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Username: antipodes
Date/Time: Mon, October 8, 2001 at 1:58 AM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.74 using Windows 98
Subject: my money is more and more on contrivence or "planned


incompetence" rather than straight imcompetence.  I am shaking my head as I write this - imagining the best of ICANN approving the rollout as described by the ICANN-NSI Afilias Registry Agreement - BUT Afilias's Registry Agreement is at variance to the Afilias bid document where in response to the proforma questions about the likelihood of cybersquatting and the steps that registry would take to counter TM fraud if it won the bid - the Afilias response is that it will monitor their approved registrars' adherence to the requirement in the Registry's Registrar Agreement that they, the registrars, ensure complete and correct applicant information at the time the applicant places an order, and that an applicant has 15 days in which to amend application details if requested to do so by the registrar.  The bid document contains the normal apple pie and motherhood statements about Afilias being such an upholder trademark laws, they will enshrine all of them into their Registry Registrar License Agreements and that they, Afilias  will cease processing applications from registrars who repeatedly submit applications which contain errors.

The Afilias documents on these matters are hogwash, meaningless and one might argue, in the light of the launch events,  written with the intention to deceive.

The question which keeps concerning me is WHO approved what is a variation to the ICANN approved bid document on the critically important issue of fraud detection and the protection of the rights and reasonable expectations of TM holders - the bona fide Sunrise applicants, and the Landrushers who are sequentially affected when the most obvious and simple security measures are not implemented.

The next question is - if there was NO ICANN approval for the omission of critically important cybersquatting secutity clauses, then WHY didn't ICANN take Afilias by the scruff of the neck when it became apparent that the door had been left open for those willing to cheat, and especially so after SpyProductions and UKReg(?)announced that most registrars and the registry would be looking the other way (probably toward their growing bank balances) if one wanted to falsify - or didn't even bother to falsify TM data - as was the case with William Lorensz.

Whether the Afilias rollout events are the result of an ill-conceived model or a greedy and cynical business strategy - Afilias, its partner and approved registrars are in receipt of funds equivalent to 25,000 Landrush or realtime registrations (10,000 X 5yr/regs) - not a bad windfall for the insiders.  They are also holding heaven knows how much in Landrush preregistrations for the same names.  However, a considerable cost has been transferred to their customers, the bona fide Sunrisers and Landrushers. 

If the Afilias executive and registrar partners want to gain some credibility and start to build some customer trust, they should waive the challenge fees of Sunrise applicants, and immediately announce their undertaking to honour the preregistrations of Landrush applicants for those names to be freed by a complete review of Sunrise applications.  Without further delay, Afilias should announce the securing of all Landrush preregistration data, in order that Landrush applicants can receive what they paid for - a crack at those generics which proved irresistable to the Sunrise cybersquatters.  A date should be fixed for Landrush II so that Afilias can appropriately plan their resource expenditures in order to meet their obligations to their Landrush customers.         


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