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Report on Survey of Domain Registration Services

Numerous competitive registrars offer diverse domain registration services to individuals, companies, and organizations. This study attempts to index and analyze their service offerings, facilitating analysis by other researchers and in preparation for additional analysis by the author.  more

Court Denies Preliminary Restriction of WLS

In a strongly worded ruling, a U.S. Federal Court Judge has ruled in ICANN's favor and denied plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction. Dotster and two other ICANN accredited registrars had asked the court for an order prohibiting ICANN from finalizing approval of VeriSign's proposed new "Wait Listing Service" (WLS). Plaintiffs alleged that WLS is "anti-competitive" and that ICANN breached its obligations under the registrar accreditation agreement (RAA) when ICANN gave preliminary approval to WLS last year. The court disagreed, ruling [PDF] as follows: more

Reaction to VeriSign-NSI Break Up

On October 16, 2003, VeriSign announced the sale of its Network Solutions (NSI) business unit three years after its purchase from SAIC. This is a report on the historical snapshot of Network Solutions and a collection of commentaries made in response to this event...Network Solutions, Inc. was founded by Emmit J. McHenry as a joint venture with the National Science Foundation and AT&T... more

The .Name Domain Disrupted by Site Finder Patch

The "delegation-only" patch to BIND that was released for Internet Service Providers and others who wanted to block Site Finder service is reported to be disrupting emails to .name emails (that look like '[email protected]'). As a result, the Global Name Registry has submitted a letter to ICANN stating... more

New TLDs, Swiftly: This Is No Beauty Contest!

In response to ICANN's request for proposal (RFP) for the selection of new sponsored Top-Level Domains, Wendy Seltzer for the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) urges ICANN to move quickly beyond "testing" to more open addition of a full range of new gTLDs in the near future and offers some general principles to guide that expansion. more

Online Registries: The DNS and Beyond

As the world grows more connected and more complicated, we all need ways of defining, identifying and keeping track of things and cross-referencing them with their owners. The simplest way to do that is with registries -- everything from the Domesday Book, a medieval registry of land, property and people; to current-day auto registries on the one hand and the worldwide Domain Name System on the other...But now, companies and organizations have to keep track of ever more things and people, not just inside their walls but across extended organizational boundaries. Call this new wrinkle an "external registry". Finally, they may want to interact with things and people, rather than just look them up, via an "active registry".  more

Tangible Property: First Domain Lawsuit Filed After Federal Ruling

Storage specialist Optima Technology Corporation has filed a lawsuit against Network Solutions alleging that the registrar gave away its domain name without its permission causing damage to its business. The suit alleges that Network Solutions transferred ownership of its domain name "optimatech.com" to a former Optima employee Michael DeCorte, which has allowed him to redirect Optima's revenue to his possession. Optima claims that DeCorte along with another former employee Raymond Martin, used a fake webiste to divert Optima's revenue. more

If Only Mike Knew

In the year 2000, Mike wanted "d.com" for his company website. After all, if you sneaked around these so called "reserved domains" long enough, you might be puzzled to see...say this at "x.com" or this at "z.com" or perhaps this at "q.com". As mysterious as this is, you can imagine Mike's disappointment after receiving the following email... more

$100 Million Lawsuit Filed Against VeriSign

Popular Enterprises LLC, the parent company of Netster.com, has filed a $100 million dollar lawsuit against VeriSign, Inc. The Complaint alleges antitrust violations, unfair competition and violations of the Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act based upon VeriSign's release of the Site Finder product. The suit requests injunctive relief to prevent VeriSign from operating Sitefinder, and to otherwise cease what Popular Enterprises believes to be its monopolistic practices. more

Paul Vixie in Response to Site Finder Controversy

As a domain holder myself (of vix.com), I would not have chosen ".com" for my parent domain name back in 1988 had there been a wildcard domain name [that activates Site Finder service] under ".com". The risk of someone attempting to reach me but ending up talking to someone else instead would have been seen as "too great". I am now searching for a new parent domain whose publisher will guarantee me, in perpetuity, that there will be no wildcard name as there now is in "com". more

ICANN Can’t Take Care of Everything

Bruce Young tells a story of an Internet user who gets into trouble because "his" domain name was registered in the name of a web hosting provider that went bankrupt later on...As far as registrars are concerned, ICANN is currently doing its homework on domain name portability. As far as web hosting companies are concerned, though, these suggestions only look appealing at first sight. Upon closer inspection, they wouldn't be good policy... more

ICANN Workshop Displays Diverging Perspectives on WHOIS

At a workshop held in late June in Montreal (Canada) -- Karl Auerbach had submitted some live coverage to CircleID --, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) had an in-depth look at various aspects of the Internet's WHOIS databases. These databases associate social information (like holders' names and contact information) with network identifiers, such as IP addresses and domain names. Current policy for these databases -- in particular in the generic top level domain area -- is part of ICANN's contracts with domain name retailers ("registrars") and database operators ("registries"), and permits for use of the data by arbitrary parties for arbitrary purposes. more

President of easyDNS Responds to WLS Issue

When I came out of the Verisign Product Round-Table at the ICANN Meeting it became clearer to me why I sometimes feel that registries were dangerous things to put in the hands of a for-profit corporation. Here in Canada the .CA namespace is regarded as a "Key Public Resource", thus the registry is administered by a non-profit corporation. The monopoly over the root (which is what it is) is treated very carefully, almost with a "necessary evil" mentality, which if done properly cultivates private enterprise and competition at the registrar level, where it should be. more

President of Afternic Responds to WLS Issue

Afternic holds a unique position on this subject; we're neutral. This is partly because we have partners on both sides of the issue and want to be diplomatic. But it is also because we don't think that it matters much in a mature domain name market. The backorder service market is an apparition. It depends on the owner of a valuable property thinking the property is worthless. How long can that situation exist to fuel the backorder market? As domain name owners gain knowledge and experience regarding domain name values, we expect few valuable names to drop.

A positive consequence of this debate is that domain name owners will gain knowledge about the value of their domains. more

Is WLS the Right Mechanism to Protect Consumers?

The claim that the *only* way that reliable wait listing can be done by *the* registry is not true. The registrars could, as a technical matter, if they chose to do so, "wrap" the registry with a new entity that mediates all acquisitions and releases. Whether this accords with ICANN's hyper intricate contractual scheme or with laws against restraint of trade, I don't know.

Personally I consider WLS to be contrary to the idea that a contract contains an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing - it seems to me that WLS violates that implied covenant - It is as if my doctor is selling contracts on parts of my body should I die while under his care. more