QuickLinks - Domain names
QuickLinks - Domain names
Issue no. 360 - 14 May 2006
Issue no. 359 - 9 May 2006
- The dot-xxx debacle
The dot xxx debate has been back in the news recently, and what I find unendingly puzzling is the sides taken. From first principles, you'd expect groups who want it to be harder to get pornography on the internet to want a .xxx domain followed by a law ordering ISPs to block porn sites that don't move to the porn zone. That would make it relatively easier to avoid randomly running into porn on the internet.
Issue no. 358 - 21 April 2006
Issue no. 357 - 26 March 2006
- CN - Beijing sets up own Internet domains
Internet authorities in China have set up a new family of Chinese-language alternatives to .com and other popular Internet address domains. It is a move that bypasses ICANN, and some analysts fear that it could enhance China's ability to censor its citizens' access to the Internet.
- CN - China and the break-up of the net
Chinese ideas about the setting up its own domain name system could change the global nature of the internet, argues internet law professor Michael Geist.
- ICANN - Deal done on .com domain future
ICANN has approved a controversial deal over the future of the .com domain. The deal gives US firm Verisign control of .com until 2012 and lets it raise prices in at least four of the next six years. The board of net overseer the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers was split over the agreement.
- ICANN - Registrars urge rejection of VeriSign's .com deal
Nineteen internet companies, including Network Solutions, have asked ICANN's Board of Directors to reconsider a controversial agreement giving VeriSign control of the .com top-level domain until 2012.
- UK - Internet registry in trouble over status
Nominet, the company that oversees the register of the .co.uk internet domains, has come under fire from members of its own policy board following a decision to radically change its status. The not-for-profit company has called an extraordinary general meeting on March 16, where it will seek members' approval for changes to its Memorandum and Articles of Association to enable it to compete in the rapidly changing internet market.
Issue no. 355 - 5 February 2006
Issue no. 354 - 31 January 2006
- AU - Nominet wins damages in data mining dispute
Nominet UK, the national registry for all .uk domain names, has been awarded AUD $1.3 million (£550,000) in damages following a data mining scam that led to thousands of Nominet registrants receiving misleading domain name notices. The case dates back to January 2003, when Nominet discovered that its WHOIS database - which lists domain names and their owners - had been subjected to unauthorised data mining. The details of registrants were 'scraped' from Nominet's database and 50,000 registrants received misleading notices from an outfit calling itself UK Internet Registry.
- ICANN - Deal places limits on .com fees
The body which oversees the internet has put forward a revised deal to settle a long-running dispute over the crucial .com domain name. The tentative settlement was reached between the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) and the current .com owner, Verisign. The proposals would limit fees for .com addresses charged by Verisign. But Verisign would still retain control of the lucrative .com domain until at least 2012.
Issue no. 351 - 11 December 2005
- .eu - Europeans race to claim new Net names
European businesses rushed to sign up for the new '.eu' Internet domain name, putting in 100,000 Web site applications by the end of its first day available. Businesses and public bodies fled 40,503 applications within the first 15 minutes of availability - hitting a top speed of 60 requests per second - according to the European Registry of Internet Domain Names, or EURid, the nonprofit organization in charge of handling requests. Most requested domain name sex.eu - 227 applicants. See Press Release.
- ICANN - Porn domain left in limbo
Controversial plans to create the Internet domain .xxx purely for pornography have been dropped just days before they were due to receive approval. Vint Cerf, the chairman of ICANN, said that the issue had been removed from the agenda of an upcoming ICANN Board meeting due to time constraints. He did not give an indication of when it might be reintroduced. The news came as a surprise to everyone, not least Stuart Lawley, the president of .xxx's sponsoring organisation, ICM Registry, who has spent millions of dollars getting the bid this far. Mr Lawley was due to give a presentation on the domain to the same meeting just minutes after Mr Cerf's statement. see also ICANN kills .xxx porn domain (The Register) by Kieren McCarthy and XXX Controversy Signals Major Change in ICANN (ICANNWatch) by Milton Mueller.
Issue no. 350 - 4 December 2005
- EU - ".eu": Europe's new internet address opens for business on 7 December
The ".eu" top-level domain, which enables businesses, public bodies and citizens to choose a pan-European Internet name for their web sites and e-mail addresses, opens for business on 7 December 2005. A sunrise period of 4 months will allow holders of prior rights - including businesses - to apply for the registration of domain names provided they are settled in the European Union. From 7 April 2006, the Registry will open its doors for applications from the general public.
- EU - Rush expected on .eu domain name
EU companies and public bodies are expected to rush to register addresses for the new .eu domain when it is launched next week, the EU says. Information society and media commissioner Viviane Reading said she expected hundreds of thousands of bodies to apply in the first few days.
Issue no. 348 - 13 November 2005
- ICANN - VeriSign strikes .com deal
ICANN and domain registry VeriSign have agreed to end all litigation between them in a deal that will also allow VeriSign to keep control of the .com top-level domain until 2012. The agreements, which are still subject to the final approval of the ICANN board, provide for the settlement of all existing disputes between ICANN and VeriSign, coordination of planning where appropriate, and a commitment to binding international arbitration to prevent any future disagreements from resulting in costly and disruptive litigation. Under the proposals, VeriSign will recognise the authority of ICANN and agree to a clearly defined process for the introduction of new registry services ? including the prior approval of ICANN. The registry will also be granted control of the .com domain until 2012, and allowed to raise prices by 7% a year from 2007.
Issue no. 347 - 19 October 2005
- .eu domain registration to begin from 7 December 2005
Eurid has announced that its first phase of registrations for the new Top Level web Domain .eu will begin on 07 December 2005. This marks the start of a 4-month "sunrise" period during which only the holders of existing trademarks or other prior rights may register. Registrations for .eu will be fully open to the public from the beginning of April 2006. (05/10/2005) Eurid is the independent organization selected by the European Commission to operate the new registry for .eu. can be found on Background information on policy. All enquires on how to register and on the applicable rules should be addressed to Eurid.
- WSIS - Breaking America's grip on the net
After troubled negotiations in Geneva, the US may be forced to relinquish control of the internet to a coalition of governments. The words of the UK government and European Union representative in Geneva were calm, measured and unexciting, but their implications will be felt for generations to come. At the third and final preparatory meeting for next month's World Summit on the Information Society, he had just announced a political coup over the running of the internet.
- WSIS - EU / US - Transatlantic row over control of the internet
The UK-led EU delegation at a high-level meeting on internet governance has angered the US with a proposal to hand administration of the internet over to the United Nations. [Ed: gives references to relevant public EU preparatory documents]
- WSIS - EU says internet could fall apart
A battle has erupted over who governs the internet, with America demanding to maintain a key role in the network it helped create and other countries demanding more control. The European commission is warning that if a deal cannot be reached at a meeting in Tunisia next month the internet will split apart.
- WSIS - European Union, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Cuba...
The preparatory meeting in Geneva last week for the upcoming World Summit on Information Society turned into a rather embarassing affair. Potentially, there is a political storm gathering. Many of the battles leading up to the WSIS are battles for ultimate control over the Internet. Clouded in sweet talk about multilateral solutions and need to replace the United States as the ultimate guardian of the system, a coalition of control states has sought to establish ultimate political control over the net. The Geneva sensation was however a U-turn by the European Union that was as unexpected as it was disturbing.
- WSIS - Power grab could split the Net
by Declan McCullagh. For the first time in its history, the Internet is running a real risk of fracturing into multiple and perhaps even incompatible networks.Whoever controls what goes into the root servers has the final authority about what new top-level domains are added or deleted. Turning over control of key Internet functions to the U.N. would invite a debacle. The autocratic, bellicose Bush administration is no paragon of civil liberties virtue, but letting delegates from Cuba, Iran and Tunisia decide on the principles for an open and democratic Internet would be an even worse alternative.
- WSIS / US - House backs Bush on Internet stance
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have said that the United States should resist international pressure to give up authority over key Internet functions amid a mounting feud over the issue. In a letter to Commerce and State Department officials, the lawmakers said the Bush administration should retain strong oversight over the Internet domain name system, specifically the root servers.
Issue no. 344 - 18 September 2005
- EU - European Parliament seeks .kid domain, but will it work?
The European Parliament wants a safe playground for children on the internet, voting to set up a top level domain called .kid. But a similar scheme already exists in the US and has failed to attract many content providers. The EU vote was on a proposal from rapporteur Marielle De Sarnez, who also suggested the creation of a European free telephone service, designed to provide information on existing filter methods, and making it easier to report dangerous sites or lodge complaints.
- ICANN - Internet oversight board OKs new domains
The Internet's key oversight agency approved a domain name for the Catalan language while deferring final action on creating a red-light district on the Internet through a "xxx" suffix. Creating the ".cat" suffix for individuals, organizations and companies that promote the Catalan language and culture was relatively uncontroversial. As for ".xxx," the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers deferred final approval for the second time in as many months.
Issue no. 343 - 4 September 2005
- ICANN - Bush gives .xxx porn domain a red light
by Declan McCullagh. The Bush administration is objecting to the creation of a dot-xxx domain, saying it has concerns about a virtual red-light district reserved exclusively for internet pornography. Michael Gallagher, assistant secretary at the Commerce Department, has asked for a hold to be placed on the contract to run the new top-level domain until the dot-xxx suffix can receive further scrutiny. In a letter, Gallagher said: 'The Department of Commerce has received nearly 6,000 letters and emails from individuals expressing concern about the impact of pornography on families and children'. Other governments have also been applying pressure to Icann in a last-minute bid to head off dot-xxx. A letter from Icann's government advisory group asks for a halt to "allow time for additional governmental and public policy concerns to be expressed before reaching a final decision".
Issue no. 341 - 9 July 2005
- DE - Neonazi Lauck muss Domains an Deutschland abtreten
Eine Schiedsstelle der American Arbitration Association (AAA) hat im Streit um die Domains BundesrepublikDeutschland.us und FederalRepublicofGermany.us zugunsten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und damit gegen US-Neonazi Gary Lauck entschieden. Lauck könne kein berechtigtes Interesse an den Domains nachweisen, befand die AAA. Die AAA ist eine der von der ICANN akkreditierten Schlichtungsstellen, die Domain-Streitereien nach der von der Internet-Verwaltung festgelegten Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) entscheiden kann.
- US to keep control of root servers
The Bush administration has decided to retain control over the principal computers which control internet traffic in a move likely to prompt global opposition. The US had pledged to turn control of the 13 computers known as root servers - which inform web browsers and email programs how to direct internet traffic - over to a private, international body. But on Thursday the US reversed its position, announcing that it will maintain control of the computers because of growing security threats and the increased reliance on the internet for global communications.
Issue no. 340 - 23 June 2005
- ICANN - Stage set for '.xxx' Internet addresses
The Internet's primary oversight body approved a plan to create a virtual red-light district, setting the stage for pornographic Web sites to use new addresses ending in 'xxx'. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers said it would begin negotiations with ICM Registry Inc., run by British businessman Stuart Lawley, to iron out technical issues and prices for the new Web addresses.
- US - Not much to do in kids' online domain
More than 1,700 .kids.us names were reserved after the domain was opened for registration in June 2003, but two years later only 21 Web sites are up and running.
- WIPO Recommends Uniform Mechanism to Regulate Domain Name Registrations
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has recommended the introduction of a uniform intellectual property (IP) protection mechanism designed to further curb unauthorized registration of domain names in all new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). This came in a report by WIPO's Arbitration and Mediation Center (WIPO Center) on the IP implications of introducing additional generic Top-Level Domains (new gTLDs). The report, New Generic Top-Level Domains: Intellectual Property Considerations, said that such a preventive mechanism would complement the curative relief provided by the existing Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).
Issue no. 338 - 7 May 2005
- BenedictXVI.com Owner Promises No Porn or Gambling
An American who registered the Internet name BenedictXVI.com before the new Pope was chosen said he had not worked out what to do with it but was pretty sure it would be a sin to sell it to a pornographer.
- EU - Czech Arbitration Court to provide ADR for .eu disputes
EURid has appointed the Prague-based Czech Arbitration Court to provide ADR for .eu domain name disputes. The Czech Arbitration Court, assisted by a preparatory team of IP and IT specialist from around Europe will draft the rules and procedures for .eu ADR, in line with the European Commissions Public Policy Rules for .eu (EC Regulation 7874/2004) and the recommendations of WIPO.
Issue no. 336 - 3 April 2005
- EU - ICANN board approve delegation of .eu TLD
At a meeting on 21 March 2005, the board of ICANN approved the delegation of the new .eu top level domain and authorised their CEO, to enter into an agreement with EURid, the organisation selected by the European Commission to operate the .eu registry. The decision was taken following contractual negotiations between ICANN and EURid over the past few months and approval of the agreement by the European Commission. The board decision sets in motion the next stage whereby IANA (The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority), after seeking approval from the US Department of Commerce puts .eu in the internet root. This is not expected to take more than 10 days.
- Who's in Charge of the Internet?
Ever wondered about the organizations that oversee the architecture and operation of the Internet? A recently published article provides an enlightening glimpse behind the scenes of the net's governing bodies. In A Concise Guide to the Major Internet Bodies, Alex Simonelis, a faculty member in the Computer Science Department of Dawson College in Montreal, Canada, offers succinct descriptions and histories of the major Internet governance organizations.
Issue no. 330 - 30 January 2005
- Site Finder and Internet Governance
(University of Ottawa)
Journal of Law and Technology, by Jonathan Weinberg. The author unpacks the Site Finder story. The registry contracts gave ICANN no hook to invoke those concerns; if VeriSign was in breach, it was by happenstance. Part of the lesson of Site Finder is that there needs to be an effective institutional mechanism for protecting the domain name space infrastructure from unilateral, profit-driven change that bypasses the protections and consensus mechanisms of the traditional Internet standards process.
Issue no. 329 - 23 January 2005
- ICANN partying like it's 1999
by Declan McCullagh. It's been five years since Internet users had to worry about paying an extra $1 or so annual fee--akin to a tax--for each .com, .net or .org domain name they own. Now the international organization that oversees domain names has rediscovered the idea. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) believes it needs a fatter budget funded by domain name fees--and plans to start charging domain name owners in a process that will begin next year.
- VeriSign faces a fight to keep running .net
(New York Times)
The Internet's underpinnings will become a topic of debate when rival companies publicly bid to run .net, one of the Internet's most popular domains. This will be the first time that VeriSign's .net franchise will be challenged. While .net is not as ubiquitous as .com, it has more than five million registered domain names. So far, at least three companies in addition to VeriSign have indicated that they plan to compete for the franchise, which expires on June 30. They are NeuStar which runs .biz, and Afilias, which manages .info, and Denic, which manages Germany's eight million registered .de domain names.
Issue no. 324 - 21 November 2004
- ICANN - Domain Name Transfer Policy Becomes Effective
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced that its new inter-registrar domain name transfer policy has gone into effect. This enables domain name registrants to select the registrar that offers the best services and price. The new policy also simplifies and standardises the process to prevent abuses and provide clearer user information about the transfer process and options. All registrars are now required to use a clear standardised form of authorisation that provides for the express consent of the domain name registrant prior to the initiation of any transfer.
- ICANN seeks an identity
(International Herald Tribune)
ICANN has been busy lately, moving ahead on new Web address suffixes like .travel and streamlining a system for transferring domain names from one company to another. Amid this kind of routine business, Icann this week unceremoniously issued a 65-page plan that outlines its future. Within hours of its posting, the plan had ignited a new volley of criticism against the entity that at its heart is in charge of keeping the Internet running smoothly. see also ICANN Releases Strategic Plan for Public Comment (ICANN).
- UN - Working Group on Internet Governance
Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced the establishment of the Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG). The Working Group will prepare the ground for a decision on this issue by the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), to be held in Tunis in November 2005. See also new acronym - Group of Friends of the Chair (GFC).
Issue no. 322 - 17 October 2004
- EU - Commission signs contract with the .eu Registry
The contract between the European Commission and EURid was signed on 12 October, enabling EURid - a consortium of Belgian, Italian and Swedish organizations - to set the .eu mechanism in motion and permit the registration of .eu domain names as soon as possible. Before users can begin registering ".eu" domain names, the following steps are required: - the Commission will ask the Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to introduce the new .eu TLD; - the Registry will accredit registrars ? companies that can register domains on behalf of end users, under competitive market rules; - providers of Alternative Dispute Resolution services will have to be enlisted, - the requisite technical infrastructure and software will have to be put in place, and - the Registry must approve a registration policy, in consultation with the Commission and other interested parties.Following these steps, the Commission expects the .eu domain to start with a phased registration period in the third quarter of 2005, in which certain right holders, such as trade mark holders, can register domain names. Registration will then be opened up to all other eligible parties.
- ICANN breaks budget impasse
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has gained approval for its controversial 2004-2005 budget, following months of acrimony between large registrars and their smaller competitors.
Issue no. 321 - 10 October 2004
Issue no. 318 - 5 September 2004
- US - ICANN beats VeriSign's antitrust claim
ICANN, the body responsible for the internet's domain naming system, has convinced a court to dismiss an antitrust lawsuit filed against it by domain registry VeriSign over its interference with the launch of VeriSign's Site Finder service. Judge A Howard Matz dismissed the main antitrust claim against the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), and refused to consider the remaining contractual claims brought by VeriSign.
- FR - François Bayrou victime de l´ouverture du « .fr »
Le cybersquatteur qui avait indûment réservé le nom de domaine « michel-edouard-leclerc.fr » vient une nouvelle fois d´être condamné. Il avait enregistré le nom de domaine « francois-bayrou.fr », au mépris des droits du député des Pyrénées-Atlantique et président de l´UDF. François Bayrou avait mis en demeure le réservataire du nom de domaine de le transférer à son profit, en vain. Dans une ordonnance du 12 juillet 2004, le TGI de Paris en a tiré les conséquences en ajoutant une astreinte de 2000 euros par jour de retard à son ordre de fermer le site internet lié au nom de domaine en litige et de procéder à son transfert. Le juge des référés a octroyé 5 000 euros à titre de réparation.
Links to news items about legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, particularly those relating to information content, and market and technology.
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QuickLinks is edited by Richard Swetenham firstname.lastname@example.org
- a free newsletter appearing approximately once a week. The newsletter is distributed by electronic mail through an "announcement only" mailing list.
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