Donuts Letter To Those That Lost Eco New gTLD’s

Donuts just sent out a letter to all their customers that registered a new gTLD with the word Eco on the left of the dot, who had their domains taken back from the registry.

The memo line on the email reads “Your Recently Deleted Name”

As we stated earlier this week, we lost one such domain, eco.domains, so we got an email letter of our own and thought you would be interesting in seeing what Donuts is sending out

Here it is:

“”You recently registered the domain name <eco.domains> through your registrar.  Regretfully, that domain name was made available for registration due to a technical error.  The domain name industry’s regulator, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), unfortunately prohibits us from making that domain name available to the public at this time.  You can find the domain name you registered and a long list of similar names we are prohibited from registering here: http://www.icann.org/sites/default/files/packages/reserved-names/ReservedNames.xml.

Though we would very much like you to keep the domain name, due to these ICANN regulations we were forced to delete the name and place it on “Registry Reserved” status, along with other domain names that ICANN requires us to make unavailable for registration.

We are extremely sorry for the frustration and inconvenience this has caused you.  Though this was an isolated error, we are doing everything we can to make sure it stays that way.  We also apologize that it took us several days to communicate this to you.  We were exploring every avenue available to us within ICANN’s complex regulations to correct the error.

Now, the good news:
We have refunded the full domain name registration fee to your registrar and expect the registrar will provide this refund to you.
We are actively lobbying ICANN to make the domain name you registered available to you.  We hope to be successful and, though you are under no obligation to do so, we think it would be helpful if you voiced your opinion to ICANN about it directly.
To get this domain name to you as soon as possible, we are maintaining a record of your details in the event ICANN releases it for registration.  If and when ICANN does, we will contact you and have this name registered to you for free.
We hold ourselves at Donuts to very high standards and regret to have fallen short.  You have our sincere gratitude for your patience and understanding as we try to get this domain name back to you.

Richard Tindal
Donuts Inc. Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer””

New gTLD’s Registered With Word “Eco” Are Being Take Back: On ICANN’s Restricted List

As we just went to tape this weeks DomainSherpa.com discussion show, a fellow Sherpa, Page Howe, brought it to my attention that new gTLD domain names that have the word Eco on the left of the dot were in the process of  being taken back by the Donuts Registry.

Page’s domain names eco.directory and eco.careers are only two of the domains now in the process of being deleted by the registry as the whois records are showing the domains being in pending delete.

Even my company Worldwide Media, Inc. was notified this afternoon that we are losing one of these domain names,  Eco.Domains.

The issue is the domains should not have been issued in the first place by Donuts, as Eco is on the ICANN restricted and reserved list of protected organizations and NGO’s which you can find here:

http://www.icann.org/sites/default/files/packages/reserved-names/ReservedNames.xml

This is a different list than the ICANN domain collision list which varies for each new gTLD.

This list “contains the list of reserved names according to the  new gTLD base registry agreement for International Olympic Committee,
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and  Intergovernmental Organizations categories” for which there cannot be registrations at the second level.

While I’m not thrilled about losing the domain, I get the fact that the domain should never have been issued under ICANN regulations and its not due to Donuts changing their mind on domains they wanted to reserve as premium domains.

Obviously everyone who has one of these domains will be getting a full refund from the registrar they registered the domain names through.

Donuts should be issuing a statement shortly that we will add to our post, once we receive it.

 UPDATE

Statement from Donuts

We understand the confusion regarding certain “eco” second level registrations.  Donuts inadvertently made this string available for registration due to a registry error and is sorry for the inconvenience.

We WISH we could sell the name, and frustrating as it may be, the string is on ICANN’s restricted list (and Donuts is managing more than 600,000 names under restriction for various reasons, not including NXD names, which could total more than 1 million), so we were obligated to take this step in order for Donuts, registrars and registrants to be in compliance with ICANN requirements.

7 New Donuts gTLD’s Available For Registration Tomorrow

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According to a press release out today, Tomorrow, Wednesday Donuts Inc., kicks off the general availability period for seven new Internet domain names, (gTLD’s).

The gTLD the will be live available for registration are :

.BIKE

.CLOTHING

.GURU

.HOLDINGS

.PLUMBING

.SINGLES

.VENTURES.

Anyone can register names in these gTLDs on a first come, first-served basis from accredited registrars worldwide.

Next Wednesday, February 5, .CAMERA, .EQUIPMENT, .ESTATE, .GALLERY, .GRAPHICS, .LIGHTING and .PHOTOGRAPHY will be open for registration by anyone interested in an online identity connected to these terms.

Donuts, the largest of the new gTLD program’s applicants, is the first to launch gTLDs in the Latin characters used in English, Spanish, French and other worldwide languages.

“Starting this week, new, relevant and specific Internet naming options will be available on a scale never before seen,” Donuts co-founder and CEO Paul Stahura said. “This is a unique opportunity for businesses, brands, organizations, and individuals to find an online identity that speaks precisely to their products, services and interests.”

Daniel Schindler of Donuts Says gTLDs Better Than .Com But .Com Values Will Go Up

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In a blog post appearing in iparkavenue.com,  Daniel Schindler of Donuts is quoted as saying gTLDs Better Than .Com.

You might expect that from a co-founder of a company which applied for 3x more new gTLD’s than any company on earth, however in all fairness Dan’s comment that a new gTLD is better than a .com seems to be limited to end users looking for available domain names:

Here are the most interest parts of the story:

“First, he is firmly convinced that the new gTLDs are better than the .com extension because they mean something. He states, “They are a short, meaningful habitat for your domain.”

Second, Mr. Schindler believes that we have run out of quality names that can be hand registered in the .com market.

He says that if you attempt to hand register a domain name “you can’t get a good name in the .com market.”

He goes on to say, “What is left now are poor names, not meaningful names that you can go out and register for your business.

It is obvious who should register .pizza, .attorney, and .restaurant, and no Super Bowl commercial is needed for consumers to understand what the brand means. Consumers automatically understand what .pizza means.”

And third, he believes the new gTLDs will enhance the value of the prime real estate that already exists in the domain name space, not lower its value.

“If you view the .com extension as a beach front hotel then building hotels next to it could enhance its value.”

Donuts Comments On ICANN Last Resort Auction Rules

Donuts filed a comment with ICANN over the ICANN Last Resort Auction Rules which were up for public comment.

Unlike Google which thinks the one year period in which is would take ICANN to hold all Last Resort Auctions is too slow, and Unregistry which think the period is too quick, Donuts thinks the timing is just about right although wants applicants who agree to have a second extension period of 3 months to resolve contention privately.

Donuts also suggests allowing other contention sets to jump ahead by asking for acceleration to take the spots of those asking for a extensions.

Here is the Donuts comment:

Auction Schedule

ICANN now proposes to complete in one year an auction schedule with ten auction sessions of approximately twenty contention sets.

ICANN previously supported a rule whereby applicant organizations may, but would not be forced to, participate in more than five auctions in any one round.

ICANN’s stated intention was not to overwhelm any one bidder and risk causing an issue with the sanctity of the auction, thereby causing liability issues and other problems.

Some members of the community argued that if Donuts took that limitation to an extreme, we could then delay the auction process by years.

The record is abundantly clear that we have been longstanding and outspoken advocates reducing delays in processing and approving new TLD applications and delegations.

As such, we never have had any intention of delaying resolution of string contention and support ICANN’s above-referenced schedule, even though we have anywhere between 10-17 TLDs scheduled in each round.

The ICANN proposal gives to applicants something many have sought throughout the New TLD program: an acceptable level of certainty and predictability at each stage of the process. Knowing approximately when a contention set will go to auction, if it is not already resolved, is of great benefit to all applicants.

Postponements and Advancements — ICANN has proposed that if all applicants in a contention set agree, they could request one auction postponement of up to 90 days.

We think such an option should not be limited to a single request. If all members of a contention set would like a second postponement in order to finalize a private agreement, ICANN should not prohibit or discourage such efforts by mandating only one postponement.

Similarly, if an entire contention set agrees to “pull forward,” or advance a set from a later round to an earlier round, these sets should be permitted to fill any open slots in an earlier round (perhaps resulting from private resolution or postponement of other contention sets). In other words, contention sets should be advanced based on request of the applicants in that set and not just based on draw number or an ICANN mandate.

Bid Round Timing — the Rules should be clear that bid rounds may be no shorter than 20 minutes. Bid rounds are mentioned in the AGB as being in the 20-45 minute range. We can understand why a round may be longer (e.g., it may occur at the end of an auction day), but there should be no reason why a round is shorter than 20 minutes.

Auctioneer Discretion — Under the proposal, bid increments may be set solely at the discretion of the auctioneer and could be changed at any time.

Similarly, the timing of a round may be changed at the auctioneer’s discretion.

We support some curb on the discretion of the auctioneer to make substantive changes without the consent of the parties to the auction. The auctioneer, in its discretion, should announce the bid increments and bid round timing in advance and should maintain both absent exigent circumstances or the agreement of all members of the contention set.

ICANN Discretion — ICANN reserves the right in Section 7.6 of the Agreement to unilaterally change the bidder rules in its sole discretion, for any reason, up to the Deposit Deadline (one week before the auction is to be held).

We do not believe this discretion is warranted or appropriate. After the Rules are approved, any proposed changes, at a minimum, should be announced publicly at least 30 days in advance of any auction, and should be for good cause based on some exigent circumstance.

Indemnification — Section 4.2 of the proposed bidder agreement requires applicants to release and indemnify the auctioneer for losses and attorneys fees for anything that arises from or related to the auction.

This is unacceptably over-broad.

Why should applicants indemnify the auctioneer for something applicants didn’t do?

What if the auctioneer’s software used in an auction is the subject of an infringement case?

What if the auctioneer performs its duties in a negligent manner?

What if ICANN sues the auctioneer—should the auctioneer seek indemnification from applicants?

This provision must be rewritten in a balanced way.

Any indemnification obligations from applicants must be limited to the actual conduct of the applicant.

While ICANN has progressed with regard to the auction of last resort for “direct contention sets,” we call on ICANN to complete its work on rules covering the limited number of “indirect contention sets” as well.

These TLDs should not be held up due to their status and the auctions of indirect sets should proceed contemporaneously with auctions of direct sets.

Finally, we call on ICANN to start the community process to determine the allocation of auctions funds received by ICANN. This process should be kicked off no later than the Singapore meeting.