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Donuts says DPML now covers “millions” of trademark variants as price rockets again

Kevin Murphy, October 1, 2018, Domain Registrars

Donuts has added more than a third to the price of its Domain Protected Marks List service, as it adds a new feature it says vastly increases the number of domains trademark owners can block.

The company has added homograph attack protection to DPML, so trademark-owning worrywarts can block variations of their brand that contain confusing non-Latin characters in addition to all the domain variants DPML already takes out of the available pool.

An example of a homograph, offered by Donuts, would be the domain xn--ggle-0nda.com, which can display as “gοοgle.com” and which contains two Cyrillic o-looking characters but is pretty much indistinguishable from “google.com”.

Donuts reckons this could mean “millions” of domains could be blocked, potentially preventing all kinds of phishing attacks, but one suspects the actual number per customer rather depends on how many potentially confusable Latin characters appear in the brands they want to protect.

DPML is a block service that prevents others from registering domains matching or closely matching customers’ trademarks. Previous additions to the service have included typo protection.

The new feature supports Cyrillic and Greek scripts, the two that Donuts says most homograph attacks use.

The company explained it to its registrars like this:

The Donuts system will analyze the content of each SLD identified in a DPML subscription, breaking it down to its individual characters. Each character is then “spun” against Unicode’s list of confusable characters and replaced with all viable IDN “glyphs” supported by Donuts TLDs. This spinning results in potentially millions of IDN permutations of a brand’s trademark which may be considered easily confusable to an end user. Each permutation is then blocked (removed from generally available inventory) just like other DPML labels, meaning it can only be registered via an “Override” by a party holding a trademark on the same label.

While this feature comes at no additional cost, Donuts is increasing its prices from January 1, the second big increase since DPML went live five years ago.

Donuts declined to disclose its wholesale price when asked, but I’ve seen registrars today disclose new pricing of $6,000 to $6,600 for a five-year block.

That compares to retail pricing in the $2,500 to $3,000 range back in 2013.

Hexonet said it will now charge its top-flight resellers $6,426 per create, compared to the $4,400 it started charging when DPML prices last went up at the start of last year. OpenProvider has also added two grand to its prices.

Donuts said the price increase also reflects the growth of its portfolio of gTLDs over the last few years. It now has 241, 25% more than at the last price increase.

Hexonet scores dot-brand deal with Brights

Hexonet has made a deal with new gTLD consultancy Brights Consulting to provide registrar technical services for all of Brights’ dot-brand clients.

All new gTLDs, even dot-brands, are obliged to use accredited registrars to register domain names. Under this deal, Brights will use Hexonet’s RegistrarOC service to make the process a little easier.

RegistrarOC is basically a way for companies accredited by ICANN as registrars to outsource the technical and compliance functions of running a registrar to Hexonet.

Brights will use its own accreditation and RegistrarOC to manage its clients’ portfolios of second-level domains in their respective dot-brands, Hexonet chief strategy officer Robbie Birkner said.

The exact number of dot-brands Brights is taking care of has not been disclosed, but I believe it’s in double figures. Most are based in Japan, same as Brights.

RRPproxy and Hexonet offering new gTLD pre-regs

Kevin Murphy, October 2, 2012, Domain Registrars

Two reseller-oriented registrars this week have enabled their resellers to start taking new gTLD pre-registrations.

Key-Systems said its RRPproxy API and web interface now support pre-regs for hundreds of applied-for gTLDs, noting that the transactions are “an expression of interest without any commitment”.

The company seems to have filtered out the obvious dot-brands, but it’s still offering some gTLDs — such as .antivirus and .lifeinsurance — whose applicants are planning single-registrant models.

Separately today, Hexonet launched its Expressions Of Interest offering to enable its resellers to take “non-binding requests” for domains in possible forthcoming gTLDs.

Opinions are mixed about whether these kinds of services are good for the industry’s reputation. There’s no guarantee that these gTLDs will launch, or whether these registrars will qualify to sell them.