Archive for International Domain News

Ashley Madison Hacked Info Site CheckAshleyMadison.com Taken Down After DMCA Notice

FRIDAY,21 AUGUST 2015 The Domains
According to the news from Domain.cn on August 21th,on August 19, 2015 hackers released a huge amount of data from the breach at AshleyMadison.com and the race was on.

Several websites were set up to allow users to “search” the data, allowing users to see if a specific email address was included in the release.

One of those websites, according to TheHill.com is CheckAshleyMadison.com. That domain name was registered, well, yesterday on August 19, 2015 at eNom under privacy protection according to whois records.

Well, it was also TAKEN DOWN today via the DCMA

ashley-madison-dcma

 

For those that are not familiar with the DCMA it stands for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and you can read more about that law here.

Stated in TheHill.com articles is:

A Chicago software developer replied to the email, telling The Hill he and a partner bought the domain Tuesday night after finding out about the dump. The developer said he runs an automation consulting company that works with financial services firms.

The site had piled up more than 24,000 unique users and 33,000 total visits by early afternoon Wednesday.

24K unique visitors on 33K visit by early afternoon!

BTW, it doesn’t appear they bought the domain Tuesday night based on my data source or maybe it simply was a long night and felt like it was still “Tuesday”.

I am not certain to when the actual website was launched but I do know the domain name was registered at 04:02:34 AM on Wednesday morning of the 19th!

To note: some whois sources are showing an “update” date earlier than the “creation” date. Not sure how that could be but some are:

Updated Date: 2015-08-18T21:02:34.00Z
Creation Date: 2015-08-19T04:02:00.00Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2016-08-19T04:02:00.00Z

Anyway…

Wired.com also ran a story yesterday, highlighting 3 other services that have popped up offering a search feature to search the released database of 30+ million email addresses.

That story didn’t even mention the above CheckAshleyMadison.com!

The 3 mentioned were:

  • Trustify.info/check
    Ashley.cynic.al
    Ashleymadisonleaked.com (registered on July 24, 2015)

AshleyMadisonLeaked.com was not resolving at the time of this story, so another potential DCMA?

According to Verisign, the registry for .com and .net domain names. 88 .com domains containing “ashleymadison” and 3 .net domain names were registered between August 18, 2015 and August 19, 2015.

To note, the term Ashley Madison is a trademarked term by Avid Dating Life, Inc. and using the term in a domain name can create legal issues for the registrants!

Speaking of the trademark for Ashley Madison, look at what class of service it got its international trademark based on:

“Personal and social services rendered by others to meet the needs of individuals; security services for the protection of property and individuals. – Personal and social services rendered by others to meet the needs of individuals; security services for the protection of property and individuals.””

Amazing.

am-tm

CB Insights: Covers World’s Most Popular Non-.com Startup Domains, but Confused on New gTLD’s

FRIDAY,21 AUGUST 2015 The Domains
According to the news from Domain.cn on August 21th,CB Insights.com which covers the startup/ venture capital markets published an interesting post entitled “The Non-Dotcom Bubble: The World’s Most Popular Startup Domains Other Than .Com

The story contains a chart tracking the most popular Non-.Com domain name extensions for funded tech companies from 2010-2015.

Of course since the first new gTLD didn’t launch until 2014, none are reflected in the chart.

Unfortunately as you will see later,  CB Insights is very confused about new gTLD’s program in general, but does highlight some newly funded tech company’s which are using a new gTLD’s  domain name.

“With a flurry of new domains being made available by ICANN, startups have increasingly seized the opportunity and flocked to alternative domain suffixes.”

“We used the CB Insights database to analyze the trends in startup domain suffixes over time, such as the rise of the .io suffix.

“Traditional .com domains still dominate amongst the more than 25,000 tech companies funded since 2010, with 20,000+ companies choosing a .com domain for a 81% share of all suffixes”.

Personally I was surprised that the .ly extension was not higher on the chart:

Most-Popular-Suffixes1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some other observations  CB Insight had about Non-.Com domain extensions from 2010-2015:

  • The .co domain saw the largest spike, with a 93% jump in the number of new companies being funded with that domain suffix between 2013 and 2014.
  • Both .io and .in have seen steady growth, and have already reached all time highs in 2015 in terms of registrations for funded companies.
  • .net domains, while having the most funded tech companies in total since 2010 (after .com), has slowed significantly in growth, with only 61 companies being funded with that domain name through mid-August 2015.””

CB Insights also published some finding that seem to include new gTLD’s staring in 2012, although no new gTLD’s launched until 2014.

Actually CB Insights seems pretty confused when it comes to new gTLD’s:

“The number of unique domain suffixes attached to startups in a given year saw a huge jump between 2011 and 2012, primarily due to ICANN approving URLs in “any language or script” in early 2012.  Since then, there has still been a steady climb in the number of unique domains available, and startups have taken advantage.”

Of course we know ICANN approved the new gTLD program in 2011 not 2012, and  the first new gTLD didn’t exist until 2014.

CB Insights goes on to say that there “were 116 separate domain suffixes used by startups this year through mid-August 2015, almost double the amount in full-year 2010.”

Well of course,  since hundreds of new extensions launched starting in 2014.

The post includes the company formerly known as BioDiaspora on its 2012 list under is current domain Bluedot.global but obviously didn’t change its name until 2014 when .Global launched.

Also it seems CB Insights thinks the .Pro domain extension is a new gTLD although it launched 10 years before in 2004.

According to the chart it seems to think  that the country code domain extensions (ccTLD’s) of .om, .gg, .dj, .ae, bi, .sr were somehow part of the new gTLD program approved in 2011, which of course they are not.

However there are some notable mentions of company’s using new gTLD’s in 2014 and 2015.

Here is the list:

Select Newly Funded Domain Suffixes
Year Suffix Select Companies
2012 .global, .om, .gg, .pro bluedot.globalpinion.ggbad.gycpac.pro
2013 .dj, .ae, .bi, .sr plug.dj, propertyfinder.ae, bbs.bi,hairdres.sr
2014 .limo, .life, .works, .today loup.limo, league.life, weave.works,celuv.today
2015 YTD .ventures, .world, .soy, .pictures entangled.ventures, myeye.world,bevisible.soy, folio.pictures

Facebook Surpasses Google as top Referrer for Digital Publishers

FRIDAY,21 AUGUST 2015 The Domains
According to the news from Domain.cn on August 21th,Facebook has now surpassed Google when it comes to referrer traffic, a recent report from Parse.ly revealed data showing that Facebook has become number one when it comes to referring traffic to websites. I can say that does not hold true for TheDomains.com, this relates more to the largest online publishers.

SocialMediaTimes.com reports:

Until recently Google has been the top traffic referrer online. But according to data from Parse.ly, which provides web analytics for digital publishers that include the likes of Mashable, Telegraph Media Group, and Business Insider, Facebook recently surpassed Google as the top referrer for major publishers.

image

Parse.ly CTO Andrew Montalenti told SocialTimes.com:

I believe the reason Facebook did this is because they realized that a lot of the interesting conversations happening around the web were happening around major news, media and information, but the user-generated content was not enough to sustain the interest of Facebook’s users population.

Washington Post Covers Several New gTLD’s & Asks: Who Needs .com?

THURSDAY,20 AUGUST 2015 The Domains
According to the news from Domain.cn on August 20th,the movement is on! Google has greatly helped all new gTLD’s and there are many mainstream media sites covering gTLD’s daily. This is really great news in general for the domain industry as a whole and clearly the gTLD’s!

Although many of these stories relate to .com when talking about the new gTLD’s, like a new one today from the WashingtonPost.com with a title of:

“Who Needs .com? Domains When .Vegas, .PR, .NYC are Trending”

The story highlights several companies using gTLD’s like Republic.Bike, yet states: “The company uses republic.bike in ads. It still uses its original domain, republicbike.com; when people type in republic.bike, they’re taken to the “.com” site.

Ok, so really, who needs .com? Republic.Bike does because, well Republic.Bike goes to RepublicBike.com! Yes, I do like the fact that new gTLD’s are giving a lot of people options. Similar to what many companies have done with owning more than 1 domain / website prior to new gTLD’s and these were often .com domain names.

Domain names are powerful and they provide amazing tracking options and so much more. Plus, you are not just limited to one domain! I have raved about domain names for YEARS and with the new gTLD’s it is almost like they have sparked things that have been available for over 30+ years.

Another “trending” extension as mentioned in the Washington Post article is .PR, which states Quinn Public Relations firm of New York is redirecting QuinnAndCo.com to Quinn.pr . .pr isn’t “new” and that is stated in the article but it is actually a ccTLD (country code top level domain) of Puerto Rico that was introduced in 1989. The catch, it cost $1,369 to register a .pr domain name Per Year at 101Domain.comaccording to its site.

Is .PR “trending”? That is something that would be speculative at best and heavily relating to the registration / annual renewal costs IMO. Add in the fact that .PR domain names are not live registrations, as it takes 7-10 days to register one during general availability. In general, .pr domains are used by less than 0.1% of websites. Not sure I would call that trending.

Also mentioned in the WashingtonPost.com article is .Vegas which according toNtldstats.com currently holds about 15,000 .vegas domains registered.

Quoted in the article: “WHY “.VEGAS”?: Using “.vegas” will help the firm be more visible when someone searches for Las Vegas-area accountants with specialties like helping businesses with 401(k) retirement plans, says Shannon Hiller, the firm’s marketing director. Also, the firm was unable to get names like taxaccountant.com.The “.vegas” addresses take visitors to the “.com” site, which also serves the Salt Lake City office.

Another redirect to .com?

So, yes… almost everybody in the story “needs .com” as the majority of the domain names mentioned in the story, redirect to… well, .com domain names?

I personally like new gTLD domain names because it gives people options. I didn’t always feel this way prior, but things change over time and I have seen several companies do really well with the new gTLD’s. Search engines are giving them some loving and ranking them well, but that one big hill to climb remains. Getting the general public to see republic.bike and know it IS a domain name. Adding www.republic.bike helps, but .com is just so natural, that even I end up typing things like republic.bike.com, which in the end is a sub-domain on bike.com.

Washington Post Covers Several New gTLD’s & Asks: Who Needs .com?

THURSDAY,20 AUGUST 2015 The Domains
According to the news from Domain.cn on August 20th,the movement is on! Google has greatly helped all new gTLD’s and there are many mainstream media sites covering gTLD’s daily. This is really great news in general for the domain industry as a whole and clearly the gTLD’s!

Although many of these stories relate to .com when talking about the new gTLD’s, like a new one today from the WashingtonPost.com with a title of:

“Who Needs .com? Domains When .Vegas, .PR, .NYC are Trending”

The story highlights several companies using gTLD’s like Republic.Bike, yet states: “The company uses republic.bike in ads. It still uses its original domain, republicbike.com; when people type in republic.bike, they’re taken to the “.com” site.

Ok, so really, who needs .com? Republic.Bike does because, well Republic.Bike goes to RepublicBike.com! Yes, I do like the fact that new gTLD’s are giving a lot of people options. Similar to what many companies have done with owning more than 1 domain / website prior to new gTLD’s and these were often .com domain names.

Domain names are powerful and they provide amazing tracking options and so much more. Plus, you are not just limited to one domain! I have raved about domain names for YEARS and with the new gTLD’s it is almost like they have sparked things that have been available for over 30+ years.

Another “trending” extension as mentioned in the Washington Post article is .PR, which states Quinn Public Relations firm of New York is redirecting QuinnAndCo.com to Quinn.pr . .pr isn’t “new” and that is stated in the article but it is actually a ccTLD (country code top level domain) of Puerto Rico that was introduced in 1989. The catch, it cost $1,369 to register a .pr domain name Per Year at 101Domain.comaccording to its site.

Is .PR “trending”? That is something that would be speculative at best and heavily relating to the registration / annual renewal costs IMO. Add in the fact that .PR domain names are not live registrations, as it takes 7-10 days to register one during general availability. In general, .pr domains are used by less than 0.1% of websites. Not sure I would call that trending.

Also mentioned in the WashingtonPost.com article is .Vegas which according toNtldstats.com currently holds about 15,000 .vegas domains registered.

Quoted in the article: “WHY “.VEGAS”?: Using “.vegas” will help the firm be more visible when someone searches for Las Vegas-area accountants with specialties like helping businesses with 401(k) retirement plans, says Shannon Hiller, the firm’s marketing director. Also, the firm was unable to get names like taxaccountant.com.The “.vegas” addresses take visitors to the “.com” site, which also serves the Salt Lake City office.

Another redirect to .com?

So, yes… almost everybody in the story “needs .com” as the majority of the domain names mentioned in the story, redirect to… well, .com domain names?

I personally like new gTLD domain names because it gives people options. I didn’t always feel this way prior, but things change over time and I have seen several companies do really well with the new gTLD’s. Search engines are giving them some loving and ranking them well, but that one big hill to climb remains. Getting the general public to see republic.bike and know it IS a domain name. Adding www.republic.bike helps, but .com is just so natural, that even I end up typing things like republic.bike.com, which in the end is a sub-domain on bike.com.

Did Microsoft Acquire Zikera, Owners of Groove Music App? Appears So!

THURSDAY,20 AUGUST 2015 The Domains
According to the news from Domain.cn on August 20th,Microsoft announced the rebrand of Xbox Music to Groove Music back in early July 2015 and ZDNet.com and many other sites questioned if Microsoft had acquired a company called Zikera, which was founded in 2009 and had over 1.5 Million downloads of its app according to CrunchBase. A Microsoft spokesperson said “we have nothing more to share at this time.” according to the ZDNet article in early July 2015.

Why would Microsoft want to buy Zikera? Well, Zikera already had a music app calledGroove: Smart Music Player on both IOS and Windows app store. Potentially confusion?

Well, as of August 18, 2015 the following domain names that were owned by Zikera have transferred ownership to Microsoft Corporation:

GrooveMusicApp.com: which was the main domain name used by Zikera and forwarded to iTunes for the Groove app.

StartGrooving.com

The domain name GrooveMusicApp.com now redirects to the Groove music page on Microsoft.

IMO, this is a very strong indicator that Mircosoft has acquired Zikera the company or at least anything related to the Groove Smart Music Player at a minimum!

Here is a screen shot of whois records showing Microsoft Corporation as the new owners of GrooveMusicApp.com:

groove-music-app-whois

Me.TV Registered In 2005 Saved In UDRP Against TM Filed in 2011 But No RDNH

THURSDAY,20 AUGUST 2015 The Domains
According to the news from Domain.cn on August 20th,Weigel Broadcasting Co. of Chicago, Illinois just lost its bid to grab the domain name Me.Tv from Hot Media, Inc. of Kirkland, Washington

The three member panel of Michael A. Albert, Michelle Brownlee and William R. Towns refused to find Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH) even though the domain name was registered in 2005 and the trademark was not registered until 2011.

Here are the highlights:

Complainant owns the federally-registered trademark METV in the United States, which it uses in connection with the distribution of audio and video content through television broadcasting both over-the-air and over cable and satellite networks.

The Domain Name was registered on March 5, 2005. Respondent acquired the Domain Name on December 14, 2006, allegedly with the intent to use it for a website offering proprietary social media tools by which individuals could own, program, and share a personal video-centric website (the “ME.TV Network”).

It is true that Respondent’s initial plan for the Domain Name does not appear to have been particularly successful, and the Domain Name is no longer in active use.

Nevertheless, it has established rights and legitimate interests. Respondent’s suggestion that it had no knowledge of, let alone intent to trade on the goodwill associated with, Complainant’s mark is plausible, particularly considering that Complainant’s considerable commercial success appears to have occurred long after the Domain Name was initially registered in 2005, and indeed after Respondent acquired it in 2006.

Complainant did not even obtain United States registrations for the mark until January 2011, some five years after the Domain Name was registered.

Moreover, the registration itself indicates a first use only a couple of months prior to the Domain Name registration (January 2005), and limited to the Chicago area, which is remote from where Respondent is located.

These facts lend further credence to Respondent’s observation that the record lacks any evidence that Respondent was aware of Complainant or its mark at the time Respondent acquired the Domain Name.

Accordingly, Complainant has failed to establish the second required element under the Policy.

While the Panel need not reach the bad faith issue, it notes that, for the reasons discussed in Part B above, Complainant has likewise failed to show that the Domain Name was registered or used in bad faith.

Its suggestion that the initial 2005 registration, shortly after Complainant’s own trademark usage began, evidences bad faith is purely speculative. Considering the desirability of domain names employing common English terms, as well as domain names that are short (and ones associated with television), there is little reason to doubt Respondent’s suggestion that its selection of had nothing to do with Complainant.

Nor does Complainant prevail on the bad faith element merely by showing that Respondent offered to sell the Domain Name for $50,000.

Domain Name sales are neither illegal nor are offers to do so, ipso facto, evidence of bad faith, at least in the absence of other indicia suggesting that the registration was made with the intent to sell it at a marked-up price to a trademark owner.

Given that the offer in question did not occur until 2015, some ten years after the initial registration, and well after the initial commercial usage of the Domain Name, there is insufficient evidence from which to speculate that commercial gain from a trademark owner motivated the decade-old registration. Additionally, it appears that the offer was not even made until after Complainant first contacted Respondent.

While Complainant has failed to establish two of the three elements to prove its case under the Policy, that alone does not establish RDNH. In support of its RDHN contention, Respondent offers little more than the suggestion that Complainant’s allegations are “demonstrably false.” But Complainant undisputedly owns a mark which has achieved considerable commercial success, and the Domain Name is identical or at least confusingly similar to it. The evidence of Respondent’s legitimate use of the Domain Name was not self-evident as of the time of the Complaint. Moreover, Respondent certainly did not facilitate the discovery of such evidence when it chose to shield its identity behind a proxy registration service. For all these reasons, the Panel finds that Respondent has failed to establish that Complainant committed RDNH.

Dot Online Starts EAP Today – Also A Chance to Win A free .online domain

THURSDAY,20 AUGUST 2015 The Domains
According to the news from Domain.cn on August 20th,at noon Eastern (1600 UTC) EAP starts for .online. A million domains have the word ‘online’ in them. Back when Go Daddy was reporting monthly sales figures, online was always one of the most popular keywords tied to sales.

One week from today .Online will enter general availability. Leave a comment with how many .online domains you think will be registered after the first 24 hours of GA. The person closest to the actual number will win a free (non premium) .online domain courtesy of Radix.

Radix will use their internal number for the number of registrations, data from third party reporting sites is of no relevance. Radix will report what their exact numbers are 24 hours after GA commences.

Wikipedia’s Traffic From Google is in Decline

WEDNESDAY,19 AUGUST 2015 The Domains
According to the news from Domain.cn on August 19th,apparently Wikipedia is losing traffic that it receives organically from Google. Founder Jimmy Wales confirmed that traffic is down and that it has been going on for some time now. Most web users are used to seeing Wikipedia show up on the first page of most search queries, so why the traffic is going down is open to a couple theories.

Barry Schwartz wrote on SearchEngineLand.com:

I noticed this decline back in March, so this has been happening for a long time now.

Back in the day, Wikipedia dominated Google’s search results. It was likely the most visible site in the Google search results.

The question is, why is there a decline in Wikipedia’s traffic from Google? Some have theorized it might have to do with the Google Answer box, others say the algorithm has changed. It is hard to say for sure, but overall, it’s clear that Wikipedia is noticing a steady decline in traffic from Google.

eNom.com Is joining SedoMLS Network

WEDNESDAY,19 AUGUST 2015 The Domains
According to the news from Domain.cn on August 19th,eNom.com  just announced that it is joining  SedoMLS

eNom and its’ resellers’ customers will be able to sell their premium domains on the SedoMLS premium network and which includes hundreds of sales partners, including top registrars around the world.

As the largest global domain distribution network, SedoMLS offers maximum exposure syndicating listed domains on more than 650 partner websites which now includes eNom.

Matt Overman, VP & GM, Aftermarket and Premium Domains at Rightside. is quoted as saying

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Sedo to expand our distribution for eNom customers, integration with SedoMLS Premium Fast Transfer network offers our partners a turnkey way to distribute and sell a large and growing inventory of high quality, premium domains from eNom and improves the purchase experience for our mutual customers.”