News / September 2009

On “The Affirmation of Commitments”

There was big news in the ICANN world today with the announcement of the “Affirmation of Commitments”. This is the document which will now govern the relationship between ICANN and the US government (“USG”) as well as the rest of the world (“ROW”).

This is an important step in ICANN’s evolution in two respects. It signifies a significant move away from formal USG control of ICANN and it further solidifies ICANN’s role in governing the Internet and that governance being global in nature, NOT controlled by the national governments of the world.

Remember that ICANN was created in 1999 and has had three different types of documents governing its relationship with the USG. We have gone from a “Memorandum of Understanding” to a “Joint Project Agreement” to now an “Affirmation of Commitments” (AoC). To quote Bret Fausett, in this ever lightening chain of commitments, what is the next step? Facebook Friends?

Seriously, this removes a serious problem for ICANN. Since its inception ROW has been troubled by the exclusive oversight that the USG had over ICANN. The Internet is global, so should the oversight be. This has led from time to time for calls for the UN, the ITU or some other quango to take over from the USG. The AoC addresses this and gives the ROW a large say in appointing the group that provides oversight to ICANN. This is a HUGE step forward.

Notice I did not say that the ROW has a say in oversight, just in appointing the group that provides oversight. This is equally important. The terms of this oversight are laid out in the AoC and what happens if ICANN does not abide by these terms is also spelled out, the AoC fails and we are back to where we were to try again. This is a fantastic way to allow ICANN to flourish independently and to keep ICANN a global, not international organization. Think of this as a trust and those appointed as trustees. They will determine whether the terms of the trust have been abided by. If there have not been complied with then ICANN reverts to its previous state of USG control and we start again.

In its day to day operations this will not make a lot of difference. There were VERY few circumstances where the USG had a heavy hand. The dis-allowance of .xxx and the occasional burst of input when big IP interests would complain about domain names and copyright are the few exceptions. The USG deserves a thanks for its role to date.

It is also very important that we (and by “we” I mean “we the Internet”) have avoided the UN or the ITU. Either would have been disastrous for ICANN in my view.

All in all a good day and another positive development in the young regime of Rod Beckstrom as ICANN CEO. Now let’s see if he can thread a needle on new gTLDs!

A Look back at One Web Day 2009

Andy Walker, General Manager of Butterscotch.com, founder of Little Geeks (photo by Glenn McKnight)

Andy Walker, General Manager of Butterscotch.com, founder of Little Geeks (photo by Glenn McKnight)

The 3rd annual One Web Day celebration was a great success. We were proud to be a sponsor and celebrate both at our headquarters in Toronto, and later in the day with with the larger Toronto Internet community at an evening social event.

Our computer drive for Little Geeks was quite successful as well with donations received from Tucows employees and from the local community as well. We delivered the donated computers, scanners and laptops to the Little Geeks team to be refurbished and, eventually, to be delivered to kids who need them. You can still help out by making an online cash donation to Little Geeks.

Check out some of the photo highlights:

Vytautas Bruzga, Database Analyst

Vytautas Bruzga, Database Analyst

We also asked some One Web Day questions of our staff

What types of things do you think the Internet can change?

  • The way we do business
  • makes the world smaller
  • micro-finance
  • makes politics cleaner
  • makes companies honest
  • enables ideas to reach remote locations
  • Add yours in the comments…

What does the Internet mean to you?

  • work, entertainment, learning, life, love, shopping, easy reference, banking, free stuff, selling stuff, marketing stuff, convenience, dating, fragging, add yours in the comments…

Next year, OWD Toronto’s event is expected to build on the great vibe created.  We will invite you to join us in the celebrations. Save the date: September 22, 2010.

One Web Day Is Today!

OWD

One Web Day is here! Join us in celebrating this year’s theme: One Web. For All. Tucows believes: “The Internet is the greatest agent for positive change the world has ever seen.”

Tucows Supports Little Geeks and Internet Access

This is our second year celebrating One Web Day. Our focus is on Little Geeks and helping provide Internet access and computers to those who don’t have computers. Through Little Geeks we aim to provide computers to those who wouldn’t normally be able to afford them. Tucows is a strong supporter of Little Geeks which was founded by Andy Walker who runs Butterscotch.com, an online video network that is a part of Tucows Inc.

We are opening our doors this afternoon to take donations from the general public. More information on the kinds of systems that we’re interested in can be found on the Little Geeks website. In general, Little Geeks is seeking Pentium IIIs or G3 Macs or better. System parts also welcome. Tax receipts will be issued for computer donations. Cash donations for Little Geeks are also welcome.

What: Drop off your used computer systems to be refurbished and given to those in need right here in the Greater Toronto Area. Cash donations are also welcome.
When: September 22, 2009 from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.
Where: Tucows Head Office, 96 Mowat Ave., Toronto, M6K 3M1 (view on Google maps)

One Web Day Toronto Evening event

Tonight we’re joining the Toronto Internet community to celebrate One Web Day. There will be some cocktails and food sponsored by Tucows, Mozilla and WikiDOMO.

Leading up to One Web Day there were a number of creative projects including the
I Love the Web Poster-and-Picture-Fest“. The idea was to grab a poster and take some pictures with it to celebrate. See all the great pictures on Flickr. We have an event later today at the Tucows head office and will be taking photos with posters too. Join us by taking pictures with your organizations.

One Web Day Toronto Evening event

Here’s a great OWD video that includes posters and pictures:

We hope that you can donate or celebrate in your community. Happy One Web Day!

Tucows Amends and Extends Third Modified Dutch Tender Offer

TORONTO — September 10, 2009 — Tucows Inc. (AMEX:TCX, TSX:TC) a global provider of domain names, email and other Internet services, announced today that it has narrowed the price range that it is offering for the repurchase of shares of its Common Stock under the modified Dutch auction tender that commenced on August 20, 2009 to no less than $0.52 and no more than $0.60 per share. The previous price range offered by the Company was no less than $0.40 and no more than $0.60 per share. The Company has also extended the term of the tender offer to 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on October 2, 2009. The offer was previously scheduled to expire at 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on September 18, 2009.

The closing price of Tucows’ common stock on the NYSE Amex on September 9, 2009 was $0.58 per share. Shareholders have the opportunity to tender some or all of their shares at a price within the $0.52 to $0.60 per share price range. Based on the number of shares tendered and the price specified by the tendering shareholders, Tucows will determine the lowest per share price within the range that will enable it to buy 5,000,000 shares, or such lesser number of shares that are properly tendered. If shareholders of more than 5,000,000 shares properly tender their shares at or below the determined price per share, Tucows will purchase shares tendered by such shareholders, at the determined price per share, on a pro rata basis. Additionally, if more than 5,000,000 shares are properly tendered, the number of shares to be repurchased by Tucows pursuant to the tender offer may, at the discretion of Tucows, be increased by up to 2% of Tucows’ outstanding shares, or approximately 1,357,000 shares, without amending or extending the tender offer.

Shareholders whose shares are purchased in the offer will be paid the determined purchase price per share net in cash, without interest, after the expiration of the offer period. The offer is subject to a number of other terms and conditions specified in the offer to purchase that has been distributed to shareholders.

The information agent for the offer is StockTrans, Inc. None of Tucows, its board of directors or the information agent is making any recommendation to stockholders as to whether to tender or refrain from tendering their shares into the tender offer. Shareholders must decide how many shares they will tender, if any, and the price within the stated range at which they will offer their shares for purchase by Tucows.

This press release is for informational purposes only and is not an offer to buy or the solicitation of an offer to sell any shares of Tucows’ common stock. The offer is being made solely by the tender offer statement. Investors are urged to read Tucows’ tender offer statement on Schedule TO filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the tender offer, which includes as exhibits, the offer to purchase, the supplement to the offer to purchase and the amended letter of transmittal when they become available, because they contain important information, as well as any amendments or supplements to the statements when they become available. Each of these documents has been or will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and investors may obtain them for free from the Securities and Exchange Commission at its website (www.sec.gov) or from StockTrans, Inc., the information agent for the tender offer, by directing such request to: StockTrans, Inc., Attn: Re-Organization Dept., 44 West Lancaster Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003, telephone (800) 733-1121.

About Tucows

Tucows is a global Internet services company. OpenSRS manages over 8 million domain names and millions of email boxes through a reseller network of over 9,000 web hosts and ISPs. Hover is the easiest way for individuals and small businesses to manage their domain names and email addresses. YummyNames owns premium domain names that generate revenue through advertising or resale. Butterscotch.com is an online video network building on the foundation of Tucows.com. More information can be found at http://tucowsinc.com.

For further information: Lawrence Chamberlain, The Equicom Group for Tucows Inc., (416) 815-0700 ext. 257, lchamberlain@equicomgroup.com.

This news release contains, in addition to historical information, forward-looking statements related to such matters as our business, including statements regarding the expected expiration date, the number of shares to be purchased and the purchase price per share. Such statements are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to a number of uncertainties and risks, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements. Information about potential factors that could affect Tucows’ business, results of operations and financial condition is included in the Risk Factors sections of Tucows’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements included in this document are based on information available to Tucows as of the date of this document, and, except to the extent Tucows may be required to update such information under any applicable securities laws, Tucows assumes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements.

TUCOWS is a registered trademark of Tucows Inc. or its subsidiaries. All other trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners.

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