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[P]
ICANN Approves Shady "Wait-listing Service"

By limekiller in News
Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 04:21:08 PM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)
Internet

ICANN, despite massive opposition and an actual vote against it, proceeded to push through the Wait-listing Service proposal. Ostensibly introduced to provide a uniform way to capture "dropped" domains, the implementation creates, out of thin air, a new monopoly for ICANN by fueling the grey market, who will now have a legitimate vehicle by which to obtain domains and then extort domain holders.


ICANN just approved a "service" called WLS (Wait-listing Service). For a fee (currently in the area of $37-$40/yr, cost, which will put the consumer price in the $60-$70 range per domain, per year.), you can put a domain on a sort of "hold." Should the name in question ever be dropped -- and this can mean anything from naturally expiring to the registrar accidentally deleting it or anything in between -- then you get the name.

So, in effect, the governing monopoly created a problem so they can sell you a solution!

Suppose you're a domain owner and you're fairly knowledgeable about the process. You would never purchase a wait on a domain without first maxing out its purchase term (10 years), would you? So what good does purchasing the service do you, except to insure yourself against a registrar screwup? You're essentially buying liability insurance from the people that would cause the liability. This is somewhat similar to me selling you medical insurance in case I punch you.

Or suppose you're a domain owner and you're less than "aware," and you don't know that you can register your valuable domain for 10 years ahead, you sure as heck don't know about WLS! So the wait on your domain is only useful to someone who wants to get your domain to sell it back to you.

Ostensibly, this is to protect domain owners, but legitimate domain owners are not given any deference in the wait list! Worse, there are companies already offering this service so "legitimate" domain owners -- the people this "service" supposedly protects -- are not going to know about it until someone hands them the ransom note with their domain listed on it (i.e., a bill to buy it back). Finally, Snapnames has already been selling this service prior to it being approved. Are they going to be allowed to dump all their already-sold waits on a priority basis before anyone else can even begin?

Finally, this service might be seen as an illegal commodities market because you're buying a "wait" on a thing that may or may not occur. The fungibility (normally cited as being an attribute of a commodity) of a domain name might rest more on how ICANN treats "ownership" than the attributes of that domain. Someone familiar with internet law and the CFTC, please, lend your 2 cents.

This is a terrible idea, it does nothing more than create and legitimize a grey market whose sole purpose is the extortion of business by purchasing dropped domains (since it has no mechanism whatsoever to guarantee that the current owner has first grant on the wait, that this is to protect against the current second market is beyond the pale) and a prima facie extortion of existing domain holders by creating a problem to sell a solution. A sincere way to clean up the shady side of the domain after-market would be to force registrars to pay for their screw-ups (currently the contracts are written much like photo development, they're only liable for the cost of film (ie, $35)) or perhaps let registrars distinguish themselves by offering such services as enhanced contact measures to warn of imminent, natural expirations (fax, snailmail). This would drive competition and could therefore only be beneficial from a customer standpoint.

Who wanted this service to happen? More importantly, who didn't? Danny Younger writes:

  1. 3453 petitioners endorsed an Anti-WLS petition posted at http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?antiwls.
  2. A review of the comments posted to the Public Forums shows an overwhelming objection to the proposed WLS.
  3. Members of the General Assembly were similarly overwhelmingly in opposition to the WLS.
  4. Every single constituency with the exception of the gTLDs came out in opposition to the WLS.
  5. The DNSO voted to reject Verisign's request to amend its agreement to enable it to introduce its proposed WLS.
  6. The DNSO also voted to reject Verisign's request to trial the WLS for 12 months, and yet the Board has resolved to launch the WLS.
The original is well worth reading and notably absent is a suitable reply from Vint Cerf, Chairman of ICANN.

At best this is a shady deal made, despite overwhelming consensus, to line the pockets at domain holders expense. At worst, ICANN continues to have little interest in representing us, there isn't anything we can do about it, and they know it. Expect more of this.

More discussion can be found on the DNSO mailing list (note threads "ICANN Board caves in to Verisign..." and "ICANN moves to shut off debate -- closes WLS forum"). These opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.

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ICANN Approves Shady "Wait-listing Service" | 78 comments (61 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
Insurance is a variant of extortion (3.33 / 6) (#3)
by leviramsey on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 12:29:34 PM EST

After all, various Italian crime families got their start by insuring shipments against pirates and other ruffians.



Risk vs. Extortion (4.00 / 2) (#9)
by limekiller on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 01:37:30 PM EST

Paying me $1,000 a year to rebuild your house in case it burns down is a rational attenuation and evaluation of risk. Paying me $1,000 a year to rebuild your house in case I burn it down is extortion.

[ Parent ]
Correct, but: (4.00 / 1) (#21)
by mcc on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 03:13:50 PM EST

The thing that makes this particular case interesting is that ICANN is the group responsible for policing domain name transfers to make sure that things like accidental releasings-into-the-free-pool of registered domain names do not happen. (Note that this waitlist also insures against accidental registrar deletions.)

So, given your definition of insurance vs extortion, what should the correct reaction be if the fire department starts selling fire insurance? Okay, it would be raw paranoia to say that the fire department is going to go around setting fires. But still, if this happened, i for one would find it rather worrying that it is suddenly in the best interests of the fire department for people to be as afraid as possible that their houses will burn down.

Even if the current people working for this hypothetical fire department were not corrupt, this situation still creates a conflict of interest and it is a valid, if unrealistic, concern that at some point in the future the fire department may become corrupt and start doing things like letting fires rage out of control so that people in other areas will realize fires are a big problem and buy insurance; or spreading rumors that the fire department gives preferential treatment to people with the insurance, and you will be more likely to get a quick response to a fire at your residence if you buy the insurance. (Note these rumors do not have to actually be true in order to spur insurance sales..)

Note three differences between this fire-department anology and ICANN: One, $40-$70 a year is a relative pittance, far, far cheaper than fire insurance on any property would be. The price is bumped up by the fact that many corporations register hundreds of domains fitting every variation on their name, but this is still an un-noticeable drop in the bucket on your average corporate budget. (For individuals like you or me, of course, this "ICANN protection tax" is a bit more painful, but the point stands.) Two, if a fire department starts doing corrupt or ethically questionable things, the city council can force the fire department to change policy or leadership. ICANN, on the other hand, is accountable to absolutely no one, as recent press has made crystal clear.

Third and perhaps most importantly, in this case, the insurance itself is a source of uncertainty. That is to say, if i were some big important corporation and this wait-list thing went through, i'd want to buy the wait-list insurance for my domains not becuase i am afraid that my domain will be accidentally dropped (because if that happens, i would just re-register it), but because i am afraid that someone else will buy the wait-list spot for my domain, and so if my domain is released to the free pool by some computer error, i will have lost it forever. You see what i am saying?

---
Aside from that, the absurd meta-wankery of k5er-quoting sigs probably takes the cake. Especially when the quote itself is about k5. -- tsubame
[ Parent ]

Answer (5.00 / 1) (#29)
by limekiller on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 04:06:13 PM EST

mcc writes:
"Note that this waitlist also insures against accidental registrar deletions." If this was offered exclusively to the current holder of the domain, yes. It's not. In fact, the odds are quite good that the second this becomes officially available, there is going to be a huge grab of these waits on domains by ...guess who? Resellers.

"So, given your definition of insurance vs extortion, what should the correct reaction be if the fire department starts selling fire insurance?"

A more accurate analogy would be you being able to take out fire insurance on my house. Insurance is designed to protect against loss. Why would you give insurance to someone who didn't stand to lose anything?

"Note three differences between this fire-department anology and ICANN: One, $40-$70 a year is a relative pittance, far, far cheaper than fire insurance on any property would be. "

Relative price isn't the point, the point is that you're faced with two options -- either buy it or someone else will. By offering this service they have immediately put the domain owner in a bad position. Either pay up or risk losing the domain. In other words, ICANN just created that risk out of thin air. Your response is basically, "they can afford it," which is hardly appropriate and really doesn't address the heart of the issue -- ICANN acting arbitrarily, utterly ignoring those they represent to benefit themselves. I didn't want to insult my audience by spelling it out, but here, it appears to be necessary.

"Third and perhaps most importantly, in this case, the insurance itself is a source of uncertainty."

You purchase a wait, and if the domain drops, you get it. This is an uncertainty. The person might renew it. You don't know. I should have mentioned in my article that the wait is not refundable.

"That is to say, if i were some big important corporation and this wait-list thing went through, i'd want to buy the wait-list insurance for my domains not becuase i am afraid that my domain will be accidentally dropped (because if that happens, i would just re-register it)..."

Did you read my post? The point of the WLS is that someone else can buy the wait. Which means that if your domain drops, you don't have the opportunity to get it. It's already gone!

"...but because i am afraid that someone else will buy the wait-list spot for my domain, and so if my domain is released to the free pool by some computer error, i will have lost it forever. You see what i am saying?"

Yes, I do. You've just made my point. =)

Regards,
Jason

[ Parent ]

However, (none / 0) (#38)
by leviramsey on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 05:27:38 PM EST

In the case of those Italian crime families, the unspoken part of the contract was that, if you didn't get insurance, the pirates and ruffians would steal your cargo, especially since those ruffians were essentially in the indirect employ of those same families.



[ Parent ]
Why do we still care about domain names? (2.37 / 8) (#8)
by dipierro on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 01:24:07 PM EST

They're so 90s.

and for an alternative? -nt- (4.00 / 1) (#15)
by Xcyther on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 02:51:21 PM EST



_________________________________________
"Insydious" -- It's not as bad as you think

[ Parent ]
IP addresses? (1.00 / 1) (#20)
by dipierro on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 03:11:26 PM EST

In any case, I wasn't suggesting that domain names themselves are unimportant, but suggesting that which domain name you happen to have is not very important. How does ICANN affect my life? Well, it means I can get domain names for $10/year instead of what, $35/year? Other than that, who fucking cares?

[ Parent ]
The Reason (4.75 / 4) (#24)
by limekiller on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 03:29:19 PM EST

Admittedly, this won't directly impact your average user very much. Very high profile domains (such as CNN.com, Microsoft.com) usually will not be forgotten or accidentally deleted (and if they were, they'd be fixed very quickly), and they're protected by cybersquatting laws anyway. It won't affect very low-end domain owners (who the hell wants fivefoot6.com, and who would put a wait on it for $60/yr, which, I forgot to mention, is unrefundable). But it will affect a lot of business owners in the middle. There are a lot of domains that are generic enough that they'll be snapped up by either legal or extralegal methods and this just facilitates it.

The point of the post is not so much that you should worry about your domain, but that ICANN told congress that it represents their constituency and they very clearly don't. This has broad implications for the sole internet governing body, and if you're concerned about it remaining a medium of the people, yeah, it should worry you.

Regards, Jason

[ Parent ]

Indirectly? (1.00 / 4) (#26)
by dipierro on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 03:37:26 PM EST

But it will affect a lot of business owners in the middle. There are a lot of domains that are generic enough that they'll be snapped up by either legal or extralegal methods and this just facilitates it.

I guess I just don't care about those business owners in the middle. Hence, -1, Don't Care.

The point of the post is not so much that you should worry about your domain, but that ICANN told congress that it represents their constituency and they very clearly don't. This has broad implications for the sole internet governing body, and if you're concerned about it remaining a medium of the people, yeah, it should worry you.

Why should it matter if ICANN remains a medium of the people? Are they going to take away any of my domain names (other than slashdotsucks.com)? If not, I really don't care what they do.



[ Parent ]
Reply (5.00 / 1) (#27)
by limekiller on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 03:54:18 PM EST

dipierro asks:
"Why should it matter if ICANN remains a medium of the people? Are they going to take away any of my domain names (other than slashdotsucks.com)?"

Your question, more or less, is "why would they want to?" I'm saying the answer should be "they can't."

A person with a domain like slashdotsucks.com, above anyone, should be leery of the agency that controls their domain acting arbitrarily. But ...somehow I get the feeling that all of history isn't going to change your mind on this one.

Regards,
Jason

[ Parent ]

Publicity (2.00 / 1) (#30)
by dipierro on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 04:15:11 PM EST

Your question, more or less, is "why would they want to?" I'm saying the answer should be "they can't."

Well, I voluntarily agreed to a contract which says "they can". So I guess they can.

A person with a domain like slashdotsucks.com, above anyone, should be leery of the agency that controls their domain acting arbitrarily.

Nah, publicity from having my domain name taken away is the main reason I got the domain name in the first place. I hope it happens.



[ Parent ]
Wrong "medium" (none / 0) (#41)
by Neil Rubin on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 06:47:52 PM EST

This has broad implications for the sole internet governing body, and if you're concerned about it remaining a medium of the people, yeah, it should worry you.

Why should it matter if ICANN remains a medium of the people? Are they going to take away any of my domain names (other than slashdotsucks.com)? If not, I really don't care what they do.

Er, I don't see how anyone would call ICANN a "medium". I'm pretty sure the poster was referring to the Internet "remaining a medium of the people", something which concerns me quite a bit.

[ Parent ]
Well (none / 0) (#42)
by dipierro on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 07:43:25 PM EST

I actually wasn't sure what the poster was talking about. I mean, ICANN isn't an internet governing body. They merely govern the use of a single optional service.

[ Parent ]
Optional service? (5.00 / 1) (#44)
by Neil Rubin on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 08:05:56 PM EST

They merely govern the use of a single optional service.
How optional is a service, really, if 99+ % of Internet users use it as part of every single Internet communication they conduct? I mean utilities like electricity, phone, water, and sewer are optional too, strictly speaking. Once everyone becomes locked into a system that depends on an "optional" service, it's no longer really optional.

Until ICANN's service actually is replaced, their actions and policies potentially have a great impact on how people are able to use the Internet.

[ Parent ]

IP Adressess? (none / 0) (#31)
by Xcyther on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 04:24:00 PM EST

LOL. i can just see that now.. 'whats that one IP for CNN, i just went there last week! oh yea.. http://64.236.24.28

_________________________________________
"Insydious" -- It's not as bad as you think

[ Parent ]
search engines and bookmarks (4.00 / 4) (#32)
by ethereal on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 04:27:17 PM EST

When was the last time you either

  • Found located a business/organization by cold-typing its name into your address bar, or
  • Typed the name of an existing site into your address box in order to return to it regularly?

Especially since domain names are oversold, arbitrary, and confusing to guess, people will find things more and more through search engines (and more advanced search tools that know things like "if you liked site A, you'll probably like site B"). And when people want to return to a site, they'll use their bookmarks more than just typing in the name.

By these standards, most domain names over five or six characters were already broken from the start, they just didn't know it at the time :)

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

For new mass customers perhaps (none / 0) (#50)
by ph317 on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 12:58:14 AM EST


Perhaps this holds true for new mass customers - like a shopping site or something.  But there are also web-based businesses that cater to a small relatively static paying clientele.  These businesses acquire new customers outside of the internet, who pay service fees to have a permanent account in some specialized online service with a well-known domain name.  Sure they bookmark it pretty quick, but that doesn't alleviate the need for a name.

Even for the sites that do mainly rely on search engine hits for revenue - it's nice to have a recongnizable domain name for people to return to from another computer, or to recommend to their freinds.  Simply searching for the name of the business you or your freind used before in a search engine isn't good enough, competitors will create spell/sound-alike names.  Then search services will start offering unique identifiers people can lookup in the search tool to find your exact company, and then we're basically using a DNS system all over again, just a manual one.

[ Parent ]

One thing domain names are good for: (4.00 / 1) (#64)
by carbon on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 03:16:55 PM EST

They're good for putting a permanent handle on a site with a changing IP address. For example, you could upgrade a web server without taking down the old one, by merely putting them both on the same network, having the newer one mirror the old one, updating the DNS records to point to the new one.

Then, after everyone's DNS cache is assuredly no longer pointing to the old IP (after, say, a week or so) you can take down the old machine and use it for something else. This way, you don't lose services for a single moment, perhaps important for a heavily visited site.


Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
Re: search engines and bookmarks (5.00 / 2) (#65)
by zakj on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 03:23:43 PM EST

When was the last time you either
  • Found located a business/organization by cold-typing its name into your address bar, or
  • Typed the name of an existing site into your address box in order to return to it regularly?
The WWW is not all there is to the Internet. For just one example, would you rather list your email address as someone@example.com or someone@192.168.237.25?

[ Parent ]
Destroy ICANN (5.00 / 1) (#10)
by krek on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 01:44:11 PM EST

First off, I am not fully versed in the details of domain registration and all of the technology that goes along with it, so this is more of an idea that I am throwing out there than a concrete plan.

Would it be possible, technologically speaking, to 'steal' control of the domain name management? I realise that ICANN, and some others, have effectively cordoned off control and established themselves as the fascist dictator of all things domain name related, but that is only from a legal and business standpoint. How is it that ICANN has managed to co-opt this very important function of the web as their own? Is there not a way to, for a lack of a better term, hack the system and take away their monopoly, returning control of domain names to the people? Or, if that is too idealistic for you; is there any way to make it so that ICANN, or any other would be dictator, wouldn't ever be able to establish such a choke-hold on the system again?

How did they manage to establish their monopoly?
How are they maintaining their monopoly?
How can we destroy their monopoly?
How do we prevent future monopolies of domain name control?

We could wait until the law gets it's head out of it's arse, but by then it is likely that this will be a moot point and rescuing a 'free and open' internet will be a quaint and nostalgic idea, or, we could take matters into our own hands, digital vigilantism if you will.

I don't know, thoughts anyone?

Almost Mutually Exclusive (4.00 / 1) (#18)
by limekiller on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 03:04:29 PM EST

You could do this easily enough by usurping the roots, but roots without a concensus is pointless.

Regards,
Jason

[ Parent ]

Still need verisign (4.00 / 1) (#62)
by sgp on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 01:17:06 PM EST

We'd still need Verisign and the likes, though - it's them who cnn.com and the other biggies are registered with.

ICANN are just doing what Verisign want. If we started a.root-servers.kuro5hin.org and everyone started using it, it'd still point to Verisign, who'd keep screwing their customers.

That's how I understand it, anyway...

There are 10 types of people in the world:
Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

[ Parent ]

Almost (4.00 / 1) (#67)
by limekiller on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 03:32:19 PM EST

sgp writes:
"ICANN are just doing what Verisign want."

That's the problem. The internet community has a lot more voices than just Verisign. And they all screamed "no!" Unfortunately, money didn't talk in this case, it yodeled.

"If we started a.root-servers.kuro5hin.org and everyone started using it, it'd still point to Verisign, who'd keep screwing their customers. That's how I understand it, anyway..."

Incorrect. The nameservers point to the roots. The roots point to the machines that hand out the content. If you successfully set up new roots, they're out of the loop. However doing that is pretty much impossible, afaik.

Regards,
Jason

[ Parent ]

Explanation (5.00 / 1) (#35)
by upsilon on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 05:05:25 PM EST

To somebody without much knowledge of the DNS system, limekiller's reply to the parent of this comment may not make much sense. So, I shall attempt to clarify, and explain DNS at the same time for those who don't understand it.

Here's how DNS works: When you go to www.cnn.com, your computer looks up the IP address for www.cnn.com at your local DNS server. If that DNS server doesn't have it, it goes out looking for it.

There are 13 root DNS servers world-wide. So first we ask one of these 13 (chosen at pseudo-random) about www.cnn.com. They effectively reply, "No, don't know anything about www.cnn.com, but we can tell you who knows more about .com" and points you at one of Verisign's machines (for it is they who run the entire .com domain).

We then ask Verisign for the IP of www.cnn.com, and Verisign's "com" DNS server tells us "No, I don't know that one, but I do know about cnn.com" and points us to the DNS server for the cnn.com domain, TWDNS-01.NS.AOL.com (among others).

So we ask TWDNS-01.NS.AOL.com for www.cnn.com, and it tells us, "I know that one!" and gives us the IP address. This result is cached by your nameserver for a prescribed period, and returned to your machine, and life goes on. (Note that if you're looking for www.foobar.cnn.com, you go through one more iteration of this process...)

So how do you overthrow ICANN, who runs those 13 root servers? You don't. However, you can set up a bunch of new root servers and then you just have to convince all the nameservers of the world to use those root servers instead of ICANN's.

If that sounds difficult... it is.
--
Once, I was the King of Spain.
[ Parent ]

True & Job (none / 0) (#36)
by limekiller on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 05:11:09 PM EST

Yeah, what he said. Actually, I have no idea what I was thinking when I posted it. =)

Regards,
Jason

PS: Upsilon, the Leafs called while you were out. Said they needed you on Saturday.

[ Parent ]

They got there first (5.00 / 1) (#37)
by JahToasted on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 05:19:21 PM EST

Just like a lot of other monopolists, they got there stranglehold by getting there first. Now that everyone uses their root servers its hard to get everyone to change.

What can you do? Well you could write your ISP and ask them to point their DNS servers at a different root. OpenNIC is trying to start a new root so you could point your ISP in that direction. Basically OpenNIC offers all the same names that ICANN does (all current URLs will still work) but offers some new top level domains (TLD) in addition.

You could also set up your own DNS server (if you run a REAL OS), but that's kinda a technical thing to do.

Inertia is a powerful force so ISPs aren't going to move to a new system anytime soon. But if enough customers put on the pressure, maybe a change could start...
______
"I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
[ Parent ]

Why instead of ? (none / 0) (#75)
by PullNoPunches on Sat Aug 31, 2002 at 05:52:47 PM EST

Couldn't anybody just put a server on the web that would translate domain names into IP adresses? Why does anybody have to use only one? All ".fred" domain lookups are routed to Fred's server, while all ".com" lookups go through ICANN's server. This routing could be done at the ISP level.

------------------------

Although generally safe, turmeric in large doses may cause gastrointestinal problems or even ulcers. -- Reader's Digest (UK)
[ Parent ]

Concensus (none / 0) (#78)
by limekiller on Mon Sep 02, 2002 at 03:34:19 PM EST

PullNoPunches writes:
"Couldn't anybody just put a server on the web that would translate domain names into IP adresses? Why does anybody have to use only one? All ".fred" domain lookups are routed to Fred's server, while all ".com" lookups go through ICANN's server. This routing could be done at the ISP level."

I'm with you in spirit, but in order to do this, it requires consensus.

Suppose I have a server. I want to hand out .quux domain names. So I give you blah.quux. Suppose Rusty here decides *he* wants to administer .quux, and he hands out blah.quux to someone else. When someone wants blah.quux, who do they get? The answer is "Whoever their machine is querying for the answer/resolution." So you need to have a central authority. Right now that's someone who most people don't want there, but they're who everyone is pointing at, so...

[ Parent ]

Snapnames (4.50 / 8) (#14)
by mortisimo on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 02:27:00 PM EST

Snapnames is a joke. One of my clients used their service to try to get back their domain name from a former employee of his company. Snapnames charged him twice and did absolutely nothing to secure the domain even after the original registration expired. After asking for a refund they magically acquired the domain less than 12 hours later and registered it. Of course they did NOT register it with the registrar information he provided but to one of their partner sites(Verisign).

Total scam.

completely agree (4.40 / 5) (#28)
by Burning Straw Man on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 04:01:28 PM EST

Just had my "credit" expire. I had a domain on "snap-back" for over 3 months while it was "expired".

Oh well. Only thing to do, really, is never do business with them again, and make sure nobody I know will, either.
--
your straw man is on fire...
[ Parent ]

waitlist ICANN! (4.33 / 3) (#59)
by dvchka on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 11:15:38 AM EST

the domains icann.com, org, and net are available to waitlist on snapnames.com... who wants it?

[ Parent ]
Mentioned it a while ago. (1.66 / 3) (#74)
by rustybot on Sat Aug 31, 2002 at 05:10:36 PM EST

This website's readers and management system in 1995.

but yeah, that look of their partner sites(verisign). Total scam.

[ Parent ]
Oversight? (4.66 / 3) (#33)
by ethereal on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 04:30:09 PM EST

So, how much abuse can ICANN dish out before the U.S. Commerce Department or some other governmental organization decides to reign them in? I refuse to believe that there is no way to control these people; it's just a matter of ICANN getting greedy enough to start to hit the front page.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Hubris (4.33 / 3) (#34)
by limekiller on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 04:33:41 PM EST

This just might be the straw, ethereal. I'm really hoping it is. ICANN stated, in front of congress, that they represent their constituency, and this is clear, bona fide indication that they do not. What's particularly disturbing is that they are displaying this hubris while their control of the domains is being reviewed. This shows that they are extremely stupid or extremely sure that they can get away with it.

[ Parent ]
DNS is relative (5.00 / 1) (#48)
by Tau on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 09:54:27 PM EST

Even if Congress does not reign them in, ICANN's power base rests sqarely on one small file: DB.ROOT

If enough people get seriously pissed off with their damn hijinx they'll quite quickly be reminded by just how vaporous their power really is. The problem is, who's going to be the one focal point that will be the architect of the new hierarchy? the group with the most influence of course, and no prizes for guessing that by and large $$$ -> Influence. Sigh, well, we shall see I guess...

---
WHEN THE REVOLUTION COMES WE WILL MAKE SAUSAGES OUT OF YOUR FUCKING ENTRAILS - TRASG0
[ Parent ]

Difficult (5.00 / 1) (#51)
by Quila on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 03:35:20 AM EST

If one of their own board of directors has to go to court just to exercise his legal right to review corporate documents without undue restriction, we don't have much of a chance. They tried to play a waiting game, dragging both his request and the case until his term was up (and changing the rules so there would be no more like him in the future), but it looks like he'll get at least a couple of months of access.

[ Parent ]
I am struggling to care about this (1.00 / 2) (#39)
by imrdkl on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 05:33:21 PM EST

The real problem in this case is not with ICANN. It's the scavenging registrars and squatters, after all, who are going to lose big. ICANN is simply taking it's rightful place back at the head of the pack of vultures.

There will still be a market for the name-scavengers after this, I suppose. Many names won't be insured, or pre-sold, after all. What will be nice for some, imho, is that if we forget to re-register, we can still avoid the gouging that occurs. Naturally, that also implies that the current owner should have first rights to but this "insurance", and I'll bet that gets changed eventually.

No! (5.00 / 3) (#43)
by limekiller on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 07:53:05 PM EST

This doesn't put an end to domain name scavenging, it facilitates it. It used to be that resellers would just hammer away at the servers trying to get a domain the second it drops. This just time-shifts and offers them a ticket. No more guessing. You have a ticket and if it drops, it's yours.

The only difference now is that rather than ICANN getting $6 for the domain when it expires, they created a situation in which either the legitimate domain owner or the speculator -- they really don't care which -- ponies up about $40 as a non-refundable fee.

Think about that.

[ Parent ]

Like I said (none / 0) (#45)
by imrdkl on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 08:28:04 PM EST

The insurance rights have value to someone who forgets to register occasionally. Other than that, there's bound to be some gambling going on, but I really dont see squatting on these "salvage rights" as any more enforceable that squatting on the domain itself, if there is a legitimate owner already. There's sure to be a court test of this within 1 hour of the first big company to find someone in line to get their domain before they are?

[ Parent ]
Bonkers (4.50 / 2) (#47)
by limekiller on Wed Aug 28, 2002 at 09:33:20 PM EST

imrdkl writes:
"The insurance rights have value to someone who forgets to register occasionally."

Okay, let me see if I have this straight.

You have a domain. It's registered until January of 2003. You can either spend $60 to:

(a) Renew it until 2010.
(b) Buy an insurance policy in case you forget to renew it.

And your argument is that option (b) is somehow valid? Who the hell would do that??

"Other than that, there's bound to be some gambling going on, but I really dont see squatting on these "salvage rights" as any more enforceable that squatting on the domain itself, if there is a legitimate owner already."

THAT'S THE !@#$ING POINT! This does nothing whatsoever to protect the rightful owners and only shifts the grey market and installs Verisign as the middleman with a guaranteed cut!

" There's sure to be a court test of this within 1 hour of the first big company to find someone in line to get their domain before they are?"

You can't cybersquat on "Sony.com" because it's a registered trademark but you can sure as hell cybersquat on "UnitedCleaners.com," can't you? Do you know how many companies named "Joe's Towing" exist in the U.S.? Who has rights to that?

Not only are you stunningly unaware of what you're talking about, you have a disturbing inability to see the dead obvious coupled with the hubris to not even bother to try. I won't be replying again no matter how asinine your reply.

[ Parent ]

Shrug (none / 0) (#55)
by imrdkl on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 08:59:50 AM EST

Business is business.

[ Parent ]
business is business? (5.00 / 1) (#60)
by cyn on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 12:33:50 PM EST

so you're in full support of Them taking money and offloading and responsibility to the courts system to decide?

BULLSHIT.

They're already horrid about losing domains inadvertantly and screwing up transfers - whether that improves or not, the problem is that this "waiting list" is a joke. You pay yearly, to get the rights to a domain in case it is deregistered, accidentally dropped, or otherwise. It wouldn't even be reasonable to do a one-time fee, because it kicks off even if it's dropped accidentally by them.

"Hey Bill, I need some lunch money. We got it in petty cash?"
"Hold on. <deletes a domain> We do now."

-cyn

[ Parent ]
Funny (5.00 / 1) (#61)
by limekiller on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 12:51:52 PM EST

cyn wrote:
"Hey Bill, I need some lunch money. We got it in petty cash?"
"Hold on. <deletes a domain> We do now."

ROTFLMAO!

I made a blunder by not spelling it out in the original post that this is a per year, per domain, unrefundable fee. *sigh

Regards,
Jason

[ Parent ]

I support consistency (2.00 / 1) (#63)
by imrdkl on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 02:39:23 PM EST

I'd rather pay them 30 bucks a year in case I forget than pay the vultures 5000 if I actually do. Would you not agree?

[ Parent ]
Nitwit (5.00 / 1) (#66)
by limekiller on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 03:28:32 PM EST

imrdkl writes:
"I'd rather pay them 30 bucks a year in case I forget than pay the vultures 5000 if I actually do. Would you not agree?"

You'd pay $30/yr (nevermind that it's actually more like $60) to protect your domain in case you forget to renew it instead of paying the $8 to actually renew it.

That's brilliant. I dream of having customers like you.

Regards,
Jason

[ Parent ]

There's one born (5.00 / 1) (#68)
by imrdkl on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 05:11:28 PM EST

every minute. And there's never a lack of people around to tell us who they are. Keep up the good work, sucker.

[ Parent ]
What about the people who tried to steal my domain (5.00 / 4) (#49)
by chipr on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 12:07:47 AM EST

I've already been victimized by scoundrels who tried to hijack my domain.

My concern is this grey-market service opens up an avenue by which they could mount a new attack.  It's a two step process, and the first shoe has fallen.  First, you buy into the grey-market by buying WLS on a domain.  Then, you find some way to rattle the domain loose.  At that point it falls into your hands--game over.

Before, there wasn't strong incentive to bust the system, because there was no guarantee that a domain shaken loose would fall into your lap. WLS changes that.

I don't know if there exists a hack right now that can shake a domain loose so that it falls to the WLS holder.  It scares me, however, ICANN has even opened up that avenue.

From Dotster... (5.00 / 1) (#52)
by SwampGas on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 04:06:45 AM EST

The people over at Dotster (where I have all my domains registered) aren't pleased about the whole ordeal.

Here's an email all the customers of Dotster received on the 27th:

Dear Dotster customers,

Over the past few weeks we've been keeping you updated on the domain name wait listing service (WLS) proposed by VeriSign and SnapNames. I wanted to let you know that last Friday, ICANN voted yes on adoption of the proposal. They voted yes, even though the ICANN WLS Task Force soundly rejected its adoption. They voted yes, even though the outpouring of angry consumer voices on the ICANN WLS forums and petitions clearly demonstrated that not many were in favor of its adoption. Despite our best efforts to lead a charge against this proposal, it has been accepted, and we must do our best to move forward with it now.

Many of you have shown your support of open competition in the secondary market by e-mailing me, signing the anti-WLS petition, and posting comments on the forum. From all of us at Dotster, thank you so much for your support. Dotster is currently going through the appeals process, so we remain optimistic that things will work out in favor of consumers. Whatever ends up happening in the end, I promise that Dotster will try to work within the new system to bring the most benefit to you, our customer.

I have put together a comprehensive document outlining the history of the WLS proposal, from its first introduction until last week's vote. The document also includes information on which registrars voted for and against the WLS -- the results may surprise you! I invite you to review this document by visiting http://web.dotster.com/resources/wlsresponse.php. Also, if you have any questions or comments about the decision, please feel free to e-mail them to me at wls@dotster.com.

Again, thank you for your continued support.

Clint Page, President
Dotster Inc.
Not sure if this is a PR move or if he genuinely thinks this sucks...but it's good to see one of the big registrars giving a damn about the little guys.

He probably genuinely thinks it sucks (4.00 / 1) (#53)
by Shren on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 06:56:22 AM EST

You have a customer. The customer has a domain. It's time for the customer to renew the domain but he hasn't sent you any cash, and you can't raise him on the phone. You have a pair of options.
  1. Renew the domain and hope the customer pays you eventually.
  2. Let this new ICANN suck-ass 'service' take your customer's domain.
With the first, you're out money if he doesn't pay. With the second, you've lost a customer - and if the check arives in the mail a minute after you've lost the domain, you've really lost a customer - said customer probably will grab a different domain registrar next time.

[ Parent ]
Dotster is good (4.00 / 1) (#54)
by Quila on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 08:49:23 AM EST

They've always had the idea of success through giving the customer value, not in ripping off the customer, which seems to be Verisign's business model.

I'm staying with them.

[ Parent ]

So, what's the difference? (none / 0) (#76)
by popov on Sun Sep 01, 2002 at 11:59:32 AM EST

What's the difference between WLS and Dotster's Name Winner service?

Register hot domain names the instant they expire! Drops are now occuring daily.


[ Parent ]
No big problem for me (1.80 / 5) (#56)
by sypher on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 09:18:39 AM EST

If people can't look after their domains (enough at least to ensure they don't expire) then I have no sympathy for them, and have nothing against the WLS (though i won't be a customer).

It is a good thing if nothing else, because it will clear out the squatters who got domains 2-5 years ago and did nothing with them.

As for DNS hijacking, you can try (without using lawyers) social engineering at the registrar or by paying to repoint the domain (if the registrar is a chump).

The squatters rarely check their domains anyhow, so they dont even know they have been hijacked 9/10 times.

This isn't really a huge thing in my opinion.

If you own a domain you should look after it, period or you lose it.

What was it Ben Franklin said? ' You don't buy beer, you only rent it.'

ICANN are simply being logical with this.

I dreamt of it once, now I fear it dreams of me

Already cleared (none / 0) (#57)
by Quila on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 10:32:11 AM EST

It is a good thing if nothing else, because it will clear out the squatters who got domains 2-5 years ago and did nothing with them.

These are already cleared out. The registration lapses and they go into the pool. As mentioned, the bad thing about this is that shady people and businesses can put a reserve on your name so that even the slightest screw up on your part or the part of the registrar gives them the name. At least before it fell into the pool, giving the bad guy only as much chance as everyone else of getting it.

[ Parent ]

Missed It (5.00 / 1) (#58)
by limekiller on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 10:47:58 AM EST

sypher writes:
"If people can't look after their domains (enough at least to ensure they don't expire) then I have no sympathy for them, and have nothing against the WLS (though i won't be a customer)."

You have utterly missed the issue. I made it a point to not insult my audience by not spoon feeding it to them, but you seem to have slipped through the cracks. The point is that ICANN has done two things:

(a) Made it necessary to purchase this service. Even if you're the most vigilant guy in the world, accidents happen. But now, if the accident does happen (and you can't pretend they haven't, they have, I've seen it, and I've seen it several times).
(b) Installed themselves as a middleman reaping the benefits of this forced purchase.

"As for DNS hijacking, you can try (without using lawyers) social engineering at the registrar or by paying to repoint the domain (if the registrar is a chump)."

Or put in for a transfer request with another registrar and pray they don't read their email. Normally, the process is that the request is sent to the registrant contact for declination and if one isn't recieved, it's transferred.

"The squatters rarely check their domains anyhow, so they dont even know they have been hijacked 9/10 times."

Yeah, and Joe's Plumbing (joesplumbing.com), I'm sure he's a huge fan of the internet and reads his email religiously. But again, this isn't the point.

"This isn't really a huge thing in my opinion."

Yeah, you've mentioned that.

"ICANN are simply being logical with this."

The technical merits, as bad as they are, are not the issue. The problem is that ICANN just ignored waaaay over the 2/3rds majority needed by their own bylaws to form a consensus and ran this through anyway.

One thing I hate about slashdot is the "Death By Disagreement" modding down. You, however, should be modded as a troll not because I disagree with you but because you haven't even bothered to rub two neurons together to think this through, find out what the arguments against (and for) it are, or even so much as grasp the actual problem.

Regards,
Jason

[ Parent ]

My Comment (1.00 / 2) (#69)
by sypher on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 05:28:46 PM EST

was not intended as a reply to your article solely, after seeing earlier posts I wanted to comment generally.

K5 isn't your personal soapbox and your audience isn't purely here to listen to you whatever you may think.

I thought I raised some good issues in response to some of the comments posted, if this isn't what you wanted to read in a public forum, tough luck.

I do understand what this decision means, I fail to see how it affects me, my comments were an expansion upon this fact and the discussion that had already taken place.

Your snide remarks about 'rubbing two neurons together' (before commenting) and your implication that I did not read the article are just another opportunity for you to mount your soapbox it seems.

Maybe you can't use that fearsome wit flipping burgers, but you should still be nice to your customers.

I dreamt of it once, now I fear it dreams of me
[ Parent ]
Re: My Comment (5.00 / 2) (#70)
by limekiller on Thu Aug 29, 2002 at 08:22:33 PM EST

sypher writes:
"I thought I raised some good issues in response to some of the comments posted, if this isn't what you wanted to read in a public forum, tough luck. "

Ah! Trying to make this a "limekiller vs. K5" issue! Bad tactic, if I didn't respect k5 I wouldn't have bothered to spend a few hours researching it and writing it up.

So let's stay focused and take a look at your "good issues," shall we?

  1. "If people can't look after their domains (enough at least to ensure they don't expire) then I have no sympathy for them, and have nothing against the WLS (though i won't be a customer)."

    Domains dropping occurs anyway. Nobody is bitching that names drop. If you let your domain drop, your problem. The issue -- and you'd know this if you read the thing -- is that this does nothing in the way of protecting the consumer. It doesn't prevent dropping. It doesn't speed it up. It simply makes their non-refundable $60 per year per domain service a requirement if you want to guard against their screwups. Irrelevant, 100%, so it doesn't make it over the "good issues" bar. Sorry.

  2. "It is a good thing if nothing else, because it will clear out the squatters who got domains 2-5 years ago and did nothing with them."

    Domains don't get dropped any quicker under WLS, so this is sort of a meaningless statement.

  3. "As for DNS hijacking, you can try (without using lawyers) social engineering at the registrar or by paying to repoint the domain (if the registrar is a chump)."

    Utterly off-topic.

  4. "The squatters rarely check their domains anyhow, so they dont even know they have been hijacked 9/10 times."

    Utterly off-topic.

  5. "This isn't really a huge thing in my opinion."

    The inability to recognize that ICANN introduced fire specifically so they could compell you to purchase fire insurance is hardly insightful. Failing to grasp the basics is not insightful.

  6. "If you own a domain you should look after it, period or you lose it."

    Not the issue.

  7. "What was it Ben Franklin said? ' You don't buy beer, you only rent it.'"

    ??

The one that qualifies as "good" eludes me.

sypher adds:
"I do understand what this decision means, I fail to see how it affects me, my comments were an expansion upon this fact and the discussion that had already taken place."

Apparently not. ICANN has acted uniliaterally, despite overwhelming concensus, to make a problem out of thin air. This has the immediate affect of screwing each and every middle-level domain holders, each and every future middle-level domain holder, and ...this is the part where you come in ...everybody who uses the internet, because the organization that has been entrusted with the keys to the house have declared they can do whatever they want with it, nyah nyah.

You're telling me that you both understand the issue and fail to see how this affects you? One or the other is false. If you think there is some flaw in my reasoning, by all means, speak up man!

"Your snide remarks about 'rubbing two neurons together' (before commenting) and your implication that I did not read the article are just another opportunity for you to mount your soapbox it seems."

Please don't get PC on me. If you act like an idiot, I'm going to call you an idiot. You're acting like an idiot. Granted, this may be ad hominem, but I've proven in spades why your argument doesn't hold without this, so consider my calling you an idiot to be entirely seperate from my actual dissection of your position. Whining at this point just ...well, makes you look whiny.

"Maybe you can't use that fearsome wit flipping burgers, but you should still be nice to your customers."

...so I guess you decided that you'd participate in the personal attacks. So much for your moral high ground. =)

sypher, K5 isn't my soapbox, the readers of K5 are not my 'subjects,' and if I thought it was, I'd be careful about flaming you. I could care less what K5 thinks of me, but I do care about people knowing what ICANN is pulling off very quietly, and I've accomplished that. Everything else is irrelevant. My only goal in lambasting you is perhaps shaming you into being more careful. I'm sure you're not actually stupid, but you were careless. So either just say so (or don't, I really don't care) and think before you post next time. We've all done it, I'm certainly not innocent of it.

Regards,
Jason

PS: If you want to discuss why I'm wrong, I'm all for it, but more blanket "I'm right, you're wrong," replies will be ignored. I'm sure you understand why.

[ Parent ]

Thanks for that (none / 0) (#77)
by sypher on Sun Sep 01, 2002 at 06:39:26 PM EST

I wasn't really wanting to spend the time responding to your challenge ( I know crayons are a shit for the helpers to erase from the monitors) but i thought i may once again try and show you that this forum isn't solely for your enjoyment.

Following the format you have chosen, let me consider the points you have made.

sypher writes: "I thought I raised some good issues in response to some of the comments posted, if this isn't what you wanted to read in a public forum, tough luck. "

Ah! Trying to make this a "limekiller vs. K5" issue! Bad tactic, if I didn't respect k5 I wouldn't have bothered to spend a few hours researching it and writing it up.

So let's stay focused and take a look at your "good issues," shall we?

As i stated, my comment wasn't solely made in response to yours, more a general answer considering the previous responses. This is known as 'listening to other peoples viewpoints and responding with additional discussion points', say you didnt type this at the labour exchange did you? I would hate to wait till next wednesday for your response.

1. "If people can't look after their domains (enough at least to ensure they don't expire) then I have no sympathy for them, and have nothing against the WLS (though i won't be a customer)."

Domains dropping occurs anyway. Nobody is bitching that names drop. If you let your domain drop, your problem. The issue -- and you'd know this if you read the thing -- is that this does nothing in the way of protecting the consumer. It doesn't prevent dropping. It doesn't speed it up. It simply makes their non-refundable $60 per year per domain service a requirement if you want to guard against their screwups. Irrelevant, 100%, so it doesn't make it over the "good issues" bar. Sorry.

Domain 'dropping' does not occur if you realise the value of your domain, you registered it for a reason, or you let your contract on the domain lapse, where it enters the WLS and is reassigned.

2. "It is a good thing if nothing else, because it will clear out the squatters who got domains 2-5 years ago and did nothing with them." Domains don't get dropped any quicker under WLS, so this is sort of a meaningless statement.

No, but the mechansism that will be created adds them to a for sale or lapsed list which legitamate people wanting the domain can reference through an 'almost' universal entity.

3. "As for DNS hijacking, you can try (without using lawyers) social engineering at the registrar or by paying to repoint the domain (if the registrar is a chump)." Utterly off-topic.

Huh? Isn't this totally the one good reason why this practice could not continue, with what i suppose will be a one, central registrar montoring domains toward the end of their paid tenancy?

4. "The squatters rarely check their domains anyhow, so they dont even know they have been hijacked 9/10 times." Utterly off-topic.

You answered the same before, maybe you didn't catch the fact i wasnt solely replying to your topic, but some of the discussion it fostered.

5. "This isn't really a huge thing in my opinion." The inability to recognize that ICANN introduced fire specifically so they could compell you to purchase fire insurance is hardly insightful. Failing to grasp the basics is not insightful.

I don't know why or why not ICANN should look after this aspect of the internet, sure its bound to be one in the eye for some, and going to be a bonus to others, its swings and roundabouts and has no real bearing on what i do with ICANN.

6. "If you own a domain you should look after it, period or you lose it." Not the issue.

What? then what is the issue if it is not private ownership of domains. When i register a domain, i register ir with a reputable source and pay to ensure it stays current.

7. "What was it Ben Franklin said? ' You don't buy beer, you only rent it.'" ??

That should have appeared at the end of my comment, along with something that I though i had pasted from an earlier comment, to show that under ICANN we only seem to be able to lease not buy domains forever, sorry my bad.

The one that qualifies as "good" eludes me.

Really. well as i tried to elude to earlier, i wasnt even replying to you.

sypher adds: "I do understand what this decision means, I fail to see how it affects me, my comments were an expansion upon this fact and the discussion that had already taken place." Apparently not. ICANN has acted uniliaterally, despite overwhelming concensus, to make a problem out of thin air. This has the immediate affect of screwing each and every middle-level domain holders, each and every future middle-level domain holder, and ...this is the part where you come in ...everybody who uses the internet, because the organization that has been entrusted with the keys to the house have declared they can do whatever they want with it, nyah nyah.

Read my earlier statement about how i think ICANN affects me.

You're telling me that you both understand the issue and fail to see how this affects you? One or the other is false. If you think there is some flaw in my reasoning, by all means, speak up man!

Nothing really that this 'decision' brings to bear affects me in the slightest.

"Your snide remarks about 'rubbing two neurons together' (before commenting) and your implication that I did not read the article are just another opportunity for you to mount your soapbox it seems." Please don't get PC on me. If you act like an idiot, I'm going to call you an idiot. You're acting like an idiot. Granted, this may be ad hominem, but I've proven in spades why your argument doesn't hold without this, so consider my calling you an idiot to be entirely seperate from my actual dissection of your position. Whining at this point just ...well, makes you look whiny.

You have proven how to turn a summary response into one that answers your comment solely when it was not made to do so, your additional comments are both unneccesary and beside the point, not to mention rude for no good reason.

"Maybe you can't use that fearsome wit flipping burgers, but you should still be nice to your customers." ...so I guess you decided that you'd participate in the personal attacks. So much for your moral high ground. =) sypher, K5 isn't my soapbox, the readers of K5 are not my 'subjects,' and if I thought it was, I'd be careful about flaming you. I could care less what K5 thinks of me, but I do care about people knowing what ICANN is pulling off very quietly, and I've accomplished that. Everything else is irrelevant. My only goal in lambasting you is perhaps shaming you into being more careful. I'm sure you're not actually stupid, but you were careless. So either just say so (or don't, I really don't care) and think before you post next time. We've all done it, I'm certainly not innocent of it.

I don't consider myself either stupid or careless, nor do i usually waste my time responding to people who aren't prepared to consider that other people have questions or opinions on the wider issues and debate your topic opened.

Regards, Sy

PS: If you want to discuss why I'm wrong, I'm all for it, but more blanket "I'm right, you're wrong," replies will be ignored. I'm sure you understand why.

I have never contested you were wrong, simply that you presumed i was replying solely to you, ignore whatever you like in my post, as i said, i dont personally see this move by ICANN to kill my world.

LOL, lighten up, realise that just because someone clicks reply to your story, they may be responding to the comments (not that I am saying the article was lame or anything, I enjoyed it).

I dreamt of it once, now I fear it dreams of me
[ Parent ]
No, you're not! (5.00 / 1) (#71)
by CaptainZapp on Fri Aug 30, 2002 at 05:26:19 AM EST

You're essentially buying liability insurance from the people that would cause the liability.

May I recommend, that you have a look at the Service Agreement of this racket called Verisign. Specifically this part should be of interest:

EXCLUSIVE REMEDY. YOU AGREE THAT OUR ENTIRE LIABILITY, AND YOUR EXCLUSIVE REMEDY, IN LAW, IN EQUITY, OR OTHERWISE, WITH RESPECT TO ANY VERISIGN SERVICE(S) PROVIDED UNDER THIS AGREEMENT AND/OR FOR ANY BREACH OF THIS AGREEMENT IS SOLELY LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT YOU PAID FOR SUCH SERVICE(S) DURING THE TERM OF THIS AGREEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL VERISIGN, ITS LICENSORS AND CONTRACTORS (INCLUDING THIRD PARTIES PROVIDING SERVICES AS PART OF THE SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE FOR WEBSITES FROM VERISIGN) BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES EVEN IF VERISIGN HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. TO THE EXTENT THAT A STATE DOES NOT PERMIT THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF LIABILITY AS SET FORTH HEREIN VERISIGN'S LIABILITY IS LIMITED TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW IN SUCH STATES.

There are other such gems in the agreement, which essentially state that whatever happens and whatever they do accidentally or by purpose, you're fucked and they have no liability whatsoever. This is quite different from an insurance, which is liable in case of a valid claim

There's a very simple solution to this problem. Take your business elsewhere and never, ever register your domains with Network Solutions (which still get a cut of 6$ on each .com, .net, etc registration)

Some misconceptions in the story and about domain (4.00 / 1) (#72)
by sipes on Fri Aug 30, 2002 at 07:40:23 PM EST

First off let me state clearly that I am in no way a fan of the WLS. It is quite clearly a scheme pushed forward by Network Solutions/Verisign, one of the ugliest monopolies I've ever dealt with, in cahoots with their anti-democratic counterparts at ICANN, to extort more money from Verisign's rapidly diminishing client base. That said, there are some definite misunderstandings underlying the story.

Let's start here:

[the WLS] has no mechanism whatsoever to guarantee that the current owner has first grant on the wait

This should be perfectly clear: Current domain name owners do not need to be guaranteed first place on the WLS, what the need is to do is renew their domain names on time. Imagine that holding a domain name is like have a lease that can be indefinitely extended, like the right to use 1-800-Dog-Food or a 99-year lease to occupy a storefront. Just because it is yours now does not mean you can use it forever without paying dues! In the case of domain names, your dues come up once a year, unless you pre-pay for more years. Once your domain name expires for failure to pay, you no longer have a right to use it. What's more, you are given a grace period of at least 45 days to come up with payment, depending on the registrar. So the only way a domain owner could lose "their" domain name is if they fail to pay on time, and then fail to pay within 45 days of being cut off. In that time they lose domain name service, so if the domain name lapses it's like a store owner who failed to make the next year's pay, had his boxes tossed out onto the street, was sent lots of warnings, and then when the storefront is promised to someone else they get all upset and fume, "Somebody stole MY domain name!".

And how about here:

Snapnames has already been selling this service prior to it being approved.

Actually, as noted in the some of the comments, what Snapnames has been offering is no guarantee. What they (promise) to do is check potentially expiring domain names for you and put in an automatic "buy" order as soon as the name might become unavailable. The basic problem that made Snapdomains is that domain names cost as little as $10 per year, but can be worth much more. That creates opportunities for arbitrage on worthwhile expiring domain names. Somebody is going to make money off this, either the registrars, the people who "snap" up valuable names, or third parties who give a helping hand to arbitrage or commercial buyers.

So the wait on your domain is only useful to someone who wants to get your domain to sell it back to you.

Again, if you lost "your" domain name because you failed to renew and ignored the late payment notices and ignored having your domain name cut off, and you still want it, then you should kiss the ass of the new owner, not call them "extortionists", as the author does. To call them extortionists is like bitching about people who moved into your rent-controlled storefront months after you decided to stop paying rent. The new occupants owe you nothing, and if they are kind enough to sell the space back to you then you should be grateful.

Good! (5.00 / 1) (#73)
by limekiller on Fri Aug 30, 2002 at 11:21:23 PM EST

First, I'm the author of the post.

Second, I voted your reply as a 4 because it was a clear, well thought-out critique of the story. I'm a huge fan of skepticism, and not just skepticism when it's someone else being shot up. Messages should always be modded up when they encourage discussion and always modded down when they stifle it, imo.

Finally, to answer some points.

First, you are incorrect on the first point and I'll explain why. Granted, if a person has "unitedcleaners.com," and they're sent a number of warnings, and they did something stupid like enter false contact info into the whois, then the domain drops, that's their fault and I have no problem with this in any way, shape or form. That's what happens now. Nobody is complaining about the guy who is a dumb***.

There are a number of problems. First, people are not always notified. Sure, sometimes people whine that they weren't notified, but sometimes they actually aren't. Second, domains are sometimes -- granted, rarely, but sometimes -- dropped by accident. If you have any doubt about this whatsoever, feel free to ask any employee of any registrar. Then, just for laughs (you're going to love this one), ask them who is the worst offender.

It happens. I've seen it happen. In fact I've seen it happen multiple times. But at least we seem to agree that there is nothing here that protects the original domain owner (because, if everything goes right, they don't need proection, and I agree).

Also, something that you might very well not be aware of, the 45-day grace period you spoke of? There are plenty of registries/registrars who actually leave nameservice turned on, so the owners never get that "oh crap where did my site go" reaction and call 10 minutes later.

The situation with most of these good domains that get expired and then picked up is that the person listed as billing contact leaves the company, switches email addresses, etc., so the end result, regardless of whose fault you chalk it up to, is that the original owner has to fork over $500 - $10,000 for some trivial oversight. NOBODY lets a good domain drop because they don't have $6.

Did you know that the technical specs for WHOIS allow three contacts per type (ie, three billing contacts, three admin contacts, three tech contacts)? Don't feel bad, nobody does. Show me one registrar that allows you to do this. If anything, it's just as easy to blame the whois structure as being unneccesarily restrictive. There is nothing, anywhere, that prevents this system from being implemented. But the customer can't use it if nobody offers it.

If we look at any other sort of lease in the real world, you'll notice that we don't have these sorts of problems (ie, they don't legitimately "forget"). You don't see people's cars getting reposessed because they bona fide forgot. And you can't accidentally reposess someone's car, there is real legal protection against that.

Your next point about Snapnames getting first dibs is noted but slightly off the mark, not so much in what it says but what it fails to address. I'm not suggesting that they're screwing their own customers, I'm suggesting that by creating this service before it was even voted upon put other people wishing to use the wait-list service at a distinct disadvantage when they were then miraculously given the right to control the whole scheme! It remains to be seen if they're going to be given the right to dump their names before anyone else's. This is sort of like some corner store selling a limited number of location-specific fishing licenses (remember, domain names are unique and fungible) to townfolk with no authority to do so, then the government comes along and gives them the right, so they *poof* make all of their own customer's licenses valid and now the best ones are gone. Seems kinda sketchy doesn't it?

But to tie this up, ...I'm a bit annoyed with myself. I felt that I should not insult my audience by spelling it out. This is not a veiled shot at you, honest, but I feel I have to be explicit here (as I have been in other spots). The problem is that ...well, here. Read Snapname's page:

"This isn't quite enough, though - SnapBack will protect you name by instantly notifying you of any change to registration records, alerting you to potential cyberjacking, site redirection, unauthorized transfers, or other perils. And if your name is accidentally deleted or cancelled, SnapBack will automatically attempt to re-register that name for you. "

This is clearly preying on the fear of a mistake that they had nothing to do with. In other words, "if you don't buy this, you could be buggered." The very company that is responsible for not letting these things happen (meaning those that are within their control, like accidental deletions) has no business in selling you insurance to protect against this happening. Yet they literally looked at the grey after-market, said, "Hey, we'd like a piece of that," and turned what was originally a "pick them up as they drop" mechanism into a "we'd like a piece of that action so we're going to scare the crap out of people and simultaneously install ourselves as the middlemen to the tune of $60/ea/yr, non-refundable." This has all SORTS of legal problems. In fact Dotster announced today that they will be definitely be mounting a legal battle against it.

But even THAT isn't the big issue. The biggest issue, the most damning of them all, is that this is the company that just swore to Congress that they represent their constituency, and just did something that their constituency was dead set against. That's the root of the issue.

Anyway, thanks for your reply. Jeeze that was a long reply.

Regards,
Jason

[ Parent ]

ICANN Approves Shady "Wait-listing Service" | 78 comments (61 topical, 17 editorial, 0 hidden)
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