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Nominet opens directorship nominations

.uk registry Nominet has opened the nomination period for one of its elected non-executive directors.

The are four elected NEDs on the company’s board, and Anne Taylor’s three-year term is up this year.

Only members may nominate, but you don’t need to be a member to be nominated.

Nominations are open until June 17, elections take place in September, and the winner takes his or her seat in October.

The pay is £37,000 per year, for up to 30 days’ work.

More details can be found here.

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GoDaddy acquires two education-themed gTLDs

GoDaddy seems to have added another two new gTLDs to its portfolio under a deal with Open Universities Australia.

ICANN records published today show that the contracts for .study and .courses were both reassigned in March and GoDaddy Registry is already running both registries’ web sites.

Neither TLD is a big seller. They have a few thousand names under management each and currently retail for $30 to $50 a year.

GoDaddy was already the back-end provider for both, so the amount of disruption is likely to be minimal.

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Crypto domains: a feminist issue?

Kevin Murphy, June 6, 2022, Domain Tech

Unstoppable Domains has found a novel way to market its alt-root domains service — give away hundreds of thousands of free domains to female entrepreneurs and women in general.

In two separate announcements over the last few days, partners committed to give away well over a million domains, part of Unstoppable’s push to persuade women that alt-roots and “Web3” are good ideas.

First, Access Abu Dhabi, a project of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, said it will give a domain for free to “all women residing in the UAE capital”, which is believed to be about one million people.

Abu Dhabi is an overwhelmingly immigrant and overwhelmingly male city. Men are believed to outnumber women 2:1 in the UAE, a nation where until this year women could be jailed or flogged for the crime of extramarital sex.

It’s also one of a handful of cities in the world to have its own gTLDs in the authoritative root — .abudhabi and the Arabic-script equivalent — but while fees are not too high (about $40) registration restrictions are pretty strict, requiring among other things a passport scan.

The announcement by Access Abu Dhabi was made in conjunction with Unstoppable Women of Web3, an Unstoppable spin-off project set up a few months ago to pitch alt-root crypto domains to women.

Unstoppable Women is also behind a separate announcement from The Female Quotient, an equality services company, which is promising to give away up to 600,000 domains to women at its “Equality Lounge” events at various tech conferences over the coming months.

Unstoppable’s alt-root TLDs include .x, .crypto, .bitcoin, .coin and .wallet. Prices usually range from $20 to $100, but there are no renewal fees.

Female entrepreneurs obtaining these domains will quickly realize that they don’t work for the vast majority of internet users and are probably not a sound foundation for building a business.

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Turkey name change could free up gTLD string

Kevin Murphy, June 2, 2022, Uncategorized

Turkey is changing its name to Türkiye, which could free up its old name to new gTLD applicants in the bird-killing industry.

The Turkish government has reportedly submitted a formal request to the UN for the change, which is intended to bring it more into line with the Turkish name and pronunciation — “Turkey-YAY”, apparently — and to disassociate it with the poultry and its disparaging connotations.

That could mean that one day the old spelling will cease to be a reserved string under ICANN’s new gTLD program rules.

The version of the Applicant Guidebook from 2012 bans applications for strings that match country names on the ISO 3166 list, translations and variants, as well as names by which a country is “commonly known” as evidenced by its use by an intergovernmental or treaty organization.

If everybody plays ball and starts calling the nation Türkiye instead, those provisions may no longer apply and new gTLD consultants may want to put their feelers out to Bernard Matthews.

The old name could remain banned if the ISO decides to keep the name on its “exceptionally reserved” list. As of today, the 3166 standard still lists the old name on its primary list.

The new spelling almost certainly won’t have any effect on the country’s ccTLD, which is .tr.

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Porkbun offering free .gay domains for Pride month

Porkbun and Top Level Design are giving .gay domains away to celebration Pride month, the companies have said.

There appears to be a limit of one per customer, and names flagged as premium are not covered.

Porkbun’s renewal price is $27 per year.

The companies, which are affiliated, are using pride22.gay for the offer, which redirects to a porkbun.com page.

Pride month is celebrated in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots in New York in June 1969, widely seen as a significant turning point in the gay rights movement in the US.

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DNSAI to name most-abused registries, registrars

Kevin Murphy, May 31, 2022, Domain Services

The DNS Abuse Institute is to start publishing monthly reports that name the registries and TLDs with the highest level of abuse.

The organization’s Intelligence service is expected to land in September, a little later than was previously expected, according to a blog post from director of policy and programs Rowena Schoo.

DNSAI has partnered with Kor Labs, a project out of the Grenoble Institute of Technology, to supply the data, which will cover phishing and malware domains and differentiate between malicious registrations and compromised sites.

The Institute doesn’t consider spam DNS abuse unless it is used as a delivery mechanism for other types of abuse, in line with ICANN’s definition.

The decision to actually name (and in some cases, we should assume, shame) registries and registrars is an unusual one. Other, similar efforts tend to keep the data anonymous.

“We want to understand abuse persistence and whether it has been appropriately mitigated by registrars,” Schoo wrote.

DNSAI is a project primarily backed by .org manager Public Interest Registry.

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NameSilo profitable in Q1

Canadian registrar NameSilo today reported that it took a profit in the first quarter, reversing the loss of a year ago.

The company reported a net income of CAD 330,613, compared to a loss of CAD 3.8 million in Q1 2021, on revenue that was up 34.7% at CAD 10.8 million.

The registrar said its names under management had increased to 4.63 million by the end of March.

NameSilo now believes it is the 11th largest registrar.

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Meds regulator won’t say why it gets domains suspended

Kevin Murphy, May 30, 2022, Domain Policy

The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has declined to reveal which .uk domain names it has had suspended and the reasons for having them suspended.

In response to a freedom of information request published last week, the agency said it had 32 domains suspended in the last 12 months — it appears that refers to the 12 months to November 2021 — but declined to list them.

It said most of the domains were being used to breach the Human Medicines Regulations 2012, which regulates the sale of medicines, but declined to give specifics, citing a FOI carve-out related to ongoing investigations.

The MHRA said that it does not have a formal suspensions policy.

The agency is one of several that regularly asks .uk registry Nominet to take down domains believed to be involved in criminal behavior. The Police Intellectual Property Crimes Unit submits by far the largest number of such requests.

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Porkbun hits a million domains

Oregon-based registrar Porkbun said it recently hit a million domains under management.

The seven-year-old company added that it now has over 200,000 customers.

Porkbun carries over 500 TLDs, which are wonderfully illustrated on the form of cartoon pigs on this page.

The company is giving away T-shirts along similar lines on Twitter to celebrate its milestone.

Porkbun is affiliated with new gTLD registry Top Level Design, which runs .ink, .wiki and .gay.

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Porn names to feature at NamesCon Global

Kevin Murphy, May 26, 2022, Domain Services

NamesCon, the domaining conference, has revealed that “adult” domain names will be the focus of one its sessions at its next event, hosted by a former dominatrix.

The conference has recruited Monte Cahn of RightOfTheDot (not the former dominatrix) and investor Krista Gable of Domain Domme to run a session on “Adult Domain Names”.

Organizers couldn’t resist a bit of cheeky innuendo in a mailshot this week, promising to help attendees “explore the ins and outs of buying, selling, developing, and monetizing in this unique and valuable namespace.”

Gable told DomainGang in an interview a few years ago that she’s particularly interested in domains at the intersection of sex and technology, and her portfolio today seems to be largely porn-adjacent rather than downright filthy.

Not much else is known about NamesCon’s agenda yet. We do know there’s going to be a literal sausage fest at the end of the week at a local beer garden, an auction, and a “Women In Domaining” session at the end of the third day.

The conference runs in Austin, Texas from August 31 and tickets currently start at $499 before increasing next week.

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