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IDOA position on domain tasting

  • To: domain-tasting-motion@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: IDOA position on domain tasting
  • From: matt@xxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 11:44:33 -0500

By E-Mail

March 27, 2008

Board of Directors
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
Marina del Rey, CA 90292-6601

Re: Registry Policies on Domain Tasting

Dear Members of the ICANN Board:

This comment letter is submitted by the Internet Domain Owners Association (IDOA) in response to:

  1.  The February 27, 2008 notice opening a comment period on proposals by
Neustar (for .Biz) and Afilias (For .Info) to modify the terms of their add
grace period (AGP) policy, and

  2.  The March 6 Domain Name Tasting Motion posted for comment by the GNSO

As both items propose a similar policy of limiting the number of monthly
domain name deletions during the AGP for which a registrar could
receive a full registration fee credit each month to 50 per month or 10% of that registrar's net monthly domain name registrations, whichever is greater; we are filing a single combined comment letter applicable to both. We do note that the GNSO Council resolution would establish a process by which registrars could seek an exemption from the application of the restriction upon a documented showing of extraordinary circumstances, (which exemption we are entirely against) and that each gTLD registry operator would be required to report to ICANN all such registrars seeking an exemption and what action was taken in regard to such request.

IDOA believes that domain tasting is wrong and should be ended. We
believe that the best way to eliminate the harmful actions of domain tasting which use resources and burden the entire Internet is to eliminate the Add Grace Period (AGP) altogether. A second best alternative wold be to shorten
the AGP to a 24 hour grace period (shortened down from 5 days) - it
would be a less harmful AGP, as it would address the only legitimate
reason for the existence of an AGP - actual mistake or human error in
registering a domain name with unintended spelling - and at the same
time close the door on abusive domain tasting. The domain registration
completed notification email would be received by the registrant
within that 24 hours, and the 24 hour period should be measured by the
time that the domain registration completed email is sent and received
(not read). There would not be enough time within those 24 hours to
have nameservers resolve and analytic tools gather enough data to
actually "taste" the traffic being generated or received by that domain.

Thus, giving the registries a second choice (modifying the 5 days of
the AGP to 1 day) might be a more acceptable (or at lest seem a more
reasonable to some) alternative the the complete elimination of the AGP.

Our official policy on this matter is as follows:

IDOA believes that the most effective solution to the domain name
tasting issue is the complete elimination of the 5-day Add Grace
Period ("AGP"), and the second best choice would be to modify the 5
days of the AGP to 1 day - as a 1 day AGP would address the only
legitimate reason for the existence of an AGP - actual mistake or
human error in registering a domain name with unintended spelling -
and at the same time close the door on abusive domain tasting.

The imposition of a nominal non-refundable registration fee by
ICANN, which we consider to be taxation and furthermore taxation
without representation, is unacceptable to us, and would be a breach of contract and fraud if applied against existing domains (those domains which are currently registered).

Furthermore, IDOA would like to remind ICANN and the registries that there still are abusive situations in which registrars and their resellers are made to take the substantial losses incurred by registrants fraudulent use of stolen credit card data, to which the registries have not responded properly. In these cases of fraudulent domain registration with stolen credit card data, the registrar is not made aware that stolen credit card data was used to register domains until 30 to 60 days after the fact. The merchant card processor will reverse the charges, leaving the regitrar or reseller holding worthless domain names (if they haven't already been transferred to another registrar) and being forced to pay for those domains themselves, BECAUSE THE REGISTRIES REFUSE TO DO THE RIGHT THING - and reverse those domain registration orders and credit back the registrar for those fraudulent transactions. IDOA believes that ICANN should force the registries to do exactly that in such cases of fraudulent registration with stolen credit card data - and ICANN should incorporate this requirement to the registries when addressing the domain tasting issue, and when making any future agreements with any registry.


Matt Hooker
Internet Domain Owners Association
P.O. Box 330267
San Francisco, CA 94133

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