Archive for the ‘Events’ Category


Why Accountability Matters at ICANN

Posted August 7th, 2014

The ICANN circus rolled into London in June. Over 3,000 delegates signed up for a seven day festival of all things domain related held in the less than glamorous setting of the Hilton Metropol on the Edgware Road (known to Londoners as Little Beirut). First on the bill was the Commonwealth Internet Governance Forum which focussed on “investments, partnerships and security”. Next came a High Level Government Meeting attended by ministers from 77 countries and apparatchiks from 11 IGOs. The future of internet governance was the main topic of debate. By the time the ICANN meeting started, delegates from within the domain industry, including a strong representation of brand owners including at least a dozen MARQUES members, were exhausted by talk of the impact of Edward Snowden and the digital divide and turned to matters they were more accustomed to such as the launch of the new gTLDs.

The hottest topic to emerge was ICANN’s accountability. As a result of its efforts to develop a process for the transition of the IANA stewardship from the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to the global multi-stakeholder community, the spotlight has been thrown on ICANN itself. Can this not-for-profit corporation incorporated in California be entrusted to police itself if given responsibility for the IANA function of adding strings to the world root? The community lined up at the microphone in the Public Forum on the last day of the meeting to voice concerns. To the amazement of everyone, including 20 rather startled Board Members arranged in a horseshoe at the front of the packed assembly room, all seven constituencies that make up ICANN’s Generic Names Supporting Organisation (GNSO) which creates policy, spoke with one voice. In an unprecedented development they called unanimously for the creation of an “independent accountability mechanism that provides meaningful review and adequate redress for those harmed by ICANN action or inaction in contravention of an agreed upon compact with the community”. Although ICANN, currently, has a number of redress mechanisms these are widely seen as ineffective, non-transparent, time consuming and expensive.

Why is this important? ICANN operates through bottom-up consensus. The views of four main stakeholder groups – registry operators, registrars, non-commercial interests and commercial interests – are weighed against each other as policy is created. Generally everyone is pleased or disappointed in equal measure. However, in recent months the ICANN staff under the leadership of President and CEO Fadi Chehade has blurred the line between implementation and policy. Issues which don’t belong inside ICANN have been allowed to surface – for example whether the .wine and .vin new gTLD applications should proceed without additional safeguards for wine producers. When this topic emerged in London, we were treated to the Belgium government representative calling the Chair of the Government Advisory Committee (GAC) a liar, the Spanish government demanding “a change not only of the GAC but of ICANN itself” and European Commission declaring it will “not at all hesitate to take legal actions”.

Brand owners need ICANN to rise above governmental politics. ICANN must be transparent and accountable if it is to fulfil its stewardship role for the internet. We need a stable and secure internet addressing system, where rights protection and the rule of law prevail. The next 12 months are critical. When the ICANN community gathers again in Los Angeles in October 2014 there may be more to report on the replacement directory services for whois that are being mooted or the success of the URS rapid suspension scheme but for the time being, all eyes are on governance.


 Nick Wood

Nick is Managing Director of accredited registrar Com Laude.


Posted in Accountability, Conferences, Events, gTLDS, ICANN by  


Marksmen Names Russ Pangborn CEO

Posted May 7th, 2014

Former Head of Trademarks at Microsoft Joins a World Leader in Brand Protection Services

GLENDALE, Calif., May 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Marksmen, Inc., a worldwide leader in brand protection services, today named Russell Pangborn chief executive officer effective immediately.  He succeeds Ken Taylor, founder of the company who becomes a consultant to the firm.

Pangborn joins Marksmen from Microsoft where he served as Assistant General Counsel in charge of trademarks.  At Marksmen, he will guide the next stage of the firm’s growth using his intimate knowledge of the services and technology solutions trademark owners need for the protection and enforcement of their valuable intellectual property. He will continue to be a strong industry advocate as he has done in the past as Officer and Board Member of the International Trademark Association (INTA), a member of the Implementation Recommendation Team (IRT) for ICANN’s new gTLD Program, an active member of the Intellectual Property Constituency in ICANN, and co-founder of the McCarthy Institute-Microsoft annual symposium on Trademark Law and Its Challenges.

For the full skinny go HERE.

Posted in Cool Ideas, Enforcement, Events, gTLDS, ICANN, INTA, Intellectual Property by  


April in Beijing…

Posted January 8th, 2013


ICANN 46 will be gathering in Beijing, China 7-11. For more information about schedule, venues, sponsors and hotel booking, please go  HERE.

Posted in Events, ICANN by  


Lady Gaga Launches Little Monsters

Posted February 10th, 2012

From CNN

Lady Gaga is already the reigning queen of Twitter, with her nearly 19 million followers topping those of anyone else on the site.

Now, she’s launching a site of her own.

Little Monsters, now in invite-only beta testing, is the pop princess’s effort at creating a network built around her fan base — which she’s dubbed the aforementioned “monsters.”

An early look at the site suggests it will be designed a lot like Pintrest, the fast-emerging mobile app that lets users “pin” locations and items that they like. Gaga’s site also will emphasize sharing and creating photos and videos, as well as letting other users promote content from others that they like (something similar to sites like Reddit and Digg).

See the full skinny HERE.

Posted in Events, Social Networks by  


Ken Taylor Among Expert Panelists at DOMAINfest 2012

Posted February 5th, 2012

Marksmen CEO, Ken Taylor, joined domain name valuation experts on the Thursday morning presentation at DOMAINfest 2012 in Santa Monica, CA.

Ken joined moderator Lisa Box (, Paul Nicks (Go Daddy) and Liesbeth Mac-de Boer (Sedo) in providing advice on setting domain prices, as well as buying and selling strategies.

The group was followed by keynote speaker Biz Stone, Twitter Co-Founder.

See more at Domain Name Journal

Posted in Conferences, Domain Names, Domain Sales and Auctions, Events by  


Name Quiver Back at DOMAINfest Auctioning Premium Names

Posted January 11th, 2012

Name Quiver, our domain brokering arm here at Marksmen, is once again bringing premium names to the all-world auction platform of their partner, Moniker. These valuable domain names are taking pre-bids online now and will be auctioned live at DOMAINfest in Santa Monica, CA on Thursday, February 2nd from 4:30-6:00 PM , Pacific Time.

Last year Marksmen and Moniker sold SOCIAL.COM for an undisclosed Marksmen client for $2.6 Million USD. This was the highest reported domain sale of 2011 (DNJournal) and one of the top selling domain names in history.

This year Marksmen brings the following names to auction on behalf of their clients.



Get the full story on DOMAINfest and start pre-bidding online HERE.

Posted in Domain Sales and Auctions, Events by Final Sales Figure Has Come In At $2.6 Million, Is Top Selling Domain Name of 2011

Posted June 29th, 2011

This year’s record breaking domain sale of comes courtesy of Marksmen’s sales division, NameQuiver, in partnership  with Moniker and SnapNames.

The purchase of the domain for $2.6 million (previously reported as $2.5 million) by an undisclosed buyer was, according to the press release: “negotiated privately after an initial multi-million dollar offer.” The sale was co-brokered during DomainFest Europe in Barcelona, Spain.

Marksmen Inc CEO Ken Taylor  said of the sale: “We’re very pleased with our partnership and Moniker’s ability to attract a buyer for, culminating in this successful outcome. We look forward to continuing to use our unique position in the industry to connect premium domain names to our clients and other end-users via auctions and private brokering.”

The release also states that: “Brokers considered a category-defining domain name at a time when social media has become the single largest growth sector on the Internet.”

Congratulations to Marksmen, NameQuiver, Moniker, SnapNames and the Undisclosed Buyer on this exciting transaction.

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Posted in Domain Sales and Auctions, domaining, Events by  


“Olympics Committee Issues Social Media Guidelines For London 2012, Including Domains”

Posted June 28th, 2011

As reported by David Goldstein: “There are not many organisations in the world that are as vociferous in their control of their trademarks as the International Olympic Committee. With the London Olympics scheduled for 2012, the IOC has issued social media guidelines for participants and other accredited persons.

The guidelines also refer to domain names that include “the word ‘Olympic’ or ‘Olympics’ or any similar words related thereto (or any foreign language equivalents thereof) are not allowed unless approved by the IOC beforehand.”

The IOC gives the example of[myname] which would not be permitted while [myname].com/olympic would be allowed, but only during the period of the Olympic Games during which these Guidelines are applicable. The guidelines also note that “participants and other accredited persons may not create stand-alone Olympic-themed websites, application or any other feature to host coverage of the Olympic Games.”

Click HERE to read more.

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Posted in Enforcement, Events, Intellectual Property by Issues Statement On Mystery Illness

Posted February 14th, 2011 has issued the following statement regarding the health events that have unfolded in the wake of the Playboy Mansion fundraiser:

“DomainSponsor, the organizer of the DOMAINfest Global conference, and its parent company,, have been made aware that several people in attendance at DOMAINfest and various evening events during the week became ill during the conference or after it concluded.”

Click HERE to read the full statement.

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Posted in Conferences, Events by  


Retro Disease Strikes Down Playboy Mansion Party Attendees

Posted February 12th, 2011

Remember two days ago when the domain industry was making mainstream news we could all be proud of? Today, the domain industry made mainstream news again as DomainFest Global attendees contracted a retro disease from what they believe was a fog machine during a fundraiser at the Playboy Mansion.

The LA Times reports “Hugh Hefner’s legendary Playboy Mansion is the focus of a Los Angeles County Department of Public Health investigation after reports that dozens of visitors contracted a mysterious respiratory illness after attending a fund-raiser there earlier this month.”  The Times goes on to explain “Many suspect their symptoms are related to Legionellosis, or Pontiac fever— a milder form of Legionnaires’ disease, which is caused by bacteria living in warm air-conditioning systems.

Many of those who became ill said they suspect a fog machine that was used at the party.”

Among those affected is David Castello, co-founder of Castello Cities Internet Network Inc who told The Times he is recovering from “fever, a dry cough, headaches and back spasms”.

NameSmash would like to wish everyone affected a speedy recovery.

Click HERE to read the full article.

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Posted in Conferences, Events, Internet Disorders, Tech News by