Fairwinds Partners Leader of CADNA Hires CEO

FairWinds Partners which leads the Collation Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) announced today that it has hired Nao Matsukata, as CEO.

Mr. Matsukata has “most recently served as the managing director for Six Trees Partners, working on global trade and regulatory issues in Asia and Europe for public and private sector clients”.

“Starting in 1995, Matsukata served as a senior policy adviser to Sen. Joe Lieberman, and continued through the 2000 presidential campaign. He also once served as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick‘s director of policy planning and was a senior policy adviser at Alston & Bird, LLP.

“Matsukata, who tells the Alley that “the Internet is probably the next issue that is truly global in nature,” has a deep background on global issues. And that experience is particularly pertinent for the company’s main focus: domain name strategies.”

“It really gets into issues about Internet governance, and not just from a United States perspective but a global one,” he said. “A lot of our companies are global companies interested in protecting their brands beyond the United States.”

“When it comes to FairWinds’ legislative priorities, cyber-squatting tops the list, although Matsukata says he won’t be directly involved in many congressional issues. He will, however, work with the company in educating the public, including lawmakers.”

“From a public policy prospective, a lot of this stuff is new to policy makers,” he said. “We feel like there’s a role we can play in informing the public and government on what’s going on.”

CADNA Publishes Its Wish List For The New gTLD Program & Its A Long One

The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA), issued a press release today of its “recommendations” for ICANN, the US Congress and the NTIA for the new gTLD program,  and its a pretty long wish list.

Here it is in full:

“”””For ICANN:

The ICANN Board should determine and announce when the next round of new gTLD applications will occur. A major source of anxiety that businesses feel around the New gTLD Program stems from fear that if they do not acquire their own new gTLD in this first round, they will be put at a disadvantage relative to their competitors, in the event those competitors apply and gain a theoretical advantage from owning gTLDs, for an unknown period of time. Announcing the date of a second round would go far towards alleviating this anxiety.

To lessen the financial burden on trademark owners and improve consumer protection, ICANN should consider including a requirement in the Applicant Guidebook that all new gTLD registries that choose to sell second-level domains to registrants adopt a low-cost, one-time block for trademark owners to protect their trademarks in perpetuity.

ICANN should consider adopting a pricing structure where a single applicant applying for multiple gTLDs pays a reduced rate for the subsequent gTLD applications, provided that the applicant has trademarks for those applied-for strings predating 2008, and that those strings are exact matches of their registered marks. Many businesses that choose to apply for their own gTLD will likely also feel they need to apply for other gTLDs, either in other languages or scripts, or for other vital business units.

ICANN should allow non-profit organizations that want to apply for their organizations’ names as gTLDs to qualify to participate in the Applicant Support Program, as described by the Joint Applicant Support Working Group (JAS WG) to lessen the financial burden on non-profits.

For the U.S. Congress:

The U.S. Congress should take much-needed action to improve the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) in order to provide stronger deterrents against cybersquatting, both in existing gTLDs and any new ones that are created.

For the NTIA:

If ICANN is awarded the new IANA contract following its expiration in March 2012, its structure and policy development process should also be subject to an audit. To ensure that this is done, the contract should be renewed for a short period of time, perhaps only two years. During this time, there should be an evaluation of whether ICANN followed through on its commitments with regard to the gTLD process, and extension of the contract should be contingent on conducting internal reforms to improve governance and transparency.

In addition to presenting these suggestions at the meeting with Assistant Secretary Strickling, CADNA delivered the same suggestions in a letter to ICANN, which includes further details on each of these recommendations.”””

CADNA hopes that its recommendations are as well received by ICANN as they were during the meeting with the NTIA, and looks forward to working with ICANN to implement the suggested changes.

From House Hearing: CADNA “There Are Probably Tens of Millions of Cybersquatting Domains” in .Com

At The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s hearing on new gTLDs Josh Bourne President of CADNA’s testified:

“”The U.S Congress should take much-needed action to improve the language of the Anti- Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), so that it provides proper deterrents against cybersquatting.””

“”Cybersquatting to the left of the dot is already a massive problem; with approximately 200 million domain name registrations concentrated mainly in .COM there already exist millions of brand-infringing domains. We know it is unlikely that the new gTLDs will garner this volume of cybersquatting, but that doesn’t mean they won’t have a significant impact. In reality what we need is an immediate update to U.S. law and a process that not only curbs and deters
cybersquatting in the existing TLDs, but any new ones that are created.”

“At this point, CADNA’s best guess is that there could be around 800 applications in early 2012 during the three-month application period. Of those estimated 800 applications, what CADNA has also come to realize is that likely two-thirds to three-quarters of applications could come from
strategic enterprises that will choose to run their registries in a “closed” way, for their own internal marketing uses and will not make second-level domain names available to registrants.”

“That leaves about 200 to 300 applicants representing communities or acting as entrepreneurs pursuing mainly geographic and generic gTLD strings that will likely be “open” in the sense that they sell second-level domains to registrants, some of whom will be cybersquatters.”

“”Cybersquatting to the right of the dot is very unlikely to occur,  this is a complex application, it’s an expensive process, the planned evaluation appears to be rigorous, and the objection process would certainly allow the owner of a trademark to prevent a party without rights from receiving a contract from ICANN.”

“”Therefore, the after-the-dot concerns for companies with very unique and strong trademarks are mainly related to competition. Will I be at a disadvantage? If I don’t apply and new gTLDs become popular, will my current URLs look out of date?””

In response to a question from Subcommittee Chairman Walden, Bourne just stated that “there are probably tens of millions of cybersquatting domains in .com”,  and that CADNA was discussing revisions to the ACPA with Judiciary Committee staff.

Of course with a little of 100 Million .com registrations to say there are “tens of millions” of Cybersquatted domain names, its obvious that CADNA definition of a cyber sqautted domain is MUCH broader than current law.

This testimony  clearly indicate that CADNA may make a huge push next year for Congress to amend the ACPA with a much broader definition.

As we have noted for years, almost every dictionary word is trademarked, so is every term, phrase, expression, as well as every two and three letter combination.

CADNA Goes From Opposing New gTLD Program To Demanding A Time Frame For Opening The 2nd Round

The Collation Against Domain Abuse (CADNA) has appearently gone from being a vocal opponent of the new gTLD program to demanding a timeline for opening of the second round.

In a press release it sent out today,  Josh Bourne President of CADNA in his closing remarks at the “What’s at Stake: The Reality of ICANN’s New gTLD Program for Brands” conference at the Institute of International Education’s Edgar J. Kaufman Conference Center in New York City said:

“ICANN has an image problem,”

“Businesses are outright angry with ICANN because of the way that this program has been structured.

“We are not trying to derail the rollout of new gTLDs altogether, but rather, we are proposing an opportunity for ICANN to make this Program much less detrimental to brands and businesses. ”

“By setting a date for when it will open a second application window, ICANN has the chance to alleviate a great deal of the anxiety and frustration that businesses are feeling over the fact that they feel forced into applying for new gTLDs in early 2012 in order to not be left behind. Right now, businesses feel like their backs are against the wall, and they don’t like it.”

An interesting change in policy from CADNA previous position in urging more reviews and delay of the program. (also as recently as this year)

Of course the fact that back in 2009 CADNA was already asking for extended reviews and more time before the program started and the application period doesn’t start until 2012 its a pretty hard position to advocate that Brands need even more time and were some how caught by surprise by the new gTLD program without sufficient time to apply.

 

CNBC’s “Squawk On The Street” Covers New gTLD’s & .XXX Staring The Heads Of Central Nic & CADNA: “Has The Internet Out Grown .Com?”

CNBC Had a 5 minutes + segment on Squawk On The Street” on the new gTLD program and .XXX on Tuesday entitled “Has the Internet outgrown .Com”

“The segment discussed whether adding more domains for websites will have big implications for both consumers and companies.”

Ben Crawford of Central Nic and Dot Brand Solutions and Josh Bourne, the head of the The Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA).

“Josh I had no idea domain names were being abused.” said the host of the show

Josh Borne said:

“Well they have been.”

“Domain names have grown to almost 210 million registrations worldwide, basically the reason is because it pays so much to to use brand names to confuse consumers and trick them into harmful scenarios.”

Should there be a .XXX domain? Asked the host:

Mr. Borne replied:

“No one was for .XXX, the right, the left, even the adult entertainment industry .

However, those in the domain industry believes they can sell a lot of domain names to brand owners who don’t want their brand associated with .XXX or the adult entertainment industry who are happy using the .Com they have now and don’t want their content blocked”

“No one wanted its other than the companies that want to sell the domains.”

Mr. Crawford then said:

“what brands want to do is to allow brands to get their own TLD….. and give them complete control over the extension.”

Why would we not do that? asks the host:

Ben said ICANN “has been working for a couple years on this to allow these TLD’s for brands, cities and communities that want their own extension, who are ready to to apply for them as soon as ICANN fires the starting pistol.”

The co-host of the show then ask Mr. Bourne why would it cost consumers more money if these extensions are allowed? to which Bourne replied:

“Globally over 90% of all Internet traffic is going to .Com. sites”

“With the huge amount of third party infringement domains, we know parties that ownn 30,000, 40,000 and 50,000 third party infringements its hard to protect consumers from fraud, they expect in the near future  20 times more extensions and there is no chance that companies can keep up with it.”

“In a world where consumers know to go to a .brands only is 5, 10 15 years away you have to undo and retrain people how to navigate the Internet.”

The co-host concluded:

“Although If there was one group who would know what they wanted to seek out,  it would be those seeking out .xxx”

Its an interesting discussion and you should check out the video tape which you can do by clicking here.

Mr. Bourne’s argument  is heavily skewed in favor of the trademark groups as always.

He said  that there are 210 domain registration worldwide, because of all the trademark infringing domains, but then says that 90% of the traffic goes to the .Com extension, which as we know only accounts for half of all domain registrations or 105 Million.

So there is a logically disconnect.

To attributed the vast majority of worldwide domain registrations to trademark infringing domain is simply ridiculous and undermines Mr. Bourne’s argument.