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May 2021

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A few days ago, a quarrel at Freenode made it clear once again how important the management of a domain name is. After all, it was the owner of the domain name who got Freenode into serious trouble.

Freenode, an online platform for open source, was caught in a storm a few days ago. The administrators of this community do their job on a voluntary basis and the servers for Freenode are sponsored by third parties.

A few years ago, Andrew Lee decided to establish Freenode Limited. This company was intended to enable and facilitate meetings of the managers of Freenode. For example, they could organize conferences. Freenode Limited was thus created to simplify things from an organizational point of view. The operators of Freenode did not become employees of Freenode Limited, nor did the servers on which Freenode ran came into the hands of Freenode Limited.

Over time, however, Adrew Lee began to interfere more and more with the day-to-day business. That wasn’t always to the liking of the rest of the community, but in the end Andrew Lee won the coup with one strategic move: he owned the domain names, which also allowed him to decide which servers to direct traffic for Freenode to.

The managers of Freenode backed down and decided to continue under a different name. They re-established the platform under the name libera.chat. They are now calling on the Freenode community to use this new platform.

All of this makes it once again painfully clear that the management of a domain name is more important than people often think.

The CA / B Forum (Certificate and Browser forum) has decided that the rules for validating an SSL certificate will change in the course of 2021.

If you now request an SSL certificate for your website, the validation can be done in 3 ways:

  • via email
  • via DNS
  • by placing a file on your website

The latter option will disappear before the end of 2021. From then on, validations of new certificates, renewals and reissues will only be possible via e-mail or via DNS.

Currently, it is possible to validate a subdomain of a wildcard certificate through the root domain.
So: * .yourname.be, www.yourname.be, leads.yourname.be, mail.yourname.be – and all possible other subdomains. If yourname.be was validated, all subdomains were also validated.

This option will also disappear in the course of 2021. With a wildcard certificate, each subdomain will have to be validated separately, either via e-mail or via DNS.

Last year we reported that Minds & Machines, the registry for .xxx, .adult,… introduced the AdultBlock and AdultBlock+.

The AdultBlock and AdultBlock+ offer you the possibility to protect your name under .xxx, .porn, .adult and .sex and thus avoid unpleasant surprises. However, you did have to meet a number of conditions to activate an AdultBlock or AdultBlock+ for your name. These rules are now somewhat relaxed by the registry.

From now on the following people can activate an AdultBlock or AdultBlock+ for their name:

  • owners of a registered trademark (whether or not registered with the TradeMark ClearingHouse)
  • owners of an unregistered brand name
  • owners of a sunriseB .xxx name
  • celebrities
  • politicians

Let’s rewind to 2011, the release of .xxx. With this release, registered trademark owners were given the opportunity to protect their domain name under .xxx during the so-called sunriseB. All names requested during that sunriseB were blocked for a period of 10 years under .xxx. The name was therefore no longer available for registration but also did not lead to an active website.

As the number of extensions related to the adult entertainment industry is more extensive than in 2011 and as the sunriseB registrations will end in 2021 and cannot be renewed, the AdultBlock and the AdultBlock+ were introduced.

What is the difference? The AdultBlock offers the owner of a registered trademark or a sunriseB .xxx name the possibility to protect this name under .xxx, .adult, porn, and .sex.
The AdultBlock+ goes a few steps further. It allows the owner of a registered trademark or sunriseB .xxx name to protect this name and all variations of this trademark under .xxx, .adult, porn, and .sex.

Just to be clear: sunriseB .xxx names are still protected until 2021. If the owner of a sunriseB .xxx name activates the AdultBlock before 2021, this can be done without having to register with the TMCH (if the customer does not have a TMCH registration yet, this will save the costs of such a registration). And the block will not only be for .xxx, but will also suddenly be extended to .adult, .porn and .sex (unless the name was previously registered by someone under one of those TLDs).

As mentioned, the AdultBlock+ goes even further. This offers owners of a registered trademark or sunriseB .xxx name in addition to the option to protect their name under xxx, .adult, .porn and .sex. also the possibility to protect all kinds of variations of this name under these 4 extensions. The variations must meet strict conditions. For example, you would also get bânk, bänk, bànk,… for “bank”. Letters that resemble letters in our script in another script (Cyrilic, Greek,…) are also protected.

If you wish to activate the AdultBlock or AdultBlock+ for (one of) your brand name, this is possible for a period of 1, 3, 5 or 10 years.