Monday, October 29, 2018

Law Enforcement Agencies WILL have authority on Registrars and Registries

This one is for European Law Enforcement Agencies only, and no matter what the GDPR says (this article was first published on CircleId).

Introduction
Accessing Whois information and acting on a litigious domain name is becoming a nightmare for law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement agencies must have an access to the information provided by registrants in the Whois database and, in specific cases, have authority to act FAST on a domain name. The EU has a solution for this and it's coming in 2020. Is this mechanism welcome now the GDPR is causing problems to law enforcement agencies trying to do their job? I'd say...yes it is.

What it is
The Regulation (EU) 2017/2394 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2017 on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws and repealing Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004. It is directly applicable in all Member States.

What it does say
A few things that I extracted from the regulation:
  • Competent authorities should be able to request any relevant information from any public authority, body or agency within their Member State, or from any natural person or legal person, including, for example, payment service providers, internet service providers, telecommunication operators, domain registries and registrars, and hosting service providers, for the purpose of establishing whether an infringement covered by this Regulation has occurred or is occurring.
  • Where no other effective means are available to bring about the cessation or the prohibition of the infringement covered by this Regulation and in order to avoid the risk of serious harm to the collective interests of consumers: where appropriate, the power to order domain registries or registrars to delete a fully qualified domain name and to allow the competent authority concerned to register it.
Coming in 2020
This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. It shall apply from 17 January 2020.

The regulation is available here.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Update on .AMAZON : "Will Not Proceed" status is removed

Lots of whereas in this adopted board resolution by the ICANN Board but it appears that the .AMAZON new gTLD could be on its way to delegation.

Extracted from the Adopted Board Resolutions from the 25 Oct 2018 Regular Meeting of the ICANN Board:
  1. The Board directs the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to remove the "Will Not Proceed" status and resume processing of the .AMAZON applications according to the policies and procedures governing the 2012 round of the New gTLD Program. This includes the publication of the Public Interest Commitments, as proposed by the Amazon Corporation, according to the established procedures of the New gTLD program.
  2. The Board directs the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to provide regular updates to the Board on the status of the .AMAZON applications.
Check the resolution.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The .NEW new gTLD is here

The .AMAZON new gTLD

Extracted from the "just published" ICANN63 Barcelona GAC Communiqué:
Colombia provided an update regarding the letter sent by the ACTO secretariat on 5 September 2018 in which the 8-countries Organization expressed its concerns on a possible assignment of the domain to the corporation Amazon Inc. without taking into consideration the cultural, economic, social and environmental interests of a sensitive region as is the Amazonia, while reiterating that ACTO countries have the right to participate in the governance of the domain name ".AMAZON"; including the participation in the establishment of public policies. A decision without proper consent in a multi-stakeholder approach framework, would be considered disadvantageous, and far from their interest over the Amazonian region. Colombia also informed of a note of concern addressed to the ICANN CEO by the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the ITs Minister in which the Government expressed its concern regarding a possible .amazon delegation without consent by the ACTO members.
Read the full Barcelona communiqué.

Friday, October 19, 2018

The .BEST price drop

Not so many people are using domain names ending in “.best” yet. The reason for this is its price at the registrar: up to €112 per year at some registrars when a “.com” often costs below €10. The Registry recently changed hands and is adapting, offering a serious price drop.

Registration Price will be divided by 10
This promotion, effective 1st November for 3 months, is a good news: many users have been requesting the registrars to lower its price and this is just about to happen. The .Best registry, in its wish to go to the market, has decided to offer a promotion for “.best” domain names. The price will be:
  1. Divided by 10 (wholesale registration price)
  2. Lower than a “.com”
  3. Available for multi year registrations: it means that it will be possible to register the domain name at this special price for up to 10 years at some registrars.
.BEST in SEO and SEM
At the moment, my Registrar wants to charge me €88 for a single year of registration but such price, even if already low compared to other registrars, is still too high for me and I want to register a “.best” domain name for the simple reason that “best” is a very strong keyword when it comes to promoting a business, and also because it benefits the SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Moreover, according to a study from GlobeRunner, .Best domains beats .com domains in SEM (Search Engine Marketing) having a Better CTR (Click-Through Rate) and a Lower CPC (Cost Per Click).


All .BEST Names are “still” available
What is great with this promotion is that .BEST has actually a low volume of domain names on the market (around 3,000 domains in total). This makes “.best” domain names a fantastic opportunity for Registrars, Trademarks and domain name investors. For example, many industries are covered with generic keywords available for registration: consulting.best, umbrella.best, perfumes.best, teeshirt.best, skirt.best, cards.best, sunglasses.best, expo.best, desk.best, equity.best, cryptocurrencies.best, homeloans.best … As a wine fan and producer, I will probably be looking for short names in that direction.

Note that such price will only be available during the promotion period starting 1st November of 2018 and ending in 31st January of 2019 (right after the Namescon 2019).

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The ".IDN" new gTLD to change to ".INTERNET" ?

An application for a .IDN new gTLD was submitted to the ICANN in the first round of the ICANN new gTLD program. It appears that this Indian company, named Nameshop, had the ICANN applicant support to result with a "did not meet all criteria" so it can't be delegated. It then requested the ICANN to change its string to .INTERNET to allow the creation of domain names ending in ".internet" (instead of ".com" for example).

What the application says
The application says that "the purpose of the proposed gTLD is to offer a bridge for the Internationalized Domain Name Registrant to connect to users beyond their own language communities. This gTLD would be of help in furthering the Internet Communityʹs efforts to preserve the Internet as a unified, Global space". Right.

Changing a TLD to another?
I personally do not understand how domain names ending in ".idn" will help offering a bridge for the Internationalized Domain Name Registrants to connect to users beyond their own language communities, but as long as the string does not belong to the strings ineligible for delegation (2.2.1.2.3 of the Applicant Guidebook (AGB)) or the list of reserved names (2.2.1.2.1 of the AGB) ...why not. Unfortunately, "IDN" is an alpha-3 code listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard and the AGB says that applications for strings that are country or territory names will not be approved if a string sis considered to be a country or territory name (2.2.1.4.1 of the AGB): "IDN" stands for Indonesia.


For me the story ends here with this application because another applicants applied for an alpha 3 code string in the first round of the ICANN new gTLD program and I don't remember that he was offered the opportunity to discus changing his string to another. I also read the applicant guidebook many times and did not find anything about the possibility to modify a string. To me this demonstrates one thing: ICANN is flexible.

Is the .INTERNET new gTLD coming?
I personally doubt it but Nameshop asked the ICANN for a meeting (PDF download) to discuss this in the next ICANN meeting in Barcelona this coming week: "to request that the GDD and ICANN Leadership continue to actively consider delegation of .INTERNET and keep in mind the usefulness and value of .INTERNET -- operated in tune with Nameshop’s Public Interest Commitments".

The ICANN Vice President of gTLD Operations seem to have confirmed this meeting (PDF download) to discuss this application.

Do you imagine domain names ending in ".internet" offered to the general public?

Schedule of Working Group and new gTLD Work Track 5 Meetings

ICANN63: Schedule of New gTLD Subsequent Procedures PDP Working Group and Related Meetings.


Working Group and Work Track 5 Meetings:
  1. GNSO - New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Work Track 5 (Geographic Names)
    9:00 - 13:15, Sat, Oct 20, 2018 -- 117 GAC)
    Remote Participation: https://63.schedule.icann.org/meetings/901599
    Agenda wiki page: https://community.icann.org/x/shVpBQ
  2. GNSO - New gTLD Subsequent Procedures (1 of 3)
    13:30 - 15:00, Sat, Oct 20, 2018 – 114 (ccNSO)
    Remote Participation: https://63.schedule.icann.org/meetings/901662
    Agenda wiki page: https://community.icann.org/x/IBZpBQ
  3. GNSO - New gTLD Subsequent Procedures (2 of 3)
    15:15 - 16:45, Sat, Oct 20, 2018 – 114 (ccNSO)
    Remote Participation: https://63.schedule.icann.org/meetings/901663
    Agenda wiki page: https://community.icann.org/x/IBZpBQ
  4. GNSO - New gTLD Subsequent Procedures (3 of 3)
    17:00 - 18:30, Sat, Oct 20, 2018 – 114 (ccNSO)
    Remote Participation: https://63.schedule.icann.org/meetings/901664
    Agenda wiki page: https://community.icann.org/x/IBZpBQ
Related Meetings:
  1. GAC: New gTLDs Work Tracks 1 - 4
    9:30 - 10:15, Sun, Oct 21, 2018 -- 117 (GAC)
    Remote Participation: https://63.schedule.icann.org/meetings/901602
  2. GAC: Geographic Names WG/WT5 Discussion Meeting
    17:00 - 17:45, Sun, Oct 21, 2018 -- 117 (GAC)
    Remote Participation: https://63.schedule.icann.org/meetings/901610
  3. Middle East Space - Applicant Support Program for the new gTLD Subsequent Procedure
    10:30 - 11:45, Mon, Oct 22, 2018 -- 116 (ALAC)
    Remote Participation: https://63.schedule.icann.org/meetings/901573

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Meet with the Trademark Clearinghouse

Friday, October 12, 2018

People don't have .FAITH but still go to .CHURCH (with their .BIBLE)

Church-goers dont't have .FAITH so much anymore and .CHRISTMAS does not seem important; but they like a good .WEDDING and still go to .CHURCH with their .BIBLE. See no offence here but today, a .CATHOLIC has an advantage on .ISLAM and the Muslim moral (the .HALAL new gTLD) in the new gTLD world.

The Vatican
The Vatican was pretty much present in the first round of the ICANN new gTLD program: it applied for four Top-Level Domains: .CATHOLIC plus 3 others in 3 different scripts which also mean "catholic": .天主教 - .католик and the .كاثوليك new gTLD.
A use was found for the .CATHOLIC Top-Level Domain and 13 domain names were created (October 2018). Note that no website is visible nor indexed on Google yet using domain names ending in ".catholic" or any of the 3 other scripts. Only websites such as https://whois.nic.catholic/ can be accessed at the moment.

Islam and Halal
Very recently, an Independent Review Process (Asia Green IT System vs ICANN) declared, in accordance with Article IV, section 3.21 of the applicable version of the Bylaws, that the Board directs the President and CEO, or his designee(s), that the pending application for .HALAL and the pending application for .ISLAM not proceed. There are domain names ending in ".catholic" but there won't be domain names ending in ".islam".

A few figures
The .FAITH Top-Level domain lost 3,000 registrations in one month but it still has almost 10,000 more domains - for a total of 63,271 registrations - than what it had in the beginning of the year, in January 2018.

Two TLDs keep growing in numbers: the .WEDDING and .CHURCH new gTLDs never lost registrations since January 2018:
  1. 26,700 domain names for .WEDDING
  2. 23,300 for .CHURCH
Is Christmas coming?
The .CHRISTMAS Top-Level Domain lost nearly half of its total registrations since January 2018 and dropped to 1,660 domain names. Will that change in December?

Mormonism
The MORMONs and their .MORMON new gTLD still have not created any www.directory.mormon or www.temple.mormon domain names and stick to one single registration. It is the same for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS Church) and its .LDS new gTLD: there is still no use. Wouldn't a www.church.lds be welcome?

The Christian Broadcasting Network
Same here with one single domain name registration. The .CBS Top-Level Domain has a lot of potential to me: the front page shows generic strings such as "shows", "news", "living", "video", "radio", "kids" and "ministries". I would certainly dig in that direction.

Read the report here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Car Manufacturers use .BRAND new gTLDs

I first wanted to entitle this post "Cars and new gTLDs: volumes" but generally speaking, domain name registration volumes from this group are not very exciting BUT for a few car Trademarks. This publication is based on figures from the September/October CARS new gTLD report from Jovenet Consulting.

One .BRAND created 1,300 domains
This is the list of Trademarks (specification 13 new gTLD applications) to have created between 100 to 1,300 domain names for their own use. The .BRAND new gTLDs concerned are:
  1. .AUDI created 1,300 domain names;
  2. .SEAT created 628 domains;
  3. .MINI created 326 domains;
  4. .LAMBORGHINI created 197 domains;
  5. .BMW created 117 domains (I really like that one).
If all of these domain names are truly paid by these Trademarks, but not sold to the public, they are used for SEO strategies and to improve the company's brand value.

Singular VS Plural Car new gTLDs
Some new gTLDs allowing domain names to be sold to the public exist in two versions: the singular and the plural one. The extensions concerned are:
  1. The .AUTO and .AUTOS new gTLDs
  2. The .CAR and .CARS new gTLDs
It just DOES NOT WORK in terms of number of creations and the main reason for this is their ultra high price, also, one of them still has restrictions. Try at your Registrar and see. Note that a Registry with a low volume of domain names can be profitable if you add to this the number of Premium domain names registered. My personal thought is that you create a niche Registry because you want an entire industry to use your domain name, not just a portion of it. Three out of four of these TLDs lost registrations since January 2018.

.TIRES and .LIMO
This is one figure that I don't understand: there si a market for domain names ending in ".tires". Domain name registrations have increased up to 1,130 creations for this TLD since January 2018 when they've kept decreasing for .LIMO for the past 6 months.

Read the report here.

Monday, October 8, 2018

The end of .ISLAM

These resolutions on 3 new gTLDs were just approved by the ICANN board during a Special Meeting.
  • On .PERSIANGULF: the Board adopts the portion of the IRP Panel's recommendation that the application for .PERSIANGULF submitted in the current new gTLD round not proceed and directs the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to take all steps necessary to implement this decision.
  • On .HALAL and .ISLAM: the Board directs the President and CEO, or his designee(s), that the pending application for .HALAL and the pending application for .ISLAM not proceed.
In simple words, such recommendations mean that the 3 applications listed above should be ended and not see the day in the first round of the ICANN new gTLD program. Note that such applications could be submitted again in future rounds.

Catholics have 4 new gTLDs
There are many new gTLD applications dedicated to religious Top-Level Domains and Catholics, for example, have four extensions in four different scripts which all mean "catholic".

Read the resolutions here.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Companies and new gTLDs: volumes

The Companies new gTLD report is an interesting one: it focuses on new domain name extensions that we believe companies should secure their domain name, and/or trademark(s) with. These new gTLDs make sense for companies since most are generic and could represent the company on Internet, using a domain name extensions that offers more precision than ".com". Some extensions listed are words often used for business like the .BLOG or .EMAIL new gTLDs.

Four IDNs
4 IDNs (domain name extensions using a different alphabet or with accents) are listed for the words "trademark", "company" (also available in the American Standard Code for Information Interchange and in English), "corporate group" and "world" (also available in ASCII and in English).

Growing or not?
The first thing that I like to have a look at, is if registration volumes grow from a month to the other and also, if they've grown since the beginning of the year. Surprisingly, many have lost registrations since January 2018 but the one after grow in a conservative way: .BLOG - .EMAIL - .GROUP - .COMPANY - .GLOBAL - .EXPERT - .INTERNATIONAL - .商标 (".trademark") and .SUPPORT.

Figures
On this list of 22 extensions, 6 have more than 100,000 registrations and one should pass the million by the end of the year. 3 kept gaining registrations since January 2018: .COMPANY - .INTERNATIONAL and .商标 (".trademark").

Trademarks
An interesting extension is the .TRADEMARK new gTLD, available in its Chinese script only: the .商标 Top-Level Domain has a lot of successus and registration figures don't drop: trademarks are concerned here. Now: what use can you have of a domain name ending in .商标 but to protect yourself? I don't know.

.WEB - .SITE or .WEBSITE ?
If the awaited .WEB new gTLD has not launched yet, .SITE and .WEBSITE seem to be gaining a lot of traction in October 2018. They don't if you look at the month of January 2018: they now have less registrations than in January 2018. I feel that these domain name endings all look alike and that's a problem when you launch a website: you don't want the exact same second level domain name to be registered in an extension that has almost the same meaning as the one for your website. I consider these TLDs confusing.

Impressive
The .ONLINE new gTLD is about to pass the 1 million domain name registrations: this is a lot. I find that it is very close to .WEB - .SITE and .WEBSITE so I am not buying but I agree that a Trademark, with the financial capacity to secure its assets, should secure its name in these extensions: just in case.

Similar but in different languages
Three extensions are available in English and in Chinese: .WORLD and .世界 (Chinese) - .GROUP and .集团 (Chinese) - .COMPANY and .公司 (Chinese). All have their volume of domain names to increase in their English ASCII version but all loose registrations in the Chinese one, when comparing starting the month of January. Are end users ready for IDN new gTLDs?

Focus on .BEST
If registration figures are not impressive in this TLD and its 2,682 registrations in total, Companies should be informed that the extension is relaunching, adding to its business model a social network based on reviews, and a seriously innovative cryptocurrency to reward reviewers. Registration figures should increase in 2019 since this TLD is changing hands with a complete different approach to selling domain names. Trademarks are concerned here too. The new social network is set to launch in 2019.

Legacy TLDs
I had to add the .PRO and .COM legacy TLDs since they are professional domain name extensions that I would recommend, not to use, but to secure and use as a redirection to a new domain name.

Read the report here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Sports and new gTLDs: volumes

I count 29 new domain name extensions dedicated to sport. On that list, I added Esport service providers likes the .XBOX and .PLAYSTATION new gTLDs: they are game console Trademarks. 8 Trademarks are listed in this monthly report and the rest are generic new gTLDs, which domain names are dedicated to be sold to the general public.

Famous Four Media and GRS
Two extensions, previously operated by multiple registry Famous Four Media, the .RACING and .CRICKET new gTLDs, are now in the hand of GRS (Global Registry Services Limited): a disagreement on the strategy resulted in a court battle and it's quite possible that volumes of domain names registered for these two extensions keep dropping. When looking at the volumes of the .RACING Top-Level Domain and its 82,000 registrations, compared to .FOOTBALL which has 5,300 only, one might be tempted to wonder why would the market of Racing work so much better than the market of Football. The marketing technique maybe.

Endurance
On some other new gTLD reports, I sometimes notice that some extensions have the exact same increase of domain name registrations each month. Of course, I would certainly not think that a registry would inflate his numbers but when it is so obvious, I would be tempted to think that something is wrong in the method. Of course, this is not the case with the .FITNESS and .DANCE new gTLDs (with .RUN and .YOGA?): these two extensions have been growing slowly since January 2018 and never lost registrations. I call this "meeting with adoption". Note that I unlisted the .FIT new gTLD from this report since I find it unclear about what it means exactly: Google offers 24 more translations for the word "fit" but its registration volumes were doing very good in 2017 (see in the report).

The Ryder Cup and .GOLF
Domain name registration volumes of the .GOLF new gTLD are decreasing but the Ryder Cup might change this. the problem is that the official website is still using a ".com" and the similar ".golf" domain name does not even redirect to it, when I believe that it should be the opposite: redirect the ".com" to the ".golf" and make that one the official website. Such initiatives can make a difference in terms of promotion. The FIBA (Basketball) recently made the change to a .BASKETBALL domain name and I believe that the FIFA (Football) might be tempted too with a .FOOTBALL (I was also told that the FIFA won't move until it has its hands on the .FOOTBALL new gTLD.

Slow start for the .RUGBY new gTLD
The World Rugby (formerly the International Rugby Board) changed to a .RUGBY domain name. The Top-Level Domain launched with a Sunrise Period in November 2017, went through 3 "limited registration periods", then through a "qualified launch program" which ended in January 2018. Nine months after, the number of domain names created has increased to 211. For a reason that I misunderstand, the registry website offers an "Invitation Only phase" which runs until 26 April 2019 and General Availability (when anyone can buy) starts in July 2019, the first. With such a low volume of domain names on the market, why make it so difficult to register a domain name?

The technique about restrictive TLDs
Restricting a TLD is a way to give the advantage of domain name registrations to a specific group or community: they can be "community applications" or a wording in the registration policy that has to be validated during the registration process and which makes the registrant (the buyer) think that he is a true member of this community and accepted by it. In reality, it a risk for the buyer since very few people read registration policies before buying a domain name. The risk is even increased since the registry, for whatever reason, can decide that the registrant does not comply with its registration policy and take down a domain name. Let's be frank about restricting a TLD...isn't it a technique used by "new gTLD experts" people like me to make a client think that he will have a better control over his TLD? On the paper it is. In reality, restricted TLD registration volumes show that it is the best technique to fail the launching of an extension. It is already difficult to sell domain names without restrictions like it is the case for .FOOTBALL, so adding restrictions certainly will not help give a TLD the chance to exist and deploy. Figures talk.

Confident about the future
Sport TLDs are the future of sport websites, no matter how long it takes and no matter how much they cost: generally speaking all volumes of sport domain names have increased since January 2018 so this can only be a positive sign for the future. Another reason for this is just "common sense", it is the same for existing niche TLDs: they offer more precision and trust. Wait for the Winbledon® website to use a .TENNIS domain name and for organizations like the World Surf League to use a .SURF: Rip Curl®, O'Neil® and Quiksilver® will follow.

Read the report here.

Looking for (new gTLD) Sponsors

I publish about new gTLDs "only" and I don't do write much, but I can ensure that what is said about your company will be read by your next potential clients and the entire new gTLD community.

I am the product
I publish a lot about new gTLDs and .BRANDs "only" and I do that because, when working as a consultant, I just have to. I once read that when doing that for free, I was the product, and this is actually why I look for sponsors. I am fine with being a product :-)

It's over here
Following up with all that is said about new gTLDs is rather easy, I'd suggest to select a communication channel at www.gtld.today, hit the subscribe button and you're set.

My future sponsors
On the list of sponsors that I look forward to have are:
  1. One Backend Registry;
  2. One Escrow service provider;
  3. ICANN;
  4. One Registrar (Retail or Corporate);
  5. Registries;
  6. One law firm offering services "related" to new gTLDs;
  7. Trademarks are welcome too.
My offers
My promotion offers are available at Jovenet Consulting, in English and in French, but I am happy to work on something different, according to specific needs.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Real Estate and new gTLDs: volumes

I just updated the monthly report dedicated to domain name registration volumes from the Real Estate industry. In more simple words, the report refers to extensions such as ".forsale", ".apartments", ".loft", etc...

A snapshot
This report is a monthly snapshot which allows to see if Real Estate businesses use these new domain names and which extension catches the attention of buyers. The report is updated at the end of each month and two kind of new gTLDs can be found in this report:
  1. DotBrand domain name registration volumes dedicated to Real Estate Trademarks (also called ".BRANDs"). Note that these domain names cannot be sold through the network of accredited registrars: the .FRESENIUS new gTLD for example;
  2. Real Estate domain name volumes dedicated to be sold to the general public: the .HOUSE new gTLD for example.
September - October 2018
This month, 31 new gTLDs are listed and 6 of them are Trademarks. The most successful new gTLD, in volume of domain name registered, is the .REALTOR new gTLD with a total of 45,479 creations (this Top-Level Domain is exclusively for REALTORS®). The interesting thing about this number is that it has gained 4,000 registrations in one month: that's a lot.
Another interesting progression is the .REALESTATE new gTLD which seems to be gaining a lot of registrations with an increase of 12,300 domain names creations.
Note that these two extensions belong to the same owner.

Good to know, the .HOMES new gTLD just announced that it is dropping its restrictions and lowering its price as early as January 2019. The extension was delegated in May 2014 and in November 2017, the Registry submitted a Registry Service Evaluation Process request to remove eligibility verification of registrants for the .HOMES Top-Level Domain. With an actual total of 416 domain names registered since its launch, we are confident that this change of position regarding restrictions will significantly change the number of domain names created.

Read the report here.

The .PAGE and .FAN Sunrise Periods

  1. The .PAGE Sunrise Period ends today: Monday, 1 October, 2018 - 16:00.
  2. The .FAN Sunrise Period starts tomorrow: Tuesday, 2 October, 2018 - 16:00.
Check the Trademark Clearinghouse calendar for more.


Note about the .PAGE "EAP"
The Early Access Program is a 7 day period in advance of General Availability (GA) during which domains can be registered immediately with five different price tiers, starting with the highest tier and decreasing each day. The "real" General Availability period with no more additional one-time fee starts October the 9th (16:00 UTC).
Learn more here.

Register your Trademark using an agent.