30 June 2016

Line IPO, Japanese Messaging App Will Be Biggest 2016 Tech IPO (video)

Line IPO: By the Numbers

Line, the Japanese messaging app, is poised to hold one of that country's biggest share sales this year. It is planning an initial public offering (IPO) that could value the company at more than $5 billion. Video published June 10, 2016, by WSJ.com.

Line IPO (June 28, 2016): According to CNBC.com, Line, owned by South Korea's Naver (naver.com), set a tentative range of 2,700 to 3,200 Japanese yen per share, which at the top of the range, could raise 129 billion yen ($1.26 billion) from the sale of as many as 40.25 million shares. That would make the initial public offering (IPO) the largest in the global tech industry this year, and value the company at $6.57 billion. Line plans to list in New York on July 14 and in Tokyo the following day, and has hired Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Nomura to manage the listing.

Domain name: line.me




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DISCLAIMER

29 June 2016

Hillary Clinton Endorses Obama's IANA Stewardship Transition, Reaction

Hillary Clinton's Initiative on Technology & Innovation  https://www.hillaryclinton.com/briefing/factsheets/2016/06/27/hillary-clintons-initiative-on-technology-innovation/ [Note that Clinton does not mention explicitly "ICANN" nor "IANA" but her reference to "transition" is clearly a reference to the IANA transition]:
"Promote Multi-Stakeholder Internet Governance: Hillary believes that internet governance – the coordination of the technical systems that allow the internet to function seamlessly across the globe – should be left to the global community of engineers, companies, civil society groups, and internet users, and not to governments. That is why as Secretary of State she championed the “multistakeholder approach” to internet governance and vigorously fought back against efforts by national governments to control the internet through government-led multilateral organizations, such as the International Telecommunications Union. She supports the Department of Commerce’s plans to formally transition its oversight role in the management of the Domain Name System to the global community of stakeholders*, viewing the transition as a critical step towards safeguarding the internet’s openness for future generations. She will continue to fight to defend the internet from government takeover and to empower those internet governance organizations that advance internet openness, freedom, and technical innovation." (emphasis added)
*The term "global community of stakeholders" a/k/a "global multistakeholder community" a/k/a "global internet community" as used here just means ICANN, a California corporation controlled by the domain name industry and other special interests (lobbyists and lawyers), which is neither reflective of, nor representative of, the values and interests of the real global multistakeholder community. For example, the vast majority of domain name registrants (who fund most of ICANN's budget via fees charged for each domain name registration and renewal) have no stakeholder group representation within ICANN's main policy-making body known as the Generic Names Supporting Organization or GNSO. ICANN stakeholders have acknowledged the GNSO is "broken" and there is a "massive power imbalance" within ICANN. That was one of the main reasons the ICANN Board of Directors rejected all proposals for a membership model for ICANN in the course of the IANA transition and ICANN accountability (WS1) planning process: see Why the ICANN Board Does NOT Support the Single Member Model | DomainMondo.com (2 Oct 2015): "... A recommendation requiring a substantial governance restructuring will suggest that ICANN is currently broken -- a politically risky message going into the transition ..." 

Akram Atallah, the current President of the money-making arm of ICANN, known as the "Global Domains Division," has even said new gTLD registry operators are the "customers" of ICANN, and his crony, former ICANN President & CEO Fadi Chehade, said ICANN is a "partner" of the for-profit new gTLDs domain name industry and its lobbyist organization

The IANA Transition has now become a fully "politicized" issue in U.S. politics, with the Obama administration and the Democratic presumptive nominee, Hillary Clintonpushing the IANA transition, while Republicans in Congress are questioning whether the transition, as proposed, is premature, unconstitutional, or illegal. Meanwhile, Donald Trump's position, as the Republican presumptive nominee, is unknown, although he may be in an awkward position since his campaign's legal counsel is Jones Day, the same law firm that also represents ICANN, see Jones Day: Helping Donald Trump To Make America Great Again | AboveTheLaw.com.

Reference:
For more on use of the term "Global Multistakeholder Community" as a misnomer and false narrative by ICANN, NTIA, and the Obama administration to "package & sell" the IANA transition, see: News Review [24Apr2016]: ICANN Bylaws, Comments, ICANN Chairman's Op-ed Flops | DomainMondo.com.

One reaction to Hillary Clinton's endorsement of the IANA transition:

Where this may all lead:

Caveat Emptor.

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DISCLAIMER

28 June 2016

IANA Transition Premature say Grassley & Goodlatte in Letter to NTIA

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte on Monday, June 27, 2016, issued a press release (further below) and their letter (embed below) to NTIA concerning the proposed IANA stewardship transition now scheduled to occur upon expiration of the current IANA functions contract on September 30, 2016. Some of the questions posed by Senator Grassley and Congressman Goodlatte:
  • The transfer of government property without Congressional approval raises Constitutional issues and the prospect of illegality. The Government Accountability Office [GAO] is currently conducting a study to determine the United States Government’s property interest in the root zone file – or any other similar component of the Internet that was created and financed by the United States. The Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) provides authoritative legal advice to the President and all Executive Branch agencies. Has NTIA requested OLC to analyze this issue concurrently with the GAO? If not, why?
  • Without the proper analysis regarding the United States Government property interest, it is premature to conduct any transition. Will NTIA commit to postpone any transition in the absence of a determination by GAO and OLC relating to this property issue?
  • Did NTIA inform other members of the DNS Interagency Working group of the transition related appropriations provision in the FY2106 Omnibus spending bill?
  • Why did NTIA proceed in utilizing funds in furtherance of the transition in light of the clear prohibition created by the FY2016 Omnibus spending bill?
  • ICANN’s revised bylaws make it clear that the Public Interest Commitments and the registry contracts that contain them are deemed within ICANN’s mission and not subject to a facial ultra vires challenge. However, some members of the multi-stakeholder community have expressed concern that the ICANN Board may not believe that mitigating certain types of DNS abuse, such as IP infringement, is within ICANN’s mandate. How will this proposal require ICANN’s commitment to maintaining and enforcing the Public Interest Commitments, now and in the future?
  • Is NTIA opposed to Congress requiring an affirmative, up-or-down vote for the IANA functions transition to be completed? Why or why not?

Press Release June 27, 2016 (emphasis added): Grassley, Goodlatte: Too Many Unanswered Questions in Plan to Transfer of Internet Authority

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte today raised concerns about Obama Administration efforts to relinquish stewardship of key internet functions in light of unanswered legal, constitutional and human rights questions. Other concerns include whether such a transition would jeopardize free expression on the Internet or weaken certain intellectual property protections.

In a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the chairmen caution that the transition may violate the Constitution if it transfers government property to a private entity without congressional approval. The chairmen have sought clarification on whether the root zone file and similar components, which were created and financed by the U.S. government, constitute government property. They advise that transferring these components without congressional approval raises constitutional issues and the prospect of illegality.

“Despite NTIA’s intention of ending the United States government role, a number of important issues and concerns exist that indicate that this course is misguided or, at the very least, premature,” the chairmen said in the letter. “As we have stated previously, it is unfortunate that this proposal to eliminate the United States historical stewardship role over key internet management functions has been undertaken not because of technical considerations but for political ones.”

They raised concerns about a potential weakening of free expression and human rights protections by leaving terms such as “human rights” undefined and by increasing the authority of foreign governments, some of which have demonstrated a lack of commitment to human rights and an open internet. The chairmen also called into question the legality of the government’s continued work to pursue the transition, given provisions in recent government funding laws that prohibit taxpayer dollars from being used in furtherance of the transition, including proposal review and assessment.

The chairmen ask NTIA to respond to the questions raised in their letter and reiterate their commitment to ongoing oversight and examination of a potential transition of the internet authority. Full text of the letter follows [embedded below].

In the letter are a series of questions to which Senator Grassley and Congressman Goodlatte have requested a response from Larry Strickling, NTIA, no later than July 22, 2016:



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DISCLAIMER

ICANN and Dot AFRICA: Dismissed Party ZACR Files Notice of Appeal

UPDATE July 18: AFRICA Appeals Consolidated--"the parties’ joint motion (Docket Entry No. 5) to consolidate Nos.16-55693 and 16-55894 and to amend the briefing schedule is granted. The opening brief in No. 16-55693 has been filed. The opening brief in No. 16-55694 is due July 22, 2016. The answering brief is due August 19, 2016. The optional reply brief is due September 9, 2016"--Order embedded below:




UPDATE June 29: ICANN filed its opening brief:

The sad saga of ICANN's bungling of the application process for new gTLD (new generic top-level domain) .AFRICA has added another chapter as dismissed party ZA Central Registry (ZACR) has filed a notice of appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, from Orders entered by the Hon. R. Gary Klausner, U.S. District Court Judge, granting DotConnectAfrica Trust's (DCA) Motion for Preliminary Injunction (enjoining ICANN from delegating .AFRICA) and denying ICANN's motion for reconsideration of the Preliminary Injunction Order. The unusual twist in this case is that the District Court had dismissed ZACR as a Defendant "thereby extinguishing ZACR's role a[s] party to the action" (see  Order of June 20 included as Exhibit 2 of the notice of appeal embedded in full below), prior to denying ICANN's reconsideration motion.

ICANN's appellant brief in its interlocutory appeal is due June 29, 2016, and the U.S. District Court has assigned the case to a 10-12 day jury trial beginning February 28, 2017.

UPDATE June 28, 2016: ICANN has amended its notice of appeal and also appeals the U.S. District Court’s Order entered on June 20, 2016 (ECF No. 113), attached to ICANN's Amended Notice of Appeal (last embed below), which denied ICANN's motion for reconsideration of the Court's Order granting the preliminary injunction.

See also on Domain Mondo:

ZACR's Notice of Appeal with Exhibits 1 & 2 (highlighting added):


ICANN's Amended Notice of Appeal with Exhibits (highlighting added):


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DISCLAIMER

27 June 2016

ICANN56 Helsinki, ICANN Policy Forum, June 27-30, Info & Links

ICANN56 Wrap up Interview with Göran Marby and Steve Crocker:

UPDATE June 30, 2016: ICANN's Duncan Burns, Senior Vice President of Communications at ICANN, interviews ICANN President and CEO Göran Marby and ICANN Chair Steve Crocker to discuss ICANN56's Policy Forum held in Helsinki, Finland, June 27-30, 2016. Published by ICANN.org on June 30, 2016.

UPDATE: CENTR Report on ICANN56 embed below:


UPDATE: ICANN 56 GAC Communique:


Recipients of the Multistakeholder Ethos Award at ICANN56: Chuck Gomes and Keith Davidson
Recipients of the Multistakeholder Ethos Award at ICANN56: Chuck Gomes (above) and Keith Davidson
ICANN56 | Helsinki, Finland, June 27-30, 2016
ICANN56 Meeting Format ("B"- Policy Forum / new meeting strategy)
• 2nd meeting in the three-meeting annual cycle • Duration is four (4) total days
• Format focused on SO/AC/SG/C policy work and outreach No welcome ceremony, nor high-interest topics, nor public forum, nor public board meeting, nor sponsor exhibition area.
Current local date & time in Helsinki:


Twitter feeds: ‎@sgdickinson  |  #ICANN56

Selected Sessions:
Monday, June 27
Universal Acceptance Steering Group - Community Update and Workshop 13:45 - 15:00
https://icann.adobeconnect.com/hel56-veranda1
• Tuesday, June 28
GNSO Cross-Constituency meeting between the IPC RySG 11:45 - 12:30 https://icann.adobeconnect.com/hel56-veranda1
Charter for the CCWG on Auction Proceeds  15:15 - 16:45
https://icann.adobeconnect.com/hel56-helsinkihall
Cross community session: PDP on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures  17:00 - 18:30
https://icann.adobeconnect.com/hel56-helsinkihall

*The following session does not appear in the ICANN meeting schedule or app:
Cross-Community Working Group on Internet Governance CCWG-IG F2F Meeting:
Date: Tuesday 28 June 2016
Time: 17:00-18:30 Helsinki Time (15:00-16:30 UTC)
Adobe Meeting Room: https://icann.adobeconnect.com/hel56-terracehall
English Audio http://stream.icann.org:8000/hel56-terracehall-en.m3u
English Audio (Low Bitrate) http://stream.icann.org:8000/hel56-terracehall-en-lo.m3u
Location: Terrace Hall, Level 1
For Adigo numbers: http://adigo.com/icann/
AGENDA:
1. Introduction and Approval of Agenda. Introduction of all participating (10 minutes)
2. Introduction of the CCWG IG (10 minutes, co-chairs) - Function of the CCWG-IG wrt the ICANN community, its relationship with its co-chartering organisations, the ICANN Board and ICANN staff. Past activities: Public Sessions at ICANN meetings; NetMundial; IGF workshops.
3. Discussion with ICANN President and CEO Göran Marby (20 minutes) - Thoughts about Internet Governance / Q & A
4. Discussion with Markus Kummer, Board Chair of IG WG (15 minutes) - Interactive discussion with Q & A
5. CCWG Activities and Planning July-Dec 2016 (30 minutes)
*identify and gather calendar of relevant events for update to calendar of events
*plan a 'town hall' for the ICANN57 to address key messages to the IGF and do a survey of ICANN members regarding participation in the IGF2016
*Discuss ICANN booth at IGF2016 and its focus and how CCWG-IG can support
*Discuss ICANN Open forum at IGF2016 merely for informational purposes, and 'exchange' information about other engagement of CCWG-IG members at IGF2016
*Identify ICANN engagement at July ECOSOC - brief update from Tarek/Mandy/Veni/Nigel
6. Next Steps (5 minutes)

• Wednesday, June 29
GNSO – New gTLD Subsequent Procedures PDP Working Group 10:45 - 12:00
https://icann.adobeconnect.com/hel56-hallb
• Thursday, June 30
GNSO Review of All Rights Protection Mechanisms (RPMs) in All gTLDs PDP Working Group
08:00 - 10:30 https://icann.adobeconnect.com/hel56-hallb

ICANNnews - YouTube / ICANN Livestream / Archive

Next up: #ICANN57, Hyderabad, India, 3-9 Nov 2016
 https://meetings.icann.org/en/hyderabad57

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DISCLAIMER

26 June 2016

News Review: Brexit, ICANN56, Chinese Domainer Advice, $NAME in Play?

DomainMondoShiningLight ©2013domainmondo.com All Rights Reserved
Domain Mondo's review of the past week and look ahead [pdf]:

The headline above gives you an indication of how much there is to cover this week, starting with the most important story first, the Brexit vote in the UK to leave the EU. First thing to note is that while the experts, insiders, and establishment, including news media, financial media, gurus, pollsters, and bookies, got it "all wrong" and are still getting it wrong, (even some leaders of the "Leave" movement were surprised by the outcome), readers of Domain Mondo were given a forewarning of this outcome before voting started on June 23:
The June 23rd referendum on whether UK will leave or remain in the European Union (EU), may be the global watershed event of 2016 and it is in the hands of the voters in the United Kingdom. A lot is at stake beyond just British sovereignty vs. EU bureaucracy in Brussels. Brexit: Will UK Vote to Leave or Remain in the European Union? (emphasis added).
There is a lot more to come in this drama beyond just the voting results. It is now clear that Boris Johnson and David Cameron are "on the same page" and there will be no immediate trigger of Article 50. Instead, the clever British intend to use the leverage of their voter mandate to squeeze the EU aristocracy for concessions that will give the UK almost everything it wants, and a status no other country, in or out of the EU, now has. A lot of money was made this week if you got in and out on the right side of the Brexit trades. For more, start with Day After Brexit Vote Eurocrats Lost, Market Recovery, Path Forward, which has links to the other Brexit posts on DomainMondo.com.

• ICANN56 | Helsinki, Finland, begins Monday June 27, and ends Thursday, June 30, 2016. It will be a new meeting format ("B"- Policy Forum / new meeting strategy) with a focus on  SO/AC/SG/C policy work and outreach. There will be no welcome ceremony, nor high-interest topics, nor public forum, nor public board meeting, nor sponsor exhibition area. The next Domain Mondo post will contain more information with ICANN56 meeting links. On Sunday, June 26, there is an all day CCWG-Accountability Face to Face Open Work Session in Helsinki, 5:30 - 14:00 UTC | time zone converter | local Helsinki time: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM EET | Agenda here. Participants and observers may attend online via https://icann.adobeconnect.com/hel56-halla and via English audio http://stream.icann.org:8000/hel56-halla-en.m3u or low bitrate http://stream.icann.org:8000/hel56-halla-en-lo.m3u.

• ICANN-commissioned Study Finds Increased Awareness and Trust in Domain Name System | ICANN.org (June 23, 2016): ICANN selected and paid a vendor to produce a largely self-justifying (for ICANN) report that "Finds Increased Awareness and Trust in Domain Name System." Read the report (pdf) for more. On the other hand, if you are interested in the truth, listen to a wise Chinese domainer:
Warning and advice from a Chinese domain investor | coreile.com"... (3) Stick to meaningful .com names as their values will continue to rise.  cn, net, and org are OK as they will survive. But, beware of other ccTLDs and new gTLDs as they can be manipulated by registries and big money funds ..."

•  $NAME in Play? Rightside® Issues Press Release to Respond to Donuts Proposal (NASDAQ: NAME) June 24, 2016: "Rightside Group, Ltd. [rightside.co] ... confirms receipt of an unsolicited, non-binding proposal from Donuts Inc. [donuts.domains] to acquire Rightside's entire registry of [new] generic top-level domains [40 new gTLDs total] and related assets [backend registry services operation?] for $70 million in an all-cash deal. Rightside appreciates Donuts' interest in these assets ... The Company's Board of Directors and management team remain committed to maximizing long-term shareholder value and as such they will evaluate any proposal to determine whether it is in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders" (emphasis and links added). Rightside ($NAME) shares closed down 1% at $9.13 Friday, June 24, 2016.

Assuming this is not a publicity gimmick, one way to look at this is privately-held Donuts is offering (70/40) $1.75 million per new gTLD, and related assets, which is more than the $1.25 million per new gTLD that Daniel Negari, CEO of  XYZ.COM LLC, offered in this blog post for just 4 of Rightside's "under-monetized new gTLDs (generic top level domains)." XYZ's offer was not accepted by Rightside. None of Rightside's new gTLDs have set the world on fire. Rightside's brands include Namejet (co-owned), Name.com, and eNom (2nd largest registrar) registrar services.

I have not done an in-depth analysis of this offer nor Rightside's ($NAME) valuation, but current market capitalization of $NAME is $175,296,831. Strip out the new gTLDs and related assets, and Donuts, in essence, is valuing $NAME's remaining assets (registrar services and ownership interest in Namejet) at $105 million (based on current share price). If Donuts has sufficient cash, it could leverage its cash with debt or participation by others (e.g., hedge funds, private equity), to buy all of Rightside and then sell or spin-off the non-newgTLD assets (Namejet and registrar services eNom, Name.com).

In terms of total number of new gTLDs, Donuts is the largest new gTLD registry operator (almost 200 new gTLDs now available), and utilizes Rightside's backend registry services, giving it a compelling need to buy all of Rightside's new gTLDs operation (which Rightside wouldn't otherwise sell off in pieces). Donuts' clear frustration with Rightside management can be read in the Donuts press release. Rightside has been losing money, see Rightside $NAME Q1 2016 Earnings Webcast, May 10, 2016, but with "over 16.6 million total domains under management as of March 31, 2016, including over 2.9 million domain names registered through its retail outlets, Rightside remains one of the world's largest registrars." As Donuts pointed out, its "all-cash offer of $70 million represents approximately 40% of Rightside's current market capitalization to acquire assets that contribute approximately 5% of its [Rightside $NAME] revenue."  Donuts further noted, Rightside pays approximately 43% of  its registrar's revenue to VeriSign (.COM, .NET), and earns approximately 20% of its registry's revenue from registrar competitor, GoDaddy.

As a publicly traded company, Rightside ($NAME) is vulnerable to a hostile takeover. The majority of Rightside shares are held by institutional shareholders (55.94%), of which the 3rd largest shareholder is activist investor J. Carlo Cannell (Cannell Capital LLC), who earlier this year wrote to Rightside's Board Chairman"... NAME [Rightside] is holding back the growth potential of your registrar by pushing garbage extensions [new gTLDs] to a user base that quietly knows better ..." The directors of a publicly traded company owe fiduciary duties (pdf) to maximize shareholder value.

Since Rightside management has not indicated a willingness to spin-off or sell $NAME's new gTLDs and backend operations, one or more aggregate offers for the whole company, at a premium over the current market price, might be necessary for Donuts to acquire the specific parts it wants. The possibilities of where this might lead are endless. Every player in the domain name industry may want to take a look at this, including even Verisign (as a financing source for the acquirer of the registrar operations since it is prohibited from running a registrar operation).

This could turn into the "deal of the year" in the domain name industry with more than one buyer dividing up "the spoils." [Disclosure: In accordance with Domain Mondo's Disclaimer policy, I do not have any current position, long or short in Rightside shares ($NAME), but may take one or more positions, long or short, in the near future.] UPDATE June 27, 2016: See this June 27th article by Bram de Haas: Donut Panic! - Rightside Group, Ltd. | SeekingAlpha.com and also my News Review [Jun19]: ICANN, New gTLD Domain Names, Consumer Fraud which specifically deals with the paper Mr. Haas cites as proving "the value of gTLDs." UPDATE July 3, 2016: See [News Review 03 July 2016]--$NAME in Play? follow-up.   

 In the IANA Stewardship Transition proposal, a new, separate legal entity, Post-Transition IANA (PTI) is to be formed as an affiliate of ICANN, to perform the IANA functions post transition. The following graph is an excerpt from the draft Implementation Plan currently under review at ICANN, to depict the post-transition state:
Excerpt from the draft IANA Transition Implementation Plan currently under review at ICANN
•  IANA Stewardship Transition Implementation Planning Update (Volume 3) | ICANN.org: 20 June 2016: "Root Zone Maintainer Agreement (RZMA) Status update: ICANN and Verisign are working to finalize the last outstanding details of the RZMA. The agreement will be posted for public review once it is finalized."

•  ICANN and Diversity, AFNIC report (pdf)--Afnic reveals figures on diversity within ICANN | afnic.fr--No surprises here, ICANN is made up mostly of English-speaking, North American, males, and "Europe, Australia and New Zealand also benefit from strong representation." Unfortunately, the report doesn't even mention the fact that the vast majority of domain name registrants don't have any stakeholder group representation in the GNSO, while corporations have two stakeholder groups in the GNSO--IPC and Business Constituency. But of course we all know ICANN's GNSO is broken and out-of-balance.

The AFNIC (France) report, also points out "the predominance of English speakers is very strong with almost 2/3 of ICANN leaders having English as their mother tongue, which differs greatly from the global population." However, what the report does not note is that unlike any other language in the world today, there are now many more non-native English speakers than native English speakers (by a 3 to 1 ratio according to linguist David Crystal), and that will most likely continue for the foreseeable future. Adding native + non-native speakers, English is the most commonly spoken language in the world, yes, even more than Mandarin (which has the largest number of native speakers).

 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 28, 2016 is the deadline given for  NTIA's Larry Strickling to respond to the June 21, 2016, letter (pdf) from U.S. Senators Cruz, Lankford, Lee and Congressman Duffy, "regarding your agency’s apparent violation of federal law in using federal funds to relinquish its responsibility with respect to Internet domain name system functions, including responsibility with respect to the authoritative root zone file and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions."

•  U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Stresses Importance of an Open Internet to Economic Growth, Free Expression in Remarks at the OECD Ministerial Meeting | Commerce.gov"The strongest voices for government control often come from countries that censor content and limit access to information. The Internet is the greatest platform for free expression and innovation ever known. Shifting control to an international governmental body would leave the Internet vulnerable to geopolitical disputes and endless bureaucratic delays. It would also chill innovation and slow the expansion of Internet access worldwide – depriving billions of people access to the currency they need to thrive in the 21st century. We must ensure that the Internet remains accountable not to governments, but to the people, consumers, institutions, and companies who depend on it. Our Administration is committed to this transition." (emphasis added)

• The most popular country-code (ccTLD) top-level domains under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) is .CO, ccTLD for the nation of Colombia in South America. Why? "The answer is probably obvious: .co is the top-level domain name that is most similar to .com," says attorney Doug Isenberg, read more: The Popularity of .co (not .com) Domain Name Disputes | circleid.com.

• Are there too many new gTLDsfree market should take care of that, but it will take time, provided ICANN sticks to its original plan to "let the market decide winners and losers" which, unfortunately, ICANN GDD President Akram Attalah and his staff are now trying to subvert by changing policy and "granting fee waivers" to failing new gTLDs--see comments to ICANN's proposed Registry Agreement change. This is basic economics: 
"[A]re there too many products? The market eventually manages to sort out and clear away those funds that investors deem unnecessary. It may take a long time, as we have seen with the abundance of actively managed funds that are overpriced and underperform ..."--Wall Street Tries Out Lots of Shiny New Objects | Bloomberg.com
Once ICANN chose to unleash over 1000 new gTLDs onto a market of less than 20 gTLDs available for public registration, there were bound to be failures, and consolidation of the industry. The losers, other than the failing new gTLD registry operators, will be the domain name registrants who pick the "wrong" new gTLD domain extension for registration of their business name. But, as I said last week, ICANN doesn't care about end users, consumers or domain name registrants. For ICANN, and its new gTLD 'partners,' "it's all about the money."

•  ICANN Loses Again in new gTLD AFRICA litigation: On June 20, 2016, the U.S. District Court denied ICANN's motion for reconsideration of the Order enjoining ICANN from delegating new gTLD .AFRICA. Read more here.

•  Turkey's internet censorship"The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe (CoE) has recommended that Turkey’s government review its law on the internet which allows its telecommunications authority to block websites for “illegal or unsafe” content such as piracy, pornography or terrorism without any authorization from the government or a legal office..."--Venice Commission urges Ankara [Turkey] to review internet code | hurriyetdailynews.com.

•  Weak Corporate Governance is a problem, and not just at ICANN: My Problem With Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) | SeekingAlpha.com"Perception that company attempted to hide rumors of counterfeiting points to transparency issues that are indicative of larger corporate governance issues. Weak corporate governance is preventing Alibaba from being a great stock to own." $BABA, domains include: AlibabaGroup.com; Alibaba.com.

•  Five most popular posts (# of pageviews Sun-Sat) this week on DomainMondo.com:
 Other Reading Recommendations:
  1. A green light for police: The Supreme Court weakens the guarantee against unreasonable searches | Economist.comAmerica’s Bill of Rights bars “unreasonable searches and seizures”. As a result, when police obtain evidence of a crime through illegal means, that evidence is inadmissible in court. But a 5-3 Supreme Court ruling introduces a loophole which could allow police to stop someone on no grounds, check for existing warrants and then legally conduct a search. This interpretation is bad for liberty and will disproportionately affect minorities. 
  2. Guardian Media Group to cut 250 jobs in bid to break even within three years | Media | TheGuardian.com"Print advertising fell sharply in the year by an estimated 25%, and although the Guardian beat this market average, the decline was not offset by digital revenues."
  3. 3 Leaders at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Step Down | NYTimes.com"the Met’s digital team will specifically focus on digitizing its collection for a global audience. “The only way for the Met to succeed in the future is to continue to build the connection between the physical and the digital,” Mr. Sreenivasan said."
  4. How Many Law Schools Need to Close? Plenty | charleshughsmith.blogspot.com"The only solution for the surplus of workers with law degrees is a massive, permanent reduction in the issuance of new law graduates."
  5. Hackers would like to join your LinkedIn network - and you'd probably accept them | ZDNet.com
  6. Can a Social-Media Algorithm Predict a Terror Attack? | technologyreview.com"... Neil Johnson, a physicist at the University of Miami, and his team focused on a Russia-based social platform called VKontakte [vk.com], which boasts 360 million users worldwide ..."
  7. How To Brainstorm Like A Googler | FastCompany.com"... we’ve created a linear process for brainstorming new ideas and turning them into actual products: 1) Know the user 2)Think 10x 3) Prototype"..."
  8. A new chapter in YouTube’s live stream | youtubecreator.blogspot.com"... YouTube mobile live streaming will be baked right into the core YouTube mobile app. You won’t need to open anything else, just hit the big red capture button right there in the corner, take or select a photo to use as a thumbnail, and you can broadcast live to your fans and chat in near real time ..."
Have a great week!

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo


feedback & comments via twitter @DomainMondo


DISCLAIMER

25 June 2016

Day After Brexit Vote Eurocrats Lost, Market Recovery, Path Forward

UPDATE June 30, 2016: London Stock Exchange benchmark FTSE100 still rocketing UP:

UPDATE June 29, 2016: Contrary to the "Chicken Little" reports from the media and establishment, the FTSE100, the benchmark index of the 100 largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (as measured by market capitalization) has completely recovered and is now higher than before the Brexit vote:
Chart: The London Stock Exchange FTSE100 Comes Roaring Back
The London Stock Exchange FTSE100 Comes Roaring Back (source: google.com)
UPDATE June 26, 2016: Contrary to media reports following the Brexit vote, Reuters reports polling indicates Scots do not favor another referendum on separating from the UK. See also News Review: Brexit ... | DomainMondo.com (June 26, 2016):
"There is a lot more to come in this drama beyond just the voting results. It is now clear that Boris Johnson and David Cameron are "on the same page" and there will be no immediate trigger of Article 50. Instead, the clever British intend to use the leverage of their voter mandate to squeeze the EU aristocracy for concessions that will give the UK almost everything it wants, and a status no other country, in or out of the EU, now has."
Brexit does not make UK 'less European' says Boris Johnson:

Video above: Boris Johnson said Friday the UK vote to leave the EU gives Britons a 'glorious opportunity' to take control over its own taxes and borders. All UK politicians 'should thank British people' who 'did their job' dealing with one of the toughest questions of all time. The EU "was a noble idea for its time; it is no longer right for this country" said Johnson. Published June 24, 2016.

Brexit fallout? Britain will be fine, but the EU may have reason to worry: 

Ignore the noise, distraction, and hysterics of headlines and cable news. Here's a snapshot of what really happened the day after the Brexit vote:

Below is an email sent Friday (June 24, 2016) by the CEO of a major global company headquartered in London to all employees following the EU referendum vote in the UK on Thursday to withdraw from the European Union:
Dear Colleagues, I am writing to share some immediate thoughts in the light of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union. These are clearly uncertain times for the UK and for Europe. _____’s view throughout the campaign was that the UK was better off within the EU. Of course we fully respect the democratic decision that has been taken and, for _____, we will now focus on forging a successful path in a new context. _____ is in a strong position. More than half of our revenues are from the US, in dollars. We have a solid balance sheet with low debt, and this will enable us to weather uncertainties. Although we care deeply about the UK, we are the world’s _____ company. We will continue to be advocates for a world that is more open and connected. It is vital that the UK’s world class universities should continue to attract the brightest young people from around the world to enrich our _____ community. For now, the important thing for us all is to stay focused on our business and our customers. We will take our time and work through every implication of our business and our growth. We will also will play our part in helping maintain the outward-looking United Kingdom and globally connected _____ community that are in the interests of us all. (emphasis added)
Markets' reactions (from Thursday close to Friday close--see charts below):
FTSE100 (UK): -2.71%
SP500 (US): -3.58%
DAX (Germany): -6.69%
CAC40 (France): -7.85%
Clockwise: Benchmark Stock Market Indexes for UK (FTSE100), France (CAC40), Germany (DAX) and US (S&P500)
Week of June 20-24, 2016 (source: google.com)
Clearly, the French and German markets took a much harder tumble, while the markets in London showed resilience and recovery by the end of the market close on Friday. Investors have reason to worry about the European Union (EU). The EU has a lot of problems that will only be worse without the UK--problems that are not going to go away--long-term economic decline, aging populations, fiscal and monetary issues and economic imbalances caused by the single currency (euro), and a continuing refugee crisis. Is it any wonder that Switzerland formally withdrew its long-dormant application to become a member of the EU last week? Haughty Eurocrats may regret their undermining David Cameron's campaign to "Remain."

Much is yet to be done, and as economist Martin Wolf says in the video below, Britain, the world's 5th biggest economy, is the most important market for the Eurozone. As for Wolf's reference to the "consequences of uncertainty," remember what Warren Buffett says:

“Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful.”

Note accordingly, Martin Wolf's reference to investors snatching up assets in the UK:


Video above published by FT.com on June 24, 2016 - Brexit: Economist Martin Wolf  - economic forecast | FT Comment.

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24 June 2016

Brexit Vote Results LIVE, UK Votes to Leave EU, What Happens Next?

Sky News Live:

While the UK Electoral Commission expected to have full results of the EU referendum no later than 7 a.m. BST (or 2 a.m. EDT) on Friday morning, results from the 382 voting wards started coming in Thursday evening, beginning at about 11:30 p.m. BST (6:30 p.m. EDT in the US). Wikileaks also provided LIVE coverage of the Brexit vote results, hosted by Julian Assange, at: brexitclub.eu. EU referendum live results trackers at Live: EU referendum results | spectator.co.ukBBC.com and TheGuardian.com.

UPDATE 02 July 2016: Brexit Postscript: FTSE100 Roars, Theresa May, Sword in Hand, Next PM? | DomainMondo.com.

UPDATE: UK Votes to Leave the EU (European Union) 52% to 48%, Prime Minister David Cameron announces he will resign so a new Prime Minister is in place by the time of the October (2016) Conservative Party Conference and "fresh leadership" can lead the Brexit negotiations with the EU.
Earlier this week, EU referendum, a/k/a "Brexit," polling suggested the outcome of whether British voters would choose to 'Remain' or 'Leave' was too close to call, but equities had been soaring and British sterling was at 2016 highs, indicating traders were betting "Remain" would win. Traders in London are now bracing themselves while the G7 nations are poised to take "all necessary steps" to calm markets in view of the Brexit result.
U.K. Votes Leave to EU? What Happens Next?

Adding to the drama, on Friday, June 24, the Russell stock indexes rebalance. Even in normal markets, this is often the busiest trading day of the year in terms of volume. With the Brexit vote results coming in early Friday morning in the United Kingdom, Friday's markets could be volatile.

See also on Domain MondoBrexit: Will UK Vote to Leave or Remain in the European Union? (video)



"Article 50:
1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the [European] Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.
3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.
4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.
A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49." (emphasis added)

*This post was updated to reflect the Brexit vote results.

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23 June 2016

Brexit: Will UK Vote to Leave or Remain in the European Union? (video)

Brexit Breakdown: The final countdown:

Above video: With just hours before voting begins, FT.com's Sebastian Payne provides a final round-up of activity from the Remain and Leave campaigns.

UPDATE:  Brexit Vote Results LIVE, What Happens Next? (video)

The June 23rd referendum on whether UK will leave or remain in the European Union (EU), may be the global watershed event of 2016 and it is in the hands of the voters in the United Kingdom. A lot is at stake beyond just British sovereignty vs. EU bureaucracy in Brussels.

Brexit Referendum Timeline | dailyfx.com:
  • Voting for UK-EU referendum (Brexit) will take place from 06:00 – 21:00 GMT / 02:00 -17:00 EDT.
  • First referendum results due out starting after 23:00 GMT/19:00 EDT. 
  • FX volatility set to remain high with the Brexit vote tomorrow - it's the right time to review risk management principles to protect your capital.

http://www.voteleavetakecontrol.org/


EU referendum: Race ‘too close to call’ as four polls give different sides the lead on final campaign day | telegraph.co.uk



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22 June 2016

Neustar $NSR Decides to Split the Company, Investor Webcast Replay

Neustar $NSR stock chart (source: google.com) - stock down over 56% since Aug 2, 2013
In less than three years, Neustar (NYSE: NSR) (domain: neustar.biz) has lost over half of its shareholder value as the chart above indicates, primarily due to the pending loss of its very profitable NPAC contracts. The technology company, which includes domain name registry services (.us, .biz, .co, new gTLDs, etc.), has made the decision to "separate into two independent publicly traded companies: 
  • Separation to maximize shareholder value by creating two highly focused companies, intended to be structured as a tax-free spin-off likely to occur over the next 12 months
  • One company will focus on Information Services including Marketing, Security and related Data Services (including domain registry services), while the other company will focus on Order Management & Numbering Services, including NPAC Services."

Lisa Hook, currently President and Chief Executive Officer of Neustar, will serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Information Services company, which will be rebranded with a new name. Paul Lalljie, currently Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Neustar, will serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Order Management & Numbering Services company, which will retain the Neustar name.

Neustar provided the following information with the announcement:
  • Press release;
  • Fact sheet (pdf) and announcement fact sheet (pdf) available via webcast (below);
  • SEC filing;
  • Infographic (an excerpt of which is below);
  • Conference call replay available through 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) on June 28, 2016 by dialing 1-877-870-5176 (international callers dial 1-858-384-5517) and entering replay PIN 2254013, or by going to the Investor Relations tab of the Company’s website (www.neustar.biz)--Webcast Presentation Click here for webcast replay;
  • Any potential separation, which will be subject to final approval by the Neustar Board of Directors, is likely to take approximately 12 months to complete;
  • Completion of the transaction is subject to a number of customary conditions, including effectiveness of the Form 10 to be filed with the SEC. Additionally, as the company evaluates the preferred transaction structure, it continues to assess what regulatory and other approvals, if any, may be required to complete the transaction;
  • Neustar has retained J.P. Morgan as financial adviser and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Goodwin Procter LLP as legal counsel in connection with the proposed spin-off.
Infographic excerpt (source: neustar.biz) 
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21 June 2016

EFF Calls for a Day of Action June 21 on Rule 41 Proposal

 NoGlobalWarrants.org
NoGlobalWarrants.org
Email received by the Editor of Domain Mondo from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF.org):

EFF, the Tor Project, and dozens of other organizations concerned about the future of our digital security are taking a stand for users everywhere. We’re organizing a campaign and day of action to speak out against the changes to Rule 41.

Here's the deal: The Department of Justice is using an obscure procedure to push through a rule change that will greatly increase law enforcement’s ability to hack into computers located around the world. It’s an update to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. If Congress does nothing, this massive change will automatically go into effect on December 1. We’ve written a detailed explanation of the changes to Rule 41, which explains why this update will result in a dramatic increase in government hacking.

But we can’t do it alone. If you run a website, we need your help.

We’ve put together an embeddable banner to allow people to email members of the U.S. Congress or sign a petition opposing the changes to Rule 41. Please, check out the instructions for embedding the banner directly or hosting your own copy. The code will automatically display the banner on our day of action—Tuesday, June 21—and then disappear automatically.

If you plan to take part, please let us know.

Don't run a website?

Even if you don’t run a website where you can embed the banner, you can still help. On or before June 21, you can send an email to your member of Congress. Please post about Rule 41 on social media or a blog, and ask your friends to speak out. Feel free to get creative by hosting events in your home community, taking a photo, and sending it our way. And if you do plan something, please let us know!

Thanks for your help,

Rainey Reitman
Activism Director
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Support our work.





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