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Username: sfeibish
Date/Time: Tue, August 21, 2001 at 6:30 PM GMT
Browser: AOL Browser V5.0 using Macintosh PowerPC
Subject: Afilias needs our help!  A call to arms.

Message:
 

 
        This is a call to arms.

Afilias needs to be sued so that they can be ordered
to put .info domain names obtained by fraudulent
trademark registrations back in the lottery "pool". 

Instead of challenging each individual registration,
lets challenge all fraudulent registrations by suing Afilias. 

Let everyone know. 

Contact as many websites and pre-registrants as you can. 
Have pre-registrants send their email address to
sbfeibish@aol.com

I'll get estimates for the cost of the lawsuit,
divide the amount by the number of emails
and get back to everyone with a
"cost-per-preregistrant" figure.

I've been asked, by Mr. Froomkin, to explain
"... more clearly what duty you think Afilias
breached, and to whom it was owed, and how
one might figure the resulting damages ..." .

What duty did Afilias breach?

Afilias had a duty to see that .info names went
to applicants legally seeking .info domain names;  
without any unnecessary added expense.

Afilias breached this obligation when they
failed to check for and delete fraudulent
sunrise trademark registrations.

Afilias did not take the most elementary of
steps to throw out invalid applications:

Afilias did not:

- ask for proof of trademark registration
- check for registrations with dates past the
   cutoff date of Oct. 2, 2000
- check if the trademark name matched the
   domain name being applied for
- check for ill-formed trademark registration
   numbers.  For example;  if a country doesn't
   use characters in a registration number and
   the registration number contains characters.
- check for non-existent trademarks (i.e., blank
   trademark fields in applications)
- return names to the pool when they were
   informed that applications were submitted
   by mistake and that the successful applications
   were more than happy to have the names
   returned to the pool (hearsay so far)
- check for identical trademark numbers on
   separate applications (from the same country).
- etc. etc. etc.

These checks could have been implemented with
a minor amount of programming.

The result is that legal pre-registrants will not
get what they contracted for.  A chance at obtaining
a .info domain name thru the lottery process.

The result is that legal pre-registrants will be
forced to incur needless expenses by
challenging fraudulent registrations.

"... to whom it was owed ..."

Afilias breached a duty it had to two groups.
Registrars and applicants who sought .info
domain names legally.

Registrars who submitted legal sunrise requests
were deprived of the registration fees they would
have charged for successful applications.

Pre-registrants who submitted valid applications 
will not get a chance at obtaining a .info domain
name thru the sunrise or landrush lotteries - as
contracted for.

"... how one might figure the resulting damages ..."

I'm only seeking re-instatement of the names back
into the lottery process.

However, I'll try to quantify the losses.

For registrars the damages are lost registration fees.
That's just as a start.  I won't get into loss of good will, etc.

For applicants, the damages are loss of the chance to
obtain a valuable name, any paid pre-registration fees,
and the cost of a challenging the fraudlent registrations.
That's just a start.  I won't get into the time lost in
pursuing these names.  In my case since 1999;  for others,
since 1997.

The cost of a sunrise or other challenge, and monies lost
in pre-registering names are easily quantifiable.  If any of
these name go up for sale, the amount collected thru selling
the name could be used, or the amount people are currently
offering for a name on AfterNic could be used.  Although,
using AfterNic prices has inherent problems -- anyone can
probably place a false bid that's rather high.

Steve Feibish

P.S.  This is my private rant.

Afilias screwed up in two ways.  One, by granting
trademark holders first crack at the names;  and two,
by then not asking applicants for proof of trademark. 
If Afilias had made that simple request, registrars
would probably have received very few fraudulent
applications.

      
     
     

 


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