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Username: DomeBase
Date/Time: Thu, September 6, 2001 at 9:31 PM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.7 using Windows NT
Subject: Honest registrars are being left to twist in the wind....

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                        Picture yourself as a honest registrar.  This whole Sunrise fiasco happens.  You have a pack of upset customers who pre-registered during the Land Rush.  You might even be one of the poor registrars who thought they would follow the "short-list, high-price, late-entry" strategy.  Then you are really hurtin'.

Anyway, there you are... waiting and waiting for some word from Afilias about how this mess will be resolved.  Nothing. Nada.  One registrar even asked Afilias for a list of names registered in the Sunrise period so that that registrar could try to protect the good-faith Land Rush pre-registrants from losing their names by only submitting names that are not registered in Sunrise... keeping the other names in case there is a Land Rush II.  Afilias did not even provide a list of names registered in the Sunrise period to that registrar.  Amazing.

Anyway, there you are as a honest registrar with angry customers and silence from the registry.  What do you do?  Some appear to be washing their hands of the whole mess and purging the Land Rush pre-registrants... with whatever partial refund applies.  These registrars say to themselves -- "It was Afilias' fault.  I heard nothing about any Land Rush II."  Other registrars may be trying to do better by their customers.  It is not easy.  I suspect that most registrars are trying to hold out as long as possible for announcement of a Land Rush II or something by Afilias.  They do not want to hurt their Land Rush customers.  Some are offering coupons or such.  The irony is that the Domebase Proposal would solve all of this -- but it requires action and leadership from Afilias.

If I had to guess what Afilias would respond to this -- they might say.  Hey, this is not OUR problem.  We did not charge pre-reg fees, the registrars did.  This is like some computer that does not work and the software folks blame the hardware folks, and the hardware folks blame the software folks... no accountability.  However, Afilias is accountable.  If today Afilias announced that they would have a Land Rush II for names released by challenge... along the lines of the Domebase Proposal, then many honest registrars would immediately follow suit and this problem would be over.  But no, folks trucked on down to Montevideo and left the Land Rush pre-registrants and the honest Registrars slowly twisting in the wind... I have tried not to use bad language, but it is really tough to resist in this case. 

One more time, here is the revised DomeBase Proposal.  Honest registrars... tired of twisting in the wind?... support this.  IPC lawyers, want another sunrise?  support this.  ICANN folks, want to keep control over future TLDs?  support this.  Afilias, want to do what is right and profitable (save challenge fees) at the same time?  support this. 

Know what? Even Sunrise squatters should support this.  Why, you may ask?   Because it is a heck of a lot better to lose the value of some stupid domain name than to lose something of greater value.  Don't take my word for it, I'm just a bug on the windshield of life.  Take the word of someone with a whole lot more clout in grand scheme of things -- "Food gained by fraud tastes sweet to a man, but he ends up with a mouth full of gravel."

NEW DOMEBASE PROPOSAL (revised 8/31/2001)

1. Hold "Land Rush I" as originally scheduled.

2. Registrars do not submit names in "Land Rush I" that are registered in the Sunrise Period.

3. After Land Rush I, registrars give their customers the option to:
(a) cancel name not submitted in Land Rush I and receive any applicable refund... none, partial or complete, depending on registrar-specific agreement; or (b) have name submitted in Land
Rush II held after the end of the Sunrise Challenge period without additional cost.

4. All names registered in the Sunrise Period are entered into Land Rush II.

5. In addition to people with names postponed from Land Rush I, new people can pre-register names in Land Rush II.  Registrars who accepted "only one submission per name" for Land Rush I must keep that policy for Land Rush II to avoid "bait and switch" for Land Rush I
pre-registrants.

6. The "winner" of a name for Land Rush II: (a) gets that name for a registration fee if the name has been successfully Sunrise challenged* by Afilias or someone else and not taken by someone with legitimate trademark rights; (b) gets that name for a registration fee if it has been voluntarily canceled by the Sunrise registrant; or (c) can Sunrise challenge* the name and get it if successful (the name is not trademarked) for a subsidized fee (somewhere between $0 and $295) without having to show a trademark right in the name (which would be impossible by definition). In this manner, legitimate trademark holders would not lose any names in Land Rush II, but sunrise squatters on non-trademarked names would face challenge by either Afilias or the Land Rush II winner.

*to protect legitimate trademark holders from name loss due to WHOIS data processing corruption (good data entered, bad data displayed), give original registrant a specified time-window after challenge to demonstrate that the registrant holds legitimate trademark for
the name in accordance with Sunrise rules despite corrupted WHOIS data.

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