Subscribe: CircleID: Featured Blogs
http://www.circleid.com/rss/rss_comm/
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
access  domain names  domain  icann  internet  market  names  new  numbers  policy  registration  rights  time  udrp  urs 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: CircleID: Featured Blogs

CircleID: Featured Blogs



Latest blogs postings on CircleID



Updated: 2017-07-25T15:17:00-08:00

 



CAICT Holds ICANN 59 China Internet Community Readout Session

2017-07-25T08:17:00-08:00

This report was co-authored by Zhaohan Li and Liu Yu. Intern Zhang Duo also contributed to this article. In afternoon of 14th July, the China Academy of Information and Communication Technology (CAICT) and ICANN Beijing Engagement Center jointly held the ICANN 59 China Internet Community Readout Session. Mr. Zhang Ya, Deputy Director of Information and Communication Authority under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), made his presence and gave opening remarks on the meeting. Over 40 representatives from the Cyberspace Administration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, domain name registries and registrars, industrial organizations, institutes and universities participated in the seminar. The attendants introduced the developments of the ICANN 59 Johannesburg Meeting held from June 26 to 29 and further discussed the ICANN affairs and hot topics on the meeting. Paul Wilson, Director General of the Asia-Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC), and Duncan Macintosh, President of the APNIC Foundation, were invited to attend the meeting and exchanged views with members of the Chinese community on Internet governance issues. ICANN 59 China Internet Community Readout Session On the meeting, Mr. Zhang Jianchuan, Director of the ICANN Beijing engagement Center, outlined the overall situation of the 59th meeting. Guo Feng, Vice Chair of the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) introduced the progress of GAC meetings and participation in Empowered Community. Other attendants, including Chu Nan from CNNIC, Liu Limei from CONAC, Kan Kaili, from At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC), and Professor from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Pam Little from Alibaba Cloud, Tan Yaling from Teleinfo, introduced the progresses of topics including the ICANN country code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO), work stream 2 of CCWG-Accountability, the next Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) policy progress and community elections in new gTLD, the impact of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on domain name services, and names and trademark rights protection, and shared their feelings during ICANN 59. Paul Wilson, Director General of APNICSome of the rough consensuses include: 1. Communities have begun to participate in Empowered Community (EC), but how could EC improve its operation is yet to be observed; 2. Extension of the CCWG WS2 timeline has been basically confirmed; 3. The next GNSO policy progress may be postponed after 2020 due to relevant reviews and policies; 4. The Chinese community should participate actively in GNSO, striving for their own interests and expanding the impact; 5. Carry out research on the impact of GDPR on domain name service compliance and find feasible solutions for the Chinese community. In addition, Song Linjian from the Worldwide Interconnection and Yao Jiankang from the CNNIC shared their experiences about the Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) and KSK rollover. The whole seminar was moderated by Liu Yue from CAICT. During the session, Paul Wilson appreciated the contributions of the Chinese community to ICANN affairs and looked forward to cooperation with more Chinese institutions for facilitating the Internet governance and development within the Asia-Pacific region. Paul Wilson also pointed out that the Asia-Pacific region encompasses a wide range of cultures due to its broad area span, and ICANN should continue to improve its diversity and enhance the representation of Asia-Pacific region. Asian countries should also take full advantage of the community and industry’s initiative, participate more in ICANN affairs and strive for greater benefits for their own users — APNIC will offer its support as usual. Duncan Macintosh introduced the APNIC Foundation and hoped to have further communications with the Chinese community to collaborate on projects. Representatives all agreed that the Chinese community needed to strengthen communication and have further coordination, enhance the initiative and participation in depth, e[...]



The IPv4 Market - Looking Back and Forward

2017-07-24T07:28:00-08:00

In September 2015, the free pool of IPv4 numbers available through the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) ran dry. In 2016, the IPv4 market was the only reliable source of IPv4 numbers, globally, and the pattern of activity changed dramatically. So far in 2017, we have seen the trends in the last half of 2016 continue. Throughout 2015, IPv4 transactions were trending steadily upward and the volume of transferred numbers had reached an all time high as several /8 holders sold off their excess supply of IPv4 numbers to large buyers with available liquidity to purchase large amounts of address space. In 2016, the monthly rate of transactions climbed sharply to nearly double the average monthly number of transactions in Q4 2015. The volume of transferred numbers took a different turn. Nearly 40 million IPv4 numbers were transferred via the ARIN transfer approval process in 2015. In 2016, that number dropped by nearly 50%, to just over 20.75 million. North American IPv4 Market Activity in 2016 – In the latter half of 2016, the volume of numbers transferred grew from just shy of 5.8 million numbers in the first half of 2016 to nearly 15 million numbers in the last 6 months of 2016 (left chart). Expanding the view to all purchases in 2016, a full 50% of all numbers were transferred as /16 blocks. The chart on the right shows that /16 block trades produced more transferred numbers in 2016 than any other block size. (Click to Enlarge) There are several key explanations for the market shift. One, the depletion of large block supply. Whereas 14 /12+ (1,048,576 numbers) blocks transferred via the ARIN transfer approval process in 2015, only 3 such blocks were transferred in 2016. Also, the decision by some large block holders either to sell their blocks in smaller sizes to realize higher unit prices or hold off entering the market altogether until large block pricing improved. Market indicators show that the higher trading volumes in 2016 are holding steady in 2017, both in the ARIN domestic market and in the InterRIR market where transfers more than doubled in part due to RIPE NCC's inter-RIR transfer policy which was now in full swing. With hints that AFRINIC and LACNIC may open their doors to InterRIR transfers, we expect this number to grow. We also expect more supply to enter the market — but not necessarily in the volumes we experienced in 2015. In the first half of 2016, just 5.8 million numbers were transferred. That number more than doubled to nearly 15 million numbers in the last half of the year as prices have risen, sellers have been able to take advantage of more flexible contract structures that allow them to fund renumbering projects, and large buyers are more willing to accept numbers over a more flexible and extended schedule and in smaller block sizes. In 2016, the /16 (65,536 numbers) was a dominant block size in the market, accounting for 50% of all numbers transferred. As in 2015, pricing trends have continued to mirror the shift in supply and demand. Pricing was at its lowest in Q1 2015, when there was a glut of supply in the marketplace. With tightening of supply in 2016, prices escalated. The average price of small to mid-size blocks grew by just over 30%. Large block pricing nearly doubled, substantially narrowing the gap between small and large block pricing. We expect prices to escalate further as we head toward the last half of 2017. IPv6 migration has not yet materially impacted the IPv4 marketplace. Tech companies continue to invest in their IPv4 infrastructure while building out their IPv6 network, making some significant IPv4 purchases to meet their needs. Companies appear to be settling into their reliance on the IPv4 market, at least over the next 2-3 years, to bridge the gap between IPv4 and IPv6 as companies recognize that IPv6 migration will happen eventually but not soon enough. A full analysis of the IPv4 market, with additional data, can be found in Avenue4's 2016 Annual State of the Market Report. Written by Janine Goodman, Vi[...]



No Time Bar, No Laches under the UDRP

2017-07-24T07:13:01-08:00

Two Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) decisions posted this month involved domain names registered 20 and 21 years ago, David Duchovny v. Alberta Hot Rods c/o Jeff Burgar, FA1706001734414 (Forum July 4, 2017) (, 21 years) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia v. Registration Private, Domains By Proxy, LLC / Ravindra Patel, gbe, D2017-0807 (WIPO July 6, 2017) () (20 years). Complainants prevailed in both cases. The domain names stand out as being the oldest to have been found registered in bad faith, and transferred. Readers unfamiliar with the UDRP may be surprised to learn there is no time bar for making a cybersquatting claim, and laches is not a defense. While David Duchovny and Commonwealth Bank are similar in filing complaints for long-held domain names, Complainants' circumstances are strikingly dissimilar (celebrity name versus a name composed of two dictionary words and parties located on different continents). While the first decision is understandable and the second is questionable. The "no time bar/no laches" limitation which is one of the core principles of the UDRP is consistent with WIPO's recommendations for the proposed administrative procedure that became the UDRP. The WIPO Final Report (1999), Paragraph 197 stated that "a time bar to the bringing of claims in respect of domain names (for example, a bar on claims where the domain name registration has been unchallenged for a designated period of years) should not be introduced." Then, in Paragraph 199, "time bar" is expressly rejected: "It is not recommended that claims under the administrative procedure be subject to a time limitation.” (Italics in original). While the recommendation did not achieve written recognition in the Policy Panels quickly enshrined it in their decisions: "[there is] no room for general equitable doctrines under the Policy such as would be possessed by Courts in common law jurisdictions." Edmunds.com, Inc. v. Ult. Search Inc., D2001-1319 (WIPO February 1, 2002). The Panels in David Duchovny and Commonwealth Bank make the same point: "This Panel lacks equitable powers; therefore, even a delay of 21 years does not implicate laches" and "Panels have . . . declined to specifically adopt concepts such as laches or its equivalent in UDRP cases." Whatever advantage complainants may appear to gain by the rejection of any time limitation or laches is offset in two ways: by respondents' rebuttal evidence (which if there is any, would have to be countered) and by the evidentiary demands on complainant for proving bad faith. The specific antidote to complainants sleeping on their rights is expressly set forth in Paragraph 4(c)(i) of the Policy; that is, if in the long interval before complainant wakes up a respondent accrues rights in the domain name, the complaint must be denied. It will be noticed that the 4(c)(i) defense incorporates a key element of laches, namely detrimental reliance, so that while laches is ostensibly rejected it is present through the back door. Paragraph 4(a)(iii) also plays a role because the passage of time is a black hole; all evidence is lost if not maintained, so that even if respondent is found to lack rights or legitimate interests, if complainant cannot marshal evidence of bad faith registration the domain name must remain with respondent. Proving cybersquatting of marks predating domain name registration is easier the closer in time between the registration and filing the complaint. It becomes increasingly difficult the longer complainant waits, particularly for weak marks (as opposed to celebrities' strong marks ). When complainants lose, the inapplicability of laches is no help to them and should be no hindrance to respondents; the evidentiary problem lies in complainant's inability to marshal the necessary evidence. The database of complainants losing for lack of evidence is full of these disputes. The Sinclair Group Nevada, LLC v. behnam tabrizi, FA1606001679802[...]



The URS Also Applies to These Top-Level Domains

2017-07-20T08:56:00-08:00

The Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) is often described as a domain name dispute policy that applies to the new gTLDs. While that's true, the URS is actually broader than that. The URS (a quick and inexpensive policy that allows a trademark owner to obtain the temporary suspension of a domain name) applies to more than just the new gTLDs, that is, those top-level domains that are a part of ICANN's 2012 domain name expansion. Indeed, the first URS case was not for a new gTLD but instead was for .pw, the country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the Republic of Palau, a group of islands in the North Pacific Ocean. The determination, for the domain name , was issued on September 27, 2013, almost five months before the first URS decision for domain names within new gTLDs (for and ). Nearly all (if not actually all) of the URS determinations since then have involved new gTLDs (with .xyz, .club and .email among those that have appeared frequently). But, in addition, to .pw, six other TLDs have adopted the URS, and one other has adopted a variation of it. Here's the complete list: .cat .jobs .mobi .pro .pw .travel .xxx Plus, .us domain names are subject to the usTLD Rapid Suspension Dispute Policy (usRS), a similar but more lenient version of the URS that has been invoked only 14 times in the past three years. The URS Remains Unpopular If the URS (and usRS) applies to these top-level domains, why have we seen so few cases? I can think of at least three reasons: The URS (and usRS) are not very attractive to trademark owners because they have a limited remedy (temporary suspension) and a high burden of proof (clear and convincing evidence). Many of the TLDs that have adopted the URS have done so only recently, so there simply hasn't been much time for trademark owners to take advantage of the URS (and the TLDs listed above are just not popular). Trademark owners may be unaware that the URS applies to the TLDs listed above. Interestingly, it appears as if the Forum (the largest provider of URS services) doesn't publicize the fact that any top-level domains other than the new gTLDs are subject to the URS (and MFSD, a small URS provider, includes only a minor reference). Indeed, the URS has been adopted by some registry operators only in recent months. For example, the .pro and .travel registries adopted the URS as part of their renewals with ICANN in October 2015, while the .xxx registry adopted the URS as part of an amendment to its agreement with ICANN in February 2017. Will the URS Expand Further? The slow expansion of the URS has been opposed by many domainers, who apparently see it as a potential threat to their livelihood, especially if the URS should one day apply to .com domain names. For example, in 2015 one blogger wrote that applying the URS to top-level domains beyond the new gTLDs represented "a fundamental change to the ownership rights to all those who own the hundreds of millions of legacy domain names on which most of the Internet is built." Whether additional TLDs will adopt the URS is unclear. But in the meantime, any trademark owner facing a cybersquatter in one of the TLDs listed above should consider the URS (or usRS) when deciding whether and how to enforce its rights. Written by Doug Isenberg, Attorney & Founder of The GigaLaw FirmFollow CircleID on TwitterMore under: Cybersquatting, Domain Names, Intellectual Property, Law, Top-Level Domains [...]



Mid-Year .brands Review: 2017 Off to a Brilliant Start

2017-07-18T18:25:00-08:00

If you've read my blogs in the past, you'll know that I'm really passionate about the benefits that .brands can deliver to organizations and their customers. We are now half way through 2017 which provides us with an opportunity to have a good hard look at the data and reflect on the last six months in the .brands space. Here is the punchline — it's pretty damn impressive, and for a variety of reasons. Let's be frank — supporting an innovation such as the .brand movement is not for the faint hearted, and the continual momentum we're experiencing is great reward for those of us that have 'stayed the course' (with only maybe the occasional wavering!). .brands are asking questions, and moving ahead I'm privileged to be one of the few who has a job that is completely dedicated to this type of .brand engagement, but I can tell you that we are being asked more and more informed and targeted questions about how to optimize their .brand strategies each and every day. All the while, organizations like Google, Audi, CERN, Bloomberg, Canon, Microsoft, and Lamborghini have launched .brand sites this year already and continue to pave the way — and that's just a handful of them. I think that the most important elements of .brand domain names also include the diversification of usage. Building microsites on .brand domains are still strong, but the use of .brands in alternative methods such as vanity/redirect strategies, social media, internal tools, email and full site transitions are also growing significantly. To illustrate my point, check out the Showcase at MakeWay.World where we highlight the variety of global examples of .brand usage. It's growing every day, and the stats below speak for themselves. The facts behind the facts As noted above, the number of brands that have gone beyond creating the mandatory 'NIC' page and have registered at least one other domain under their .brand since January 1 has grown by 17 percent. Importantly, there's also been a greater than 23 percent increase in the number of .brands with more than 20 domain names registered — showing that there is growth at the upper end of the spectrum as well. This includes brands such as Microsoft, Bentley, Philips, AXA, Saxo Bank and BMW to name a few. Some of the more active industries include insurance, which collectively have now registered over 1,800 domains; automotive with over 1,000 domains and information technology with just shy of 1,000. We're more thrilled than ever that we were able to launch the Stats Hub on MakeWay.World earlier this year, as the numbers paint a very clear picture of the .brands space and are now available to anyone to explore. .brands making headlines The .brands space has also received some great coverage in industry and broader media so far this year. ClickZ published a three-part series on .brands that culminated in a webinar featuring myself, Matt Dorville of Major League Baseball and Katie Hankinson of VaynerMedia. India's biggest bank announced its plans to move to .sbi, which was reported on by Domain Incite. Domain Name Wire looked at how Major League Baseball is planning to use its .mlb domain names. Domain Pulse reported on the French national railway's plans to move to its .brand TLD. I was published in B&T commenting on the Australian Football League's use of .afl for its historic women's league competition. Moving forward In just the last couple of weeks, we've seen new .brand sites from the likes of Google, Audi, Leclerc and Allstate, which says to me that the .brands space isn't slowing anytime soon. Of equal importance is the fact that the majority of conversations we're having with .brand owners are more and more about how to use their .brands, rather than why. They're looking for practical advice on integrating with social media channels, rolling out email addresses and communicating with staff and clients about changes to web addresses. [...]



Nation Scale Internet Filtering — Do's and Don'ts

2017-07-17T22:45:00-08:00

If a national government wants to prevent certain kinds of Internet communication inside its borders, the costs can be extreme and success will never be more than partial. VPN and tunnel technologies will keep improving as long as there is demand, and filtering or blocking out every such technology will be a never-ending game of one-upmanship. Everyone knows and will always know that determined Internet users will find a way to get to what they want, but sometimes the symbolic message is more important than the operational results. In this article, I will describe some current and prior approaches to this problem, and also, make some recommendations doing nation-state Internet filtering in the most responsible and constructive manner. History, Background, and SOPA For many years, China's so-called Great Firewall has mostly stopped most law-abiding people including both citizens and visitors from accessing most of the Internet content that the Chinese government does not approve of. As a frequent visitor to China, I find it a little odd that my Verizon Wireless data roaming is implemented as a tunnel back to the USA, and is therefore unfiltered. Whereas, when I'm on a local WiFi network, I'm behind the Great Firewall, unable to access Facebook, Twitter, and so on. The downside of China's approach is that I've been slow to expand my business there — I will not break the law, and I need my employees to have access to the entire Internet. Another example is Italy's filtering policy regarding unlicensed (non-taxpaying) online gambling, which was blocked not by a national "Great Firewall" but rather SOPA-style DNS filtering mandated for Italian ISP's. The visible result was an uptick in the use of Google DNS (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) by Italian gamblers, and if there was also an increase in gambling tax revenue, that was not widely reported. The downside here is the visible cracks in Italian society — many of Italians apparently do not trust their own government. Furthermore, in 2013 the European Union ruled that this kind of filtering was a violation of EU policy. In Turkey up until 2016, the government had similar protections in place, not about gambling but rather pornography and terrorism and anti-Islamic hate speech. The filtering was widely respected, showing that the Turkish people and their government were more closely aligned at that time than was evident during the Italian experiment. It was possible for Turkish internet users to opt-out of the government's Internet filtering regime, but such opt-out requests were uncommon. This fit the Internet's cooperation-based foundation perfectly: where interests are aligned, cooperation is possible, but where interests are not aligned, unilateral mandates are never completely effective. In the years since the SOPA debacle in the United States, I've made it my priority to discuss with the entertainment and luxury goods industries the business and technical problems posed to them by the Internet. Away from the cameras, most executives freely admit that it's not possible to prevent determined users from reaching any part of the Internet they might seek, including so-called "pirate" sites which may even be "dedicated to infringement". I learned however that there is a class of buyers, of both music and movies and luxury goods, who are not interested in infringement per se, and who are often simply misled by "pirate" Internet sites who pretend to be legitimate. One estimate was that only 1/3rd of commercial music is bought legally, and the remaining 2/3rd is roughly divided between dedicated (1/3rd) and accidental (1/3rd) infringement. If so, then getting the accidental infringers who comprise 1/3rd of the market to buy their music legally wouldn't change the cost of music for those buyers, but could raise the music industry's revenues by 100%. We should all think of that as a "win-win-win" possibility. Speaking for myself, I'd[...]



APT: The Cancer Within

2017-07-17T08:36:00-08:00

Unless you have a team employing the latest proactive threat-hunting techniques, the stealthy Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) hiding in your network can pass by completely unnoticed. There are as many definitions of APT as experts writing about the topic, so let's boil it down to the simple essentials: APTs are usually implanted and maintained by a team of malicious actors with the intention of living long term in your network while extracting valuable private information. APTs are increasing not only in intensity but also in scope, targeting your company for specific assets of value to the criminal or nation state group. Victimized companies are often blissfully unaware of the "low and slow" APT network activity, sometimes persisting for months or years before discovery. Ignoring the danger that APTs pose will almost surely result in harm to your organization. Most APTs utilize encrypted communications rendering network content inspection ineffectual. Still, the more your organization can understand about its network traffic from all vectors — including cloud services — the better you will be able to spot anomalies. So what current best practices are effective? Focus on tracking something the malicious actors cannot hide: anomalous external host connections. An APT is quite different from the static traditional attacks that have caused breaches in recent months. First, the APT is very target-aware. They invest time and effort to understand your organization and build custom malware to increase the chance of a successful attack. Second, they are more sophisticated and backed with better resources. Malicious actors employing APT methodologies tend to be organized and structured into teams with defined responsibilities. Where the APT is backed by a nation state, the groups are likely to be the best available talent. The resulting teams are competent, highly motivated, and have all the resources needed to succeed. Malware used in these invasive attacks is very stealthy to achieve maximum impact. Chances are you are being attacked at this present time and don't know it. The good news is that once you understand the nature of the APT threat and focus in on your organization's vulnerabilities, you can defend against the APT with a proactive threat-hunting initiatives. Characteristics of APT The APT is stealthy, targeted, and data-focused. Here are the most important characteristics of the APT that might be lurking in your servers as you read this: 1. APT will target any type of organization. Both government and non-government entities are vulnerable. When it comes to the Internet, the lines between the government and the private sector are blurring rapidly. Anything that could cause harm to a corporation or give an adversary an advantage is an appealing target for APT. Consider who your customers are when you consider why an adversary may gain from information or access your network provides. 2. While the threat APT poses to your network is complex, the entry point for many attacks is as basic as convincing a user to open an attachment or click on a link. Once the APT gains entry to your system, it is very sophisticated in what it does and how it works. Signature analysis is not an effective protection against it. Advanced attacks change constantly, recompiling on the fly to bypass even the latest anti-virus detection updates. 3. Most organizations make the mistake of thinking of APT attacks like the weather: there will be some stormy days and there will be some sunny days. However, on the Internet, there is a storm brewing every day. In the past, attackers would periodically attack an organization. Today the attacks are persistent and constant. If your organization lets its guard down for any period of time, the chance of a compromise is almost 100%. 4. Attackers want to take advantage of the economy of scale and break into as many[...]



"Net Neutrality" Protects New Monopolies from Old

2017-07-14T12:40:00-08:00

Over the next decade which companies do you think will be better able to exercise monopoly power? Amazon, T&T, Comcast, Facebook, Google, Regional phone companies, or Verizon? If you'd asked me this question in 2000, I would've picked AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and regional phone companies. They are part of local duopolies for wired infrastructure. They had a comfortable relationship with the FCC which regulated them nationally and with most of the state regulators. They saw the Internet as potentially disruptive and would've preferred to have its potential for innovation slowed by regulation. Amazon and Google (and most of the Internet community of the day) were against FCC regulation of the Internet exactly because that would chill innovation. The Internet won; the FCC chose only the lightest of regulation. We got innovation; Facebook and Twitter happened; Google and Amazon grew enormously. And then guess what. In 2014 at the urging of Google, Amazon, and the rest of the Internet establishment, the FCC decided it needed to regulate the Internet after all. In an Orwellian twist, this regulation was given the attractive name of Net Neutrality. Its stated purpose is to protect us from abuses that AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and the like "might" commit. Are the telcos more powerful than they were in 2000? Of course not; even their landline duopolies are less powerful as more and more last mile access to content is wireless and wireless becomes more and more competitive. Are Google and Amazon more in need of protection now than they were then? Sounds absurd but they're the establishment now. They are strong enough so they can't be toppled by smaller competitors with the same products. The only commercial threat to them — as it always is with dominant players — is disruptive innovation. And what better way to slow innovation than regulation? Note also that regulation is usually favored by those who think they can control the regulators (telcos in 2000; dominant Internet players in 2014). "Net Neutraility" forbids telcos for charging content providers a premium for "fast lanes". But Google, Amazon, et al already have private fast lanes and local data centers and data caches so that their content can reach consumers faster than content from anyone else. Conveniently Net Neutrality regs don't cover the private internet expressways. In fact if you pay Amazon to host your site, you too can have a fast lane. But you can't buy that fast lane from AT&T ala carte without the hosting because they're not allowed to sell it. What if someone were to provide a drone-mesh-based fast lane and charge more the faster you want your content to go? Would that be a threat to us? No. Would it be a threat to Amazon and Google? A little; it might be disruptive. Better, in their minds, to subject that service to the strait jacket of regulation. What if telemedicine requires a guaranteed faster service than the public Internet provides? Does it just have to wait until the whole Internet gets faster to start saving lives? Why shouldn't AT&T or the drone-based ISP be able to sell the faster service at a premium? If all the ins-and-outs of the Net Neutrality debate are hard to follow, just ask yourself in 2017 if Google's search dominance is more of a present danger than AT&T's eroding monopoly. I'm not for regulating Google or Amazon purely because of their size; but I'm certainly against regulation like so-called Net Neutrality which protects their dominance. Written by Tom EvslinFollow CircleID on TwitterMore under: Access Providers, Broadband, Net Neutrality, Policy & Regulation [...]



CENTR Awards to Include Best Domain Name Registry as Chosen by Registrars

2017-07-14T12:34:00-08:00

CENTR, the body which represent of European domain registries, will be holding its annual awards again this year. What's different for 2017 however is that they've added a new category: "Registry of the Year Award"

And unlike with the other award categories, this one is open for voting to the registrar channel.

(image) The question registrars are being asked is:

Based on the quality of customer service (availability, response time) and quality of the business relationship in general, how would you rate the following registries?

The online voting or ranking is open now and is open to registrars who have a direct relationship with the registries. So if you are directly accredited in a ccTLD you can rank it, but if you're reselling indirectly then you can't as you don't have the direct relationship.

Registries will need to get at least 10 votes in order to be considered in the category, so it'll probably work better for the larger registries that have a big and established registrar channel.

Of course to avoid gaming registrars will only get one submission each.

Full details here. Voting is open until September 14th 2017.

Written by Michele Neylon, MD of Blacknight Solutions

Follow CircleID on Twitter

More under: Domain Names, Registry Services




After 21 Years, Actor David Duchovny Wins His Domain Name

2017-07-13T11:55:00-08:00

Actor David Duchovny wins his domain name davidduchovny.comWhile plenty of UDRP decisions have made clear that a trademark owner's delay in bringing an action against a cybersquatter (often referred to as "laches") is typically not a defense, actor David Duchovny's decision to file a UDRP complaint nearly 21 years after the domain name was registered may set a record for the longest wait in a domain name dispute. Duchovny is perhaps best known for his role as FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder in the science fiction TV series The X-Files, which ran from 1993 to 2002. The series was revived in 2016 and, recently, renewed for the 2017-18 TV season. The domain name was created when Duchovny was popular on TV in 1996, in the early days of cybersquatting and before the UDRP was even created. (The first UDRP decision was not issued until January 14, 2000.) Jeff Burgar, Bruce Springsteen and Other Celebs The original registrant of the domain name, "Alberta Hot Rods c/o Jeff Burgar" ("Burgar"), is no stranger to domain name disputes. Burgar may perhaps be best known as the registrant of the domain name , which he successfully defended against the singer in an early (January 2001) UDRP decision. I often refer to the decision when talking about the history of domain name disputes and the lack of certainty that exists in the UDRP system. In that controversial case, Burgar filed what the panel described as "a substantial response." A divided three-member panel found that Springsteen had failed to prove two of the three required UDRP elements, largely because of Burgar's non-commercial use of the domain name, and allowed Burgar to keep the domain name, which he retains to this day (under the registrant name "Bruce Springsteen Club"), although it does not appear to be used in connection with an active website. Despite Burgar's surprising success in the case, he lost a number of other early UDRP decisions involving celebrity domains, including those for singer Celine Dion, actor Kevin Spacey, and author and director Michael Crichton, all in 2001. But domain name disputes against Burgar have slowed in recent years, perhaps because many of those celebrities who wanted to pursue their claims already had done so (or decided not to do so). Why Duchovny waited until 2017 to act is unclear, though perhaps the renewed interest in The X-Files may have played a factor. (Recently, Duchovny has been using the domain name , which was just registered in 2016.) The Role of Laches Interestingly, despite the passage of nearly 21 years between registration of the domain name and filing of the UDRP complaint, Duchovny apparently never obtained a trademark registration on his own name, as the UDRP decision refers only to common law trademark rights. While the decision says that Duchovny "adequately pled [his] rights and interests" in his own name, it is surprising that the actor did not obtain a trademark registration before filing the complaint — especially considering that he was in no rush to get the domain name. As for the delay itself, the panel certainly took note of it, writing: "This Panel lacks equitable powers; therefore, even a delay of 21 years does not implicate laches." However, the panel did not disregard the potential impact of the delay altogether. In evaluating the bad-faith factor under the UDRP, the panel wrote that it "finds that the record does not support a finding that registration alone of the disputed domain name for 21 years caused any Internet users to be confused as to the source or origin of any goods or services and there were certainly no lost profits or loss of business[...]



Do Trade Names Qualify as Trade Marks for Purposes of the UDRP?

2017-07-10T08:58:00-08:00

Naming is the first imperative. It as much precedes the launching of new lives as it does new businesses. Names secure a presence, and for businesses in the marketplace names can grow into trademarks, if they function like one. Are we not sometimes made aware that not all names are equally distinctive, and that some of them are distinctly commonplace? In discussions leading up to the implementation of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP or the Policy) trade names (personal names as well) were excluded from protection. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in its final report of the procedure that in 1999 became the UDRP, The Management of Internet Names and Addresses: Intellectual Property Issues, Final Report of the World Intellectual Property Organization Internet Domain Name Process (April 30, 1999) (Final Report), declared there were two limitations on the scope of the procedure. The first limitation relates to the ultimate issue of bad faith, namely that "it is available only in respect of deliberate, bad faith, abusive, domain name registration" (Paragraphs 166 and 135(i)). The second limitation (Paragraph 167) defines "abusive registration by reference only to trademarks and service marks." Thus, registrations that violate trade names . . . rights would not be considered to fall within the definition of abusive registration for the purposes of the administrative procedure. (Bold in the original). In a subsequent report, The Recognition of Rights and the Use of Names In the Internet Domain Name System, Report of the Second WIPO Internet Domain Name Process, dated September 3, 2001 WIPO extended the list of exclusions to personal names, except "when they constitute trademarks" Paragraph 179 (Second Report). For trade names, though, the Second Report softened WIPO's earlier certainty. Gone is the categorical exclusion that trade names "would not be considered to fall within the definition of abusive registration." The new consensus is found to be more nuanced, namely that distinctiveness rests not only on lexical choices but circumstances; essentially recognizing what after all is a deep-rooted concept under trademark law: Where a trade name is used in widespread markets, it . . . often . . . satisfies the conditions for protection as an unregistered trademark so as to qualify, in appropriate circumstances, for protection against bad faith, deliberate misuse under the UDRP" (WIPO Second Report, Paragraph 318(ii)). The question with trade names is what lexical ingredients qualify — what are "appropriate circumstances" — for surely some do not? Dictionary words used denotatively are obvious candidates for exclusion ("fabricator" is common but THE FABRICATOR is distinctive), but the same dictionary words can also be used suggestively ("Easy") or arbitrarily ("Virgin") or combined with other dictionary words ("price" and "line"), and be obvious candidates for protection. They rise in dignity as their penetration advances. Unexpected combinations of words ("Circle back" and "Nu mark") or spellings ("quikr") are also obvious candidates, but letters ("sog" and "atc") (which to complainants are acronyms and to domain name holders merely arbitrary strings) not so obvious, and with geographic locations plus descriptive word ("Wasatch" and "shutters") not even likely to have a right. ICANN panelists have been particularly attentive in construing the antecedents of "rights" in Paragraph 4(a)(i) of the Policy. What passes as a trademark or service mark (when their market presences predate registrations of domain names) is more extensive than some imagine. Panels determined, first, that rights included unregistered as well as registered commercial signs and symbols; then, for the unregistered, it included bus[...]



G20 Nations Must Set Clear Priorities for Digital Agenda

2017-07-05T12:48:00-08:00

A joint blog post by the Internet Society, Mozilla and the World Wide Web Foundation. Home to two-thirds of the world's population and 90 percent of its economic output, the G20 countries are a powerhouse that have yet to take on a coordinated digital agenda. This could be about to change. Under the German presidency of the G20, digital concerns — from getting people connected to protecting people's data once they are — have been made a priority through a new 'Roadmap for Digitalisation'. Now the question is: will other G20 members like Brazil, China, and Russia be willing to translate this initial support into firm G20 commitments that Argentina will continue to drive during the next G20 presidency? As three leading organisations from the Internet community, we are looking to the world leaders who will gather in Hamburg, Germany for the summit on 7-8 July to set clear priorities for the G20 digital agenda. They have good reason to. Digital industries have become central to all G20 economies and must form an integral part of their agenda. If the G20 are looking at their future prosperity and security, they must ensure the digital economy brings connectivity, opportunities, and benefits for everyone, while guarding against the risk that digital technologies could drive inequality and exclusion. It is more important now than ever to lay the foundations for an effective, principle-based security framework that respects fundamental rights and ensures user trust. Unilateral or short-sighted solutions, such as on encryption, will fall short to address these challenges. We believe that Germany's presidency has set a good precedent for other G20 countries — and especially Argentina — to follow. The proposed G20 "Roadmap for Digitalisation” provides the right framing to address many of the digital community's current concerns: from strengthening trust in the digital economy and consumer online protections, to bridging digital divides. Now, to turn intention into action, the resulting agreement from the July summit (the communique) must acknowledge and elevate these issues as part of the overall G20 agenda and form an integral part of the official strategies and policies for G20 leaders. Priorities should include digital access and bridging the current divides, not just in terms of connectivity but also in terms of enabling meaningful access and empowering people. Infrastructure, skills-building, and inclusion must be the drivers to shape an open, free and transformative internet — bringing sustainable development and opportunities to all. Today, heads of state have a historical opportunity to lay the right foundations for a global digital agenda. We hope that they use it. Cathleen Berger, Global Engagement Lead, Mozilla Constance Bommelaer, Senior Director, Global Internet Policy, Internet Society Craig Fagan, Policy Director, Web Foundation This post originally appeared on the Internet Society blog. Written by Constance Bommelaer, Senior Director, Global Internet Policy, Internet SocietyFollow CircleID on TwitterMore under: Internet Governance, Policy & Regulation [...]



What Does Trump's Cuba Policy Memorandum Say About the Internet?

2017-07-05T10:55:00-08:00

I recently reviewed Trump's Cuban policy speech and its implications for the Internet. The speech was accompanied by a national security memorandum on strengthening US-Cuba policy, which was sent to the Vice President, Cabinet Secretaries, and heads of various departments. The first thing that struck me about the memorandum was that it was a "national security" memorandum. Does Trump think Cuba poses a threat to our national security? And how does his policy improve the situation? That is a topic for another discussion, but what does the memorandum say about the Internet? PRESIDENTIAL MEMORANDA / June 16, 2017 – Trump orders the Secretary of State to create a Cuban Internet task force.The memorandum addresses the Internet in its purpose, policy and implementation sections. The purpose section states that in Cuba "the right to speak freely, including through access to the internet, is denied, and there is no free press." One of the purposes of the memorandum is to restore the right to speak freely on the Internet. The Cuban government censors and sometimes punishes dissent and uses the Internet for propaganda, but it is not clear that Trump's policy and attitude will improve the situation. Furthermore, freedom of speech online is often abused and it is ironic that Trump should lecture anyone on this issue. In the policy section, Trump says he will "amplify efforts to support the Cuban people through the expansion of Internet services, free press, free enterprise, free association, and lawful travel." This sounds good, but, at best, it is inconsistent with the policy he outlined last month in Saudi Arabia when he promised that "America will not seek to impose our way of life on others but to outstretch our hands in the spirit of cooperation and trust." At worst, he could be considering actions like the failed smuggling of satellite equipment into Cuba, Zunzuneo or the Alan Gross affair. The implementation section says he will "support the expansion of direct telecommunications and Internet access for the Cuban people" by having the Secretary of State convene a task force, composed of relevant departments and agencies, including the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and appropriate non-governmental organizations and private-sector entities, to examine the technological challenges and opportunities for expanding internet access in Cuba, including through Federal Government support of programs and activities that encourage freedom of expression through independent media and internet freedom so that the Cuban people can enjoy the free and unregulated flow of information I contacted the State Department to see if they could tell me more about the task force, but they offered no details at this time. I'll follow up on this. I cannot end this post without commenting on the writing style of the memorandum. It is written in the first person, implying that Trump actually wrote it. I am sure it was drafted and revised by staff, but gratuitous adjectives as in "dissidents and peaceful protesters are arbitrarily detained and held in terrible prison conditions," sounded Trumpian to me and the call for the establishment of a task force, quoted above, reminded me of James Joyce. I also found the organization confusing in places. Some policies seemed more like goals, and one of them is to "not reinstate the 'Wet Foot, Dry Foot' policy." One wonders why he did not also vow not to reinstate limits on the value of rum and cigars travelers are allowed to bring back from Cuba. Written by Larry Press, Professor of Information Systems at California State UniversityFollow CircleID on TwitterMore under: Access Providers, Censorship, Cybersecurity, Policy & Regulation [...]



Telcos Players in the U.S. Set to Become Even Lazier

2017-07-03T09:42:00-08:00

With all of the current turbulence in the American society, it is no wonder that its telecommunications market is also under severe pressure. In his election campaign, Trump promised his American supporters to make changes to what he called the Washington swamp, but it has become clear that the opposite is happening. While in previous Administrations lobbyists were at least somewhat separated from the politicians, now many of these lobbyists are actually part of the Trump Administration. The grovelling that took place at a recent Trump Cabinet meeting says it all. Obviously, the Trump team that is now sitting front-row at the trough can't believe their luck. They now have positions of such influence in relation to their incumbent businesses, be it oil, energy, pharmaceuticals or telecommunications. Regarding telecommunications, two key policy changes stand out. One is the winding down of privacy laws, allowing (tele)communications companies to basically do what they like with the private data they collect from their customers — true, some other more generic legislation still applies, but people have little control over what happens with their own personal data. The other issue is the withdrawal of the net neutrality regulations. This goes to the core of the telecoms industry in America. In reality net neutrality itself was a bit of window-dressing, the key issue behind it being regulatory control over the American incumbent telcos. They call themselves ISPs and have clearly lobbied the Administration in 1996 to declare broadband a content service rather than a telecommunications access service, as such suddenly freeing themselves of most of the telecoms regulations that look after equal access, wholesale requirements, pricing and competition in general. The net neutrality regulation would have at least given the FCC some new tools to regulate the incumbents in the context of telecommunications — that was the main reason the carriers hated the net neutrality legislation. With Trump in charge little was needed to get him to reverse the legislation and give the power back to what are basically the three telecoms monopolists in America: AT&T, Verizon and Comcast. This will further reduce American leadership in this market. First of all, American companies such as Google and Facebook have simply taken a different route. They are bypassing the incumbents as much as possible and significant investments in wireless technologies are now being made by these internet-based companies that will give them even more independence from the telcos. International telecoms leadership has moved to Asia, with Korea, and increasingly China becoming the new innovators in the market. Domestically America has been dropping down the international ladder regarding the quality of broadband (speed) and is now sitting somewhere in the middle of the western economies, after having had the number one or two spots for most of the 1990s and early 00s. With more regulatory relief for the incumbents most certainly on the way from the Trump clique, there will be even less incentive for them to innovate and compete, and America will just drop further down the international ladder. This will have a significant long-term effect on social and economic matters, which are being more and more underpinned by a healthy, competitive and high-speed broadband infrastructure. Telcos will not be stimulated to innovate and compete. They will become lazier and lazier, using the monopolies to simply increase their prices and milk their traditional services as much as possible, since there will be no pressure on them to ensure that America does get better telecoms networks like those that are b[...]



Blaming Technology and the Rule of Law

2017-07-02T22:09:00-08:00

Imagine that Ford was held responsible every time one of its Mustangs broke the speed limit. Imagine that the company responded by limiting the speed of its vehicles to 65 MPH, or that the company was required by the government to report every speeding car to highway patrol. Andrew Bridges, acclaimed IP attorney, Fenwick & West. Photo: Jenna SpagnoloIt sounds far-fetched, but is actually a good metaphor for the way that many want technology companies to respond to infractions. During a recent event called "Blaming Technology", organized by the San Francisco-Bay Area Internet Society Chapter and hosted by Fenwick & West LLC, acclaimed IP attorney Andrew Bridges explained that there is "really a war on where we apply the rule of law" with new technologies. Monitoring Behavior Normally, in the United States, we expect that the rule of law will be enforced by monitoring public behavior: in the speeding car example, the car manufacturer isn't responsible for speeding, the driver is. But as the public has seen the power of tech platforms to limit behavior and content, they are asking these private companies to take on a responsibility usually handled by public entities: enforcing laws. Where these companies fail to deliver, they are asking for them to be held liable. Continued Debate Bridges knows a thing or two about this: he successfully defended payment processors when they were sued for processing payments for merchants accused of copyright and trademark infringement (Perfect 10 v. Visa and MasterCard) and he defended Google when the company was sued for linking to potentially illegal material in its searches, wherein he established that such searches are fair use (Perfect 10 v. Google, Perfect 10 v. Amazon.com). But the debate continues on how much we want private companies to act as deputies of government or private interests. Freedoms Removed Of course, it is within the legal right of any individual technology company to limit the users and uses of its platform; they are allowed to choose which values to associate with their brand. But once an entire industry or government requires that these platforms remove objectionable content, the situation easily becomes untenable with the first amendment freedoms that are at the heart of the Internet, the freedom of speech and freedom to assemble. Within Context To allow private companies to become moderators of the law, Bridges argues, is dangerous ground when you don't know the competence of the moderators. For any of the issues people complain about on the Internet, whether they're privacy concerns, terrorism, fake news, hate speech, or copyright infringement, the moderator needs a lot of context to decode the legitimate from the infraction. Even the case of copyright infringements, which may seem pretty cut-and-dry, can be complicated. Say someone from outside of your household was using your wireless network to download music illegally? Or say it wasn't actually illegal, because it was an album they already bought? Is it appropriate to ask technological providers to take on the responsibility of finding out the context in every situation? Global Freedoms As Bridges said, "Tech and online platforms are controversial because they are important tools for the public and what the public does, in many cases, is controversial." Keeping the Internet open to all and ensuring that people are able to communicate with others is essential to our global freedoms, and not something we should ever give away lightly. Companies are not always going to speak adequately for the public, and so it is essential that Internet citizens step forward to make sure their voices are heard on this is[...]



Next Generation gTLD Registration Directory Services (NG RDS) - Proposed Successor to WHOIS

2017-06-28T13:00:00-08:00

Whenever an individual or organization registers a domain name on Internet (e.g. yahoo.com) via a Domain Name Registrar (e.g. GoDaddy), he/she has to provide certain details like Registrant Name, Contact Details (Postal Address, Email, Phone number) etc. This collection of metadata about a domain name is called "Domain Name Registration Data" or popularly WHOIS. However, in reality WHOIS is an overloaded term interchangeably used for a Protocol, Service and Data, all with the same name. The information in WHOIS database is very important to Law Enforcement Agencies, Intellectual Property Owners, and all Internet Users in general, who use this data to locate/contact domain name owners for various purposes including but not limited to enforcing laws or addressing grievances related to cybercrime and other cases of DNS abuse like Spam, Phishing, Malware etc. However, Privacy and Proxy Services are also available for many Top Level Domain Registries, which enable some domain name Registrants requiring anonymity or privacy to hide their name and/or contact details altogether in the WHOIS database. It is worth mentioning that ICANN is the domain name (and WHOIS) overseer for all generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) like .com, .net, .pharmacy, .bank etc. ICANN develops and implements policies related to gTLDs and WHOIS, and enforces contractual compliance agreements with contracted parties (gTLD Registries and Registrars). Similar to Internet DNS, WHOIS is not a single, centrally managed database. Rather, domain name registration data is held in disparate locations and administered by multiple Registries and Registrars. Further, a similar WHOIS service (maintained by Regional and National Internet Registries) exists for Numbering Resources (IPV4/V6 addresses, ASN numbers) on Internet. For the sake of simplicity and clarity, we will only talk about domain name WHOIS in this article. Thin v/s Thick WHOIS All gTLD Domain Name Registries satisfy their WHOIS obligations using different delivery services depending upon their contract terms (Registry Agreement) with ICANN. The two common models are often characterized as "thin" and "thick" WHOIS registries. A thin registry only includes technical data sufficient to identify the sponsoring registrar, status of the registration, and creation and expiration dates for each registration in its WHOIS data store. Rest of WHOIS data lies with the respective Domain Name Registrars. .COM and .NET are examples of legacy thin registries. Thick registries maintain the registrant's contact information and designated administrative and technical contact information, in addition to the sponsoring registrar and registration status information supplied by a thin registry. .INFO and .BIZ are examples of legacy thick registries. In addition, all new gTLDs (.bank, .pharmacy etc.) follow a Thick model. Next Generation gTLD Registration Directory Services (RDS) WHOIS has been one of ICANN's long-term strategic priorities right from the start. As per original Affirmation of Commitments (AoC) agreement between ICANN and United States Department of Commerce, ICANN is committed to enforcing its existing policy relating to WHOIS, which requires that ICANN implement measures to maintain timely, unrestricted and public access to accurate and complete (domain name) WHOIS information. In addition, the AoC obligates ICANN to organize every 3 years a community review of WHOIS policy and its implementation to assess the extent to which WHOIS policy is effective and whether its implementation meets the legitimate needs of law enforcement and promotes consumer trust. WHOIS alone has 14+ parallel tracks cur[...]



Is the Passion Over Net Neutrality Misguided? A New Paper Offers a Fresh Technical Approach

2017-06-27T15:09:00-08:00

"Net neutrality" is implicitly framed as a debate over how to deliver an equitable ration of quality to each broadband user and application. This is the wrong debate to have, since it is both technically impossible and economically unfair. We should instead be discussing how to create a transparent market for quality that is both achievable and fair. In this paper I propose an alternative approach that (potentially) meets the needs of both consumer advocates and free market proponents. * * * [...]



Phishing: the Worst of Times in the DNS

2017-06-27T06:02:00-08:00

The Anti-Phishing Working Group has released its latest Global Phishing Survey, written by myself and Rod Rasmussen. This report comprehensively examines a large data set of more than 250,000 confirmed phishing attacks detected in 2015 and 2016. By analyzing this cybercrime activity, we have learned more about what phishers have been doing, and how they have done it. Unfortunately, there's more phishing than ever, and phishers are registering more domain names than ever. Our major findings include: 1. In 2016, the number of phishing attacks, and the number of domain names used for phishing, reached an all-time high. 2. Malicious domain name registrations are also at an all-time high, indicating detection and mitigation problems at certain registrars and registries. Historically, most phishing has occurred on conpromised domains, where phishers broke into innocent registrants' web hosting. But increasingly, phishers just go and register the domains they need. This major shift is concerning, and it means abuse detection and mitigation efforts are failing especially at certain registries and registrars. 3. Phishing in the new top-level domains (nTLDs) is rising and becoming more pervasive, but is not yet as pervasive as it is in the domain space as a whole. By the end of 2016, almost half of the nTLDs that were available for open registration had phishing in them. The nTLDs are also a place where phishers are purchasing domain names for themselves. Of the 6,549 domains used for phishing in the nTLDs in 2016, 86% (5,633) were registered maliciously. 4. New companies are constantly being targeted by phishers, while a few brands face an onslaught of thousands of attacks per year. 5. Contrary to conventional wisdom, phishers often wait up to three weeks before using domain names they have registered. Full statistics and analysis of each of these topics — including breakdowns by TLDs and registrars — are included in the report. In the meantime, phishers are employing another new trick that uses the domain name system. We call this "domain shadowing," and is when a phisher manipulates an unsuspecting company's DNS settings to insert multiple phishing sites onto the company's servers. This often results in hundreds of new phishing sites at a time. Our statistics under-count the total amount of phishing that occurred in the wild — more attacks were undetected by our sources, and more attacks were reported but not confirmed. The numbers are a baseline compiled through collection and counting methods that have remained consistent over the years. Those who operate Internet resources have the responsibility to do so in a secure and wise manner. We hope this report is helpful and provides information that will make the Internet a better place. Written by Greg Aaron, VP iThreat Cyber Group, and Co-Chair of the APWG's Internet Policy CommitteeFollow CircleID on TwitterMore under: Cybercrime, Cybersecurity, DNS, Domain Names, Top-Level Domains [...]



Activists for Access to Medicines and Internet Rights Develop Brussels Principles for Online Sales

2017-06-26T16:05:00-08:00

RightsCon, the world's leading summit on tech, society, and human rights has been called "the Davos of Digital Rights". At RightsCon 2017, the sixth event of the annual summit series on human rights in the digital age, the global human rights community came together in the heart of European politics and policymaking on March 29-31, 2017. More than 1,500 experts from 105 countries around the world, across diverse geographic and stakeholder lines, joined together to produce measurable outcomes on the most pressing and emerging issues threatening human rights in the digital age. Organized by Prescription Justice, representatives from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Knowledge Ecology International, Public Citizen, PharmacyChecker, and Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) participated on a panel to address Internet Access to Affordable Medication in one of the 250 sessions. As the RightsCon Outcomes document noted, "access to medicines and Internet rights advocates discussed the importance of, and threats to, online access to safe and affordable medication created by the pharmaceutical industry's attempts to control what content and commerce is and is not permissible on the Internet when it comes to medication sales." Following the session, participants composed the working draft Statement of Brussels Principles for the Online Sale of Medication, inspired by the belief that access to affordable medications is an essential component to the fundamental human right to health, which were finalized by Prescription Justice and Knowledge Ecology International. These principles should guide the Internet and public health community to best serve consumers. CIPA is proud to join with these notable public interest-focused organizations in collaborating on the Brussels Principles. The Brussels Principles provide ethical and consumer considerations necessary to achieve a multi-stakeholder initiative to look at medicine sales on the Internet. To this end, we welcome all organizations from both the Global North and Global South to join us by adding your endorsement. The Internet is about innovation, which has led to companies like Amazon upending the brick and mortar retail sector to become the largest retailer in the world, and Air BnB to open an entirely new sector of home accommodations. New Internet models inevitably disrupt the status quo. Since its inception, CIPA has been addressing artificial barriers in the pharmaceutical prescription fulfillment sector in the same manner as Skype disrupted the regulated telephone sector. CIPA believes that fulfilling its mission to provide safe and affordable medicines to global consumers is ultimately achieved over time through legislative amendments that update current "analogue laws" to digital laws that better meet society's needs, serve the public interest, and address the reality of how people shop today and tomorrow. CIPA's innovative Internet model — with a 15-year perfect safety record — serves almost a million patients annually. As such, we are excited to join with Prescription Justice, PharmacyChecker, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Knowledge Ecology International, and Public Citizen in the development of the Brussels Principles for the Online Sale of Medication to establish global standards of practice that safeguard consumers' access to necessary medicine via the Internet. With globally-inclusive principles we are able to better identify, protect against, and effect action against rogue pharmacies that endanger consumers worldwide. Brussels Principles for th[...]



Cars.com $850 Million Valuation: Methodology Critique

2017-06-26T07:10:00-08:00

Below is a critical look at a recent online essay about the methodology to estimate the value of the domain name cars.com, which was estimated to be $850 million. Not about estimation of valuation model's parameters' nor whether the estimate is too low or too high. Rather its valuation methodology. Purpose of Valuations The purpose of a valuation is Important. Absolute valuation of any asset is its value when put to its best use. On the other hand, for a company that is considering the purchase of a domain name must consider how much additional value the domain name is expected to create. For example, a business that is generating $10 million in annual revenue before and after an acquisition, other things held constant, the value of the domain name to the business is zero. Valuation Tool WIPO considers the present value (PV) tool, which is based on the asset's cash flows adjusted for their riskiness (i.e., discounted cash flows), as the fundamental valuation method. However, the tool used in the article is Relief-from-Royalty, which, as the name suggests, is more appropriately used to value brand and patent licensing. There are no royalty payments associated with the purchase of a domain name. Definition of Cash Flows 1. Both the PV and the Relief-from-Royalty, rely on expected future cash flows, i.e., expected future net income generated by the asset being valued. However, the application of the latter for domain names requires dividing the value of cash flows by the book value of the domain name. However, its book value depends on what price the domain name had been bought, which renders any such valuation absurd. 2, The article incorrectly points out: "For the domain cars.com, [Relief-from-Royalty] considers the value created to the owner by historical earnings from the Cars.com website and how much future cash flow the domain name is expected to generate over its life." It is not historical earrings, but future expected income, as noted above. Based on this incorrect assertion, the value of a start-up would be zero because it has no earnings. If correct, there would be no start-ups. 3. The essay notes: "Cars.com is short, memorable and garners a high search volume." First, the length of the domain name is irrelevant to cash flow estimates. Moreover, based on comparables valuation methodology, the length of the domain name is practically irrelevant. Second, the volume of searches and visits are irrelevant, as many customers search for information online, but purchase from a brick-and-mortar store. There is evidence of the resurgence of the brick-and-mortar. With such a resurgence, the value of domain name's ability to generate additional revenues are diminished irrespective of the volume of visits. 4. One component of cash flows, which was ignored in the essay, is the value of options to use the domain name in new business areas in the future. Written by Alex Tajirian, CEO at DomainMartFollow CircleID on TwitterMore under: Domain Names [...]