31 March 2014

Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, Domain Name Ramifications

Excellent analysis by  Susan Chalmers of domain name ramifications in the TPP (read full article at link below, excerpt follows):

Where policy fora collide: country-code Top-Level Domains and the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement — Susan Chalmers: " . . . . Which remedies must be provided, and as an outcome of which type of process – a court case or a dispute resolution policy? Cancellation and transfer are the traditional remedies in domain name disputes. What if monetary damages or domain name seizures are argued to be the most effective remedies under the Provision? These remedies go beyond those provided in the UDRP. Would a ccTLD have to offer these remedies as part of their dispute resolution policy? What would that entail? An evidentiary procedure for determining damages, for example?... Couldn’t a simple trademark infringement action in court achieve the same result and don’t countries party to the TPP offer those causes of action in their trademark laws anyway? . . . " (read more at link above)

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

30 March 2014

Internet Governance, Big Brother, ICANN, NETmundial

If nothing else, the Snowden documents reveal a US government that thinks it has rights and privileges that supersede the rights of global internet users, and other governments, all in the name of "US national security." So where does this leave US-based ICANN? And where does this leave the rest of us--users, registrants, registrars, registries, etc.?

Big data, big business, Big Brother? - CNN.com: " . . .Let's remember that some 90% of the Internet's key infrastructure (search, clouds, hosting, portals etc) is US-based, and thereby subject to near-Orwellian laws such as the PATRIOT Act and FISA, which makes compliance with the laws (and norms or cultures) of users from other territories such as Europe, Brazil or India next to impossible. Next in line to want a piece of Internet control is China and Russia; clearly this does not bode well for 'the people formerly know as consumers' who simply must be able trust providers before truly adapting E-commerce, digital money, e-health or online education...."

Brazil, Europe plan undersea cable to skirt U.S. spying - Yahoo News: ""We have to respect privacy, human rights and the sovereignty of nations. We don't want businesses to be spied upon," Rousseff told a joint news conference with the presidents of the European Commission and the European Council. "The Internet is one of the best things man has ever invented. So we agreed for the need to guarantee ... the neutrality of the network, a democratic area where we can protect freedom of expression," Rousseff said."

The upcoming NETmundial conference may be interesting. (NETmundial in São Paulo, April 23-24, 2014
About NETmundial Here)

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

28 March 2014

iOS 7 keyboard, there is still a dot com shortcut

With all the noise, hype, and misinformation about the new gTLDs (1000+ new top level domains) being unleashed on us by ICANN (which benefits financially from this misguided launch), here's a small voice of sanity amongst the fray. What does the world's biggest corporation, which also happens to be a technology, internet savvy company, co-founded by the renown Steve Jobs, think of the new gTLDs? Uh, not much-- Apple bought only 1 gTLD, for defensive purposes, ".apple." And as for the often heard pronouncement that Apple "did away with the .com on the keyboard" --

Secrets of the iOS 7 keyboard | TechHive: "Although the iOS keyboard often anticipates your needs, you’ll probably be surprised to see some buttons missing. The ‘.com’ key that formerly appeared when you typed, for instance, in Safari’s address field, has gone AWOL. Don’t fret; there’s still a .com shortcut, you just need to know where to find it. Tap and hold the period (.) key to make a pop-up menu appear. Then, slide your finger up to the ‘.com’ button."

Funny, I don't see ANY of the new gTLDs! LOL!

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

27 March 2014

Congressional Committee Hearing April 2 on Future of the Internet

What impact will the following have on NETmundial and ICANN?

Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Majority (202) 225-2927
Minority (202) 225-3641

March 26, 2014

Committee on Energy and Commerce
Subcommittee on Communications and Technology

The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology has scheduled a hearing on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. in 2322 Rayburn House Office Building. The title of the hearing is “Ensuring the Security, Stability, Resilience, and Freedom of the Global Internet.” Witnesses will be announced and are by invitation only. The hearing webcast will be available at http://energycommerce.house.gov/.

By Order of Chairman Walden
source: http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF16/20140402/102044/HHRG-113-IF16-20140402-SD001.pdf

Members of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology:
Republicans - Chairman: Greg Walden (OR); Vice Chairman: Bob Latta (OH); John Shimkus (IL); Lee Terry (NE); Mike Rogers (MI); Marsha Blackburn (TN); Steve Scalise (LA); Leonard Lance (NJ); Brett Guthrie (KY); Cory Gardner (CO); Mike Pompeo (KS); Adam Kinzinger (IL); Billy Long (MO); Renee Ellmers (NC); Joe Barton (TX); Fred Upton (MI)
Democrats - Ranking Member: Anna G. Eshoo (CA); Michael F. Doyle (PA); Doris O. Matsui (CA); Bruce Braley (IA); Peter Welch (VT); Ben Ray Lujan (NM); John D. Dingell (MI); Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ); Bobby L. Rush, (IL); Diana DeGette (CO); Jim Matheson (UT); G.K. Butterfield (NC); Henry A. Waxman (CA).

Committee Leaders Pledge Robust Oversight on Administration Announcement on Future of the Internet; Hearing Scheduled for First Week of April | Energy & Commerce Committee: Committee Leaders Pledge Robust Oversight on Administration Announcement on Future of the Internet; Hearing Scheduled for First Week of April . . . Committee Will Hold Hearing the First Week of April as Administration Examines Whether Department of Commerce Can Turn DNS Functions Over to Internet Stakeholders

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) today pledged to conduct aggressive oversight following the recent announcement by the Obama administration on the future of Internet governance. The administration is looking to engage the multi-stakeholder Internet community to investigate future models for administration of the Domain Name System (DNS). The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announcement asks the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to commence a process to determine what steps can be taken to move DNS functions into the multi-stakeholder model without jeopardizing the security and freedom that have fostered the Internet’s success.

“The Internet changed the world, and we must ensure the world does not change the Internet,” said Upton and Walden. “The Internet has thrived across the globe under the existing multi-stakeholder effort, and should serve as a guide for the future. We welcome a thoughtful discussion amongst Internet stakeholders on the Department of Commerce’s role in the DNS. But changes to the current model should be approached with a cautious and careful eye. The Energy and Commerce Committee has been at the forefront of the effort to preserve Internet openness and freedom. We will continue to conduct robust oversight to ensure that before any changes are considered we safeguard that no government or intergovernmental body takes over critical DNS functions. We have many questions, and look forward to a thorough examination the first week of April.”

Additional hearing details, the Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.

- See more at: http://energycommerce.house.gov/press-release/committee-leaders-pledge-robust-oversight-administration-announcement-future-internet#sthash.QVKwPIJA.dpuf

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

26 March 2014

Black Swans, Domain Names, Domaining

Larry Page and Sergey Brin studied computer science at Stanford University ... They cofounded the company Google. On one occasion they tried selling the company for $1 million. The buyer refused telling that the price was too high. As of today Google controls 66.7% of the search market and the company is valued at $355 billion. (source infra)

The Black Swan | Seeking Wisdom: "Remember that positive Black Swans have a necessary first step: you need to be exposed to them. Many people do not realize that they are getting a lucky break in life when they get it ... I am sometimes shocked at how little people realize that these opportunities do not grow on trees. Collect as many ... non-lottery tickets (those with open-ended payoffs) as you can, and, once they start paying off, do not discard them. Word hard, not in grunt work, but in chasing such opportunities and maximizing exposure to them."

So how many potential positive Black Swans (domain names) do you own?

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

24 March 2014

ICE Seizes Counterfeit Domain Names

ICE Seizes Counterfeit Domain Names | Dickinson Wright - JDSupra

more news links below

20 March 2014

QLP.com UDRP decision, domain system abuse

qlp -- read the concurring opinion -- blatant RDNH --


Domainers are going to love and hate the QLP.com UDRP decision | Domain Name Wire: "Law firms should either be UDRP arbitration panelists or representatives, but not both."

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

19 March 2014

Dysfunctional ICANN, Internet Governance

Rewiring Internet Governance: U.S. Government Will Likely Be Forced to Jettison ICANN (Part 3): "... In Part 2 the argument exposed ICANN's trajectory which also reflects economic fabulism. As critics have feared, internet governance has become a smoke screen that reminds one of what McChesney (2013) refers to as "the great conflict between openness and a closed system of corporate profitability, the forces of capital have triumphed whenever an issue matter to them. The Internet has been subjected to the capital-accumulation process, which has a clear logic of its own, inimical to much of the democratic potential of digital communication." The "great conflict" incorporates ICANN's provincialism and thus its defensive posture. For all its imagined power ICANN governance amounts to weasel worded rhetoric coupled with never ending discussions, expensive conferences, and meetings whether required or not, nearly everywhere in the world, all of which in the end game dwindle to kowtowing to big money interests. Those "emerging pressures on multistakeholder governance" lamented by ICANN's board are real. The board created them...." (read more at link above)

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

18 March 2014

Thanks to ICANN, a coming explosion of cybersquatting

source: JDSupra

more news links below

17 March 2014

Wild Web Addresses, Sane Advice

Welcome to the Year of Dot-Sexy and Other Wild Web Addresses - Businessweek: "New names will be delegated over the course of 2014, but Baer thinks Americans accustomed to .com extensions will be slow to embrace them. “I do not believe that by expanding the pool of top level domains to hundreds or thousands, that all of a sudden they’re going to take on a life of their own,” he says. So there’s no need to shell out for yourname.sexy just yet." (read more at link above)

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

Internet Governance, Should ICANN Be Replaced?

Now that the US Government is out of the way, it is the next question being asked:

“It’s inconceivable that ICANN can be accountable to the whole world. That’s the equivalent of being accountable to no one,” said Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, a trade group representing major Internet commerce businesses. (source: Washington Post)

Garth Bruen, a security fellow at the Digital Citizens Alliance, a Washington-based advocacy group that combats online crime: “ICANN has made a lot of mistakes, and ICANN has not really been a good steward.” Business groups and some others have long complained that ICANN’s decision-making was dominated by the interests of the industry that sells domain names and whose fees provide the vast majority of ICANN’s revenue. (source: Washington Post, emphasis added)

Campaign for .nyc » Cities, Citizens, and Internet Governance: " . . . In its early days ICANN provided for strong representation of individual Internet users in its decision making processes. It did so by allocating 5 seats on its board of directors to be filled by Internet users, with each of ICANN’s regions selecting one member via a direct election. One such election was held and, for a time, 5 Internet user-selected board members helped govern ICANN. The corporation [ICANN] found fault with the selection process and replaced the user-selected members with an appointed At-Large Advisory Committee and a Nominating Committee charged with selecting several board members. In recent years the At-Large was reconstituted and now participates in selecting one (1) voting member to ICANN’s board of directors. By any measure, under today’s governance formation, the world’s 2+ billion individual Internet users and the At-Large Structure’s impact on ICANN’s governance decisions remain tenuous...."

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

16 March 2014

US Cedes Internet Oversight, Will ICANN Survive?

U.S. to Cede Its Oversight of Addresses on Internet - NYTimes.com: "The United States will give up its role overseeing the system of Web addresses and domain names that form the basic plumbing of the Internet, turning it over in 2015 to an international group whose structure and administration will be determined over the next year, government officials said on Friday...."

POLITICO.com: "...“We will not accept a proposal that replaces the NTIA role with a government-led or an intergovernmental solution,” Strickling [NTIA Administrator Larry Strickling] said in a conference call...."

U.S. Plans to Give Up Oversight of Web Domain Manager - WSJ.com: " . . . Some Silicon Valley executives support the move, which they view as inevitable in light of the concerns over the NSA disclosures. "I'm not sure they [U.S. government] have any choice," said Peter Schwartz, senior vice president of global government relations for software maker Salesforce.com Inc...."

But anyone who thinks this means clear sailing for ICANN, better think again --

US government to privatise the Internet’s domain name system: "... It isn’t clear yet what organization or groups will take over its responsibilities to maintain unique codes and numbering systems that are used in the technical standards that drive the Internet...."

"The move’s critics called the [U.S.] decision hasty and politically tinged, and voiced significant doubts about the fitness of ICANN to operate without U.S. oversight and beyond the bounds of U.S. law. “This is a purely political bone that the U.S. is throwing,” said Garth Bruen, a security fellow at the Digital Citizens Alliance, a Washington-based advocacy group that combats online crime. “ICANN has made a lot of mistakes, and ICANN has not really been a good steward.” Business groups and some others have long complained that ICANN’s decision-making was dominated by the interests of the industry that sells domain names and whose fees provide the vast majority of ICANN’s revenue. The U.S. government contract was a modest check against such abuses, critics said." (source: Washington Post )

U.S. to relinquish remaining control over the Internet - The Washington Post:  ".... Concern about ICANN’s stewardship has spiked in recent years amid a massive and controversial expansion that is adding hundreds of new domains, such as dot-book, dot-gay and dot-sucks, to the Internet’s infrastructure. More than 1,000 new domains are slated to be made available, pumping far more fee revenue into ICANN. Major corporations have complained, however, that con artists already swarm the Internet with phony Web sites designed to look like the authentic offerings of respected brands...." 

Internet administration to shift from U.S. to global stage - Erin Mershon and Jessica Meyers - POLITICO.com: " . . . ICANN recently embarked on a controversial expansion of the Internet’s domain-name system. The group is preparing to approve hundreds of new Web endings, like .clothing, .shop or .hospital, in the next year. Industry groups have criticized the program, saying it will increase the potential for cybersquatting and add to their costs....."

ICANN response here (to the US announcement).

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

14 March 2014

ICANN, Internet Governance, Highly Unstable Environment

"ICANN is a policy disaster that will likely result in its demise...To the extent that the Montevideo framework might be regarded by some as "turning one's back" on U.S. governance at present, such should not be construed to mean eliminating common sense in favor of laissez faire. The first and perhaps obligatory step is for government in the U.S. to get rid of ICANN and do it soon before its policies split the internet into political fragments." (source, infra)

Rewiring Internet Governance: Summing up ICANN Policy Walking Backward Into the Future (Part 4): "... In ICANN's case, what government has achieved through neglect, or at best benign supervision, is a policy vacuum that was quickly noted and acted upon ICANN and its benefactors. The ICANN version of internet policy is a legal curiosity where almost anything goes, money talks, and where ICANN deliberately ignores, subordinates and brushes off those who actually provide its mother's milk, meaning revenues from what amounts to TLD licensees and their registrar businesses that sell domain names..."

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

13 March 2014

Untimely Ownership Claim, Copyright Infringement Claim

"Under the Copyright Act, claims for ordinary copyright infringement must be brought within three years after the claim accrues. Thus, a new three-year statute of limitations is created upon each act of infringement. However, courts have held that claims pertaining to copyright authorship accrue only once and must be brought within three years from when “plain and express repudiation” of authorship is communicated to the claimant. In this case, the 9th Circuit followed guidance from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and Sixth Circuits to affirm the district court ruling that an infringement claim where the central issue is copyright ownership is only timely if such ownership claim, standing alone, would also be timely. The court reasoned that this approach prevents plaintiffs from navigating around the statute of limitations for copyright ownership claims by simply disguising the grievance as an infringement claim. The 9th Circuit noted that creating a circuit split in the area of copyright, as Seven Arts requested, would be “particularly troublesome” and would lead to inconsistent levels of copyright protection among jurisdictions." read more at: Untimely Ownership Claim Time-Bars Copyright Infringement Claim Where Basis of Dispute Is Ownership - Seven Arts Filmed Entertainment Ltd. v. Paramount Pictures Corp. | McDermott Will & Emery - JDSupra

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

12 March 2014

You Do Not Need, Domain Name, Website

You do not need a domain name or a website, if --

Why You Don't Need a Website" Rebuttal - TiaWood.com: " . . . You don’t need a website if: you prefer the traditional method of advertising with flyers, newspapers or carrier pigeon . . . you like talking to customers on the phone especially when you get to go through the process of explaining where you are located or how a process works for the 42nd time. . . your current customers make you too much money. . . ." (read more at the link above)

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

11 March 2014

ICANN, Domain Names, Future Changes

Who knows exactly what the future holds for ICANN -- one thing is certain -- change is coming:

ICANN CEO sets off explosion of new Internet names (Q&A) | Internet & Media - CNET News: "... What exactly is the nature of your contract with the US Department of Commerce? . . . It's a zero-dollar contract: there's no money that passes between us and the Department of Commerce. The origins of ICANN started when the US government left this function of updating the root of the Internet Domain Name System. Three things are covered by this contract: the Domain Name System, which are the names; the numbers, which are the IP numbers [Internet Protocol numbers are used to route data across the Net from one machine to another]; and the protocol parameters. That's the extent of our relationship with the US government, other than the US government, like any other government, being a member of ICANN's governmental advisory committee. This contract continues to maintain the US government's stewardship over these three areas that we do. The US government role is to ensure that we are doing these functions as the community has asked us to do them. The US government is essentially in an oversight role over ICANN. The US government as well as the contract itself has always defined that at some point that stewardship will be replaced by the multistakeholder stewardship of the ICANN community. This was always envisaged as coming, but the question was when and how. I have in the last few months publicly stated that the time for that has come...."  (read more at the link above)

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

10 March 2014


WEBINAR: Opportunities and Challenges to Keep up with the Internet of the Future - Everything You Need to Know About the ICANN Meeting in Singapore | ICANN: per email received from ICANN - "Unfortunately, due to circumstance out of our control, the Adobe Connect room for the webinar is not available at the moment as Adobe is going through website maintenance. The webinar will be postponed for 24 hours and will now take place on: Date [Singapore]: Tuesday, 11 March 2014 Time: 04:00-05:00 UTC | 12:00-13:00 SGT which would be Monday night in the US at 9 pm PDT (or 12 midnight EDT) - to see time conversion for your time zone: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

This webinar is meant as an introduction to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and the Commercial Stakeholder Group, for people in the business world at large who are new to the ICANN Community and interested in the upcoming ICANN 49 public meeting in Singapore.

To register and for more information: http://goo.gl/bZFFzN

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

03 March 2014

ICANN Webinar on Strategy Panels Draft Reports

WEBINAR: ICANN Strategy Panels – Draft Reports | ICANN:
"Join the Strategy Panel Chairs for an update and interactive discussion.
Date: Tuesday, 11 March 2014
Time: 15:00-16:30 UTC (time converter: http://tinyurl.com/l458x7v)
Register via email to alice.jansen@icann.org by Monday, 10 March 2014 – 23:59 UTC to receive the dial-in details. A reminder with log-in and dial-in details will be sent to you prior to the call."

"Vint Cerf, Nii Quaynor, Beth Noveck and Paul Mockapetris invite you to join them on Tuesday, 11 March at 15:00-16:30 UTC (time converter: http://tinyurl.com/l458x7v) for an overview of the draft recommendations and report they respectively released earlier this month for public comment:
ICANN's Role in the Internet Governance Ecosystem – Draft Report [PDF, 2.14 MB]; Public Responsibility Framework – Draft Report; ICANN Multistakeholder Innovation – Draft Report [PDF, 424 KB] (Proposals compiled here); Identifier Technology Innovation – Draft Report [PDF, 1.76 MB]. . . . This webinar will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions. Your feedback and contributions are key to this project and will be carefully considered. Note that panels also welcome input sent via their publicly archived mailing lists (see http://www.icann.org/en/news/public-comment/strategy-panels-25feb14-en.htm for full reference). Comments are invited through 30 April 2014 ... " (more info at first ICANN link above.)

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

02 March 2014

US Government Report to NETmundial on Internet Governance

What is NETmundial? It is a global multistakeholder conference being held April 23-24, 2014 in São Paulo, Brazil. More info at http://netmundial.br/

U.S. Government Submission to NETmundial on Internet Governance: "The Government of the United States of America appreciates the opportunity to participate in the “Global Multi-stakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance,” or NETmundial. We commend the effort of the Brazilian government in coordination and consultation with the global Internet community to convene this meeting. We look forward to participating in meaningful discussions that generate support for the evolving multistakeholder framework for the future of Internet governance. The United States Government submits the following contribution in response to the request for views on two topics:
  1. “Internet governance principles,” and
  2. “A roadmap for the further evolution of the Internet governance ecosystem.” 
Internet Governance Principles
We understand that the meeting organizers would like participants to reach agreement on Internet governance principles. Achieving consensus on such a set of principles will require flexibility, a fair process, and cooperation. Our primary goal is to work with all stakeholders to achieve shared support for multistakeholder Internet governance.

There is precedent for this effort, as other conferences, organizations, nations, and individuals have previously compiled high level principles on Internet governance. Accordingly, we submit that a good starting point for discussions would be the consideration of principles that are common among these existing efforts and have already garnered widespread or universal support.

Based on our review of, and participation in, the formulation of various sets of principles, we note that many of these efforts include the following goals for Internet governance and policymaking:

  1. Commitment to the multistakeholder approach, with processes rooted in democratic values, involving the participation of all interested stakeholders, and occurring in a transparent manner.
  2. Protection of human rights, which apply online just as they do offline.
  3. Promotion of universal and non-discriminatory access to the Internet.
  4. Promotion of the stability, security, interoperability, and functionality of the network.
  5. Promotion of standard setting, regulatory, and legal environments that support innovation and avoid unnecessary duplication.
These principles appear in previous works that the U.S. has supported, including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Council Recommendations on Principles for Internet Policymaking, the founding declaration for the Freedom Online Coalition, and the Deauville G8 declaration. These goals are also the basis for many independent sets of principles, notably including the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee’s (CGI.br) principles and the United States’ International Strategy for Cyberspace, as well as many other documents from civil society and other stakeholders. We welcome the consideration of additional similar common principles.

We believe it is wise to avoid excessive deliberation on issues known to divide participants beyond a distance that can reasonably be bridged in two days. For example, we would discourage meeting participants from debating the reach or limitations of state sovereignty in Internet policy. We are optimistic that NETmundial can meaningfully contribute to the development of Internet governance principles by focusing on those topics that enjoy broad support.

A roadmap for the further evolution of the Internet Governance ecosystem
The High Level Panel on Global Internet Cooperation and Governance Mechanisms is currently convening to review the multistakeholder system of Internet governance and propose recommendations for future growth and evolution. We understand that the panel will construct proposals for discussion during NETmundial. We look forward to considering these proposals and we appreciate the other multistakeholder efforts to explore opportunities for positive, inclusive evolution and cooperative problem solving.

Ultimately, the Internet’s global multistakeholder community should work cooperatively on continuing to improve and evolve the Internet governance ecosystem. The more open and inclusive the approach, the greater the legitimacy the system will have. The United States government believes that existing multistakeholder institutions deserve significant credit for the Internet’s global growth and dynamism and should remain the cornerstones of the Internet governance ecosystem. Multistakeholder organizations should continue to evolve alongside changing technologies and stakeholder needs and to address all relevant opportunities and challenges. Governments should participate meaningfully in this system, and may also play an enabling or facilitating role to help the multistakeholder system to function well. Finally, governments should ensure that the proper incentives and environment are in place domestically so that a single, interoperable Internet can flourish globally, enabling freedom of expression and economic prosperity."

Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
Washington, DC

February 24, 2014

more news links below (on mobile go to web version link below)

expVC.com Domain Name News Archive

expVC.com on Twitter