Registry engages with customers with ambassador program.
Here’s another example of a registry reaching out directly to its registrants to help promote their new top level domain name.
TLD Registry, the company behind Dot Chinese Online (.在线) and Dot Chinese Website (.中文网), has launched a its Chinese Domain Ambassador Program.
The company noticed a group of Chinese domainers supporting their domain names shortly after launch. It reached out to these domain investors, initially via Chinese social media.
TLD Registry got the group of domain investors together at a kick-off event earlier this week. It’s offering them access to portfolios of reserved premium domains, direct access to company experts, a monthly meetup and invitations to our events in China and around the world.
Every TLD has its fans, and I think it’s smart for registries to reach out and work with these fans one-on-one. Not only are they likely to register more domain names, but they’ll also tell their friends.
.Co is the perhaps the best example of a registry doing this. The registry proactively reached out to .co companies to invite them to local events. This was key to building community around .co.
Here’s a picture from the Ambassador Program kick-off event.
WIPO panelist hands down RDNH ruling.
Every once in a while I read a UDRP involving organizations in a world I simply didn’t know existed.
Such is the case in The American Association of the Order of St. Lazarus, Inc. v. Thierry Villejust over the domain name SaintLazarusUSA.com.
The complainant was found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking in the case.
The respondent is “a member of the governing council of the Orleans obedience and serves as the Grand Bailiff of the Grand Bailiwick of the USA which engages in charitable activities in the United States through a nonprofit organization, Saint Lazare USA, Inc. Respondent registered the disputed domain name in 2011 his capacity as Grand Bailiff of the organization.”
According to the respondent, both his organization and the complainant represent two obediences of the ancient “Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem” and each have used the names and symbols of the Order for centuries, beginning in the 11th century. Both parties claim their origins with the Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem, an order of chivalry founded by crusaders in the 11th century.
(You can read more about it on Wikipedia.)
The respondent notes:
Respondent’s organization has roots in one faction of the Order. That faction has at times operated under the auspices of the Royal House of France, initially through the 1800s, after which time it operated without that protection. In 2004, when the Royal House of France resumed its protection, the Order split, resulting in more than one obedience. Respondent represents the US arm of an obedience that operates under the auspices of the French royal house known as the “Orleans obedience,” while Complainant apparently represents another branch of the order known as the “international Malta obedience.”
That’s some rich history.
Panelist Debra J. Stanek ruled in the respondent’s favor on all three elements of the UDRP.
Stanek found the complainant guilty of reverse domain name hijacking on four grounds:
- Although Complainant did establish ownership of US federal trademark registrations containing terms used in the disputed domain name, it did not provide any support for its claim of unregistered or common law rights in its
domain name or ownership of an international registration for LAZARUS and did not persuade the Panel that either of the marks that it did own was confusingly similar to the domain name.
- Complainant either knew or should have known, at the time of filing the Complaint, that it was not the “only legitimate organization” to use the name “The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem” since the crusades.
- Complainant either knew or should have known, at the time of filing the Complaint that Respondent was affiliated with an organization that had rights to use the name “The Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem” and other indicia related to the Order.5
- The allegations of the Complaint were largely unsupported by facts, evidence, or argument and omitted material information regarding the history of the Order, and other pertinent facts that were, or should have been known to Complainant.
NASCAR among end users buying domain names last week.
Sedo sold $1.1 million worth of domain names last week, including one to NASCAR. Details of these end user domain name sales are below.
Creon.co.uk $1,500 – Abbott Laboratories, maker of Creon, a pill that aids digestion.
QuartetMedicine.com $850 – This domain was registered by the owner of QuartetMed.com, yet that domain appears to be suspended at Register.com.
Mohls.com $1,995 – CitizenHawk acquired this typo domain name on behalf of Kohl’s Department Store. M touches K on the keyboard.
DustmiteAllergySymptoms.com $999 – Dubai cleaning/sanitizing company SaniService.
TravelArkansas.com $750 – Arkansas Dept. of Parks and Tourism
SourceTree.com $4,000 – Australian company Atlassian Pty Ltd creates tools for software developers, including a Git and Mercurial desktop client for developers called SourceTree.
Brilliant.us $750 – Technology company Brilliant, which owns the brilliant domain name Brilliant.com.
GloriaTV.com $777 – the owner of Gloria.tv, a Catholic video site. Smart buy.
MarketWall.com $1,495 – Financial site Stock-Wall.com, which has a section of its website labeled “Market Wall”. The company doesn’t own StockWall.com.
mBet.com 9,000 GBP – software development company Panbet Curacao NV.
ArtCubed.com $1,500 – Art Hung, an art installation and picture hanging service.
AccelerationNation.com $2,500 – NASCAR
Motorsports24.com $3,250 – LiveSport Media Ltd. in Malta.
My views on domain parking, domain sales, registrars and registries.
I’ve been collecting my thoughts on the domain name business over the past month, and it’s time to put them down in writing.
Here’s what I think about the state of the domain name industry in August, 2014.
Domain parking is down. Way down. But don’t confuse down with out.
We’re still talking about a relatively big business. Rook Media’s acquisition of DomainSponsor and its domain name portfolio in April is proof of this.
I’m seeing more and more domain name owners forgo parking revenue and instead posting for sale signs on their domain names. Some parking/sales platforms, such as DomainNameSales.com, make this easy.
Domain resales of .com domain names continue to be strong. Domain name registrars have integrated aftermarket sales paths, which are driving a number of these sales.
Granted, when you can no longer rely on parking, you count on sales.
The domain name registration business is getting lots of attention lately.
Rightside is now a separate, publicly traded company. It’s no longer part of Demand Media. So many Demand Media analysts focused on the content business when they were a combined company. They were oblivious to the domain business. Now that the two companies are separated, it’s easy to see that the domain business is worth more than the content business.
All eyes are also on GoDaddy, which has filed to go public. GoDaddy is a giant, and it being public will bring more attention to the domain name registration business.
Of course, domain name registrations themselves aren’t growing like gangbusters. GoDaddy added about a million domain names in the first half of the year. A couple percent.
That’s not much. Like .com, GoDaddy is big. It’s getting harder to move the needle on domain name registrations.
GoDaddy is more than domains, of course. Its percentage of revenue from domains is falling, giving way to web presence and business applications. All three lines are growing, but domains will make up a smaller part of its business going forward.
Rightside’s domain registration business isn’t growing much, either.
Tucows, another publicly traded company, smartly diversified into mobile phone service a few years back. Without that, it would have had a pretty lame second quarter. Instead, it blew doors.
Which brings us to new TLDs…
The hope was that new TLDs would present a growth opportunity for registrars. So far, it has been muted.
There wasn’t some crazy, pent up demand for new TLDs. And now the market is flooded with them.
Any honest new TLD registry will tell you they’re disappointed by registration numbers so far. They’ve had to reset expectations.
Even I, who didn’t quite see the demand most applicants did, expected more than what we’re seeing.
That’s not to say new TLDs are a dud. Many registries, particularly the portfolio ones, are doing just fine.
Judging by the crazy prices some applicants are paying for new TLDs at auction, they still think better days are ahead.
It’s likely. There’s just not that initial huge rush of registrations that many had hoped for. Most people aren’t going to go through the hassle of switching domains. New TLDs will pick up momentum over time, siphoning off some new registrations that would have gone to .com.
The key here is over time. New TLD business models that weren’t set up to grow over time are in pretty bad shape.
Registries are having to market to end users. They’ve realized they won’t get the real estate they want with domain registrars.
A lot of TLDs are in the “unsustainable” zone of registration base. They need to figure out a way to grow or cut overhead, fast.
ICANN will get a lot of pressure over the next 12-24 months to reduce the fixed price component of its contract with registries. We’re only talking $25k a year, but that’s a big deal if your TLD has just a couple thousand registrations.
Frankly, ICANN should acquiesce. It has a huge surplus from new TLDs, thanks to higher-than-anticipated application numbers.
So that’s my view of the domain name industry right now. I reserve the right to change my opinion next month.
Yoyo.email claims it registered trademark-matching .email domain names for a legitimate fair use. Most National Arbitration Forum panels have disagreed.
You’ve probably never heard of Yoyo.email before, but it is one of the biggest individual registrants of new top level domain names in a single TLD. The company registered over 4,000 .email domain names.
The problem for Yoyo.email is that a large number of these domain names match famous trademarks, such as dunkindonuts.email, budlight.email, geico.email and footlocker.email.
As a result, the company has faced at least 15 UDRP/URS cases.
Giovanni Laporta, founder of yoyo.email, told Domain Name Wire he has received over 100 cease & desist letters about his .email domain names. I suspect many of them were generated after he clicked through Trademark Clearinghouse notices for many of his domain names.
So is the guy a big cybersquatter? Laporta says he has registered the domain names for legitimate purposes.
His company plans to offer a “certified email” service that verifies that emails sent to a company were actually delivered. He says his use of the domain names would be a “fair use” in a technical, backend manner and believes URS and URDP are being unfair to him.
He has convinced one panel that there’s at least question of fair use.
Yoyo.email appealed an adverse URS decision for stuartweitzman.email. The appeal panel overturned the original decision on the grounds that the use of the domain name for a free service at least “raises a question as to whether the proposed use will be a legitimate fair use under URS”.
But other appeal panels have found otherwise. He has lost three appeals so far.
In an appeal over lufthansa.email, the panel considered that a technical/backend, non-commercial use of the domain names, under some circumstances, could be seen as a legitimate use.
However, the panel found this at odds with Laporta’s statement that yoyo.email is a serious business with up to ten employees that has spent “a lot of money” developing its service. Laporta told the panel that it will “make money by the value of having large numbers of active users…”, by charging for connected social media, as well as connected advertising.
In one case he mentioned how the company would monetize the service. In another case he said that original statement about making money from it was in error.
Laporta told Domain Name Wire that all of the adverse URS/UDRP decisions have been based on what “may” happen in the future, not on the actual use of the domain names to date (nothing).
It’s worth noting that a panel just handed down a decision in favor of the registration of porsche.social, determining that the planned use as a free enthusiast site means the domain shouldn’t be suspended under URS. I suspect this will be a controversial decision.
Laporta plans to file a federal lawsuit seeking declaratory relief over his registrations.