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Username: antipodes
Date/Time: Sun, November 4, 2001 at 3:47 AM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.74 using Windows 98
Subject: the Afilias abuses started when the all-important TM fraud


detection and Landrush applicant protection measures which Afilias Ltd. stated that it would undertake in their .info registry bid document were omitted from the ICANN -Afilias Registry Agreement.

ICANN is responsible for this, as I don't suppose Afilias was told they had won the bid to operate the .info registry and then told to go away and draft an ICANN-Registry Agreement - with little details like basic checking for TM fraud omitted and the omissions undetected by the responsible ICANN staff.

In the Afilias .info registry bid document, Afilias put its hand on its heart and stated that it was aware of the strong likelihood that cybersquatting would occur if the registry wasn't diligent, and that Afilias so appreciated the importance of TM laws that it would write their adherence into its Registry-Registrar License Agreement.

In its bid document, Afilias stated that registrars would be required to check the accuracy of TM details, have the applicants amend details when errors were detected, and that registrars who continued to process applications with TM errors would have their Registry-Registrar License Agreement revoked.

None of these basic, common sense, duty of care style protection measures made the journey from the Afilias bid document to the ICANN-Afilias Registry Agreement.  Why would this be?

In the ICANN-Afilias document, Afilias indicates that neither its approved registrars nor itself would check the bona fides of applicant's TM details, (so much for its being aware of, and concern about, the potential for TM fraud), until after registration had been completed, until they, Afilias had received five years registration fees, as a first class post registration challenge process had been established.

Too bad that the Landrush clients Afilias should have protected, had Afilias behaved in an ethical manner, would have to pay to challenge if they held a valid TM.  Other Landrushers could only wave good bye to their preregistrations fees for Landrush names taken in Sunrise.

ICANN apparently closed its eyes as Afilias and its approved registrars looked the other way while more than 10,000 fraudulent applications were processed into more than 10,000 fraudulent registrations. 

Permitting the the corruption of the .info registry with more than 10,000 of the 50,000 Sunrise registrations obviously fraudulent, made Afilias and registrar buddies a swag of money.  They sold Sunrise and Landrush preregistrations for the same names, took five years of registration fees for each name, and will still have the 10,000 names for sale and registration again, in the near future.

What a pity that a scam must have victims, those who pay the price of dealing with people like those in Afilias who appear to know and care nothing about best business practice, responsibility, accountability and ethics.

It is apparent that the ICANN-Afilias document had no safeguards against TM fraud or protections for the Landrush clients.  It is apparent that the document details reduced registry responsibilities at variance to those in the Afilias bid document which put the Landrushers at risk, but which made a great deal of money for those Afilias insiders.

It is apparent by the conduct of Afilias and most of its approved registrars, that a culture of corruption developed around the .info launch, which resulted in Afilias BoD member Govinda Leopold found cybersquatting on extraordinarily valuable names; a number of registrars registering hundreds on names on their own behalf, contra to ICANN registrar rules and BoD member's registrar companies profitting most most from processing the majority of the 10,000 fraudulent applications.

Afilias described the .info Sunrise phase with around 20% of the then 50,000 registrations fraudulent - as successful.  One must assume that had the fraudulent registrations been 30%, the launch would have been very successful and outstanding at 40%.

It is apparent that the registry which has a TM fraud on its BoD and registered hundreds of names to its registrars contrary to ICANN rules has created a corrupt culture which will continue its scam on the Internet community when for the third time it will offer the chance to
win one of the 10,000 "suspicious" Landrush names - FOR A PRICE.

The Landrushers have paid enough already - and deserved a great deal better than the scam that ICANN and Afilias Ltd. has perpetrated.      


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