My Interview On CNN International re Domain Names

With the World Series a close second, my interview on CNN International regarding domain names was certainly the most compelling television last night.


New gTLDs Delayed, Perhaps to Fall 2010 (Dog Bites Man)

The ICANN Board passed a bunch of resolutions Friday morning in Seoul. Internalized domain names will be fast-tracked, new generic top level domains will be slow tracked. Applications for new gTLDs will only be accepted after (and depending upon) (1) more economic analysis as to whether new gTLDs are a good thing or not; (2) more analysis as to the cumulative effect of new IDNs and other implementations on the scalability of the DNS; (3) more consideration of trademark protection; and (4) the appointment of the evaluators of the gTLD application process. So expect a fourth version of the draft Applicant Guidebook. I’m predicting fall of 2010 now as the opening date for filing applications.


ICANN Contract Compliance Statistics

Source: ICANN contract compliance team (which enforces the accrediation contact between a registrar and ICANN):
For January to October 2009:
9 terminations of registrars
7 (contested) non-renewals of registrars
184 breach notices transmitted
4,290 enforcement actions
9,304 consumer complaints processed


This Is Why I Don't Do The ICANN Reading For The First Two Years Of A Process

I’m here in Seoul at the ICANN meeting. The third version of the Draft Applicant Guidebook to the new TLDs is out.
As to timing, the initial word is that the process will be kicked even further into the future. ICANN suggested in the opening remarks that the application process itself, intially scheduled for early 2010, may not even start until 2011. There are TLD start-ups out there carrying heavy salary loads and they were not happy to hear this. Of course if the delay is only until September 2010, that may seem like a relief.
Also, there is the issue as to ‘dot brands,’ TLDs consisting of a brand owned by that brand, such as .NIKE or .AMAZON (I’m using those as examples of famous brands, not because I have any reason to believe that those particular companies want those particular TLDs). It has been an assumption that TLD applications would be judged on various technical criteria but the judging would be ‘content-neutral’ (within reason).
Well, the word on the street is that two ICANN board members stated publicly on Sunday that they are opposed to dot brands and will work to reject such applications.
It’s not clear to what extent they can bring that about – but ICANN may wish to clarify this issue before the Fortune 100 each pay $185k in fees to ICANN for dot brands.
Of one thing I am certain – I am glad I did not devote psychic energy to this process two years ago.
The Seoul meeting can be tracked and followed remotely here.


There Is A Scam (Still) Going Around In Which Law Firms Are Being Targeted

A approaches a law firm and says that they’ve negotiated a settlement in principle with B, and can the law firm please eyeball the final agreement. The settlement will be about $280k and you can keep $5k for 1 or 2 hours of work. A is to be paid by wire upon receipt of a certified check from B made out to the law firm. The certified check arrives and the law firm deposits it. The scam depends on the hope that the firm will mistakenly think that a certified check is like depositing cash, and will therefore immediately wire the balance to A. However, the certified check is forged.
Note: This scam is going on presently, while this post from the North Carolina Bar Association indicates that it has been around since at least May 2008 (and is of course a variation of the ‘classic’ bank frauds). The post contains practice pointers and red flags.


I'm Going To Seoul For the ICANN Meeting

If you’re going and want to meet up, drop a line. If you want to chat about the new gTLD process when I get back, that’s good too.


Verizon v AT&T re Best 3G Network

Action for declaratory judgment that Verizon Wireless’s advertising claims of having “America’s Most Reliable 3G Network.”
Complaint Best 3g Network


What Once Was Dilution Is Now The Theme Song

Once Mattel sought to enjoin the “Barbie Girl” song as dilutive, and now they’ve licensed it.


Is Your NBA Client's Name On This List?

Chirs Bosh won a cyber-squatting suit and was awarded defendant’s portfolio of domain names. Bosh is now giving the names away to their rightful owners. Check for your name on the list lined to in the article.


Question For Discussion: The Ralph Lauren DMCA As Object Lesson

Ralph Lauren ran a photo of a model that seems obviously re-touched (the photo, not the model). A website ran the photo in order to ridicule it. Ralph Lauren sent a DMCA letter to the site and another which reported on the photo. The website re-printed the photo and the DMCA letter. Sites like mine re-printed the photo and reported on the controversy. Ralph Lauren released a statement that the image was ‘mistakenly released’ and was ‘inconsistent with our creative standards and brand values.’ Then it was reported that the model was fired for being too fat.