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

    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Weird Doings at the FTC: Shoddy 'Consumer Alert' Appears, Vanishes | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 8 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Weird Doings at the FTC: Shoddy 'Consumer Aler
    by Grumpy on Friday May 18 2001, @04:44AM (#606)
    User #2759 Info
    No offense, but I disagree with the characterization of the .biz start-up plan as a "sunrise." Neulevel goes to great pains to emphasize that filing a SIPN claim guarantees NOTHING to the claimant beyond notice if anyone (including the claimant) applies to register a .biz domain name matching the claimed string. It's a chance to head off a lot of trademark fights before they hit the UDRP (or some mutated UDRP specific to .biz) or the courts... "knowledge is power."

    By contrast, Afilias is giving away huge chunks of real estate to trademark owners. That's far more troubling than Neulevel's attempt to reduce overall transaction costs.

    As for New.Net and the non-DoC roots, the average Internet user (i.e. NOT a regular on this web site) is not likely to understand how to reconfigure their DNS settings to view the other roots. If they're AOL users, they may not know how to install the New.Net plug-in. And those users need to know that they can't receive e-mail through a New.Net .shop domain name.

    The FTC notice appears excessive, and I would guess that they pulled it in order to scale back some of the claims and warnings. (I agree that any slams, implied or otherwise, against IOD are misplaced.) The concept behind the message, however, remains valid.

    - Grumpy
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    Re: Weird Doings at the FTC: Shoddy 'Consumer Aler
    by tbyfield ({tbyfield} {at} {panix.com}) on Friday May 18 2001, @04:56AM (#607)
    User #44 Info
    And let us not forget the curious past of this "warning" before the FTC pulled it yesterday.

    First, the remarkable 29 September 2000 warning, "Names Council Warns Pre-Registration of Speculative New Domain Names Is Premature." Why exactly the NC, then chaired by Ken Stubbs, was behind this warning is anyone's guess; they hadn't done anything like that before.

    Then, on 16 November 2000, the FTC issued a "Consumer Alert" about "Domain Name Registration Scams" (ICANN's announcement page still dead-links to it as of this writing). A cached Google copy of a page at the same URL incudes not 5 long warnings, like the one Michael annotated above, but merely 3 terse ones:

    1. 1. Avoiding any domain name pre-registration service that guarantees particular top level domain names or preferential treatment in the assignment of new top level domain names.
    2. 2. Avoiding doing business with people who send unsolicited faxes - regardless of the offer. Unsolicited faxes are illegal.
    3. 3. Staying on top of the news about top level domain names at the ICANN website, www.icann.org.

    This iteration seemed mostly to be a response to Regland, a subject in which ICANN VP/GC allegedly took a keen interest in (e.g., shouting at Regland to change the wording from "reserve" to "pre-register," shouting at registrars not to cooperate with Regland, and so on). For details of that odd episode, see my roving_reporter column here and here.

    Sometime thereafter, DomainBank -- an Afilias-borg component in which then-NC Chair Stubbs had (he may still have) an interest -- set itself apart from the Afilias pack by making a lot of hay about these warnings (see the r_r here).

    What I'd like to know is:

    • How many iterations of this FTC warning were published?
    • What events prompted the FTC to change the warning's text?
    • Whoever drafted the various iterations was clearly clueless; who was s/he talking to?
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