News Review | ICANN Copes With Failing New gTLDs' Impact On Income

graphic "News Review" ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2018-02-18) with analysis and opinion: Features •  1) ICANN Copes With Failing New gTLDs' Impact On Income: FY18 & FY19 Budgets2) Other ICANN news: a. ICANN & Verisign a Dirty Secret? and more, 3) Names, Domains & Trademarks: a. Dot COM Still King, b.GoDaddy $GDDY Q4 2017, c. ICANN's Broken UDRP, and more, 4) ICYMI Internet Domain News, 5) Most Read Posts.

1) ICANN Copes With Failing New gTLDs' Impact On Income: FY18 & FY19 Budgets
Excerpt from ICANN Board Workshop Materials (embed below), Feb 3, 2018
ICANN Board Workshop Materials (embed below) Feb 3, 2018:

Excerpt from ICANN Board Workshop Materials (embed above), Feb 3, 2018
Editor's note: as I have noted before:
"... it is now obvious to everyone (except 'deniers') that ICANN grossly mismanaged its ill-conceived and misbegotten expansion of gTLDs (from just 22 to over 1200). Among the multitude of mistakes, probably the most egregious were rejecting the advice of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (pdf) and U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division (pdf) with regard to competition, pricing power, and consumer (registrant) benefits and protections. The above referenced letter from the US DOJ Antitrust Division was attached to a letter to ICANN from NTIA in Dec 2008 (pdf)."
The financial impact on ICANN is just one of the many consequences of the new gTLDs program debacle, with others yet to come.

Open for public comment: ICANN Draft FY19 Operating Plan and Budget and Five-Year Operating Plan Update | ICANN.org: close date 8 Mar 2018 23:59 UTC.

UPDATE Letter from the Board Chair | ICANN.org Feb 20, 2018: Issue: Proposed Budget for Financial Year 2019--icann-board-chair-proposed-budget-fy19-20feb18-en.pdf [13.4 KB] excerpt:
"... ICANN's funding has consistently increased over the past few years ... As we look ahead at the next few years, this flexibility is unlikely to continue, as funding is stabilizing for the foreseeable future at a level of US$135 million to US$140 million per fiscal year. During the next fiscal year, therefore, ICANN org will not be able to undertake new projects that have not been planned for in the FY19 Budget, unless and until ICANN org has concluded that available contingency funds can responsibly be allocated for that purpose or has identified corresponding budget savings to offset unplanned spending. This is a shift in how ICANN org operates and engages with the community. Together, we need to decide on some trade-offs in FY19 ..."

2) Other ICANN news
graphic "ICANN | Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers"
a. ICANN & Verisign a Dirty Secret? Special Investigation: The Dirty Secret Behind Warren Buffett’s Billions | TheNation.com: "The company is called Verisign ... As of September 2017, two of Verisign’s domain-name registries, the aforementioned .com and .net, accounted for 145.8 million of the 330.7 million websites in existence, or nearly one in two. Take away the 144.7 million sites tied to a specific country (like .us, or .cn for China), and it’s more like four out of five. Any company controlling 80 percent of a given market can safely be termed a monopoly, though a spokesperson for Verisign said in a statement that “we believe competition is thriving in the market.” The nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the registry industry’s main regulator, granted Verisign exclusive contracts to operate .com and .net. Verisign can automatically renew the contracts as long as it meets certain performance metrics. The company was also initially permitted to raise prices gradually, despite the fact that the costs of managing a registry decline over time because the necessary infrastructure is already established. “If you’re giving a near monopoly in an industry where prices are falling, you would think that you would have terms in the contract to lower the price,” said economist Dean Baker, a critic of government-granted monopolies. Instead, prices for .net domain names can rise 10 percent per year; they’ve more than doubled since 2005, from $3.50 to $9.02 (Verisign’s statement called this price “lower than most competing legacy [top-level domains]”). Prices for .com domain names have also risen, though they are now frozen at $7.85 per year, due to an amended contract executed in 2012. Competitors have offered to run registries at significantly cheaper rates, yet ICANN hasn’t altered Verisign’s contract terms." (emphasis added)

b. Minutes | Board Accountability Mechanisms Committee (BAMC) Meeting | ICANN.org "... Next Steps on Community Priority Evaluation (CPE) Process Review: The BAMC approved a recommendation to the Board to acknowledge and accept the findings in the three reports; that as a result of the findings, there will be no overhaul or change to the CPE process in the current New gTLD round; that the CPE Process Review has been completed; and that the BAMC should move forward with consideration of the remaining reconsideration requests relating to the CPE process that were placed on hold pending completion of the CPE Process Review and to take FTI's findings into consideration as part of the BAMC's review. Actions: ICANN Org to prepare materials for Board consideration."

c. ICANN Correspondence | ICANN.org:

d. View the Latest Quarterly Stakeholder Update and Register for the Q&A Call on 22 February | ICANN.org

Data Protection/Privacy Update: Latest Developments | ICANN.org Feb 14, 2018. Editor's note: ICANN had nothing of substance to report at the above link, but KrebsOnSecurity.com has reported details of the coming ICANN interim model:
"the system that ICANN is planning to recommend, according to sources, would ask registrars and registries to display just the domain name, city, state/province and country of the registrant in each record; the public email addresses would be replaced by a form or message relay link that allows users to contact the registrant. The source also said ICANN plans to leave it up to the registries/registrars to apply these changes globally or only to natural persons living in the European Economic Area (EEA). In addition, sources say non-public WHOIS data would be accessible via a credentialing system to identify law enforcement agencies and intellectual property rights holders. However, it’s unlikely that such a system would be built and approved before the May 25, 2018 effectiveness date for the GDPR, so the rumor is that ICANN intends to propose a self-certification model in the meantime." (emphasis added)
f. SSR2--SOAC Chairs Statement on status of SSR2 Review 2018-02-12full statement (pdf)

3) Names, Domains & Trademarks
graphic "Names, Domains & Trademarks" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
a. Dot COM Still King--interview of domain name broker Jen Sale of Evergreen.com

Molly Wood is the host of Marketplace Tech, a weekday show that helps listeners understand the business behind the technology that’s rewiring our lives. Above podcast published Feb 08, 2018.

b.  GoDaddy Inc. (NYSE: GDDY) Q4 2017 Financial Results LIVE Webcast: Feb 22, 2018 5pm ET. Also Scott Wagner, GoDaddy CEO, and Ray Winborne, GoDaddy CFO, will present at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco on Monday, February 26, 2018 at 1:15 p.m. PST. LIVE audio webcast of the event will be available on GoDaddy's investor relations website at https://investors.godaddy.net. Following the presentation an audio replay will also be available on the investor relations website.

c. ICANN's Broken UDRP: 
Excerpt from lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by French citizen who is domain name registrant of ado.com
What's So Outrageous [About] Asking High Prices for Domain Names? | IPLegalCorner.com"The [ado.com] decision (frankly) makes no sense! (This is one good reason for there to be an administrative appeal built into the UDRP process)."--Gerald M. Levine, Attorney (link added).
[Editor's Note: This outrageous ado.com UDRP decision by an inept WIPO panel is symptomatic of ICANN's broken UDRPFortunately, U.S. law provides a remedy (pdf), many nations don't. If you're a domain name registrant and live in a nation that does not provide a remedy for a bad UDRP decision, you should probably be registering ALL of your domain names through a U.S.-based registrar.

d. Fraud: Report: Over 90% Of Domains Are Prone To Domain Name Fraud | tomshardware.com.

e. Scams: WhatsApp scam WARNING - Thousands already duped make sure you’re not next | Express.co.uk: Many illegitimate sites [domain names with IDN characters] look virtually identical to the real thing. This is where looking closely at the URL can make a real difference for staying safe online.

f. Domain Theft Strands Thousands of Web Sites | KrebsOnSecurity.com"Newtek Business Services Corp., a Web services conglomerate that operates more than 100,000 business Web sites and some 40,000 managed technology accounts, had several of its core domain names stolen over the weekend. The theft shut off email and stranded Web sites for many of Newtek’s customers ..."

g. Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH): UDRP panel finds RDNH; complainants should disclose all prior dealings with respondent | WorldTrademarkReview.com.

h. Donuts Acquires .TRAVEL Top-Level Domain (TLD): .TRAVEL becomes Donuts' 239th TLD.

i. Verisign 10-K filed Feb 16, 2018 EDGAR Filing Documents for 0001014473-18-000018:
Verisign 10-K excerpt: "Pricing. Under the terms of the Cooperative Agreement with the DOC and the .com Registry Agreement with ICANN, we are restricted during the term of the Registry Agreement from increasing the price of registrations or renewals of .com domain names above $7.85, except that we are entitled to increase the price up to 7%, with the prior approval of the DOC, due to the imposition of any new ICANN consensus policies, as established and defined under ICANN’s bylaws and due process, and covering certain items listed in the .com Registry Agreement, or documented extraordinary expense resulting from an attack or threat of attack on the security and stability of the DNS. However, it is uncertain that such circumstances will arise, or if they do, whether we would seek, or the DOC would approve, any request to increase the price for .com domain name registrations. We also have the right under the Cooperative Agreement to seek the removal of these pricing restrictions if we demonstrate to the DOC that market conditions no longer warrant such restrictions. However, it is uncertain whether we will seek the removal of such restrictions, or whether the DOC would approve the removal of such restrictions. In comparison, under the terms of the .net and .name Registry Agreements with ICANN, we are permitted to increase the price of domain name registrations and renewals in these TLDs up to 10% per year. Additionally, ICANN’s registry agreements for new gTLDs do not contain such pricing restrictions." (emphasis added)

4) ICYMI Internet Domain News 
graphic "ICYMI Internet Domain News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
•  GDPR Effect: Rise of the data protection officer [DPO], the hottest tech ticket in town | Reuters.com

•  Countdown to GDPR Deadline | natlawreview.com: "... the GDPR’s broad reach applies to any company that is offering goods or services to individuals located within the EU/EEA or monitoring the behavior of individuals in the EU/EEA, even if the company is located outside of the European territory. All companies within the GDPR’s ambit also must ensure that their data processors (i.e., vendors and other partners) process all personal data on the companies’ behalf in accordance with the Regulation, and are fully liable for any damage caused by their vendors’ non-compliant processing ..."

•  China: the web closes in | lowyinstitute.org“Access to the worldwide web has become a major frustration for companies operating in China”, said Mats Harborn, president of the European Chamber."

•  China’s "shameless" former internet czar Lu Wei was expelled from the Communist Party and investigated for corruption | qz.com: "Lu Wei, 58, has headed China’s powerful Cyberspace Administration since its launch in 2014, until he unexpectedly stepped down from his post in June 2016." See also: ICANN50 in London: Lu Wei, Minister of Cyberspace Affairs Administration of China | YouTube.com.

•  US-China trade faceoff: Prioritize the internet and digital trade | aei.org"the US must confront growing Chinese ICT protectionism or face both commercial crowding out of international markets and the prospect of internet fragmentation under Beijing’s “Cyber Sovereignty” rules." 

•  Iran: Lifting the Ban on Instagram was Illegal | aei.org

•  The CLOUD Act: A Dangerous Expansion of Police Snooping on Cross-Border Data | Electronic Frontier Foundation | eff.org

•  Making Knowledge Free Can Cost You Your Freedom | Bloomberg.com"The fate of a young researcher reflects poorly on the state of scientific publishing."

•  Charter’s gigabit cable—starting at $105—is coming to over 40 million homes | Ars Technica.comCharter's "gigabit" is 940Mbps down, 35Mbps up, with prices of $105 to $125.

• Net Neutrality in the United States | Harvard Law Today| law.harvard.edu

• Top tech group exec joining White House as Trump adviser | TheHill.com: Abigail Slater, general counsel for the Internet Association (IA), which represents tech giants like Google and Facebook, will replace Grace Koh as special assistant to President Trump with the National Economic Council.

•  R.I.P. The internet will miss John Perry Barlow | NetworkWorld.com: "... co-founder — and at his passing, vice chairman — of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is considered “the leading nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world”..."

5) The Two Most Read posts (# of pageviews Sun-Sat) this past week on DomainMondo.com, 
graphic "Domain Mondo" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
which also zoomed to first and second, respectively, 'most read' posts in the last 30 days:
1. Airswap Cryptocurrency ICO Launches From a New York Loft (video)
2. News Review | ICANN61 & Puerto Crypto, San Juan, Puerto Rico

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo 

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