In this webinar, Tony Kirsch and Ben Anderson of the Brand Safety Alliance joined our own Shane Layman to discuss GlobalBlock, a new unified domain name blocking service covering 600+ domain extensions.

If the cost of covering a large portfolio has dissuaded you from pursuing domain blocking solutions in the past, or you’ve found other domain blocking solutions too narrow in coverage, you’ll want to learn more about GlobalBlock and how it can help protect your brand name as part of your defensive domain portfolio strategy.

Watch the webinar and scroll down to read the full transcript, including the full Q&A session — there was much interest from the attendees!

GlobalBlock Webinar: Full Transcript Including Q&A

Editor’s Note: The following transcript, including the questions and answers (Q&A), has been edited for clarity.

Introduction, Slide 1, 0:00

Speaking: Shane Layman

Thank you for joining us today and let’s get started, I’d like to introduce today’s presenters.

We are fortunate and lucky enough to be joined by two wonderful people, Ben Anderson and Tony Kirsch.

Ben is Product Director for the Brand Safety Alliance. Ben is responsible for the direction and innovation road map of this organization, overseeing delivery of key solutions for the international brand community. And Tony as Commercial Director for the Brand Safety Alliance. Tony is responsible for all strategic and business aspects of the organization including business development, communications and global partner relationships.

And myself, Shane Layman, Manager of Global Industry Relations here at Markmonitor.

Agenda, Slide 2, 0:47

So, on the agenda today:

  • What is GlobalBlock? Looking into the features and benefits of this new unified blocking service.
  • We’ll take a look at how the domain blocking landscape has expanded in recent years
  • Review some of the eligibility requirements for you as brand owners to secure your terms with the GlobalBlock product
  • And a little overview of the GlobalBlock BETA launch period and Founder’s Discount Program

What is GlobalBlock?, Slide 3, 1:18

All right, let’s start with “What is GlobalBlock?”

GlobalBlock is domain blocking — which essentially is a defensive tactic for online brand protection and domain portfolio management. It’s a useful tool that all domain portfolio managers and brand managers should have in their tool belts.

Requirements for GlobalBlock: It is not just limited to a Signed Mark Data File (SMDF) mark data as other block services — it’s an expansion into non-Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) marks, like unregistered trademarks, trade names and celebrity names. All of which allow for more protection for your brands.

GlobalBlock includes variant blocking as well, providing additional security by blocking homoglyphs and misspellings of your trademark name.

Additionally, root labels found within the trademark can be blocked with GlobalBlock+, which Tony and Ben will go over in a little bit. For example, if your brand name is two words, you can have “MY-BRAND” and “MY BRAND” blocked at the second level domain (SLD).

Here’s an example of a homoglyph misspelling, “Markmönitö,” where the usual “o” in Markmonitor’s brand name is replaced by “ö” where a diacritical mark has been added, the umlaut.

Evolution of Domain Blocking, Slide 4, 2:22

Now let’s look at how domain blocking has expanded and grown over the years.

Domain blocking as a defensive domain portfolio tactic started early on from a need for expanded brand protection — especially when actively registering your brand name across all domain extensions (including some or all New gTLDs) could become prohibitively expensive.

Starting with the .XXX Sunrise B in 2011, you can see how domain blocking has expanded through the years. In 2013 the Donuts DPML block came out which expanded in 2017 as they acquired Rightside.  

Domain blocking grew further via AdultBlock with ICM registry and so on to reach where we are today with the new GlobalBlock service.

And with that I will turn it over to GlobalBlock’s experts. Tony, Ben, over to you guys.

GlobalBlock: Markmonitor Client Information Session, Slide 5, 3:11

Speaking: Tony Kirsch

Thanks, Shane. Welcome everybody, and thank you for the opportunity to talk to the Markmonitor community.

I’m very excited to be here and frankly really excited to share with you all the genesis of well over 2 years of work now for the Brand Safety Alliance — we’ll go into that in a little bit.

We’re extremely excited about the opportunity that GlobalBlock creates.

Brand Safety Alliance, Slide 6, 3:36

We’ve had an amazing team here helping us to build it, and most importantly we’ve had engagement with a very significant percentage of the of the domain name community — particularly the registries — to bring you a service like this, which we think is going to be beneficial for your organization.

It was born out of a desire for us to sit down and create some innovation that frankly, was lacking across the domain name industry — in particular for providing additional services and valuable opportunities for efficiency for brand owners, something that we think had been sorely lacking.

The genesis of that was initially around GlobalBlock.

But first, we thought we’d share with you a little bit about the Brand Safety Alliance, a new initiative that we’ve created to effectively give this an identity and an organization to be the sponsor of it.

The role of the Brand Safety Alliance is to help to unite the community. We set out with a significant task here: to break down the walls that exist within the domain name industry and the silos that we operate within. And that includes a number of things, not just geographic components, but also ability to work across some of our competitors and some of our friends. And effectively, to create something that we have understood for many years that brand owners have been asking for — an ability to protect your brand at scale. Ultimately, that’s what Global Block is all about.

GlobalBlock: The world’s unified domain name blocking service, Slide 7, 5:02

As we refer to it here, we think it’s “the world’s unified domain name blocking service.” It is the first of its kind.

And it has been an incredibly heavy lift (not that any of you need to be worrying about our personal problems). You know, to bring together a very large percentage of the community… Most of you will know that there are well over 1000 domain extensions. That’s a lot of phone calls. It’s a lot of meetings, it’s a lot of technical work to bring together a service.

I’m going to show you a little bit about that today, and hopefully, by the end of this you’re as excited as we are to share with you the genesis of GlobalBlock.

I’ll pass over to my esteemed colleague, Ben, to tell you a little bit more about the service.

The Beginning of a New Era of Brand Protection, Slide 8, 5:39

Speaking: Ben Anderson

Thanks, Tony and welcome, everyone.

As Tony said, this product’s been in the making for nearly 24 months now — we’ve been looking at ways to improve the customer experience when blocking domains.

Shane took you through the sort of evolution of the main blocking services. We’ve seen some that have stayed and remained, others that have launched and then dropped.

And so, when we talk about the evolution, what we’re talking about here is the fact that this service is unparalleled in its features, both for agents and for customers.

It’s that breadth of service the GlobalBlock brings, that we’ve brought together with our industry partners, where we deliver instant domain blocking, that frankly, hasn’t been available before.

Through a lot of industry engagement and outreach, we’ve been told that this is exactly what brands have been asking for. And I think we’ve delivered.

Comparison of Product Types: GlobalBlock and GlobalBlock+, Slide 9, 6:43

So, much like DPML and AdultBlock, we’re providing 2 flavors of GlobalBlock: There’s the standard service and the plus service.

The GlobalBlock Service will block a single rights-label across all participating TLDs and extensions. But it doesn’t stop there. There are some killer features that we’ve added to GlobalBlock and we’ll share those with you in a bit.

GlobalBlock+ does everything that the entry level GlobalBlock product does, but we’ve widened the protection to include all the variations of a trademark, or what we call a “main label.” And based on those labels, we’re going even further by creating variants using our Typo Error Library.

So, where Shane showed earlier the replacing of an O with an umlauted Ö, those are what we call typographical errors. Or more simply, that’s where we replace Latin characters with non-Latin script characters that look similar.

I think the question will be, “What service is right for me?”

And it’s quite simple really — if a brand has a trademark with say, spaces or special characters, such as an ampersand or apostrophe, then they should look at the Plus Service because we’ll cover all the variations of that. We convert the trademark into DNS permissible variations and block all of those. With our Typo Error library, we block every variant of those main labels without limitation.

This will also be relevant to any brand that wants protection in the Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) space.

Tony, I think over to you to give us a breakdown of those homoglyph confusables and what that could look like for a brand when checking to see whether or not the variant coverage makes sense for them.

GlobalBlock+ Homoglyph Confusables Coverage, Slide 10, 9:12

Speaking: Tony Kirsch

Thanks, Ben.

So, folks, this is very much around protecting your brand from a visual perspective — we call these “look-alike” domains.

Many of you will be familiar with these in the context of phishing attacks and their potential for customer, business partner, or internal confusion.

And if you’re looking at the example on the screen here, you’ll notice very quickly that some of the examples that we’ve shown you actually look a lot like GlobalBlock as it’s supposed to be written.  We’re going to show you those examples in terms of scale in just a moment, so you can better quantify what that “look-alike confusion” could mean for the GlobalBlock name, and perhaps your own.

These are sort of the domains that look really similar to what the term GlobalBlock looks like in Latin characters. And you can see very quickly that they could be used and registered in many, many domain extensions around the world, and clearly used to confuse your customer.

So, GlobalBlock as a standard service is fantastic.

As a lot of the people listening to this session today dive into the conversation of GlobalBlock+,  back to what Ben was talking about earlier in his slides, we’re aware there’s been multiple different blocking services that have existed. And initially, to be frank with you, when we were looking at doing an innovation like this, it didn’t include going out and talking to the whole industry — it was really around a focused area.

But that ultimately led us to this idea that brand owners don’t really want just another blocking service. Effectively, you’ve already got multiples of those.

The intention here of GlobalBlock is that it should be everything that you need in one service, especially for those of you that are DPML existing owners.

GlobalBlock Protection Calculator, Slide 11, 10:44

On the GlobalBlock website, we’ve created this idea of a brand protection calculator. Some of you may be familiar with this idea from the AdultBlock service that we also operate. Here, you can very simply type in the name of your organization and select the basis of your trademark or your legal rights and press calculate.

I thought I’d show you some examples here, using our organization, or our product here, GlobalBlock, and show you what that looks like in terms of scale.

Example of Brand Protection Calculator in Use, Slide 12, 11:11

Currently the GlobalBlock service provides blocking coverage in 510 extensions — we’re going to have that up to 600 extensions for our launch later this month, February 2023. We talked before that there are about 1000 extensions or so on the Internet that we’ve been in discussions with — and so we’re going to have at least 60% of those with us at launch. We’ll get a little bit deeper into that in a moment.

If I just type “GlobalBlock” into the Brand Protection Calculator, you can very quickly see the depth of coverage that GlobalBlock+ provides you — almost 100,000 domain names provided in the Plus Service blocking coverage.

And though it is a premium service, it’s not a very expensive upgrade from GlobalBlock to GlobalBlock+.

In terms of the domains that we’re removing from availability for active registration on the Internet and that can impact your brand, the scope of coverage becomes very, very significant.

And to be clear, if the domain is previously registered or unavailable in the registry because of language considerations, you may not get the full 97,000 (or however many are estimated as available to you via GlobalBlock+). But know that the scale of what domains we could be blocking and what we would try to block for you is very significant.

Now, let’s look what happens when I add a space or hyphen to my trademark or brand term.

As Ben mentioned, we do block all available main labels in GlobalBlock+. With GlobalBlock Standard, you would be required to pick one of the two labels that you can see below, where my arrow is pointed. But with GlobalBlock+ you automatically receive both, and as you can see it has a very significant impact in the level of coverage — it’s almost doubled. In fact, it is over doubled- the number of extensions that we would provide coverage for you with GlobalBlock+.

And, if I took it further, for those of you that have “ands” or ampersands in your trademark, the level of protection increases exponentially with GlobalBlock+. All this coverage is included at a standard price per product version, we do not charge you more for having characters, ands, or ampersands in your main labels.

So, it is logical for those of you that have shorter or single word brands/main labels — your coverage will not be in the hundreds of thousands as in some other cases.

But for those of you that do have slightly more complicated marks, or indeed product names, and other parts of your business that you’d like to consider with GlobalBlock, we just wanted to give you an idea here of the scale of what GlobalBlock and GlobalBlock+ can offer you.

Key GlobalBlock Features, Slide 13, 13:22

From a features perspective, we’ve designed some really, really important pieces here that we think create enormous value for you as the customers.

Number one, in terms of the coverage that we’re going to dive into. And also around some features that we’ve designed within GlobalBlock that give you flexibility and effectively create what we think is a dynamic asset in your organization, where domains are able to be added and removed from GlobalBlock.

I’m going to ask Ben to show you a little bit more about those just now.

Speaking: Ben Anderson

Thanks, Tony, I’ll get into those, but let’s just touch on the coverage quickly.

When we set out to build GlobalBlock, we didn’t want this to be just another new gTLD blocking service. I recognize that some people may see value in those, while others may not.

We knew that for this to be effective we needed to touch all different types of TLDs. So, within GlobalBlock we include the Legacy gTLDs. Unfortunately, not .com and .net but the others to begin with. We also have pretty much the whole New gTLD market and many ccTLDs as well.

Many brands will look for, as you all know, registering their term in specific markets that are important to them, but also having coverage outside of that. So, we’ve included many ccTLDs and we’ll continue to grow that amount well past launch.

We won’t sit on our TLD list as a static thing once we’ve launched. We’re continuing to grow the amount of TLDS that we add to this service.

And we recognize that there are emerging pieces of tech that are interesting for brands, or areas of concern where maybe it’s not understood, or maybe a brand is experimenting in those areas. So, we’re very happy to include Web3 domain extensions; starting out with the Unstoppable Domains portfolio, which many of you know, and also well beyond what’s just available at Unstoppable domains, that is, including other Web3 extensions.

We’ll continue to grow this with our partners and we’ll look for new partners. We’ll continue to talk to ccTLDs and governments about including their sovereign TLDs, and that’s a longer discussion with some. But we’ll continue to push that as we want to continue adding more extensions through the lifetime of this product.

Priority AutoCatch, Slide 14, 16:29

In terms the features, we’re really proud of this feature, Priority AutoCatch.

One of the previous issues with blocking services is what could they do for names that were already registered? – whether by one’s own company, or more importantly, by a third party.

What the Priority AutoCatch feature does is this: If you or a third party have an active domain name registered that then lapses in registration coverage or moves into deletion — instead of that name being made available for registration again, it will be included in the coverage of your GlobalBlock purchase.

So, because of the GlobalBlock technology that sits underneath each and every registry that’s participating, the domain name that is released will automatically be caught and added to your GlobalBlock protection.

It will never see the light of day. It will never be available to a third party, and similarly, for domains that are held by third parties, you can sit back and allow GlobalBlock to sort of work on your behalf in the background. If that third party that’s registered a name that matches your rights decides not to renew it, or fails to renew it, Priority AutoCatch will catch that name at the end of that specific registry’s grace period, so it will never become available for registration again.

It will never be caught by any kind of drop catching service.

This feature takes priority at the registry, so the name automatically gets applied to your GlobalBlock account if and when we catch one of those names.

Domain Unblock, Slide 15, 18:28

As Tony said, no one knows what’s going to happen in the future and whether your brand really needs that dot-horse name.

So, if you found you wanted to use your brand’s dot-horse in the future, you could unblock it from your GlobalBlock to register and use it however you see fit. And because of the Priority AutoCatch service behind it, if you decide not to renew registration and it releases again, it will be applied back into your GlobalBlock.

You’re able to unblock names at the current registry rates. There’s no fee on top for converting from blocked to unblocked and back again. You’ll just need to pay the registration fee for the domain, and you can use them anytime you want, so you have the flexibility to future-proof the use of specific TLDs for your brand.

Markmonitor Provides Exact Coverage Report, Slide 16, 19:34

And Tony showed you the GlobalBlock Percentage Calculator on the website, where you can go and calculate what the estimated volume of TLD coverage you would receive from Global Block looks like

I know that everyone will want to see more details than just those numbers — so through Markmonitor, you’re able to order a preliminary report. What preliminary reports do is they take your brand, and they take the main labels that we’ve generated, and we build a report that shows you exactly what you will receive from your GlobalBlock order. This means you’ll be able to see what names are available to block, and just as importantly, the names that aren’t available to block and the reasons why. It might be that they’re registered. It may be that they’re reserved or prevented from registration due to some policy either through ICANN or locally as well.

So, the preliminary reports give you a view into what you will get when you place your GlobaBlock order. These reports are not built using publicly available data, these use specific reports that registries submit to us every day. This is the most up-to-date information about what’s going on inside each and every registry. And so, you’ll get a pretty good idea very quickly of what kind of coverage you’re going to get.

Once you’ve placed your order we then create dynamic order reports — and because GlobalBlock is a living and breathing product, because of Priority AutoCatch and the unblocking services — it doesn’t rest. Whenever we catch a domain, or you decide to unblock a domain, those reports will update and you’ll get a notification of that. You’ll be able to review your updated order reports.

The same applies if a TLD introduces a new language or liberalizes any of their reserve list. Because we’ll catch those names and then the block will automatically take effect, and we’ll update those reports for you.

When we add new TLDS, it will do exactly the same as well. There are some TLDs joining GlobalBlock that are yet to launch and will do later this year — this will give you the ability to block without having to participate in any kind of Grandfathering or Sunrise.

Reviewing Customer (or Brand) Eligibility, Slide 17, 22:28

Speaking: Tony Kirsch

These are all really important points and I think we’ll just take a moment to let all of that sink in  — there are some really (what we think to be) killer features here.

As Ben mentioned, as we add new extensions to GlobalBlock, for existing customers, those extensions are added to your blocked account at no charge. And we will continue to expand GlobalBlock.

I’ve mentioned before that we’ll be launching at the end of the month with approximately 600 web extensions. We’re very confident that number will grow to about 700 by the end of this year, 2024, and we’re going to continue to evolve that.

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of discussion for those that are interested in the Next Round of gTLDs with ICANN, likely in 2026. As they start to become available on the Internet, we’re going to have some of those preventative measures. So, the Brand Safety Alliance and what we’re building here with GlobalBlock is really designed with the customer in mind to give you flexibility but also predictability. As new extensions and different features and language tables and things like that are added to the Internet, your brand will be protected automatically.

For those of you that are existing customers, Shane touched earlier on our eligibility types. We do have the four criteria here that you can see.

The most important part of that, from our perspective, is the verification of those rights. If you are not a customer that has experienced a blocking service before, you’ll be asked by Markmonitor to provide some documentation to support your requests.

We’re very, very considerate and careful as to ensuring that the blocking is provided only to legitimate rights owners.

If you are an AdultBlock, or a DPML, or MPML — from an existing service from a while back, or one of the original .XXX Sunrise B registrations that Shane referred to in the opening slides of the blocking evolution — if you are one of those customers you do not need to have your rights verified. We have you in our in our databases and you’ll be able to submit orders for GlobalBlock through Markmonitor without having your legal rights verified one more time.

GlobalBlock Founders Program, Slide 18, 24:34

On to the final parts of the presentation, folks, and thank you for your attention so far.

The GlobalBlock Founders Program will commence on March the 1st, 2024, and run for a three-month period. During this time, we will be providing a 10% discount on any GlobalBlock orders, including both GlobalBlock and GlobalBlock+.

And for those of you that like would like to participate with a registration and leverage GlobalBlock beyond one year, that discount will apply to all those years.

The reason we wanted to share that with you is that, as I mentioned, the coverage of GlobalBlock is going to increase and with that will come an increase in the wholesale price. It won’t be incremental — it’ll typically be once a year or twice a year — that will give the price a little bit of a bump as we add more coverage and more protection.

If you wish to purchase a 3-year GlobalBlock in advance, and in particular, if you can take advantage of that 10% Founders discount, you’ll be able to shield yourself from those price increases during that time. To be 100% clear, those price increases do not apply to existing registrants. They are only on renewal.

So, we’ll continue to protect you and expand your coverage. We’ve seen a really strong uptick from a lot of organizations wishing to take advantage of that opportunity and that price protection by taking a three-year GlobalBlock or GlobalBlock+ registration at their first purchase.

Existing DPML Customers, Slide 19, 25:54

We’ve talked here a little bit about DPML. Many of you will have DPML coverage, and to be completely clear in the way that this works, the DPML extensions are included in GlobalBlock.

So, if you have a DPML service and your DPML expires in the next 12 months — well, if you’re able to purchase a GlobalBlock you can take advantage of that discount that I just mentioned and get the additional coverage. The GlobalBlock provides you access to some of those new features, and of course you could then delete your DPML as it approaches its expiry, and trust that the GlobalBlock will automatically capture your existing coverage. That’s a great feature for those who have an expiring DPML within the next 12 months.

If you do not, and you have a multi-year DPML that expires beyond the 12-month window, we will have a delta or a bridging service that’s available for you. You’ll be able to get protection in the non-DPML extensions that are included in GlobalBlock at a discounted price to effectively ensure that you’re only paying for the additional coverage.

Both of these services are available as of March 1, 2024.

If you are a DPML customer and you’d like to explore these opportunities with Markmonitor, I’d suggest you reach out to your Domain Portfolio Advisor.

GlobalBlock and DPML Comparison, Slide 20, 27:06

For those that are interested, you know the DPML does have just over 300 extensions that are available whereas GlobalBlock will have 600+ out of the gate. And as I’ve said to you, we’re going to expand that more.

You’ll also notice a very significant difference in the ccTLD coverage, and that we have Web3 extensions available, and a number of other features that we’ve talked about before. For those of you that are interested, there are a few little nuances that your Markmonitor Domain Portfolio Advisor will need to work through with you.

But we wanted to be really respectful, and we’re very grateful for Identity Digital and the DPML participation in GlobalBlock. And we wanted to make sure, as Ben mentioned before, that we weren’t requiring customers to have multiple different blocking services. There’s a path there for each and every one of you to be able to move across to your GlobalBlock service.

Future Brand Safety Alliance Initiatives, Slide 21, 27:54

And finally, we’ve got a very significant road map for the Brand Safety Alliance that exists #1 in GlobalBlock, where we will continue to expand on the coverage. We will add more extensions and we’ve got many of them waiting for us right now that just weren’t quite ready for us by our launch on the 1st of March 2024. And as I already mentioned, we’ll have extra TLDs with ICANN to contend with in the next year or two.

Beyond that, the Brand Safety Alliance will continue to engage with the community.

For those of you that are interested, perhaps you may wish to meet with us at the INTA Conference in Atlanta in May this year, or feel free to get in touch with us via the GlobalBlock or Brand Safety Alliance websites. We really value the ideas of working with our community and working with brand owners.

We have many other products that we’ll be looking to launch over the course of the next three or four years within the Brand Safety Alliance. But of course we’re always open for feedback and an ability to collaborate and share and understand what really makes a difference to brand owners.

And hopefully, what you’ve heard today from GlobalBlock is exactly one of those things, something that will make your life easier, save your organization a little bit of money, and give you some flexibility and predictability that you haven’t previously had.

I think with that, that’s all that we’ve got and we’re going to pass back over to Shane. Thanks very much everybody.

Question and Answer Session, GlobalBlock Q&A, 29:18

Speaking: Shane Layman

We have a flood of questions that came in. So, I’ll read them out loud and then I’ll let you guys pass it between to answer.

Question: “Does this offer protection of our registered domains or is it only focused on the look alike domains that are not registered?”

Answered by Ben Anderson: Yep, you can. Let’s say your company name is Acme and you have Acme registrations across 250 of the TLDs that will be covered. The block will sit in the background.

So, this is exact match registrations as well as any variants. There may be some of those names within your registered domain portfolio that you’ve decided you no longer want to have actively registered, and you have your GlobalBlock in place.

You can just retire those registrations and they’ll join your block. So, there’s no need to continue to maintain them or worry about name servers or whether or not it’s something you want to use now or in the future.

GlobalBlock will cover exact match and in the Plus Service, the variants of that trademark label will be covered.

Speaking: Shane Layman

The next one is more of a comment. It’s just saying, “My focus is around e-mail, so I always want a DMARC record published on all defensively registered domains to minimize hijacking of e-mail for those domains.” That doesn’t really work as well with blocked domains. Those would have to actually be registered domains. Next question, we’ll move on.

Two-Part Question: “Are you actually blocking registration of a particular brand name on a TLD or are you reserving or registering that brand.TLD?” and “What happens if one brand blocks registration and another legitimate brand wants it?”

Answered by Tony Kirsch: Okay, there’s a there’s a bit to unpack there, so let’s do it in reverse.

If a brand owner is an existing owner of a GlobalBlock and another legitimate brand wishes to purchase them — you know to find the name to register — and then realizes that it’s been blocked…

Assuming that both of them are legitimate rights owners, I guess that falls into the first-come, first-serve model as we have right now in domain purchase. If you feel that you are a legitimate rights owner and the owner of the GlobalBlock is not, we have a dispute mechanism available on the GlobalBlock website to be able to handle that.

Remind me about the first part of the question, Shane?

Speaking: Shane Layman

The first part is, “Are you actually blocking registration of a particular brand name on a TLD or are you reserving/registering that brand name?” — which I’d take to be similar to the TREx blocking product where there was a registration track and a reserve track, rather than it actually being blocked at the registry level.

Answer continued by Tony Kirsch: Thank you.

So, these are not registered domains, but they do appear in WHOIS. If you find a domain blocked by GlobalBlock, (and you’ll be able to see that it is, it’ll say that it’s blocked by the GlobalBlock service) they’re not registered domains.

We don’t use the Reserve List in the registries as such. We actually have a different technology that we work within our registry partners as blocking, and that’s necessary to find to deliver some of those things that we talked to you before about in terms of the Priority AutoCatch service.

So no, they’re not registered domains. They are kind of reserve names, but using a slightly different technology to do that. They’re not on the traditional Reserve List that a registry would operate.

Ben Anderson adds: This is sort of blocking in the true sense of the word, that is, the functionality that Tony mentioned. We’ve created objects inside registries that have blocked objects and this allows us to publish WHOIS information.

So, any “Blockee,” or owner of a GlobalBlock order can verify that the block is in place.

Tony includes: We should also add to that, that it doesn’t include the registrant details — whilst you could check the names blocked, you can’t work out by whom.

Speaking: Shane Layman

I think while the juices are flowing on kind of the blocking and reserving, I’m going to jump ahead to another question.

Question: “Can we get alerts for attempted domain registrations that were blocked by GlobalBlock?”

An example being a third-party attempted to register brand.TLD, but was blocked by the blocking service — is there some sort of a report or an e-mail notification?

Answered by Ben Anderson: Right now that’s not part of the current service, but we know from operating AdultBlock that this is an oft-requested feature. It’s something that we’re looking at for a future iteration of GlobalBlock.

We have hundreds of different registry operators all maintaining these things using different technology in different code. So, we anticipate that once GlobalBlock is settled and all of the registry participants feel comfortable with it operating, we’ll then look at the next technology layer to bring additional benefit to registrants of the service.

Speaking: Shane Layman

That’s great. I think adding that feature to the service in the future would be hugely beneficial for brand owners, especially so they know what’s going on with their brand names.

We’ll move on because we have a bunch of questions.

Question: “When will other Web3 services be included for blocking — Handshake, ENS, etc.?”

Answered by Tony Kirsch: Great question.

We’re going to explore all of those throughout the rest of this year. There are some that make a lot of sense, some of those you’ve just referred to. We will add more extensions in general, including Web3 extensions, most likely by the end of this year (2024). The specifics around that yet are yet to be finalized.

Speaking: Shane Layman

Great, Thanks Tony.

Question: “Is the Priority AutoCatch service via Plus or Standard? Both?”

Answered by Ben Anderson: Both. All of the features that we’ve spoken about you get with both services.

It’s really down to you regarding what level of protection you want and what’s important to you in terms of the names that you block.

The Priority AutoCatch and the Unblocking features are available to every registrant irrespective of product type.

Speaking: Shane Layman

Thanks, Ben. This next question I can answer.

Question: “If you block a nameset — name and misspellings, do you have to unblock to use the name again?”

Answer: Yes, that’s correct. If you have a live, registered domain that you’re using and you decide not to renew it and let it lapse, it goes into that Priority AutoCatch for you and then is added to the block. If you want to use it again in the future, you can unblock it at the registry level.

But if the name is live right now, it doesn’t automatically get blocked. It’s up to the registrar or brand owner to decide if they want to keep the name active or let the registration lapse.

We’ll move on to the next question.

Question: “What is the cost of the DPML bridge service? Our service runs through 2028.”

Answer: I will take that one offline and we’ll have a conversation. Whoever has asked this question, if you don’t mind reaching out to your domain portfolio advisor, we can have a conversation on the cost to bridge or to upgrade to the GlobalBlock.

Question: “Will the GlobalBlock include the AdultBlock extensions?”

Answered by Tony Kirsch: That’s a good question. The short answer to that is no, AdultBlock is not included in GlobalBlock at this point in time.

A few reasons for that, one is a technical element of it. The broader commercial component of that is that there are a number of brands that have told us in the past that they did not want to participate in AdultBlock because of the nature of the strings, and we didn’t want that to necessarily conflict with GlobalBlock.

In the future we may look to roll that in; for now they are separate services and will remain as such for the foreseeable future.

Speaking: Shane Layman

Great, thank you. And moving on…

Question: “What if someone already registered a GlobalBlock on the same name you are going to block?” — in the case of similar trademarks or same/matching trademarks.

Answered by: Ben Anderson: Cool. So, I’ll take this, I get the difficult one. (But it’s not that difficult actually.)

We allow multiple GlobalBlocks for the same label and the reason for that is: one brand may opt for a one year Standard service, another may opt for a three-year Plus service. You don’t want to be reliant on someone else for your own brand protection, so we allow both parties to purchase a GlobalBlock.

Now the follow up question to that would be, “Well, what happens if I want to unblock a name for my own use that’s available?

In that case, there’s a mechanism between the two parties that allows them to agree to unblock a name. And if they’re unable to do that, then then we have a sort of “last resort” dispute policy. But we expect the brands that operate in different areas will be able to determine which names they’re happy to release to someone else if it’s always been available.

Speaking: Shane Layman

Thanks, Ben. And next.

Question: “When you say “variants,” what do you mean?” Tony, I don’t know if you want to jump back to the slide where you outline some of those variants and talk through that one more time?

Answered by Tony Kirsch: Okay. So, we have built a proprietary algorithm that looks at the label of the brand and then generates look-alike domains using homoglyphic confusable characters. Effectively, we’re talking here about returning non-Latin characters that would be visually similar to Latin characters, and therefore able to be used in scamming or spoofing attempts. That coverage is then applied once we determine the list of the label’s variants.

You can see in my example, if we type in “GlobalBlock,” the system generates 191 different variations of that label. We then apply those 191 variations across every single extension in the GlobalBlock coverage — on the basis that the domain is not registered and that the registry itself supports the character scripts.

If we do have a certain scenario where a TLD is basically only ASCII or only Latin, then we wouldn’t be able to block.

We’re aiming to block where a domain could be registered — we’re not necessarily doing that in a space where the language table is not supported. As Ben mentioned earlier, if the registry adds a new language table, they’ll need to tell us in advance, and any blocking that exists would be then automatically included for the brand owner.

So, overall, this is just an extension of your brand and all of the different types of confusable characters that it can have. Now, there are options beyond this as this is focused on homoglyphic confusables, but hopefully that answers the question in terms of how we generate variants.

Speaking: Shane Layman

I think that answers it well. Please reach out to your Domain Portfolio Advisor — we’re happy to set up some time and discuss variants in more detail with you. And if you want more examples, we can work up something with your trademark, your brand name, etc.

Question: “Would this work for a variation that may include an additional character such as ‘Acmee’ with an extra ‘e,’ for a company called Acme? That is, just adding in that additional character to the end of the trademark?”

Answered by Ben Anderson: So, the variants that we generate are based around the standard, and where we wanted to start for GlobalBlock is with the exact match.

As Tony said there are other typo error libraries available — we do actually use those and have deployed those in other services. But for GlobalBlock, simply because of the scale of this, we’ve decided to start with exact match only. So duplicate characters is not a typo error that we currently cover. In the case of “Acmee” with an additional “e” at the end, that wouldn’t be covered.

Speaking: Shane Layman

Thanks, Ben. Couple more questions before I let you all go.

Question: “What is the level of proof needed to register a company name that is not a registered trademark?”

Answered by Ben Anderson: In terms of eligibility and the verification, we use an independent third-party verification agent for this process who’s very well-versed in verification of rights and companies.

For a company name or an organization name, for the UK, we would require a certificate of incorporation or an excerpt from the company’s house — I’m not sure what the US alternative is.

We would need an extract from that registration database showing the company is registered and then through the verification process, the third-party would take some sort of Know Your Customer (KYC) steps in order to approve that label for use with GlobalBlock, and with the company names we’ll remove the suffix. So, in the case of “Acme Inc” you would be able to apply for Acme as the company name, and therefore, as the label to protect.

Speaking: Shane Layman

Awesome. Thanks Ben. You know, I think in the past with AdultBlock, we submitted a wine label for a client — a picture that they sent of a wine label that was proof of use.

The last question I think we’ll get to is an interesting one.

Question: “What was, or have you received, pushback from some registries? What was the conversation like with, for example, some legacy gTLDs or common ccTLDS like .co and .mx?”

Answered by Tony Kirsch: That’s a deep answer and kind of a mirror into the last two years of our life. I can give you the snapshot.

We’ve got a number of folks who have obviously participated. We’ve got a number of folks who have said to us, we will see how this goes and then we will join. That would be common of a few legacy TLDS. It would also be common, in particular, of ccTLDs and that’s not completely surprising.

From our perspective, strangely enough, Shane, the last two weeks, as we’ve been doing a little bit more of this promotion and rolling out GlobalBlock — there’s been a number that have come back to us and said, “Hey, is it too late to participate?” And sadly, yes, but we’ll roll them in as part of the next part.

There are a few other organizations that have declined to participate. Their reasons for that — I think it varies. And sometimes, it’s philosophical, you know? “You shouldn’t be blocking in my TLD or my extension.” Sometimes, it’s commercial.

We will continue to work with every registry on the planet, and we accept that GlobalBlock might not be for everyone.

But as the Brand Safety Alliance continues and we reinforce that we’re here to help brand owners in more than just one way — we’re going to continue to roll out multiple products and services that can add value to brand owners.

We’re hopeful that they’ll change their mind and come and join us. And reinforce, from our perspective, that we’re here to help brand owners to optimize not just their portfolio, but optimize their protection.

We do see this, GlobalBlock, in a world where we imagine that brand owners will have a portfolio of domain names that they use and a blocking portfolio that protects everything else — [domains] that they might not have had the budget to be able to use, or the time to be able to do so, or because they’re looking for ways to make their life a little bit easier.

So, as we continue to roll out that philosophy and add more extensions over time, I’m confident we’re going to get a very significant portion, if not all of the extensions, to join us at some point.

But it’s a great question. This is not for everybody and I think we’ll just have to get them over time.

Speaking: Shane Layman

Yeah, I totally agree. I think you touched on the point being, you know, some are waiting and seeing how this works. And I think that probably is the sentiment that’s felt by some ccTLDS — that it’s a big risk to be involved in something like this. And so, they want to see how it goes.

And I agree with you on everything that was stated about this service expanding in the future and the growth, and frankly, I’m excited to see where you end up.

With that, we will wrap this up. Thank you, everybody.