Meet Nameshield on the it-sa from 10th to 12th October 2023 in Nuremberg, Germany

Meet Nameshield from 10th to 12th October in Nuremberg at a new edition of the it-sa, the absolutely must-attend meeting of the IT security sector!

As the “Home of IT Security“, it-sa stands for both a comprehensive range of information and networking and knowledge exchange on the topics of data protection and IT security.

The three-day programme includes talks, workshops, discussion panels, one-to-one meetings and opportunities for networking…

Meet us on site: Hall 7, Stand 7-214, in cooperation with eco, the Association of the Internet Industry.

Exchange with our team and discover our global solutions that satisfy the requirements of your DNS security. Discover our product for a high-availability of your strategic domains: “DNS Bastion“.

For more information, visit the event website:

What is the appropriate way to deal with inappropriate content on the internet?

The internet is a great place to find content of all sorts. Videos of cats doing crazy stunts, memes, thought provoking lifestyle messages. But this rich availability means ease of access to a wide variety of inappropriate content.

Inappropriate content means any material that is disturbing, improper, and just wrong. It can be images of real or simulated violence or of a sexually explicit nature. Recently there have been concerns raised around disturbing YouTube videos. These strongly resemble videos of popular cartoons but contain disturbing and inappropriate content not suitable for children. In some cases the videos are parodies, some are clear cases of copyright infringement where unauthorised use is made of authentic cartoons or characters, most are simply not aimed at an audience of children.

So what is the best way to deal with cases that you discover?

Google and social media sites offer reporting tools highlighting inappropriate content and copyright or trademark infringement cases.

A copyright infringement submission is a legal process and only accepted from the right owner or their authorised agent.  But it is essential to consider if the content is being used fairly. Fair use generally covers adaptations of original works for the purpose of parody or comment. Parodic uses of copyrighted works are normally justified by freedom of expression but the key factor is that the public must be able to differentiate between the works. If the content is being used fairly then it is best to avoid submitting what might be considered a false claim and maybe even provoking further parodying activity. In summer 2015 the artist Banksy launched the clearly satirical Dismaland, an obvious play on words and “look and feel” of Disneyland, but Disney (sensibly) remained silent.




Inappropriate disturbing content should be flagged using the platform system. YouTube takes feedback very seriously and they appreciate people drawing attention to problematic content and make it easy for anyone to flag a video.  Flagged videos are manually reviewed 24/7 and any videos that don’t belong are removed within hours.  In addition they have a YouTube Kids app which helps limit access to flagged content.

Of course no filter is 100% accurate and nothing replaces vigilance. Careful monitoring can help ensure that your copyright protected content is not being used unfairly and allow you to submit takedown notices. But there is no product which can ever replace parental awareness.



Alibaba’s use of technology to fight counterfeit reaps first rewards

In December 2016 Alibaba was placed on a US blacklist for fakes. A US industry watchdog called the company’s Taobao website (the world’s largest e-commerce platform) a “notorious” market for counterfeiting and piracy. Now Alibaba is diligently combatting this label. Via a program called Operation “Cloud Sword” big data technology such as advanced algorithms, machine learning, optical character recognition (OCR), and mapping technologies, is used to generate clues to help identify and take down fakes.

In January Alibaba sued two fake Swarovski watch sellers who allegedly link merchants with people willing to falsify purchases and write positive comments on its Taobao e-commerce platform for violations of goodwill and contract. The company claimed 1.4 million yuan, or about $201,000, in damages. Shenzhen police raided the seller and confiscated about 125 counterfeit watches after Alibaba’s claim. Alibaba used gathered and analysed data to identify the counterfeit Swarovski merchants and subsequently purchased a watch from the seller in a test-buy program.

Zheng Junfang, chief platform governance officer of Alibaba Group said. “We will bring the full force of the law to bear on these counterfeiters so as to deter others from engaging in this crime wherever they are.”

Car Brands: are they taking a leading role in the new Internet?

A ‘plethora’ is defined as a “large or excessive amount of something” and is usually followed by the qualifier “of.” Car manufacturers certainly fall into that category, as I found out recently when looking at replacing my worn-out old jalopy.8992635580_89a79ce84b_n

A plethora can also be used to describe domain extension, with the advent of new gTLDs (where the term after the final ‘dot’ can be almost anything) there is certainly a plethora of those nowadays! This naturally led me to pose the question “How many of one plethora is a part of the other plethora?”

So, after comparing the complete list of new gTLD applicants against the complete list of car manufacturers we find a surprising result …40!! Yes 40!

If BMW is an indicator of what is to come in the evolution of the automotive industry online (with its innovative new .Brand websites, notably other car brands have already pulled the plug. Take, for example GMC which, for reasons known only to itself, pulled the plug on 5 applications. While the French car industry did not submit a single application, at least they didn’t withdraw any!

The list of new gTLD applications for auto brands is as follows:

  • .SEAT
  • .AUDI
  • .大众汽车 (“Volkswagon” in Chinese)
  • .FORD
  • .DODGE
  • .JEEP
  • .RAM (application status ‘on hold’)
  • .FIAT
  • .BUICK (application withdrawn)
  • .CADILLAC (application withdrawn)
  • .CHEVROLET (application withdrawn)
  • .CHEVY (application withdrawn)
  • .GMC (application withdrawn)
  • .HONDA
  • .KIA
  • .LEXUS
  • .MINI
  • .BMW
  • .VOLVO

A little stir of the pot

Other related generic internet extensions exist (which don’t belong to the car brands) such as .CAR – .CARS – .AUTO – .AUTOS – .CARINSURANCE – .RACING – .LIMO et .GOLF (presumably related to the sport rather than the VW car).

There are also a number of auto related .Brands such as .DUNLOP – .GOODYEAR, as well as auto parts makers such as UCONNECT, .MOPAR et .SRT.

All in all, the auto industry is well represented for their online future. Far more so than many other industries.

So, when the brands, whether they are car manufacturers or not, begin to use these domain extensions as a core element of their online presence, we can all hope that other new gTLD owners such as .NIKE follow their lead and we can all leave the ‘Dot Com’ era behind us and welcome in the ‘Not Com’ epoch.

As for the absent French car manufacturers, there is nothing to do but prepare for the next application round. But make sure you start your preparations now!!

What has become of the big dreams of the big .BRANDs ?


In 2012, ICANN received 643 applications for restricted use generic Top Level Domains extensions by brand owners. Recently, a surprising proportion of these, so called, .BRAND applications have been withdrawn, often resulting in the loss of the entire application fee ($185,000).

Why have these brand owners taken the decision to relinquish control over their very own piece of the Internet infrastructure? Is this a tactical response to a strategic direction or are they simply lacking the ideas and domain name registry experience to make the most of this investment? Jean-Francois Vanden Eynde, head of registry services at Nameshield investigates.

It is important to acclimatise the internet public to the use of the new .BRAND extensions since little has been done by ICANN to promote the overall new gTLD concept

The new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) program has been a long time coming. And, from late 2013 onwards, new domain extensions have been live on the Internet, going largely unnoticed by the general public. At the time of writing, 548 new domain extensions have been delegated (the domain extension resolves in the root zone of the internet and is therefore live), only 96 of these are .BRAND applications, but these already include some well-known brands such as .cartier, .marriott, .nissan, .bnpparisbas and .bbc.

Note: When a domain extension is delegated it must immediately host a website on nic.extension (e.g. try typing or into the address bar of a web-browser).

Of the 643 .BRAND applications 56 have already been withdrawn by brand owners including some household names such as Amazon, General Motors (.chevy), Bloomingdales, Hasbro International Inc. (.transformers) and ProMark Brands Inc. (.Heinz and .Ketchup). It is expected that a greater number of .BRAND applicants will withdraw before the program reaches its conclusion, but what reasons do Brand owners have for turning their backs on an investment that runs into hundreds of thousands of dollars?

While, in the application phase, there was no shortage of experts offering to write a new gTLD application on behalf of a brand owner, those same experts seem to disappear when it comes to the implementation phase.

1. Competitive advantage mitigation

It was a well known fact, that often went unmentioned, that some brand owners applied for New gTLDs simply to ensure that their competition did not have a clear run at the domain extension and thereby gain competitive advantage.

If the completion does not apply and, despite being the applicant, you do not want to use the domain extension yourself, then an early withdrawal will reduce your losses and ensure that none of your competitors get to use the domain extension unless they apply for it in a future round. This type of strategy has been used by a number of brand owners in particular for generic terms.

2. Prevailing objections

During the application process, there was a period where those who had a grievance against an application could file an objection on one of four grounds. If the objector prevailed against the applicant then the application would have to be withdrawn.

For example, Ralph Lauren was forced to withdraw its application for .polo after an objection from the United States Polo Association, Inc. despite having well established trademarks for the term.

There are, in fact, very few people in the world who actually have the experience to implement and run a gTLD registry. This lack of know-how can make some companies revisit their original ‘green light’ decision.

They say that the only constant is change and its safe to say that nowadays corporations change their strategic direction and their personnel with alarming rapidity.

If key supporters of a company’s new gTLD program leave the business then it can quickly lead to the failure of a .BRAND particularly if this happens at the very top.

4. Lack of experience

One of the things that has become clear as the new gTLD program has unfolded is that, while in the application phase there was no shortage of experts offering to write a new gTLD application on behalf of a brand owner, those same experts seem to disappear when it comes to the implementation phase.

There are, in fact, very few people in the world who actually have the experience of implementing and running a gTLD registry. This lack of know-how can make some companies revisit their original decision.

5. Lack of need

Many .BRAND gTLDs will have been applied for defensive reasons without the brand owner considering the use to which a .BRAND new gTLD might be put. Since a new gTLD is really an intangible asset that involves a considerable on-going investment to maintain, it is understandable that some companies may reconsider the need for their own .BRAND gTLD.

6. Lack of ideas

For those of us that have worked in the domain name industry for a while, the idea of owning a piece of internet infrastructure to do with what you will has a considerable attraction. That is because Internet infrastructure is our business. For most brand owners, it is not. While there are few enough people on the planet that understand how to implement and run a gTLD registry, there are even fewer who know how to align a registry to support the needs of a single brand. Similarly, those who understand the needs of the brand usually do not fully understand how a .BRAND gTLD can help them realise corporate strategy.

What is noticeable by its absence is that to date very few of the .BRAND gTLDs, that have been delegated, are actually being used in anger in marketing messages, email or in fact online. The thing that will change this industry and bring us out of the .com era and into the “age of .anything” is for .BRAND tlds to actually start using their unique internet assets. Imagine what will happen when Nike starts using its .NIKE gTLD in television advertising or McDonalds starts putting its .MCD web-addresses on all of its collateral.

Before unleashing a new gTLD, brand owners must make sure that existing marketing campaigns, message infrastructure and website traffic and, above all, revenues are not adversely affected.


Less .haste more .speed

Unlike open registries, whose domain names are available to anyone, a .BRAND registry is under much less commercial pressure to launch. This is one of the principal reasons that the world is yet to see much movement in the .BRAND gTLD space. Another potential reason is that many .BRAND owners seem to view delegation as the end of something rather than the beginning of a new internet era for them.

Before unleashing a new gTLD, brand owners must make sure that existing marketing campaigns, message infrastructure and website traffic and, above all, revenues are not adversely affected. For a multinational brand there is a whole host of internal matters to address, including internal education programs, marketing style guides, email addresses and footers and effect on corporate culture.

Some brand owners may consider that this considerable upheaval is not worth the effort at this stage and may continue to use and promote their existing domain name infrastructure for some time to come.

However, brand owners should not dismiss, through lack of understanding, the long-term benefits that a new gTLD infrastructure can bring to their business. Certainly, careful consideration should be given to maximising the use, to which their new online intellectual property asset can be put.


It’s better to .Use it! don’t .Lose it!

What might brand owners do with their gTLD as soon as it’s delegated? There are a number of options that brand owners can choose to implement with their new domain extension such as:

1. Park it

Applicants who applied for defensive reasons will typically park their domain extension and register very few domains. This can be likened to purchasing an expensive Ferrari and leaving it in the garage. While this is a valid and understandable option, given the lack of available expertise within brand owners of operating Internet infrastructure, it does nothing to capitalise on a potential competitive advantage against competitors that have not applied for a new gTLD. For example, Nike successfully applied for .Nike whereas Adidas and Reebok chose not to apply. Nike now has a window of opportunity to exploit this competitive advantage.

2. Point it.

The very least a band owner should do is use this new and comparatively low cost Internet naming infrastructure to maximise traffic to its existing websites. Creating keyword domain names and forwarding the corresponding traffic to the brand owner’s main website costs little and may generate increased business and will certainly assist in search engine rankings.

3. Promote it

Some brand owners are already building their online corporate marketing strategy, if not their sales strategy, around their new .BRAND extension. They are using it to deliver important marketing messages about their values, culture and ethics to help reinforce the credibility of their brands. These informational pages can be placed on, what in .com terms would have been, premium domain names .

For example, Nike might host a website showing its strategy for environmental sustainability on or ethically sourced products on or its focus on innovation and development on If a brand owner wanted to do the same thing on the equivalent .com domain name they could be paying millions of dollars just for the domain name alone, if it was for sale at all. Using the equivalent .BRAND domain name should rank the site highly with the search engines and cost less than $5.

While no dates are set in stone for the opening of the next instalment of new gTLDs, brand owners and .BRAND owners alike should start preparing now.

It is important to acclimatise the internet public to the use of the new .BRAND extensions since little has been done to promote the overall new gTLD concept to the public. We saw elements of this recently at the Football world cup with McDonalds promoting, which is only one step away from its .MCD extension.

Once the base elements of a new gTLD online strategy are in place, .BRAND owners should start focusing their Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) efforts and part of their Pay Per Click (PPC) budgets to their new domain extension. However, it is important to note that, while PPC can achieve rapid results it can consume large budgets and it is important that efforts to promote any new .BRAND extension should not get impede or add confusion to any existing online campaigns. SEO campaigns generally show gradual improvements over the space of 6 – 12 months, so it is important to start these campaigns as soon as possible.

While no dates are set in stone for the opening of the next instalment of new gTLDs, brand owners and .BRAND owners alike should start preparing now.

Those .BRAND owners who already have their gTLD delegated should not sit idle and let their competitive advantage disappear.

Brand owners who are considering applying in the next application round should start their planning now to ensure that when they finally get their gTLDs delegated they are ready to implement their marketing plans. And, brand owners who have no intention of applying for a new gTLD should still take stock because without a doubt this brand new namespace will affect their naming strategies, their domain name portfolios and their marketing messages.

Note: the original article, published in IPPRO magazine can be found here


Jean-Francois Vanden Eynde

Head of registry services