This is a guest post by Michael Mann, who is responsible for this content.
Michael started and later sold, BuyDomains.com, and was a pioneer in the domain industry. Michael more recently started a charitable organization GrassRoots.org whose banners frequent appear across networks of parked pages:
“”””In this case the illegal hoarding of domains by registrars, started by NSI, in cahoots with SnapNames and now NameJet who won monopolistice contracts from the hoarding monopoly, has been going on for some time.
Register.com was quick to catch on too.
Its incredibly illegal and against the interests of domain consumers. Whether the name is a good name and sold or auctioned is irrelevant. The registrars have a conflict and are happy when a good name of their customers is not re-registered. They can establish no legal rights at all to the domain, can only steal and hoard it.
It becomes “uninvented” once unpaid and if legally deleted, its up to the next registrant in line to “re-invent” and re-register an unlimited number of variations and just register the ones they want.
Moreover they don’t have the skills to create value in the names anyhow, they have no idea what their values are or how to monetize them, and count on value added speculators to subsidize their illegal activities.
Suffice to say that NSI, RCOM, Tucows and ICANN are totally full of crap and in cahoots working on this scam.
They are an unregulated mob conspiring to work against the interests of domain consumers and all domain registrants and people who care about fairness should fight.
However the WLS proposed by Verisign several years ago is also unfair. I wrote about this extensively years ago when the proposal was introduced and I repeat that I made then about the WLS:
“”””””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) 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.
Once it ceases to exist, according to the years long practice of being deleted, it is then available to be “re-invented” and re-registered. Any registrar is supposed to have the right to register any domain that is not currently owned by someone else including all the ones that once existed.
There is absolutely no excuse for the name to revert to Verisign for them to resell to the market at massively inflated rates – and obviously it breaches current government agreements for it to be over in any case.
The current drop system is very fair.
Every ICANN registrar gets the exact same number of connections and has an equal chance of getting a name for any of their customers who request the purchase. There are ample resources, funds, and profits at Verisign to support the existing structure. As proposed, the current systems will still exist in parallel with the WLS, and the vast majority of names would be purchased at the former since they are less expensive. In justifying the WLS, Verisign has claimed they seek to cut the costs of the Registry systems. Are they now saying running two systems in parallel will be less expensive than one? If it is less expensive then why an increase in prices?
They already appear inept at running the current system even with about 0 Million a year in Registry revenue, most of which is likely profits. Should they now get to take another market without the explicit approval of the Commerce Department, who originally only authorized a fee and thereby attempted to control the monopoly?
Did Verisign offer to let another company control the WLS in the name of the \”fairness\” they pretend to be concerned with? Why should Verisign be the monopolist of the WLS as opposed to a competitor?
Also the Verisign Registrar is the current registrar of record for the vast majority of names being deleted due to the 20 Million plus legacy domains inherited from their former NSI monopoly. They control and are the only ones who know when these 20 million domains are going to be deleted (if ever) and therefore have an unfair advantage in selling WLS subscriptions via their Registrar (the other side of their hollow Chinese wall).
Illegally Selling Options Contracts:
Also disturbing is that the WLS ultimately proposes selling an option on someone else’s property.
There is oftentimes no service even performed, if the name is renewed by its owner.
I imagine Verisign will get sued by many companies who didn’t appreciate their property being auctioned off while they were still a domain customer in paid status and in good standing.
All the while Verisign proposes to take money on any given domain three or more times plus all the yearly renewals, once from the current registrant; and a second payment of from whoever gets on the “waiting list” through their registrar of choice; and actually a third time if the target domain is deleted via the WLS process and turns in to a new registration that would be yet another $6.86 for their Registry and another -$35 if it’s the Verisign Registar’s customer. Then the cycle can repeat itself endlessly if someone else places a WLS subscription.
I firmly believe that the government, ICANN, competitors, and consumers must be assertive in preventing this illegitimate service from ever reaching market before further harm is done to domain consumers.””