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Will ICANN disqualify GoDaddy from being a new TLD applicant due to multiple UDRP losses of Standard Tactics LLC?

  • To: 5gtld-guide@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Will ICANN disqualify GoDaddy from being a new TLD applicant due to multiple UDRP losses of Standard Tactics LLC?
  • From: George Kirikos <gkirikos@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 14 Nov 2010 09:50:49 -0800 (PST)

There has been a great deal of discussion surrounding the latest rules. See, 
for 
example, the blog and comments at:

http://www.thedomains.com/2010/11/14/icann-new-guidebook-terrorists-now-ok-domainers-3-strikes-youre-out/


The "3 UDRP losses and you're out" in particular needs to be explored. For 
example, GoDaddy was involved with domain name warehousing under a company 
called "Standard Tactics LLC", as was documented in a series of articles by 
DomainNameWire.com, see:

http://domainnamewire.com/2008/12/03/standard-tactics-llc-how-godaddy-profits-from-expired-domains/

http://domainnamewire.com/2008/12/17/go-daddy-to-shut-down-standard-tactics-llc/

Standard Tactics has lost numerous UDRP decisions, though. See, for example:

http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/decisions/html/2006/d2006-0164.html
http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/decisions/html/2006/d2006-0863.html
http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/decisions/html/2007/d2007-1469.html
http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/decisions/html/2007/d2007-1909.html
http://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/decisions/html/2009/d2009-1632.html
http://domains.adrforum.com/domains/decisions/820358.htm

So, the question is simple: Are the current rules, as currently drafted, 
"bulletproof", to prevent registrars who've lost UDRP decisions on multiple 
occasions from applying for new TLDs? Or, are there loopholes that will allow 
them to skirt the intent of the "rules", so that they can still apply for TLDs 
indirectly, e.g. via shell companies, offshore holding companies, etc.?

Note that GoDaddy is not alone with the above kind of history -- other 
registrars are in the same boat.

However, read the draft language. It says (on 1-18):

"where the applicant, or any individual named in the application"

This is a HUGE loophole. Because, as noted above, the party guilty of the UDRP 
losses would NOT have been GoDaddy itself, but would instead be the shell 
company "Standard Tactics LLC". GoDaddy would not appear to be "caught" by this 
language.

Why is ICANN protecting entities who have engaged indirectly in cybersquatting, 
by allowing them to apply for new TLDs, as long as their cybersquatting 
happened 
under shell companies that they can disassociate themselves from? "Oh, that 
wasn't us --- it was a different company" is what they will be able to say.

I believe ICANN has intentionally left in this gaping loophole, because it 
wants 
to ensure that those who've gamed the system in the past will still be able to 
apply for new TLDs (so that ICANN can rake in the huge fees). How can ICANN 
pretend that they are serious about stopping cybersquatting when they would 
leave open such a huge loophole that registrars can hop through?

I call for the following:

(1) an independent study on the extent of cybersquatting by registrars and 
their 
related companies (very easy to do; just look at UDRP losses, and also look at 
legal cases in the PACER system in the US, and also seek input from the public 
who I'm sure have many cases that they can bring to light.

(2) correction of the guidebook to ensure that the "intent" of preventing 
cybersquatters from applying for TLDs is matched by the actual language. In 
other words, remove the loopholes that permit cybersquatting from related 
companies!

(3) Why would ICANN disqualify certain parties from being TLD operators, but 
smile, wink and allow those same parties to be registrars, without any penalty 
whasoever? What's the acceptable "standard" to become a registrar?

The public deserves answers. ICANN has proven, through the loopholes in DAGv5, 
that it is impossible for this to be the "final" guidebook. It's simply 
unacceptable. We reiterate our past comments, and ask whether a deeper 
investigation on ICANN "insiders" is warranted, to explain how and why such a 
gaping loophole could be permitted to be published in a guidebook that ICANN 
believes is "final"?? There has been great staff turnover at ICANN lately -- 
perhaps a "housecleaning" might be in order, to ensure that the public has true 
trusted custodians in place that are watching out for the interests of 
consumers.

Sincerely,

George Kirikos
President
Leap of Faith Financial Services Inc.
http://www.leap.com/


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