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Dot-XXX lights fire under ICANN’s feet

Kevin Murphy, March 22, 2010, Domain Registries

ICM Registry has urged ICANN to stop messing around and finalise the contract that would add .xxx to the domain name system.

“There is no legitimate obstacle to the approval of ICM’s registry agreement,” ICM chair Stuart Lawley said in a letter to ICANN yesterday. “We can see no reason for further delay in the process of approving ICM’s registry agreement”.

At its Nairobi meeting earlier this month, ICANN’s board decided to hand the problem of how to handle .xxx to its staff, saying it “wishes to create a transparent set of process options which can be published for public comment.”

ICM now claims that no such process options are necessary. The .post application, Lawley said, was approved last December, six years after it was made, without the need for any new processes.

There are some differences between .post and .xxx, of course. While the .xxx application has previously been approved, it has also previously been rejected.

It is back on the table following an Independent Review Panel decision that ICANN broke its fairness rules by singling out ICM for special treatment.

Lawley reminds ICANN of as much several times in his latest letter, which can be found here.

ICANN’s staff is expected to deliver its process options next week. There will be a period of public comment, and the board will have to make a call by its June meeting in Brussels.

VeriSign creates .tv mini land-rush

Kevin Murphy, March 19, 2010, Domain Registries

Domainers are buzzing with the news that VeriSign has just made tens of thousands of premium .tv names viable for speculation.

The company cut the prices of its premium names and, more importantly, has reset the annual renewal fees for premium domains to the much lower standard flat renewal fee.

Judging from the Namepros forums, a lot of people bought a lot of domains and, potentially, got a lot of very good deals on one-word dictionary or three-letter .tvs.

Some domains appeared to have dropped off the premium list altogether, leading some to speculate that the prices were too good to be true, and that registrar glitches must be responsible.

However, I talked to Chris Sheridan, VP of sales at eNom, a little earlier and he seemed to be of the opinion that the prices were probably legit.

The new lower renewal fees, incidentally, do not appear to apply to previously registered premium .tv names, which is bound to cause angst for some.

I’m not usually much of a speculator, but I took a risk on a couple of cheap dictionary words a couple of hours ago. My new registrar is telling me the registrations were “successful”, but I’ve no idea whether I can believe it.

Canon to apply for .canon

Kevin Murphy, March 16, 2010, Domain Registries

Japanese printer maker Canon has become the first global brand to throw its hat into the new gTLD ring.

The company said in a press release today that it will apply for .canon as soon as ICANN finalises the process for doing so.

From the release:

Canon has made the official decision to begin necessary procedures to acquire “.canon” upon the introduction of the new system. Following approval for the new gTLD system, which is expected to take place after the latter half of 2011, Canon will make full use of the new domain name to increase the convenience and effectiveness of its online communications.

Medieval battle recreation societies are unlikely to provide much competition for the string.

Happy Birthday .com!

Kevin Murphy, March 15, 2010, Domain Registries

Today, March 15, marks the 25th anniversary of the first ever .com domain name registration, symbolics.com.

VeriSign is running a marketing campaign to celebrate at 25yearsof.com.

ICANN: .xxx is not approved

Kevin Murphy, March 12, 2010, Domain Registries

ICANN never makes a decision if it can make a process instead, and that seems to be the case with the board’s latest call on .xxx.

The board voted this morning to kick ICM’s proposal until after the Brussels meeting in June, on the basis that it needs a process by which it can approve .xxx.

While this is mixed news for ICM – it’s not what it hoped for but the company still has a pretty good chance of getting what it wants – the language used in the resolution clearly indicates that the board believes .xxx is currently in an unapproved state: (continue reading)

Nominet to release one-letter domains

Nominet, the .uk registry, is thinking about releasing previously restricted domains for registration, including one and two-letter domains and domains that match existing TLDs.

If the scheme goes ahead, it would mean hundreds of domains such as com.co.uk, mobi.co.uk and de.co.uk, which contain strings currently used at the top level, could be auctioned off.

Essentially all ccTLD strings would be made available, as well as (continue reading)

Oscar winners show desire for .movie

As a bit of a film buff, I’ve always thought the case for a .movie gTLD was a slam-dunk.

I’d really rather see movie posters containing URLs like sherlock.movie rather than sherlock-holmes-movie.warnerbros.com.

I thought I’d figure out how many of last night’s Oscar nominees managed to secure movietitle.tld for their official web sites and how many went for other options. (continue reading)

Contested TLDs by the social media numbers

There are a surprising number of new TLD proposals with two or more would-be applicants. Quite a few are also playing the social media marketing game to win support.

A quick and dirty analysis of the contested TLDs show that .gay and .eco have the largest show of popular support, while some TLDs have seemingly no following at all.

The numbers are not earth-shattering, but I’ve made the table now so I may as well share it.
(continue reading)

ICANN expects 400+ gTLD applications

If you’ve been wondering how many new gTLDs could be launching under the new streamlined ICANN approval process, ICANN has provided a partial answer.

According to a report into server load by the Root Server System Advisory Committee “demand in the initial round will be (continue reading)

Will .xxx be a slam dunk in Nairobi?

When .xxx appeared on the agenda (kinda) for ICANN’s Nairobi board meeting, it didn’t look to me like particularly spiriting news for ICM Registry.

The agenda item coyly reads “Consideration of the Independent Review Panel Declaration ICM Registry v. ICANN”.

This could quite be easily interpreted as a rather dry picking-over of the legal implications of the IRP’s findings; the board could still brush the ruling aside as “advisory” and hope Stuart Lawley isn’t waiting outside with a gang of armed (continue reading)