Four years ago, the new gTLD program was still in the conception phase. Whilst the results of the application phase had been known for well over a year, security concerns and contractual delays meant that no new gTLDs had yet been launched. The talk of the town back in the summer of 2012 was the London Olympic Games and the slick multi-billion-dollar marketing campaign that made it the first real digital games. The huge global TV audiences plus the hundreds of millions socially engaging would have been perfect for the marketers, but it was too much too early for them.
The liqueur industry in Italy is lucrative, and the industry is suffering at the hands of counterfeiters as a result. Counterfeit food and drink is a growing problem worldwide, but for Italian alcohol producers the issue becomes even more complex as their products are protected under intellectual property laws.
La Fête Nationale, or Bastille Day, commemorates the storming of the Bastille, a Parisian prison, on 14th July 1789, during the reign of King Louis XVI, and the locking-in of the French Revolution, which transformed France into a land of equality and democracy after centuries of archaic rule.
Like many parents, I breathed a big sigh of relief when my child’s Pokémon obsession was finally laid to rest in a playroom cupboard a number of years ago. As with most crazes, it quickly took hold and took over every waking hour of our lives, with pester power slowly eating away until we spent fortunes on the little Japanese monsters who appeared to have no use.
The ugly side of the world we live in has reared its head again. Following the atrocious terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels last year, we’ve seen further events hit the headlines in Istanbul and Dhaka in the past few days. Words cannot express enough sorrow for the victims of these attacks, but it seems that there are people out there whose natural reaction to such events is to register domain names.
George Orwell’s most famous work, Nineteen Eighty-Four, published in 1949, uses themes from life in the Soviet Union and wartime Britain. The main character, Winston Smith, describes his daily life in the fictitious continent of Oceania, under the control of Big Brother. One of the government ministries that rule everyday life in the story is the Ministry of Plenty, which controls Oceania’s planned economy. It oversees public access to food, supplies and, ultimately, rationing. Such are the meagre rations that Smith is forced to buy and consume synthetic products, such as fake chocolate.
Watch any concert or sporting event today and you can’t help but notice the number of people who aren’t really watching but are using their phones to record the event instead. Technology today has meant we have the ability to capture crystal clear video and high resolution photos on devices small enough to fit in the palm of our hand.
After a couple of months of steady growth, the new gTLD program exploded into June. Over 3.6m new domain names were added in the first three days of the month, compared to 1.1m registrations over the whole of May. The reason behind this unprecedented growth was a number of promotions that saw some TLDs being offered for just a few pence. For example, to celebrate its second birthday, dotXYZ offered a price promotion through a number of key registrars that saw its base grow from 2.9m names as of the end of May to over 6m by 4th June.
Why is it important for brand owners to monitor internet content? What services do your company provide to monitor the sale of counterfeit goods and how does your system work? What happens after an infringement is spotted? Can you tell me any notable anti-counterfeit action your company has engaged in? It is no denying that the e-commerce platforms in China are rife with counterfeit goods. How does your company cater for brand owners' need to protect their assets online in China?
In the past two years, more than 20 million new gTLDs have been registered. We’ve seen the launch of domains that have the potential to be great, and others that just make you want to cringe. Before the new gTLD program, brand owners were urged to protect all of their digital assets in the newest TLD regardless of its relevancy to the brand; now that there are thousands of domains, that advice is sheer lunacy.
In the aftermath of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, the world's economies have reacted strongly. Stocks went into initial free fall, the pound dropped to its weakest position against most major currencies in decades and the prime minister has announced his departure. ‘Experts’ on every subject are coming out of the woodwork, telling us what the future will hold for us on every subject from our beach holiday to watching our favorite team playing on a Saturday afternoon.
In the next 48 hours, the population of the United Kingdom will find out whether the consensus is to stay in or leave the European Union. Modern day politics has left most of the UK’s citizens apathetic in terms of their political views; the fact that we essentially have three main political parties that have all tried to travel down the middle of the road for the past 20 years says a lot about the notion that’s it’s about people not policies, individuals not issues, and media exposure rather than manifesto promises.
The momentum for a second round of the new gTLD program is slowly building. Whilst ICANN’s view may be that it needs to complete such due diligence as the Security and Stability Review or the audit of the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) service, it doesn’t determine the agenda. The whole foundation of the governance for the Internet is a multi-stakeholder model, meaning the domain name community at large is essentially setting the pace.
They say a leopard can’t change its spots, and it seems that neither can Jack Ma! Despite making regular promises to support brand owners in helping them police the sale of counterfeit items on marketplace sites such as TaoBao, Alibaba’s Ma has now claimed that many counterfeit goods are better than the real deal. “The problem is the fake products today are of better quality and better price than the real names. They are exactly the [same] factories, exactly the same raw materials but they do not use the names.”
The global counterfeit economy is estimated to be worth over $3 billion a year, but some suggest that the business of counterfeiting is becoming an increasingly expensive affair. So is it the counterfeit supply chain; spiraling costs associated with manufacturing, distribution, exporting and selling? Perhaps it’s the resources required to stay under the radar of investigators and successfully evade increasingly sophisticated detection technologies? Or maybe it’s the increasing pressure from improved legislation? Or all of the above?
This year has seen some phenomenal growth in the domain name world as the total number of registrations powers towards the 330 million mark. There’s no secret that the catalyst for the unprecedented growth is coming from China as registries – especially those within the new gTLD program – look east to grab the attention and cash of the Chinese domain name investors. Over 54% of all new gTLDs belong to Chinese registrants, but events over the past week could see that number rise even further.
How do you stop a global problem like counterfeiting? One that costs economies around the world an estimated $1.8 trillion. One that means one in six products we buy online is a fake. One that fuels organized crime and many of the social problems in the world. One that is fueled by rapid technological advances. And one that shows no sign of going away. Unfortunately, as the old saying goes, “money makes the world go round”, which means the rewards of counterfeiting far outweigh the costs today – especially when the rapid growth of both access to and usage of the Internet has meant over that 40% of the world’s population is now connected.