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First deadbeat dot-brand ripped from the root

Kevin Murphy, July 7, 2020, 19:31:25 (UTC), Domain Registries

ICANN has terminated a dot-brand gTLD contract for non-payment of fees for the first time.

The unlucky recipient of the termination notice is aigo, a privately held Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer.

ICANN first hit the company with a breach of contract notice in March 2018, noting its non-payment and a litany of other infractions.

The two parties have been in mediation and arbitration ever since, but the arbitrator found aigo was in fact in breach in late May.

ICANN issued its termination notice June 25 and IANA yanked .aigo from the DNS root servers a couple of days later.

While aigo is not the first dot-brand registry to be hit with a non-payment breach notice, it is the first to have it escalated all the way to involuntary termination.

Also recently, .intel and .metlife — run by the chipmaker and insurance company respectively — both decided to voluntarily their dot-brand registry agreements.

The total number of voluntary terminations is now 78.

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Comments (4)

  1. MapleDots says:

    So the big question is….

    Does everyone who bought a domain with that extension suddenly have no ownership rights or is there a backup plan to keep the domains that were registered going.

    I guess in the long run the commitment only has to be until the end of the registration period and then ICANN can terminate everything. Sucks if you spent a lot on a one word.

    All hypothetical here because nobody in their right mind would have spent any serious cash on those extensions but it does create a hmm moment.

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      We’re talking about dot-brands, so nobody other than the registry was eligible to register names. No registrants are affected,

  2. John says:

    A point of clarification, please.

    It is mentioned that this is the first “involuntary” termination, and then concludes that this brings the number of “voluntary terminations” to 78.

    Are you including, or excluding, this “involuntary” termination in the “voluntary terminations” total?

    It is a first, and I’m guessing that a shift in thinking/terminology may be necessary. Or does non-payment of ICANN fees qualify this as a “voluntary” termination?

    Thanks for clarification.

  3. fronty says:

    I’m looking forward to the next series of “Can’t Pay We’ll Take It Away” where ICANN heavies turn up at some CEO’s door demanding payment of overdue fees and then proceed to seize his Mercedes and his wife’s collection of shoes when he refuses to pay. 🙂

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