[NA-Discuss] Fwd: "Domain Protection Racket" Promotion on Network Solutions Home Page

Michele Neylon :: Blacknight michele at blacknight.ie
Mon Aug 29 19:54:09 UTC 2011

Evan / Beau

On 29 Aug 2011, at 20:29, Evan Leibovitch wrote:

> Certainly, such activity helps make the case that the trademark lobby (and
> GAC acting as proxies) have been making -- that more than anything, the new
> gTLD space is primarily (or at least substantially) designed to make money
> off of defensive registrations.

Well that argument ignores a lot of other things, which marketers should appreciate.

As a trademark holder I wouldn't see any value in registering blacknight.comics (if such a TLD were to exist), though it would probably be of some value to Dark Knight comics.

As a marketer I'd love to be able to register domains like cheaplinux.hosting , for example.

> The ICANN response to trademark owners is to point out the URS and other
> takedown measures. But if ICANN's oldest registrar(*) continues to propagate
> the myth that the only assured way to protect one's brand is to register it
> under every gTLD, the very existence of a registrar's "protect your brand"
> infers that the built-in mechanisms are insufficient.
> Michele, if you're here I'd like to hear your PoV on this.

Damn! So much for my "lurking" on this list :)

I was contemplating an email to Beau about this when your email came in .. 

In my opinion - and yes I'm obviously a registrar who is motivated to sell domains (and related services) - I don't see any issue with a simple "protect your brand" message. Looking at the Netsol homepage at the moment I'm seeing the message in the context of ccTLDs.. I can't see what the original graphic mentioned was linked to, so I don't know if it was the same message or a different one .. 

It would be a totally different matter if they were holding a virtual gun to people's heads and forcing them to register domains that they didn't want .. 

We receive quite a few calls from companies that have been approached by scam artists telling them that they have to register domain names because if they don't someone else is about to .. 
Here's an example from about 5 years ago: http://blog.blacknight.com/beware-of-uk-domain-scammers.html 
Unfortunately the same kind of scams are ongoing - the "company" names change, but the MO is pretty much always the same.

> On one hand
> registrars obviously want as much domain tonnage as possible.

Well yes and no. It obviously depends on your business, but we make more money from hosting and other services than we do from actual domains. 

> OTOH, isn't
> the use of "protect your brand" marketing an open admission that ICANN's
> brand-protection measures aren't enough?

No. I'd disagree.

Not all companies need to have domains registered across a multitude of extensions. But the "brand" angle is one way of raising awareness that TLD (or ccTLD) X exists (or will exist very soon) and making them aware that they might want to consider registering domain(s) in that extension.

> Is this not just an open admission
> that the IPC and GAC positions are valid, and an invitation for outside (ie
> legislative) regulation?

IMHO - no.

If, for example, you wanted to launch a business / site based around a keyword which you didn't have any IP rights in (and probably could never get exclusive rights to it) then you're still going to have to register the domains in the markets (and extensions) that you want. 

Describing this kind of marketing as a "racket" is a bit over the top in my opinion.



Mr Michele Neylon
Blacknight Solutions
Hosting & Colocation, Brand Protection
ICANN Accredited Registrar
Intl. +353 (0) 59  9183072
US: 213-233-1612 
UK: 0844 484 9361
Direct Dial: +353 (0)59 9183090
Fax. +353 (0) 1 4811 763
Blacknight Internet Solutions Ltd, Unit 12A,Barrowside Business Park,Sleaty
Road,Graiguecullen,Carlow,Ireland  Company No.: 370845

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