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ICANN Meeting in New York on July 13

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ICANN LogoI just registered to attend the upcoming ICANN gTLD meeting in New York City on Monday, July 13, 2009. There is no cost to register for the event, and I recommend that domain owners in the New York area attend the meeting.

This may be the last chance to express your opinion, as a domain name owner, about the IRT and URS proposal. At the very least, it’s a good opportunity to meet ICANN leaders and learn about how ICANN works.

Here are the details for the NY Meeting:

Date: July 13, 2009
Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Location: Hudson Theatre, Millennium Hotel – (145 West 44th Street, New York, NY)

If you can’t make it to the NYC meeting, other meetings are scheduled for locations around the world, including London (July 15, 2009), Hong Kong (July 24, 2009) and Abu Dhabi (August 4, 2009). Again, it’s free and easy to register online.

IRT Report & URS Comments

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If you own a domain name, I implore you to read the IRT Proposal to form your own opinion of its contents. If you have any issues with it, please take a few moments to write a comment to ICANN – today is the final day to make your comments heard. You can also read other comments that were submitted.

It is my opinion that the Uniform Rapid Suspension System is dangerous to domain owners, and I submitted an email comment explaining why I believe this. The only way for my opinion to be heard is via the public comment forum, and I wanted ICANN and those who follow ICANN to see (and address) my issues.

While the odds are great that a URS dispute won’t be filed against a domain name you own, it is very likely that one will be filed against someone who owns a generic domain name. Now is the final opportunity to provide your comments about the proposal – not 6 months or a year from now when a legitimate domain name or website is taken offline by an overzealous trademark attorney.

As I stated in my submission, I do believe the intent of the proposal is good, and it probably won’t impact the majority of ordinary domain owners and small businesses such as mine. However, just like there are domain owners who don’t take the legal/ethical high ground, I believe there will be trademark interests who use the URS as a way to secure domain names in a less expensive manner than direct acquisition. For those domain names and owners that become targets, fighting URS complaints will be a very costly endeavor.

It’s likely that it won’t be your domain name that is targeted, but if you are unlucky and a large company wants your domain name, the costs associated with defending your rights could be very high.

Take some time this morning to read the report. You can also read Mike Berkens’ comments and read more information from Ron Jackson. Rick Schwartz has also weighed in as has George Kirkos. Comments from the Internet Commerce Association are also available online. Now is the time to form an opinion and make your comments known. The trademark and IP attorneys have spoken, and now is the time for domain owners to voice their opinions.

Internet Commmerce Association Benefit Auction

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During today’s live Domain Roundtable auction, 10 domain names will be auctioned to benefit the Internet Commerce Association, and all proceeds from these 10 domain names will be donated to the organization that represents domain owners. These domain names were donated by a variety of individuals and domain companies. For those who are not in attendance at the show, bidding can be done online at the Aftermarket.com website.

ICA Auction Inventory:

–       Castaway.com
–       ParkingShare.com
–       SecureWeb.com
–       Deployed.com
–       Slices.org
–       LikeHer.net
–       SleepSafe.com
–       HolidayLoan.com
–       PlasticSurgeryWebsite.com
–       [TCI domain coming soon]

Domain Roundtable to Hold ICA Auction

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Just received this notice and wanted to share it:

Washington, May 22, 2009 – The Internet Commerce Association (ICA) today announced that Thought Convergence, Inc. the owner and operator of the popular Domain Roundtable conference, taking place June 14-17 in Washington, DC, has graciously offered time during the Aftermarket.com premium domain auction to sell domains donated to the ICA by members and those wishing to support the advocacy group. The Aftermarket.com auction will be held during the conference on June 16th at 4p.m.EDT until 7p.m. EDT.

The ICA, a non-profit organization, is encouraging the domain community to donate domain names for this auction event. Applicants can submit their domains to the ICA by email to info_ica@internetcommerce.org. All of the proceeds from the domains sold in auction will go directly to supporting upcoming ICA initiatives, such as lobbying for domain owner rights in Washington and with ICANN. The domain donors who participate will receive a personal “thank you” on the ICA website and will receive an email from the ICA, confirming the amount received from the sale of their donated domain for tax purposes.

“The ICA was founded to protect and defend the rights of domain owners and developers. By participating in our first live auction event, each domain professional has the chance to directly affect the level of protection and pull that they have in Washington,” said Jeremiah Johnston, president of the ICA. “With the support of the Domain Roundtable organizers and those in the domain community who contribute, the ICA board is confident that a successful auction will help strengthen our resources and further our political progress.”

For those not attending Domain Roundtable, but who are interested in participating in the ICA Auction, www.DomainRoundtable.com offers an online platform, where potential buyers can register to bid. The ICA is also accepting private donations to support initiatives such as its Legal Defense Fund and the amicus briefs filed on behalf of its members’ interests. Donations can be made online at internetcommerce.org/donate or by check payable to Internet Commerce Association at:

Donations
Internet Commerce Association
1301 Pennyslvania Ave., NW
Suite 500
Washington, DC 20004

About Internet Commerce Association

The Internet Commerce Association, a trade group comprised of members who own, develop and operate domain names for the purposes of online commerce, is a leading voice for domain owners to ensure their rights are not affected by the politics of Washington, the policies of ICANN, or wherever threats to our membership exist. For additional information, please visit www.InternetCommerce.org.

What He Said…

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I am sure most of you read Mike Berkens’ blog, but in case you missed it today, please check it out

ICA Releases Annual Report

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Subscribe to Elliot's BlogThe Internet Commerce Association has had a busy 2008. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed, and are appreciated by domain owners with portfolios of all sizes.   I am proud to support the ICA, and I urge all domain owners to join as members.
The ICA released their 2008 Annual Report today, and it’s important for domain owners to read the report so they can see just how much the ICA has been doing this past year.

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