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:

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

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