NoDaddy.com, a gripe site dedicated to discussing customer and employee grievances with Go Daddy, is to be shut down by its administrators.
The shutdown coincides with an ownership shakeup at the registrar, which will see Warren Adelman take over as CEO and three big new investors come on board.
NoDaddy administrator “Rohan” wrote:
What started to document the improper suspension of SecLists.Org grew to cover dozens of other GoDaddy scandals including shill bidding on their own domain auctions, improperly blocking users from transferring domains to other registrars, sexual harassment, constant objectification of women, killing elephants for promotional purposes, etc. We’re hopeful that GoDaddy’s new owners will stop these shenanigans.
While our opinions of GoDaddy haven’t changed, we (NoDaddy admins) have decided to move on to focus on our other pursuits. Accordingly, we’ll be shutting down the main site and the forums on July 8. The site had a great run, and we appreciate your participation over the last 4 years!
In recent months, the vast majority of the posts on the forum have been made by a single disgruntled former Go Daddy employee who is currently suing the company for alleged “wage theft”.
The thread about the class action rambles on to some 147 pages and over 2,100 posts, most of which were made by this individual, going by the handle EmployeeClassAction.
Unsurprisingly, this user suspects the administrators were paid off.
The recently relaunched .so top-level domain has seen its first UDRP case. DirecTV, the American satellite TV provider, won its complaint over the domain directv.so.
As you might imagine, it was found by WIPO to be a slam-dunk case of cybersquatting, with the respondent not even bothering to respond.
The domain was registered April 1, the first day .SO Registry opened its doors to general availability.
The registrant merely parked the domain with his registrar, which is enough nowadays to show commercial use and thus bad faith.
It will be interesting to see how badly .so is cybersquatted. It was not a particularly high-profile launch, and it lacks the attractiveness of, say, .co, so I expect we won’t see a great many UDRP cases filed.
.SO Registry, which has GMO Registry as its back-end provider, had pretty much the same trademark protection mechanisms built-in as .co, and used some of the same counsel to create them.
.so is the ccTLD for Somalia.
ICANN president and CEO Rod Beckstrom has been awarded a performance-related bonus for the 12-month period ending today, it has emerged.
As it is classed as a personal personnel matter, the portion of his “at risk component” approved was not revealed, but it is known that Beckstrom’s annual bonus is capped at $195,000.
His base salary is $750,000.
It’s the second consecutive year that he has received some part of his bonus. For the year ended June 30, 2010, the board voted it through in December.
As Beckstrom enters the third year of his three-year contract, it’s understood that he has already been making overtures to the board to extend his tenure for a second term.
Domain name registrar Blacknight Solutions has warned domain buyers not to be “duped” by registrars offering preregistration in new top-level domains that have not yet been approved.
“Every time an end user gets duped it hurts our industry and companies like us have to clean up the mess,” managing director Michele Neylon said.
In a press release, Blacknight said:
After receiving several queries from customers, Blacknight discovered that registrants interested in acquiring domains in rumoured new gTLDs had become confused by these offers, as they are not familiar with how the new TLD implementation might work. This sort of speculative offer is the equivalent of taking a down payment on a concept car that has not been approved for production. It is a false promise.
While the company was diplomatic enough to avoid naming names, I strongly suspect the release refers primarily to United Domains, which has been offering preregistration for the last few months.
UD currently offers such services for dozens of non-existent TLDs, such as (without leaving the B’s) .bank .bayern .bcn .berlin .bike and .board.
Given that none of the 50-odd potential gTLD applicants listed have revealed what their registration policies will be, it seems possible that many wannabe registrants will be left disappointed.
Don’t expect to be able to get a .bank domain via preregistration.
UD’s preregistering process looks a lot like a regular shopping cart, albeit with $0 pricing and no requirement to submit credit card details.
There is a FAQ that, if you read it, explains that there can be no guarantee you’ll get the names you ask for.
These services, and others like it, are basically ways to build up mailing lists of interested buyers, in order to contact them when domains actually start becoming available.
The registrar has already been burned by a couple of gTLD applicants.
LACNIC sent UD a nastygram in April, for example, when it discovered the registrar was offering preregistration in .lac.
Bizarrely, UD was at one stage accepting preregistration in .brand gTLDs in which literally no third party will qualify to buy a domain, such as .unicef.
ICANN has not to my recollection publicly stated a position on preregistration since 2000, when it said that “the practice of pre-registration should not be encouraged”.
Neustar has unveiled extremely aggressive entry-level pricing for “.brand” applicants looking for a registry services provider – just $10,000 a year.
For the size of company expected to apply for .brands, that’s a rounding error. It may as well be free.
It’s called the Brand Assurance Package.
Applicants should not expect much for the money though – the package seems to be targeted at those that want to grab a .brand TLD in the first round, but may not do much at the second level initially.
It basically looks like a defensive registration package.
It covers application support and the registry infrastructure, but Neustar plans to ask clients to upgrade to more expensive services should they expand their .brand strategy in future.
Prices for those services have not been announced, but it would be a good idea to find out what they are before signing up – migrating a TLD between registries may not be trivial.
The fee does not cover ICANN’s application fees, which start at $185,000, of course.
There’s a market for this kind of thing. You need only read some of the marketing trade press to discover that there are a heck of a lot of brand managers scratching their heads about new gTLDs right now.
Many are taking a “wait and see” approach.
The problem with that strategy is that after April 12 next year we have no idea when – or, frankly, if – companies will next get their chance to apply for a new gTLD.
If Coca-Cola gets .coke in round one and .brands turn out to be a success, that could put Pepsi at a competitive disadvantage if it is left stranded in .com space, for example.
In addition, if you share your brand with a company in another vertical, applying in the first round is a must-have, unless you fancy your chances with ICANN’s untested objections procedures.