Home / Blogs

ICANN GNSO Votes to Kill Domain Tasting

John Levine

Domain tasting is the disreputable practice of registering lots of domains, seeing how much traffic they get, and then using the five day Add Grace Period to refund the 99.9% of them that aren't worth paying for. A related abuse is front running, registrars speculatively grabbing domains that people inquire about to prevent them from using a different registrar.

In January, the ICANN board voted (also here) to make their 20 cent per domain fee non-refundable, effective probably in the next budget year which would be 2009. That would deter the highest volume tasters but as other people have pointed out, it wouldn't have much effect against front running if the 20 cent fee might lock in a $30 registration and a $100 hosting package.

The ICANN Generic Names Supporting Organization has had tasting on its agenda since last fall, with a staff report issued in January, and a proposed anti-tasting policy written in March. On Thursday the 17th, the GNSO put the proposed policy to a vote, and it passed overwhelmingly. Under ICANN rules, the ICANN board has to take up the resolution at its next meeting, and since it was approved by a supermajority, it becomes ICANN policy unless 2/3 of the board votes against it, which in this case is unlikely. So unless the board ignores its own rules (not for the first time) the GNSO resolution will shortly be ICANN policy.

This particular policy will kill tasting and front running dead. It quite simply says that registries can only refund 10% of a registrar's net new monthly registrations, with a floor of 50 for tiny registrars, and a narrowly written exception process for unusual screwups. (In particular: "'extraordinary circumstances' which reoccur regularly will not be deemed extraordinary.")

I can't wait to see what happens at the next board meeting. At the March 27th meeting the board punted front running to the GNSO, clearly hoping that it would go away for a long time, and now, it's back!

By John Levine, Author, Consultant & Speaker. More blog posts from John Levine can also be read here.

Related topics: DNS, ICANN

WEEKLY WRAP — Get CircleID's Weekly Summary Report by Email:

Comments

Re: ICANN GNSO Votes to Kill Domain Tasting Larry Seltzer  –  Apr 29, 2008 2:02 PM PDT

It will certainly cripple tasters, I'm not sure it will kill tasting altogether. I wish they just axed the whole grace period since it never benefits end users. Can any of you name a registrar that lets customers cancel within the grace period for a refund?

To post comments, please login or create an account.

Related Blogs

Related News

Topics

Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

Auctions Update: MMX Wins .law and .vip

The Latest Internet Plague: Random Subdomain Attacks

Digging Deep Into DNS Data Discloses Damaging Domains

DotConnectAfrica Contributes at the 9th IGF in Istanbul, Turkey

Nominum Announces Future Ready DNS

DotConnectAfrica Trust Responds to ICANN 50 GAC Advice, Updates on .Africa Application IRP Status

ICANN London Recap Webinar

Victorian Government & ARI Agree to Long-Term .melbourne Partnership

Dyn Acquires Internet Intelligence Company, Renesys

Introducing getdns: a Modern, Extensible, Open Source API for the DNS

Why We Decided to Stop Offering Free Accounts

Tony Kirsch Announced As Head of Global Consulting of ARI Registry Services

24 Million Home Routers Expose ISPs to Massive DNS-Based DDoS Attacks

Afilias Chairman Appointed to Domain Name Association Board

SPECIAL: Updates from the ICANN Meetings in Singapore

Dyn Acquires Managed DNS Provider Nettica

DotConnectAfrica Statement Regarding NTIA's Intent to Transition Key Internet Domain Name Function

Afilias Joins Internet Technical Leaders in Welcoming IANA Globalization Progress

Why Managed DNS Means Secure DNS

SPECIAL: Video Interviews from NamesCon 2014 in Las Vegas

Sponsored Topics