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American government kills off .kids.us

The US government is killing off the failed .kids.us domain, ten years after it was created by Congress.

The decision was explained in a statement posted on www.kids.us:

As a result of the changed landscape of the Internet and the many other tools that parents now have available to them to protect their children’s online experience, effective July 27, 2012, the Department of Commerce suspended the kids.us

An accompanying document (pdf) from Commerce says that .us registry operator Neustar should stop accepting new registrations and ask registrants to suspend their sites.

All .kids.us domains will be removed from the .us zone by June 27, 2013.

The .kids.us space was created by the Dot Kids Implementation and Efficiency Act of 2002 and essentially forced on Neustar as a means for some politicians to get some family-friendly fluff on their voting records.

It’s been considered an abject failure ever since, largely due to its strict content regulations and a lack of marketing.

From the Google results and the old .kids.us directory, I’d estimate the number of registrations at fewer than 100.

In the new gTLD program there are two applicants for .kids — Amazon and DotKids Foundation. There’s also an applicant for .kid and an applicant for the Russian “.children”.

Vignes out as CEO of OpenRegistry

OpenRegistry’s founding CEO, Jean-Christophe Vignes, left the position to join a Paris-based law firm last month.

He’s now senior counsel for the domain name practice at Caprioli & Associés.

Vignes said the change of jobs came as part of his family’s move to Paris and that he’s still a member of the OpenRegistry board of directors.

OpenRegistry (also known as Sensirius), which was selected as the back-end registry provider for 21 gTLD applications including .deloitte, .kpn and .schwarz, is based in Belgium.

It is believed that Hans Seeuws, Vignes’ former second in command, is now in charge at OpenRegistry.

Christian group opposes .sex, .porn, .adult

Morality In Media, one of the groups that fought the approval of .xxx for years, has launched a letter-writing campaign against the proposed .sex, .porn and .adult top-level domains.

ICANN has received a couple dozen comments of objection to the three gTLDs over the last couple of days, apparently due to this call-to-arms.

Expect more. MIM was one of the main religion-based objectors to .xxx, responsible for crapflooding ICANN with thousands of comments in the years before the gTLD was approved.

Now that .xxx has turned out to be less successful than ICM Registry hoped, MIM feels its key belief on the subject — that porn gTLDs lead to more porn — has been vindicated.

MIM president Patrick Trueman wrote in one of his comments:

During the years of this fight against the .xxx domain, we said many times that the establishment of a .xxx domain would increase, not decrease the spread of pornography on the Internet, causing even more harm to children, families and communities, and make ICANN complicit in that harm.

That prediction has been fulfilled because the porn sites on the .com domain have not vacated the .com and moved to .xxx. Rather, as we have seen, the .xxx has just added thousand of additional porn sites on the Internet and .com porn sites stayed put. ICANN bears responsibility for this. The .xxx was not needed.

For some reason, the complaints are only leveled at the three ICM Registry subsidiaries that are applying for porn-themed gTLDs, and not the other .sex applicant.

Uniregistry’s application for .sexy has not been targeted.

And MIM has apparently not read the applications it is complaining about; its call to action complains about non-porn companies having to pay “protection money” to defensively register in .sex.

However, the three ICM bids explicitly contemplate an extensive grandfathering program under which all current defensive registrations in .xxx would be reserved in .sex, .porn and .adult.

Does this sexy .sx ad portend a clash with .sex?

In the occasional DI tradition of linkbaiting Domaining.com with promises of scantily clad eye candy, I humbly invite male readers to get their goggles around this beauty:

.sx marketing

Phwoar! Eh?

Apologies.

Anyway, there’s a serious point here.

SX Registry, which is in the process of launching the new .sx ccTLD for the recently formed territory of Sint Maarten, distributed this flyer in the goody bags at ICANN 44 in Prague last week.

The marketing was aimed at registrars, presumably, but the company’s web site has similar imagery as well.

It’s pretty clear what angle SX Registry is going for, and it could portend a clash with .sex and .sexy, which have both been proposed by applicants under ICANN’s new gTLD program.

ICM Registry (.sex), Uniregistry (.sexy) and Internet Marketing Solutions Limited (.sex) may have a potential objector on their hands.

Verisign’s .name contract up for renewal

Fresh from winning ICANN approval for its money-spinning .com franchise, Verisign is now going through the same process to renew its .name registry agreement.

Notably, the company isn’t getting the ability to raise its prices — the registry fee for a .name domain will still be fixed at $6 per name per year, according to the new contract.

There are lots of other changes, though. Many terms have been changed to make .name more in line with .net, which Verisign renegotiated last year, and with the standard new gTLD contract.

The company will, for example, be able to launch geographically focused promotions, in line with .net, and will be bound by new service level agreements, in line with new gTLDs.

While there are tweaks to the fee structure, the amount of money ICANN will reap from the deal appears to remain at the current rate of $0.25 per transaction or domain-year.

ICANN published the proposed agreement for public comment on Tuesday. They’re cutting it pretty fine — the current deal, signed in 2007, is due to expire on August 15.