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ROTD lends geo names to CentralNic registrar push

Kevin Murphy, November 1, 2014, Domain Registrars

CentralNic and Right Of The Dot have teamed up to offer a series of geographically themed registrar storefronts for new gTLDs.

Under a joint venture, the companies are launching sites such as london.domains, vegas.domains, tokyo.domains and nyc.domains.

ROTD, the new gTLD venture launched by Mike Berkens and Monte Cahn, acquired these premium domains from Donuts during the .domains Early Access Period.

The second level strings all match the third-party geo-gTLDs that will be offered via these sites. Another 12 will be launched before the end of the year, the companies said.

CentralNic, best known as a registry, will provide the back-end for the site, as part of its push into the registrar side of the market that kicked off with its $7.5 million acquisition of Internet.bs.

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Oops! Cock-up reveals ICANN survey respondent emails

Kevin Murphy, November 1, 2014, Domain Policy

An ICANN contractor accidentally revealed the email addresses of almost 100 people who responded to a survey related to a review of the Generic Names Supporting Organization.

An invitation to participate in a follow-up survey was sent out to respondents today with all the email addresses in the To:, rather than BCC:, field.

Westlake Governance, which is conducting the survey for ICANN, quickly sent an apology:

We have been sending invitations in batches, and regret that we included your address in the only set of invitations that was copied inadvertently in the “To” line as addressee, rather than as a “Bcc.”

We sincerely apologise for this breach of our internal protocols and potentially of your privacy.

The misfire revealed that 15 out of the 98 listed respondents have @icann.org email addresses, suggesting roughly 15% of the responses came from ICANN staffers.

While the survey certainly anticipated responses from within the organization — one question gives “staff” as an option for the respondent to state their affiliation — some are not happy anyway.

Neustar vice president Jeff Neuman tweeted:

The massive, 93-question survey (pdf) was designed to kick-start the next cycle in ICANN’s interminable reviews of its policy-making bodies, in this case the GNSO.

The results of the survey will be used to inform a review of the GNSO’s structure, which could potentially re-balance power within the organization.

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ICANN board bill tops $2 million

Kevin Murphy, November 1, 2014, Domain Policy

ICANN’s board of directors cost the organization over $2 million in pay and expenses in its fiscal 2014, a document released last night shows.

The total bill for the year ended June 30 was $2,000,609, up 16% on FY13’s $1,721,191 and up 27% on the FY12 figure.

The majority of the expenditure went on travel and other expenses. Just $538,983 went on compensation.

ICANN directors get $35,000 per year basic, plus another $5,000 for each board committee they chair. Board chair Steve Crocker gets $75,000 and accumulated $149,000 in FY2014 expenses.

Six directors chose to receive no compensation whatsoever, though they all racked up travel expenses.

The $2 million total does not include any contribution from CEO Fadi Chehade.

Chehade’s salary was $559,999. He also received $253,826 in bonuses and accumulated expenses totaling $519,421.

FY14 was of course the year in which Chehade and members of the board traveled extensively for outreach related to the IANA stewardship transition process and the NetMundial initiative.

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Nominet hires venture capitalist as new CEO

Kevin Murphy, October 29, 2014, Domain Registries

Nominet has named Lesley Cowley’s replacement as CEO as Russell Haworth, a Thomson Reuters alum who’s spent much of 2014 working as a venture capitalist.

Russell was previously managing director of Thomson Reuters’ Middle East & Africa division.

Since January, he’s been a co-founder and partner at Saya Ventures, an investment company focused on early-stage technology companies.

“Russell will lead the organisation as it develops its core registry business, explores the potential of new technologies, and delivers on its commitment to ensuring the internet is a force for good,” Nominet said.

He’s set to join the .uk registry in January 2015.

He replaces Cowley, who resigned in May and earlier this month revealed several new jobs.

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Quitted ICANN director gets old job back

Kevin Murphy, October 29, 2014, Domain Policy

Olga Madruga-Forti, who quit ICANN’s board of directors earlier this month, has gone back to work for the US Federal Communications Commission.

I gather that while ICANN was aware of her new job, it was unable to announce the move at the time of her resignation.

The FCC said Madruga-Forti will be chief of Strategic Analysis and Negotiations Division at its International Bureau.

She worked for the FCC for nine years until 1997 as special counsel with responsibility for satellite policy. She’s spent the intervening years working for satellite companies in the US and Argentina.

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