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Jessica Bookstaff Elected Chairman of Associated Cities

Congratulations to my friend Jessica Bookstaff, who was recently elected Chairman of Associated Cities, the premier organization that represents over 100 city .com domain names. Jess spent time on the Associated Cities Board of Directors, and she follows in the footsteps of former chairman Dan Pulcrano, founder of Boulevards, whose company owns one of the finest geographic domain portfolios assembled.
Jess has a history of leading successful geographic domain businesses. Two of her main websites, PigeonForge.com and Durango.com, have tremendous records of growth. In fact, since acquiring PigeonForge.com in 2000, the site has grown an astounding 1,400%. Jess has always graciously given advice to fellow geo domain owners, and she is one of the brightest individuals in the industry.
I wish Jess luck as she takes on this well-deserved position.

Electronic Frontier Foundation Opposes Snowe Legislation

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As first reported by Mike and Sahar, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has voiced their opposition to the recently proposed Snowe APCPA legislation. According to their official website, the EFF is a non-profit organization that “has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights.
From what I have been reading elsewhere, not only would this proposed bill be detrimental to small businesses who own domain names, but it could also hurt the First Amendment rights of Americans who express their view on the Internet. As people continue to examine this bill and its implications, I hope they realize just how impactful this would be on anonymous free speech and domain ownership.

Register for Domain Roundtable

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With Domain Roundtable just over a month away, now is the time to make travel plans and register to attend the conference. Organized by Name Intelligence, parent of DomainTools, and sponsored by the biggest companies in the domain space, the conference will be held in San Francisco, the first time it’s being held outside of Seattle. There is an open door policy at the conference, and anyone and everyone is invited to attend. The idea behind this is to facilitate discussion and debate among people of various backgrounds.
Why should you attend Domain Roundtable? According to Jay Westerdal, President of Name Intelligence,

“Domain Roundtable is geared towards serious domainers that want an advantage. The contracts and ideas that people take away from the Roundtable every year is extraordinary. Several times after a show I hear first hand from people that meet someone randomly at the show and now are entering into a very profitable agreement because of it.”

Unfortunately, I will be with my family in New Hampshire celebrating a Jewish holiday, otherwise I would be attending the conference. From my experience, each domain conference has a unique feel, and they all present great opportunities to meet other people within the industry. I have had the opportunity to meet many industry leaders and learn about various companies within the space at similar conferences. This is a super opportunity to learn and network.

Moniker Auction to Benefit Internet Commerce Association

 Moniker  recently announced that they will auction domain names at no cost to benefit the  Internet Commerce Association  at the TRAFFIC East conference in Orlando. This is a great opportunity to help the Internet Commerce Association while earning a tax deduction (for contributors) or enhancing your portfolio (for buyers). Moniker plans to auction the best 5 names in their live auction format, and the remaining names that were selected will be auctioned in the silent auction.Thank you to Moniker and TRAFFIC for supporting the rights of domain registrants by supporting the Internet Commerce Association. Please submit donated names to  Michael Collins  and he will forward them to Moniker.  

Jay: Part of Snowe Bill "Overreaching in its Authority"

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When I first read Jay’s analysis of the Snowe legislation, I was surprised that he wasn’t as concerned with it as many others in the industry. While I am no legal scholar, I’ve been doing my research on the Snowe Anti-Phishing Consumer Protection Act (S. 2661), and there are sections of the proposal that could really hurt small businesses with domain names, like my own. Michael Collins from the Internet Commerce Association and Michael Berkens from Most Wanted Domains both posted their viewpoints on Jay’s Domaintools blog, to which Jay asked follow-up questions.
Later yesterday afternoon, Michael Collins followed up his post and pointed out where the most concerning language lay within the proposed bill. Within hours, Jay responded in the comment section:

UPDATE BY JAY: Michael, You are quoting Section 3.(b)(1)(A) on page 7. You are right about that section. I think it is overreaching in its authority however Section 3.(a)(1)(A) is much better worded. Thankfully this is a draft bill and I will lobby to fix that wording in that section!

It is important that our industry leaders understand how this proposed bill could impact every small company with a domain name. The way it is written could give large companies the tool they need to take away our domain names if they think a name is confusing to their own name. The proposed legislation is dangerous to all domain owners, and it is nice that we will have Jay lobbying on behalf of domain owners.

Safe Domain Name Transactions

After reading an excruciatingly long thread on DNForum that deals with allegations of scamming, stolen domain names, missing funds…etc, I wanted to share some general advice when buying and selling domain names. The advice I give is only based on how I personally do business, and I recommend using an attorney if that makes you more comfortable.
Before I purchase a domain name, I always check the Whois history to make sure the name looks like it is free and clear of problems. Frequent changes in ownership, different/inconsistent email addresses or phone numbers, and incorrect-sounding information always ring bells in my head and requires further checking. I also like to search using Google and the domain forums to see if the name has ever been in a dispute or had “issues.” Because I mostly

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