When it comes to the Internet and what makes it tick, the simple answer is: domains. Domains play an integral part in how the Internet, as we know it, works and how we connect to the world of information, products and services marketed and sold online. The idea of a domain, and the modern addressing or routing system used, was invented in 1985. For most business owners, a domain is an important tool in selling services and products online, as well as attracting customers to offline, traditional marketplaces for goods and services. Here are 16 interesting facts from Webmasterjury that are not common knowledge and will expand your horizon, in the world of internet domains!
1)    Approximately 13% of all .com domain registrations are of short, 5 or 6-character domain names.
2)    Domain name registration was free for everyone prior to 1995.
3)    Apple was the 64th domain registered in 1985 and can boast being one of the first domains put into service.
4)    Google.com was originally suppose to be googol.com, but due to an administrative error, was registered as Google. The name has since become a household name.
5)    .ng is the most expensive TLD (Top Level Domain) extension and costs a whopping $40,000 USD per year, to use the extension.
6)    2017’s most popular new TLDs include: .app, .fan and .web.
7)    Carinsurance.com is the most expensive domain ever sold, to a non-government entity, and was sold for a massive 49.7 million USD, to Quinstreet Inc, in 2010.
8)    Twitter was only able to purchase the rights to twitter.co.au in 2015, as it was registered by a domain parker and sold to the company for a huge profit.
9)    In 2003, Microsoft Inc. forgot to renew Hotmail.co.uk.
10)   “Trump” was the leading keyword used in the registration of new domains in Jan 2017, for .com and .new TLDs.
11)    Mike Mann sets the record for most domains registered in a single day. Mike registered 14,962 domains in a 24-hour period, in April 2012, setting the record that stands to this today.
12)   Domains are usually registered for periods of one to ten years at a time, but “Network Solutions” allows domains registered through their service to be registered for a period of up to 100 years.
13)   GoDaddy is the clear leader of new domain registrations, with an estimated 54 million new domains registered so far in 2017. GoDaddy’s nearest competitor registered less, 12 million unique domains, in the same time period.
14)   Some domains, like, .tk, .cf, .gs, .cu and .cc are free to register TLD’s, meaning the companies that administer them don’t charge you to register your domain with those extensions.
15)   The most non-government used TLD is, .xyz. It likely has such high usership due to its low registration costs of only $0.69 USD per domain.
16)   In 1987, the 100th domain was registered, meaning it took the Internet nearly 2 years to hit the 100-site milestone. Today, 100 sites are registered every few milliseconds.

*These are a few interesting facts about domain names that you likely didn’t know. If you are interested in learning a few more, 101 facts can be found at Webmasterjury, who kindy provided this content.

By Zak Muscovitch

The Internet Commerce Association has two great events planned for Namescon, and will also be busy there meeting with members and conducting its Working Groups.

The annual ICA Dinner, which is now sold out (but we are reserving a few tickets for new ICA members who join between now and the dinner), is being held on the Monday at the Foundation Room, Mandalay Bay. This is a great opportunity to meet many of the major players in the Domain Name industry. If you were unable to get tickets this year, make sure you join the ICA as a member so that you get the first opportunity to get a ticket for next year. The ICA plays an important role for the Domain Name investing community, by monitoring all regulatory and legal developments and issues, and advocating on behalf of Domain Name investors. Phil Corwin, as ICA’s General Counsel, has tirelessly spearheaded these efforts.

The ICA is also conducting a great session called, “The Most Shocking UDRP Decisions of 2016”. This will be held 12 noon on the Monday. Moderated by domain name community stalwart Bill Sweetman, attorney Jason Schaeffer, honorary attorney, Nat Cohen, and myself will be participating in the Panel. Each of us will be advocating for a particular case, which we have nominated as the “most shocking of 2016”. At the end, a vote will be taken, and the “winning” case will be selected.

In addition to the Panel presentation, there will also be an awards ceremony where the Lonnie Borck Memorial Award will be given to honor an individual who has gone above and beyond to assist Domain Name owners. Elliot Silver and Nat Cohen will be making the presentation to the recipient.

Lastly, the ICA’s working groups will be meeting to discuss important issues such as UDRP Reform and Domain Name theft. The Working Group Meetings will be held at 4 pm on the Monday. If you are interesting in helping to work on these issues and advocating for the ICA, please join the ICA and get in touch with us.


By Zak Muscovitch.

I just showed my support for Frank Michlick, who is running for a position on the Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s Board of Directors. He has set up a campaign page here. Many of you know Frank as a domain name industry expert who is always willing and able to share his unique and extensive knowledge of domain names. He would be a tremendous asset to the CIRA Board.

It is crucial for the CIRA Board of Directors to have qualified people who are able to voice the interests of the domain name investor community. The declining growth of the .CA namespace is a tremendously important issue to Canadian domain name investors, and having Frank on the Board will provide a crucial voice on this issue.

If you are a .ca registrant, you are entitled to show your support, and then vote on his candidacy. CIRA will have sent you an email with a link to show your support, together with an ID code and pin number. It takes all of 5 seconds, so please take your time and support a candidate from the domain name community.

Frank’s Member Nominee Candidate Statement is reproduced below:

Thank you for the opportunity to submit my application to become a Director on the Board of CIRA. Since 2000 I’ve devoted my career to Canada’s Internet while living in Ottawa, Toronto and now Montreal with my wife and son.I first became familiar with the Internet in 1993 and registered my first domain name in 1995, culminating in 21 years of experience in the domain and Internet industry. Since then, I have participated in the Internet’s growth from a relatively small community to the invaluable resource it is today.

Being well versed in almost every area of the domain business and I have extensive business & technology experience from building websites and managing servers to working with governments as well as public, private and non-profit companies. I also spent 5 1/2 years as a Senior Sales Engineer at the Canadian wholesale Domain Registrar Tucows/OpenSRS and in 2007 I started DomainCocoon, a consulting business for Domain Investors, Registries, Registrars, Hosting companies and Resellers. My international background and extensive domain industry travels have given me a broad perspective on global domain issues and how the would affect and benefit CIRA.

I have held several leadership roles in the domain community, including acting as one of the managing editors of the industry website DomainNameNews.com. This is a position where I was able to utilize thought leadership skills through analysis of breaking industry news and events. Working together with my fellow editors to become one of the domain industries most important news sources has given me an even greater appreciation of how much can be accomplished through collaboration. These experiences as well as my ability to focus on details while remaining mindful of the big picture, and an ability to quickly adapt and develop expertise in new technology are qualities that would uniquely position me to serve CIRA as a Director on its board.

I am also involved in the most pressing current industry issues including Internet Governance, privacy, security, IPv6, DNSSEC, new gTLDs, the secondary market and the financial health of the domain business. I host Industry gatherings to connect the Canadian domain community. I am passionate about issues of personal privacy and data collection online as well as how emerging Internet technology changes our society. Becoming active on the board of CIRA is an incredible opportunity to participate in shaping Canada’s Internet future. Having spent more than the last decade serving the Canadian Internet, I look forward to joining CIRA’s board as a director to work together in forming the strategy for the nation’s continued online success. More information about my application for the CIRA Board elections canbe found at http://FrankForCIRA.ca/ – please feel free to reach out to me with your questions and suggestions.

Candidate Resume: https://cira.ca/sites/default/files/public/frank-michlick-cv2016.pdf

Answers to Mandatory Questions:

1. Why do you want to be on CIRA’s Board of Directors?

Having worked with the Internet since 1993 with a focus on Canada since 2000, I welcome the opportunity to use my extensive experience combining technology and business in order to help shape the development of CIRA, .CA and the Canadian Internet. I have worked with a number of online organizations as an employee, manager, board member, working group member and entrepreneur and have participated in the Internet’s growth from an experimental community of early adopters to the thriving, global industry it is today. Working with CIRA as a member of the board would allow me to use the unique skills I have acquired in the domain Industry to assist the organization in the successful adaption of new technologies. Much of my work was within virtual organizations and utilized social media in order to connect with stakeholders, investors and customers. I want to use my experience to bring CIRA, its members and all of Canada closer together to help shape the future of the Internet.

2. What specific skills or experiences do you have that make you a qualified candidate for the CIRA Board?

I’m able to understand technical and business needs, thus I am able to bring both worlds together to create the best results. In my professional live I’ve worked with a number of governments, public and private companies and a number of non-profits. Having registered my first domain name in 1995, I’ve got many years of experience working with domain names. Aside from having worked in web development, hosting, I also spent 5 1/2 years as a Senior Sales Engineer at the Canadian Domain Registrar Tucows/OpenSRS. Since 2007 I own and run a consulting business for Registrars, Domain Investors, Registries, Hosting companies and Resellers called DomainCocoon Inc. I also participate in ICANN and IETF working groups, since Internet Governance and policy development are important to me. While working in the industry, I’ve developed a vast and varying network of contacts which helps me to gather and distribute knowledge.

3. What do you feel are the top three challenges and opportunities facing the .CA domain name space over the next three to five years?

a) Declining growth.The declining growth rate for .CA registrations over the last year is a concern, especially compared with the market saturation and industry growth overall. Increased competition through the introduction of new gTLDs is one factor in this challenge. b) Political Challenges Censorship & Surveillance initiatives and Net Neutrality affect the industry and internet users and there’s a continuous push from governments that affect internet access, i.e. bills like C-51, the order of a BC court for Google to remove certain search engine results worldwide or the call to Quebec ISPs to censor specific websites. c) Lack of membership /lack of participation/involvement of membership I would like to find and explore more ways to grow CIRA and for members to be involved in decisions outside of the board elections to involve more of the stakeholders. The Canadian Internet Forum and public consultations are a great start, but should be expanded on.

4. What specific actions do you propose that the Board of Directors could take to overcome the challenges and/or take advantage of the opportunities presented?

a) Declining Growth CIRA must continue and increase their efforts to rekindle growth in registration numbers. CIRA’s plans to support applications for city TLDs in the next new TLD round (.Montreal, .Toronto and .Calgary) is a great proposal to widen the offering. The challenge is, will CIRA be able to focus on the new ventures while continuing to pay the required attention to .CA itself? .CA has to be the first priority for the organisation. b) Political Challenges Continue to speak out on issues that may affect the freedom of the internet and communication. Seek dialogue with regulators and legislators in order to offer expertise. c) Lack of membership /lack of participation/involvement of membership I would like to find and explore more ways to grow CIRA and for members to be involved in decisions beyond the board elections.


By Zak Muscovitch

I am relatively new to podcasts – listening to them, and certainly being interviewed on one, so I was very excited to be interviewed by Andrew Allemann for his DomainNameWire.com podcast.

If you are anything like me, you visit Andrew Allemann’s excellent domain name news website, about a dozen times a day to keep on on domain name industry developments. Andrew recently wrote that he had a positive experience in closing a domain name option deal, and reached out to me to join him for the interview.

If you have thought about domain name leasing or optioning yourself, or wonder what it involves, listening to this podcast is a great and easy way of getting quickly up to speed on the dynamics and issues surrounding the basics of domain name leasing and options. We cover a lot of the pitfalls and considerations, particularly from a domain name owner’s perspective. You will hear about due diligence, various structures available for domain name leasing, escrow of domain names, determining payments, risk management, leasing disputes, and other interesting issues.


By Zak Muscovitch.

Two big upcoming conferences are taking place in India; DomainX in August, and ICANN in November. I have been to India twice now, with my most recent trip being August, 2015, for DomainX. I plan on going for my third trip this August, for DomainX 2016. Here are five observations/tips about traveling to India for a domain name conference:

1.    The Next Billion People on the Internet to Come from India

 According to former ICANN CEO, Fadi Chehade, with the next billion people on the Internet likely to come from India, the country has the power to shape the future of the Internet. “India is central to what the Internet is at the global level… India is not simply getting into the digital world. The country is already an incumbent, a driver in the digital world in every sense of the word”, Mr. Chehadé said speaking at an event in India in March, 2015.   As I wrote and explained in my previous Blog post, all the evidence points towards India becoming the leading Internet powerhouse as a result of its highly educated, English speaking, young, dynamic, and massive workforce. If your business has the potential to expand into the Indian market, there is no better place to start than visiting India yourself. The .in market is showing a lot of promise and there is substantial growth in the number of Indian domain investors in many extensions. It could be “the next China” in terms of the huge potential demand for domain names amongst a population of 1.3 billion people who are only now getting online. Currently only about 20% of India’s populace is online, and it is increasing by about 14% per year.

2.   Use Your Points from Buying Thousands of Domain Names on Your Credit Card

You probably have a ton of points saved up from buying thousands of domain names on your credit cards, so it may be time to burn them on some flashy flights. Aside from India’s national carrier, Air India, and its other major airline, Jet Airways, two of the world’s greatest airlines fly to India; Emirates and Etihad. Both Emirates and Etihad a380 aircraft feature showers in their first class cabins, and there are even bars in business class, and both  are available via points redemptions. I had the time of my life flying on Emirates on my first trip to India. For more information about redeeming your points for flights, you can read a blog called, One Mile at a Time.

3.    Take a Tour of India and see the Taj Mahal

If you are going to India on business, tag on a tour to see some of India. DomainX 2016 will be held in Delhi, and ICANN will be held in Hyderabad. Delhi is a major hub for Internet businesses, as is Hyderabad, which has earned the Moniker, “Cyberbad”. Hyderabad was the location of the first DomainX conference, in 2014.

Both cities have a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing. In Delhi you can visit the old Delhi market, the Indian parliament buildings, and Humayun’s Tomb – all impressive sights worth seeing. But a few hours’ drive from Delhi, you can see a true Wonder of the World – The Taj Mahal. Now, I live near Niagara Falls, and to be honest, it has nothing on the Taj Mahal. It is simply mind-blowing in terms of its architecture and what was involved in building it. DomainX will be taking some attendees on a tour of the Taj Mahal on August 6, 2016, but you can also go on your own, and it is a relatively short drive away on a new highway. In Hyderabad, it is worth visiting the Taj Faluknuma hotel, which is one of the great hotels of the world. It used to be a palace owned by the richest man on earth. He kept a diamond so big that he used it as a doorstop.

But aside from these two great cities and Agra, where the Taj Mahal is located, also take the time to visit some wonderful places like Udaipur, Rajasthan, Kerala, Mumbai, and the other many incredible places throughout India. Udaipur is where part of Octopussy was filmed – at the Taj Lake Palace hotel – as you may recall from the below picture.

4.     Enjoy the Indian Food with New Indian Friends

When networking at DomainX or ICANN, be sure to make some new friends who can show you some genuine Indian cuisine at local favorites. At DomainX 2015, I met one fellow who put me on to my all time favorite restaurant, Punjabi By Nature, which despite the somewhat odd name, featured incredible north Indian cuisine, such as marinated and grilled leg of mutton. Wherever you go, you will see “Thalis” on offer, which are set dinners of various dishes, available in vegetarian and non-veg, such as the one depicted below:

5.   Learn About Indian History

Before you go, take some time to research the amazing history of India through documentaries and books. The most fascinating documentary on the subject that I saw, was Michael Wood’s “The Story of India”. Nobody does documentaries like the BBC. Also, go back and watch the Gandhi movie with Ben Kingsley, which is extraordinarily well done, and will mean a lot more to you once you visit India for yourself.


By Zak Muscovitch.

Last year at Namescon, my Domain Name Leasing Workshop was (to my surprise) packed, and attendees got to go through an entire domain name lease agreement with me. Attendees also received an annotated domain name lease agreement, which contained explanatory commentary about the provisions of a typical domain name lease agreement.

This year at Namescon® 2016, I will be joined by eminent domain name attorney and friend, Karen Bernstein from Berstein IP in New York City, and we will be going deeper, and discussing domain name leasing issues together with all attendees. It will be an informal session where you can bring your basic and advanced questions and have a discussion with us about common issues that arise in domain name lease transactions. You can even pose specific questions about particular issues that you have encountered or are concerned about and Karen and I will do our best to answer without providing any actual legal advice! 🙂

The session is on Sunday, January 10, 2016, at 12:00 noon, and is called “Table Topic C: Leasing a Domain”.

In preparation for the session, you may want to watch my interview on DomainSherpa, where Michael Cyger and I provided an unprecedented examination of domain name leasing issues, in remarkable detail. Michael sure went into specifics as is his trademark style, and I think viewers got to learn a substantial amount about domain name leasing.

By watching the DomainSherpa presentation before Namescon® 2016, you will familiarize yourself with the issues and procedures of domain name lease transactions, so that when you come to Namescon® 2016, you may be able to ask follow up or more specific questions about domain name leases from two experienced attorneys, Karen and myself. You can also download a copy of the annotated sample ‘Domain Name Lease Agreement with an Option to Purchase’ here, from the DomainSherpa website (which was originally distributed to Namescon® 2015 attendees.

I look forward to meeting you at Namescon® 2016, and will also be available at my Network Lane Table on Sunday, January 10, 2016, for informal chats and to meet old and new friends. See you in Vegas!


By Zak Muscovitch. 


2015 saw some very interesting cases in domain name law. On Monday, January 11, 2016, at 1 pm, there will be a short session highlighting some of the most important cases both under the UDRP and the ACPA. In addition, copies of Gerald Levine’s new UDRP book will be raffled off to the session attendees.


You will hear how some UDRP panelists have taken it upon themselves to radically re-interpret the UDRP to help trademark owners and harm domain name owners. You will also hear about the new UDRP procedural rules that went into effect this past summer and how the UDRP might be changed in the future. You will also hear how different judges from different districts have come to different conclusions in ACPA cases. 

Renowned ACPA attorney David Weslow will be speaking on ACPA cases, and I will be speaking on UDRP cases. Successful domain name investor, Nat Cohen, will be bringing his perspective to the discussion as well. As I have said previously, Nat Cohen is amongst the most knowledgeable non-lawyers one could ever meet when it comes to the UDRP. Moderating the discussion will be renowned Internet litigator, Derek Newman. I encourage you all to attend and look forward to seeing you there.

As mentioned above, as an added bonus to this exciting session, lawyer and author, Gerald Levine, has graciously donated several copies of his book,  “Domain Name Arbitration – A Practical Guide to Asserting and Defending Claims of Cybersquatting” to be raffled off to the session attendees. 

http://www.amazon.com/Gerald-M.-Levine/e/B01417BZNI/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1


Gerald Levine is a New York City attorney, who has spent a considerable amount of time and effort in analyzing and reporting on UDRP decisions, which he has compiled into his new book. 



I have long admired Gerald’s work from afar, reading his commentaries on his website, IPLegalCorner.com, and recently I had the opportunity to ask him a few questions:

Gerald, how did you first become interested in domain name law?
I’m a litigator by trade. About ten to twelve years ago I assisted an attorney friend on a domain name issue. This was a new area of practice. I started by researching and writing a memorandum for his client that began growing as I added and reorganized material. I didn’t stay with the original matter although I continued researching and collecting material. 

       What led to your writing of the book?
Somewhere around 2006 or 2007 I began writing blogs on domain name disputes that got some attention. Those blogs functioned as a kind of laboratory in which I tested out ideas and modes of expressing my findings and conclusions. That the accumulated material could form a book didn’t come into focus until around 2012. The acorn ultimately developed into a study of domain name arbitration.

      Do you handle domain name disputes?
I don’t actually handle disputes, although I would if they came my way. I field calls from attorneys and parties involved in domain name disputes and give advice as to likelihood of success and risk, and why I think so.

      What are the most interesting cases / most important issues from 2015 in your opinion?
The most contentious issue in UDRP jurisprudence, which started in a duo of cases in 2009, has been the attempt by a few influential panelists to change its construction to allow for forfeiture regardless of good faith registration if domain names are subsequently being used in bad faith. A number of panelists restart the time on renewal of registration when there’s been bad faith use preceding it. This view, which hasn’t really gotten anywhere and to my mind is a dead end, attempts to bring the UDRP into alignment with the ACPA. Nevertheless, there continue to be some anomalous decisions sometimes by dissenting panelists that go to great lengths to explain the reasoning behind the view.
2015 has further consolidated the jurisprudence. Complainants still try their luck for 2 and 3-character domain names when it’s obvious they cannot mount an affirmative argument. There’s also a good number of cases by complainants whose rights postdate the domain name that should never have been brought. There’s a lot of chatter when Panels fail to declare RDNH for what appear to be obvious abusive process, but it’s understood that the sanction is discretionary. I find interesting that there are panelists who will declare RDNH without being asked, most recently in 3-member Panels. I think that’s correct. There’s been some interesting decisions under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protect Act particularly in the area of fraudulent transfers (unreported).

By Zak Muscovitch

On my recent trip to India for the DomainX conference, I found that the excitement and anticipation among Indians was palpable. India stands on the precipice of becoming the single most powerful force on the Internet. Peering over the shoulder of the USA and China in terms of current volume of Internet users, the numbers tell much of the tale. But the current volume of users alone does not reveal the entire story.

In order to fully appreciate India’s future place on the Internet, one must first appreciate its remarkable past. Many Westerners would be surprised to learn, that but for a veritable blip of history comprising the last few centuries of human progress, India has been at the center of the economic world. As shown on the below map prepared by the McKinsey Global Institute, in the year 1000 AD, the world’s economic center of gravity was in fact, in Asia, just north of current-day India, and west of China.



By 2025, a mere 10 years from now, the center will have remarkably shifted back nearly all the way to how it was over 1000 years ago. What is equally remarkable, is that the last 1000 years of human civilization is but a fraction of India’s economic history. It does not encompass the entire length of Indian civilization, which can be traced back to between 3000 and 1900 BC. As masterfully documented by historian Michael Wood, in his landmark documentary, The Story of India, the greater Indus region was home to the largest of the four ancient urban civilizations of Egypt, Mesoptamia, South Asia, and China, and comprised the planned cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, which were trade and craft production centers. As early as 3000 BC, writings and carvings indicate that India had established itself self as a major spice trade route centered in Kerala, the “Spice Garden of India”, marking the beginning of the spice trade, which was to become the largest and most important business in the entire world for centuries to come. Let us also not lose sight of the fact that it was Spain’s Christopher Columbus himself, who was trying to find a route to India’s spices, when he stumbled upon America by mistake.

Aside from its financial importance, India of course must be recognized for its vast and rich cultural and religious history. India is the birthplace not just of Hinduism, but also of Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. There are 2000 ethnic groups in India and there are 122 languages spoken with nearly 2000 dialects. In India today, there are 1.3 billion people in 36 states, and it is projected to be the world’s most populous country by 2025. An estimated 80.5% of Indians are Hindu, and 13.4% or 177 million, are Muslim, making it the third largest Muslim population in the world, after Bangladesh (formerly part of India), and Indonesia. Many aspects of Indian cultural life which have existed for centuries, are only now catching on in western countries. For example, the popularity of yoga in the United States has increased dramatically, with almost twice as many adults practicing yoga as in 2002. Vegetarianism, practiced by Hindus and other Indians since ancient times, is now practiced by 5% of Americans, doubling from 2.5% in 2009.

Moreover, today’s Indian populace is remarkably young,with a median age of 28, which is significantly lower than China (37.6), and Japan (44.4), with its workforce expanding as China contracts, resulting in a labor shortfall by 2050. As quoted in CNBC, Robert Prior-Wandesforde, director of Asian economics research at Credit Suisse, “India has close to ideal demographics. It’s in a sweet spot…As the population’s working age expands, savings increase — and that turns into a source of funding for investment. This will be beneficial for the country’s competitiveness as other countries age”. Also, according to Sunil Devmurari, country manager for India at Euromonitor, “Two hundred and fifty million people are set to join India’s workforce by 2030. As a big chunk of the population shifts into the working age group, the offshoot of that is an increase in disposable incomes and conspicuous consumption. This is the most exciting aspect of India’s demographic dividend”.
India’s place in the world and its immense potential, has not been lost on new Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who proclaimed that, “the 21st century will be that of India”, with plans to upgrade Indiafrom a $2 trillion economy, to a $20 trillion one, while recognizing that India was transitioning from “a winter of subdued achievement” to a “new spring”.

Now, when it comes to the Internet and the future of India, the numbers are equally remarkable. Currently, the first-ranked country by number of Internet Users is China, at 641,601,070, followed by the United States in second place at 279,834,232. India ranks just behind the United States in third place, at 243,198,922 Internet Users.However, the most impressive aspect of India’s volume of Internet usage ranking, is not that it is in third place, just behind the US, but rather, that those 243 million Internet Users represents a mere 19% penetration of India’s total population of nearly 1.3 Billion people. In comparison, the US’s 279,934,232 Internet Users represents nearly 87% of its populace. In other words, once India ramps up to 87% penetration amongst its massive populace, it would amount to nearly 900 million people, or close to 3 times the population of the entire United States. Accordingly, currently, at the low penetration rate of 19%, India’s share of the world’s Internet Users is 8.33%, whereas at 87% penetration, it could conceivably rank at close to a quarter of all Internet Users, worldwide. China too presents a massive demographic potential for increased Internet Users as it rises from 46% penetration, however currently India  is outpacing China in terms of year-over-year Internet User growth, at a rate of 14% growth to China’s 4%. What also stands out about India, is its high proportion of mobile Internet users. On a percentage basis, India already has more mobile Internet users than any other country in the world, according to Google India Managing Director, Ranjan Anadan.

When applied to growth in Internet commerce sales, India’s massive growth in Internet usage demonstrated an equally massive yet unrealized growth in online sales. There are about 35 million Indians who currently buy products online, but by 2016 that will more than double to 100 million Internet Users who make purchases online. The potential growth in the Indian online commerce marketplace is simply staggering. Mr. Anandan cleverly refers to the immense potential of the massive Indian marketplace, as “the billion user opportunity in India”.

The growth of the Indian Internet marketplace is being led to a substantial degree, by businessmen of Indian origin, who are leading the world’s largest technology companies. Google’s Chief Executive Officer is Sundar Pichai. Microsoft’s CEO is Satya Nadella. SanDisk’s CEO is Danjay Mehrotra. Nokia’s CEP is Rajeev Suri. Adobe’s CEO is Shantanu Narayen. It is truly remarkable, and these are only a handful of the success stories.

But it is not only established companies which are being led by Indians and people of Indian origin, but also start-ups. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has appealed to the people to work towards making India a “Start Up Nation”. Israel, the original “Start-Up Nation”, has served as a model for the entrepreneurship that is being fostered in India, with assistance and cooperation in many technological and academic endeavors. India has made incredible progress in homegrown in entrepreneurship.  Its Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) is ranked fourth (just ahead of Harvard) out of 50 universities, in producing venture capital backed founders.

Even outside of India itself, Indians start more companies than any other immigrant group in California (26%) and many other states, and overall, 33.2 of all companies founded by immigrants in the United States are founded by Indians. which is amazing considering that Indians only represent between 0.7% and 3.4% of the population of these states, as mentioned by Neesha Bapat in Forbes.

One reason that India has become a hotbed for entrepreneurship is that so many international companies, particularly in the tech field, have offices in India, as pointed out by Andy White, lead research analyst for Pitchbook, as quoted by Nelson Vinod Moses.  “Large corporations such as Microsoft and Google hire a larger number of employees from India. After building a resume at one of these major companies, employees are connected enough to make a foray into the world of startups,” says White.

That is exactly the situation that I personally found when I visited Bengaluru (formerly known as Bangalore), which is considered the center of the “Indian Silicone Valley”, in August, 2015. There, while attending and speaking at the DomainX domain name conferencein my capacity as a domain name lawyer, I met many young Indian engineers who were working at major international technology companies in a variety of capacities. Many of them had completed graduate work abroad, and many spent time in the United States where they were working at their company’s head offices. Nearly all had an interest in starting their own company, and more importantly, all had the technological ability to do so. Moreover, by locating themselves in India where experienced qualified tech guys are in abundance and far less expensive than in California, they have increased their financial ability to execute. 

The future is bright for Indian entrepreneurs, with the number of Indian billionaires set to double within the next 10 years.  You may be interested to know that at one point, the richest person in the entire world, was Osman Ali Khan, the 7th Nizam of Hyderabad (today known as “Cyberbad” due to it being a center for technology companies, along with Bengaluru). 



When the 7thNizam was deposed in 1948, he was adjudged the richest man in the world. He had a diamond the size of a grapefruit that he reportedly used as a doorstop, and in 2008, Forbes magazine placed him fifth on its “all-time wealthiest” list, with a personal fortune in inflation-adjusted dollars of $210.8 billion. Furthermore, as the story goes, on a visit to London, he was pissed off by a Rolls Royce salesman who didn’t think he, being an Indian, had enough money to buy one. Well, he bought six, and used them to sweep the roads in Hyderabad. You can visit his former home as I did, in Hyderabad, as it is now an incredible hotel called the Taj Falaknuma PalaceHowever, the richest man in India these days is a Mumbai businessman, who built his own 27 floor home – I mean the entire building is for him and his staff! It is the world’s second most expensive residential property after Buckingham Palace. 

When it comes to domain names, which is my particular area of expertise, India is also experiencing tremendous growth. India’s national domain name suffix, or “Top Level Domain”, “.in”, crossed the 1.7 million mark this April, 2015. And that is with only 20% Internet penetration. In comparison, Canada, who has nearly 93% Internet penetration with a population of a mere 35 million, has just under 2 million “.ca” domain name registrations. If Indians continue to adopt the .in domain name TLD in proportion to the growth of Indian Internet penetration generally, then it could experience a dramatic growth, while Canada’s .ca registrations, for example, are slowing down. That being said, from the people that I spoke with, “.com” continues to be “King”, as it bears a more established prestige, and international attraction for many Indians. As reported in TheDomains, according to FirstPost.com, average monthly domain name registrations in India has more than doubled, so that it now accounts for 4% of global registrations. That is still a far cry from the 20-22% for China, but as we saw above, it is India that is poised to overtake China as a result of its staggering growth in Internet Users.
I see tremendous opportunity in India both for Indians, and for non-Indians who do business in and with India. In the Internet sector in particular, India is poised to become a world power, second to none. Given its dramatic year over year growth in Internet penetration, combined with its 1.3 billion person populace, young and educated workforce, and entrepreneurial spirit, I envision an Internet that will shortly be, to a substantial degree, run by and used by, Indians. That is why the future of the Internet belongs to India.

By Zak Muscovitch.

Thanks to Michael Cyger’s DomainSherpa, you can get watch an unprecedented 1.5+ hour exploration of domain name leasing legal issues. When Michael graciously asked me to participate by being interviewed on this subject, I had no idea that it would end up being such an extensive and detailed examination. But of course, with Michael, it is that kind of quality that we should all expect.

To my knowledge, there has never been a more exhaustive, line-by-line look at domain name leases, on the Internet, nor anywhere else. Michael asks practical and thoughtful questions that serve to highlight the considerations when leasing domain names. For anyone who wants to learn more about this subject, I encourage you to watch. Michael’s unique format allowed us to go through a domain name lease in much more detail than what my own domain name client’s usually are able to do with me. At the end of it, I was not only exhausted, but surprised about how much ground we covered.


By Zak Muscovitch.

Sometimes even a famous brand owner just runs up against the wrong domain name owner. Take for example, the cases of Armani and Sony. Armani lost a UDRP complaint for Armani.com and Sony lost a complaint for SonyHolland.com. How? That’s where the “tough luck” comes in. Both names were registered to individuals whose actual names corresponded to the respective domain names.

Armani.com
The Armani.com case goes back to 2001. The famous Italian fashion house, G.A. Modefine owned the world famous trademark, ARMANI. They commenced a UDRP Complaint against….Mr. A.R. Mani, of Vancouver, British Columbia. I think you know where this is headed now…The Respondent filed evidence showing that his full name was Anand Ramnath Mani, including even his baptismal certificate as proof. He also showed that he registered the Armani.com domain name in 1995, used the domain name for email, and that he registered the domain name because his initials were A.R. and his last name was Mani, adding up to, “ARmani.com”.

The Respondent also showed that it was the Complainant who contacted him first, and not the other way around. In fact, the Complainant, through its intellectual property attorney, offered the Respondent the sum of $1,240 Canadian dollars to purchase the domain name. The Respondent refused, and demanded only $1,935 US dollars, which worked out to about $2,437 Canadian dollars – in other words just over $500 more than what the Respondent had demanded, which was a very “modest” and “reasonable” sum as the Panelist, Nick Gardener, pointed out in the decision. Moreover, the Complainant failed to disclose to the Panel that lengthy history including the offers, which resulted in a finding that the Complainant had abused the UDRP. The Panel eloquently pointed out as well, that it is “simply wrong” for the Complainant to think that just because it has a famous brand that it can use the ICANN UDRP procedure to “dis-posses summarily” the Respondent’s domain name which consists of his initials and surname. According to historical Whois data, it appears that Mr. Mani ultimately transferred the domain name to the Complainant in 2004.

SonyHolland.com
More recently, a similar situation arose with Sony. Sony of course is also a world famous brand. In 2008, Sony Kabushiki Kaisha, otherwise known as Sony Corporation commenced UDRP Complaint against Sony Holland. The Complainant had trademarks all over  the world and operated its website at Sony.com and and also in Holland, at Sony.nl. Unfortunately for Sony however, it ran into  Sony Holland. Sony Holland was an individual who was born, “Sonia Einerson” and later took the name of “Sonia Peterson” when she was first married, and went by the name of Sony Peterson, even showing a hotel receipt from a Marriott in 1998 where her name was listed as Sony Peterson. She later maried Gerald Holland and became Sony Holland. She was a singer and had been using her name, Sony Holland for years before any notice of the UDRP dispute. She even showed copies of articles from Jazz Review and other publications, which all referred to her as Sony Holland.

The Panelists, Warwick A. Smith, Sandra A. Sellers, and William R. Towns, decided that that there was no evidence whatsoever of bad faith registration or use, and that the Respondent had an entirely plausible explanation of why she registered the domain name, and accordingly, the Respondent got to keep the domain name, although Reverse Domain Name Hijacking was not found. Today, you can visit SonyHolland.com, and read about Sony’s latest performances, as she still owns the domain name.