October, 2018

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ICANN at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) 2018 Plenipotentiary Conference

Earlier this week, I had the honor to speak at the opening of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) 2018 Plenipotentiary conference (PP-18) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Every four years, this conference brings together representative governments and members from telecommunications, information and communication technologies (ICT) and academic institutions from all over the world to decide the ITU's course of action and work program for the next four years. Decisions taken during this meeting have direct effects on how the world of communications will evolve, impacting the way billions of users communicate on a daily basis.

I would like to thank Mr. Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary General and the delegates at the conference for their warm welcome and for the opportunity to highlight ICANN's evolving and collaborative relationship, within our technical remit.

The Internet is evolving in important ways. The ability to engage in multiple languages and scripts through the use of internationalized domain names (IDNS), and the expansion of the Internet with IPv6 are two notable examples. The security, stability, and the resiliency of the Internet remain paramount for ICANN's work to ensure a global interoperable Internet for all. Our engagement with all stakeholders and organizations, including the ITU, is an important part of our commitment to raise factual awareness and enhance opportunities.

I would like to provide some of the thoughts I shared with the ITU members in Dubai:

Mr. President, your Excellences, Ministers, Secretary Generals, distinguished guests and ladies and gentlemen, before I begin, I want to thank our host, the Telecommunications Regulation Authority of the United Arab Emirates, as well as ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao, for giving me this opportunity to address you all this afternoon.

I am honored to be the first ICANN CEO invited to speak during an ITU Plenipotentiary. Also, I was happy to welcome Secretary General Zhao to the sixty-third ICANN Public Meeting, which was held in Barcelona, Spain, last week. It is always great to be with the ITU. It is important that we continue to work well together.

Over the course of the next three weeks, you all will be participating in important dialogues and deliberations that will set the course of the ITU for the next four years, and in turn, impact how the world communicates and interacts. As the Internet has continued to grow and expand, the ITU has played a key role in aiding its expansion and helping provide affordable access to communities around the globe. I want to applaud the work that the Broadband Commission has done in furthering this mission and also the work of ITU-D in working with the Regional Internet Registries in promoting the adoption of IPv6.

The Internet should be a resource available to everyone, so everyone can benefit. ICANN stands ready to work together with the ITU and its members to further this vision. We have a strong, collaborative relationship already, and I look forward to continuing building on it, not just during this meeting, but in the months and years to come. Looking around the room, I recognize a few faces from our meeting in Barcelona, and I want to thank everyone who is already an active participant within the ICANN community. I encourage all of you to join and participate in the many conversations currently taking place regarding the future of the Internet.

Governments play an important role in helping ICANN shape policy that ensures the secure and stable functioning of the Domain Name System. As our world evolves and changes, ICANN's role is to make sure that the unique identifiers system continues to function as intended. We appreciate all of you who contribute to these conversations.

Your continued support for not only ICANN, but the multistakeholder model that acts as the foundation of our community, is appreciated. We all have a responsibility to ensure that this unique resource allows everyone, both today and in the future, to build their own digital agendas and benefit from an Internet many already take for granted. We have seen, and may again, policies and legislation, often well intentioned, which can inhibit users to connect to this wonderful resource.

ICANN has only a limited sphere of responsibility but with our partners in the Technical Community, such as the Internet Society, the Regional Internet Registries, the IETF and the World Wide Web Consortium, ccTLDs, many of whom are in this Conference Room, we stand ready to provide factual information and advice. Please use us. I look forward to the days ahead, and for the opportunity to interact with many of you.

Thank you very much for having me here today.

The next couple of weeks at the ITU 2018 Plenipotentiary conference will witness serious discussions related to ICTs. ICANN is happy to be contributing to this critical conversation in furtherance of our mission to maintain an open, secure and interoperable Internet.

Most importantly, we are all committed to connecting people across the world – wherever they are.

*Link to recording of the address can be found here at 1:48:38.

Injunction denied! (Oliver Hoger against Konstantinos Zournas)

A Greek court denied the injunction brought by Oliver Hoger against Konstantinos Zournas and OnlineDomain.com in a Greek court. The judge found, among other things, that since the article in question did not contain false statements the article does not have defamatory content. “Consequently, since the aforementioned contested article of the defendant contains no false …

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Supplemental Initial Report on the New gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process (Overarching Issues & Work Tracks 1-4)

Open Date: 30 October 2018 Close Date: 12 December 2018
Originating Organization: GNSO
Categories/Tags: Policy Development
Brief Overview: This public comment proceeding is being opened in order to obtain input on the Supplemental Initial Report of the new gTLD Subsequent Procedures Policy Development Process Working Group, which is chartered to evaluate what changes or additions need to be made to existing new gTLD policy recommendations. The Working Group issued its first Initial Report, containing the output of the Working Group on the Overarching Issues as well as preliminary recommendations and questions for community feedback from Work Tracks 1-4, on 3 July 2018. This Supplemental Report contains additional issues that were deemed to warrant additional deliberations by the Working Group.
Link: https://www.icann.org/public-comments/new-gtld-subsequent-procedures-supp-initial-2018-10-30-en

The Recent KSK Rollover: Summary and Next Steps

As we hope you have already heard, the main cryptographic key for the DNS root zone was changed on 11 October 2018 in an elaborately orchestrated series of steps. The result was exceptionally good: There were far fewer Internet users negatively affected by the change (called a rollover) than anyone expected. There are a few more things that need to be done for the rollover process to be considered complete, but the main task went off without a hitch.

A bit of background: the rollover had been foreseen since the root zone was first signed with DNSSEC in 2010. Planning started in earnest in December 2014 when ICANN solicited volunteers from the community to collaborate with the design team to develop a rollover plan for the root zone key-signing key, or KSK (The KSK signs the other keys in the zone, called the ZSKs). That plan was published in March 2016 and reviewed by the community. ICANN org turned the design into specific operational plans (detailed here), and started putting them into action in early 2017. The plans contained extensive outreach to resolver operators to make sure they were prepared.

The rollover was slated for 11 October 2017, but was postponed due to confusing signals being observed in the root server system. After those signals were thoroughly evaluated, ICANN proposed to the community [PDF, 162 KB] that the rollover be re-slated for 11 October 2018, and the ICANN Board approved the new timing in September 2018.

When 11 October arrived, we went through the operational plans step-by-step and at 1600 UTC, the KSK used to sign the root zone was changed to the new key that had been generated in 2017. We anticipated that some resolver operators would not be ready regardless of how much we attempted to find and communicate with them ahead of time. But as the ICANN org and the DNS technical community watched the post-rollover reports, it became apparent that resolver operators were well-prepared. Even now, more than two weeks after the rollover, we have heard of only a handful of resolvers that were negatively affected and, as far as we know, all were able to recover. ICANN has heard of only two Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who experienced outages around the time of the rollover and who might have been negatively affected by the rollover, but we have not been able to investigate the root cause of their problems yet.

There are still a few things left to do. First, the old key needs to be formally revoked. On 11 January 2019, the old key, which has continued to be published in the root zone, will be changed to indicate it's no longer valid and that resolvers should delete it from their configurations. Soon after that, ICANN will publish an extensive white paper covering the entire rollover process, including lessons learned from the effort. Then, ICANN's many communities will start to discuss what they want to see from future rollovers (e.g. how often they should happen, the use of "stand-by" keys, and the kind of data that they want to see before rollovers), all based on what we learned from the planning process and execution of this rollover.

If you are interested in keeping up with the remaining steps of the first root KSK rollover and the discussion of future rollovers, please join the ksk-rollover mailing list.

Every new website on AdSense now needs to be verified

Every new website on AdSense will now need to be verified according to Google’s new quality efforts. Google wants to improve quality in AdSense and make it more attractive to advertisers which in turn leads to better outcomes for their partners. What’s changing? Before you can show ads on a new site, you now have …

The post Every new website on AdSense now needs to be verified appeared first on OnlineDomain.com.

Radix shares latest premium New gTLD domain name sales

Radix announced that it has made one-time premium name sales of more than $137K since August 2018. These one-time sales were made through domain marketplace SEDO and via top registrar partners. Names that fetched maximum value were across .online, .space and .fun TLDs and included design.online for $57.5K; king.online for $17.25K, air.space for $17.5K; inner.space …

The post Radix shares latest premium New gTLD domain name sales appeared first on OnlineDomain.com.

.Com and .net domains increase by 1.99 million in Q3 – Renewal rate was 75% in Q2

VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) reported financial results for the third quarter of 2018. Verisign ended the third quarter with 151.7 million .com and .net domain name registrations in the domain name base, a 4.0 percent increase from the end of the third quarter of 2017, and a net increase of 1.99 million during the third …

The post .Com and .net domains increase by 1.99 million in Q3 – Renewal rate was 75% in Q2 appeared first on OnlineDomain.com.

(Not) staying out of drama!

Shane wrote about me and my court battle with Oliver Hoger yesterday. This piece was wrong in so many levels I didn’t even know where to begin. So I waited a day before writing this. I still don’t know where or how to begin but I will give it a try… Here are my thoughts …

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ICANN63 Barcelona GAC Communiqué

BARCELONA – 25 October 2018 – Today, the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) meeting at ICANN63 issued its Barcelona Communiqué.

It is available for review here.

Recognizing Our Community

Community-driven work is at the core of ICANN's mission. Countless hours are spent in working groups across our Supporting Organizations, Advisory Committees, and other groups, including the Customer Standing Committee, the Nominating Committee, and the Public Identifiers Board. Together, these community groups develop and refine policies that ensure the security, stability, and resiliency of the global Internet. The ICANN organization is proud to help facilitate this work.

As ICANN63 comes to an end, it is important to acknowledge the vibrant role and critical impact of our community. During the Community Recognition Program, we will recognize 44 community leaders (see below) who have concluded a term of service since ICANN60 or will complete a term of service at ICANN63.

We invite you to join us today, 25 October, at 10:00 in Room 111/112, to acknowledge the contributions of our community! Please click here for the remote participation details of the session.

Tomohiro Fujisaki Address Supporting Organization Address Council
Wilfried Wöber Address Supporting Organization Address Council
Alan Greenberg At-Large Advisory Committee
Bastiaan Goslings At-Large Advisory Committee
Maureen Hilyard At-Large Advisory Committee
Andrei Kolesnikov At-Large Advisory Committee
Bartlett Morgan At-Large Advisory Committee
Seun Ojedeji At-Large Advisory Committee
Alberto Soto At-Large Advisory Committee
Andrew Mack Commercial Business Users Constituency
Ben Fuller Country Code Names Supporting Organization Council
Nigel Roberts Country Code Names Supporting Organization Council
Christelle Vaval Country Code Names Supporting Organization Council
Jay Daley Customer Standing Committee
Kal Feher Customer Standing Committee
Elise Lindeberg Customer Standing Committee
Donna Austin Generic Names Supporting Organization Council
Phil Corwin Generic Names Supporting Organization Council
Heather Forrest Generic Names Supporting Organization Council
Susan Kawaguchi Generic Names Supporting Organization Council
Stephanie Perrin Generic Names Supporting Organization Council
Milagros Castañon Governmental Advisory Committee
Lori Schulman Intellectual Property Constituency
Greg Shatan Intellectual Property Constituency
Maritza Aguero Latin American and Caribbean Islands Regional At-Large Organization
Humberto Carrasco Latin American and Caribbean Islands Regional At-Large Organization
Theo Geurts Nominating Committee
Sandra Hoferichter Nominating Committee
Hans Petter Holen Nominating Committee
Danny McPherson Nominating Committee
Jose Ovidio Salgueiro Nominating Committee
Jay Sudowski Nominating Committee
Farzaneh Badii Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group
Renata Aquino Ribeiro Non-Commercial Users Constituency
Jonathan Robinson Public Technical Identifiers Board
Paul Diaz Registries Stakeholder Group
Samantha Demetriou Registries Stakeholder Group
Stephane Van Gelder Registries Stakeholder Group
Venkateswara Dasari Root Server System Advisory Committee
Grace De Leon Root Server System Advisory Committee
Ray Gilstrap Root Server System Advisory Committee
Johan Ihrén Root Server System Advisory Committee
Kevin Jones Root Server System Advisory Committee
Tripti Sinha Root Server System Advisory Committee

A Look at ICANN’s Creation

My story begins in ancient times when dinosaurs ruled the earth. It was a time when you could download a movie onto your desktop computer through your 56k dial-up connection if you had a few days. It was a time when more people were on the Minitel in France than on the Internet globally and when the Republic of Korea could fit all of its internet users into one small hotel room. I know because I met them all in that room.

In early 1995, then United States President Bill Clinton asked me, as his senior advisor for policy development, to help recommend what steps he could take if re-elected in 1996 to accelerate the long-term growth of the US economy. I suggested that we set a policy environment in the U.S. and globally that could accelerate the growth of the newly developed Internet, we could help fuel a global economic transformation.

I realized that the Internet had great potential, but that its future was very precarious, balanced on a knife’s edge between two extremes that could delay it or even destroy it. On the one side, if the Internet was too anarchic with no publicly accepted guidelines, it could engender constant lawsuits, scaring away investors and people who wanted to help build it. On the other side, if typical forces of bureaucracy took over with a mass of government regulations and slow intergovernmental governing bodies, the creativity and growth of the internet would be stifled.

We formed an inter-departmental task force and over the next few years: passed legislation and negotiated international treaties with other countries that kept Internet commerce free of tariffs and taxation; recognized the legality of digital signatures and contracts; protected Internet intellectual property; allowed the market to set standards rather than regulators; kept Internet telephony and transmission in general free from burdensome regulation; and empowered consumers to use the Internet affordably, among other measures. We aimed to establish the Internet as a global medium of communication and commerce that could allow any individual to participate.

As we did all of this, there was one problem that concerned us deeply: how could the technical coordination of the Internet succeed and scale in the face of the complex political and legal challenges that were already beginning to undermine the legitimacy of the Internet as it then existed?

At that time, IANA was housed in a small office at the University of Southern California (USC) and run by Jon Postel under a contract the University had with the U.S. Department of Defense/Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

From a small office filled with large stacks of paper and books on the floor, on tables, and hanging off of shelves on the walls, it was Jon who decided what the top-level prefixes were for each country, and who in each country should be responsible for administering the Internet.

The A-root server was run by a company called Network Solutions in Virginia under a contract with the U.S. Department of Commerce. It had a virtual monopoly to sell domain names. It worked with Jon to synch up numbers with names.

But, Jon and the leadership of Network Solutions did not get along. There were constant disputes. They were so frustrated with each other that on more than one occasion I found myself trying to referee disputes between them at the request of the Department of Commerce and DARPA who, as administrators of the contracts, were often caught in the middle.

Internet infrastructure was also insecure. I went on a tour to visit some of the servers that ran the Internet. Some were in university basements where I literally could have walked in and pulled the plugs on the servers. There was no security.

The tenuous nature of these arrangements led to significant concerns which came to a head one fateful week in early January 1996. During this week, the following events occurred:

  • The head of DARPA called me saying that it would no longer oversee the contract for IANA when it expired because there was too much controversy.
  • The President of USC called saying that they could not take the lawsuits being directed against them and wanted out of their contract.
  • Our legal counsel visited and described more than fifty lawsuits around the world challenging the validity of the Internet technical governance that could tear the Internet apart.
  • The International Telecommunication Union approached me demanding to take over the Internet after a decade of opposing the adoption of the Internet protocols.
  • A delegation of U.S. Congressmen and Senators visited and insisted that the U.S. Government had created the Internet and should never give up control of it.
  • Several delegations of representatives from over 100 leading IT and media companies, and 10 trade associations visited saying that Internet technical coordination and security had to be brought into a more predictable global environment before they would invest any further in it.
  • A European Union delegation spent two hours telling me that they would pursue their own regulation of the Internet routing system for Europe.
  • Representatives from the Internet Society told me that the Internet Society governed the Internet and they would resist any attempts by others to take control.
  • The US government security task force on the internet delivered a report saying that the internet was in danger of fracturing from the lawsuits and lack of agreed upon coordination mechanisms.

It was quite a week. We clearly had to do something.

I went home that Sunday, and while watching my favorite U.S. football team lose terribly on the television, I drafted the first concept memo of what an organization could look like that could successfully solve the current and potential challenges.

The idea of setting up a global, private, non-profit, apolitical institution, staffed by technical experts, that would be a grassroots organization accountable to Internet users and constituencies, while also being recognized by governments, was unprecedented and risky. When I discussed it with my interdepartmental taskforce, we knew it would be difficult and somewhat messy to implement, but we felt it offered the best chance to allow the Internet to grow and flourish.

The organization would have a government advisory group that could ensure the views of the collective governments were at the forefront, but that the governments would not control it. The organization would provide a strong focal point recognized by governments to combat any lawsuits. It would be flexible enough to evolve as the Internet evolved. It would generate its own independent funding by a small fee on each domain name registration, but it should never get too big. It would be stakeholder based, and its legitimacy would have to be renewed regularly by its ability to persuade the various Internet constituency groups that it remained the best solution.

After two years of consultation, vigorous debate and many helpful suggestions and excellent modifications, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was born in 1998.

Grassroots democracy is by its nature contentious and there have been bumps along the way. Overall, thanks to the efforts of many people who have played pivotal roles like Becky Burr and Andy Pincus who worked with me in the U.S. Government to establish ICANN, Esther Dyson, Vint Cerf, Mike Roberts and Steve Crocker who guided ICANN at key points, and the efforts of many others too numerous to mention who did the hard work of building the organization, ICANN has succeeded.

The political, policy, and technical controversies that threatened to stifle or even destroy the Internet in its infancy in the late 1990s did not do so. The Internet is alive and well.

Billions of people now use the Internet. It accommodates a myriad of languages and alphabets. Wi-Fi, mobile devices, applications, and the “Internet of Things,” have all been incorporated. Despite almost unimaginable amounts of data and more addresses and domain names than we ever contemplated, one never reads about technical or legal problems that caused the Internet to break down.

While serious issues of privacy, security and equity must be addressed, no one can doubt that the Internet has created a positive transformation in the way the world communicates and does business. The Internet economy has grown at ten times the rate of the regular economy for more than twenty years now.

Congratulations to all of the people who have made ICANN a success over the past twenty years and to those of you working with ICANN today who will ensure its success over the next twenty years.

ICANN Org Ends FY18 Under Budget with Operations Expenses Contained

Now that an overview of our FY18 financials has been posted, I’d like to share a few highlights of our financial performance against the budget. All the figures I mention below are preliminary, unaudited figures.

At the beginning of FY18, we projected that funding for ICANN operations would be lower than anticipated by up to $8M; this was confirmed as the year passed by. Our FY18 funding was $133.6M, a decline of $1M compared with FY17 and $9.2M lower than budget. This is mainly due to a slower-than-anticipated growth of new TLD registrations.

However, collectively, the Board, community and organization were successful in managing FY18 expenses, which totaled $132.2M; a decrease of $1.7M compared with FY17 and $13.7M lower than budget. Given the stabilization of our funding, ICANN org reduced costs so that expenses would not exceed funding. I want to thank the ICANN org, Board and community for all your efforts throughout the year. 

Here are highlights from expenses categories:

  • Personnel expenses were $0.8M lower than budget. This was the result of ICANN org's careful resource management and strategy to control headcount growth. For example, some vacated positions have not been back-filled, with work reallocated or departments restructured to absorb the workload. Additionally, any hiring requests, for both new positions and replacements, are thoroughly evaluated by the Executive Team and approved by me. As a result, ICANN org has reduced the year-on-year growth of its personnel from 9 percent budgeted to an actual increase of only 2 percent. Headcount stood at 395 as of 30 June 2018.
  • Travel and Meetings expenses were lower than budget by $2.3M due to greater control, planning and coordination, and reduced personnel travel to ICANN meetings and non-ICANN meetings. 
  • Professional Services expenses were lower than budget by $6.6M, despite spending an unbudgeted $2.2M on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) related advice. This was due to: (i) costs reduced or avoided on Work Stream 2 legal advice, lower legal fees (other than GDPR and new gTLD program related), lower contractual compliance audit costs, lower transcription and scribing costs; and (ii) slower-than-planned progress on community-driven projects (reviews, internationalized domain name programs, WHOIS, etc.)
  • Administration and Capital expenses were lower than budget by $2M, primarily due to a change in the timeline of the Open Data Initiative, and less sponsorships paid.

In total, we generated an operational excess of nearly $2M. We are in the process of creating a recommendation to the ICANN Board on how these excess funds should be allocated, once the audit of the FY18 financial statements is completed.

I am pleased with ICANN’s fiscal responsibility, and I know it’s not always easy to do this. Thank you again for your efforts and contribution.

 

ICANN Recognizes Community Leaders

BARCELONA, Spain – 25 October 2018 – Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recognized the contributions of 44 community leaders during the ICANN63 Annual General Meeting.

The ICANN community develops and refines policies to ensure the security, stability, and resiliency of the global Internet. The ICANN organization is proud to facilitate this work and to celebrate the contributions of our community leaders.

Each year, at the Annual General Meeting, the ICANN organization and the ICANN Board of Directors acknowledge those community leaders who have concluded a term of service. In addition, at every annual Policy Forum, outstanding contributions from community members nominated by the community itself are recognized through the Multistakeholder Ethos Award.

The following community leaders have completed their terms of service and were honored at the community recognition program at ICANN63 this year:

Tomohiro Fujisaki Address Supporting Organization Address Council
Wilfried Wöber Address Supporting Organization Address Council
Alan Greenberg At-Large Advisory Committee
Bastiaan Goslings At-Large Advisory Committee
Maureen Hilyard At-Large Advisory Committee
Andrei Kolesnikov At-Large Advisory Committee
Bartlett Morgan At-Large Advisory Committee
Seun Ojedeji At-Large Advisory Committee
Alberto Soto At-Large Advisory Committee
Andrew Mack Commercial Business Users Constituency
Ben Fuller Country Code Names Supporting Organization Council
Nigel Roberts Country Code Names Supporting Organization Council
Christelle Vaval Country Code Names Supporting Organization Council
Jay Daley Customer Standing Committee
Kal Feher Customer Standing Committee
Elise Lindeberg Customer Standing Committee
Donna Austin Generic Names Supporting Organization Council
Phil Corwin Generic Names Supporting Organization Council
Heather Forrest Generic Names Supporting Organization Council
Susan Kawaguchi Generic Names Supporting Organization Council
Stephanie Perrin Generic Names Supporting Organization Council
Milagros Castañon Governmental Advisory Committee
Lori Schulman Intellectual Property Constituency
Greg Shatan Intellectual Property Constituency
Maritza Aguero Latin American and Caribbean Islands Regional At-Large Organization
Humberto Carrasco Latin American and Caribbean Islands Regional At-Large Organization
Theo Geurts Nominating Committee
Sandra Hoferichter Nominating Committee
Hans Petter Holen Nominating Committee
Danny McPherson Nominating Committee
Jose Ovidio Salgueiro Nominating Committee
Jay Sudowski Nominating Committee
Farzaneh Badii Non-Commercial Stakeholder Group
Renata Aquino Ribeiro Non-Commercial Users Constituency
Jonathan Robinson Public Technical Identifiers Board
Paul Diaz Registries Stakeholder Group
Samantha Demetriou Registries Stakeholder Group
Stephane Van Gelder Registries Stakeholder Group
Venkateswara Dasari Root Server System Advisory Committee
Grace De Leon Root Server System Advisory Committee
Ray Gilstrap Root Server System Advisory Committee
Johan Ihrén Root Server System Advisory Committee
Kevin Jones Root Server System Advisory Committee
Tripti Sinha Root Server System Advisory Committee

About ICANN

ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

Epik.com starts offering perpetual domain registrations

Epik.com announced today that they have started offering perpetual domain registrations for hundreds of popular domain extensions. And they claim they are first domain name registrar to do so. Although perpetual registrations are not yet available for every domain extension, a growing number of popular domain extensions can now be secured perpetually for a one-time …

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Global Domain Industry heralds arrival of Perpetual Domain Registrations

An important milestone on the road to Digital Sovereignty

Seattle, WA and Barcelona — [October 24, 2018] — During the 63rd convocation of global domain industry regulator, ICANN in Barcelona, perpetual domain ownership achieved an important milestone as Seattle-based Epik.com became the first domain name registrar to offer perpetual domain registrations for hundreds of popular domain extensions. Since the advent of private ownership of internet domain names, owners of domains have become accustomed to annual domain name renewal along with regular price increases for ownership of domains. From time to time, over the years, important domain names have unintentionally fallen into the wrong hands or have become temporarily disabled due to expiration or policy enforcement.

Although perpetual registrations are not yet available for every domain extension, a growing number of popular domain extensions can now be secured perpetually for a one-time fee. For example, the iconic .COM can be secured at Epik.com for the one-time, all-inclusive fee of $420 regardless of where a domain is presently registered. Eligible forever registrations at Epik include free privacy protection, theft protection, forwarding services and unlimited subdomains all at no additional cost.Epik.com Founder and CEO, Rob Monster, a digital rights advocate, is a member of the ICANN global registrar stakeholder group that convened in Barcelona this week. In an interview on the opening day of the ICANN conference, Mr. Monster explained the move, “This is an important development for the domain industry. Customers have been asking for perpetual domain registrations for years. Epik is working with industry stakeholders to make forever registrations not only available but also affordable and eventually commonplace for registrants around the world.”

Peace of Mind in the Digital Age. Forever.

Forever domain registrations provide individuals and businesses with peace of mind.  Once a Forever registration is secured, the future risk of domain loss due to administrative oversight or lack of funds is eliminated. While domain owners are still subject to legal use, domains can now become an enduring part of a will or estate, with continued managed registration compliance, even after the death of the original registrant. A Forever domain registration, which can be optionally combined with a Forever hosting plan, offers not only peace of mind, but also allows registrants to preserve their digital legacy, and on their terms.

Forever Registrations are for Everyone

Domain names are often described as a form of digital land. Freehold property ownership is not without precedent. Freehold ownership dates back thousands of years where the practice of perpetual land ownership was the standard. Epik is the first ICANN-accredited registrar to offer the perpetual registration. Additional registrars are expected to follow in the coming year. In the short time since Epik began offering Forever domain registrations, more than 1000 Forever registrations have been completed.

Epik customer, the Father Flanagan League has purchased 43 Forever registrations.   League President, Steve Wolf explained the value of the Forever registrations, “Our mission and agenda is an enduring one. Epik has been a trusted and unwavering ally in securing our digital presence for the long term.  With a portfolio of managed forever registrations from Epik, our digital presence is secured permanently and this is one major aspect of our organizational identity that we do not have to constantly deal with.  This Epik service feature is a tremendous value and gives us peace of mind.”

Debra McCann, mother of international music sensation Kiesza, also secured Forever domain registrations for the Kiesza and SteamPop brands. “With Kiesza’s global chart topping hits, brand protection was a priority. We secured Forever registrations from Epik. Whether Kiesza is in the recoding studio or on world tour, we sleep well at night knowing that Kiesza’s most important domains can never fall into the wrong hands. Our domains are right where they belong. Forever.”

Paulo Leocadio, of Pompano Beach, Florida is Founder of SculpIT. Paulo owns 23 Forever registrations at Epik, broadly protecting the SculpIT brand across multiple planned categories of factory. He explains “The name ‘Sculpit’ means different things to different people. I am protecting my brand across multiple new domain extensions including .FITNESS, .LIFE, .DIET.  Forever registrations are a key pillar in protecting my brand once and for all.”

Jim Reifsnyder-Smith, of A1B 2BC is the owner of the premium 3 letter domain with an appraised value of more than $1 million that he leases to another Epik customer on Epik.com. Jim bought a Forever registration at Epik and explains “We lease our domain, so perpetual ownership gives our lessee’s extra peace of mind knowing that the domain they have been leasing isn’t going anywhere.”

For further information, or to schedule an interview, contact Rob Monster, CEO of Epik, at rob@epik.com or at +1(425)-765-0077. Domain owners can complete a no-cost check for eligibility of Forever domain registrations by visiting Epik.com/forever

About Epik Holdings Inc:

Founded in 2009, Epik is s leading full-service, all-inclusive registrar, as well as the leading provider of domain name leasing services and provider of escrow services for intangible assets. Domain industry regulator, ICANN, has accredited the privately held provider of domain registrations since 2011.

About Rob Monster:

Entrepreneur of the Year, TEDx alumnus, author, venture investor, and philanthropist, Rob Monster is a global advocate for sovereignty in the Digital Age – sovereignty of individuals and of the communities where they live and work. Rob, a Dutch-American, is a trusted advisor on digital strategy to both the public and private sector around the world.

Safe Harbor Language: Any statements contained herein related to future events are forward-looking statements and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act 1995.  Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.  Epik Holdings, Inc. undertakes no obligation to update any such statements to reflect actual events

Next Steps to More Secure Systems

As you know, the ICANN org provides systems and platforms for the ICANN stakeholder community to collaborate. The security and stability of these systems is vital. Our Engineering and Information Technology (E&IT) teams work hard to ensure that these systems are reliable, scalable, and secure for all ICANN meetings held around the world.

This is a resource-intensive endeavor, so we are exploring options to harden our systems against potential vulnerabilities more quickly. This includes exploring a "bug bounty" program to reward responsible reporters, including those in the ICANN "white hat" community. We are also considering hiring additional third-party experts to help us in these efforts.

We are going down this path for a few reasons. First, we recently concluded an annual third-party cybersecurity audit, which indicated we have not progressed at a rate that we're satisfied with.

Second, we were notified by a trusted community member of two system issues that have now been resolved. Based on our investigation, we have no indication that these issues were exploited by anyone other than the person who reported the incidents. At this time, it is our belief that neither of these vulnerabilities resulted in personal data breaches that would have triggered legal notice requirements. However, per our processes, and in the spirit of openness and transparency, we have added them to our public cybersecurity incident log.

I want to emphasize how grateful I am to the community member for reporting these issues. A letter acknowledging his efforts will be posted soon on our correspondence page. I encourage you to follow his lead and report any issues you are aware of by emailing vulnerability@icann.org.

I will continue to update you on our efforts to harden our systems as we move forward with this process. I have enjoyed seeing and talking with the many community members that have joined us in Barcelona, Spain, and I want to remind you that remote participation is available for ICANN63.

2018 Year-end tax planning for owners of Domain Names and Websites

For many people, the year 2018 has been a good financial year.  As we are now in the fourth quarter, I wanted to take a few moments to share some pro tips for using your domain holdings to manage your year-end tax liability.

Forever Domains

One of the most popular moves for reducing your 2018 tax liability is our Forever domain registration. This is a one-time purchase of a forever domain.  This service is uniquely offered through Epik and can be done with most domains.  The Forever domain allows you to recognize a 2018 expense to cover the registration costs for as long as you hold the domain at Epik. To check if your domains are eligible for Forever registration, visit here. In addition to Forever domains, Epik also offers Forever web and email hosting plans.

Year-end domain selling

One of the unique features of Epik is that we are not only a registrar but also a domain name marketplace for selling and leasing domains.  When you sell domains on Epik, your proceeds are initially deposited tax-free in a Masterbucks account.  These proceeds can be held or spent tax-free. If you are redeeming your proceeds, that is generally considered a taxable event and possibly best timed for after the new year. If you are new to selling and leasing domains, read our helpful how-to guide here.  For transactions larger than $10,000 use our escrow service.

Fund your account for planned 2019 purchases

You may also fund your Epik account through your preferred payment method before December 31, 2018.  Your deposited funds are held in the form of Epik In-store Account Credit which can be used for future domain and hosting related expenses regardless of whether you choose to process the renewals at this time or after the new year.  You can fund your account online from your account by logging in and adding funds here.

Domain Gifting and Estate Planning

If you hold domain names that have appreciated in value, you may gift domain names to qualifying institutions such as 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. To do this, you will want a 3rd party appraisal of the domain names being gifted, particularly if the size of the gift is more than $5,000. If you have a domain portfolio that would logically benefit a qualifying institution, that institution can in turn use or sell those domains.  For a professional appraisal, visit our appraisal page here.

Cryptocurrencies

For anyone holding cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, Epik does offer the option of funding your Epik account using these cryptocurrencies in addition to bank deposit, wire transfer, ACH, and PayPal. If you wish to fund your account via cryptocurrency, please contact us and we’ll assist you with this task. Your cryptocurrency payment can be held in the form of Epik in-store credit for use with future domain and hosting purchases.

Bulk Domain Transfers

If you own domains elsewhere and were thinking about consolidating at Epik, now is the perfect time of the year to do it. There is no penalty for domain transfers as an additional year is added your existing expiration date with no loss of pre-paid time for domains currently held at other registrars. Our free transfer concierge service is standing by to help you manage the task or simply use our easy online tools to start your transfer.

I hope these pro tips are helpful for you. Consult your tax advisor or contact us for a free consultation on year-end tax strategies for domain holders. Feel free to share these tips with others. For now, I wish you a blessed year-end holiday season and look forward to another year ahead of industry-leading innovation and legendary support. Thank you for your continued feedback. If you loved Epik in 2018, feel free to let us know here or by liking us on Facebook.

Sincerely,
Robert W. Monster
Founder and CEO
Epik.com

Mike Mann sells 7 domains in September for $146,552 (DollarCity[.]com, BuyPods[.]com, etc.)

Mike Mann reported selling 7 domain names in September for a total of $146,552. Prices started at $1,000 and went up to $90,000. Mike Mann sold 5 .com domains, 1 .org and 1 .co. The average reported domain sales price was $20,936. Seems like the $9,888 price is a sweet spot for Mike as he …

The post Mike Mann sells 7 domains in September for $146,552 (DollarCity[.]com, BuyPods[.]com, etc.) appeared first on OnlineDomain.com.

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Barcelona

1. Barcelona is home to nine UNESCO-listed World Heritage sites: seven works of Antoni Gaudí (Parque Güell; Palacio Güell; Casa Mila; Casa Vicens; Gaudí’s work on the Nativity façade and Crypt of La Sagrada Familia; Casa Batlló; Crypt in Colonia Güell), Palau de la Música Catalana, and Hospital de Sant Pau.

2. The Sagrada Família, Barcelona’s landmark cathedral designed by famous Barcelona architect Antoni Gaudí (1853-1926), has taken longer to complete than Egypt’s great pyramids. The construction of La Sagrada Família has been in progress for nearly 200 years and has a tentative completion date of 2026.

3. A major urban remodeling program undertaken before the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona targeted the coastal area for revitalization. The city’s beaches are now popular with both local residents and tourists.

4. The Eiffel Tower, designed by French engineer Gustave Eiffel, was originally supposed to be built in Barcelona, but the city rejected the plans for aesthetic reasons.

5. The Barcelona museum, Museu de Carrosses Fúnebres at the Montjuic Cemetery, claims the world’s largest collection of funeral carriages, ranging from the 18th-20th centuries.

6. Barcelona is the only city in the world awarded the Royal Gold Medal for architecture by the Royal Institute of British Architects. The highly prestigious award is normally only given to individuals.

7. Catalonia is a major destination for food lovers. Some of the most distinctive regional dishes are fuetsand butifarras (pork sausages), pa amb tomàquet (toasted bread scrubbed with ripe fresh tomato, garlic, salt, and olive oil), and calçot onions (a type of scallion grown in the Catalonian hills and served charred with romesco sauce of nuts and red peppers). The International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT) named Catalonia its European Region of Gastronomy in 2016.

8. Catalonia is Spain’s most visited region. In 2017, more than 32 million tourists visited Barcelona – that’s more than 20 times the resident population.

9. La Rambla, one of Barcelona’s most famous tourist attractions, is a pedestrian street through central Barcelona featuring historic theaters, markets, and cafes. Laid out in 1766, it follows the contours of the medieval city walls that marked the boundary of Barcelona since the 13th century.

10. Romans set up a colony called Barcino at the end of the 1st century BC in what would become Barcelona city. Some of the remains of the original city defenses can still be seen today in the Barcelona’s old town.

 

Announcing My New Deputies

I am pleased to announce that I have appointed John Jeffrey, General Counsel and Secretary, and Theresa Swinehart, Senior Vice President, Multistakeholder Strategy and Strategic Initiatives, to serve as my deputies.

Each member of the ICANN org Executive Team has a deputy who stands in when needed. In our global environment, being able to delegate and empower alleviates pressure on any one person and helps ensure continuity of service. This ultimately means better support for the community.

John has more than 30 years of business, legal, strategic, and general management experience, having served in increasing levels of responsibility at Live365, Discovery Communications, TCI, and Fox Television, as well as private litigation practice. He has been ICANN’s General Counsel and Secretary since 2003. In his role, John is responsible for the ICANN org legal department, with oversight of contractual services, intellectual property management, litigation, reconsideration requests, organizational compliance support and the Complaints Office, among other areas.

Theresa has been involved in Internet policy issues for more than 20 years, and with ICANN since its inception. She has held various leadership roles in the org on topics such as: global and strategic partnerships, ICANN’s reform process, establishing ICANN’s international team, and the IANA Stewardship Transition, among others. Currently, Theresa oversees a team responsible for ICANN’s reviews and strategic planning, and other initiatives. Theresa also worked at MCI and Verizon Communications on Internet policy issues. She began her career in the international human rights field.

Join me in congratulating them.

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