I'm certain that what I'm about to say will
be considered heresy by Gary and a few other posters but I will say it anyway since
this is a free forum and (generally) a free world. I've followed the dot info
saga and the postings in this forum and have seen many distressing things on both
First I would say that the dot info rollout has been about as successful
as a jail cell beauty pageant. Most of the winners are not what they seem,
the judges are getting favors on the side and those that should be in charge seem
to be looking the other way.
Now it seems that there are two different views you
can take on this. The view of some posters is that trademarks are criminal
and that they should hold no sway on new domains. They argue that the whole
dot info Sunrise process should be scrapped and that things should start from scratch.
Others have suggested that there should be separate TLDs for the various types of
trademarks. Both arguments have many valid points for their basis. I
do not argue against their foundation. I do, however, question their practicality.
Trademarks, for better or worse, serve a purpose in modern society. They
protect the investment of various interests. I do agree that when it comes
to TLDs that a couple dozen entities (if not hundred or thousand in some cases) could
claim rights to similar names. My point is that to base a challenge on the
dot info fiasco on the fact that trademarks are unjust is to fight an unwinable war
in this case. It distracts from the cesspool that the process has become.
Fighting the global trademark system is very different than fighting to clean up
the dot info fiasco. You will find little support from anyone with power and in fact
will offer ammunition for the other side. You will make it easy for Afilias
to dismiss you as cybersquatters or (god forbid) anarchists. The idea
of a TLD for Trademark holders is good in the brainstorming realm of things but not
very practical. How many people would actually know whether the brand they
are trying to look up is state, local or international?
Although conspiracy theories
abound there are specific facts.
The dot info rollout was based on certain rules.
Those rules included a number of clauses.
1) Afilias gets a number of reserved
addresses. This can include search.info, phone.info and such. That was
in the rules. It was their right. Deal with it.
2) Registrar organizations
can get up to 10 names provided they have the .com, .org or .net address AND the
trademark. If a registrar organization meets this requirement they have the
right to take advantage of it. I have no problem with this EXCEPT that it wasn't
in the public statements. Since most (almost all) registrars charged for pre-registration
and this fact wasn't released to the public or in the consent statements the fact
that they charged people to register names that would be unregisterable puts them
in breach of contract. It may have been wrong of Afilias to provide the registrars
with this privilege but it would not have been beyond their scope. What was
certainly criminal was allowing individuals to pay for the "chance" at sites that
would never be open to them (the public).
As I see it these are not the arguments.
The argument comes down to fraud in the Sunrise period and Afilias' response to it.
I assume that they will let bygones be bygones and let the challenge period play
out and then hold another landrush for whatever domain they deem challengable.
There is more money in it that way (more pre-registration fees or auction fees).
There is more money but it compiles injustice upon injustice.
I believe that the
original Domebase and the Simple Solution are still the best and most equitable solutions.
They keep with the original intent of the TLD distribution, they keep Afilias' liability
to a minimum and they are generally agreed upon as a just solution.
If the dot
info fiasco is to be corrected there are a couple steps I would strongly support.
The effort of those involved in ferreting out the corruption in the Sunrise Period
has been incredible. I personally commend those who have posted in this forum
and especially the Challenge list. What has been shown is that 1,000 eyes are
better than one. The efforts have put a spotlight on those who have tried to
take advantage of the dot info fiasco for personal gain. This includes showing
how those involved with the process have tried for personal gain. There is
strength in numbers and a benefit to exposing the depth of corruption.
read the press releases written by forum posters about the dot info fiasco and have
found them to be both well written and well documented. Both are important
things if you want to focus the eyes of the public on the process. I would
strongly advise everyone in this forum to write their local paper and to copy it
to their local political representatives. Don't exaggerate or put too much
emotion into it. The facts are damning enough and will speak louder.
Keep exposing the truth. There is an expose, a story and a book that will come
of this. Find names and expose connections and conflicts of interest.
See what dirt you can keep digging up on Afilias, its registrar organizations and
board members. I'm betting the well goes deep.
3) If Afilias and its member
(registrar) organizations have broken their promise on the rules of the rollout then
deny your pre-registration fees. Let them challenge them. The burden
will be on them to prove that they have provided the service they professed to offer.
Review your agreements closely. By choosing inaction on the fraudulent Sunrise
registrars they have taken your money unfairly.
I assume that some poster will
be unhappy with some of what they perceive to be conciliatory tones but differences
of opinion are the norm in a public forum. My comments were not meant to be
inflammatory. I look forward to responses.