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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...  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 Name Intelligence Responds to WLS Issue

Part of the stated reason for the high price point stated by Verisign was to "deter domain speculators" with a price that was high. If the price was set at $1, they claim, speculators would buy all the WLS subscriptions before any other people. So if Verisign is trying to really deter domain speculators then why are they not releasing information on who owns a WLS? Or limiting the number of WLS that a person can have. Seems like a shallow argument if the only deterring thing is raising more money for the Verisign monopoly rather than setting limits... more»

President of BuyDomains.com Responds to WLS Issue

Right now a person invents and registers a domain and must pay a yearly fee to a registrar (that registrar is supposed to have the right to compete). The registrar then has to pay their competitor (the registry Verisign monopoly) $6 as agreed to by ICANN and the Dept of Commerce. This would be fair so far if there was not a monopoly on the back end Registry. Each registrar does in fact get to play in this scenario. Now if the registrant chooses not to renew their domain after it expires the name ceases to exist by default, since it's not legal if unpaid. THERE IS NO SCENARIO WHEREIN THE GOVERNMENT EVER CONTEMPLATED VERISIGN OWNING OR CONTROLLING THIS DOMAIN INVENTED BY A COMMON CONSUMER, ONCE EXPIRED, AS THE WLS ATTEMPTS. more»

SnapNames: Why the WLS is Better for Consumers

In 2002, VeriSign, the registry for .COM and .NET domain names, proposed the idea of a centralized, registry-level "wait list" for currently registered domain names. The system would let anyone around the world get "next in line" for a name that is registered now but may become available later.

This new registry service, titled Wait List System (or WLS), would augment what is now an ad-hoc group of registrar-level services that are useful, but aren't always fully dependable or even available to the general public. more»

President of Tucows Responds to WLS Issue

I will try and take a different approach with this post. There are two elements of WLS that I think are most material and are not discussed often enough. They are i) the scope of the original NSI-ICANN contract and ii) the use of multiple accreditations.

...Verisign is paid a sum of money to perform a service. They own neither the primary nor the secondary data. I will not bore you with a recitation of various sections of the agreement nor with long-winded legal arguments. They are for another forum. The implication of this conclusion as it relates to WLS is that any re-registration market service is outside the scope of the original contract and should be treated as any new service should. 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»

Register.com's Director of Policy Responds to WLS Issue

Register.com has not taken a position for or against WLS. If and when the registry launches this service, Register.com will consider whether to offer it based on the price and conditions attached to the service. We are committed to delivering to our customers the best in class services available. Therefore, the registry's price will be an important factor. Moreover, we are concerned about some of the conditions currently being considered by ICANN - primarily, the "black out period." This is a period of time prior to the final deletion of a name, during which a registrar would be prohibited from selling a WLS subscription on a domain name that it sponsors. We consider this a condition that could confuse consumers and dampen domain name competition. more»

WLS & Recourse to the DOC

ICANN's recently posted "Seventh Status Report" states: "ICANN's Board of Directors voted 14-1 to take no action in response to the request, on the grounds that the decision to allow the Wait-Listing Service to be offered was not a threat to competition...".

Several firms that currently offer competing services have signaled (pdf) that they are not in agreement with this assessment. 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»

Domain Registrars File Lawsuit Against ICANN

Members of the Domain Justice Coalition filed a lawsuit today requesting a temporary restraining order and other relief against ICANN to block the implementation of a domain name Wait Listing Service (WLS). The WLS was proposed by VeriSign, Inc. (pdf) and approved by ICANN in federal court in Los Angeles. The suit challenges ICANN's failure to comply with its internal decision-making process requirements when it approved implementation of the WLS in the face of opposition from domain name registrars, resellers and consumers. more»

Moving Target: Spammer Using Over 1000 Home Computers as DNS

Some individual appears to have hijacked more than a 1,000 home computers starting in late June or early July and has been installing a new Trojan Horse program on them. The Trojan allows this person to run a number of small websites on the hijacked home computers. These websites consists of only a few web pages and apparently produce income by directing sign-ups to for-pay porn websites through affiliate programs. Spam emails messages get visitors to come to the small websites.

To make it more difficult for these websites to be shut down, a single home computer is used for only 10 minutes to host a site. After 10 minutes, the IP address of the website is changed to a different home computer... more»

ICANN Approves At-Large Framework for Latin America

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) recently launched organizing of the individual Internet user community (At-Large) for increasing global participation and representation in ICANN. Under a framework approved by ICANN's Board of Directors, local and regional groups may now form in Latin America to involve their members in critical issues that effect their use of the Internet's domain name system. more»

Pool.com Launches ICANN Lawsuit Against WLS

Pool.com has launched a lawsuit challenging the right of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to proceed with a monopolistic new Wait List Service (WLS) this fall.

In a Statement of Claim filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Pool.com states that the new "WLS proposed by ICANN and Verisign Inc. will have the immediate and total effect of ending all competition among Registrars for dropped or deleted domain names" in the rapidly developing backordering industry. Pool.com seeks a court injunction preventing ICANN from proceeding with the WLS, a declaration that ICANN's actions constitute intentional and wrongful interference with Pool.com's trade and commercial prospects, as well as significant damages.  more»

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