2017-12-24

News Review | Domain Name Registrations Decline Worldwide Q3 2017

graphic "News Review" ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2017-12-24) with analysis and opinion: Features •  1) Domain Name Registrations Decline Worldwide Q3 2017, 2) ICANN news: a. ICANN Nixes $$$ for RySG, b. SSAC Pushback, c. SSR2 Status, d. GDPR, e. ALAC, f. Root KSK Rollover, g. GDD Industry Summit, 3) Domains: a. Australia ccTLD .au Dumps Neustar, and more, 4) ICYMI Internet Domain News, 5) Most Read.

1) Domain Name Registrations Decline Worldwide in the 3rd Quarter 2017 (Q3 2017)
 Domain Name Industry Brief
Verisign reported this past week in its Domain Name Industry Brief (pdf) that total domain name registrations worldwide declined in the 3rd Quarter, 2017, from the prior quarter: "The third quarter of 2017 closed with approximately 330.7 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs), a decrease of approximately 1.2 million domain name registrations, or 0.4 percent from the second quarter of 2017."

Verisign also reported as of September 30, 2017, the ten largest TLDs in the world (top-level domains), in terms of total domain name registrations, were, in millions (M) of registrations, 1. .com (130.8M), 2. .cn (21.4M), 3. .tk*(19.1M), 4. .de (16.3M), 5. .net (15M), 6. .uk (10.7M), 7. .org (10.3M), 8. .ru (6.4M), 9. .info (6.0M), and 10. .nl (5.8M). Note that only 4 gTLDs (.com, .net, .org, and .info) are in the top ten, with the remaining TLDs being the ccTLDs of China, Tokelau*, Germany, UK, Russia, and the Netherlands (*ccTLD .tk (Tokelau) provides free domain names, with revenue generated by monetizing expired .tk domain names.)

At the end of Q3, Verisign also reported total country-code TLD (ccTLD) domain name registrations were approximately 144.7 million, a 0.3 percent increase over the second quarter of 2017, and a 3.2 percent increase year over year. This data is roughly corroborated by the CENTR.org Q3 2017 report:
*Legacy gTLDs are defined by CENTR.org as all gTLDs not part of the 2012 new gTLD application round. These TLDs include: .aero, .asia, .biz, .cat, .com, .coop, .info, .jobs, .mobi, .name, .net, .org, .pro, .tel, .travel and .xxx.
ICANN does not have same authority over ccTLDs, as it does gTLDs, and therefore cannot mismanage ccTLDs as it has gTLDs, particularly new gTLDs which are failing in the global domain name marketplace.

Under ICANN's mismanagement, even the second largest legacy gTLD, .net, has declined in domain name registrations. [Editor's note: The decline began in 2016 due to price-gouging of .net registrants by both the monopoly registry operator Verisign, and monopoly ICANN. The .com pricing is currently controlled by the U.S. government, while ICANN, unfortunately, controls .net pricing].

As of June 30, 2017 (end of Q2):
1. .com domain name base totaled 129.2 million domain name registrations; 
2. .net domain name base totaled 15.1 million domain name registrations.

As of Sept. 30, 2017 (end of Q3):
1. .com domain name base totaled 130.8 million domain name registrations;
2. .net domain name base totaled 15.0 million domain name registrations.

Therefore from the end of the 2nd Quarter to the end of the 3rd Quarter, 2017, .com registrations increased by 1.6 million domain name registrations, while .net registrations decreased by 100,000 domain name registrations.

2) ICANN news
graphic "ICANN | Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers"
a. ICANN Nixes (for the second timeAnother Request from gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) for Money--Letter from Akram Atallah, President, Global Domains Division, to Paul Diaz (pdf) 22 Dec 2017: "at this time, ICANN is not in a position to commit to the possible use of any potential remaining funds from the New gTLD Program applications fees." 

[Editor's notenobody cares about, nor feels sorry for these greedy and lying hucksters. New gTLD registry operators are going broke because of their defective and unwanted domains, and their monopolistic pricing power granted in perpetuity by an incompetent or corrupt ICANN. They should have done their 'due diligence' and 'technical feasibility tests' before applying for any new gTLDs. ICANN should keep saying "No," otherwise, ICANN invites moral hazard and even more outrageous and irresponsible behavior from this shady sector of the domain name industry that has become such a corrupting influence within ICANN and the "ICANN community," particularly the GNSO and its policy-making processes. If any new gTLD registry operators need money, they should raise their prices--ICANN gave new gTLD registry operators complete monopolistic pricing power against the advice and recommendations of the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division. In essence, ICANN empowered the new gTLD registry operators to "rape and pillage" domain name registrants worldwide:
"When .... dies, the rights to ... [new gTLD] will remain with the company he's set up in perpetuity, assuming it keeps paying its quarterly fees and isn't in breach of contract by letting the domain name servers fail. (If someone doesn't set up a company to administer the rights to a gTLD, they could be willed to a person or company of choice, just like any other piece of physical real estate.) ... "There is no cap on money that can be charged [for new gTLD domain name registrations]. It's the amount the market can bear," James Cole, ICANN's global media coordinator. "We don't impose a limit." (emphasis and link added)--source: splinternews.com.

b.  Who In The ICANN Community Wants To Break The Internet by Adding More Than 1000 New gTLDs A Year?--SSAC pushing back (pdf): "The SSAC also believes that ICANN should study the possibility of backing out, or undoing, changes to the root zone should complications with a change arise. This recommendation and the latter proposed study should be completed prior to increasing the number of delegations in the root zone." [Editor's note: sounds like a great idea--back out or undo all of those failing new gTLDs that are stinking up the global DNS.]

c. Suspended SSR2-RT: SO/AC Chairs Statement on status of SSR2 Review: Dec 21, 2017:
"... The SOAC chairs recognizes a number of concrete actions for us: first, appoint more members to the SSR2 team and discuss with ICANN Staff what the budget and staffing situation looks like. After these actions have taken place, we are to restart the SSR2 review with some initial concrete items on their agenda: agree internally on updated leadership, COI issues and scope; and work with ICANN Staff and SOAC chairs to agree on communication, milestones, and progress reporting/management of the review. As we move towards the holiday season in many parts of the world, and after consultation with our respective communities, we do not believe this can be done in time for the already preliminarily scheduled meeting for the SSR2 team early 2018, so we hereby request that meeting be cancelled ..."--(source (pdf))
For background read News Review: US Gov NTIA Rebukes ICANN Board 17 Dec 2017.

d. WHOIS & GDPR: Data Protection/Privacy Update: Response from Legal Firm Hamilton to Community Questions Now Available | ICANN.org excerpts:
2.1.2. "... although we have not investigated this issue in detail, it is possible that ICANN could be considered to have an establishment in the EU through its corporate presence in Belgium ..."
2.4.2.  "... any processing of personal data that takes place on 25 May 2018 and afterwards will have to comply with the GDPR."
2.6.1 "How to ensure the lawful availability of WHOIS/RDS data will be the primary focus of an upcoming memorandum expected to be published in part 3 of our memoranda series."
2.12.2 "In order for a public interest to exist according to the GDPR, such interest needs to be laid down in either EU law or EU member state national law." 
Read Part 2 legal memo [PDF, 577 KB], Part 1 [PDF, 253 KB]. The Part 3 legal memo [PDF, 440 KB], was published Dec 22, 2017, and "elaborates on how the processing of data within the scope of WHOIS could possibly be changed to become compliant with the GDPR. This analysis lays out a legal framework to guide our approach to begin building potential compliance models with the community's input."--ICANN.org--"We've made it a high priority to find a path forward to ensure compliance with the GDPR while maintaining WHOIS to the greatest extent possible. Now, it is time to identify potential models that address both GDPR and ICANN compliance obligations. We'll need to move quickly ... please submit your feedback before 10 January 2018 ..."--Goran Marby, ICANN President and CEO.

Related: Proposed GDPR Compliance Model | CM2: Coalition for Online Accountability (COA) | Cover Page for Proposed Models to Address the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 21 Dec 2017--gdpr-cm2-coa-cover-page-21dec17-en.pdf [25 KB]

e. ICANN, ALAC, and the Global Internet Community: 19 December 2017 Letter from Khaled Koubaa to Tom Mackenzie et al.[Published 22 December 2017] Chair, Organizational Effectiveness Committee | ICANNBoard of Directors At-Large Community Review Letter from Tom Mackenzie et al. to Steve Crocker and Göran Marby[Published 31 October 2017].

f. Root KSK Rollover Project | ICANN.org 18 Dec 2017: "The ICANN org is today announcing that it will not roll the root zone KSK in the first quarter of 2018. We have decided that we do not yet have enough information to set a specific date for the rollover."

g. GDD Industry Summit | 14-17 May 2018 | ICANN.org: Richmond, British Columbia (Vancouver metro area).

3) Names, Domains & Trademarks
graphic "Names, Domains & Trademarks" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
a.  Australia ccTLD .au Dumps Neustar--Afilias Chosen to Supply .au Registry Services | auDA.org 18 December 2017: "Afilias Australia Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Afilias plc, has been appointed to provide registry services for the [ccTLD] .au domain from 1 July 2018 as part of auDA’s Registry Transformation Project ..."

Editor's Note: In July, 2015, Neustar paid $87 million for Bombora including its subsidiaries ARI Registry Services and AusRegistry which had held the lucrative .au contract since 2002. The loss deals another blow to Neustar which is scheduled to reportedly lose half its revenues and possibly all its profitabilty in 2018 due to the loss of the NAPM (North American Portability Management) contract. Neustar had planned to split into 2 separate companies when it was still a publicly listed (NYSE: NSR) company, but instead was acquired for $2.9 billion (value of the deal including debt), by a private investment group led by Golden Gate Capital and GIC, a sovereign wealth fund of the Government of Singapore. When the transaction was completed on August 9, 2017, Neustar became a privately-held company. The price  of the buyout (valuing NeuStar's equity at $1.85 billion), was just 11 times Neustar's net income in 2015. According to one report, "slumping profits" may have been the driver behind "the depressed offer price."

The .au winner, Afilias, founded in 2000, touts itself as the world’s second largest domain name registry services provider with "over 21 million domain names under management," including back end registry services for gTLD .org (more than 10 million domain names) and registry operator of gTLD .info (more than 6 million domain names).

b.  What's In A Name? Long Island Iced Tea is changing its name from “Long Island Iced Tea Corp.” to “Long Blockchain Corp.” and has reserved the web domain longblockchain.com
Bloomberg.com Dec 21, 2017: "Long Island Iced Tea Corp. shares rose as much as 289 percent after the unprofitable Hicksville, New York-based company rebranded itself Long Blockchain Corp. It’s the latest in a near-daily phenomenon sweeping the stock market, where obscure microcap companies reorient to focus on some aspect of the mania sparked by bitcoin’s 1,500 percent rally this year."
c.  GoDaddy Founder Billionaire Bob Parsons Is Giving His YAM Worldwide Employees $1.3 Million In Bonuses, Thanks To GOP Tax Bill | forbes.com"The passage of the tax credit is a catalyst for explosive economic growth. On a massive scale, the lowered federal tax burden on businesses will increase investment, entrepreneurship and corporate philanthropy," said Parsons. "I’ve always believed in sharing good news and have decided to celebrate the tax plan by giving back to my staff."

4) ICYMI Internet Domain News 
graphic "ICYMI Internet Domain News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
•  Network Resilience: After hurricanes, internet groups form new commission to improve Caribbean network resilience | CuraçaoChronicle.com"Cisco, IBM, Intel support new body to strengthen regional telecom infrastructure ... formation of the Commission was announced this week by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), an inter-governmental entity formed by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to drive the growth of the region's communications sector."

• Antitrust: Taming monopolies in the digital age | BidenForum.org by former FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler: "... four internet service providers (ISPs) control over 75 percent of local internet delivery, usually as local monopolies ... the most powerful companies in the country should not be making their own rules ..."

•  Data & Privacy: Name+DOB+SSN=FAFSA Data Gold Mine | KrebsOnSecurity.com

•  Internet Freedom: The Demise of Dissent: Why the Web Is Becoming Homogenized | charleshughsmith.blogspot.com: ". The suppression of dissent under the guise of ridding the web of propaganda and fake news--in other words, dissent is labeled fake news as a cover for silencing critics and skeptics ..."

•  Net Neutrality:

5) The Four Most Read Posts (# of pageviews Sun-Sat) this past week on DomainMondo.com: 
graphic "Domain Mondo" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
1. News Review: US Gov NTIA Rebukes ICANN Board; IGF 2017 Dec 17-21
2. Tech Review | Bitcoin Futures Start Trading On CME Globex Monday
3. Amazon $AMZN & Sqrrl, Machine Learning Analytics Cybersecurity Startup
4. Bitcoin Futures: Hong Kong's BitMEX vs. Chicago's $CME & $CBOE

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo 

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