I have not been posting to this forum as much because school is back
in session. Also, there is a bit of a lull here in terms of policy issues while
Afilias decides what to do with challenged .info names.
I have modified the "DomeBase
Proposal" (see link below) so that it could still be done in a manner to give standing
to people who paid to pre-register names in the original .info Land Rush that were
taken by Sunrise Squatters. However, to be candid, with each passing week it
becomes more difficult to implement... It would now require coordination and agreement
among many registrars, not just action by Afilias. It is still possible, just
increasingly difficult. Also, thus far, ICANN or Afilias do not seem to have
paid much attention to protecting the rights of the original Land Rush pre-registrants
and I have not seen much on the horizon that would change this... I could be wrong...
but just my view at this point.
My guess, not based on any solid evidence, just
a gut feeling... is that Afilias is considering a couple options in what to do with
the .info names that they challenge:
1. First Come, First Serve
2. Land Rush
For my two cents, each of these has pro's and con's.
Come, First Serve" sounds democratic and fair enough at first, but really winds up
benefiting techies or companies that specializing in snapping up names for a fee.
Given the problems with the start up of real-time registration, it would very likely
hav technical problems with everyone trying to register at a nano-second past midnight
on some day. Personally, I think that these likely tech problems make this
not as democratic and fair as it sounds on the surface.
"Land Rush II" sounds good
at first also and has been what I have been pushing for... especially giving some
standing to the Land Rush I participants who paid good money for names swiped by
Sunrise Squatters. I have done my best to propose a way to give them standing,
but it has become complicated as many registrars have given refunds and it is not
clear that the information on original registrations has been kept for all registrars.
Please see link below for details on what I propose. To be candid, I am not
sure that there is enough support for this at Afilias and among registrars to make
this work or even uniform support among Land Rush pre-registrants and participants
in this forum. Ideally, this would be my first choice for action.
Initially, most folks here would probably have a very negative response to this as
did I. However, unlike "First Come, First Serve" which sounds good at first
but then sounds less good when you think about it, "Auction" may sound bad at first
and then less bad when you think about it. Probably not as good as Land Rush
II per DomeBase Proposal... but perhaps indirect benefits for Land Rush I participants
which are not immediately obvious. Basically, right now .info is beginning
to take off, but still most people have never heard about it and there is a stigma
of the Sunrise problems. If there were an auction of the best names (mainly
those swiped by Sunrise squatters), then there could be several high profile, high
dollar sales -- which could easily lead to positive publicity for .info and raise
the value of second-tier .info names which many Land Rush I pre-registrants were
able to get. Also, organizations or individuals who pay big $ for names in
an auction are more likely to invest in actual website development -- to get this
TLD moving beyond a sea of "for sale" signs. One problem is that Land Rush
I folks who did not get any names, neither first-tier nor second-tier, will not be
helped. I guess one could try to design an auction that gives Land Rush I pre-registrations
some standing -- like some type of "auction credit" for bucks spent on pre-regs in
Land Rush I taken during sunrise... but this could get complex. For those who
are so upset with Afilias that they do not want to see Afilias prosper, they would
probably not like the auction route. However, if Afilias spends some of that
money on advertising, Land Rush pre-registrants may benefit indirectly from Afilias'
gain. There may be a tradeoff between vengence and self-interest. At
least Afilias challenging many Sunrise squatters means that that class of cheaters
do not benefit -- and those who want justice/vengence should take some consolation
Well folks, sorry for going on so long with this. I think that Land
Rush I folks should think this over and try to figure out what to advocate for in
terms of action by Afilias.... (1) first come, first serve, (2) Land Rush II, or
(3) auction. There may be tradeoffs between what is ideal in terms of
fairness and what is politically possible. My observation is that Land Rush
I folks are separated around the globe and sometimes divided and I have not seen
much in the way of coordinated action regarding Afilias or ICANN or registrars --
and I am not sure that they would be able to put the work into making Land Rush II
fly (requiring contacting all registrars, coordinating, etc). Rich Henderson
has done an amazing amount of work, but things seem to roll on without much response.
My gut feeling is that the most fair and desirable solution(s) may not happen
(absent any force to make them do so, which I do not see on the horizon). So
what do we do with respect to shaping second best solutions? I welcome your
comments on these thoughts. I may be wrong on some of these points. I
also welcome contact from Afilias if they wish to engage in this discussion for a
Sincerely, DomeBase (Bob C)