2018-08-04

News Review | ICANN Loses Appeal in Germany vs EPAG (Tucows)

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Domain Mondo's weekly internet domain news review (NR 2018-08-04) with analysis and opinion: Features •  1) ICANN Loses Appeal in Germany vs EPAG (Tucows),  2) Other ICANN news: a. GDPR & WHOIS: EPDP meetingsb. ICANN New gTLD Auction Schedule, c. new gTLDs .ISLAM, .HALAL, and more, 3) Names, Domains & TMs: Tucows Q2 2018 Earnings, 4) ICYMI Internet Domain News, 5) Most Read.

GDPR & WHOIS UPDATES re: ICANN EPDP Team Meetings Aug 7 & 9 (Tue. & Thu.)
EPDP Team Meeting #3 Thursday, August 9starting at 13:00 UTC 9am EDT, substantive discussion of Temporary Specification (beginning with Section 4.4.6 – 4.4.13, 4.5 and Appendix A - Registration Data Directory Services) – see updated spreadsheet

August 9th agenda and slides (pdf), chat transcriptAdobe recording, MP3, and transcript (pdf). High level notes and action items here. Below is excerpt from the EPDP team meeting chat transcript Aug 9, 2018, about 90 minutes into the meeting:
Excerpt from Chat transcript - EPDP team meeting Aug 9, 2018
Editor's note: nothing of import was said or happened at the August 9th EPDP Team meeting. The "Triage" exercise is a HUGE waste of time, hardening differing positions before substantive discussions have even begun. The EPDP Team Chair, Kurt Pritz, is obviously struggling (anyone surprised?) with both process and substantive issues. The meeting eventually devolved into periods of silence in the Adobe Connect room until the EPDP Chair ended the meeting early. The 'smartest guy usually in the room' (Professor Milton Mueller) wisely absented himself from Thursday's exercise in group dysfunction.

EPDP Team Meeting #2 Tuesday, August 7Links: Agenda, Adobe Connect Recording and transcript (pdf) and Chat transcript (pdf). Editor's note: it takes several seconds before the Adobe Connect Recording starts (after clicking the link). MP3 audio here. High level notes and action items here.

Pre-meeting message from EPDP Chair Kurt Pritz with Tuesday's meeting slides (updated)(pdf) (embed below), and xslx file [Editor's note: converted for easy viewing online, for original go to Pritz's message at link above]. More EPDP Team information at 2)a. below.


"Initial indications are that the level of consensus is low."--Kurt Pritz, EPDP Chair

The EPDP Chair's "Six Realizations" as of August 7, 2018:


Original Post:
1) ICANN Loses Appeal in Germany vs EPAG (Tucows affiliate). ICANN has failed in its attempt to enforce terms of its Registrar Agreement which German domain name registrar EPAG maintains violate provisions of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), enacted in April, 2016 (published 4 May 2016), and which became enforceable May 25, 2018.
ICANN v. EPAG Domainservices, GmbH
"The Applicant's [ICANN's] immediate appeal of 13 June 2018 against the order of the Regional Court of Bonn of 29 May 2018 (10 O 171/18), in the version of the non-remedy order of 16 July 2018, is rejected .... The Senate was under no obligation to refer the case to the ECJ [European Court of Justice] pursuant to Art. 267 TFEU, because the interpretation of provisions of the GDPR was not material to the decision ..."--Higher Regional Court of Cologne (pdf in German--English translation of German original above, emphasis added). 
English Translation of Order from the Higher Regional Court of Cologne, Germany Regarding ICANN’s Immediate Appeal (pdf) full embed below (personal identifiable information redacted by ICANN):

ICANN's response to the appellate court's ruling:
"ICANN is considering its next steps, including possible additional filings before the German courts, as part of its public interest role in coordinating a decentralized global WHOIS for the generic top-level domain system and will provide additional information in the coming days."
2) Other ICANN News
graphic "ICANN | Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers"
a. GDPR & WHOIS: EPDP next meetings Tuesday, August 7, and Thursday, August 9, starting at 13:00 UTC 9am EDT, each day. Non-members of the EPDP Team, observers and alternates not replacing members, may listen via live audio cast:
Following the first EPDP Team meeting on August 1, 2018, Milton Mueller, NCSG (non-commercial stakeholder group) member of the EPDP Team, sent the following via the EPDP mail list:
As noted in the call, and in keeping with the charter, NCSG will refrain from addressing any access issues until the gating questions have been answered by consensus. We urge other stakeholder groups and ACs to do the same. We regret that the [ICANN] staff has disregarded the charter and has continued with what Berry [Cobb, ICANN staff] and Kurt [Pritz, EPDP Team Chair] admitted was “a mistake.”--Dr. Milton L Mueller, Professor School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology (emphasis added).
Mueller was responding to a prior email from ICANN staff:
In order to facilitate the triage of the Temporary Specification as outlined in the EPDP Team Charter as the first deliverable, please work with your appointing organization team members to complete the below surveys. Please find the relevant survey links and accompanying deadlines below: 
1. Part 1, due Monday, 6 August 2018 by 23:59 UTC: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CC6F9F8
2. Part 2, due Wednesday, 8 August by 2018 23:59 UTC: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7BMRCNS
3. Part 3, due Monday, 13 August 2018 by 23:59 UTC: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7PWQPP7
4. Part 4, due Sunday, 19 August 2018 by 23:59 UTC: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9KD5K79
Later, ICANN staff member Marika Konings responded to Mueller's email above, on the EPDP mail list:
"Milton, please note that per the discussion during yesterday’s meeting, the question specific to the Annex was removed from Part 4 of the survey. Instead, a comment box was added that allows those that want to provide further input, including on the annex to do so, but per the charter, any deliberations on the topics outlined in the annex will only commence after the gating questions have been answered. As such, any input provided in relation the annex will be parked until the moment that the gating questions have been addressed. I hope that addresses your concern."
High level summary and action items from last week's first meeting here. EPDP mail list here. EPDP Charter (pdf) adopted 19 July 2018. More information about the EPDP Team, and its first meeting, on last week's News Review.

b. ICANN New gTLD Auction Schedule dated 30 July 2018 (pdf) excerpts below:

c. ICYMI: ICANN holds new gTLDs .ISLAM, .HALAL in limbo--theregister.co.uk. For more information read the correspondence:
19 July 2018 letter from Eric P. Enson to Mike Rodenbaugh re: .Islam and .halal new gTLD applications in response to 21 February 2018 letter from Mike Rodenbaugh to Cherine Chalaby [published by ICANN 6 March 2018].

d. Release of Geographic Names in the Domain Name System (DNS)
1 August 2018 Letter from ICANN Chairman Cherine Chalaby to Sanjay Kumar Rakesh (Government of India) re: Two-Character Country Codes, responding to Letter from Sanjay Kumar Rakesh to Cherine Chalaby dated 22 November 2017.

Editor's note: see ISO.org (ISO 3166) and RFC 1591 (J. Postel, March, 1994).

e. 27 July 2018 Letter (pdf) embed below, from Stephen Mathias, Assistant Secretary General, United Nations Secretariat to ICANN Board of Directors (published by ICANN 1 Aug 2018) re: IGO-INGO Access to Curative Rights Protection Mechanisms (pdf):


3) Names, Domains & Trademarks
graphic "Names, Domains & Trademarks" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
Tucows $TCX Q2 2018 earnings release at tucows.com/investors/financials on Wednesday, Aug 8, 2018 5:05pm EDT: Revenue of $81.09M (-3.7% Y/Y) missed consensus estimate by $0.91M. Net income for the second quarter of 2018 was $3.6 million, or $0.34 per share, down from $5.2 million, or $0.50 per share, for the second quarter of 2017. More information: News ReleaseFinancial Statement (pdf); XBRL Files, Q2 2018; and 10-Q (pdf), and Q2 2018 earnings call replay.
Note from Tucows Investor Relations: "Beginning this quarter, Tucows is evolving the format of its quarterly conference calls.  Concurrent with the dissemination of this news release, management’s pre-recorded remarks discussing the quarter and outlook for the Company have been posted to the Company’s web site at http://www.tucows.com/investors/financials. In lieu of the usual question and answer period on past calls, for the next seven days (until Wednesday, August 15), shareholders and analysts can submit questions to Tucows’ management at ir@tucows.com. Management will post responses to questions of general interest to the Company’s web site .... [tucows.com] on Wednesday, August 22 at 9:00 a.m. ET.  Questions that are more specific will be responded to directly. All questions will receive a response."
Earnings Call Transcript | SeekingAlpha.com and Form 8-K | SEC.gov. 

Tucows is the world's second largest domain name registrar. Tucows brands include eNom, OpenSRS, Hover and wireless and internet services provider Ting.

In May, ICANN filed a legal action in Germany requesting an injunction against a Tucows affiliate, domain name registrar EPAG, in Germany, but ICANN's request was rejected twice by the original court as well as by the appellate court in Germany (see first feature story above) on August 1, 2018.

Also note that the world's largest domain name registrar, GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY) reported Q2 2018 earnings this past Thursday, more info here.

4) ICYMI Internet Domain News 
graphic "ICYMI Internet Domain News" ©2017 DomainMondo.com
a. Move over GDPR: U.S. President Trump's administration now working on a consumer data privacy policy--reuters.com.

b. India: Facebook's WhatsApp blamed for the spread of 'fake news' in India which resulted in a mob lynching--reuters.com.

c. Cybercrime: Here are the costs of different cybercrime services, according to Positive Technologies (domain: ptsecurity.com) via TechRepublic.com:
  • Hacking email: $40
  • DDoS attack: $50
  • Hacking website: $150
  • Stealing payment data $270
  • Infecting with Trojan for mining: $300
  • Infecting with ransomware Trojan: $750
  • Stealing from ATM: $1,500
  • Targeted attack: $4,500

d. The first rule of copyright reform: Don’t mess with free speech and net neutrality--theglobeandmail.com.

e. Domain fronting: new rift between tech companies and U.S. lawmakers--sfgate.com.

f. Pakistan: Access denied: Ebb and flow of internet freedom over 2008-18--tribune.com.pk

g. China & Internet Censorship: 
  • Apple has recently come under fire from several Chinese state media outlets for allegedly failing to effectively counter prohibited content in iMessages--wsj.com
  • Google plans to debut a censored version of its search engine in China that will blacklist sites, filter results; CEO Pichai has spearheaded the effort, according to TheIntercept.com.

5) Most Read Posts this past week on DomainMondo.com: 
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-- John Poole, Editor, Domain Mondo 

Editor's note: this edition of News Review was published early this weekend to accommodate summer vacation schedules.

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