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Porno cyber-squatter landed in Branson pickle

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson has filed a cybersquatting complaint over the domain name richardbranson.xxx. Branson is one of the first people to use ICANN's snappily titled Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) to try to reclaim a potentially embarrassing address in the new porn-friendly .xxx space. …
Kevin Murphy, 17 Jan 2012
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ICANN snubs critics, opens domain extension floodgates

Global domain name overseer ICANN has shrugged off intense criticism from big brands and parts of the US government, and will tonight start allowing companies to apply for new top-level domain names. For a hefty $185,000 (£119,500) processing fee – a third of which will be dumped into ICANN's legal defence fund – any company or …
Kevin Murphy, 11 Jan 2012
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Boycott forces Go Daddy U-turn on anti-piracy law backing

Hosting provider and registrar Go Daddy has done an abrupt about-face on its support for the controversial US Stop Online Piracy Act following calls for a boycott of its services. "Go Daddy is no longer supporting SOPA," the company said in a statement late Friday. As we reported last week, Go Daddy customers were being …
Kevin Murphy, 28 Dec 2011
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Make room, internet, there's another 5 million domains to fit in

There were almost 220 million internet domain names at the end of September, an increase of 4.9 million on June, according to the latest numbers from Verisign. The 2.3 per cent increase was driven largely by growth in country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs such as .uk and .de), according to the company's latest quarterly Domain …
Kevin Murphy, 23 Dec 2011
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Go Daddy boycott threat for backing hated anti-piracy law

Internet users have called for a boycott of web hosting giant Go Daddy over its public support of the Stop Online Piracy Act in the US. While the company has publicly supported SOPA and similarly controversial proposed legislation for months, its position went largely unnoticed until a thread on Reddit gained legs yesterday. …
Kevin Murphy, 23 Dec 2011
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Smut baron buy-up of Vatican.xxx rumour exploded

The domain name vatican.xxx was not "registered by a mystery buyer" as has been widely reported this week. The Vatican issued a statement yesterday claiming the prurient web address was in the hands of somebody else, leading to speculation that it could turn into a porn site. "This domain is not available because it has been …
Kevin Murphy, 22 Dec 2011
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US gov split over new domain explosion

ICANN is receiving mixed messages from the US government over its plans to dramatically expand the number of top-level domains available on the internet. The Federal Trade Commission on Friday became the highest-profile objector to the so-called new gTLDs program, saying it threatens to increase fraud and phishing. "A rapid, …
Kevin Murphy, 19 Dec 2011
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HuffPo .XXX squatter turfed out in crackdown

ICM Registry has suspended scores of .xxx domain names it says were registered by cyber-squatters in a large-scale trademark infringement scam. Domains such as washingtonpost.xxx, verizonwireless.xxx and businessweek.xxx were among more than 70 seized under the unprecedented crackdown yesterday. ICM CEO Stuart Lawley told The …
Kevin Murphy, 14 Dec 2011
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.xxx opens for business as smut site slings lawsuit

The .xxx top-level domain will open for registrations from the public this afternoon, over a decade after the controversial adults-only internet address was first proposed. ICM Registry, which was awarded the .xxx contract by ICANN this March, will start selling .xxx domain names through a network of over 70 accredited …
Kevin Murphy, 06 Dec 2011
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Bankrupt Borders flogs 65,536 IP addresses at $12 a pop

The bankrupt bookseller Borders wants to sell its stash of 65,536 IP addresses to healthcare software vendor Cerner for $12 per address. The bust high street chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February, and has been selling off its assets to pay its creditors ever since. The address sale is one of its last …
Kevin Murphy, 05 Dec 2011
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Smut sirens violate YouTube with saucy .XXX hot dog

YouTube has yanked offline an advert for .xxx domain names which featured two porn stars performing a sexually suggestive act on a hot dog. But the 30-second video, part of ICM Registry's $4.5m ad campaign to promote the launch of the porn-only TLD, was apparently removed from YouTube not because it was too saucy, but because …
Kevin Murphy, 30 Nov 2011
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Won't someone think of the .children, begs Russian registry

The company that runs Russia's .ru internet address has revealed plans to apply to ICANN for the right to operate ".children" in Russian. Moscow-based registry operator Coordination Center for TLD RU said it will apply for .ДЕТИ when ICANN opens the floodgates for unlimited new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) next January. …
Kevin Murphy, 28 Nov 2011
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Feds seize 130 sites in Cyber Monday crackdown

US feds seized control of more than 130 websites last week as part of a crackdown on counterfeit goods ahead of the Christmas shopping rush. The seizures make up the largest individual haul yet under the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency's ongoing Operation In Our Sites campaign. According to online records, 131 domain …
Kevin Murphy, 28 Nov 2011
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Nominet claws back cops' automatic .UK takedown power

UK cops hoping to swiftly shutdown .uk websites accused of being involved in counterfeiting will have a harder time under proposed changes to Nominet policy. Under the changes, which will affect all .uk domain names, Nominet will be able to deny a site suspension request unless police provide a court order or the site is accused …
Kevin Murphy, 18 Nov 2011
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Web smut barons sue over .xxx 'shakedown'

Two of the biggest porn companies on the net want to put a stop to the .xxx top-level domain, and they've taken their demands to court. Manwin and Digital Playground yesterday sued domain name system overseer ICANN and .xxx manager ICM Registry on antitrust grounds, claiming that ICM has been "extorting defensive registrations" …
Kevin Murphy, 18 Nov 2011
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Welsh factions clash over .cymru and .wales bids

A grassroots move to create .cymru as a new top-level internet domain has hit a roadblock after the Welsh government backed a .wales bid managed by an English company. Oxford-based Nominet, which runs the .uk registry, has been mulling a new Welsh extension for the last few months, according to director of finance Glenn Hayward …
Kevin Murphy, 15 Nov 2011
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Never lose that .uk again: Decade-long renewals OK'd

UK businesses will be able to register their .co.uk internet addresses for up to a decade at a time under a new and more flexible policy agreed by registry Nominet. Starting 1 May 2012, official registrars will be able to sell domain names for periods of between one and 10 years. This brings .uk into line with other top-level …
Kevin Murphy, 14 Nov 2011
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Argentina stakes online claim on Falklands

Argentina has complained about the continued existence of the Falkland Islands' top-level internet address .fk, according to a local internet users society and other sources. The nation's foreign ministry has written to global domain name overseer ICANN to claim the Falklands belong to Argentina, according to Internauta. "The …
Kevin Murphy, 31 Oct 2011
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Privacy warning as cops lean on domain registrars

Internet policy experts have warned about possible threats to privacy and an increased risk of police domain name seizures after domain firms were pressured into overhauling how they do business. Intense criticism from governments including the US and UK, prompted by their respective cybercrime agencies, this week forced domain …
Kevin Murphy, 27 Oct 2011
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Domain registry touts dot-surnames for $500k

Could it be the ultimate in internet vanity addresses? A British company thinks the "ultra wealthy" will be prepared to splash out a cool $500,000 (£317k) to get their own top-level family domain name. CentralNic has launched dotFamilyName, a service it says is designed to help "high net worth families" apply to ICANN next year …
Kevin Murphy, 19 Oct 2011
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Google loses battle for goggle.com

Google has lost its cybersquatting fight with typo-snaffle site goggle.com, enabling its owner to carry on enticing clumsy typists into signing up for pricey text messaging services. The company's complaint against the domain name's current registrant, Barbados-based David Csumrik, was dismissed on procedural grounds yesterday …
Kevin Murphy, 12 Oct 2011
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VeriSign demands website takedown powers

VeriSign, which manages the database of all .com internet addresses, wants powers to shut down "non-legitimate" domain names when asked to by law enforcement. The company said today it wants to be able to enforce the "denial, cancellation or transfer of any registration" in any of a laundry list of scenarios where a domain is …
Kevin Murphy, 11 Oct 2011
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Would you trust a dot-bank site more than a dot-com?

Would an exclusive internet address for banks help prevent phishing and identity theft? That's the hope of a new project from a financial services trade group in the US, which plans to apply to domain name overseer ICANN early next year for a ".bank" top-level domain. BITS, the technology policy arm of the Financial Services …
Kevin Murphy, 10 Oct 2011
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Gay.xxx sells for $500,000

The internet address gay.xxx has been sold for $500,000, making it the most expensive domain name sold in an extension that is not yet publicly open for registration. The deal was made as part of the Founders Program offered by .xxx operator ICM Registry. The buyer is Liberty Media Holdings, aka Corbin Fisher, a Las Vegas-based …
Kevin Murphy, 07 Oct 2011
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Google OUTBID on g.co.uk at auction

Google may have spent an estimated $1.5m on the Colombian domain name g.co earlier this year, but it was outbid on g.co.uk in a recent auction by a domain investor. The desirable address sold for £76,000 at a Nominet auction, according to a list of sales compiled by domain names guru Ty Hancocks and reported by the FT today. …
Kevin Murphy, 03 Oct 2011
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Super Mario jumps on domain squatter

Nintendo has take control of the domain name SuperMario.com – fifteen years after it was first registered by a third party. The games company recently filed a cybersquatting complaint with the US National Arbitration Forum over the address, but the case was resolved before a formal hearing could be held as the previous owner …
Kevin Murphy, 03 Oct 2011
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Nominet suspends fake pharma domains

Nominet, the .uk address registry, has suspended hundreds of internet domain names as part of a global police crackdown on crime gangs peddling fake pharmaceuticals. Operation Pangea IV saw almost 13,500 websites taken down and dozens of suspects arrested in 81 countries, according to Interpol, which coordinated the swoop. Over …
Kevin Murphy, 30 Sep 2011
The Register breaking news

Go Daddy flogs 50 MILLION domains

Go Daddy's installed base of domain name registrations has swollen to 50 million, dwarfing all of its closest competitors. The 50 millionth name, dbakit.com, was registered by Indian punter Kranthi Kumar Kukkala over the weekend, according to the company. Go Daddy's closest competitor is eNom, owned by publicly traded Demand …
Kevin Murphy, 29 Sep 2011
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Brands stiffed by .xxx briefs' cock-ups

Half of all attempts to protect trademarks from the new .xxx internet extension could be failing due to lawyers' inability to RTFM*. That appears to be the conclusion of one company handling applications to prevent trademark-infringing use of the new adults-only top-level domain. The .xxx extension, operated by ICM Registry, is …
Kevin Murphy, 29 Sep 2011
The Register breaking news

Lady Gaga loses squatting complaint

Lady Gaga has lost her fight over the domain name LadyGaga.org after an arbitration panel ruled that a punter was well within her rights to use it for a fan site. The pop star's cybersquatting complaint was filed with the US National Arbitration Forum under Gaga's real name of Stefani Germanotta. The domain registrant is listed …
Kevin Murphy, 23 Sep 2011
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Brits registering .uk domains mostly get first choice

Most Brits think it's easy to find a .uk address for their websites, but almost half admit to having settled on a domain that was not their first choice, according to a new survey. The report, commissioned by .uk manager Nominet, may add fuel to the debate over whether the plan from global internet policy overseer ICANN to …
Kevin Murphy, 23 Sep 2011
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Capital gets trendy address: .London on its way

London could soon get its very own top-level internet address, .london. Official city promoter London & Partners is set to announce later today that it is looking for companies to help submit a bid for .london to global domain name overseer ICANN. Several companies, including .uk manager Nominet, are expected to respond to a …
Kevin Murphy, 21 Sep 2011
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Smut domain scores big bucks for not handling smut

Thousands of companies, far more than expected, are handing over hundreds of dollars each to block their brands in the new .xxx internet domain. According to ICM Registry, the company behind the adults-only extension, porn-shy firms have applied to defensively block more than 10,000 trademarks in just the first week of its " …
Kevin Murphy, 16 Sep 2011
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Sun rises over .xxx smut domain

Businesses in the adult entertainment industry – and outside of it – from today have the opportunity to register or block .xxx domain names that match their trademarks. ICM Registry, which has operated .xxx since it signed a contract with ICANN earlier this year, has launched a three-pronged "sunrise period" that will run for …
Kevin Murphy, 07 Sep 2011
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Plods to get dot-uk takedown powers - without court order

Police in the UK could get new powers to suspend internet domain names without a court order if they're being used for illegal activity, under rules proposed to .uk registry manager Nominet. A Nominet volunteer policy team has recommended the creation of an "expedited" process for shutting down addresses when the police say "the …
Kevin Murphy, 02 Sep 2011
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UK-US corporate world slams 'dot-brand' domain plans

Lobby groups representing a majority of US advertisers and online media companies have demanded that domain name overseer ICANN slam the brakes on its controversial new generic top-level domains programme. Claiming the gTLD programme is "likely to cause irreparable harm and damage", the US Association of National Advertisers ( …
Kevin Murphy, 01 Sep 2011
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That UK.gov Firefox cookie leakage snafu explained

If you've used the latest version of Firefox to visit a UK government website in the last few weeks, you may have noticed something unusual in the browser address bar. Instead of highlighting, for example, direct.gov.uk, as you might expect from Firefox 6.0's new domain-conscious security behaviour, only the gov.uk portion is …
Kevin Murphy, 25 Aug 2011
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Secret list of celebrity .xxx domains removed from market

Hundreds, possibly thousands of celebrities have had their names permanently banned from the new .xxx adults-only internet domain. El Reg can reveal that everyone from Justin Bieber to Piers Morgan has had their .xxx address placed into a permanent "reserved" status by the registry manager, ICM Registry. This means that …
Kevin Murphy, 24 Aug 2011
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ICANN chief Beckstrom says he will go in July 2012

Rod Beckstrom, the president and CEO of domain name industry overseer ICANN, has announced that he will leave the job when his contract expires in July next year. rodbeckstrom Wrapping up: Rod Beckstrom "I have decided to wrap up my service at ICANN July 2012," he wrote on Twitter last night. ICANN later followed up with a …
Kevin Murphy, 17 Aug 2011
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PETA to launch .xxx smut site 'to help animals'

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals reportedly plans to launch a porn site. The website, at peta.xxx, will be "a pornography site that draws attention to the plight of animals", according to Reuters, which cited a spokesperson. With thousands of well-known companies reluctantly queueing up to pay up to block their …
Kevin Murphy, 16 Aug 2011
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First smut site erected on .xxx address

The first porn site to use a .xxx web address has gone live, and domain manager ICM Registry has announced another way to make internet perving a "safer" experience. Casting.xxx (NSFW, incredibly) started doing its bit to feed the world's appetite for "adult entertainment" last night. While ICM has had a corporate site online …
Kevin Murphy, 03 Aug 2011
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Thousands of gb.com sites go dark

Thousands of UK small businesses woke up this weekend to find that their websites had become collateral damage in a legal fight between a domain name company and its founder. Sites using .gb.com addresses all went dark on Saturday, after the former boss of the registry, CentralNIC, took control of the whole extension without …
Kevin Murphy, 01 Aug 2011
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Grassroots Brit project plans .app top-level domain bid

A British-based community project has emerged with the aim of applying to run ".app" as a new top-level internet domain. But the budding organisation, which currently has about 75 paid-up members, faces a funding challenge if it wants to win what is expected to be a highly competitive bidding process. The project, at DotAppApp. …
Kevin Murphy, 27 Jul 2011
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WorldTradeCenter.com on the block

The owner of the internet domain name WorldTradeCenter.com is planning to sell it, just weeks before the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Aftermarket.com, a domain brokerage firm, announced today that it is looking for an "appropriate" buyer for the address, on behalf of its current owner. Potential buyers …
Kevin Murphy, 26 Jul 2011
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Nominet pilots .co.uk domain security pump-up

Dot-UK registry Nominet has started piloting a free service designed to help UK businesses boost the security of their websites' domains. The DNSSEC Signing Service "will allow registrars to quickly and easily implement DNSSEC by relying on Nominet to manage the cryptographic signing process, management of keys and publishing …
Kevin Murphy, 25 Jul 2011
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Go Daddy spokes-totty: I'm on the elephants' side

Celebrity Go Daddy spokesmodel Jillian Michaels has led a protest against circuses' unethical treatment of elephants, just a few months after company chairman Bob Parsons came under fire for shooting one dead while on holiday. Fitness trainer Michaels attended a demo against the Ringling Brothers' Circus outside the Los Angeles …
Kevin Murphy, 22 Jul 2011
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Superman beats up cybersquatter

DC Comics has grabbed the cybersquatted domain name manofsteel.com, just a month before shooting is due to start on the next reboot of the Superman movie franchise. CYBERSQUATTERVSSUPERMAN3 The next Superman film is widely expected to be titled or subtitled Man Of Steel. DC has owned a trademark on "Man Of Steel" since 1999 …
Kevin Murphy, 21 Jul 2011
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VeriSign to raise .com, .net prices

VeriSign has announced plans to raise the price of .com and .net domain names again. The .net price increase comes just a few weeks after the company renewed its registry contract with industry overseer ICANN. From 15 January, 2012, the company said that it intends to charge $7.85 for a .com, up from $7.34, and added that .net …
Kevin Murphy, 18 Jul 2011
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Hundreds of dot-brand domains predicted

Domain name registry operators have predicted that "hundreds" of well-known companies will apply to ICANN to create new "dot-brand" top-level internet domains. But it is still far from clear how many of these potential new domains will turn into thriving, active spaces and how many will be expensive digital wastelands with …
Kevin Murphy, 15 Jul 2011
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.XXX to launch nothing-but-smut unsafe search

ICM Registry, the company behind the forthcoming .xxx domain extension, plans to launch a search engine devoted entirely to porn at search.xxx. The news emerged during a panel discussion at the YNOT Summit 2011, a porn industry trade show in San Francisco late last month (depressingly SFW video at YouTube.) ICM president Stuart …
Kevin Murphy, 13 Jul 2011