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Username: richard_henderson
Date/Time: Thu, January 3, 2002 at 11:30 AM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.0 using Windows 98
Subject: Hal Lubsen - broken contract and conflicts of interest?

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From the ICANN/AFILIAS contract of May 2001, defining the obligations on Registrars:

In order for trademark and service mark owners to qualify to receive a registration during the Sunrise Period (a "Sunrise Registration"), the following information MUST be provided to Registry Operator: (i) the ASCII characters name of the trademark or service mark; (ii) the date issued; (iii) the country where issued; and (iv) the TM registration number. Registrar SHALL REQUIRE this information, in addition to the standard information required of all potential registrants, be provided by potential Sunrise Period registrants.

For any Registrar to breach these contractual rules is unacceptable, and an abuse of honest customers (who were subsequently defrauded to the sum of $3million at Landrush).

For the company of the CEO of Afilias itself (Hal Lubsen and DomainBank) to breach these contractual rules MUST - because of the visible conflict of interests between the profit made by DomainBank and the loss sustained by Landrush customers - result in action by ICANN.

The facts (using the case of the 93 William Lorenz applications via DomainBank as an illustration):

Hal Lubsen's company charged in region of $13000 to "sponsor" these applications and submit them to Afilias (of which, conveniently, Hal Lubsen was CEO).

The consequence of this irresponsible profiteering was that people all over the world, who had paid honest money to be in the Landrush for these names, were deprived of what their money had paid for.

All 93 of Lorenz's applications stated "NONE" for Trademark; "NONE" for Trademark Date; "NONE" for Trademark Country; "NONE" for Trademark Number.

The ICANN contract stated that it was obligatory for Sunrise applications to provide specific details in EACH of these four fields.

The Lorenz applications had "NONE" in ANY of the four fields. They were wholly ineligible, according to the ICANN contract.

For the Afilias CEO to be party to the submission and registration of these names - thereby abusing his own rules and the ICANN contract - cannot be left unanswered.

Nor should it be overlooked that Lorenz - in a fit of conscience - made 23 documented requests for these names to be deleted, so that Landrush customers would not lose out.

These requests were declined and Hal Lubsen's DomainBank kept the $13000 it had charged (to break the ICANN contract, abuse the Sunrise system over which Lubsen himself presided as the Afilias CEO, taking money from Lorenz for products he could never obtain, and causing the resultant defrauding of honest Landrush customers).

Ironically, Hal Lubsen was quoted in a press release four days before the Lorenz "zero-data" applications, complaining that some people were abusing the Afilias Sunrise system...

And yet his own company was taking thousands of dollars for a total breach of the Sunrise contractual rules.

For FOUR months, Hal Lubsen has been asked, again and again, to answer these very serious concerns. His silence has been met by disgust and bemusement among consumers who believed that ICANN insisted on openness, honesty and transparency.

We, members of the Internet community, request once again that Vint Cerf the Chairman of the ICANN Board, and Hal Lubsen the Afilias CEO, offer some explanation of why this TOTAL breach of contract was accommodated.

The abuse and corruption of the agreed contract is made even more serious by the emerging scale of the Sunrise fraud, the scale of the losses sustained by honest consumers, and the number of Registrars (still practising) who submitted false data to acquire Sunrise names and in some cases provided the invented data for their customers so that they could cheat the rest of the internet community.

For the Afilias CEO to be party to such brazen breach of contract, and then refuse to account for it, indicates that ICANN is not requiring accountability, and consequently not offering adequate protection to the consumer. Vint Cerf has advertised the "openness and transparency" with which ICANN is supposed to operate, but he has been made well aware of these breaches of contract and but has STILL not responded to the detailed and serious concerns.

In the name of honesty and fairness, where is Vint Cerf? Where is Hal Lubsen? How can ordinary consumers be treated with such contempt?

I repeat the passage from the ICANN/AFILIAS contract:

In order for trademark and service mark owners to qualify to receive a registration during the Sunrise Period (a "Sunrise Registration"), the following information MUST be provided to Registry Operator: (i) the ASCII characters name of the trademark or service mark; (ii) the date the registration issued; (iii) the country of registration; and (iv) the registration number. Registrar SHALL REQUIRE this information, in addition to the standard information required of all potential registrants, be provided by potential Sunrise Period registrants.

Hal Lubsen's DomainBank did NOT "require" this information.
It took the money anyway.
And then Hal Lubsen's Afilias registered the names with NONE in every single required Trademark field.

Is this acceptable conduct? Who protects the consumer?      
     

 


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