domain names.

VeriSign reports that the rankings of country code top level domain names in terms of registration base stayed about the same. .Eu dropped one spot to ninth and China now holds the number eight spot.

You can view the full report here (pdf).


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