The Europe Track
featured three special sessions. There wasn’t a need for more because the
time difference between Europe and the USA isn’t as pronounced as it is
between the US and South Asia. As a result, many of the leading European
experts played key roles in the Keynote and Breakout Hall sessions we
covered while the show was running. One example was the State of the
Industry: Aftermarket session (in the photo below) that GGRG.com’s
Giuseppe Graziano (top left) participated in from his home base in
Lisbon, Portugal while I (top right) and moderator Christa Taylor
joined the discussion from our homes in the U.S.
Above and below: the
dedicated Europe Track got underway with a panel discussion about The
Future of WHOIS in the Light of GDPR The Final EPDP Report. It
featured Lars Steffen (Director, eco International), Thomas Rickert
(Director Names & Numbers Forum, eco), Elena Plexida (Government
and IGOs Engagement Senior Director, ICANN) and Catharin Bauer-Bulst
(Head of the Cybercrime Unit, European Commission DG HOME).
In May 2018, against the backdrop of the
required domain name registrars to stop publishing registration data, which until then had generally been freely available.
That led to an expedited policy development process (EPDP) that produced a final report
that examines what data is collected, for which purpose and on what legal
grounds it can be handed over if requested by law enforcement, rights holders
or others claiming a legitimate need for the information. Also, how those
requests can be balanced with the concerns of domain registrars and registrants
who want to minimize liability risks. Given how much ground this panel covered
and the importance of the subject matter, this session would be a great one
to put on your replay list while those are still available (September 30,
2020 will be the last day registrants can be access the NamesCon Online
In the second
session (above) the topic turned to Prevention, Attack and Defense in
the World of Domains. This panel addressed how domain registrants can
stay clear of trademark infringements but also defend their legitimate rights
when faced with reverse hijacking attempts or other threats to the domain
assets they hold. The panel featured (in top row, left to right), Martin
Kuchenthal (CEO, LEMARIT GmbH), Gretchen Olive (CSC Global)
and Matt Bamonte (Donuts Inc), (in row 2, left to right) Stuart
Fuller (CentralNIC Group), Matthieu Aubert (SafeBrands
SAS), Caspar von Veltheim (mmx.co) and (in row 3) Thomas
Pursuing legal recourse to right a wrong is always possible but obviously
comes with what can be a high economic cost, so panelists discussed other effective
ways to protect yourself. A good start is to familiarize yourself the UDRP
procedures that govern domain disputes as well as the newer Uniform Rapid
Suspicion process (URS).
The final session on
the Europe Track (above), addressed a topic that is foremost on just about
everyone’s mind these days – The Impact of the Corona Crisis on the
Internet & Domain Name Industry. It featured, clockwise from top
left), Tobias Sattler (CTO, united-domains AG), Christian Voss (CMO,
Sedo), Thomas Rickert (eco – Association of the Internet Industry), Dr.
Nejc Jakopin (Principal, Arthur D. Little) and Marco Hoffman (Head
of Domain Services, InterNetX).
obviously head a massive negative impact on a wide variety of industries
worldwide but as devastating as it has been some have managed to thrive with
most of the winners having the luxury of operating primarily online
rather than in the real world. The panelists talked about how various sectors
or the domain industry have been impacted, negatively or positively, and how
the future shapes up in a world that is vastly different than it was at the
start of this year. In a related note, we took a deep dive into how Covid-19
has impacted the domain aftermarket in this DNJournal Cover
With our coverage of
the debut edition of NamesCon Online now done, we are, of course,
looking forward to the day we will all be able to meet in person again.
However, we are also relieved to have learned that as long as the current
situation persists, NamesCon is fully capable of producing a great
conference experience online.