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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.

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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.

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.co.no opens for business after court win

The Norwegian registrant of the domain name co.no has won a court case against .no registry Norid that will allow it to finally launch as a pseudo-ccTLD, according to the company.

A Trondheim court ruled that Norid cannot revoke Elineweb’s registration of co.no for alleged policy violations, but has also ruled that the domain cannot be transferred to a third party.

Therefore, Elineweb plans to start offering third-level .co.no domain names to companies and individuals unable to register the names they want under Norid’s strict policy regime.

The company will open .co.no on a first-come, first-served basis — having already conducted sunrise and landrush periods — tomorrow at 10am Central European Time.

The full list of 70+ accredited registrars can be found here.

DI first covered the lawsuit back in October 2011.

The .co.no namespace is managed by CoDNS, a subsidiary of the registrar EuroDNS that already operates .co.nl as a pseudo-ccTLD, in partnership with Elineweb.

The two namespaces are not official ccTLDs, but they are both recognized by the Public Suffix List, which makes them behave similarly in browsers.

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Three Google gTLD applications doomed to fail

Kevin Murphy, July 3, 2012, Domain Policy

Google has applied for three new generic top-level domains that will almost certainly be rejected because they are on ICANN’s list of banned geographic strings.

I reported the story for The Register yesterday.

The applications for .and, .are and .est are affected by the rule that prohibits the delegation of three-letter country codes appearing on the ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 list.

A fourth application by a different company, for .idn, is also impacted by the same rule.

Based on DI’s analysis, there are at least another 16 new gTLD applications that are not currently self-designated geographic but which are also protected (but not banned) as geographic terms.

English dictionary words, brands and acronyms are affected.

DI PRO subscribers can read the full analysis here.

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Breaking: ICANN awarded IANA contract

Kevin Murphy, July 2, 2012, Domain Policy

ICANN has been awarded the contract to run IANA for another three to seven years.

It’s almost eight months since the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration put the contract up for rebid and four months after ICANN’s initial proposal was deemed unsatisfactory.

“This is the longest IANA functions contract we’ve ever had, running for a period of three years with two 2-year renewal options,” said Akram Atallah, ICANN’s new interim CEO, in a statement.

The new contract starts October 1.

A cynic might note that the renewal, which was of course expected, comes just a day after the departure of former CEO Rod Beckstrom. That cynic might also suggest that the timing was deliberate.

Former CEO Rod Beckstrom tweeted tonight that his last act as CEO was to sign the new contract yesterday.

The IANA contract gives ICANN its powers over the domain name root system and IP address allocation.

More on the story when we have it…

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