Latest news of the domain name industry

Recent Posts

Sedo handles domain sales worth $22 million in Q2

Kevin Murphy, August 2, 2010, Domain Sales

Sedo oversaw almost $22 million in domain name aftermarket sales in the second quarter, predominantly in the .com namespace.
The company’s Domain Market Study, published today, also shows that .co.uk, .de and .eu continue to be the most popular domains in the ccTLD market.
Sedo said that 11,146 domains were sold for a total of $21.6 million in the three months to June 30. That’s down from 11,942 names totalling $23.2 million in the first quarter.
The Q1 results included the $1 million sale of Poker.org.
Sedo had no public seven-figure sales in Q2. The most expensive domain to change hands was cgm.com, which went for $365,000.
The other two of the top three sales were German – kredit.com and software.de. Domains under .de accounted for almost half of all ccTLD sales: 49%.
Of course, .com continued to dominate overall, representing 46% of all sales and 74% of all gTLD sales.
But .net continues to be, on average, the most pricey TLD, with a median sales price of $581 versus .com’s $510. The .biz TLD has the lowest median, at $380.
Q3 is likely to see a sharp spike in sales data by dollar value. Sedo is currently trying to broker the sale of Sex.com, which will certainly fetch seven figures, if it sells.

3 Comments Tagged: ,

EurID picks Netnod for .eu resolution

Kevin Murphy, August 2, 2010, Domain Registries

EurID, the .eu registry manager, has inked a deal to have its domain names resolved internationally via Netnod’s network of name servers.
Netnod is the not-for-profit Swedish internet exchange operator which also runs one of the internet’s 13 DNS root servers.
The deal means .eu domains will be resolved from Netnod’s constellation of Anycast DNS servers.
Anycast is a technology for mirroring servers on a large scale by enabling them to all advertise the same IP address from diverse locations on the internet.
EurID already has similar deals to run .eu on Anycast networks belonging to NeuStar and CommunityDNS, reducing its exposure to a failure at any single provider.
That’s some serious redundancy.
The registry says that .eu domains are now resolved by 35 server locations around the world.

1 Comment Tagged: , , , , ,

Vixie declares war on domain name crooks

Kevin Murphy, July 30, 2010, Domain Tech

Bad news for domain name speculators?
Paul Vixie of the Internet Systems Consortium has plans to bring the equivalent of an anti-spam blacklist to the DNS itself.
The Response Policy Zones spec, drafted by Vixie and Vernon Schryver of Rhyolite, is designed to allow ISPs, for example, to block domains based on standardized reputation data.
In this blog post, Vixie writes that the next version of BIND will include the technology. ISC has also made patches available for those who want to test RPZ now.
This kind of technology has been available for mail servers for years, and can be found to an extent in desktop software and search engines, but RPZ would bake it into the DNS itself.
For users behind a recursive name server implementing RPZ, domains with bad reputations would either not resolve or would be redirected elsewhere.
It would not, however, provide a mechanism to wildcard non-existent domain data and bounce surfers to search/advertising pages. Many ISPs already do that anyway.
If you speculate at all in domain names, the opening paragraphs are probably the most interesting part of the post (my emphasis):

Most new domain names are malicious.
I am stunned by the simplicity and truth of that observation. Every day lots of new names are added to the global DNS, and most of them belong to scammers, spammers, e-criminals, and speculators.

I’m sure there’s a fair few law-abiding speculators reading this who won’t be happy being lumped in with criminals and spammers.
Luckily for them, Vixie said that the ISC will limit itself to providing the technology and the specification; it will not act as a reputation service provider.
The ISC is the Microsoft of the DNS, BIND its Windows, so we could expect a fairly broad level of adoption when the technology becomes available.
Vixie’s post, also published at CircleID, is well worth a read. If anything, it certainly goes a way to cement Vixie’s reputation as the grumpy old man of the DNS.

5 Comments Tagged: , , , , , ,

It’s Friday, time for some Paul Kane Facts

Kevin Murphy, July 30, 2010, It's Friday

After all the coverage of DNSSEC in the mainstream media this week, we all now know that Paul Kane is the most important person on the internet, but there’s so much more to know about the man.
Here are some Paul Kane Facts

Paul Kane is actually short for Paull Kane. He was first called “Paul” when he was eight, and the nickname stuck.
Paul Kane didn’t choose to live in Bath, Bath chose him.
Paul Kane’s company, CommunityDNS, is headquartered in a yurt. Quite a large one.
Paul Kane comes from a long line of Kanes. His father was a Kane, his grandfather was a Kane, and so on, for at least a hundred years.
Paul Kane often refers to his globe-trotting lifestyle as “walking the good Earth”.
Paul Kane has been happily married to the actress Lalla Ward since 1992, and yet the two have never met!
Paul Kane lives in a house once owned by a young Sherlock Holmes.
Paul Kane has two dogs, named Mandela and Gandhi.
Paul Kane once shaved off his beard for a disreputable charity, and it refused to grow back!
Paul Kane’s favorite color is “performance”.

Obviously, that’s just a small sample of all the Paul Kane Facts currently at my disposal.
Now it’s over to you. Have you met the great man? Why not leave your own Paul Kane Fact in the comments below?

4 Comments Tagged:

New UDRP provider headed by “ace cyber lawyer”

Kevin Murphy, July 30, 2010, Domain Policy

A new Indian group appears to have applied to become ICANN’s fifth approved UDRP provider.
The New Delhi-based Indian Technology Mediation & Arbitration Center is headed by ICANN veteran Pavan Duggal, who describes himself as “India’s ace cyber lawyer”.
ITMAC has 18 wannabe panelists listed on its web site, some of whom are said to have previously mediated domain name disputes for the World Intellectual Property Organization and Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre.
The outfit says it will be able to mediate disputes in a dozen or so Indian languages, as well as English, and would be able to handle internationalized domain names.
The base price for a single-domain, single-panelist case would be INR 106,000, roughly $2,279 at today’s exchange rates.
That’s actually almost quite a lot more expensive than WIPO, say, which charges $1,500 for an equivalent service. Quite surprising really – one lakh goes a lot further in India than in the US.
ICANN’s board of directors has the item “Receipt and Posting for Public Comment of the Application to be a New UDRP Provider” on the agenda for its meeting next Thursday.
(Via Managing Internet IP)

1 Comment Tagged: , , , , ,

.XXX domain contract could get approved next Thursday

The application for the porn-only .xxx top-level domain is on the just-published agenda for ICANN’s board meeting next Thursday.
The line item reads merely “ICM Registry Application for .XXX sTLD”, but I’m told that ICM and ICANN staff have already negotiated a new contract that the board will be asked to consider.
If the board gives it the nod, it would keep the .xxx TLD on track for possible delegation at ICANN’s Cartagena meeting in early December, meaning sales could begin as early as the first quarter 2011.
According to last month’s Brussels resolution, the board has to first decide whether the contract complies with previous Governmental Advisory Committee advice, or whether new advice is required.
If ICM jumps that hurdle, the contract will be published for public comment (fun fun fun) for three weeks to a month, before returning to the board for a vote on delegation.
Also on the agenda for the August 5 board meeting is the issue of whether to give Employ Media the right to liberalize its .jobs TLD and start accepting generic domain registrations.
In the HR industry, the .jobs debate has been just as loud as the .xxx controversy was in the porn business. Some companies think the changes would be unfair on existing jobs sites.
There are a few other intriguing items on next Thursday’s agenda.
The board will discuss the “International Dimension of ICANN”, “Data & Consumer Protection” and “UDRP Status Briefing”, all of which strike me as rather enigmatic, among other topics.
The UDRP item may refer to the ongoing debate about whether ICANN needs to have contractual relations with its UDRP providers.

1 Comment Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Browser makers brush me off on DNSSEC support

Kevin Murphy, July 29, 2010, Domain Tech

A couple of weeks back, I emailed PR folk at Microsoft, Mozilla, Google and Opera, asking if they had any plans to provide native support for DNSSEC in their browsers.
As DNS uber-hacker Dan Kaminsky and ICANN president Rod Beckstrom have been proselytizing this week at the Black Hat conference, support at the application layer is the next step if DNSSEC is to quickly gain widespread traction.
The idea is that one day the ability to validate DNSSEC messages will be supported by browsers in much the same way as SSL certificates are today, maybe by showing the user a green address bar.
CZ.NIC has already created a DNSSEC validator plugin for Firefox that does precisely that, but as far as I can tell there’s no native support for the standard in any browser.
These are the responses I received:

Mozilla: “Our team is heads down right now with Firefox 4 beta releases so unfortunately, I am not going to be able to get you an answer.”

Microsoft:
“At this stage, we’re focusing on the Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview releases. The platform preview is a developer and designer scoped release of Internet Explorer 9, and is not feature complete, we will have more to share about Internet Explorer 9 in the future.”
Google: No reply.
Opera: No reply.

In 11 years of journalism, Apple’s PR team has never replied to any request for information or comment from me, so I didn’t bother even trying this time around.
But the responses from the other four tell us one of two things:

  • Browser makers haven’t started thinking about DNSSEC yet.

Or…

  • Their PR people were just trying to brush me off.

I sincerely hope it’s the former, otherwise this blog post has no value whatsoever.

Comment Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ICANN threatens to shut down registrar flipper

ICANN has said it will terminate one of its registrars for non-payment of fees, the thirteenth such threatening letter the organization has sent out this year.
The unfortunate recipient is #1 Host Brazil, which has just a couple hundred domains under its belt in the generic top-level domains.
I may be wrong, but based on some cursory research I’m inferring that the registrar is basically a shell accreditation, acquired in order to flip to a larger registrar.
There are 10 other “‘#1 Host” registrars, such as #1 Host Australia and #1 Host Canada, listed on ICANN’s list of accredited registrars, almost all of which were awarded in late 2005 to the same Texan.
They all use the same logos and, due to the hash sign, all appear at the top of alphabetical lists of ICANN-accredited registrars.
Apart from the Brazil and Israel variants, most of the other “#1” accreditations have been acquired by Moniker at various times over the last few years, according to Internic and Whois records.
#1 Host Brazil faces de-accreditation (pdf) on August 24 unless it pays almost $9,000 in ICANN fees and provides evidence of $500,000 in commercial liability insurance.

Comment Tagged: , , , ,

ICANN chief to address hackers at Black Hat

Kevin Murphy, July 27, 2010, Domain Tech

Globe-trotting ICANN president Rod Beckstrom is heading to Vegas this week, to participate in a panel discussion on DNS security at the Black Hat conference at Caesar’s Palace.
He’ll be joined by Dan Kaminsky, discoverer of the notorious DNS vulnerability that bears his name, and is expected to sing the praises of the new DNSSEC security standard.
Also on tomorrow’s panel, entitled “Systemic DNS Vulnerabilities and Risk Management” are DNS inventor Paul Mockapetris, VeriSign CTO Ken Silva and NERC CSO Mark Weatherford.
ICANN and VeriSign recently signed the DNS root using DNSSEC standard. The challenge they face now is persuading everybody else in the world to jump on the bandwagon.
It’s likely to be slow going. DNSSEC has more than its fair share of skeptics, and even fierce proponents of the standard sometimes acknowledge that there’s not a heck of a lot in the way of a first mover advantage.
I’ll be interested to see if the subject of a DNS-CERT – a body to coordinate DNS security efforts – is raised either during the panel or the subsequent press conference.
From a policy point of view, DNSSEC is pretty much a done deal, whereas a DNS-CERT is still very much a matter for debate within the ICANN community.
I believe this is the first time ICANN has talked publicly at Black Hat. Beckstrom himself has taken the stage under his previous roles in government, but not as ICANN’s top dog.
Despite its name, Black Hat is a pretty corporate event nowadays. In my experience, the proper black/gray hats show up (or swap their lime green corporate polo shirts for Metallica T-shirts) at the weekend for Def Con, which is usually held at a cheaper venue around the corner.

1 Comment Tagged: , , , , , ,

Yes, .co domains are subject to the UDRP

I’ve been getting a fair bit of search traffic over the last few days from people evidently wondering whether .co domain names are subject to the same UDRP rules as .com, so I thought I’d answer the question directly.
Yes, they are.
For avoidance of doubt, I’ve just talked to .CO Internet’s director of marketing, Lori Anne Wardi, who had just talked to the registry’s policy people.
She told me that .co domains are subject to the exact same ICANN UDRP as .com.
If you’re a .co registrant, you’re bound to the policy the same as you are in .com. If you’re a trademark holder, you file a complaint in the same way.
The only difference at the moment is that .CO Internet has contracted with only one UDRP provider, WIPO, but Wardi said that more providers may be signed up in future.

1 Comment Tagged: , , , , , ,