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The liberalization of generic top level domains confirmed

At the end of June, the ICANN board approved a policy allowing for the creation of an unlimited amount of gTLDs (generic top-level domains such as .com and .org).  Any person or organization with the technical and financials means to manage such an extension will be able to request its creation.

The administrative and technical framework is still to be determined, but already brand rights are being considered.  More precise policies should be announced by the end of the year, and the project should see the light of day in 2009. For the moment, here is what was announced:

  • Brand owners will be able to halt the creation of extensions on which they have rights.
  • The distribution of these extensions will begin with a sunrise period during which only brand owners will be able to register their own brand domain names.

This information is definitely reassuring for brand owners.

Brand owners should properly weigh the advantages of registering their brand name as each new extension becomes available. As an agency offering domain names management services, IC-Agency will be following these developments very closely.

By IC-Agency | July 27, 2008 | Domain Names
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The importance of protecting our brand on the Web

At the end of March, two articles appeared in the Journal du Net and in 01Net which brought up the question of brand protection on the Internet. 

The first article tells us how Google and the travel site Faraway24.com were fined 75 ' 000 Euros for false and misleading advertising. This fine resulted in a complaint from the hotel group Citadines, in the motive that the pages of results related to the query “Citadines " posted sponsored links towards competitors’ websites, of which included Faraway24. The Tribunal de grande instance de Paris thus forced Google to remove the word Citadines from their Adwords platform.

The second article shows the numbers published by the world organization of intellectual property (OMPI), according to which the number of complaints for excessive unauthorized use of domain names would have increased by 18 % in 2007.  According to the OMPI, this increase would mainly be due to the new rules concerning the protection of the personal information. since webmaster data isn’t appearing when querying the Whois database, since some people are abusively using domain names while remaining hidden from their "victims". 

It seems that company policies consists more “of introducing disputes when they deem them necessary, rather than to lead defensive domain name campaigns”. It’s a surprising choice, seeing as systematic monitoring and repatriation of strategic domain names is much more effective (and much cheaper!) than going to the courts.

Wether it be “positionsquatting " or domain names management, IC-Agency proposes profitable and effective solutions to protect your brand within search engines and reduce traffic diversion. Do not hesitate to contact us to know more about it, or read our case study concerning Nespresso’s protection concerning illegal sponsored links.

By IC-Agency | April 30, 2008 | Domain Names , | Search Engine Protection
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This domain name IS AVAILABLE: ROUTERMAFIA.COM $8.95*/yr

(by Andreas Schiffler, IC-Agency)

Someone in the office told me about FON (http://en.fon.com). OK, nice WiFi startup idea with some good funding. Looks certainly like a good idea ... a bit tech-bubbly ... but "free" can never be bad.

The question is though, Will FON actually work? After some pondering, I come to the conclusion: No, I don't think so  - not with their business model, not with the current state of technology. There are number of reasons I say that, so let me elaborate.

On the surface of things its looks very cool. Universal Wifi access can't be bad! Right? As a canadian cave dweller its sounds like a great idea - open the laptop in the on the open-lake ice and surf, eh, freeze. Maybe not so good.

Well to be honest, if it gets any amount of traction, it will be probably shot-down by the broadband providers who are actually providing the bandwidth for each access point in the first place. Just as the FON FAQ states: "Prior to activating your access point, you should re-read the terms of use that you have with your broadband  provider to ensure that it permits your to share your connection." I don't think any provider actually allows this - not that i have ready my small-print contract - comments on this are more than welcome. Also, most broadband connections are bandwidth capped - my super-duper extra model tops out at 60G per month - well, run a few torrents from digitaldistractions.org (http://www2.digitaldistractions.org:8080/torrents.php) and a few 24/7 shoutcast.com (http://www.shoutcast.com/) streams  - yes, 24/7 is an unnecessary convenience like leaving the lights on in the basement - and you'll hit that bandwidth limit quickly.

It seems to me that WiFi as a technology is also the wrong horse to bet on. Its an old and lame horse. What's the meagre coverage area of a Linksys access point running at the legal 32 milliwatts (+15dBm) ... a circle with a 100ft radius? Maybe 200ft with a nice shiny omni-directional antenna. Hardly good coverage - and oh, forgot to remind you about the fact that you've got your house in the back if we follow FON's instructions. "Where is the best place to situate routers? In the windows." I think, the next generation technology like WiMax would work well, but when the time comes we'll all have to buy new Linksys routers.

On a side node - I'd be willing to do that, as long as they change the color of their plastic housing this time around. That ugly blue and black box just cannot compete with the current crop of iPod inspired designs.

An additional hinderance is a part of the Wifi technology itself - its security model, or should I say: insecurity model. To advertise itself to the world a public broadcast occurs - unencrypted. Also, for the user to get connected, one has to login to the network. So, to use the free network, one will need offer an unprotected network. That's a bad idea - we all want a protected network. Sorry, routers cannot offer an encrypted and unprotected network at the same time - its either protected and encrypted or not. In FONs case (haven't tried it) likely NOT. So great - free Wifi, but with all my traffic out in the open now, I get the feeling this is a big privacy and security issue. All that is needed is a tool to "sniff" the airwaves, a rudimentary function offered by dozens of easily downloadable utilities, and your free WiFi access point can be used by neighbors and strangers alike to extract valuable information from your activities. It bothers me already that the US government can do that and get 1 weeks worth of search records from major search engines - but my neighbors sniffing around my hopefully firewalled Windows machine? No thanks! (plus, I am using Linux anyhow.)

And what about the competition. There are WiFi networks in McDonalds, Starbucks, Hotels, housing developments, inner-cities and many other places. There is http://www.publicip.net, http://metrofreefi.com, http://www.broadscape.net, etc. ... heck there is even a WiFi enabled Mosquito Magnet (http://news.com.com/Wi-Fi+mosquito+killer+coming+to+a+porch+near+you/2100-11395_3-5961535.html). So what's the point in getting into the game now. I guess Google wants to get into any game where they can push their content (i.e. Ads) these days. Combine that with the fact that they are relatively rich, and a few million invested for some  exposure on the WiFi login screen makes sense. Business sense at least.

I am sure these issues will all be solved in due time. After all FON got a few million to play with. But maybe its time look at a few years down the road. Multiple "free" Wifi providers including every homeowner with a broadband access are fighting for the airwaves. Fighting to get YOU onto their FREE Wifi LAN. It's a fierce battle for territory, a war about SSID's and Milliwatts in the Gigaherz range, the time when Wifi jamming becomes organized ... the age of the Router Mafia (dot com)!

By aschiffler | February 10, 2006 | Domain Names , | News & Trends
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