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    New gTLDs Class Action Alleges ICANN's .biz Is an Illegal Lottery
    posted by michael on Wednesday July 25 2001, @03:34AM

    According to a posting by Mike Palage to the Registrars Constituency, a class action lawsuit was filed earlier this week alleging that the .biz registration process is an unfair and deceptive trade practice in violation of section 17200 of the California Business & Professions Code because it is running as an illegal lottery. The suit names ICANN, Neulevel (the ICANN-selected .biz registry), dotbizlottery.com, and a host of registrars who sell .biz registrations as the defendants (full list below).

    I am not a California lawyer, so don't take my comments to the bank, but a claim that .biz is being run as an illegal lottery would seem to have some merit to it; indeed, contributors to ICANNWatch have discussed this issue previously (see The (illegal) .biz Sweepstakes ). I would not like to be the lawyer who has to explain the dotbizlottery web site to a judge, or even how I created the conditions that made it possible. Nor is it necessarily obvious how other registrars' policies differ from it in a legally significant way if they take money for a chance to register an attractive .biz name and don't give full refunds in the event the registration doesn't go through (even if they are less shameless in the marketing department).

    We'll post a link to the complaint as soon as someone is kind enough to send us one, or identify a link to it.UPDATE: Bret Fausett has posted a .pdf of a scan of the complaint.



    Here's the case caption (list of parties):

    David Scott Smiley, dba Smiley Productions LLC, Skyscraper Productions LLC
    v.
    Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers, Neulevel Inc., Abacus America Inc., Alldomains.com, Blueberry Hill Communications Inc., Bulkregister.com Inc., Catalog.com Inc., Domain Registration Services, Inc., Dotster Inc., Emarkmonitor Inc., Enom Inc., Go Dadday Software Inc., Intercosmos Media Group Inc., Namesecure Inc., Network Solutions Inc., Parava Networks Inc., Register.com Inc., The Registry At Info Avenue, Verisign Inc., Domain Bank Inc., Cydian Technologies LLC, #1 Domain Names International Inc., 007Names, Inc., 1 Enameco, 123 Registration, Inc., 21 Company, 4Domains.com, BB Online UK Ltd., Core Internet Council of Registrars, Corporate Domains, Inc., CSL Computer Services Langenbach, Cybersearch-US, Inc., Direct Information PVT Ltd., Diversity Network Services, Domain-It! Inc., Domaininfo, Domainnameregistration.com, Domainpeople, Inc., Dotbizlottery.com, Edifax Internet Services LLC, Firstdomain.net, G+D International LLC, Gal Communications, Ltd, I.D.R. Internet Domain Registry, Internet Domain Registrars, Internetregistration.com LLC, Markmonitor, Melbourne It Limited, Nameengine Inc., Namescout.com Corp., NDN Registry, Netbenefit, Netlogin, Netpia.com Inc., Nominalia Internet SL, Onlinenic, Inc, Procurement Services Inc., Rapid Host, Reserveme.com, Signdomain.com, Spy Productions.com, The Nameit Corp., Tucows Inc., Virtual Internet PLC, Web Express Inc., Web Costasol, Webcity Australia Pty Ltd., Worldwidemedia.com

    Useful links:

    The (illegal) .biz Sweepstakes
    Was the gTLD Selection Process an Illegal Contest?

     
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    Class Action Alleges ICANN's .biz Is an Illegal Lottery | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 52 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Class Action Alleges ICANN's .biz Is an Illega
    by Buckshot6 on Wednesday July 25 2001, @04:03AM (#1458)
    User #2948 Info
    What goes around, comes around. I hope they all get screwed.....

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Class Action Alleges ICANN's .biz Is an Illega
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Thursday July 26 2001, @02:16PM (#1485)
    User #2810 Info
    Coverage from Internet World. -g
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Class Action Alleges ICANN's .biz Is an Illega
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Thursday July 26 2001, @05:54PM (#1493)
    User #2810 Info
    Bret Fausett has posted NeuLevel's response, in .pdf. -g
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    • 1 reply beneath your current threshold.
    Re: Class Action Alleges ICANN's .biz Is an Illega
    by Buckshot6 on Monday July 30 2001, @10:37AM (#1537)
    User #2948 Info
    July 30, 2001



    Suit Filed in Registration of Domain Names

    By SUSAN STELLIN

    nternet users upset about the process for registering addresses with the new dot-biz extension have complained that the system is being run like a lottery, and a new lawsuit says that is exactly what it is.

    The lawsuit, filed last Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, says that because the company in charge of the dot-biz domain, NeuLevel Inc., charges a $2 fee merely to submit an application for an address, with plans to select one application at random if there are multiple requests for the same address, the system qualifies as an illegal lottery in California and the 49 other states.

    "It's an illegal lottery," said Derek Newman, a lawyer with Newman & Newman in Seattle, one of three law firms handling the case, "because people are paying money but they're not getting anything in return."

    If there are multiple applications for one address, those who file unsuccessful applications will not get a refund on their application fee. Companies that register Internet addresses on behalf of the public, known as registrars, are passing along NeuLevel's $2 fee to customers, plus fees of their own for the service of submitting an application.

    Besides NeuLevel, based in Sterling, Va., the suit, which is seeking class-action status, names as defendants the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the organization responsible for the Internet's address system; and more than 60 companies accredited by Icann to register dot-biz domain names.

    Jeff Neuman, NeuLevel's director of policy and intellectual property, declined to comment on the case, as did a spokeswoman for Icann, which approved the contract governing the rollout of dot-biz addresses — one of seven new extensions being added to the Internet's address system.

    But on Thursday, NeuLevel issued a statement saying: "We believe that the dot-biz domain name selection process is the most fair and equitable way to distribute domain names. We believe the lawsuit is without merit and has been filed in an attempt to derail the successful introduction of dot-biz."

    The plaintiffs named in the suit are David Scott Smiley, a radio D.J. from Scottsdale, Ariz., who Mr. Newman said had tried to register radio.biz and dj.biz; and Skyscraper Productions, which offers traffic safety courses online and which hopes to register trafficschool.biz.

    But they are not the only ones to question the process.

    "Somebody had raised the issue a while back on a mailing list," said Larry Erlich, president of the Internet registrar DomainRegistry.com. "And at that point I thought, `That's a good point; I'll look into it.' "

    Mr. Erlich said he was unable to get satisfactory assurance from NeuLevel or Icann that the system was not a lottery, so he decided not to accept applications for dot-biz addresses, although his company was still named as a defendant in the suit.

    "They should not have included us," he said. "We've stated very clearly on our Web site that we're not taking applications. And luckily we didn't at this point."

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Class Action Alleges ICANN's .biz Is an Illega
    by Buckshot6 on Thursday August 02 2001, @01:22PM (#1573)
    User #2948 Info
    As of today, the Attorney General of Texas, has agreed to file a lawsuit against the parties to recover damages due to the state of Texas and its citizens. Under the anti-lottery statues of Texas.

    I see more states to follow this coure of action.

    Be sure to file a complaint in your state with your Attormey General.



    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: http://www.nic.biz/aboutnl/07262001.html
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Saturday July 28 2001, @06:38PM (#1528)
    User #2810 Info
    Why crosspost these here where readers don't get the full thread? Give them a link and/or say something that adds value to the mix, assuming that you actually have something to say. FWIW, the above .biz link resolves using new.net's plugin so I don't have to depend on Kent Crispin to do anything for me. -g
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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