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Username: rachelmacgregor
Date/Time: Thu, October 25, 2001 at 3:59 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.0 using Windows 98
Subject: More, from the Sunrise Fraudster

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The UK sunrise fraudster (calling himself "John Statcham") sent me a second e-mail, where he developed his views in more detail and defended his actions:

"I BELIEVE THAT ICANN SHOULD RECOMMEND LENIENCY ON THE FOLLOWING
GROUNDS:
(little has been heard in defence of the sunrise registrants so I would appreciate the following to be taken in to account)

1. As Afilias readily took the money without challenging the names
it goes without saying that to challenge them when no-one else is
challenging them is a way for them to make an extra registration money, so they will obviously want to do this, as it will help them make even more money. Why didn't they challenge me BEFORE they registered my names for me?

2. As nearly all the generic terms have gone this amounts to a sound
commercial decision and people simply capitilised on a 'loophole' (discussed below), and in the knowledge that many people around
the world would do the same, actually pushed them in to registering
names to beat others to the post.

3. My claim is that it is the 'loophole' (ie the fact that generic
names cannot be challenged by the very nature they are generic) that made many of the potential land-rush applicants 'rush' forward to claim their piece of the pie in the sunrise period. It is therefore not the sunrise registrants that have caused the problem, but the Afilias Sunrise application process that did not officially check and rubberstamp genuine trademark applications but rather let hungry registrants take the pick of any domain they sought by a simple 'unverified' and unmanaged electronic online application
process that let anyone anywhere become the owner of any domain they wished for.

4. As Afilias will gain so much commercially from challenging anyone
who exploited this legitimate loophole,ICANN should look very carefully at the validity of a registry who has so much to gain financially from challenging names that they have clearly accepted money for without having had a validity control system in place to check the applications. The result was that thousands of people
around the world, like myself, were simply anxious not to be beaten to the post by others who were also exploiting the 'loophole'.

5. The 'loophole' created a 'stampede' and herd mentality has taken
over with everyone rushing in, creating a bad feeling for those a little further back who witnessed the rush but who perhaps were a too far away to reap the benefits of the herd that had 'broken loose'. Once they had witnessed the stampede they stood open mouthed as the stampeding herd moved into the nice green fields they would so much have liked to be grazing in themselves.

6. This is where the anger came in, but for those who realised they
were right in the middle of the stampede, to stand still would have meant no chance of survival, or a share of the green fields that they too had been patiently waiting for. In effect I am saying we all lurched forward, not out of greed but because the pressure from behind was so great - once one of the cattle saw a hole in the fence the others instinctively followed, not wishing to be left behind.

7. As we all very clearly were acting on information that Afilias
itself provided - everyone involved in the stampede was aware that the combination of the unchecked verification of trademarks would potentially allow the prime names to disappear without being challenged. Everyone who was watching events unfold was therefore anxious not to be left behind as it was apparent that the names were (a)Available to be had by easy electronic application.
(b)Going very fast

8. If we return to the hole in the fence analogy, then it is clear that either Afilias should be penalised for leaving a hole there in the first place, or at the very least those who rushed through it should not lose their alloted space in the field, or have the money that was readily taken from them to enter the field taken away.


9. These factors all point to a huge cost cutting excercise on the
part of Afilais who clearly were not prepared to write the programs, put effective protection controls in place, or employ sufficient staff to cope with a fair and equal selection process.

I believe the resulting mess shows

1. Mismanagement of the selection system
2. Lack of straight forward thinging
3. Shameful cost cutting excercises at the expence of the fairness to
the general public, that favoured large commercial companies with funds for multiple registrations.

IN CONCLUSION - A LESSON TO BE LEARNT - BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF THE
SUNRISE REGISTRANTS WHO WERE ONLY EXPLOITING A LOOPHOLE THAT WAS VERY
CLEARLY GLOBALLY RECOGNISED AND CERTAINLY NOT PART OF A CONSPIRACY OF
PEOPLE ACTING ON INSIDER INFORMATION AS HAS BEEN SPECULATED.

BEING A SMALL TIME PLAYER WHO HAS NO CONNECTION WITH A REGISTRAR, WHO
MANAGED TO SECURE SEVERAL KEY GENERIC TERMS I AM TESTIMENT TO THIS.

The mess has ended up creating more paperwork than is imaginable and
will take many man-hours to correct. Being clearly flawed it left the whole world able to rush in - which is clearly the case when examining who and where the sunrise registrants come from - they are evidently every nationality and come from all over the world.

Yes, some lucky ones have had a good pick at the key generics but the
more you search for names in the whois database the more you realise this was not a consiracy of a few insiders, or a circle of people in the know, but a diverse world hungry for the info domain space. The first few who had the foresight should not be penalised if they have registered generic terms that do not infringe on anyone's trademark.

I hope that ICANN will also put steps in place to allow current holders of names that have been fairly and squarly paid for to keep their domains and the whole process to be very carefully reviewed so that future TLD rollouts, registration and selection processes are fair to one and all.

THE STATCHAM SOLUTION: A PROPOSAL THAT IS GLOBALLY FAIR
The huge amount of publicity, the outcry from parties, including
myself, who were hoping this would be a genuinely fair rollout has proved that the Afilais system is gravely flawed - and that the only true and fair way to select names is to put them all in a giant electronic sorting hat - that everyone can enter - at a well pubicised central access point, with each registrant having one application to every name they want.

The best ideas are simple and this one works for everyone on every
level, in every territory of the world, regardless of their financial situation. Even the poorest people on the planet could apply - if they chose say the 100 most popular generics and won it would mean winning a prize that anyone in the world would find easy backing and raise money for the registration fee.

If there was to be a sunrise period for trademark holders this could be done on submission of a valid trademark certificate to an expert panel who could judge the validity of the mark and weed out false applications or applications solely designed to win key generic or key market domains. All applicants accepted during the sunrise period would then put in a similar random electronic sorting hat - making selection totally fair for all parties who apply.

Many thanks again for your time, which I understand from your original mail is being given for free to help sort this out.

Maybe you can find me a job at ICANN to develop the STATCHAM TLD
rollout for future TLD launches!!!

Thanks,

John Statcham
      
     

 


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