Donuts Inc.

Donuts Blog

A collection of blog posts from Donuts.

Donuts Thanks Richard Tindal

by Bruce Jaffe, Donuts CEO

Today, Richard Tindal, one of Donuts’ four co-founders, announced his retirement from the company. For over a year, I’ve had the privilege of working closely with him. On behalf of everyone at Donuts, I want to publicly thank you, Richard, for all that you’ve accomplished – both here at the company and within this industry.

When Richard and co-founders Paul Stahura, Jon Nevett and Dan Schindler formed Donuts in 2010, new domain names had been in the works for years—and so had the idea that became Donuts. Richard and team pored through data, created a process that considered thousands of candidate TLDs, and finally whittled the list down to 307 applications — a bold and unprecedented effort. Though I wasn’t part of the industry back then, I can imagine it was a crazy and exciting time! I know for certain that Richard’s passion, focus, drive (and humor) were key to helping it all come together; Donuts’ success is in large measure the result of his work and foresight.

On a personal level, I cannot thank Richard enough for having the courage to start Donuts with his co-founders, and for his patience in coaching and advising me and so many others. Richard’s industry knowledge, business acumen, and laid-back style will truly be missed by everyone. Richard, I speak for everyone at Donuts when I wish you all the best for your coming years. We vow at Donuts to continue your excellent work into the future.

The Trusted Notifier Program: Summary of One Year of MPAA Referrals

In February of last year, Donuts announced entry into a “trusted notifier” program with the Motion Picture Association of America (“MPAA”). The innovative program introduced a new way to work towards mitigation of clear and pervasive cases of copyright infringement. We updated our community on the outcomes of the first renewals last June.

One year after implementation of this program, Donuts has processed a total of twelve referrals from the MPAA (an average of one per month). Of that dozen:

  • Seven were suspended or deleted by the sponsoring registrar.
  • Three were suspended by Donuts.
  • One was addressed by the hosting provider.
  • One was not acted upon by Donuts; following our normal outreach, questions arose about the nexus between the site's operators and the content that warranted further investigation. In the end, after consultation with the registrar and the registrant, we elected against further action.

Of the eleven on which action was taken, each represented a clear violation of law—the key tenet of a referral. In some cases, sites simply were mirrors of other sites that were subject to US legal action. All were clearly and solely dedicated to pervasive illegal streaming of television and movie content. In a reflection of the further damage these types of sites can impart on Internet users, malware was detected on one of the sites.

There has been concern on the part of some in the industry about this type of arrangement—namely, that it represented a “slippery slope” toward inappropriate content control, or that hundreds of domain names would be snatched away from rightful registrants. To the contrary, however, and in line with the previously published characteristics of a trusted notifier program, a mere handful of names have been impacted, and only those that clearly were devoted to illegal activity. And to Donuts’ knowledge, in no case did the registrant contest the suspension or seek reinstatement of the domain.

This partnership with the MPAA is carefully focused on pervasive illegal online piracy. As we’ve said, Donuts is extremely careful in taking action against illegal behavior. The trusted notifier program to date has been a success for rights owners, registrants and the public at large.