Some extracts from the Afilias press release of December 6, which indicates that
the boys and girls at Afilias Ltd. haven't lost their sense of humour, even after
the public humiliation of the .info fiasco, and are still prepared to try to spin
doctor their way out of the crapper.
Strengthens Sunrise Policies to Ferret Out Phony Registrants
"New policies take
effect today to eliminate *improper Sunrise registrations*
*improper Sunrise registrations*
- what a lovely euphemism for the process which resulted from ICANN approving the
Afilias Registry Agreement devoid of any protections against cyber fraud - around
10,000 instances of cybersquatting made public through Richard Henderson's theinternetchallenge.com,
before Richard had to bow to pressure from those who were embarrassed by the scale
of the fiasco, the facts of which Afilias had tried diminish in their all too infrequent
NEWTOWN, PA - 6 December, 2001 - "Afilias announced today that
strengthened its Sunrise policies and challenge process to ensure the
of *the Sunrise registration system which was designed to protect intellectual
property* in the rollout of the new .INFO top-level domain. These include revisions
to the existing Sunrise Challenge policy as well as additional policy enhancements.
Sunrise registration system which was designed to protect intellectual property*
- Hal and Roland have forgotten that SpyProductions made a public announcement prior
to the .info Sunrise that there were no protections for intellectual property in
the .info rollout and that for five years registration instead of two, any one could
register a .info domain name without an eligible trademark. Indeed, as was
demonstrated by the applicant Lorenz and several others, one didn't even have to
falsify TM details to have Afilias register Sunrise names for you.
in fact put in place an "after the event" policy to protect intellectual property
and I think Afilias, in the minds of most observers, can be considered to have aided
and abetted in the fraudulent registration of around 10,000 ineligible applications
for .info Sunrise registrations.
*"Afilias is eager to ensure that the Sunrise
registration process is an effective test bed from which to learn how intellectual
property can be adequately protected during the rollout of a new top-level domain,"*
said Hal Lubsen, Afilias' Chief Executive Officer. *"With some strategic enhancements
to our policies we believe we will be able to clear the .INFO domain of Sunrise registrations
that were improperly submitted."*
** - The first Hal Lubsen quote can be answered
in this manner - an "after the event" policy will not adequately protect intellectual
property DURING a rollout. That this should be a surprise to the Afilias and
ICANN executive is beyond belief and is the source of the conspiracy theories which
say the Afilias and ICANN executive managerial failure produced a financial windfall
for the company Afilias and its registrars - albeit at too high a price for Sunrise
and Landrush applicants who collectively lost a small fortune on preregistrations
for names fraudulently removed from the lottery barrel. Afilias through its
registrars will sell, for a third time, the chance of winning the same prized generics
when they are offered to the public following the challenge process.
strategic enhancements to our policies we believe we will be able to clear the .INFO
domain of Sunrise registrations that were improperly submitted."* - this second
Lubsen quote is Lubsen speak for - NOW we will want proof of TM and NOW we will check
it - shucks, who would have thought any one would have cheated when it became common
knowledge there was no adequate process in place to stop cheating?
That the integrity
of the .info registry was destroyed on the first day of the Sunrise and the process
continued for a couple of weeks while some registrars sold Landrush preregistrations
for the same names should be a matter considered when the Afilias and ICANN executive
are called to explain their actions.
For Hal Lubsen to describe the fraudulent
applications which Afilias processed into fraudulent or ineligible registrations
WITHOUT CHECKS as "improperly submitted" is sheer hypocracy, but typical of
the manner in which the Internet community has been treated by Afilias and ICANN
during the sorry saga of the .info launch.
Some might say that the process of selection
of Afilias as the .info Registry was improper, that the ICANN-Afilias Registry Agreement
was improper because it was inadequate to provide IP protection and due care to the
interests of bona fide Sunrise and Landrush applicants, but none of the thousands
of people who lost preregistration fees due to the scam would describe the 10,000
odd ineligible registrations as resulting from "improperly submitted" applications.
processed by registrars - yes, as no applications were checked; improperly processed
by the registry - yes, as no applications were checked; improperly submitted - no,
once the first round Sunrise registration details became available in the .info whois,
it was apparent that SpyProductions was correct, any one could have a Sunrise registration,
as the only checks been made were an applicant's credit card details.
Afilias will strengthen its Sunrise Challenge policy by requiring anyone wanting
to register a successfully challenged Sunrise name to produce proof of their valid
trademark. This policy change, which was posted two weeks ago and became effective
today, was made in accordance with Afilias' agreement with the World Intellectual
Property Organization (WIPO), the manager of the expedited dispute process for .INFO.
"Second, Afilias will also offer registrars the ability to correct some WHOIS
data and request deletions of domain names. Afilias' initial Sunrise policy required
all registrants who participated in the Sunrise registration period to have a valid
trademark of national effect prior to October 2, 2000 and submit the corresponding
information at registration. As a tool to battle cybersquatters who resell names
quickly, Afilias locked these registrations for 180 days to both secure the data
and ensure that no domains avoided scrutiny under the subsequent challenge process.
ability to correct and delete records will be facilitated through the introduction
of two databases that will parallel the existing WHOIS directory of .INFO names.
One of the new databases will now allow registrars to correct certain contact and
trademark information that was incorrectly submitted. The other will allow registrants
whose domains may have been improperly submitted during the Sunrise process to request
that their domain names be deleted. Registrars will be able to submit these changes
on behalf of Sunrise registrants.
"In August of this year, Afilias also announced
it would exercise its rights under the Sunrise Challenge process and submit a bulk
challenge against remaining Sunrise names that appear to be facially invalid. The
introduction of these auxiliary databases strengthens Afilias' ability to submit
this bulk challenge by narrowing the number of names that it will need to consider.
Afilias will release a list of names being considered prior to issuing its bulk challenge.
Names that are
successfully canceled as a result of Afilias' bulk challenge, as
well as requested deletions and other names that may have been canceled due to challenge
proceedings but that have not been registered, will be returned to public availability
in early 2002.
"Registrants interested in updating their data or requesting to
delete names are urged to contact their Afilias-authorized registrar as soon as possible.
Those interested in challenging names registered during the Sunrise Period may do
so with WIPO until December 26, 2001. A list of decisions, as well as instructions
for filing a challenge, is available at http://arbiter.wipo.int/domains/gtld/info/.
wishing to register a name, a list of Afilias-authorized registrars
is also available at http://www.afilias.info/register/.