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DNA has new plan for gTLD auctions: give us your money!

The Domain Name Association is hoping to raise funds for marketing by hosting private new gTLD auctions, according to executive director Kurt Pritz.

Chair Adrian Kinderis made the pitch at a meeting of the New TLD Applicants Group today.

The DNA is hoping to tempt applicants that are reluctant to participate in existing private auction schemes because they don’t want their money going to competitors.

Instead, the winning bid in an auction managed by the DNA would go straight into the DNA’s marketing and operations budget, to the potential benefit of the whole new gTLD industry.

Participating applicants would get to choose how the money would be split been marketing and the general DNA kitty.

The organization hasn’t picked an auction provider yet, and no applicants are yet committed to the plan, Pritz said.

Pritz to head DNA trade group

Kevin Murphy, November 17, 2013, Domain Services

Former ICANN chief strategy officer Kurt Pritz has just been named interim executive director of the Domain Name Association, the trade group formed this year to promote the domain industry.

Pritz will “apply his track record in teambuilding and bringing together diverse skillsets to the knowledgeable and talented members of the Domain Name Industry” the group said.

He will participate in a DNA session later this week here in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where ICANN is currently holding its 48th public meeting.

If you’re in BA, the two-hour session will be held from 3pm on Wednesday at the Alvear ART Hotel, Suipacha 1036.

The DNA opened its doors for membership last month, and currently counts the likes of Google, Donuts, Demand Media and Go Daddy among its top-paying members.

Domain Name Association opens membership

Kevin Murphy, October 11, 2013, Domain Services

The new Domain Name Association, which hopes to represent the interests of the domain name industry as a whole, has opened its doors to new members.

The DNA formed in January, named an interim board in April, and has spent the last several months conducting outreach and establishing its corporate structure, goals and membership rules.

Membership prices range from $1,000 to $50,000, with the make-up of the final board (estimated to be fewer than 20 directors) determined by which companies pay for the more expensive membership tiers.

Paying $50,000 will guarantee you a seat on the board, for example, while paying $5,000 makes your company eligible for, but not guaranteed, one of two reserved seats.

Speaking at the Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congress in London two weeks ago, interim DNA chair Adrian Kinderis made no bones about the fact that the DNA is pay-to-play; it’s “not a democracy”.

It’s a trade group in the usual sense, in other words, borrowing nothing from ICANN’s multistakeholder model.

That said, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade encouraged its creation and ICANN seems to generally support its goal.

That goal is to represent the entire domain name industry — registrars, registries, resellers, etc. Its mission statement is pretty succinct:

Promote the interest of the domain name industry by advocating the use, adoption, and expansion of domain names as the primary tool for users to navigate the Internet.

Promoting new gTLDs is its first priority.

The DNA operates two web sites: thedna.org for its members and whatdomain.org for internet end users.

New Domain Name Association names interim board

Kevin Murphy, April 24, 2013, Domain Policy

The formative Domain Name Association has started calling itself the Domain Name Association and is moving closer to a proper launch under the guidance of an interim board of directors.

This is the trade group that started getting together in January, kick-started by Google, and launched a one-page web site at WhatDomain.org in March.

Right now, ARI Registry Services CEO Adrian Kinderis is acting as chair of the interim board.

The rest of the board comprises: Jon Nevett (Donuts), Elizabeth Sweezey (FairWinds), Rob Hall (Momentous), Jeff Eckhaus (Demand Media), Statton Hammock (Demand Media), and Job Lawrence (Google).

According to a presentation Kinderis gave at a meeting of ICANN execs and industry leaders in New York yesterday, the DNA will be a non-profit, independent organization funded by membership fees.

Membership will be open to registries, registrars, resellers, back-end providers and individual consultants.

The mission is to: “Promote the interests of its members by advocating the use, adoption, and expansion of domain names as the primary tool for users to navigate the Internet.”

The finer details of scope, marketing, governance and funding are still being worked out, but if you’re in the industry you can probably expect an invitation to join before too long.

It’s actually not the only industry trade group forming at the moment.

Judging by presentations given in Beijing two weeks ago, the Brand Registry Group is thinking about coming together as a trade association as well as a constituency within ICANN’s policy-making structure.