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Username: antipodes
Date/Time: Tue, December 18, 2001 at 11:53 AM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.74 using Windows 98
Subject: RegLand and the current registry and registrar culture


In my pre .info launch search for exclusive cueue registrars, I paid money to Regland for .info Landrush preregistrations.

It was only when posters at this forum began analysing the relative effectiveness of the different registrars during the .info launch did I find out that RegLand had closed its doors prior to the launch.

Now, while only a handful of the dozen or more of the registrars I used for the .info Landrush managed to register names for me - making RegLand's non-participation in the .info name distribution just as effective in securing names for me as those registrars to whom I paid money which produced no registrations - I am angry that an insolvent or just plain scam company is permitted to participate in a new extension launch.

In my country there are enourous, daily, financial penalties for trading while insolvent, and the regulatory authorities immediately step in to protect the interests of stake holders when a company advises of its inability to continue trading. The public then have access to information on retrieval of their stake holdings.

I think it is important to note that when news of RegLand's failure and the loss of preregistrant's money hit this forum, it made not a ripple, as though the forum just accepted the loss as part of the domain registry and reseller business.

It seems to me that the Internet community has grown accustomed to being ripped-off when dealing with registries and resellers, and that a culture has been developed in which the insiders can pretty much do what they like, while the general public participate at their own risk.

It looks to me that the domain business, along with a few notable ethical players, has attracted operators whose participation can best be described as opportunistic, whose business practices are at odds with the interests of the Internet community and the long term interests of the Internet.

I think all new money making opportunities will attract less desirable participants whose aims are fast bucks, nothing more, nothing less, and it is these areas of commerce that require close public scrutiny and control, in order to protect the interests of the public.

Given the role that the Internet will play in future commerce and culture in general, across the planet, the Internet's regulation must serve the short and long term interests of all its constituencies.

At present, this would not appear to be the case.

ICANN from what I read, is not satisfied with its original brief, preferring instead to enter areas of policy beyond its purview, while, as demonstrated by its administration of the new TLD Registry selection process and the subsequent regulation of the new registries and their resellers, gives nothing more than lip service to the notion that it is a Public Benefit Corporation.

The behaviour of the new registries and many of their resellers during the recent launches brings an image to mind of the Queensland beaches, where, if there are sharks or stingers in the surf, warning signs are placed prominently on the affected beach by our life savers/life guards, until the danger has passed.  In the case of sharks, the life savers will chase them in surf boats until they pose no more danger to surfers.

Unfortunately, at present in the domain businees, there seems to be no comparable authotity or body to that which protects Queensland surfers.

It seems that those in the Internet community with experience of domains are aware that messing with domains can be dangerous, and seemingly, as demonstrated by the RegLand incident, accepting that there are shonks and scams that will put their credit cards at peril.

This fact should ring alarm bells, may be shark alarm bells, for those with responsibility for the operation of the notional DNS regulatory authority ICANN - the US Congress and Department of Commerce.

If those currently appointed to authority within ICANN prefer to focus their energies on matters apparently at odds to the benefits of the broad Internet community, then let them find other jobs.

Although I believe that the new TLD Registry selection process could be used as evidence that the current ICANN executive can not separate public benefit from personal gain, I think that the events of the new TLD launches is the evidence that should be used by the Congress and the DoC to call the ICANN executive to explain why they should not be dismissed immediately and replaced with the calibre of people that such positions of responsibility require.

It seems to me that the domain waters are dangers because of a culture which has developed under the current ICANN executive, who gauging by their performance with the new TLDs - have a look at your credit card accounts if you need reminding - don't care much for average folk and their rightful expectations to be dealt with fairly, openly and accountably, but rather, cast a blind eye over the operations and regular excesses of its accredited registries, registrars and affiliates.

I want an ICANN which demonstrates that its operations are serving the interests of the broad Internet community and not the interests of the executive and their business associates.

I want an ICANN that is pro-active and vigilant, impartial, responsive and communicative.

I want an ICANN which has the respect and trust of the broad Internet community.

I want an ICANN which will never permit a repeat the abominations of the .info and .biz launches.

That's all I want Santa.



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