Its that time again, for our second annual Turkeys of the Year awards.
This is how I started off last years post and unfortunately all of its still applicable, so I will repeat it here:
“With so many people out of work; losing their homes, companies out of business and retirement plans wiped out, as an industry, we are very, very fortunate.”
Here are our Turkeys of the Year:
1. Halvarez. First and foremost on the hit parade is the bidder know as Halvarez which was identified as Nelson Brady, one of the founders of Snapnames.com and a shareholder and officer of the company that owned Snapnames.com when it was acquired by Oversee.net for a reported $25 Million dollars.
In the wake of this scandal Oversee is offering refunds which have to total in the millions of dollars, certainly overpaid millions more on the purchase, is going to have huge expenditures for legal bills, and for the administrator of the settlement.
For domainers, Halvarez bid in 50,000 auctions causing domainers not only overpaid for domains for years, but causing many to miss out on many domains as Brady’s bidding inflated prices.
A true nightmare for all parties.
2. ICANN. The year started off for ICANN on a bad note when they acknowledged they lost $4.6 Million in the stock market, then they got called out by Congress on their finances, Of course since all their funding comes from domain registrations and renewals, that’s our money they lost.
Their plan to release an unlimited number of new extensions got pushed back at least a year, they gave standing to a committee which then proposed the Uniform Rapid Suspension rules, which ICANN promptly stated they wanted to apply to existing TLD’s, including .com’s, (fortunately which is now out of the current Guidebook) saw its officers taking high compensation while most people are still trying to make a living, failed to take any action on the warehousing of domains by registrars, although they promised to do so.
3. The Alphabet trio: WIPO, UDRP, NAF
It was quite a year for WIPO, UDRP and the National Arbitration Forum (NAF)
The National Arbitration Forum which decides many of the UDRP cases, had its own problems.
One of the NAF most active arbitrators was sued for judicial misconduct and the organization itself was sued by the Attorney General of Minnesota and subsequently, within a week, agreed to never heard another case dealing with a consumer arbitration matter.
Yet they still get to decide domain disputes.
How lucky for us.
Then there were the decisions.
To some it up in one word;
A Non-resolving page is bad faith; domain awarded without a trademark; domains must have a trademark to be transferred; generic domains ordered transferred, the list goes on and on, but more than ever, anytime you go in front of one of these panels its a crap shoot.
4. The .cm Registry and the Namejet .cm Auctions.
The .rollout of the .cm domains were attacked right away by Techcrunch, the .cm registry’s landrush was postponed time and time and time, again for technical issues, then there were the NameJet.com auctions of the .cm domains that had more than one back order.
Winning bidders pulled out of these auctions en mass, causing prices to fall quicker than the shares of AIG. Nowhere was this demonstrated better than in the case of sex.cm which initially sold for over $50K, and went all the way back into a auction with a starting price of $350.
Congrats to all the winners.