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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Using WHOIS Policy To Snag Good Domain Names | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 27 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Using WHOIS Policy To Snag Good Domain Names
    by jberryhill on Thursday September 05 2002, @12:37PM (#9083)
    User #3013 Info

    Register.com does the same thing with its "unpaid names department". The registrars are required to provide whois data for "active" registrations. Some of the registrars have interpreted this to mean that they can cherry-pick domain names which are due to expire from their system, pay the $6.00 registry fee on their own, and then basically speculate on the name. If they let it go, then it will probably be registered through another registrar, so this can be a minor hedge against loss of market share. The argument is that these names are not in the .com zone and are not "active" registrations. They just live in the registry like ghosts. If a legal issue such as a trademark comes up, then some of the registrars will back-pedal, exclaim, "Gee, we don't know why it didn't drop", and the name will then drop.

    Recall that registrar name hoarding, according to the contract, is to be made subject to any registrar consensus policy that may be adopted on the subject. Of course, no such policy has been adopted, is in the works, or will be adopted. As Stuart Lynn forcefully made clear on the GA list recently, there is no "registrar code of conduct" - although he does not seem to appreciate that the accreditation agreement does prescribe at least some definable obligations on the part of registrars.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Using WHOIS Policy To Snag Good Domain Names by jberryhill
    Re: Using WHOIS Policy To Snag Good Domain Names
    by fnord ({groy2k} {at} {yahoo.com}) on Thursday September 05 2002, @08:29PM (#9093)
    User #2810 Info
    I notice that Register.com's Afternic has now cleaned up its act somewhat. There are presently only a couple of aol names available. Up until at least a few months ago and for many months before that, there were hundreds of domains available containing the string aol, many of them owned by Afternic member discountbin, an alias for Register.com. I covered some of those such names being offered here last February.

    Curious about the names on my list, I checked on their current status. Here's an update:

    aolbillcenter.com - Still registered to register.com. The WHOIS says if you want to buy it, go to Afternic Offers.

    aolbillingdepartment.net - This is a strange one, a web-based WHOIS tool balked at finding anything. A direct query found it registered to an individual in San Diego via TuCows. Hypermart.net nameservers but it doesn't resolve.

    aolbillingdepartment.org - Now owned by AOL, also its registrar, doesn't resolve.

    aolbillingdomain.com - Now owned by AOL, also its registrar, doesn't resolve.

    aol-billing-failure.com - Now owned by AOL, also its registrar, doesn't resolve.

    aolbillinginfo.com - Now owned by AOL, also its registrar, doesn't resolve.

    aol-billinginfo.com - Now unregistered and available. Although it wasn't part of my original list the .net version is owned by an individual in Texas and resolves [Warning, multiple popups including for its registrar of record and hosting provider ICANN accredited registrar DomainsDirect. Will attempt to reset your default homepage, install Gator spyware, etc.]

    aol-billing-info.com - Now owned by AOL, also its registrar, doesn't resolve.

    aolbillingservice.com - Now unregistered and available.

    aol-billing-staff.com - Now unregistered and available.

    aolbillingsupport-usmembers.com - Now unregistered and available.

    aol-billing-update.com - Registered to an individual in Escondido, California. Tech contact, which is otherwise similar to Admin, has email of version70sucks@aol. Registered via MelbourneIT, doesn't resolve.

    So, other than the first, from this list one might think register.com is getting out of the business, or one could speculate that perhaps these names dropped and were then registered via other registrars, or one could conclude register.com is doing a fair bit of business.

    I am also curious as to what might happen if those names not owned by AOL were challenged under the UDRP (except for the register.com one, can one file against a registrar? They presumably didn't click on their own clickwrap agreement which binds registrants to the UDRP.). In the other cases the new registrants could perhaps argue that AOL had ample opportunity to rescue their names. Nothing is ever simple in ICANNland. -g

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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