Asia Pac Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congress

Asia Pac Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congress
May 14-15, 2014 @ the Regus Hong Kong

Thursday, April 10, 2014

It’s .PARTY time! (Famous Four Media)

Domain Venture Partners Acquires the .PARTY Top Level Domain Registry

“Famous Four Media is excited to add .PARTY to the list of Top Level Domains that it will be launching in 2014″ said Geir Rasmussen CEO, Famous Four Media. “.PARTY will complement the other lifestyle registries under the control of Domain Venture Partners.”

Andy Churley, CMO, Famous Four Media, expanded “the opportunities with this registry are almost boundless. It has an appeal all the way up the user chain from individuals (, corporates ( and communities (, right up to institutions ( Furthermore, we do not see registration use being limited to people or entities but to individual events ( and locations ( as well. The opportunity for every party to have its own web address is extremely exciting. Most importantly we think it’s going to be a whole lot of fun! “

Many new "Requests for Reconsideration" published for .WINE & .VIN

More Reconsideration Request published this morning:
  • Request 14-21: Luxembourg Government
  • Request 14-20: Portuguese Government
  • Request 14-19: Italian Government
  • Request 14-18: CNAOC, CIVC, EFOW, BNIC, and CIVB
  • Request 14-17: Spain
  • Request 14-16: Spain
  • Request 14-15: French Government
  • Request 14-14: United Kingdom Government
  • Request 14-13: European Commission

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

CircleId to announce was announced today on CircleId is a new website about new generic Top-Level Domains. It is also a club for authors who want to express an opinion on subjects related to domain name extensions. It is a club with its subscribers and a club usually deals with one subject, one sport, one topic: here it is gTLDs and gTLDs only: there is no other website to offer that.

With the daily launchings of new domain name extensions and a subject coming closer and closer to Internet Governance — note that I did not mention .WINE and .VIN new gTLDs here but it is true they are on my mind — there is room for parties interested in commenting on new gTLDs.

Read the announcement:

Who Are the Major New gTLD Applicants and… (Part Six: Starting Dot)

Starting Dot ("SD") is a French new gTLD applicant which applied for five strings: .ARCHI, .BIO, .DESIGN, (which has been withdrawn) .IMMO and .SKI. It is the only French applicant to have applied for several open new gTLDs. Some French brands have applied too but as closed Top-Level Domains.

The "Who's who" of Starting Dot
  1. "The Grand Architect": the mind behind Starting Dot is Godefroy Jordan. Not only is he the person to contact for questions and communication but Godefroy is also quite ingrained with French politics. So when it comes to playing behind the scenes in French equivalent of the pentagon, he's a guy I would ask to pick up the phone on my behalf.
  2. The .SKI man: Ironically when I asked Rob to give me some info on himself he was skiing. Rob is the evangelist for .SKI in the snowsports community. His passion has raised awareness for the benefits of a lifestyle new gTLD .SKI in the community and his experience in marketing is helping registrars unlock new opportunities to reach skiers globally.
Read the complete article on CircleId.

Dot Exemption: Privacy, ICANN and the Need for Flexibility in “All Applicable Laws”

ICANN’s contractual framework, as reflected in the Registry Agreement and 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), generally requires that registries and registrars comply with “all applicable laws.” “All applicable laws” is a term left undefined in the Registry Agreement; the challenge in concisely capturing the temporal, geographic and subject matter scope of the chimeric phrase as it relates to Internet-based registries operating in different fields (e.g., health, finance, organic) worldwide is daunting. As a result, ICANN adopted a uniformity-by-necessity approach – and who doesn’t intend to comply with all applicable laws in any event?

Read the entire Article on

Tony Onorato is Counsel / CIPP/US at Steptoe & Johnson LLP in New York ( He advised gTLD clients representing nearly 10 percent of all application filed worldwide as part of his technology and commercial litigation practice.

Cast your vote on .WINE and .VIN

Should a wine seller based in New York City be allowed to register ?
  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Hell No
  4. What about registering

Please cast your vote here:

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Approved Resolutions for .WINE and .VIN : SURPRISE V3 (no surprise?)

In 2 words:
  1. 60 days delays before "something" happens;
  2. Translation of resolution 4 = The ICANN board has absolutely no clue on how to deal with this and the GAC is not able to convince the Board to do something. Expect more delays.
A few resolutions were taken by ICANN and posted before the week-end. I read the text and noticed a few things:
  • 9 letters were sent to ICANN, they are availlable to read :
    • President, The European Parliament;
    • Director – European Commission, Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology;
    • President - Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico;
    • General Director - Comité Interprofessional du Vin de Champagne (CIVIC);
    • Presidente - Instituto os Vinhos do Douro e do Porto;
    • Executive Director - The Long Island Wine Council;
    • President & CEO - Napa Valley Vintners;
    • Director General, Consejo Regulador Do Jerez-Xérès-Sherry.
  • I did not find the second legal analysis requested by ICANN but it is possible I missed it;
  • Funny: The ICANN CEO from the ICANN Board is also a member of the NGPC group;
  • The Rationale for Resolutions gives more details, for example you will learn that "the NGPC has concluded that there was no process violation or procedural error under the Bylaws, particularly because the Independent Legal Analysis was not sought as External Expert Advice pursuant to Article X1-A, or any other Bylaws provision" (...)
  • Nonsense: "Additional time (60 days) should be allotted before proceeding with the .WINE and .VIN contracting to allow the relevant impacted parties additional time to try to work out their differences". This way to proceed has been the one for months and is a total waste of time because parties concerned are camping on their positions and count on ICANN to take a final decision.

The Approved Resolutions:
  1. Resolved (2014.04.04.NG01), the NGPC accepts the GAC advice identified in the Singapore Communiqué as it relates to the applications for .WINE and .VIN.
  2. Resolved (2014.04.04.NG02), upon having considered the matter set forth in the GAC Singapore Communiqué suggesting that there may have been a process violation or procedural error, the NGPC concludes that there has been no process violation or procedural error under the Bylaws.
  3. Resolved (2014.04.04.NG03), the NGPC directs the President and CEO, or his designee, to not commence the contracting process for the applications for .WINE and .VIN for 60 days from the date of publication of these resolutions in order to provide additional time for the relevant impacted parties to negotiate, which they are encouraged to do.
  4. Resolved (2014.04.04.NG04), the NGPC recommends that the full Board consider the larger implications of legally complex and politically sensitive issues such as those raised by GAC members, including whether ICANN is the proper venue in which to resolve these issues, or whether there are venues or forums better suited to address concerns such as those raised by GAC members in relation to the .WINE and .VIN applications.

700 new gTLDs are launching with accredited Registrar 1&1, get your new .VIN and .WINE domain name(s) today.

Friday, April 4, 2014

EUROPEAN COMMISSION Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology

Note to the ICANN Board Concerning Resolution 2014.03.22.NG01

Concerning Resolution 2014.03.22.NG01
Resolved (2014.03.22.NG01), the NGPC accepts the GAC advice identified in the GAC Register of Advice as 2013-09-09-wine and vin, and directs the President and CEO, or his designee, that the applications for .WINE and .VIN should proceed through the normal evaluation process.

Rationale for Resolution 2014.03.22.NG01

The action being approved today is to accept the GAC's advice to the ICANN Board that there was no GAC consensus advice on additional safeguards for .WINE and .VIN, and the GAC "has finalised its consideration of the strings .wine and .vin and further advises that the application should proceed through the normal evaluation process." The effect of the NGPC's action concerning the GAC advice on .WINE and .VIN is that the strings will continue to proceed through the normal evaluation process and no additional safeguards will be required for the TLDs.

Dear Members of Board,

A considerable number of GAC Members have serious concerns with the Resolution 2014.03.22.NG01 as well as its Rationale and the process that has been followed to arrive at this resolution.

Despite having a GAC liaison member on the NGPC, the GAC was not aware until 26 March of this decision or its mistaken rationale. Had it been the case, the GAC could have corrected any isunderstandings and thus pre-empted the NGPC's resolution.

The action that was approved by the NGPC on 22 March and communicated on 25 March is allegedly based on GAC consensus, whereas in reality a significant number of GAC members were in consensus not to allow the .WINE and .VIN applications to proceed through evaluation until sufficient additional safeguards were in place.

There have been a series of process violations and procedural errors in arriving at this resolution. The Rationale specifically mis-states the GAC ́s view, mixing a lack of GAC consensus on what safeguards should be in place with a quote from a letter which was sent to the ICANN Board without it being circulated to the GAC members prior to it being sent.

Moreover a follow up letter from the European Commission which provides clarification on the above matter was not taken into account by the NGPC in its Rationale. As such, the European Union and its Member States, Norway and Switzerland request, in the interest of the bottom-up multistakeholder model and due respect to decision-making rules and ICANN By-laws, that the NGPC reconsiders its decision and takes into account the true opinion of the majority of the GAC members.

In order to assist the NGPC in its deliberations, we refer specifically to the following six elements:

1) The letter from the GAC Chair to the Chair of the ICANN Board dated 9 September 2013 was sent without prior consultation of GAC members. As such, it represents a breach of GAC operating principle number 47. For it to have been given the weight that it deserves, and having been quoted word by word as the view of the entire GAC, the “opinion” conveyed by the GAC Chair is thus not only incorrect but misleading. The European Commission in its letter dated 3 February 2014 specifically covered this point and said "the EU, its Member States, Switzerland and Norway still believe that these general safeguards are not sufficient and that the Beijing Consensus was overruled inappropriately when the GAC Chair advised the Board to proceed with the delegation of the WINE gTLDs instead of presenting the different views on the matter and the fact that no consensus was reached."

2) As a non voting liaison on the NGPC, the GAC Chair has a duty to share with the GAC information concerning Resolutions affecting the public policy interest. Specifically under Bylaw Article VI Section 9 on non-voting liaisons it states that "non- voting liaisons shall be entitled (under conditions established by the Board) to use any materials provided to them pursuant to this Section for the purpose of consulting with their respective committee or organisation”.

This has not been done. In the GAC meeting on 26th March, having had no information from the Chair as per the Resolution, the European Commission had to ask the Chair about her knowledge of the resolution in question. In response, the GAC chair stated that this was a question that the European Commission could ask the Board in the Public Forum.

3) As a non-voting liaison on the NGPC, the GAC Chair is supposed to convey the full range of opinions in the GAC in order to assist the committee with its deliberations. In that role, it is incumbent on her to provide the reality of the situation within the GAC. The rationale of this resolution demonstrates clearly that this has not been the case.

As per operating principle 47, in United Nations practice the concept of “consensus” is understood to mean the practice of adoption of resolutions or decisions by general agreement without resort to voting in the absence of any formal objection that would stand in the way of a decision being declared adopted in that manner. Thus, in the event that consensus or general agreement is achieved, the resolutions and decisions of the United Nations meetings and conferences have been adopted without a vote. In this connection, it should be noted that the expressions “without a vote”, “by consensus” and “by general agreement” are, in the practice of the United Nations, synonymous and therefore interchangeable.

The statement that:

"The GAC has finalised its consideration of the strings .wine and .vin and further advises that the application should proceed through the normal evaluation process."

is is not a consensus view of the GAC as per the aforementioned Operating Principle, but a mere interpretation and opinion of the GAC Chair.

4) The Buenos Aires Communique specifically refers to seeking a clear understanding of the legally complex and politically sensitive background on this matter in order to consider the appropriate next steps in the process of delegating the two strings. It is debatable whether the external expert legal advice is sufficiently reasoned and pertinent and whether the politically sensitive background of this matter has been considered. In addition, the Rationale for Resolution is vague and does not make reference to the specific grounds on the basis of which the resolution is taken, nor it addresses the specific arguments laid down in the legal advice received.

5) Article XI-A section 1 of the ICANN By-Laws requires that “the GAC - in addition to the supporting organisations or other advisory committees - shall have an opportunity to comment upon any external advice received prior to any decision by the Board”. This important prerogative has not been respected.

6) Notably, the Board has apparently been informed that the negotiations between the applicants and the wine rightholder organisations were close to completion, whereas in reality this is not the case. Negotiations are currently ongoing and not satisfactorily in all cases.

Thus the European Commission, the EU Member States, Switzerland and Norway respectfully requests that the NGPC reviews its decision and does not allow the strings to proceed to evaluation until negotiations have closed and sufficient safeguards are in place.

In the meantime, the European Commission, the EU Member States, Switzerland and Norway are requesting the following paragraph be included in the Singapore GAC Communique. At the time of this letter we do not know if this will be accepted by the full GAC for inclusion or not:

The GAC notes the NGPC Resolution 2014.03.22.NG01 which purports to accept GAC advice identified in the GAC Register of Advice as 2013-09-09-wine and vin, as well as its Rationale. The Resolution accepts that applications for .WINE and .VIN should proceed through the normal evaluation process. In the final deliberation of the Board there have been a series of process violations and procedural errors, including the breach of Bylaws Article XI-A, Section 1. Therefore, the GAC requires to have the opportunity to consider and comment on the external advice contained in the aforementioned resolution published on the 25th of March and respectfully requests that the NGPC reviews its decision.

Respectfully submitted

Linda Corugedo Steneberg on behalf of the European Commission; European Union Member States; Switzerland and Norway.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

In the wake of .Berlin – Why dot city TLDs will be a success

Did you know that when .berlin launched two weeks ago, 41.000 domains were registered during the first 48 hours? Did you also know that lots of big brands like Toyota and Honda missed out on their valuable domain names? Companies are historically slow to protect their brand name. They then have to endure expensive legal costs and spend a lot of time trying to get back their domain names.

Therefore I have written this article, as I wish to highlight, why you should care about the 45 dot city TLDs like .paris, .london and .miami. These TLDs are released over the next two years, and this article will prepare you in time to get your rightful domain names.

Read this article by the European Domain Center on

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Statement of Commissioner Cioloş on domain names related to wine

Together with my colleague Neelie Kroes, I am following very closely on going developments on the moves by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to introduce two new internet domain names ".wine" and ".vin".

ICANN considers granting these new domain names without any specific safeguards for Geographical indications (GIs), as clearly requested by the European Commission and many governments. Under ICANN's proposal, everybody would be further allowed to apply for sub-domains such as, or, including individuals or companies having no connection with these specific European wines.

This is simply not acceptable.

Geographical indications are a major priority in EU international trade negotiations. They represent a vital tool for protecting consumers and valorising the efforts of producers, not only in Europe, but in the whole world.

Under international rules (WTO) and several bilateral agreements with third countries, geographical indications and names of wines are protected as intellectual property rights.

This rule must be respected for the internet. In case of no agreement within ICANN to provide sufficiently robust safeguards for the introduction of new sub-domains, it would be preferable to avoid the creation of these domains altogether. I cannot imagine that a double standard would be applied.

Therefore, I will remain vigilant to make sure that we find a swift and suitable solution, meaning a solution that ensures consumers protection and the necessary legal and judicial protection of actors in the world economy. This is crucial not only to guarantee the credibility of the structures in charge of internet governance but also the long term credibility of internet itself.