Domain Industry News

Epik Offering “Forever Registrations”

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I received a note from Epik CEO Rob Monster, who announced that Epik is now allowing its customers to effectively register some of their domain names at Epik forever. Rob’s email included a link to a press release published by Epik during the ICANN meeting in Barcelona. According to the press release, “Epik is the first ICANN-accredited registrar to offer the perpetual registration.”

Here’s a short excerpt from the press release:

“Forever domain registrations provide individuals and businesses with peace of mind. Once a Forever registration is secured, the future risk of domain loss due to administrative oversight or lack of funds is eliminated. While domain owners are still subject to legal use, domains can now become an enduring part of a will or estate, with continued managed registration compliance, even after the death of the original registrant. A Forever domain registration, which can be optionally combined with a Forever hosting plan, offers not only peace of mind, but also allows registrants to preserve their digital legacy, and on their terms.”

The cost of a .com “forever registration” at Epik runs $420. If a person were paying $10/year all-in to renew their .com domain name, that upfront cost would be 42 years worth of renewals (assuming the price stays the same over that time period).

The concept is certainly interesting. It would effectively reduce the concerns a domain owner may have over what happens to their domain names if they die. In theory,

ICA Seeking Nominations for 2019 Lonnie Borck Memorial Award

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Shortly after the unexpected passing of Lonnie Borck, the Internet Commerce Association (ICA) created a domain industry award in his memory. The inaugural award was presented to David Weslow ofWiley Rein, and this year’s award was given to Kathy Kleiman.

The ICA is currently seeking nominations for the 2019 Lonnie Borck Memorial Award. Here’s a description of the Award:

“The Lonnie Borck Memorial Award is granted to an individual for indelible contribution to domain investor rights, and we invite you all to take part in the process and submit your suggestions for the nominees. The nomination process is open to the entire domain name community.”

Nominations will be accepted until November 1st. The ICA Board of Directors will review the nominations and vote on the winner. The Award will be presented during the NamesCon conference in January.

If you know of someone who has made a lasting contribution to protecting and enabling the rights of domain name investors, you should think about submitting a nomination. There are quite a few people that go above and beyond to help protect the rights of domain investors, and it is nice that we can honor them. I already know who I am going to nominate.

Not a week goes by that I don’t think about Lonnie. It’s nice to see this Award being given to someone deserving.

Namecheap Celebrating 18 Years With Special Offers

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Namecheap is celebrating its 18th birthday this year, and the company has some special offers for customers to mark the occasion:

It looks like Namecheap is offering an 18% discount off a variety of products and services, including domain name renewals. The company is also offering a discount on .com domain name registrations:

“At Namecheap we’re big on birthday celebrations, and there’s no better way to celebrate than with you, our customers. This year, to mark our Big 18 and having 10 million domains under management, we are giving a big 18% off your domain, Private Email, and SSL renewals! We’re also offering an extra birthday treat – .com registrations at an incredible $8.88!”

The sale ends at the end of the day on October 17th (tomorrow). See the event landing page for full details about the discounts as well as any terms and conditions.

PE Firm Acquires Majority Stake in Donuts

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Donuts shared some major news this morning, announcing that Abry Partners has acquired a majority stake in the company. Abry is a private equity firm based in Boston, Massachusetts. The terms of the deal were not made public, and because Donuts is a privately owned business, I do not anticipate that the terms will become public in the future.

I briefly looked at the Abry website, and it looks like this is the PE firm’s first investment in a domain industry company. Perhaps notably, one of the partners at Abry (since 2016) is Fadi Chehadé, the former CEO of ICANN. The press release did not mention if Mr. Chehadé will be playing a role at Donuts. I would anticipate that his high level domain industry experience and connections will be helpful.

Earlier this morning, I exchanged emails with Judith McGarry, VP Marketing & Communications at Donuts, and she let me know that

.NYC Running “Best of Boroughs” Contest with $25k in Prizes

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Neustar, the company that operates the .NYC registry, is running a contest to help promote its .NYC extension locally. The contest is dubbed the “Best of Boroughs,” and it will award five prizes in the amount of $5,000 each. There will be one winner chosen from each of New York City’s five boroughs (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, and Staten Island).

The contest is for people and organizations who use a .NYC domain name for their website. Here’s how the contest is described:

Best of the Boroughs in a citywide contest that celebrates the local businesses, organizations and community individuals that make our city, and each borough, a unique place to live. These individuals love the City so much it’s in their web address.

Entrants across NYC will submit applications on what makes their .nyc business, website, store, organization or idea the best of their borough. There will be one winner chosen from each of the five boroughs and named the Best of Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens or Staten Island, depending on the borough in which they reside.

The contest is open to “any business or entity with a working .nyc website in use prior to 9/4/2018.” I am sure there are

Whoisology Acquired by WhoisXML API

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I noticed that the Whoisology.com domain name changed registrants to the Escrow.com escrow account. I reached out to Whoisology co-founder Ryan McKegney, and he confirmed that his company sold the Whoisology business to WhoisXML API earlier this year. “We were looking to focus on DomainAgents and since WhoisXML was already a Whoisology partner with deep expertise in the whois data and internet security field, we felt they were a very natural fit who could do interesting things with the site,” he told me.

The transaction price was not disclosed to me by either party, but the entire Whoisology business was sold.

Whoisology is a business that provides a number of services related to domain name Whois records. Users can perform reverse Whois searches via Whoisology to link various domain names to a particular registrant. The business also has archived historical Whois records as well. Whoisology can be helpful to

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