News Review | The State of the Domain Name Industry Q1 2018

graphic "News Review" ©2016 DomainMondo.com
Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2018-06-17) with analysis and opinion: Features •  1) The State of the Domain Name Industry Q1 2018,  2)Other ICANN news: a. ICANN vs. EPAGb. ICANN Board Public Sessions June 22-23, c.ICANN WHOIS & GDPR: EPDP (Expedited Policy Development Process), d. NTIA & IANA, 3) Names, Domains & Trademarks: a. Worst TLDs, and more, 4) ICYMI: EU's Article 13 Nightmare, 5) Most Read.

1) The State of the Domain Name Industry Q1 2018
a. Rampant spam, falling registrations show new gTLDs have limited business value | TechRepublic.com June 15, 2018: "Studies indicate malicious actors are disproportionately using cheap new gTLDs ... [new gTLDs' domain name] registrations have fallen 20% over the last year ..."

b. Domain Name Industry Brief (DNIB) Q1 2018 | Verisign.com published June 14, 2018, key metrics:
  • All TLDs (top-level domains): The first quarter of 2018 closed with approximately 333.8 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains (TLDs), an increase of approximately 1.4 million domain name registrations, or 0.4%, compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. Domain name registrations have grown by approximately 3.2 million, or 1%, year over year
  • ccTLDs: Total country-code TLD (ccTLD) domain name registrations were approximately 146.3 million at the end of the first quarter of 2018, with an increase of approximately 0.2 million domain name registrations, or 0.1%, compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. ccTLDs increased by approximately 3.2 million domain name registrations, or 2.2%, year over year.
  • The ten largest TLDs in the world (Verisign graphicas of March 31, 2018, (in millions of domain name registrations): .com 133.9; .cn 21.4: .tk 19.9; .de 16.3; .net 14.4; .uk 12.0; .org 10.3; .info 6.2; .ru 6.1; .nl 5.8.
  • New gTLDs continue shrinking in total registrations and as a share (%) of all gTLDs: 6% of all gTLDs as of March 31, 2018 (20.2 million registrations), as compared to 6.2% as of Dec. 31, 2017 (20.6 million) and 7.7% as of March 31, 2017 (25.4 million). 
Editor's note: rather than acknowledge the new gTLDs disaster of its own making, ICANN is in an apparent 'state of denial and delusion' (la-la land). Also note new gTLDs have no price controls, a new gTLD domain name that costs you $20 to register today could cost you $20,000 next year to renew the registration for just one year (in the absolute sole discretion of the registry operator), ICANN couldn't care less about domain name registrants being "ripped off." In fact, that's the way ICANN intentionally designed and implemented the new gTLDs program against the advice of the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division and FTC (U.S. Federal Trade Commission):
US Dept of Justice Antitrust Division recommendations via NTIA to ICANN (Dec 3, 2008)
Legacy generic top-level domains (gTLDs) .COM and .NET as of Mar. 31, 2018:
(a) gTLD .com (price-controlled by U.S. gov NTIA) domain name base totaled approximately 133.9 million domain name registrations, an increase of 2 million, or 2%, from 131.9 as of Dec. 31, 2017), and an increase of 5.5 million registrations, or 4%, year over year (as of March 31, 2017, the .com domain name base totaled 128.4 million);
(b) gTLD .net (ineptly price-controlled by ICANN) domain name base totaled approximately 14.4 million domain name registrations, a decline of 100,000 registrations from 14.5 million as of Dec. 31, 2017 and a decline of 800,000 registrations year over year (as of March 31, 2017, the .net domain name base totaled 15.2 million).

2) ICANN news
graphic "ICANN | Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers"
a. ICANN vs. EPAG: more on ICANN's Appeal of the German Court Decision on GDPR / WHOIS rejecting ICANN's request for an injunction against German domain name registrar EPAG (which is part of Tucows):
"So what on earth is ICANN doing? And why is it spending millions of dollars pursuing flawed legal challenge after flawed legal challenge? The answer is simple: the organization has more money than sense."--Kieren McCarthy in TheRegister.co.uk
June 7, 2018, letter from Tucows CEO Elliot Noss to ICANN CEO Goran Marby:

b. ICANN.org: The ICANN Board of Directors will be holding four public sessions and a public Board meeting during its upcoming workshop in Panama City, Panama, which will be taking place  22-24 June 2018, ahead of ICANN62.
The agenda of the ICANN Board of Directors' public meeting & sessions, Friday and SaturdayJune 22-23, is provided below (all times UTC):
  • 22 June 18:15 (2:15pm EDT) – 19:15 IDN Variant TLD Implementation Recommendations
  • 23 June 18:00 (2pm EDT) – 18:15 Board FY18 Priorities – Status of Deliverables
  • 23 June 18:15 (2:15pm EDT) – 18:45 Long-Term and Short-Term Options for Streamlining the Reviews
  • 23 June 22:00 (6pm EDT) – 23:00 Internet Governance Strategic Discussion Progress
The sessions will be in English only. The format for each will be a listen-only session via Adobe Connecthttps://participate.icann.org/opencommunity/  Additional access numbers here.  Participant Code: 5542211258. More information about the Panama workshop and other upcoming ICANN Board meetings here. See also Chair's Blog: A Preview of the Panama Board Workshop | ICANN.org.

c. ICANN WHOIS & GDPR: EPDP (Expedited Policy Development Process)
UPDATE 20 June 2018: graphic below from the GNSO pre-ICANN62 webinar on June 18.
See also 19 June 2018 GNSO--EPDP Initiation Request and Charter Drafting Team 13:00 UTC Transcript, Mp3, and Adobe Connect Recording;

Reference to the "elephant in the room" (in transcript/recording above) is to the following published by ICANN org 19 June 2018:
Data Protection/Privacy Update: Seeking Community Feedback on Proposed Unified Access Model | ICANN.org:
  • draft Registration Directory Data System (RDDS) Access Agreement (pdf) draft 1.0 Jun18
An extraordinary GNSO Council meeting on 12 June resulted in the GNSO Council agreeing to form a drafting team consisting of Council leadership and interested Council members to develop an Initiation Request for an Expedited Policy Development Process as well as a proposed Charter for this effort. Many sessions at the upcoming ICANN62 meeting, June 25-28, will deal with the GDPR and EPDP. Additional information below:

See also:
Let’s talk about WHOIS accreditation – Before it’s too late | internetgovernance.org--by Farzaneh Badii, Chair of ICANN's Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group (NCSG). 
Have You Had Your GDPR Training Today? "... [it's] almost as if it's a badge of honor [in ICANN] to talk about complex legal matters not studied closely. We demand a high standard of knowledge from those who want to participate on the technical side of ICANN's work; we need an equally high standard on the GDPR side as well ... 'Recent research has established that it takes more than 20 hours of training just to acquire a workable understanding of the GDPR' … Let's require every member of the upcoming EPDP — members of the community, staff AND consultants — to complete neutral GDPR Training of the type IAPP identified above — 20 hours for "workable understanding" — before coming onto the EPDP ...." --Kathy Kleiman in circleid.com.
ICANN.org Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data, Webinar 6 June 2018Adobe Connect and Presentation [PDF, 213 KB].
Audio recordings also available: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish.

d. NTIA & IANA: Oversight of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration - Hearings - U.S. Senate Committee On Commerce, Science, & Transportation (video) 13 June 2018, witness: David J. Redl, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator, NTIA, U.S. Department of Commerce. Asked whether the IANA transition was "complete and irreversible," Redl answered, "Yes, that is my personal view," adding, "but we've put that question out there, if you do want to unwind it, how do we do so?" More at the link above and in last week's News Review.

3) Names, Domains & Trademarks
graphic "Names, Domains & Trademarks" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
a. Top Ten TLDs (top-level domains) with the worst reputations for spam operations as of 11 June 2018 include 5 new gTLDs #1 .men; #2 .loan; #7 .top; #8 .click; #9 .work; and 5 ccTLDs--The Spamhaus Project | The Top 10 Most Abused TLDs | spamhaus.org.

b. Law Firm Squire Patton Boggs Resolves China Intellectual Property Disputes Over Its Name | law.com: June 12, 2018: "Four years after a company commandeered official use of the firm's name in China, the U.S. firm said it is now in full ownership of all trademarks and domain names in the country ..."

c. Why Web.com Group Inc. Stock Jumped Today | fool.com 11 Jun 2018: hedge fund Starboard Value disclosed a 9.4% ownership stake in Web.com and investors are "starved for good news." NASDAQ: WEB.

d. Nominet [Registry operator for .UK] throws out US corp's attempt to seize Brit domain names | TheRegister.co.uk: domain names forte.co.uk and forte.uk.

e. Want to secure your website? Here's where to start | TechRadar.com

4) ICYMI Internet Domain News 
graphic "ICYMI Internet Domain News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
EU's Article 13 Nightmare: 70+ Internet Luminaries Ring the Alarm on EU Copyright Filtering Proposal | Electronic Frontier Foundation | EFF.org"As Europe's latest copyright proposal heads to a critical vote on June 20-21, more than 70 Internet and computing luminaries have spoken out against a dangerous provision, Article 13, that would require Internet platforms to automatically filter uploaded content ..."

Viet Nam: Proposed cybersecurity law threatens to stamp out online freedom | Amnesty International. See also "Vietnam said the groups behind Sunday’s protests against proposed laws demonstrators view as curbing Internet freedom and favoring Chinese investors were trying to damage the country’s image, after the rare display of public activism reportedly turned violent"--Bloomberg.com.

Cybercrime: Feds arrest dozens in alleged wire transfer scam | TheHill.com 11 Jun 2018

DNS Data Attacks: European Firms Most Vulnerable To DNS Data Attacks: Study | MediaPost.com

Net Neutrality: Four ways to survive the end of net neutrality today | fastcompany.com 11 Jun 2018

Net Neutrality (counter view): Celebrating internet freedom: What the Restoring Internet Freedom Order means for consumers | aei.org.

Russia: TASS.com: Business & Economy - Putin calls for finding modern ways to ensure security without banning Internet.

DNS Blocking: Swiss have voted in favor of authorities having the right to order internet service providers to block access to unlicensed online gambling sites for residents of the country--On Sundayvoters in Switzerland backed a new law | casino.org.

Oracle Internet Intelligence Map | Oracle.com--Oracle Internet Intelligence | Oracle.com.

5) Five most read posts this past week on DomainMondo.com: 
graphic "Domain Mondo" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
1. News Review | Should the IANA Stewardship Transition Be Unwound?
includes UPDATE: ICANN Appeals German Court Decision on GDPR / WHOIS

-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo 

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