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 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 – please feel free to reach out to me with your questions and suggestions.

Candidate Resume:

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.

The Montreal, Quebec Court released an interim and partial injunction regarding the domain name SPCA.COM according to CTV News, but the domain name registrant is allowed to keep it, at least for now, pending the outcome of a trial involving other issues such as wrongful dismissal and defamation. The domain name registrant was reportedly permitted to keep the domain name but must direct donations received throught the web site to a trust fund, pending the outcome of the action. Although not a domain name lawyer, renowned Canadian constitutional lawyer Julius Grey is representing the registrant, and I imagine is providing top-not counsel to the registrant.

Canada's Globe and Mail reported today that "Edmonton-based blogger Dave Cournoyer pointed out on his blog Thursday night that the website is actually a link to a portal for adult personals, replete with images of women clad in black lingerie and stiletto heels."  *****[The Story seems to have been removed by the  Glober now...weird...Maybe because it was inaccurate or for some other reason??]*****

Upon checking it on Friday morning however, I saw that it is currently just pointed to a standard PPC page. The story also points out that is a lampoon web site about the Canadian Prime Minister.

As a domain name dispute lawyer, I would say that the .org domain name is probably beyond the reach of Stephen Harper, assuming he would even be interested in going after it, since it is likely a non-commercial and fair use, e.g. for the purposes of review, critiscism, and commentary, as understood by the UDRP and by trademark law. The .com however, could theoretically be caught by the ICANN UDRP, if the PM brought a case to WIPO or the NAF, for example, if he was able to provide "trademark rights" in his name, and showed that the registrant had "no legitimate interest" in the domain name, and registered it and used it in "bad faith".

In this Jay Leno case reported by the Calgary Herald, one can see a summary of the WIPO's analysis of the UDRP provisions regarding personal names and common law trademark rights. The actual ICANN UDRP WIPO domain name dispute case can be read here.

I was on Global News (Canadian national tv newscast); interviewed about the recent Facebook take-downs of member pages. You can watch the segment here. Here is an update of the news story...

Interesting Internet legal issue for me considering my recent experience with moderation, as per my below posts.

This is the big issue: Facebook has 300 million members in its "community". Likewise, millions of people are members of other "communities". In tradtional, bricks and mortar communities, governments are supposed to protect member's rights in the "community"; at least in democracies. Has the time come for online communities to employ a "Charter of Rights" for members?