Domain News

Keep up to date with the latest news happening in the domain industry.


Google publishes their TLD registry software: Nomulus

Google announced this morning that they are releasing their TLD registry platform, Nomulus, which is written in Java, under an Apache 2.0 license. The company uses the software to run their own registry for their TLDs. Portfolio TLD applicant Donuts has partnered with Google and contributed to the source code – they will also be running a public test instance of the system, which is geared towards being run on the Google Cloud Platform. So far, Rightside (NASDAQ: NAME) has been operating Donuts’ registry backend.

Also covered by:

Here’s the full press release:

Introducing Nomulus: an Open Source Top-Level Domain Name Registry

Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 8:00am PT

Author: Ben McIlwain, Software Engineer

Today, Google is proud to announce the release of Nomulus, a new open source cloud-based registry platform that powers Google?s top level domains (TLDs). We?re excited to make this piece of Internet infrastructure available to everyone.

TLDs are the top level of the Internet Domain Name System (DNS), and they collectively host every domain name on the Internet.† To manage a TLD, you need a domain name registry — a behind-the-scenes system that stores registration details and DNS information for all domain names under that TLD. It handles WHOIS queries and requests to buy, check, transfer, and renew domain names. When you purchase a domain name on a TLD using a domain name registrar, such as Google Domains, the registrar is actually conducting business with that TLD?s registry on your behalf. That?s why you can transfer a domain from one registrar to another and have it remain active and 100% yours the entire time.

The project that became Nomulus began in 2011 when the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced the biggest ever expansion of Internet namespace, aimed at improving choice and spurring innovation for Internet users. Google applied to operate a number of new generic TLDs, and built Nomulus to help run them.

We designed Nomulus to be a brand-new registry platform that takes advantage of the scalability and easy operation of Google Cloud Platform. Nomulus runs on Google App Engine and is backed by Google Cloud Datastore, a highly scalable NoSQL database. Nomulus can manage any number of TLDs in a single shared instance and supports the full range of TLD functionality required by ICANN, including the Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP), WHOIS, reporting, and trademark protection. It is written in Java and is released under the Apache 2.0 license.

We hope that by providing access to our implementation of core registry functions and up-and-coming services like Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP), we can demonstrate advanced features of Google Cloud Platform and encourage interoperability and open standards in the domain name industry for registry operators like Donuts. With approximately 200 TLDs, Donuts has made early contributions to the Nomulus code base and has spun up an instance which they’ll be sharing soon.

For more information, view Nomulus on GitHub.





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Live Results : NamesCon 2015 Right of the Dot Auction

DNN will be live blogging from NamesCon in Las Vegas. We do not guarantee the accuracy of these results.

Check here for results as we update them live from the show. †Bidding is also available on†and names unsold will be in a silent auction there until February 6th, 2015.

In a charity auction before the domain auction, a signed guitar from the Las Vegas rock band Otherwise†(represented by Ryan Patrick) was auctioned for $1,000 for the Waterschool.

Sales total approximately $1,000,000 USD.

LOT #DomainReserve RangeStatusPrice$201 – $500SOLD$650
20AthleticClubs.nycNo ReserveSOLD$300
30PrivateCarService.nycNo ReserveSOLD$275
40BitCoin(s).globalNo ReserveSOLD$900
50Adaptable.comNo ReserveSOLD$4,500
60PokerRoom.vegasNo ReserveSOLD$1,500$201 – $500SOLD$600$1,001 – $2,500SOLD$1,600
90Kqt.comNo ReserveSOLD$11,000$50,001 – $100,000SOLD$90,000$1,001 – $2,500SOLD$1,500$1,001 – $2,500SOLD$1,300
130Hgu.comNo ReserveSOLD$17,000$10,001 – $25,000SOLD$17,000
150SexEducation.comNo ReserveSOLD$23,000$50,001 – $100,000pass
170MarijuanaCard.nycNo ReserveSOLD$700
180Paperback.comNo ReserveSOLD$12,000$5,001 – $10,000pass$10,001 – $25,000SOLD$22,000$25,001 – $50,000SOLD$33,500$10,001 – $25,000pass
230GolfCourses.vegasNo ReserveSOLD$1000$250,001 – $500,000pass
250XXX.websiteNo ReserveSOLD$1,000$10,001 – $25,000pass
270MarijuanaCards.nycNo ReserveSOLD$600$1,001 - $2,500pass
290Mimes.comNo ReserveSOLD$2,200$1,001 - $2,500SOLD$1,600
310Pathologist.comNo ReserveSOLD$18,000 and Send.globalNo ReserveSOLD$2,500$5,001 - $10,000pass$1MM - $5MMpass$25,001 – $50,000pass$1,001 – $2,500SOLD$3,100$250,001 – $500,000SOLD before the live auction$350,000$201 – $500SOLD$600
400Apartment(s).global$10,001 – $25,000pass$25,001 – $50,000pass
420Bin.netNo ReserveSOLD$2,000$100,001 – $250,000SOLD$140,000$5,001 – $10,000pass$25,001 – $50,000SOLD$34,000$50,001 – $100,000pass
470CigarBars.nycNo ReserveSOLD$400$1,001 – $2,500SOLD$1,400$250,001 – $500,000pass$5,001 – $10,000pass
510Hollywood.pressNo ReserveSOLD$2,500
530MedicalMarijuanaCard.vegasNo ReserveSOLD$500$1MM – $5MMpass
560MedicalMarijuanaCards.vegasNo ReserveSOLD$300$10,001 – $25,000pass$1MM – $5MMpass
585DanceStudios.nycNo ReserveSOLD$500$5,001 – $10,000SOLD$15,000$2,501 – $5,000SOLD$4,500$250,001 – $500,000pass$50,001 – $100,000pass
630Stock(s).global$10,001 – $25,000pass$2,501 – $5,000pass$201 – $500SOLD$400$10,001 – $25,000pass$10,001 – $25,000SOLD$14,500$50,001 – $100,000pass$100,001 – $250,000pass$501-$1000SOLD$1,000$250,001 – $500,000pass
720PictureMessaging.comNo ReserveSOLD$1,000$1,001 – $2,500SOLD$1,200$50,001 – $100,000pass$10,001 – $25,000SOLD$13,500$1,001 – $2,500SOLD$1,800$201 – $500SOLD$900
780Forums.xyzNo ReserveSOLD$600$201 – $500SOLD$500$50,001 – $100,000pass$25,001 – $50,000pass$250,001 – $500,000pass$5,001 – $10,000pass
840Airfares.nycNo ReserveSOLD$600
850Dj.asiaNo ReserveSOLD$1,100
860Printers.xyzNo ReserveSOLD$300$250,001 – $500,000pass
880Geeks.xyzNo ReserveSOLD$600$25,001 – $50,000pass
900Madrid.xyzNo ReserveSOLD$250
910DispensaryCards.nycNo ReserveSOLD$300
9201111.asiaNo ReserveSOLD$3,000$50,001 – $100,000pass and Betting.globalNo ReserveSOLD$600$25,001 – $50,000SOLD$33,000
960Student.xyzNo ReserveSOLD$1,000$5,001 – $10,000pass$50,001 – $100,000pass$500,001 – $750,000pass$5,001 – $10,000SOLD$5,000
1000DrunkDriving.nycNo ReserveSOLD$1,100
1010Ty.asiaNo ReserveSOLD$1,500
1020TropicalProperty.comNo ReserveSOLD$1,100$25,001 – $50,000?$22,000$50,001 – $100,000pass$1,001 – $2,500SOLD$3,000$10,001 – $25,000SOLD$11,500
1080MovieCinema.comNo ReserveSOLD$2,600$1,001 – $2,500SOLD$1,400$2,501 – $5,000SOLD$6,000$10,001 – $25,000SOLD$11,500$10,001 – $25,000pass and$50,001 – $100,000pass
1140VapingSystems.comNo ReserveSOLD$500$1,001 – $2,500pass
1160AthleticClub.nycNo ReserveSOLD$600$10,001 – $25,000pass$10,001 – $25,000pass
1190Bonus.vegasNo ReserveSOLD$400$2,501 – $5,000SOLD$8,000$25,001 – $50,000pass$250,001 – $500,000pass
1230DispensaryCard.nycNo ReserveSOLD$300 and$5,001 – $10,000pass and$5,001 – $10,000SOLD$6,500$201 – $500SOLD$400
1265Gf.asiaNo ReserveSOLD$800
1270CannabisDelivery.nycNo ReserveSOLD$400
1280998.xyzNo ReserveSOLD$300
1290Hybrids.nycNo ReserveSOLD$300
1300Whats.nycNo ReserveSOLD$500$1,001 – $2,500SOLD$1,300$2,501 – $5,000SOLD$2,900
1320E-Cigs.nycNo Reservepass
1330Pornos.nycNo ReserveSOLD$275$2,501 – $5,000pass$2,500





TrafficZ Shutting down operations on Dec 31st, 2014

According to an email sent out by TrafficZ, it will cease it operations after Dec 31st, 2014, which is a relatively short notice. We’ve reached out for confirmation to Thought Convergence and also asked them if there’s any other properties/divisions that are still active besides DomainTools.

As you no doubt have heard by now, we recently announced the sales of our Aftermarket domain marketplace and our Agreed online escrow platform. In parallel with those sales, we will be discontinuing the TrafficZ domain parking and monetization service as of December 31, 2014.

In order to facilitate a smooth and seamless transition for you, our valued clients, we recommend that you explore alternative monetization providers and options for your domain assets. Many of our friends in the industry provide excellent domain management and monetization solutions, so we’re confident that you’ll find a suitable partner in no time.

Regardless of what you decide, though, please make sure to update your nameservers by 12:00 AM PST on next Wednesday, December 31, 2014, after which time we will no longer be serving ads from our upstream providers.

On behalf of the entire TrafficZ team, we’d like to thank you for your loyalty and support over the years (since 2002!!). And, as always, we wish you luck and continued success in all of your future endeavors.

Cheers, and Happy Holidays,
Ammar Kubba & Kevin Vo





Ron Jackson Finally Owns

For more than a decade, Ron Jackson has been producing his domain industry publication DNJournal.† It’s been regarded as a “go-to” industry publication for his weekly sales reports and his “cover stories”, featuring prominent industry profiles, but did you know that Ron didn’t even own† OMG Ron you don’t own all variations of your domain?† How could you even conduct a successful business?!

The site has always operated under name (DN being an industry acronym for Domain Name) and over the last decade I’d say Ron has done a great job of making that a name we all know and trust.† I would venture to guess most of us in the industry call it by DNJournal.† Even so, from a brand perspective it probably would be smart for Ron to pick up too.† Ron already owns and, in case you were wondering.

A few weeks ago the domain name expired and more recently went to auction at NameJet, with the closing slated for December 22nd. The final sales price ended up being $250.† The winner was none other than Ron Jackson.† There were a couple of bidder IDs that showed up early :† “pheenix”, “aaaaaaaaa” and “thegeneral1979”† but there wasn’t much competition. It really feels like the name was not bid up at all . . . maybe as a courtesy to a really great guy.

Unsure about who was bidding for Ron or if he was bidding, I reached out to make sure he had his sights on this name. He replied with an interesting story about domainers and “dick moves”.

I don’t know if you know the story behind that domain. Goes all the way back to the end of 2002 when I asked people at DNForum to help me pick a name from a few options I listed. They picked DNJournal which I liked best as well, so I registered that name. Within a few days, some other forum member from Canada (forget his name – Lorenzo or something like that) registered and tried to sell it to me. At the time I was too stupid to consider registering other variations of the name. He has held it for 12 years and I was determined I would never let him profit from it (at least from me as I thought his initial action was a dick move). Others who inquired said he wanted $1500. I would have gone that high in this auction but would never have given it to him.”


What do you think?† Was it a “dick move” ?† IMHO it was.
Here’s one the older DNF threads where the former owner talks about owning this name : .† Many of DNFs older threads seem to be missing.

I’m just glad to see after all these years to see Ron the new owner of





ICANN systems compromised through phishing attack

A number of ICANN’s staff email accounts have been compromised by a phishing attack, which lead to administrative passwords to other systems being exposed as well, as Necraft reports.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has fallen victim to a phishing attack which resulted in the attackers gaining administrative access to some of ICANN’s systems, including its Centralized Zone Data Service (CZDS).

In an email alert sent this morning, ICANN said it believes a spear phishing attack in November resulted in several ICANN staff members’ email credentials being compromised. The stolen passwords were then used to gain unauthorised access to multiple ICANN systems, which could have resulted in other usernames and passwords being compromised.

Although CZDS passwords are stored as salted hashes, ICANN has taken the precaution of deactivating passwords and API keys used on the compromised CZDS service. ICANN implemented some security enhancements earlier this year, which it believes limited the extent of the unauthorised access, and has implemented further measures since this attack.

Here’s the email that ICANN wrote to users of is CZDS:

ACTION REQUIRED: CZDS Security Disclosure

ICANN is investigating a recent intrusion into our systems. We believe a
‚??spear phishing‚?Ě attack was initiated in late November 2014. It involved email
messages that were crafted to appear to come from our own domain being sent to
members of our staff. The attack resulted in the compromise of the email
credentials of several ICANN staff members.

In early December 2014 we discovered that the compromised credentials were
used to access certain ICANN systems including the Centralized Zone Data
Service (CZDS). 

You are receiving this notice because the attacker obtained administrative
access to all files in the CZDS including copies of the zone files in the
system. The information you provided as a CZDS user might have been downloaded
by the attacker. This may have included your name, postal address, email
address, fax and telephone numbers, and your username and password. Although
the passwords were stored as salted cryptographic hashes, we have deactivated
your CZDS password (and API key if applicable) as a precaution. Additional
information about the attack is included in an announcement that is posted at

In order to continue using CZDS, please visit and follow
the instructions there to request a new password. We suggest that you take
appropriate steps to protect any other online accounts for which you might
have used the same username and/or password.  

This notice was not delayed as a result of a law enforcement investigation.
Earlier this year, ICANN began a program of security enhancements in order to
strengthen information security for all ICANN systems. We believe these
enhancements helped limit the unauthorized access obtained in the attack.
Since discovering the attack, we have implemented additional security

We are providing information about this incident publicly, not just because of
our commitment to openness and transparency, but also because sharing of
cybersecurity information helps all involved to assess threats to their

If you would like further assistance or information, you may contact us by
email to or by telephone at +1-424-277-3192 or U.S.
toll-free at +1-800-401-1703.

Thank you for your attention to this. We sincerely regret any inconvenience or
concern this incident may cause you.

ICANN Registry Services






DomainFest will be part of NamesCon 2015 in Las Vegas

NamesCon | Las Vegas January 11th-14th 2015 2014-12-16 17-56-02

A change on the Namescon Agenda lead The Domains to ask if NamesCon had bought out domainFEST – well, here’s the official press Release and reply. DomainFest becomes the first day of the conference geared towards newcomers. If you read the text on the updated DomainFest website, it appears that there’s a plan to carry the name forward and use it for “a series of international DomainFest regional events”.

DomainFest is one of the longest running events in the Domain Name industry. Its†early origins in the early 2000s was a one day gathering with a mix of sharing new industry information and a social networking event. DomainFest will continue that tradition after being acquired by NamesCon.

Originally established as a casual meeting of domain investors as early as 2002, Donna Mahony generously donated the domain name to Oversee in 2006. Starting with small conferences in LA and Barcelona, Oversee grew Domainfest into a large, global conference series, attracting domainers, marketing professionals and celebrity speakers from all over the world.

?We are very proud of the industry-leading conference that we built up over the years?, said Debra Domeyer, CEO of† ?DomainFest is one of the longest running events in the Domain†industry.††We are proud to recognize the importance of the DomainFest events to the industry and are extremely happy to be passing the DomainFest ownership into the capable hands of NamesCon.?

Richard Lau, producer of NamesCon said ?We are carrying the DomainFest torch forward. NamesCon co-founder Jothan Frakes and I met at the Seattle DomainFest in March 2005. We are immensely proud to be able to announce that†Sunday, Jan 11, 2015†is ?DomainFest @NamesCon?.? Like DomainFest conferences in the past, NamesCon 2015 Las Vegas will also host a domain auction (run by Right of the Dot) and feature Keynote speakers and world-class entertainment.

DomainFest @NamesCon will start at†10am on Sunday Jan 11, 2015†and the day will be an excellent venue for newcomers and veterans alike. Jothan Frakes, who has a long history of producing domain conferences stated, ?The DomainFest events had great energy and I am delighted to see that the success of NamesCon will maintain the spirit and legacy of DomainFest.?† Jothan has planned out a full agenda for the Domainfest @NamesCon day.

The†Sunday†Evening Networking and Entertainment event for DomainFest @NamesCon will feature Peter Pavone – the Las Vegas Best 2014 Tribute Artist of the Year.

DomainFest @NamesCon is included in your conference pass when you register for NamesCon 2015 Las Vegas.

Two great conferences, one low price.

To RSVP & Register please visit:††or†

[via Press Release]





Europol seizes 292 domains for counterfeit goods on Cyber Monday

The European law agency Europol has seized 292 domain names in cooperation with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and 25 law enforcement agencies from 19 countries. The sites were allegedly used to sell counterfeit merchandise, such as sportswear, electronics, pharmaceuticals, but also movies and music.

Countries involved were: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States.

Law enforcement has been preparing for this since August based on information provided to them by trademark holders. The domain names seized are now in the custody of the governments involved in these operations. Visitors typing those domain names into their web browsers will find either a banner that notifies them of the seizure and educates them about the crime of wilful copyright infringement, or the visitors will not be able to access the website anymore.

Project “In Our Sites” (IOS) is a sustained law enforcement initiative that began to protect consumers by targeting the sale of counterfeit merchandise on the Internet. The 292 domain names seized under Operation IOS V brings the total number of IOS domain names seized to 1829 since the IOS project began in November 2012.

[via CIO, Europol Press Release]





The week in Domains (Week 49/2014)

“The week in domains” summarizes the domain name industry news on a weekly basis. Not enough time to check all the news on all the blogs? This is what you want to read. Updated throughout the week/days.

Domain Name Sales



Domain Names for Sale

Internet Governance






What domains can teach about brand engagement in foreign markets

Since the early 2000s, domain names can be registered and written in any language – for example Chinese characters are allowed in the .com namespace, ??.com is a valid domain name. This wonderful innovation makes internet users less reliant on the English alphabet to navigate the internet – including when engaging with brands online.

As with any new technology, early adopters are often not the larger corporations but smaller ventures, one man operations and the likes. When it comes to foreign language domains incorporating brand names, this means that, unfortunately, some of them are registered to affiliate marketers and speculators unrelated to the brand owner.

From an academic perspective, this has the advantage of being a fantastic proxy to assess the viability of using brand names in different languages to engage with local audiences. The assumption here is that if a brand related domain has been registered and renewed to an affiliate marketer or any third party primarily motivated by monetization, whatever he/she is doing with the domain must be working.

The following are some of my observations on the topic :


A) Brand translations work.

It may not be practical for a brand manager to come up with translations of their brand in an effort to better engage with internet users. However, the translations may already be out there, used by native speakers on and off the internet. When a translation makes it to a domain registration, it’s a sign that its usage might be widespread.

PlayStation in Hebrew

PlayStation can be written in Hebrew like this : ??????????

Google data shows that the proportion of Israeli search volume for the keyword “PlayStation” to the Israeli search volume for “??????????” is 10:3.

Surely, the domain name ??????????.com is registered, but not to Sony. It has been so since 2010 and it currently redirects to a one page Weebly website full of Adsense ads.


Iceberg showing the Skype brand in Russian along with some typos
Typo traffic is just the tip of the iceberg

B)Typos are a thing too.

Skype in Russian

?????.com is a typo of ?????.com which is Russian for Skype. Despite the whois privacy, both domains seem registered to the same entity and currently redirect to an adult webcam affiliate page (NSFW). The domains were respectively registered in 2012 and 2007.

In other instances, typo domains look to mimic the visual appearance of the brand.

Viagra and Netflix


This domain resembles the viagra brand. It is registered since 2007 and currently resolves to a parked page (displaying PPC ads).


The Netflix brand name with the Spanish eŮe†instead of the regular “n”. This domain was registered in 2013 and currently redirects to a survey affiliate program.

The most clever cases of typo domains involve what I call “keyboard layout typos” whereby the string of characters resulting from typing an english word on a foreign language keyboad is registered as a domain name. This type of typo exists because most non english keyboard hardware come with two or more characters printed on each key, i.e. one english letter following the QWERTY layout and one character in the native language. The keyboard software is often programmed by default to allow the use of either layouts. Switching from one to another is usually a matter of one key press.

Godaddy almost in Thai

Thai keyboard layout showing a typo of the Godaddy Brand


This domain is the result of the keystroke sequence G-O-D-A-D-D-Y typed on a Thai keyboard with the Thai layout active instead of the English QWERTY layout. The domain per se means nothing in the Thai language. It currently redirects to through an affiliate link.

If anything, the existence of this domain shows that there are Thai keyboard users who could make use of a proper Thai domain to access the registrar.


B) Brand + Keyword domains are also used

The use of foreign language domains to engage with brand customers is not limited to exact match brand names. Brand + Keyword domains are prevalent as well, especially in markets with a history of online advertising and online marketing.

Forex Sale in Japanese


This domain name means “Rolex Sale” or “Rolex Purchase” in Japanese. The webpage it resolves to has a prominent affiliate link below the fold.


In conclusion, when it comes to engaging with “foreign” audiences, using a domain name in the proper language is an avenue to consider. Affiliate marketers and speculators have been doing it for years, and it seems to be successful, at least as per their standards.


About the author

JS Lascary is passionate about Internationalized Domain Names. He is a member of the Quebec Bar Association and the founder of, a brand monitoring business.