Jeepers... I did not know
that they would quote *that*. Ah well, I think it is true. Hope Dan Tobias
likes it :). Maybe this media attention combined with the .biz lawsuit will
encourage Afilias to listen to us? Probably not based on past history.
But maybe so? You know... I have been saying for some time that if this .INFO
sunrise problem is not addressed in a manner that is fair to the Land Rushers, it
could bring down the whole ICANN house of cards. I am not, or at least was
not, anti-ICANN, or anti-Afilias... I just wanted a fair shot for me and others for
what we paid for. Ah well, we shall see. The plot thickens.
puts brakes on .biz addresses
By Gwendolyn Mariano
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
October 12, 2001, 2:45 p.m. PT
In the latest setback for efforts to expand
the Internet address system, a state court in California has temporarily blocked
the activation of some new domain names ending in .biz.
A Los Angeles Superior
Court judge on Thursday issued a preliminary injunction against domain registry NeuLevel,
pending a lawsuit charging that some .biz domain names were assigned through an illegal
NeuLevel said the injunction covers less than 20 percent of the domain
names registered to date and that it expects to send all uncontested addresses live
Oct. 23 as scheduled.
"While we are disappointed with the court's decision and
the impact it will have on some .biz applicants, we strongly believe that the process
we've set forth...is the most fair and equitable way to distribute domain names,"
Douglas Armentrout, CEO of NeuLevel, said in a statement. "We fully intend to pursue
this matter in the courts
and will work to resolve these issues as quickly as
The case highlights the rancor that has marred efforts to expand
choice of so-called top-level domains available to the general
public beyond .com,
.org and .net.
In November, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
(ICANN), the body that oversees the Web's address system, added seven new domains
to the pool: .biz, .info, .aero, .name, .coop, .pro and .museum. ICANN also accredited
a handful companies to administer them, including NeuLevel, which won a contract
The process has drawn some barbs.
ICANN "looks somewhat of an unregulated
monopoly or the authority of government without the accountability," said Robert
Connor, an associate professor at the Carlson School of Management at the University
of Minnesota, who published a critical study of the .info domain in August. "It doesn't
look to me like a free market kind of system...They don't seem responsive to customers."
In addition, some registries have run into speed bumps that slowed the launch
of new domain names. Internet addresses under the .info domain appeared later than
planned as a result of last month's terrorist attacks. Afilias, the registry operating
that domain, encountered further delays after continued efforts to bring its system
up to speed.
NeuLevel, ICANN and several other registries were hit with a class-action
lawsuit in August charging them with running an illegal lottery system with applications
for .biz domain names.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs said that a processing fee
skewed the playing field for would-be registrants. Applicants "wanted a fair and
legal chance at registering a .biz domain name," and they
weren't given that chance,
said Derek Newman, an attorney at Newman & Newman who is representing the plaintiffs
in the case.
In response to Thursday's injunction, ICANN noted that the order
did not find the contract that ICANN entered into with NeuLevel was unlawful. It
said the judge only determined that NeuLevel's decision to charge a $2 fee for processing
certain ".biz" applications might be in violation of California's lottery law.
added that the court may have stepped beyond its jurisdiction in limiting Web address
activations that were processed outside the state of California.
if upheld on appeal, would be harmful to the evolution of the global Internet," ICANN
said in a statement.