Internet Traffic Association discussed at Traffic conference.
Several major companies in the domain-name industry formally announced today the creation of the Internet Traffic Association, a non-profit trade group representing domain investors. Bob Martin of Internet REIT and Frank Schilling of Name Administration have spearheaded the formation of the organization, which seeks to give domain investors their first strong voice in Congress and at ICANN, the group that oversees the assignment of Web addresses. The move comes more than a decade after people first began investing in domains, and is an attempt to help change perceptions of the industry. Despite the entrance of publicly traded companies and influential venture-capital firms into the sector, the industry continues to be dogged by perceptions that it is largely composed of cybersquatters, people who try to profit by registering domains that infringe on the trademarks of corporations. The group is seeking a salaried executive director, and that person could live just about anywhere, Martin said. The group introduced its legislative counsel, Phil Corwin, a veteran lawyer and lobbyist in Washington, D.C. Corwin and the ICA already have been at work, but the group is in its infancy. Among the group’s goals, Corwin said, is to push ICANN “to create a true bottom-up consensus process” for addressing issues involving domain names.