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Do You Agree With WLS? Your Chance to Comment!

Should ICANN’s Wait-Listing Service be implemented?

Why yes or why not? What are the negative or positive consequences that are being overlooked?

In light of the recent events regarding ICANN’s approval of the Wait-Listing Service (WLS), CircleID is requesting all stakeholders (all individuals or organization that own domain names or sell related services) to submit their comments ‘for’ or ‘against’ WLS. All comments gathered will be posted on CircleID WLS Speical Coverage and presented to key decision makers.

Related Links:
- http://www.circleid.com/article/163_0_1_0_C/
- http://www.circleid.com/article/160_0_1_0_C/
- http://www.icannwatch.org/article.pl?sid=03/07/16/1349238&mode=thread
- http://news.com.com/2110-1025_3-1026076.html

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Amanda Smith  –  Jul 18, 2003 5:56 PM

Isn’t there only one provider for registrars to acquire .com and .net names from? Isn’t there plenty of competition in that business? 
If registrars have a similar service to WLS and this ICANN/VeriSign one does go ahead then how is that different than VeriSign running the .com and .net registry?
I think the registrars need to stop complaining about ICANN and VeriSign every week and focus internally on expanding the overall domain name business and providing excellent service to their customers.  Something most are seriously lacking today.

fnord  –  Jul 18, 2003 9:42 PM

As I pointed out here over 18 months ago, there are some real downsides to allowing expiring names to be picked up by others without the original users express consent. In addition to, for example, children being drawn into explicit pr0n sites (which I touched upon, and which Ben Edelman of Harvard has studied, one can easily foresee sensitive email going to the wrong recipient. And this mislabelling can cut both ways as pointed out in a recent CircleID article. How can ICANN square this with Stewart Lynn’s ICP-3 document with its stress that the public trust is best served by internet users knowing what they are getting from a given address?

I think this is a recipe for disaster for ICANN regardless of what the registrant agreement may say in terms of ICANN’s presumed legal right to do as they please, and regardless of whether VeriSign’s WLS or some other registrar(s) are its purveyors. All it will take is for some large corp to lose a name and suffer damages and then ICANN had best hope Jones Day are up for it.

I know that I am a voice in the wilderness, but I would like to see a moratorium placed on the reselling of previously used domain names to third parties. That was not the original intent of the DNS and amounts to little more than extortion, fueled by the greed of registries, registrars, those who benefit from being misleading, and last but not least, ICANN. A moratorium would have the added benefit of doing a Solomon to the WLS puppy and perhaps getting us out of the current morass. -g

Paul Stahura  –  Jul 19, 2003 1:09 AM

I do not support WLS because it will tilt the even playing field amongst registrars that ICANN and the Internet community have painstakingly setup. This artifact of WLS was noted before the ICANN board approved the current WLS proposal. Unfortunately, though the board attempted to address this problem with condition “c” of their resolution (see http://www.icann.org/minutes/02.100), this condition failed to do so.

In http://www.icann.org/minutes/report-vgrs-wls-22aug02.htm, ICANN says, “the purpose of this condition is to avoid an incumbent registrar acquiring a preference through advance knowledge of the deletion of a domain-name registration” which is why, for a time during a “blackout” period, they restricted WLS so that subscriptions can not be sold by the registrar-of-record on names for which the registrar-of-record has this advance knowledge. Unfortunately, the registrar-of-record can give (or sell) this information to another registrar (likely one owned by the same parent company or another “friendly” registrar) who is not the registrar-of-record and *that* registrar can use the information to sell WLS subscriptions at lower risk than any other registrar and therefore could take advantage of the inherent advantage over the others. This is the reason why condition “c” must be changed to restrict *all* registrars from selling WLS during the blackout period. Without the restriction applying to *all* registrars, WLS confers an unfair advantage to some registrars in the market place, an advantage that does not exist today without WLS.

Gordon Martin  –  Aug 5, 2003 5:54 PM

WLS will take a healthy and thriving innovative market with dozens of companies providing services and turn it into a verisign monopoly. 

At a tax of $24 for each and every domain that flows through the system.

Consumers will pay this tax above and beyond any costs they face today.  It will do nothing except provide Verisign with a profit of around 50 million yearly with little or no costs.  The real workload is actually offloaded to the registrars in the process.

It shows the utter inability of Icann to work toward the interests of all stakeholders rather than the corporate interests that decorate its board members.

Rene G.  –  Aug 8, 2003 6:16 AM

This is very funny, to watch all of you argue with each other when nobody of you represents registrants.  What I am seeing is every person from the horse and wagon business complaining that autos should not be allowed, because autos will result in damaging their business.

Autos cost a lot of money.  I hate the auto company.  But autos are better than wagons so I do not complain!

I have tried all of the backorder services.  None of them work all the time.  They are expensive.  Some of them have auction costs that cost 10 times more than WLS price.  It is also getting worse all the time because more companys makes it harder to get names.  All this talk saying that this competition system is better is very funny. 

I think registrants will be willing to pay for a name they want when they do not have to struggle with all of these different backorder companies.

Nick  –  Aug 26, 2003 9:56 PM

I’m in agreement with Rene G. One thing that is NOT being talked about is, Registrars leasing out there backorder services exclusively to companies such as Buydomains.com and Name Administration, which tilts the odds in there favor and robs everyone else of an equal chance of grabbing a name.

Buydomains currently has 10 Registrars in their hip pocket, Namewinner and Pool offer names there services to everyone, so I’m not going to bash them, these are the 2 big auction sites raking in most of the cash, and who are the biggest opponents to WLS!, along with Buydomains.

If you think any of these companies care about a fair system for you and I, your a fool! they care only about the CASH $$$ and how WLS will effect them and not us.

Most will agree that ICANN needs to overhaul the current system or implement WLS.


Bruce Thomson  –  Sep 8, 2003 8:38 AM

Rene G. has a good point about considering the registrant’s interests. But is WLS the right solution for registrants? From what I see, the typical buyer of a deleted domain really wants to look for gems among the thousands of domains about to be deleted. It makes sense for such a buyer that there be a system for bidding for these. Conceptually, like auctioning off abandoned luggage.

The Verisign system however, seems geared more towards the person who has his heart set on a particular name and is willing to wait years to get it. While useful for that class of customer, it really just gets in the way of the person who wants to choose among the domains available right now. What Verisign is telling him is, pay $39 (say) for a name, and IF it is deleted we’ll give it to you.

The current system does have it’s flaws, but also it’s advantages:
1) You don’t have to pay if you don’t get the name.
2) Names tend to go to the highest bidder.

Ideally, I would like to see a system where deleted names are auctioned by the registry, using registrars as intermediaries. The registrars and registry shouldn’t keep all the money they get, though. This wealth should go towards improving the Internet as a whole, not just the bottom lines of certain companies.

There will no doubt be debate about what the registry deserves to be paid for its services. The solution may be to open this up to bids from other contractors.

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