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Username: dtobias
Date/Time: Sun, August 12, 2001 at 9:44 PM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V5.0 using Windows dows
Subject: It's raining cats and dogs on .info's sunrise...


Even if it wasn't the case that the sunrise period for .info is rampant with outright fraud, the sunrise rules still wouldn't be fair, nor conducive to the use of .info in the most rational manner -- for addresses of sites devoted to information about various topics.

Look, for instance at the (perfectly legitimate) sunrise registrations for and  The "cat" name went to the Caterpillar tractor company, which has a trademark on "Cat" for tractors.  The "dog" name went to a company that has a trademark on "Dog" for nail polish.  Both are perfectly reasonable trademarks within the respective fields of the companies, in which those names are not generic.

The problem is that the existence of trademarks on these names, in any field, allowed the companies that own them to get the names ahead of anybody who wished to use them in their generic sense, for sites about cats or dogs, even though the typical Internet user would certainly expect and to go to sites about pets rather than about tractors or nail polish.
Thus, in their efforts to placate the trademark lobby, Afilas has ensured that their new TLD will be useless for its ostensibly intended purpose, as a place for informational sites.  Any actual sites with information about generic topics that manage to set up in .info will probably have to use long and confusing made-up names that avoided being taken in the sunrise period, because so many of the true generic names will be taken already, even if the blatant frauds are taken care of.

By this light, the fraudulently-registered domains might actually work out better, as they'll probably be used for sites pertaining to their generic meaning, or sold to others who will do so, while the domains registered based on genuine trademarks will most likely either not be used at all (just kept to "protect" the trademark) or pointed at the existing .com site for the trademark holder.  That doesn't make this fraud fair, though, since honest people who played by the rules got shut out.

Link: Dan's Domain Site: New TLDs

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