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Official: Google's brazen domination of Earth nearly complete

The word “google” is the top domain name on the internet, in terms of registrations, according to new research. A study by domain data provider DomainTools has found that the ad giant's name is registered in 231 of the world's 300-odd top-level domains (TLDs) - from google.biz and google.com to google.tk. It beat its closest …
Kevin Murphy, 28 Aug 2012
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Nominet 'sought govt protection from takeover by domain hawkers'

Nominet, the .uk address registry, sought government help to protect its board of directors from a takeover by domain name speculators, according to its former policy chief. The claims, which Nominet denies, are documented in the findings of an employment tribunal, which found the company guilty of constructive dismissal and …
Kevin Murphy, 17 Aug 2012
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Optical Express 'ruined my life' gripe site lives on

A gripe site for people who claim high street opticians Optical Express “ruined” their eyesight with botched LASIK surgery has been allowed to remain online, after a cybersquatting panel ruled that the owner has the right to free speech. Nominet Dispute Resolution Service panelist Keith Gymer earlier this month ruled that the …
Kevin Murphy, 16 Aug 2012
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Saudi royals seek ban on .virgin, .sex, .catholic, .wtf and 159 MORE

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has objected to the proposed new top-level internet domains .virgin and .baby – applied for by Virgin Group and Johnson & Johnson respectively – on the grounds that they will encourage pornography. The bizarre claims are among 163 complaints about new dot-word gTLD applications that the Saudi …
Kevin Murphy, 14 Aug 2012
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Go Daddy big daddy gone

Warren Adelman has quit as chief executive of market-leading domain names and hosting company Go Daddy after less than eight months on the job. He's been replaced on an interim basis by Scott Wagner of KKR, one of the venture capital companies that led a buyout of the company, worth a reported $2.2bn, which closed last December …
Kevin Murphy, 31 Jul 2012
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Apple finally grabs apple.co.uk – after just 16 years

Apple has finally taken control of the internet domain name apple.co.uk, which has been in third-party hands since at least 1996. The change of ownership, which appears to have occurred on 6 July, means visitors to the URL are now bounced to the UK version of the official Apple website at apple.com. Previously, the domain was …
Kevin Murphy, 19 Jul 2012
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Compare the Market loses .XXX smut-squat appeal

Meerkat-obsessed Compare the Market, which became the first company to lose a cybersquatting complaint over a .xxx domain name, has lost its appeal against the ruling. BGL Group, which owns the Compare The Market brand, lost its first case against the owner of comparethemarket.xxx in May, after a Czech Arbitration Court (CAC) …
Kevin Murphy, 19 Jul 2012
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Facebook cybersquatter stitched up by own Facebook account

The man who registered the domain name facebook.info has lost a cybersquatting case, after Facebook used his own eight-year-old Facebook account as evidence against him. Occasional web entrepreneur Igor Dolgalev registered the facebook.info address on 25 September, 2004, while he was still a student at Cornell and Facebook …
Kevin Murphy, 18 Jul 2012
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Web crams down 7 MEEELLION more domain names

The number of registered domain names on the internet increased by 7.5 million to stand at 233 million in the first quarter of the year. That's according to Verisign, which found that the web address universe grew 11 per cent year-on-year and 3.3 per cent sequentially in Q1. The mega-registry's own mountain of .com and .net …
Kevin Murphy, 16 Jul 2012
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Religious wars brewing in ICANN gTLD expansion

Religious convictions are emerging as the key battle line in the massive domain name expansion currently in progress at internet addressing overlord ICANN. Morality in Media, a largely Christian, US-based anti-pornography group, has become the first religious organisation to kick off a formal campaign against what it seems a “ …
Kevin Murphy, 12 Jul 2012
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ICANN's overlordship of the internet confirmed again by US gov

ICANN has had its powers over internet domain names, IP addresses and protocol numbers renewed by the US Department of Commerce. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced late last night that it has continued ICANN's contract to run the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) for the next three …
Kevin Murphy, 03 Jul 2012
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Google.eggfaced: Chocolate Factory spaffs cash in dot-word bungle

Google may have applied to ICANN for 101 new generic top-level domains, but at least three of the applications are doomed to fail because somebody forgot to read the manual. The advertising juggernaut was the second-largest applicant out of the hundreds that applied for new right-of-the-dot addresses, according to the list …
Kevin Murphy, 02 Jul 2012
The Register breaking news

Governments probe domain land-snatch: many.gTLDs.suck

Governments have started to put ICANN's massive top-level domain name expansion under scrutiny, after the revelation of 1,930 applications for new naming suffixes two weeks ago. During sessions here at ICANN's 44th public meeting in Prague, government representatives have raised their eyebrows over several types of application …
Kevin Murphy, 29 Jun 2012
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ICANN may have to operate without a chief during gTLD rollout

Domain name policy manager ICANN is set to be left with a vacant CEO's office for two or three months, according to sources close to the organisation. ICANN, which is currently overseeing the largest expansion of internet addressing in history, said yesterday that it plans to name its new president and CEO at a press conference …
Kevin Murphy, 19 Jun 2012
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ICANN eggfaced after publishing dot-word biz overlords' personal info

After proudly revealing the details of almost 2,000 new generic top-level domain applications, red-faced ICANN was today forced to yank the whole lot after applicants complained that their home addresses had been published by mistake. ICANN published the partial text of 1,930 gTLD bids – each of which carried a $185,000 …
Kevin Murphy, 15 Jun 2012
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Fate of dot-word bids decided by ICANN archery shoot-out

Who should own .web? Will the internet get a .porn address? What does Google plan to do with 50 new top-level domains? Why is ICANN putting companies through an online "archery game" that requires millisecond timing? These questions and more will be asked and answered tomorrow as domain name policy overlord ICANN reveals the …
Kevin Murphy, 12 Jun 2012
icann logo

Firm applies for .sucks domain

A new company is planning to operate .sucks as a top-level internet domain, and its CEO says he expects big brands to embrace the concept. Vox Populi Registry is one of several companies to today announce that they have paid domain name gatekeeper ICANN a $185,000 application fee to try to get their hands on a new gTLD. The . …
Kevin Murphy, 01 Jun 2012
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Dot-word bidders in last-minute dash after ICANN reveals timetable

Domain name policy overseer ICANN has put an end to weeks of speculation by revealing a new timetable for the roll-out of its controversial new top-level domains programme. As many as 2,300 applications for dot-whatever gTLDs are expected to flood in before the organisation closes its TLD Application System (TAS) at a minute …
Kevin Murphy, 30 May 2012
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Why can't ICANN just 'get s**t done', ask dot-brand hopefuls

Web overlord ICANN has reopened its bug-plagued new top-level domain name registration system almost six weeks after taking it down to patch an embarrassing security hole. Companies signed up to the TLD Application System (TAS) now have until a minute before midnight on Wednesday, 30 May to apply for new generic dot-words such …
Kevin Murphy, 22 May 2012
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Compare The Market can't touch web filth extension - simples

Price comparison biz Compare The Market has lost its bid to seize the domain name comparethemarket.xxx. BGL Group, which owns the Compare The Market brand, has the unpleasant distinction of being the first company to lose a cybersquatting case in the new adults-only .xxx extension. The owner of the domain, listed in the Whois …
Kevin Murphy, 17 May 2012
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Google shoves cybersquatter off 763 Googletastic domains

Google has seized over 750 domain names from a cybersquatter who used them to drive traffic to a series of "gay interest" websites and now wants Google's trademark cancelled. The company has won a complaint covering 763 domains that all included the word "google" followed by the name of another company, keyword or celebrity, …
Kevin Murphy, 14 May 2012
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2,000 dot-word bids rocket ICANN onto $350m cash pile

The upcoming expansion of the internet's domain name system could see more than 2,000 new top-level domains come into existence, according to policy overseer ICANN. The organisation revealed at the weekend that it has received 2,091 applications for its controversial new gTLD programme, and could see up to 214 more before it …
Kevin Murphy, 08 May 2012
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Ten-year .co.uk domain names now available

From today it is possible to register or renew .co.uk domain names in annual blocks of up to 10 years at a time, following policy changes at .uk registry manager Nominet. Punters will also be able to register domains for just one year. Previously, UK businesses could only register their names for an initial period of two years, …
Kevin Murphy, 01 May 2012
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Over 1,200 dot-word bids flood ICANN at $180k a pop

Web baron ICANN has braced itself for at least 1,200 applications for new top-level internet domains in the first round of its controversial gTLD expansion programme. CEO Rod Beckstrom said that the organisation's beleaguered TLD Application System (TAS), which is still offline more than two weeks after a data-leaking security …
Kevin Murphy, 30 Apr 2012
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FIVE-day ZoneEdit outage freezes thousands of sites

Hundreds of thousands of websites have been hit by an unexplained outage at DNS services provider ZoneEdit, with users seeing five full days of downtime. While the 600,000 customer domains ZoneEdit looks after were all apparently still resolving during the outage, users were been able to log into their accounts to make updates …
Kevin Murphy, 25 Apr 2012
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Security bug stalls new dot-word TLD land grab AGAIN

Domain name overlord ICANN has been forced to delay its new top-level domain (TLD) expansion by another week as its techies attempt to analyse the fallout of an embarrassing security vulnerability. Its TLD Application System (TAS), which companies worldwide have been using since January to confidentially apply for gTLDs such as …
Kevin Murphy, 23 Apr 2012
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ICANN battled dot-word TLD registration leak bug for WEEKS

Red-faced ICANN has delayed its new generic top-level domains programme again as it struggles to deal with the fallout of a security bug that exposed confidential data about applicants. The internet overseer also confirmed it was first warned of a data leak vulnerability in mid-March, weeks before it eventually pulled the plug …
Kevin Murphy, 17 Apr 2012
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ICANN: Privates leaked in top-level domain land grab blunder

ICANN has revealed that it took down its top-level domain application system yesterday after discovering a potentially serious data leakage vulnerability. As El Reg reported earlier today, ICANN shut down its TLD Application System (TAS) – the web application companies use to apply for new gTLDs – due to unspecified "unusual …
Kevin Murphy, 13 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

ICANN flubs new domain deadline after site snafu

ICANN has extended the deadline for companies to apply for new generic top-level domains after "unusual behaviour" forced it to shut down its online application system. Just 12 hours before the 2359 UTC filing deadline last night, ICANN took its TLD Application System offline, saying it needed time to repair an unspecified …
Kevin Murphy, 13 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

.XXX registry in .porn, .adult, .sex extension grab bid

Exclusive ICM Registry, which runs the controversial .xxx top-level domain, today revealed that it has applied to ICANN for the gTLDs .porn, .sex and .adult. The Florida-based company hopes to avoid "shakedown" accusations this time around - last year it faced severe criticism and a lawsuit when it raked in millions of dollars in …
Kevin Murphy, 12 Apr 2012
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Dot-London squeaks under ICANN deadline

London's official PR agency has filed its application with ICANN to get its hands on a new .london top-level internet domain, just before the deadline closes. London & Partners today revealed that it has contracted Minds + Machines Ltd, a local subsidiary of British Virgin Islands-based Top Level Domain Holdings, to help apply …
Kevin Murphy, 12 Apr 2012
The Register breaking news

Dot-word TLD registration closes tonight, maybe for many years

Today is the last chance for organisations that want to own their own top-level internet domain names to register their interest with ICANN. If you want to run a dot-brand (.pepsi, .nike, .pampers) or a dot-city (.london, .paris, .rome) or a generic keyword gTLD (.music, .web, .blog), 29 March marks your final opportunity to get …
Kevin Murphy, 29 Mar 2012
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Dotcom hike will net MEEELLIONS of bucks for Verisign, ICANN

The cost of a .com domain name is expected to rise by at least 31 per cent over the next six years, due to new price-increasing powers granted to registry operator Verisign by industry overseer ICANN. ICANN last night published a proposed draft of a new .com Registry Agreement, which it had negotiated privately with Verisign …
Kevin Murphy, 28 Mar 2012
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UK.gov gives nod to .scot

While the Coalition government may oppose Scottish independence, it has nevertheless given the go-ahead to a Scottish move for independence on the internet. The UK government has reportedly granted Dot Scot Registry, a not-for-profit company, with approval to apply for .scot, a new internet top-level domain. The wannabe …
Kevin Murphy, 26 Mar 2012
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Dot Pharmacy: New web weapon in war on duff drug peddlers

An American trade group wants to create top-level domain name .pharmacy to stem the sale of bogus medicines online. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) will file the application with internet policymaker ICANN, according to FairWinds Partners, a domain name consulting firm. "The goal of .pharmacy is to provide …
Kevin Murphy, 26 Mar 2012
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ICANN prez calls out own board over conflicts of interest

The board of directors of internet overseer ICANN is said to be fuming after its ethics were called into question by the organisation's outgoing president and CEO. Rod Beckstrom, who is set to the leave the domain name policy group in July, took to the stage at ICANN's public meeting here in San Jose, Costa Rica on Monday to …
Kevin Murphy, 19 Mar 2012
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Pope Benedict in .XXX pro-Islam cybersquat drama

A Turkish cybersquatter has registered at least a dozen variants of Pope Benedict's name as .xxx internet domains and is using them to promote Islam. Cybersquatted sites including PopeBenedict.xxx currently proclaim "Everyone will find Islam" alongside pictures of the Quran and Kaaba. Unsurprisingly, the sites also state that " …
Kevin Murphy, 19 Mar 2012
The Register breaking news

Google: No SEO boost from vanity top-level domain grab

Google has denied that companies will be able to get a search engine ranking boost by obtaining new vanity top-level domain names from ICANN. The company's webspam guru, Matt Cutts, said this week that organisations "shouldn't register a TLD in the mistaken belief that you'll get some sort of boost in search engine rankings." …
Kevin Murphy, 19 Mar 2012
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Dot-brand explosion will shell-shock lazy coders - ICANN

Millions of internet users face being locked out of popular websites unless software developers pay attention to the forthcoming explosion in new top-level domain names. Domain name overseer ICANN told El Reg this week that developers and webmasters need to track the progress of its new gTLD programme, which is expected to start …
Kevin Murphy, 01 Mar 2012
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Yahoo! scared! of! dot! brand! squatters!

Yahoo is worried about unscrupulous domain name registrars trying to cybersquat on its brands. In an exasperated letter to ICANN this week, the web firm said it is still not convinced that the organisation's new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) programme provides enough safeguards against squatters holding so-called "dot-brand …
Kevin Murphy, 29 Feb 2012
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Euro banks slam dot-bank plan

European banking regulators have slammed an American-led plan to create a new ".bank" top-level domain, saying it could give way to "a more dangerous form of phishing". The European Banking Authority wrote to California-based domain name industry overseer ICANN earlier this month to say that plans for financially oriented …
Kevin Murphy, 28 Feb 2012
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Nominet to launch .wales and .cymru

Wales is to get two new top-level internet domains – one for Welsh speakers and one for the rest of us – under a deal announced yesterday between the Welsh government and .uk registry Nominet. The move to apply for both .wales and .cymru sidesteps criticism that the Welsh government was planning to abandon the Welsh language in …
Kevin Murphy, 23 Feb 2012
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Virgin boss victorious in .xxx Branson pickle

Sir Richard Branson has wrestled a .xxx domain off a cybersquatter in a challenge over richardbranson.xxx. The Virgin Group founder discovered last week that his Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organisation was successful. The WIPO panelist handling the case found …
Kevin Murphy, 21 Feb 2012
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Music fans not welcome in RIAA-backed .music

The Recording Industry Association of America and other music industry groups are backing a proposal for a highly regulated ".music" top-level domain. If its .music is approved by ICANN, the domains will be limited to members of accredited music industry associations and will be regularly patrolled for copyright infringement. …
Kevin Murphy, 10 Feb 2012
The Register breaking news

100 MEEELLION .com domains now registered

There are now over 100 million .com domain names on the internet. The milestone was passed in either October or January, depending on how you measure "registered" domains. But whichever way you cut it, .com is now into nine figures. VeriSign, which runs .com, revealed yesterday in is monthly report with industry overseer ICANN …
Kevin Murphy, 03 Feb 2012
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Mickey Mouse Whois ban threat sparks privacy fears

The days of pretending to be Mickey Mouse or Daffy Duck when you register a domain name could be numbered, following demands placed on ICANN by law enforcement agencies and governments. ICANN is currently locked in contract talks with its accredited domain name registrars, and expects they will agree to make the verification of …
Kevin Murphy, 30 Jan 2012
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Nominet puts the squeeze on rude members

Nominet, which runs the .uk domain registry, has proposed a new code of conduct that would ban unprofessional behaviour by its members. The new draft Members' Code would enable the organisation to strip members of their privileges if they're caught scamming customers or being rude to Nominet staff. It would also force its …
Kevin Murphy, 27 Jan 2012
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ICANN responds to smut portal antitrust lawsuit

ICANN and .xxx manager ICM Registry want a California judge to throw out an antitrust lawsuit, saying plaintiff Manwin Licensing is just miffed that it missed out on the juiciest domain names. Manwin, which runs major online porn networks including YouPorn and Brazzers, sued ICANN and ICM in November claiming that they had …
Kevin Murphy, 27 Jan 2012
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HP, RIM, ARM among thousands in ICANN dot-brand ban

ICANN's decision to open the floodgates to hundreds of new generic top-level domains last week is expected to create a land-rush of "dot-brand" internet addresses. To date, fewer than six companies, notably including Canon, Hitachi and Deloitte, have publicly expressed their intention to acquire a branded gTLD. But domain …
Kevin Murphy, 23 Jan 2012
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Blogger bully site yanks MPAA's chain in poison-pen letter

The new owner of the domain name Righthaven.com, which until recently belonged to a notorious copyright troll, has used his purchase to openly mock the Motion Picture Ass. of America. The website currently displays a heavily and ironically redacted open letter to MPAA chief Christopher Dodd, and lends support to yesterday's web- …
Kevin Murphy, 19 Jan 2012