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150 Things to Remember When Starting a Business in .CA

WebNamesCa WebNamesCa:
Starting a business can be tough—not only do you want to choose the perfect domain name, but also cover all your bases for finding a great registrar, protecting your domain and marketing your business. To help you out, and in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, we’ve compiled a list of 150 things to remember when starting a business in .CA. As Canada’s original domain registrar, we have a lot of experience to share.

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Bloomberg: Pricing of New TLDs Seem “Kind of Random”, Sector in “Flux”

CircleID CircleID: "What does it mean that a web address ending in .pizza costs more than one ending in .beer? Or that .bar costs more than .academy?" Bloomberg's Economic Editor, Peter Coy, suggests that the new Top-Level Domain pricing seen in the market today appears to represent a big pricing experiment in a sector of the economy "that's in flux". So why the various TLDs vary so much in price? Coy writes: "One reason seems to be that the market is young, and both buyers and sellers are trying to feel their way toward what’s good value for the money. Entrepreneurs that spent a lot of money for top-level domain names may try to price higher to recoup their costs, which can be tricky because customers don’t really care about their suppliers’ costs."
Follow CircleID on TwitterMore under: Domain Names, Top-Level Domains

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The long road to internet success, part 5: Community

Whats Your Name Whats Your Name: Part 5 of the series, “The long road to internet success”. Read Part 4 here. If you recall, we began this journey—this journey to build my online profile and, more harrowingly, increase my wife’s confidence by approximately 23% in my ability to one day host the Academy Awards—on the back of Name.com customer Helene Kwong’s […]
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Trump’s Cuba Policy and Its Impact on the Cuban Internet

CircleID CircleID: President Trump showing a signed executive order on Cuba policy, Fri, 16 Jun 2017 in MiamiOverall, I don't see anything in Trump's policy that will directly impact the Cuban Internet, but it will have an indirect impact by delaying the eventual rapprochement between the US and Cuba.

On June 12th, I speculated on Trump's forthcoming Cuba policy and its impact on the Internet. He outlined his policy in a June 16th speech (transcript) and the Treasury Department published a FAQ on forthcoming regulation changes. It looks like my (safe) predictions were accurate.

I predicted he would attack President Obama, brag about what he had done, make relatively minor changes that would not upset businesses like cruise lines, airlines, and telecommunication and hotel companies. I also said he would criticize Cuban human rights, while hypocritically ignoring the issue in other countries.

For example, he slammed President Obama and bragged that "I am canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba."

This does not come close to passing a fact-check. He said he was going to restrict people-to-people travel and stop people from doing business with companies owned by the Cuban Military, but that is far from canceling President Obama's "deal," which included little things like establishing diplomatic relations, reducing constraints on remittances, dropping the wet-foot, dry-foot policy, allowing US companies to do business with self-employed Cubans, allowing US companies to sell telecommunication equipment and services in Cuba, putting Cuba back on the list of state-sponsors of terrorism, etc. You get the idea — he canceled none of this.

His statements on Cuban human rights are either 100% hypocritical, or he has changed his mind since his speech in Saudi Arabia last month. At that time, he promised that "America will not seek to impose our way of life on others but to outstretch our hands in the spirit of cooperation and trust."

If he really has changed his live-and-let-live human-rights policy, we can expect a spate of new sanctions, from Manila to Moscow.

I had one surprise — his singling out hotels and other businesses operated by the military-run conglomerate, Grupo de Administración Empresarial S.A. (GAESA). Officials say existing hotel deals will not be effected, but the detailed regulations have not yet been released. This change will cut Cuban worker's jobs and GAESA's profit, but I guess the ban is good news for AirBnB and any future Trump hotel or resort in Cuba.

How about changes affecting the Cuban Internet?

I read the Fact Sheet on Cuba Policy, looking for changes that would affect the Internet, and did not find much.

The first "key policy change" is "allowing American individuals and entities to develop economic ties to the private, small business sector in Cuba." Someone should let him know that President Obama made such changes some time ago, for example in allowing software imports from the private sector.

In fact, someone should read him President Obama's 2009 Fact Sheet – Reaching out to the Cuban people. That document introduced many changes which enhance the ability of Cuban private, small businesses to "develop ties to the US," for example by authorizing "greater telecommunications links with Cuba to advance people-to-people interaction at no cost to the U.S. government." The fact sheet lists seven concrete telecommunication policy changes, none of which were "canceled" by Trump.

He has canceled none of President Obama's changes to encourage private Cuban business and added nothing new himself.

One change he did make is stopping "self-directed, individual travel" to Cuba. That will force would-be tourists to join fake groups and fake their travel reports or go to Aruba instead of Cuba, but it will not slow the deployment of Chinese telecommunication infrastructure.

I hope Trump's policy will not undo the progress made by Google in establishing a relationship with Cuba and gaining permission to install Google Global Cache servers on the island. The servers are not yet in use, and when they go online they will have a small practical impact, but they indicate that Google has built trust and a relationship with the Cuban government and Internet community. I bet representatives of Google and other companies who have established relationships with Cuba are trying to reassure their counterparts that this is a temporary, unpopular change in US policy.

Overall, I don't see anything in Trump's policy that will directly impact the Cuban Internet, but it will have an indirect impact by delaying the eventual rapprochement between the US and Cuba. The Cuban government will enjoy a few more years of claiming their economic problems are the result of the US embargo, the integration of the Cuban and American people will be slowed and The Chinese, Russians, and Iranians will have more time to establish political and business relationships in Cuba with diminished competition from the US.

Trump's speech did not change much practically — its intent and impact were symbolic. It let him say he had carried out a campaign pledge, which was music to the ears of the Cuba-hardline audience at the Manuel Artime auditorium, named for a leader of the Bay of Pigs invasion. The talk lasted about 39 minutes with 53 applause breaks (50 for Trump, 3 for others) and a violin rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Add to that the fact that Trump speaks slowly and repeats a lot of words and phrases, you realize that the speech was 90% political cheerleading and 10% content. You can watch the speech here on YouTube, but reading the transcript is a lot quicker.

For a more comprehensive critique of Trump's Cuba policy see this article by Ben Rhodes, who was one of two White House staff members handling the negotiations leading up to our opening with Cuba. I also recommend the podcast interviews of Rhodes and Dan Restrepo, who served as a top Latin America advisor to President Obama and wrote a Cuban-rapprochement roadmap for candidate Obama before he was elected President. The interviews reveal President Obama's strategy and describe the negotiation process.
Written by Larry Press, Professor of Information Systems at California State UniversityFollow CircleID on TwitterMore under: Access Providers, Policy & Regulation

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New Standard for Reverse Domain Name Hijacking

CircleID CircleID: Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) Rule 1 defines Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH) as "using the Policy in bad faith to attempt to deprive a registered domain name holder of a domain name" (further defined in Rule 15(c)). There has been a mixed history in granting and denying this remedy for overreaching rights. Some Panels consider RDNH regardless whether it has been requested (even if respondent defaults in responding to the complaint); others will only consider the issue if requested. There are also variant views on the burden of proof. Some panelists simply ignore the request even though dismissing the complaint. In Impossible BV v. Joel Runyon, Impossible Ventures, D2016-0506 (WIPO May 22, 2016) (<impossibleproject.com>) the majority denied RDNH over the objection of the third-member:

I am conscious that the Panel majority do not regard the issue of RDNH as being of any great relevance in the context of this dispute. I fundamentally disagree.

The reasons for this fundamental disagreement (from one of the veteran panelists) are interesting and I'll come back to them further below.

In the recently released WIPO Overview 3.0 the editors now acknowledge that "following some early cases to the contrary, panels have more recently clarified that, for an RDNH finding to be made, it is not necessary for a respondent to seek an RDNH finding or prove the presence of conduct constituting RDNH" (Paragraph 4.16). It would appear from this that the standard has tightened in favor of RDNH although there continue to be baffling examples, as noted by Andrew Allemann in Domain Name Wire: "I can't believe it's not RDNH: Gloo.com" referring to Entertainment Technology Investments, Inc. d/b/a Gloo, LLC v. Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 011945202 / K Blacklock, D2017-0606 (WIPO May 31, 2017). The surprise in this case of not finding RDNH is that the registration of <gloo.com> predated the mark by many years. (The Panel didn't even bother to explain itself!) Granting standing to complainants whose trademarks were not distinctive at the time of the domain name registration is now been woven into the fabric, but it should be a de rigour finding that overreaching mark owners be slapped with sanctions.

The one constant of marks not distinctive at the time of domain name registration is that by definition the registrations could not have been in bad faith regardless how subsequently they may have been used. There should be a rule (memorialized in the UDRP Rules or accepted by consensus) that complainants of this stripe be marked with an "A" (abusive) for commencing the proceeding. See also EBSCO Industries, Inc. v. WebMagic Staff / WebMagic Ventures, LLC., FA1703001722095 (<novelist.com>. RDNH requested and granted); Platterz Inc. v. Andrew Melcher, FA1705001729887 (Forum June 19, 2017) (<platterz.com>. RDNH requested and granted). The only reason for granting standing it to give complainants the opportunity to prove common law rights predating registration of the domain name.

WIPO Overview 3.0 points out "NB, parties may be aware that unlike in the UDRP system, certain national courts may (where invoked) impose monetary penalties (including punitive damages) where the equivalent of RDNH is found" (Paragraph 4.16). While domain name holders have prevailed in district court in direct cases under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) up to now there have been no cases in which they have commenced an action for damages after winning RDNH. (There are cases in which domain holders lost in UDRPs and prevailed in ACPA actions).

There is now a case in which a prevailing Respondent with RDNH in hand has filed an action under the ACPA for $75,000, CORPORACION EMPRESARIAL ALTRA S.L. v. Development Services, Telepathy, Inc., D2017-0178 (WIPO May 15, 2017) (<airzone.com>). See here for copy of complaint and comment from Domain Name Wire). This could be an important case, a test case, but there are a couple of difficulties, most notably personal jurisdiction. (An action for damages requires the court having personal jurisdiction over defendant). In an earlier case involving the same Respondent (who incidentally invariably prevails) the Panel declined to award RDNH. X6D Limited v. Telepathy, Inc., D2010-1519 (WIPO November 16, 2010).

What does the landscape look like, notwithstanding the new standard? In two cases by SPS Commerce, Inc., FA1703001724583 and 1724584 (Forum May 24, 2017) (<spcommerce.com>) and (<specommerce.com>) (same three-member Panels) RDNH was not requested and the Panels did not consider sanctions, although the factual findings would surely have warranted it:

Indeed, much of Respondent's evidence goes beyond demonstrable preparation and establishes actual use of the Domain Name in connection with a bona fide offering of e-commerce services. In addition to the branding focus groups, marketing expenditure, and developing case studies and other digital content, Respondent actually offered e-commerce services via the Domain Name website.

In other words, Respondent's rebuttal evidence was more than sufficient to prove its defense of rights or legitimate interests in the domain names.

Respondent in Wes Madan / United Oil Heat, Inc., d/b/a OrderMyOil.com v. michael meehan, FA170100 1715122 (Forum March 9, 2017 (<orderyouroil.com>) requested RDNH but it was not considered. It does not appear that Respondent requested RDNH in SOG Specialty Knives and Tools, LLC v. Val Katayev / Poise Media Inc, FA1704001726464 (Forum May 23, 2017) (<sog.com>) and it was not considered (probably not requested or considered because the mark predated the registration of the domain name).

In Technologies Sensopia Inc. v. BLUE NOVA INC. FA1704001725217 (Forum June 9, 2017) (<magicplan.com>) Respondent requested RDNH and it was granted because

Complainant knew or should have known when it filed this case that it could not possibly prove bad faith registration, since Respondent registered the Domain Name seven years before Complainant began using its MAGICPLAN mark. It knew or should have known that its renewal/re-registration argument was universally discredited and would not be accepted by any Panel. It knew or should have known that it would have to prove both bad faith registration and bad faith use in order to prevail.

The Panel in Impossible used similar language to make its point. Not only "should [the case] never have been launched" but,

it is crucial that complainants and their advisers have it made very clear to them that in a system such as this where many respondents do not bother to respond, it is important that panels can rely upon the certificate at the end of the Complaint.

More specifically,

if, as some panelists believe, failure on the part of respondents to conduct trademark searches prior to registering domain names may be evidence of bad faith registration and use, one might reasonably enquire why it is not equally abusive for a complainant to assert that the respondent has no relevant rights, when a simple trademark search in the respondent's jurisdiction would have confirmed to the complainant that the respondent might well have such rights… [W]hat makes matters much worse is that, as I have pointed out above, the Complainant was expressly informed months prior to the filing of the Complaint that the Respondent was the owner of registered trademark rights and a simple search of the United States Patent and Trademark Office would have verified it.

In Tupras Turkiye Petrol Rafinerileri A.S. v. See PrivacyGuardian.org / Wizarc Computing, D2017-0818 (WIPO June 6, 2017) (<hexmon.com>) the Respondent does not make any allegation of RDNH but "the Respondent acting in person makes it clear that he regards the Complaint as totally unjustified and oppressive." The Panel held that the "Rules do not require the Respondent to have made an express allegation of RDNH. In the circumstances, the Panel considers it appropriate to consider the issue of RDNH of its own volition." Complainant's allegations of earlier use and bad faith were unsupported by any evidence: " The Panel confesses to finding grossly exaggerated the suggestion that advertisements by the Complainant for some product or service under the HEXMON mark "appear on almost all TVs and radios [...] everyday".

It does not appear Respondent requested RDNH in Crestron Electronics, Inc. v. ATTN: crestronasia.com, Domain Discreet Privacy Service / Transtrade Hong Kong Co. Limited (formerly known as Crestron Asia Limited), D2017-0777 (WIPO June 9, 2017) (<crestonasia.com> and other domains including a dot asia) but the facts (a distribution agreement silent on transferring domain names after termination) warranted it (same Panel as in Impossible).

The final issue concerns complainants represented by counsel or pro se. WIPO Overview 3.0 states that "[g]iven the undertakings in paragraphs 3(b)(xiii) and (xiv) of the UDRP Rules [certification that the information found in the Complaint is not presented for any improper purpose], some panels have held that a represented complainant should be held to a higher standard." (This "higher standard" is surely in play in Crestron Electronics as it was in Impossible). Where counsel is involved, there's simply no excuse!

Decisions giving complainants a pass for pro se or incompetence include FastTrak v. Virtual Point, D2017-0652 (WIPO May 16,2017) (<fasttrak.com>) and Clasen Quality Chocolate, Inc. v. Earthlink, Inc., D2017-0129 (WIPO March 1, 2017) (<cqc.com>).

In FastTrak, the Panel gave Complainant the benefit of doubt on the issue of reverse domain name hijacking since it was "not represented by counsel." It concluded it could not "go so far as to determine the action was taken in bad faith [rather its complaint] was misdirected and generally wrongly pursued." The Panel in Clasen Quality Chocolate denied RDNH because the complaint "appears, on balance, to be more misconceived than malicious in nature" (emphasis added). The head scratcher in this decision is that the Panel also stated that the "Complaint should not have been brought" which is the formulaic language used by panelists on the other end of the spectrum for finding abuse of the proceeding.

See also LaFrance Corp. v. David Zhang, D2009-0415 (WIPO May 15, 2009) in which the Panel stated that "[h]ad Complainant been represented by counsel the Panel would not have hesitated to make an RDNH finding… Nevertheless, in his discretion the Panel declines to enter a finding of RDNH, but does find, as provided in paragraph 15(e) of the Rules, that the Complaint "was brought primarily to harass the domain-name holder.")
Written by Gerald M. Levine, Intellectual Property, Arbitrator/Mediator at Levine Samuel LLPFollow CircleID on TwitterMore under: Domain Names, UDRP

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Sedo weekly sales led by a pair of LLL.coms

TheDomains TheDomains: Sedo reported their weekly sales and Nom.com was the top sale at $86,500. Epg.com sold for $50,000 to come in second place. There was not one non – com gtld sale for the first time that I can remember. Vital.tv was the top cctld sale at 7,100 Euros. Domain name Price Currency .COMs nom.com 86,500 […]
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“UDRP” for copyright has been officially terminated

OnlineDomain.com OnlineDomain.com: Public Interest Registry (PIR), the .org registry, has officially terminated the Systemic Copyright Alternative Dispute Resolution Policy (SCADR). PIR determined that the SCADR is not ripe for implementation. The intention of the SCADR was to create a narrowly tailored solution to address instances of egregious systemic copyright infringement, while fully respecting the due process rights of …
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“There’s sort of a market, but it’s not very efficient or liquid.”

TheDomains TheDomains: Bloomberg economics editor Peter Coy, wrote a piece on domain names and some of the commentary was interesting. Joseph Cohen, founder of Universe a startup that makes an app for building mobile websites, said “It’s not a true market,” “There’s sort of a market, but it’s not very efficient or liquid.” Coy seems to be […]
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AUCTION RECAP OF JUNE 19, 2017

Domain Shane Domain Shane: A comprehensive look at the final auction prices, closeouts and more from the auction list posted on June 19, 2017. 
If there is an asterisk (*) next to a price, it means that the name was at auction from a private seller (rather than an expiring name) and may have had a reserve.  I’m only showing where the price was when the auction ended, but the name may not have sold if a reserve was in place.
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Top 10 Namejet sales for yesterday as listed on Namebio.
swallow.com $16,301
toil.com $5,755
e-q.com $3,735
changxia.com $2,100
dkgr.com $1,110
dpnw.com $1,100
water-ed.org $1,100
68372.com $1,100
jjhq.com $1,020
nwyl.com $1,017

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Needs Better Name: These Rolled Ice Cream Tacos Are LA’s Hottest New Summer Treat

The Frager Factor The Frager Factor: TV advertising is slipping and it can't blame the economy this time; Is WordPress Ready to Be an Enterprise-Grade CMS? Airbnb VP talks about AI’s profound impact on results; The "Cure" for the Workaholic; Life-Saving Drones Can Beat Ambulances to Heart Attack Victims; Verizon to incur $500 million in pre-tax costs from Yahoo deal; How This “Fat Femme” Yoga Instructor Is Reshaping The $3

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