GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving to retire after five-year run at domain name giant – GeekWire

GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving in the company’s Kirkland, Wash., office. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop)

GoDaddy announced Tuesday that its CEO Blake Irving is retiring from his role at the domain name giant. Irving’s last day as CEO will be Dec. 31 and he will remain on the company’s board of directors through June 2018.

The company, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., has a large presence in the Seattle region. Irving will be succeeded by the company’s COO and President Scott Wagner, who first joined the company as its interim CEO in 2012 and has served as its COO for the past four years.

GoDaddy COO and President Scott Wagner will succeed Irving as CEO. (Photo via LinkedIn)

Irving took the reins as CEO almost five years ago. His tenure has included the launch and expansion of GoDaddy’s Kirkland, Wash., engineering center, which now employs more than 220 people.

Under his watch, the company has gone public, doubled its revenues, and expanded into 56 countries, 29 new languages and 43 different currencies. GoDaddy has also left its controversial Super Bowl ads behind in favor of funny and inspirational pitches for the company’s small business services.

Irving previously held executive positions at Yahoo and Microsoft. He spent 15 years at the Redmond tech giant, ultimately serving as the corporate vice president overseeing the Windows Live Platform Group.

“After more than three decades in technology, I’ve decided it’s time to retire and begin the next phase of my life,” Irving said in a statement. “Over the last five years, we’ve assembled a seasoned and diverse leadership team, and expanded our reach around the world, now serving customers in 125 countries with purpose-build products – all while doubling our revenue and profits. GoDaddy’s trajectory is clear and our momentum strong. It is the perfect time to transition leadership to Scott Wagner. I couldn’t be prouder of what the company has accomplished, and I am equally excited about what the company will achieve under Scott’s leadership.”

The release did not specify if Irving plans to take on a new role in a different arena or retire entirely. In a post on LinkedIn, Irving wrote, “Yep, after 35 years of late nights and long travel in tech it’s time to focus on the GoDaddy board and new adventures w/ my wife Carol.”

“GoDaddy is truly a unique company, and I’m honored to serve as the next CEO,” Wagner said a statement. “GoDaddy has become the starting place for getting an idea online, and we’ve been incredibly successful with nearly 17 million customers around the world. There remains a huge strategic opportunity for GoDaddy – innovating across our product portfolio and technical platform, engaging more frequently with our existing customers, and continuing to serve new geographic markets and customer segments. I look forward to the next wave of GoDaddy’s evolution and to creating a unique, category-creating cloud software company that enables ideas to start and thrive online.”

BrandBucket releases domain name sales data – Domain Name Wire

Company releases sales data…for last year.

BrandBucket released some sales data about 2016 today. Yes, we’re talking about data from last year so it’s a bit tardy.

The brandable domain marketplace sold 1,017 domains for an average price of $3,070, so sales totaled over $3.1 million. The median sales price (the most useful metric for sellers) was $2,295.

14.5% of sales were to repeat buyers.

238 people sold domains on BrandBucket last year and 51 of them had four or more sales.

The company also announced today that it is selling more premium domains after lowering its commissions for them. It has completed three six-figure transactions with more in the works.

Gaming company Playtech Software Limited guilty of Reverse Domain Name Hijacking – Domain Name Wire

“Any reasonable investigation would have revealed that this was a Complaint that could not have succeeded,” panelist says.

A World Intellectual Property Organization panel has found Playtech Software Limited to have engaged in reverse domain name hijacking over the domain Playtechla.com. Playtech uses the domain name Playtech.com.

The company filed a cybersquatting complaint under UDRP against Play Technologies S.A.S, a Colombian development firm. Playtech said it became aware of the respondent and its domain name at a trade show in 2017.

It’s quite clear that the domain name owner is operating a business at the domain name Playtechla.com, and this contributed to panelist Nicholas Smith determining that the case was brought in bad faith:

The Panel finds that the decision to file a Complaint when the Complainant was aware of the Respondent’s prima facie legitimate use of the Domain Name and in circumstances where its arguments as to the Respondent’s lack of bona fide use had no realistic prospect of success constitutes reverse domain name hijacking. Any reasonable investigation would have revealed that this was a Complaint that could not have succeeded.

Smith also noted that “This case illustrates the widely recognized principle that the Policy is designed to deal with clear cases of cybersquatting.” That’s something some panelists lose sight of.

The complainant was represented by Linklaters in London.

Domain name owner seeks judgment over use of Rufino name – Southeast Texas Record

SHERMAN – A Denton County man is seeking permission to continue using a domain name after it was challenged by a New York corporation.

Stanley Pace filed a complaint on July 26, in the Sherman District of the Eastern District of Texas against Constellation Brands Inc. citing the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff acquires surname domain names for business purposes and acquired Rufino.com in 2012 for $843. The suit states the defendant has trademarks for Ruffino.

The suit states the defendant filed a complaint against the plaintiff on June 6 alleging that Rufino.com is a “typo” of their trademark for Ruffino Wines.

The plaintiff seeks an order declaring that plaintiff may continue using his domain name and prohibiting defendant from interfering with plaintiff’s registration of said name, attorney’s fees, costs and such other just and proper relief. He is represented by Howard Neu of Law Office of Howard Neu PA in Southwest Ranches, Florida.

Sherman District of the Eastern District of Texas case number 4:17-cv-00518

Namecheap is latest registrar to boot Daily Stormer – Domain Name Wire

Registrar known for free speech protection makes a tough decision.

Domain name registrar Namecheap is the latest registrar to take action against The Daily Stormer, a hate site that has moved domains multiple times since the unrest in Charlottesville a week ago.

GoDaddy told the domain owner to find a new registrar. It moved the domain to Google, which suspendeded it. Then it moved to the dark web and Russia, then someone registered a .lol domain at Namecheap to point to the site.

Namecheap is known as a protector of free speech. It’s also a supporter of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has come out against the decision GoDaddy and Google made.

Nonetheless, Namecheap CEO Richard Kirkendall decided to kick the domain out. He said that statements on the site crossed the line to inciting violence.

You can tell this was a difficult decision for Kirkendall. After writing a blog post outlining his decision, he added an addendum that shows his angst over the decision.

I wonder if Uniregistry, the registry for .lol domains, will be pressured to suspend it? Uniregistry’s terms of service (like those of many new TLDs) are fairly open-ended to allow deletion of domains for basically any reason.

In an NPR interview last week, I noted that registrars don’t want to get involved in these issues because it’s a slippery slope. We can all agree that the content on Daily Stormer was truly abhorrent. I usually don’t like slippery slope arguments, but you can see how it could easily come into play with domains.

DailyStormer.lol has been transferred to Instra, which is part of Centralnic. The domain is resolving to an Instra holding page.

Frank Schilling talks domains – DNW Podcast #149 – Domain Name Wire

Frank Schilling talks about the state of the domain name industry.

dnw-podcastDomain investor and Uniregistry founder Frank Schilling comes back on the program to talk about what’s going on in the domain world: new top level domains, Donuts taking over Rightside, and your .com domain investments. How is one of the world’s most successful domain name investors looking at domains? Also: GDPR, DailyStormer.com backlash and Broadcast.com.

Subscribe via iTunes to listen to the Domain Name Wire podcast on your iPhone or iPad, view on Google Play Music, or click play below or download to begin listening. (Listen to previous podcasts here.)

Neo-Nazi site’s publisher says he’s got no home on internet – ABC News

A neo-Nazi website’s publisher said Wednesday that he has “effectively been completely banned from the internet” after mocking the victim of a deadly car attack at a white nationalist rally in Virginia.

“Clearly, the powers that be believe that they have the ability to simply kick me off the internet,” Andrew Anglin, who has published the site from an undisclosed location, complained to The Associated Press in an email.

Access to The Daily Stormer had been sporadic since Monday, when Google canceled its domain name registration, making its IP address nearly impossible for internet users to locate. The site had moved its registration to Google after GoDaddy tweeted late Sunday night that it had given The Daily Stormer 24 hours to move its domain to another provider. Google then yanked the address as well, citing a violation of its terms of service.

The site briefly reappeared Wednesday with a Russian domain name and registration and a dubious top story, making the unsupported claim that President Donald Trump had called Russian President Vladimir Putin to get the site restored. The story presented no evidence that Trump or Putin had any involvement in the move and Trump has no known links to the site.

Until mid-day, the site continued to receive performance and security services from San Francisco-based Cloudflare Inc., protecting it from denial of service attacks.

Cloudflare confirmed Wednesday afternoon that it had terminated the website’s account.

“The tipping point for us making this decision was that the team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology,” said CEO Matthew Prince in a blog post . “Like a lot of people, we’ve felt angry at these hateful people for a long time.”

The site takes its name from Der St?rmer, a newspaper that published Nazi propaganda. Anglin said he was struggling to find a domain registry service whose terms of service allow for the content he produces.

“I have been kicked off of 4 of them so far, and many of them contain explicit references to ‘hate speech’ in their ToS. Others would be incapable of managing the DDoS attacks,” Anglin wrote, expressing frustration with ICANN, the international nonprofit that authorizes domain-name registrars. “If they don’t have a single registrar willing to host me, then they have effectively banned me from registering a domain.”

Anglin had been keeping up his inflammatory statements through the Russian domain, mocking Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed when a man remembered for praising Adolph Hitler rammed his car into a crowd of demonstrators in Charlottesville on Saturday. The original story called her, among many other things, “the definition of uselessness.”

But Anglin had other fresh trouble as well: A Muslim-American radio host filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday accusing him of defamation by falsely labeling him the “mastermind” of a deadly concert bombing in England.

SiriusXM Radio show host Dean Obeidallah said The Daily Stormer embedded fabricated tweets in a June 1 story to make them seem like they had been sent from Obeidallah’s Twitter account, tricking readers into believing he took responsibility for the May 22 terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. The death threats came quickly thereafter.

“It was literally jaw-dropping,” Obeidallah, a comedian and Daily Beast columnist, told the AP. “The death threats were something I’ve never seen before in my life.”

The suit claims that the article’s defamatory statements were intended to incite violence against Obeidallah, citing other alleged examples of Daily Stormer readers who did just that, including Dylann Roof, who read the site before killing black churchgoers in South Carolina.

“Mr. Obeidallah is an ardent believer in and defender of the First Amendment. He recognizes the importance of freedom of speech and political discourse, regardless of viewpoint. But the First Amendment does not license defamation,” his suit says.

Asked by the AP for comment on the lawsuit, Anglin gave a two-word response: “Wew lads,” referring to an internet meme expressing sarcastic fake-surprise and dismissiveness.

The Daily Stormer also was sued in April by a Montana woman for orchestrating an anti-Semitic trolling campaign against her family.

Tanya Gersh’s suit claims anonymous internet trolls bombarded Gersh’s family with hateful and threatening messages after Anglin published their personal information in a post accusing her and other Jewish residents of Whitefish, Montana, of engaging in an “extortion racket” against the mother of white nationalist Richard Spencer.

Gersh is represented by attorneys from the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups. In July, the law center’s lawyers claimed Anglin was “actively concealing his whereabouts” and hadn’t been served with Gersh’s suit. They said they looked for him at four addresses in Franklin County, Ohio, where he apparently has connections.

Obeidallah’s lawsuit was filed in Columbus, Ohio, since Anglin is an Ohio native who uses a post office box in Worthington, Ohio.

A lawyer for Obeidallah said The Daily Stormer hasn’t responded to their request to remove the June 1 article about him. Obeidallah is represented by Muslim Advocates, a national legal and educational organization based in Oakland, California.

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Associated Press Technology Writer Ryan Nakashima in San Francisco contributed to this report.