Donuts Blog

A collection of blog posts from Donuts.

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.

2016: A Year in Review for Not-Com Growth and Adoption

The third year of not-com availability was marked by exponential growth and major boosts in consumer awareness as businesses continued their online migration away from dot-com.

Total not-com registrations grew 230 percent to above 27 million this year, including a record-breaking month of June in which 3.8 million new domains were registered.

Donuts launched some of its most highly-anticipated domains this year, including: ‘dot-wine’ (.wine), ‘dot-shopping’ (.shopping), ‘dot-doctor’ (.doctor), and ‘dot-group’ (.group). In total, there are now more than 500 not-com naming options available to the public – nearly 200 of these are managed by Donuts.

And not only is the number of not-com websites increasing, but so is the number of Internet users visiting them. The number of not-coms in the Alexa Top 1 Million – a list of the most popular websites based on traffic – increased by more than 300 percent this year.

We’re seeing a major shift in the Internet’s naming system, as more than half of all domains worldwide are registered outside the 'dot-com' extension, with over 10,000 new not-com domains registered every day—roughly one every 10 seconds.

One of the major reasons for this growth is that businesses – from startups to the most iconic brands on the planet – are increasingly choosing to identify themselves with not-com naming options. Adoption examples from this year include:

  • Alphabet, Google’s parent company, launched earlier this year using the catchy web address: Abc.xyz
  • Additionally, Google’s famed corporate research lab moved to the web address: X.company
  • T-Mobile chose TMobile.careers to advertise open positions at the company and recruit employees 
  • Similarly, Under Armour migrated its careers page to UnderArmour.jobs
  • To celebrate its 100th birthday, BMW launched Next100.bmw, a website dedicated to its vision for the automotive industry over the next 100 years

Movie studios such as Lionsgate raked in more than $2.1 billion in box office receipts over the past year, often promoting new features with Donuts’ ‘dot-movie’ (.Movie) domain extension. One standout example is La La Land, which was promoted using LaLaLand.movie and has already broken records in its December 9 limited release.

Earlier this year, Gods of Egypt (GodsOfEgypyt.movie) ran a commercial during the Super Bowl that caught the attention of many marketers by directing viewers to its .Movie web address. Additional ‘dot-movie’ examples included: DeepWaterHorizon.movie, NowYouSeeMe.movie, and TheDivergentSeries.movie.

These are just a few examples that demonstrate why marketers and brand owners are so excited about the influx of creative naming options that allow them to build keyword-rich web addresses that stand out from the crowd and speak their products, services and ideas.

Another area of momentum is the growing list of sports stars and celebrities that choose to promote their initiatives with specific and meaningful domain extensions:

● Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters Champion, caught the attention of Golf Digest after winning his green jacket by directing fans to DannyWillett.golf.
● Gordon Hayward, a star player for the Utah Jazz, connects with his fans at GordonHayward20.life.
● Lady Gaga launched her charity foundation on the website BornThisWay.foundation
● Pro Bowl linebacker AJ Hawk hosts his podcast on TheHawkCast.show
● Former world number one golfer Lee Westwood keeps fans updated at LeeWestwood.golf

Between the usage cases and the data reported from 2016, we have a promising snapshot of what’s to come for the growth and adoption of not-com naming options.

Donuts Extends DPML Promotions Into Q1 2017

In September, we announced news regarding our Domains Protected Marks List (DPML) service — namely that for a limited time, we would make DPML Plus available as an enhancement to our legacy service.

DPML Plus was to be available until December 31, 2016. We further said that effective January 1, 2017, the price of our legacy DPML service would be increased to better align the service’s benefits with marketplace value.

Today, thanks to strong demand for the service, we’re announcing that:

  • DPML Plus will remain available through March 31, 2017, and
  • Legacy DPML subscription prices will remain at current levels through January 31, 2017.

If you’re a brand owner that utilizes the legacy service, you now have additional time to renew your subscriptions prior to the price increase. And if you have yet to take advantage of DPML Plus, there are now three additional months available to employ the service for widened protections.

DPML is an innovative service that allows trademark owners to protect their marks and related labels (an “exact match” or “contains” label) across all of Donuts’ new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) at a fraction of what it would cost to defensively register the same labels.

Review of how DPML Plus is different from legacy DPML:

DPML Plus permits a block of one exact match trademarked label plus three additional labels that can be any combination of “contains” and/or misspellings.

For example:

  • Donuts (an exact match, as represented in your SMD file)
  • Donutsinc
  • Donutstlds
  • Domuts

Additional features of DPML Plus:

  • Labels are blocked for ten years (vs. the current five in the legacy service), giving you the convenience of long-term brand protection.
  • Labels are blocked not only across all standard domains, but all premium domain names in our gTLDs.
  • If you decide to register and use a label you previously blocked, you may submit unlimited overrides for the duration of the ten-year period, with no wholesale override fees (domain name registration fees would still apply).
  • DPML Plus blocks are not subject to overrides by other parties with the same trademark.

Donuts’ suggested retail price for DPML Plus is $9,999 (about the total cost to manage one to two UDRP proceedings) for the ten-year period. The cost-benefit analysis is compelling:

  • At the average $32.99 retail cost for a registration in a Donuts TLD, it would cost almost $6,500 per year to defensively register one label across 197 TLDs, and nearly $26,000 for four labels. Multiply that number by ten—the life of the DPML Plus service—and the total exceeds a quarter of a million dollars.
  • At a $9,999 retail price, DPML Plus blocks four labels for ten years, for an average yearly cost of $1.26 per label.

You may convert your current DPML subscription to DPML Plus. Your ten-year subscription will commence as of the purchase date of DPML Plus, and you may then add your three additional labels. You may add even more labels to the subscription for an additional fee for each label.

Please contact your accredited registrar for pricing and eligibility information, either for renewing your existing DPML subscriptions, or to take advantage of DPML Plus.

More information is available via our DPML Plus page and FAQs.

 

Not-Coms See Major Growth in Web Traffic Rankings

As registrations in new domain names continue to surge, the number of not-com websites has increased significantly over the past year — and according to new research, so did the number of consumers visiting them, indicating growing familiarity and trust in new names on the part of Internet users.

A recent study from CSC found that the number of not-com websites in the Alexa Top 1 Million – a list of the most popular websites based on traffic – has increased by more than 300% since September 2015.

During the same time span, not-com registrations also grew from 7.3 million to 23.9 million (and in the weeks following the report, total registrations now exceed 25 million).

The highest ranked not-com in the Alexa Top 1 Million is kinogo.club, which reached an Alexa rank of 192—ahead of Bank of America’s flagship URL and Yelp.com.

The first batch of new domains launched less than three years ago, and with some of the most anticipated domains still yet to be rolled out, this data demonstrates a major shift in the way businesses are branding themselves online, and the way consumers are finding the products and services they need.

The growth in web traffic and consumer awareness can be attributed in part to the increased utilization of not-coms by top-tier brands. After decades of being forced to tack a serviceable but non-specific dot-com to the end of a web address, businesses are embracing the opportunity to brand themselves around descriptive domain extensions that speak to the products or services they offer.

Additionally, while valuable dot-com names are difficult to come by these days, new domain extensions are plentiful and allow businesses to create short, memorable web addresses that stand out from the crowd and resonate with consumers.

That’s why T-Mobile advertises open jobs at the company on TMobile.Careers, or why Google established an online identity for its experimental lab at X.Company.

Celebrities and sports stars have also been at the forefront of this digital branding movement. For example, Lady Gaga hosts her charity organization on BornThisWay.Foundation, and 2016 Masters Champion Danny Willett directs his fans to DannyWillett.Golf.

The increased presence of not-coms in the Alexa Top 1 Million is an important signal that the Internet’s naming system has not only evolved towards choice, relevancy and meaning, its becoming a more familiar and well used part of Internet navigation.

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