Thursday, December 19, 2013

Quel succès pour les noms de domaine .VOYAGE ?

L’extension .VOYAGE fait partie des premières extensions francophones à voir le jour. Cette nouvelle extension pourrait connaître un intérêt conséquent pour les agences de voyages françaises (suisses, belges et canadiennes) ainsi que toute l’activité touristique qui gravite autour.

Le .TRAVEL, vous connaissiez ?
Pourtant, de nombreuses agences de voyage mettent à disposition de leurs clients une version anglaise de leur site Internet et l’extension prévue pour les contenus de ce type ont une extension Internet dédiée, le .TRAVEL (“voyage” en anglais).Peu de sites Internet de voyages utilisent ces noms de domaine car il est serait peu cohérent pour un site français de communiquer avec un nom de domaine en anglais. Mais est-ce bien la seule raison ?

Le suite sur le Journal Du Net.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

3rd Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congress / March 3-4, 2014, The Dream Downtown, New York

Go behind the scenes and learn how your peers are operationalizing their new TLDs as you are provided with real-life, launch strategies from .Club, .GOP, .Kiwi, .Latin, .Vegas, .Tickets and many more.

Hear from George Faulkner, Manager, Social Brand Engagement, Social Strategy and Programs, IBM as he shares his thoughts on How to Effectively Build an Integrated Social Media Strategy Dedicated to everaging All Your Digital Assets to Connect with Customers.

The only forum that continues to focus on the marketing, branding and customer engagement strategies associated with the changing internet landscape as 1000s of new top-level domains come online and featuring a completely refreshed program agenda for 2014, Momentum is pleased to announce the release of the agenda for the 3rd Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congress, taking place on March 3-4 at the Dream Hotel in New York.

Experience what many of your peers have already found to be the most valuable, interactive and richest learning event as you benefit from increased one-on-one networking during new interactive roundtable discussions and panel sessions addressing:
  • Innovative Strategies for Brand Applicants Seeking to Maximize Your Digital Inventory Post-gTLD;
  • Positioning Strategies for Ensuring Your TLD Obtains Maximum Exposure;
  • Novel Brand Extension Opportunities for TLD Owners through the Use of Strategic Alliances and Partnerships;
  • How to Manage Internal Support from Marketing, Legal and IT to Achieve a Seamless TLD Implementation;
  • How to Set a Realistic but Workable Budget for Your TLD Launch.
Attendees of the 3rd Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congress will be able to sit side-by-side with representatives from leading brand and generic TLD applicants as you are provided with valuable lessons learned, brand engagement, digital marketing strategies that will best position your new TLD for success upon launch.

Hear from our Past Attendees:
"It's not at every conference where you can approach the CEO of different registry operators, where you can approach the meaningful material management people from companies like Google, from Amazon...something like this is a must attend."
- Frank Schilling, Founder & Managing Director, Uniregistry

Register now to reserve your space and be a part of the one industry event where every attendee has the opportunity to speak one-on-one with your fellow peers representing the leaders of the brand and generic TLD and domain community.

Learn what steps your organization needs to take now to ensure your brand is best positioned to thrive when your new TLD goes live. Visit us online at or all
646-807-8555 for more information on the program.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How to .DOWNLOAD Banging Tunes, Sick Movies and Nasty Apps

There is something that I am sure of: if I find two websites to watch a movie, one ending with ".download" and the other with ".cloud", I am almost certain that I will click on the ".download" one, at least for two reasons:
  1. I know .DOWNLOAD offers more chances to "download" the movie. The word "download" sends clear information. I don't exactly know what a .CLOUD website would offer: a weather forecast ... maybe!
  2. I also know I shall be able to watch my movie with the assurance that my comfort will rely on my reading device only, and not — also — on the speed of the connection. When you watch a movie hosted in the cloud, the movie is downloaded while you watch. This means that it stops, if the Internet connection is interrupted.
Read my article on CircleId.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Understand the .FROGANS project and technology

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Grapes of Wrath? An Insight Into .WINE, the Most Hotly Debated TLD in Government Circles

This is my latest artciel published about .WINE.

Everybody agrees, all .WINE applicants want to find where the buck is going to stop, as far as the strange stalemate we have been in for so many months. Situation? "What situation?" I hear you asking.

In July 2012, when applications and the name of their applicants were released to the public, it appeared that 3 applicants had the same idea, when they applied for a .WINE Top-Level Domain.

More on CircIeId.

What is the procedure to unblock a second level domain from an blocked SLD list?

This is the question I submitted to ICANN a few days ago.

Of course, when I send such a question, it is not tivial :-) With the number of highly interesting domain names you can find on these lists of blocked domain names, you can expect this is already an issue and this question will come inevitably. At the moment, it is unclear if it will be possible to unblock these domains or not.

An example: "bordeaux" is one of these blocked second level domains in the .WINE Registry. It means "" can't be registered. A joke...

The first answer I received from the support was expected but terrible too, and here it is:

"We are working on your request and will get back to you as soon as possible. We thank you for your patience.In the meantime, you may want to review our last Webinar FAQ document we published here . Please refer to the Name Collision Q/A. Thank you."

Basically: "try to find the answer yourself in the FAQs"... and I already know the answer won't be there anyway. So I returned the answer after and what follows is what I really call support:

"Hello, Actually, I tried to read the first 10 pages but it has nothing to do with my question and since it is not in my language, I do not want to read the remaining 20 pages of your FAQ document. It is the reason why I write to you. I will wait until you get back to me. Thank you."

ICANN support is +1
At this moment, I thought I would never get an answer in return but a few days after, I received a message: 

"We are continuing to work on a resolution response and will provide you the details as soon as the information is available"

I received the same message again a few days after wondering if this was not a loophole. Apparently not and I finally got this message from the support:

"Dear Jean Guillon,
Thank you for contacting the New gTLD Customer Service.
Please note that the SLD block lists are a temporary measure to allow Registry Operators to move forward without compromising the security or stability.
Q./ What is the procedure to unblock a second level domain from an blocked SLD list?
The blocking should be in effect until the mitigation measures described in the respective TLD Name Collision Occurrence Assessment have been applied.
Indeed, the implementation of the mitigation measures may allow the release of blocked Second-Level Domains, based on analysis or evidence that the cause of collision occurrence has been mitigated. Thank you."

This is the answer I expected from the ICANN support. I am aware they can't have a procedure already but since my initial question is going to be asked and asked again to all Registries by Registrars and Registrants, I get an answer here: these names won't be blocked forever so will probably be live one day.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Interview: Neelie Kroes on .WINE & .VIN (in French)

Pourquoi la Commission européenne se bat-elle au sein de l'ICANN pour défendre les Indications Géographiques (IG) sur .wine et .vin ?

La protection des iG dans le secteur du vin est très importante pour l'uE : économiquement et politiquement. Comme vous le savez, l'Europe est le producteur de vin le plus important au monde, avec certaines des régions viticoles les plus célèbres. Les caractéristiques de nos « vins d'origine » sont un atout majeur: je sais que les lecteurs d’EfoW n'ont pas besoin d’être convaincus sur ce point. C’est pourquoi, l'uE protège cet atout dans sa législation interne, ainsi que par des accords internationaux et bilatéraux.

Comme dans beaucoup d'autres domaines, nous sommes aujourd’hui confrontés à la difficulté de sauvegarder ces principes dans l’ère d’internet. En tant que Commissaire en charge de l'agenda numérique, ma priorité est de garder l'internet ouvert, unifié et sécurisé afin de promouvoir l’innovation et la croissance économique. En accord avec cet objectif, l'internet ne peut pas devenir un lieu de non-droit, un « wild west »: la règle de droit est importante en ligne ainsi qu’en dehors, d’autant plus lorsqu'il s'agit de protéger des droits tels que les iG.

J’ai donc exprimé mes préoccupations à l'iCann : les nouveaux noms de domaine de premier niveau génériques (gtld) .vin et .wine pourraient avoir un impact négatif, s’ils sont délégués sans protection adéquate pour les détenteurs d’iG.

Les producteurs ne sont pas les seuls à courir des risques, les consommateurs aussi. Si un consommateur voit un site avec le nom d’une iG, il est plus susceptible de penser qu'il est authentique. Pourtant, ce site pourrait vendre un vin qui n'a aucun lien avec cette région ou, pire encore, des produits contrefaits. Le cybersquatting des noms de domaine d’iG est une pratique qui est malheureusement déjà répandue au sein même de l'uE; sans règles claires la situation pourrait s'aggraver au lieu de s'améliorer.

Que se passera-t-il s'il n'y a pas d’accord pour sauvegarder les vins IG sur les .wine et .vin ?

Le Comité Consultatif Gouvernemental (GaC en anglais) de l'iCann a un rôle à jouer dans la décision de mettre en place des garanties. Il y a des débats et des désaccords. La position de l'uE, appuyée par de nombreux pays à travers le monde, et même par un certain nombre de parties prenantes aux Etats-unis, est que l'iCann ne doit pas déléguer les deux gtld sans garanties suffisantes. Agir autrement ne serait pas acceptable politiquement, économiquement ni légalement. Il ne peut y avoir de solutions sans un consensus total du GaC, et quelques garanties bien ciblées pourraient résoudre ce problème. J’ai donc encore bon espoir que nous pourrons trouver des solutions acceptables pour tous, titulaires de droits et entreprises candidates à la gestion de ces gtld. Cela permettrait à l'iCann de déléguer les deux gtld en toute sécurité, sans risque de cybersquatting, d’activité illégale ou de fragmentation de l’internet. En fin de compte un tel résultat est dans l'intérêt de toutes les parties.

À la lumière de ce dossier, quel avenir envisage la Commission européenne pour la gouvernance de l'Internet?

Je reste fermement attachée au modèle multipartite de gouvernance de l'internet: où toutes les parties prenantes participent activement à la recherche de solutions qui fonctionnent pour tous. Pourtant, cela doit être une réalité, pas que des mots: l'internet est une ressource mondiale et l'iCann ne peut ignorer les préoccupations légitimes venant de l’Europe ou d’ailleurs. Ce serait très négatif si les gens avaient l'impression que l'iCann et le modèle multipartite ne sont en réalité qu’une dissimulation qui protège les intérêts d’un seul pays.

Ce système doit fonctionner pour tous, il doit permettre aux gouvernements de faire respecter la loi sur le net et en dehors de celui-ci, et nous devons avoir une définition claire et commune de ce que signifie avoir des processus inclusifs et transparents. Nous travaillons pour améliorer ce système: pour le rendre plus intelligible et permettre à tous de participer à la gouvernance d’internet; pour améliorer le fonctionnement du GaC au sein de l'iCann, afin que les intérêts des politiques publiques soient légitimement reconnus, avec tous les gouvernements sur un pied d'égalité; pour développer une consultation sur l'avenir de la gouvernance de l'internet - la transparence, l'inclusion, et le rôle des différentes parties tels que les gouvernements, les secteurs et la société civile. notre consultation publique s'est achevée le 8 novembre et nous étudierons très attentivement les réponses.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

.WINE & .VIN : communiqué de presse de la CNAOC

Lors de la dernière session de l’ICANN à Buenos Aires du 17 au 21 novembre, les « .vin » et « .wine » ont été à nouveau au centre des discussions. Les gouvernements sont divisés sur la question de la protection des indications géographiques (IG) et ont demandé à l’ICANN de recourir à une expertise juridique. En parallèle, les discussions entre les sociétés candidates et le secteur se sont enfin engagées à Buenos Aires. EFOW et la CNAOC demandent à l’ICANN de ne pas déléguer en l’état ces 2 nouveaux noms de domaine et d’inciter les candidats à proposer des solutions concrètes.

34 Etats contre 3 : un rapport de force déséquilibré 

Depuis plusieurs mois un nombre croissant de gouvernements réunis au sein du GAC (instance consultative au sein de l’ICANN dans laquelle siègent les gouvernements) demande à l’ICANN (organisation en charge de l’attribution et la gestion des noms de domaines sur internet) de ne pas déléguer les « .vin » et « .wine » tant que les dossiers de candidature ne prévoiront des mesures de protection des IG. L’ICANN, depuis le mois d’août, incite le secteur du vin et les sociétés candidates à trouver un accord en vue d’une décision finale à Buenos Aires. Les « .vin » et « .wine » ont été au centre des discussions du GAC à Buenos Aires. Ils ont été discutés dans un climat de tension entre les européens et les américains sur la gouvernance de l’internet et le fonctionnement de l’ICANN. D’un coté, une coalition de 34 pays emmenée par l’Union Européenne et suivie par les pays d’Amérique Latine et d’Afrique plaidait pour une prise en compte des IG. De l’autre, 3 pays, dont les Etats-Unis soutenaient que les « .vin » et « .wine » pouvaient être délégués en l’état. Après d’intenses négociations, les membres du GAC se sont mis d’accord pour demander à l’ICANN de recourir à une expertise juridique afin d’éclairer le débat et pouvoir ainsi mieux juger des suites à y donner.

Un dossier emblématique pour un meilleur fonctionnement de l’Internet

L’Union Européenne, qui défend une association plus étroite des parties prenantes à l’ouverture des noms de domaine, espère que le dialogue engagé entre le secteur et les candidats aboutira. Il est à relever que pour la première fois en 4 mois, des discussions constructives entre certains candidats et les producteurs de vins ont été engagées à Buenos Aires. Il reste maintenant à ces sociétés à proposer, comme d’autres l’ont fait par exemple sur le « .bio », une solution permettant de protéger les IG. « Nous rappelons que ces nouveaux noms de domaines représentent une belle opportunité pour notre secteur si et seulement si les sociétés candidates protègent nos IG. Nous sommes prêts à soutenir et à faire la promotion de ces noms de domaine si nos noms y seront protégés. Quelle que soit la décision que prendra l’ICANN, le succès de ces noms de domaine repose en grande partie sur le secteur européen et ses opérateurs. C’est pourquoi nous privilégions aujourd’hui une approche gagnant-gagnant et espérons qu’il en est autant des candidats » déclarent Riccardo RICCI CURBASTRO et Bernard FARGES, président de d’EFOW et de la CNAOC. Les 2 présidents restent cependant vigilants, « nous appelons la Commission Européenne et les 34 Etats membres à tenir bons dans leur position. Nous jugerons aux actes et verrons si le nouveau modèle de la gouvernance Internet appelé de ses vœux par la Commissaire Neelie KROES et l’Union Européenne commence à devenir une réalité ou pas ». La prochaine session de l’ICANN aura lieu à Singapore en mars 2014.

Rappel du contexte:
L'attribution de noms de domaine de premier niveau ".vin" et ".wine" par l'Icann soulève de vifs débats dans le secteur du vin. Les producteurs de vins d'origine reprochent en effet aux 3 candidats de ne prévoir aucune règle de protection des noms des vins pour la vente de noms de domaine de second niveau (ex ""; ""; "" etc). Ils dénoncent les risques que cela ferait peser sur le consommateur (tromperie avec la vente sur des sites comportant des noms d’appellation de produits n'ayant aucun lien avec la région, détournement de notoriété avec l’utilisation des noms de grands vins, contrefaçon etc) et sur les opérateurs du secteur (racket avec rachat de noms de domaine). Le débat plus large qui est posé est celui du respect de la propriété intellectuelle sur Internet.

Contact Presse.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

.VIN & .WINE - Buenos Aires GAC communique

The GAC took note of the developments on the two strings .wine and .vin from its previous meetings in Beijing and Durban.

GAC members have undertaken extensive discussions to examine a diversity of views on these applications, and the protections associated with Geographical Indications (GIs).

GAC considers that appropriate safeguards against possible abuse of these new gTLDs are needed.

Some members are of the view, after prolonged and careful consideration, that the existing safeguards outlined in the GAC’s Beijing Communiqué and implemented by the ICANN Board are appropriate and sufficient to deal with the potential for misuse of the .wine and .vin new gTLDs. These members welcome the Board's response to these safeguards, which prohibit fraudulent or deceptive use of domain names. They consider that it would be inappropriate and a serious concern if the agreed international settings on GIs were to be redesigned by ICANN. The current protections for geographical indications are the outcome of carefully balanced negotiations. Any changes to those protections are more appropriately negotiated among intellectual property experts in the World Intellectual Property Organization and the World Trade Organization.

Other members consider that delegation of .wine strings should remain on hold until either sufficient additional safeguards to protect GIs are put into place in these strings to protect the consumers and businesses that rely on such GIs; or common ground has been reached for the worldwide protection of GIs via international fora and wide array of major trade agreements. Given this changing context, they welcome the current face-to-face talks between the applicants for .wine and .vin. and wine producers, aiming to protect their assets and consumers’ interests whilst taking into account governments’ public policy concerns.

The Board may wish to seek a clear understanding of the legally complex and politically sensitive background on this matter in order to consider the appropriate next steps in the process of delegating the two strings. GAC members may wish to write to the Board to further elaborate their views.

The communiqué.

Famous Four Media Selects Sedo to Help Market its Premium Name Portfolio of Internet Domain Extensions

Applicant for 57 of the most exciting new generic TLDs is partnering with world’s largest domain marketplace to bring its most popular names to market.

“The new gTLD program has been years in the making and will soon become a reality on the Internet,” said Andy Churley, Chief Marketing Officer, Famous Four Media. “We’re really looking forward to seeing the creative ways companies and individuals will use the names we’re able to offer them. To ensure that its domain names find the right home, Famous Four Media only works with the very best providers, and Sedo’s experience and worldwide reach, makes it a natural fit.”

Sedo, the world’s largest premium domain marketplace and monetization provider, and Famous Four Media (FFM), one of the largest applicants for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), today announced a partnership to bring some of the most exciting new domain names to market. FFM selected Sedo’s services that were developed based on 14 years of experience in the domain industry. Sedo will be working with FFM to conduct auctions, privately broker premium names and promote the different extensions under FFM’s management.

Read the Press release here.

Monday, November 18, 2013

TMCH numbers from the new gTLD Program

Thursday, November 14, 2013

.VIN & .WINE new gTLDs: NEELIE KROES writes to ICANN (again)

Here is the copy of a letter from NEELIE KROES, Vice-President of the European Commission to ICANN regarding .WINE and .VIN new gTLDs.

A few paragraphs I picked up. The complete letter can be downloaded down this page:

  1. "This letter aims at providing some clarifications concerning the need for additional safeguards for these strings and suggests possible solutions".
  2. It also highlights procedural problems concerning the functioning of ICANN'S Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC)".
  3. The EU has a large market share (around 75% globally) and has an established system of Geographical Indications (GIs) that guarantees the nature and quality of the wine products.
  4. The global scope of the gTLD and a lack of clear rules and safeguards can only amplify these problems.
  5. Without an adequate dispute resolution procedure, the legal burden placed on title-holders of potentially misused GI names is disproportionate.
  6. I still believe that agreeable solutions can be found among interested parties so that the strings can be delegated in a safe manner for both GI right holders and consumers.
  7. Someone did a very bad job on this one: The Beijing consensus advice was that further consideration was needed regarding the .wine and .vin strings and that the Board should be advised not to proceed beyond initial evaluation. There is no reason why this advice should be overruled, especially if some solution can be found between the parties.
  8. OUCH: The only possible default in case of no GAC consensus should be no advice. This is why the current discussion around .wine and .vin also raises questions concerning decision­ making procedures in the GAC, preparation of meetings by the secretariat, the role of the chair and the possibility and conditions for GAC members to vote.
  9. If there was no possible solution among interested parties because of the complexity of the matter, our position remains that the strings should not be delegated.

The letter can be downloaded here.

The SEO benefits of Dot Chinese Online (.在线) & Dot Chinese Website (.中文网)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

List of new gTLD Pioneer Programs

A Pioneer Programs is sometimes offered by new gTLD applicants to give a privileged access to certain domain names. It is a specific procedure and interested parties must fulfill certain conditions.

Some are not yet ready and others should be launched soon. I was informed about 3 official ones and will try to maintain this list according to the info I receive:

  1. .PARIS :
  2. .KIWI :
  3. .CLUB : (ask for "The "Founders Club").
More to come soon.

Friday, November 8, 2013

> Sunrise Launches with Lexsynergy

The Sunrise is the trademark priority period during which a trademark owner can apply to register a domain name that matches its verified registered trademark.

TLDSunrise PeriodNew gTLD Page 
 شبكة (.shabaka)31 Oct 2013 - 29 Dec 2013More information
.ventures26 Nov 2013 - 24 Jan 2014More information
.holdings26 Nov 2013 - 24 Jan 2014More information
.clothing26 Nov 2013 - 24 Jan 2014More information
.plumbing26 Nov 2013 - 24 Jan 2014More information
.bike26 Nov 2013 - 24 Jan 2014More information
.singles26 Nov 2013 - 24 Jan 2014More information
.guru26 Nov 2013 - 24 Jan 2014More information

Thursday, November 7, 2013

When can I register a new domain name? (Infographic)

The new domains – what’s taking so long?

Nice Infographic by eurodns here.

Donuts had been thinking about new gTLDs for a long time

Donuts list of applications.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Announcing by Jean Guillon

I am happy to announce a new website dedicated to NEW gTLDs info only.

Instant NEWS about new generic Top-Level Domains

When I launched the "new generic Top-Level Domains" group on LinkedIn, I thought it could be the place to network and share knowledge about new gTLDs but I also noticed that readers (Journalists, IP departments, Back-end Registries, new gTLD applicants, Registrars and many others) subscribed just "to be informed" about what is going-on in the new gTLD world.

For this reason I decided to create a place where readers could come, without having to log-in and provide a password and just "click and read". This is what is about:
  1. Find the info;
  2. Click on a hyperlink;
  3. Read the info.
Welcome to NEWSgTLDs.COM: a website updated DAILY

I am also happy to welcome my first sponsors:
  1. TLD Registry Limited, the essential new Chinese TLDs (Dot Chinese Online & Dot Chinese Website / .在线 and .中文网);
  2. Centralnic Group PLC, an Internet Registry service provider recently admitted to trading on AIM, also launching .WIKI - .XYZ - .INK - .COLLEGE (and many others);
  3. DomainDiction, a marketing consultancy, solely dedicated to Top Level Domains;
  4. eurodns, "the world of domain names", a major Registrar based in Luxembourg who will offer ALL new domain names.

Sponsoring starts at the price of 320 € / YEAR. More info here.

Domainers to provide examples why new gTLDs will be a success (or a failure)

Read best comments on Domaining.PRO

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Statement concerning .SPORT : poor conclusions

Thursday, 31 October 2013, Gibraltar:

Famous Four Media was surprised and disappointed to receive the decision of the Panelist Professor Dr. Guido Tawil, appointed by the International Centre for Expertise, in the case of SportAccord v dot Sport Limited EXP 471/ICANN/88. Famous Four Media and its applicant dot Sport Limited maintain that the word “sport” is understood by everyone to be a totally generic word and should not be claimed by one undelineated “community”.

The decision strikes right at the heart of the concept of freedom of expression, and significantly erodes transparency and predictability in the gTLD program. In particular, it confirms the concerns expressed by the NCUC at the time of the formulation of the ICANN Final Report in 2007 and the subsequent rules in the Applicant Guidebook, that the community objection process could be hijacked by competing applicants.

The Panelist demonstrates a large number of inconsistencies from both procedural and argument points of view, poor conclusions and displays a perceptible bias towards the Objector even prior to any conclusions being drawn. For example:
  • it is the Appointed Expert’s view that the level of global recognition of any institution should be analysed within the context of the community that such institution is claiming to be a part of, not the public in general.” This argument is entirely circular, in that it presupposes a community exists, and not in keeping at all with the Guidebook, which clearly denotes one factor for standing as “level of global recognition”.
  • [the Objector] acts for a preponderant part of such community” (at paragraph 74). Sports play a part the lives of nearly every human being on the planet – nearly 7 billion people. It is not exclusive to Olympians or global or national federations. To assert that SportAccord acts for a preponderant part of the sport community has no basis in fact.
  • The fact that the media (which may constitute a different community) or viewers are unable to be part of this association is irrelevant to consider Objector as a delineated community. Otherwise, no community could be recognized under the ICANN gTLD proceedings since it would be easy for any Applicant to find secondary or not closed-related members outside of it.”(at paragraph 106). This statement is clearly a non sequitur. It is not difficult to conceive of communities which are exclusive, and in all cases these do not consist of generic words like “sport.” One example already given by other commentators might be “.yorkuniversity.
  • The concept of “community” is not defined by the ICANN Guidebook.” (at paragraph 100). He then goes on to use the “British English Dictionary” definition of “community”. This telling statement demonstrates the Panelists woeful understanding of the new gTLD process. The term “community” is defined at paragraph 4.2.3 of the Guidebook, as having “evolved considerably from its Latin origin – communitas” meaning “fellowship” – while still implying more of cohesion than a mere commonality of interest”. Famous Four Media is disappointed that the Panelist fails entirely to take into account that the objector is a competing applicant merely trying to game the system, and avoid the more rigid scrutiny of the Community Priority Evaluation process. Famous Four Media simply cannot see how those involved in or interested in sport are better served by the delegation of the gTLD to a sports federation with no experience in the operation of a gTLD and the stability and security of the Internet name space coupled with amorphous registration policies. Indeed, the Panelist himself said “even though SportAccord has not proved that dot Sport Limited will not act (or will not intend to act) in accordance with the interests of the Sport Community, the Appointed Expert considers that this is only one factor, among others, that may be taken into account in making this determination. Conversely, the Appointed Expert sees a strong dependence of the Sport Community on such domain name.” This is the wrong test. What he is in effect saying is that the .SPORT gTLD should be delegated: just not to dot Sport Limited. This was not his decision to make.

Citing the Olympic movement’s prime message for all, sport belongs to everyone;” it is Famous Four Media’s unshakable belief that this statement is true and just and that is why Famous Four Media applied for an open TLD – a top level domain that is open to everyone and offered to everyone on a level and equitable basis. Trying to claim ownership and representation of sport is akin to claiming representation for the human race.

Famous Four Media shall pursue rigorously all available legal avenues available to it to have the decision independently reviewed by ICANN and/or others as the case may be, and reversed.


About Famous Four Media

Famous Four Media Limited was set up in 2011 by a small group of recognized domain name experts and successful financiers to actively provide products and services to TLD Registry operators under ICANN’s new generic Top Level Domains (“gTLD”) program.

Drawing on the best from both Registries and Registrars, Famous Four Media’s management team has extensive experience in the domain name industry having successfully launched, operated, marketed and run generic TLDs under previous rounds and having managed some of the largest corporate and retail domain name registrars in the world.

The 57 gTLD applications, that are currently under Famous Four Media Limited management, include some of the most interesting and valuable domain suffixes, such as .ACCOUNTANT, .BID, .DATE, .DOWNLOAD, .FAITH, .LOAN, .MEN,. REVIEW, .SCIENCE, .TRADE, .WEBCAM and .WIN

The 3rd Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congress (March 3-4, 2014)

An event to focus on Launch Strategies for Brands and Generics as the first wave of new TLDs go Live.
Past event presentations to be made available to 2014 registered attendees.

March 3-4, 2014 – Dream Hotel – New York, NY

Momentum events will again bring together the leaders of the brand and domain community this coming March in New York for two days of advanced learning and real-world launch case studies timed to coincide with the anticipated delegation and launch of the initial wave of new TLDs.

With founding sponsorship by Afilias and attracting in excess of 280 attendees in New York and London, attendees of the Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congresses have included a who’s who of the brand and domain community.

Attendees at prior events include senior representatives from:
  • Aden+Anais,
  • American Bible Society,
  • Amica Insurance,
  • .Berlin,
  • BBC,
  • BBVA,
  • Calvin Klein,
  • City of Helsinki,
  • .CO,
  • Dot Luxury,
  • Gucci,
  • Google,
  • .GOP,
  • Hermes,
  • Hexap,
  • HSBC,
  • IG Group,
  • KPMG,
  • L’Oreal,
  • LEGO,
  • London & Partners,
  • .ME,
  • Microsoft,
  • .NYC,
  • NYSE,
  • Orange Corporate Services,
  • PVH,
  • Philips,
  • Richemont,
  • Sandvik,
    Seiko Epson,
  • Sky,
  • .UK,
  • Vienna Insurance Group,
  • Walter AG,
  • and many more.
New for 2014, the program agenda is being designed to incorporate actual launch case studies as well as sessions specifically formulated for brand applicants, as well as registrars, non-applicants brands and domain investors.

Matt Godson Co-CEO with Momentum remarked, “As the industry moves away from legal and compliance issues, the community is looking forward to the opportunities that the new TLDs represent. This is the one event where those forward-thinking brands are able to meet, connect and share information in anticipation of the impending dramatic changes in internet naming

Momentum is making certain select presentations from prior events available online at with Frank Schilling & Jennie Marie Larsen’s presentation on String Logic currently available.

The first 25 registrants for the 2014 conference will exclusively receive a comprehensive set of 16 audio and audio/video recordings from the 2013 London event.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

New gTLDs brought by Donuts

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Slides of the last ICANN new gTLD webinar

Slides of the last new gTLD applicant webinar are online and available for download below.

Topics included:
  • GAC Advice
  • Objections & Dispute Resolution
  • Community Priority Evaluation
  • Auction
  • Contracting
  • Pre-Delegation Testing
  • Name Collision
  • Trademark Clearinghouse
  • etc...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A good URL is SHORT (new gTLDs)

I often attend Webinars and noticed it becomes popular to show your face...for eye-contact. So when it turns to joining a Webinar, I also have that problem to find the good URL where to meet: if it is not in my emails, I definitely need to search for it.

So when you are sent the link to connect to a Webinar or a video conference, what kind of a URL woud you find best not to waste time searching for the right link?
  1. ?
  2. ? Or,
  3. ?
Come on, this is an easy one.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Today is a Historical moment for "the ICANN ROOT"

Below are the first 4 new gTLDs (these are IDNs) to be given get a green light by for delegation in the ICANN root. The delegation is one of the last ICANN processes to almost guarantee an applicant he will make it to the finish line and operate his TLD.
  1. شبكة (xn--ngbc5azd) – Arabic word for “Web” or “Network”;
  2. онлайн (xn--80asehdb) – Russian for “Online”;
  3. сайт (xn--80aswg) – Russian for “Web site”;
  4. 游戏 (xn--unup4y) – Chinese for “Game”.
In the ICANN announcement, a paragraph attracted my attention, it says: "Only applicants that can meet the requirements outlined in the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook will be given an opportunity to operate a gTLD."

Actually, this is not true. There are other roots which do not need the ICANN to operate. They don't work the same way but they do exist. You can even buy .GUN domain names on these Alternative Roots and request the creation of a city name, just for yourself.

Read the official announcement on the ICANN blog.

Monday, October 21, 2013

New domain names: will they do it? (new gTLDs)

On the list are hundreds of domain name suffixes to be launched, I wonder if those who already use a domain name and who already have a prominent online presence, will convert to them.

Maybe .COM is just not best!

I am quite familiar with the common attitude that .COM domains are everlasting, that no other “TLD” (Top-Level Domain = domain name extension) can replace them. I have already heard quite often that new gTLDs will fail.

Read more about this article here.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Will Uniform Rapid Suspension Be a Substitute for Defensive Domain Name Registrations?

Many law firms and Intellectual Property departments in charge of managing brands and domain names for their customers or businesses must have had that same question: "how do I protect a brand online under the ICANN new gTLD program?" The first potential answer that is usually offered up to an enquirer is: "the Trademark Clearinghouse does that".

The Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) is not protection mechanism; rather it is a privileged access to registering domain names prior to registry launch.

Read my article on CircleId.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nouveaux gTLDs: Google lance son site officiel

Google, candidat à de multiples nouvelles extensions Internet, vient de lancer le site Internet de ses "Registres".

Google, qui a postulé à plus de 100 candidature afin d'exploiter des nouvelles extensions Internet et commercialiser des noms de domaine, a lancé son site Internet.

La suite sur le JDN.

What is a gTLD?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Nouveaux gTLDs: les RINDD, dossiers .WINE & .VIN (en Français)

J'étais aux RINDD ce matin, une conférence sur les noms de domaine et les nouveaux gTLDs, à ne pas manquer à mon sens. Il est dommage que ce ne soit qu'une fois par an.
RINDD veut dire: "Rencontres Internationales des Noms De Domaine", un équivalent du très couru "gTLD Strategy Congress" mais en France et...en Français.

Alors qu'il n'existe plus vraiment de "Registrar Corporate" en France qui sache répondre, en Français, à des clients très haut de gamme mais aussi à des clients de type TPE et "grand public", il semble que Mailclub soit en train de se faire un nom car certains détails ne mentaient pas ce matin: Mailclub à déjà un certain nombres de candidatures "nouvelles extensions" à son actif, la salle était comble avec plus de 150 personnes présentes au Rendez-vous, des intervenants de très gros calibre avaient fait le déplacement, l'ICANN, le GAC et le déjà très célèbre Bart Lieben étaient là, des représentants de candidatures de type "marque" mais aussi "génériques" et "communautaires" intervenaient et écoutaient. J'ai même noté la présence d'un bureau d'enregistrement accrédité concurrent :-)

Questions sur le .VIN
Le .VIN, est un débat qui a occupé plus de place que prévu, au grand malheur de son modérateur Frédéric Guillemaut, membre de l'Afnic et Directeur Associé de Mailclub ("Timing oblige"). Alors que l'ICANN était là, en la présence de Andrea Beccalli (Stakeholder Engagement Manager) ainsi que le représentant Français du GAC, le débat ne pouvait que s'installer naturellement sur la question des deux dossiers .WINE et .VIN. J'y ai appris, qu'à ce jour, et alors que le Board de l'ICANN vient de déléguer au mois de Novembre sa décision sur le suivi des deux candidatures, qu'aucun candidat n'a fait de proposition.

J'ai pu, par la suite, discuter une dizaine de minutes avec Andrea de l'ICANN et notre représentant Français du GAC. Un échange bref mais intéressant et qui a confirmé deux de mes craintes: j'ai bien peur que l'on n'y croit plus vraiment à ces deux candidatures - et la lecture de ce type de ce document n'arrange pas les choses - mais pire encore, si aucune solution n'a été mise en avant de la part des candidats, ce n'est pas parce qu'il n'y a pas de solution, mais parce que l'on n'échange pas assez. C'est le procédé qui fait barrage, pas la volonté de trouver des solutions. Et bien que je ne peux pas tout dire sur ces dossiers, soyez assuré que c'est une question que je suis de près.

Les porteurs de projets: un débat "vrai"
J'ai été particulièrement intéressé par le débat ouvert avec les porteurs de projets du .BIO, du .MED, du .BZH, du .BNPPARIBAS et du .PARIS.

Le représentant du .BIO, Godefroy Jordan, m'a impressionné par sa vision moderne de l'avenir des nouveaux gTLDs: un visionnaire pur et dur qui nous a presque donné la leçon. Chiffres à l'appui et plein d'idées, celui-ci n'a pas hésité - micro en main - à moucher le représentant d'une grande marque en lui expliquant les raisons pour lesquelles il n'était pas d'accord avec lui sur la question du succès du programme des nouveaux gTLDs. En effet, les nouveaux gTLDs sont une opportunité de se débarrasser de noms de domaine insignifiants et inutiles pour faire des choix de nouveaux noms de domaine, mais en quantités inférieures, qui correspondent à une activité. A la question: "que faire si, finalement, les nouveaux gTLDs ne font pas l'effet escompté et que les titulaires de noms de domaine se contente d'en sécuriser certains pour en faire des redirections vers leur .COM?", la réponse tombe aussi sous mon sens et voici une réponse équivalente à celle de Godefroy: c'est une occasion de faire le ménage et de se débarrasser des inutiles .INFO et .MOBI que l'on a sécurisé "au cas où".

J'ai aussi écouté attentivement Raphaëlle Laubie, du .MED pour les professionnels de la santé, dont la conviction m'a surpris. Les candidats au .MED ne sont pas des nouveaux venus dans le monde des extensions Internet, leur candidature Communautaire bénéficie de très nombreux supports mais aussi d'un réseau impressionnant de sites Internet qui leur appartiennent et de millions de membres qui adhèrent déjà à la communauté de la médecine: des patients qui ont besoin d'un espace de confiance sur Internet, et non d'un Far-West tel que celui proposé par le .COM.

Le représentant du .PARIS nous a "vendu sa sauce". J'avais moi même tenté de décrypter leur formulaire pour devenir "Pionnier" du .PARIS mais j'ai bien noté qu'il n'a pas souhaité annoncer le coût du ticket d'entrée à l'audience de ce matin. A 50 000 € minimum, je trouve très regrettable que la ville donne le privilège d'être l'un des premiers utilisateurs de ces noms de domaine à un prix aussi prohibitif. Que l'on ne me dise plus que la ville ne veut pas gagner de l'argent avec le .PARIS car si la mairie trouve ses 100 candidats, cela représente un minimum de 5 millions d'Euros. Qu'il soit dit que ce coût exorbitant permet à la ville de rentrer dans ses frais est un discours que je comprends, l'autre bla-bla pour vendre un programme Pionnier est un discours pompeux qui me fait sourire.
Je reçois aussi très bien le discours du tarif élevé des nouveaux noms de domaine et je le valide car de nouveaux .COM et .NET sont précisément ce à quoi il faut éviter d'aboutir. Un prix légèrement plus élevé qu'un .COM permet de crédibiliser une extension.

J'aime beaucoup le .BZH (Bretagne) qui s'est basé sur le modèle du .CAT (Catalogne) et alors que je n'y croyais pas du tout jusqu'en 2011, mais alors pas-du-tout, j'adore depuis cette petite extension très représentative et qui concerne une population très localisée. Le discours de l'intervenant était riche de sens et je pense que l'on peut s'attendre à une extension qui devrait surprendre car si l'on fait le calcul: on parle aussi du .BZH depuis très longtemps et il n'y a pas meilleure communication pour une nouvelle extension...regardez le .VIN ;-)

J'ai écouté le .BNPPARIBAS d'un oeil. Il s'agit d'une marque mais aussi d'une banque dont le discours était orienté sur le bénéfice aux clients et la sécurité. Je connais bien ces arguments: je les écrivais en 2009 pour d'anciens clients.

Présentation des RINDD:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Famous Four Media: new generic TLDs

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"Decision to decide" on .WINE & .VIN delayed to November 2013

Following a letter sent by the GAC to the ICANN Board (the NGPC in fact) on 9 September 2013 where no consensus was found on additional specific safeguards (protection of wine GIs), the ICANN Board had to "decide" about what to do regarding .WINE and .VIN new gTLD application: would they allow to proceed or not?

After months waiting, this story could have ended in 3 different ways:
  1. The ICANN board would have allowed both application to proceed but this would could have caused diplomatic...problems between the EU and ICANN and serious anger from part of the wine Community;
  2. The ICANN board would have ended all applications. In this case it would have meant that there would not have been any .WINE and .VIN domain names before the second round of applications.
  3. The ICANN board would have delayed again to give one last chance to applicants. It is precisely what happened: the ICANN Board delayed again to the next ICANN meeting in Buenos Aires in November 2013.
It is now in the hands of the GAC .WINE and .VIN applicants to demonstrate they want to win their application(s): will they just sit on their chair an "wait" like they just did until now or will they try to come with solutions?

Surprises coming...

Below if the copy of the ICANN Board's answer to the GAC: 
"The ICANN Board New gTLD Program Committee (NGPC) met on 28 September 2013 and, among other things, adopted a scorecard of remaining advice from the Beijing and Durban GAC 
Communiqués. The scorecard, available here, reflects the following:

.wine and .vin: On 9 September 2013, the NGPC received a letter from Heather Dryden to 
Steve Crocker re: .wine and .vin. The letter noted that there is no GAC consensus advice on 
additional specific safeguards, and that the GAC or its members may communicate further 
details to the Board as to the nature of the differences in views.

As such, the NGPC stands ready to hear from GAC members as to the nature of the differences in views expressed in the advice while the NGPC is analyzing the community input received on this advice.

The NGPC directs staff to analyze the GAC advice and other community input received on this 
issue, and prepare an analysis and recommendation for decision at the NGPC meeting in 
Buenos Aires.

The letter can be downladed here:

CEO GoDaddy Blake Irving talks Generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) rollout

Why should entrepreneurs adopt generic Top-Level Domains to represent their businesses?

Thursday, September 26, 2013


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Neelie Kroes (European Commission) on .WINE & .VIN

Monday, September 23, 2013

Find the coolest web address you can think of for the new .BID gTLD

Famous Four Media is running a competition to find the coolest web address you can think of for the new .BID generic Top Level Domain (TLD).

The competition is open now and will close at 11:59 UTC +2 on 4th October 2013, at which time the best suggestions will be entered into a random draw and the winner will receive a brand new Apple TV.

To stand a chance of winning all FFM needs is for players to send their suggestions along with their email to Alternatively players can post their suggestions on the company's Facebook wall or tweet them at @famousfourmedia.

The more suggestions are sent the more likely players are to win. The best ones will be posted as they come in. Note suggestions which are crude, rude, protected or libellous won't be accepted.

For more details please refer to the Terms and Conditions for this competition. Please note suggestions for the same name from two or more persons will all be included in the random draw should they qualify for entry.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Bagged your dotbike name yet? is soooo last century. and have gone but still time to register your bicycle-based domain name.

Slides of the latest ICANN new gTLD Webinar

Applicant Update Webinar: Information on evaluation progress and program developments.

Topics include:

  • Initial Evaluation;
  • Objections & Dispute Resolution;
  • GAC Advice;
  • Contracting;
  • Pre-Delegation Testing;
  • Name Collision;
  • Trademark Clearinghouse;
  • Community Priority Evaluation;
  • etc.
Download the slides, click here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New gTLDs: what now?

Interview with Christine Willett, VP of gTLD Operations | 17 Sep 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Bataille sur les .vin et .wine : la Commission européenne hausse le ton

Communiqué de Presse CNAOC EFOW sur le ".vin" et le ".wine"
Le dossier de l’attribution des noms de domaine « .vin » et «.wine » continue. La Commission Européenne a décidé de hausser le ton auprès de l’ICANN. Elle vient de prendre deux initiatives fortes sur le sujet. La Commissaire européenne chargée du numérique Neelie Kroes a transmis un courrier à l’ICANN pour l’exhorter à ne pas déléguer le «.vin » et « .wine » en l’absence de consensus. Par ailleurs, une rencontre entre Neelie Kroes et le Président de l’ICANN aura lieu aujourd’hui même pour évoquer ce sujet.

Vous trouverez donc ci-dessous, un communique de presse commun de la Confédération Nationale des producteurs de Vin et eaux-de-vie de vin à Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée (CNAOC) et EFOW, la Fédération Européenne des vins d’origine sur ce sujet.

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Face à l’absence de progrès dans les discussions sur les .vin et .wine et à la veille d’une décision de l’ICANN, la Commission Européenne a décidé de hausser le ton. Elle vient de prendre deux initiatives fortes sur le sujet. Tout d’abord un courrier adressé le 12 septembre à l’ICANN dans lequel la Commissaire européenne chargée du Numérique, Neelie KROES, demande à l’ICANN de ne pas déléguer les .vin et .wine. Ensuite une rencontre ce lundi 16 septembre entre Neelie KROES et le président de l’ICANN. L’exécutif européen va jusqu’à laisser entendre que ses relations avec l’institution mondiale dépendront de l’issue de ce dossier.

La création de nouveaux noms de domaine de premier niveau (actuellement « .com » ou « .fr ») provoque de vifs débats. Notamment dans le secteur du vin puisque se pose à cette occasion la question de l’encadrement de ces noms de domaine et la protection des indications géographiques. Le secteur européen du vin dénonce depuis plusieurs mois les risques de tromperie du consommateur, contrefaçon, détournement de notoriété et cybersquatting. C’est au tour de la Commission européenne de faire entendre sa voix et de tenter de peser sur la décision de l’ICANN. La Commissaire chargée du Numérique a fait connaître la position de la Commission dans une lettre adressée aux dirigeants de l’ICANN le 12 septembre dernier.
Nelly KROES constate que les tentatives de dialogue engagées par le secteur du vin auprès des candidats pour trouver des solutions ont échoué. Compte tenu des « implications juridiques, de la sensibilité politique et des intérêts économiques en jeu », la Commission demande aux dirigeants de l’ICANN de ne pas déléguer les « .vin » et « .wine » tant que n’auront pas été prévues des règles permettant de protéger les indications géographiques.
Nelly KROES les appelle à coopérer et laisse entendre qu’il en va de la crédibilité de l’Institution. La Commissaire doit rencontrer ce lundi 16 septembre le président de l’ICANN pour lui expliquer de vive voix la position de l’Union Européenne.

Les organisations professionnelles européennes et nationales de défense des vins d’origine, EFOW et la CNAOC, se félicitent de ce message très clair envoyé par la Commission. Les présidents d’EFOW et de la CNAOC, Riccardo RICCI CURBASTRO et Bernard FARGES déclarent : « Désormais l’ICANN et les candidats doivent savoir qu’ils ont désormais en face d’eux un front uni de l’Union européenne. Ils ont encore toutes les cartes entre les mains. Soit ils font enfin des efforts pour examiner les solutions que nous leur avons proposées et dialoguent avec nous et alors les .vin et .wine pourraient voir le jour. Soit ils s’entêtent et continuent de nous ignorer, ils porteront alors la responsabilité de l’échec de ces dossiers ».
« Nous répétons que nous sommes prêts à soutenir les dossiers qui permettront d’assurer la protection des noms de nos vins ». Les deux organisations rappellent comme la Commission qu’elles sont prêtes à envisager toutes les actions pour empêcher la délégation en l’état des .vin et .wine.

Rappel du contexte :
L'attribution de noms de domaine de premier niveau ".vin" et ".wine" par l'Icann soulève de vifs débats dans le secteur du vin. Les producteurs de vins d'origine reprochent en effet aux 3 candidats de ne prévoir aucune règle de protection des noms des vins pour la vente de noms de domaine de second niveau (ex"; ""; "" etc). Ils dénoncent les risques que cela ferait peser sur le consommateur (tromperie avec la vente sur des sites comportant des noms d’appellation de vins n'ayant aucun lien avec la région, détournement de notoriété avec utilisation des noms de grands vins, contrefaçon etc) et sur les opérateurs du secteur (racket avec rachat de noms de domaine). Le débat plus large qui est
posé est celui du respect de la propriété intellectuelle sur Internet.
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Qui donc aura le dernier mot? :-)


This is the very straightforward letter sent by the Vice President of the European Commission yo ICANN about .wine and .vin new gTLDs.

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The EU has welcomed on a number of occasions the applications of the two new gTLDs .wine and .vin as a possibility to have a reliable and safe place on the internet for consumers, right holders of Geographical indications (GI) and producers of wine. We have also stressed the importance that GIs are sufficiently protected under the new gTLDs. Consequently, the European Commission and the major wine producing EU Member States have invested much in GAC to establish safeguards which would allow ICANN to delegate the two new gTLDs in a safe maimer, both for GI right holders and consumers.

At the Beijing meeting, the EU pointed out that the more general safeguards agreed in Annex I of the Communiqué were not sufficient and suggested a limited number of specific safeguards for the two strings. The European Commission was obviously open to negotiate these safeguards with other GAC members, although to a large extent they were to be considered as minimal to achieve the objective they aim to pursue. However, the proposed safeguards were rejected by a few GAC members and it was therefore concluded, in consensus, that further considerations were needed and that, in the meantime, the Board should be advised not to proceed beyond initial evaluation.

After Beijing, much in the spirit of ICANN's multi-stakeholder approach, the European Commission
encouraged organisations representing right holders of GIs to contact the applicants in order to come
to an agreeable solution. The European Federation of Origin Wines (EFOW), contacted the applicants with a concrete proposal, to which unfortunately, they only at a later stage got elusive answers. At the Durban meeting, despite the European Commission's assurance that we were taking appropriate measures to find a solution, the EU and other GAC members were forced to accept a timespan of thirty days in "a view to conclude on the matter".

During this thirty day period, the European Commission and the EU Member States have again made substantial efforts to explain the legal implications, the political sensitivities and the economic interest at stake. Similar concerns have also been expressed to you directly, not only from International and European organisations but also from GI right holders in the USA. We also suggested a way forward, including safeguards which puts GIs on equal footing with trademarks and copyrights in the advice, and suggests a number of precautionary measures allowing GI right holders a certain insight in the registration policies.

Although some of the GAC members seem to believe that the applications for .wine and .vin should proceed, I would like to recall that there has not been any consensus decision overruling the advice given in Beijing. We are therefore of the firm opinion that the advice provided at the GAC April meeting stands as long as there is no new consensus on the matter.

Furthermore, our position on substance also remains firm; under no circumstance can we agree having .wine and .vin on the internet, without sufficient safeguards which efficiently protect the rights and interest of both GI right holders and consumers of wine and wine products. The more general safeguards expressed in Annex 1 of the Beijing Communiqué are not specific enough to allow companies unrelated to the wine sector, and therefore not acquainted with the specificities of the global wine market and the importance of GIs, to run the two strings in a safe manner. I think the Public Interest Commitments accompanying the applications illustrate this very well.

If serious negotiations can start between the two parties, I am confident that the discussions between the GI right holder organisations and the applicants will result in an agreement which, in line with applicable law in the EU, can actually establish a safe space for the GI right holders and consumers. Until such agreement has been concluded, I expect that ICANN does not go beyond the initial evaluation of the two strings .vin and .wine.

In this context, I would also welcome a substantial discussion between our services on how ICANN will ensure that GIs will be treated equally to other intellectual property rights, not least within the Trade mark clearing house. 

I am looking forward to your full cooperation on this highly sensitive issue, crucial for our trust in the well-functioning of ICANN and the multi-stakeholder approach to internet governance.
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Who will have the last word?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

GAC Potential Safeguard Advice Regarding .wine and .vin

The letter below was published by ICANN last night. It was sent by the Chair of the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) to the ICANN Board.

It is still too early to comment this, let's see what the ICANN Board answers...and actually, I don't understand the reason of the last sentence of this letter.

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Dear Steve,

As you are aware, the GAC agreed in Durban to set a firm deadline for providing a potential safeguard advice regarding .wine and .vin.

That deadline has now expired and I write to you in order to inform the ICANN Board about the outcome of the GAC deliberations on this matter.

The GAC set a deadline of 30 days for its consideration of possible additional safeguard advice for .wine and .vin. With reference to Module 3.1.1 of the Applicant Guidebook and the Durban Communiqué 2.a regarding .wine and .vin., the GAC advises the ICANN Board that the GAC has finalized its consideration of the strings .wine and .vin and further advises that the applications should proceed through the normal evaluation process.

While there is no GAC consensus advice on specific safeguards, it deserves to be noted that the crux of the matter relates to the handling of geographical indications, for which there is a range of views among the GAC membership. Some members support referencing geographical indications while others are opposed. There is no international agreement among governments about how to treat geographical indications and, as a consequence, no basis for an agreement in the GAC on safeguards that would offer additional protections. 
The GAC or its members may communicate further details to the Board as to the nature of the differences in views. 
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"Patience is a Virtue"...but I wonder what my next publication will start with, what do you think?

The letter can be downloaded here.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

New gTLDs: The Registry Lock

Last week, The New York Times website domain was hacked by "the Syrian Electronic Army". Other famous websites faced the same attack in 2012 by the Hacker group "UGNazi" and, in 2011 by Turkish hackers.
Basically, it seems that no Registrar on the Internet is safe from attack, but the launching of new gTLDs can offer new ways to mitigate these attacks.

Read the end of this article on CircleId.

Friday, September 6, 2013

.CAM: "the process in the applicant guidebook is now clear"

The message below, from Famous Four Media, explains why United TLD's .CAM application cannot proceed:
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"As you know, in the last few weeks three string confusion objections lodged by Verisign, Inc against .CAM were decided: two by one panellist who decided in favour of AC Webconnecting BV and our applicant, dot Agency Limited, and one by another panellist who decided in favour of Verisign.

As you rightly pointed out in your article of 20th August, the panellists both put some emphasis on expected “usage” (i.e. the focus of the likely content of websites on the string). Whether or not one ascribes to the view that usage should not be taken into account, and we believe that it should (otherwise we would not have argued it), the fact is that United TLD were very explicit prior to the publication that usage should indeed be taken into account. In fact, Greenberg Traurig, on behalf of United TLD, vociferously opposed consolidation of all three objections, and I attach a copy of the letter for you. Note the following extract:

Consolidation has the potential to prejudice the Applicants if all Applicants’ arguments are evaluated collectively, without regard to each Applicant’s unique plan for the .cam gTLD and their arguments articulating why such plans would not cause confusion.

United TLD took a calculated risk in believing that its application was in a stronger position to win out against the objections alone rather than consolidating with the other applicants, and they lost.

As you know, Statton Hammock later went on record on CircleID and wrote the following:

String confusion objections are meant to be applicant agnostic and have nothing to do with the registration or use of the new gTLD.

Their opposition to consolidation is another reason for you to be confused by his statement.

The process in the applicant guidebook is now clear: AC Webconnecting and dot Agency Limited proceed to resolve the contention set, and United TLD ‘s application cannot proceed".
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See Circle ID blog post for reference:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

CentralNic begins trading its shares on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM Market

CentralNic Group PLC, the internet registry service provider which derives revenues from the distribution and sale of internet domain names, successfully began trading its shares on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM Market on Monday. A leading innovator in the domain name industry, CentralNic has exclusive global contracts to supply retailers such as GoDaddy and with domains using 30 different endings (“extensions’’), including .la (such as, (such as and (such as

The Company raised £7m ($10.9m USD) from its IPO with leading institutional investors Schroders Investment Management and Unicorn Asset Management joining the shareholder register. The shares were placed at 55p and rose 19% to 65.5p by the end of the first day’s trading, valuing the company at £38.7m ($60.2m USD). The admission to AIM and strong trading performance was picked up by the UK business press including the Financial Times and The Times, which named CentralNic’s stock “Deal of the Day.”

While already profitable and growing rapidly, CentralNic expects to benefit from a major expansion in the number of generic Top-Level Domains (“TLDs”). The Company has been awarded the exclusive global registry service provision contracts for 60 new TLD applications, 25 of which are already confirmed to launch, including: .college, .bar, .wiki, .xyz, .rest, .contact, .feedback, .ink, and .PID.

CentralNic’s clients include leading media and entertainment businesses The Guardian and William Morris Endeavor, global 1000 companies Saudi Telecom, Etisalat, Qatar Telecom, and Kuwait Finance House, as well as entrepreneurs in the USA, Latin American, Europe and Asia. CentralNic’s clients are also contenders for additional TLDs including .app, .art, .blog, .design, .gay, .golf, hotel, .law, .llc, .love, .mail, .now, .school and .style, among many others.

Commenting on the Company’s admission to AIM, Ben Crawford, CEO of CentralNic, said:

“We are extremely pleased to have successfully completed the IPO process. The business is in a strong position to take advantage of additional opportunities to develop our global domain distribution business, and will benefit from having new quality shareholders to support our strategy.”

Monday, September 2, 2013

What are new gTLD Governance Councils?

I recently explained in French what Governance Councils (GCs) are. Here is another version in English.

A domain name extension is unique
Many generic, community and other geographic new domain name extensions (also called "gTLDs" or "generic Top Level Domains") will soon become a focal point for the industry or sector they represent.

These simple denominators which define a vertical sector, profession, geographic, ethnic or other delineated group on the Internet have not existed on the Internet until now.

Read the end of my article on CircleId.

The Long Island Wine Council to write to ICANN

The Long Island Wine Council recently sent this letter to ICANN regarding its support to Napa Valley Vintners, CIVC (French Champagne), CNAOC, EFOW (and others) initiative against cybersquatting. The letter says that its small business members "have neither the staff nor the financial resources to effectively police fraudulent or misleading domain registrations".

The Long Island Wine Council web site.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Political pressure on .WINE & .VIN applicants

This is a recent letter sent by the EFOW to the courteous attention of:
  • Dr Steve Crocker, Chair of the ICANN Board;
  • Mr Cherine Chalaby, Chair of the new gTLD Program Committee Board;
  • Mr Fadi Chehadé, CEO of ICANN;
  • Mr Akram Atallah, COO of ICANN.
In copy: Ms Heather Dryden, Chair of the Governmental Advisory Committee

Object: « .vin » et « .wine », Bruxelles, 19th August 2013 

Dear Sir, Madam,

As you may know we represent the producers of wines whith a geographical indication (GI) from France, Hungary, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

We are extremely worried with the proposed extension of first level domain names, notably those relating to wines, i.e. .vin and .wine. We have had the opportunity to state very clearly that we are not opposed to it but rather that we would welcome these developments as long as the protection of wines with a geographical indication would be guaranteed.

In that regard we were pleased with the decision of the GAC in Beijing to postpone decision to grant extensions on these domain names. We immediately took this opportunity to look for solutions that would allow for the protection of our GIs and the development of the Internet. Informal contacts were made with .vin and .wine applicants. Our lawyer also sent them on our behalf a first letter on the 11th July, a few days before the Durban meeting.

We had taken good note of the GAC decision to give an additional month to the wine sector and to the candidates to find an agreement among them. Even if we considered this delay as being exteremely short, we remained optimistic that we would be able to find a solution with candidates. As we did not get any reply to our first letter, we sent another letter to the three candidates on the 31th July to reiterate our willingness to establish a constructive dialogue and to find a mutually acceptable agreement.

As of today, 19 August 2013, we have received two formal answers by letter and an informal one by email. We are pleased with the open-mindedness of certain candidates which seem to be willing to engage with us in the future. Nevertheless, we must note that the three candidates hide behind the GAC discussions and none is willing, at this present moment, to interact with us in order to find a solution. Moreover, we have also been informed of the fact that political pressure has been exerted on the candidates to discourage them to engage in any discussions with us (during the one month deadline given us by the GAC).

We deplore this situation and can only regret that our attempts to engage with the candidates, in order to find a concrete solution, has failed for the time being. The lack of agreement between the wine sector and the candidate companies seems to be the way sought by some. Unlike them, we are more than willing to find a suitable solution.

Taking into account this situation, we would like to ask for another reasonable delay to be granted in order to find an agreement. We also kindly request ICANN to invite the three candidates to talk to us. If not, the three projects might not come into effect.

We would be happy to provide you with all the letters and e-mails sent to the three companies in the last few months.

We have put our respective governments as well as the European Commission in copy of this letter. We will also informed the press that has been regularly asking us for the outcome of our discussion with the three candidates.

Finally, we would like to end this letter reiterating our conviction that a suitable and satisfactory solution is within reach. Only such a decision would offer the required credibility to the decision to extend first level domain names.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Riccardo Ricci Curbastro
President of EFOW

Thursday, August 29, 2013

.WINE & .VIN : an answer by the French Ministry of Agriculture

The question was asked (in French) to the French Ministry of Agriculture on June 6th 2013 and answered on August 22nd.

M. Daniel Laurent attire l'attention de M. le ministre de l'agriculture, de l'agroalimentaire et de la forêt sur le développement du commerce sur internet qui ouvre de nouvelles perspectives économiques pour la filière viticole. Cependant, il doit faire l'objet d'une vigilance accrue afin d'apporter des garanties en termes de protection des appellations d'origine. L'organisme privé américain qui gère le système des noms de domaine a décidé d'ouvrir les noms de domaine de premier niveau générique (.vin, .wine) au risque de voir une utilisation non contrôlée des AOC et une spéculation autour de la vente de noms de domaine. Les professionnels du secteur estiment que les demandes liées au secteur viticole pourraient avoir des conséquences dans la protection des indications géographiques vitinicoles (usurpation ou contrefaçons des appellations), des droits de propriété intellectuelle, et de protection des consommateurs. En conséquence, il lui demande quels moyens la France compte mettre en œuvre au niveau européen pour définir des règles et des procédures précises de protection des indications géographiques.

Answer from "M. le ministre de l'agriculture, de l'agroalimentaire et de la forêt ":
L'internet corporation for assigned names and numbers (ICANN), organisation privée américaine en charge de la gestion des domaines internet et des adresses internet au niveau mondial, a lancé, en mars 2012, un programme visant à créer de nouvelles extensions génériques pour les noms de domaine internet comme par exemple, « . paris », « . music ». 1 900 candidatures ont été déposées dans ce cadre. Parmi elles, les projets « . vin » et « . wine » sont préoccupants pour la filière viti-vinicole. Les candidats souhaitant créer ces nouveaux domaines internet ne prévoient aucune protection pour les indications géographiques. À la suite des premiers commentaires de l'organisation internationale de la vigne et du vin (OIV) qui relevaient les risques que faisait peser sur le marché du vin ce défaut de protection, le Gouvernement a, dès octobre 2012, proposé l'intervention de la France pour demander la mise en place d'une procédure visant la protection des indications géographiques. Cette position a été défendue lors des réunions de l'OIV et du comité de gestion de l'organisation commune de marché vitivinicole, dans l'objectif de sensibiliser les grands États producteurs sur cette question. Le Gouvernement français est intervenu lors des dernières réunions du comité consultatif des Gouvernements de l'ICANN (GAC) de Pékin et Durban (avril et juillet 2013) et a, avec l'appui de l'Espagne et de la Commission européenne, obtenu du GAC, dans son communiqué adopté à Pékin, qu'il invite l'ICANN à ne pas procéder pour l'instant à la délégation de ces domaines internet. La réunion de Durban s'étant révélée non conclusive sur ce point, le GAC s'est donné 30 jours supplémentaires, à compter du 18 juillet, pour trancher sur ces sujets. Les indications géographiques représentent une valeur ajoutée très importante pour la filière vitivinicole et occupent une place prépondérante en valeur à l'export. La reconnaissance et la protection des indications géographiques sont donc une priorité pour la France. Le Gouvernement, en liaison avec la Commission européenne et les opérateurs, s'attachera à ce que les discussions à l'ICANN prennent en compte au mieux les intérêts de la filière vitivinicole et la nécessaire protection des indications géographiques.

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