The irony is that the Afilias CEO Hal Lubsen (who had also been long-term CEO of DomainBank with which he maintains a deep involvement) now suggests that Mr Davies acted improperly - not true... he challenged names at WIPO *which he ws allowed to*... it was Afilias who then granted him the registration of those names and unlocked them.
And yet DomainBank made $15000 submitting the 100 or so Lorenz applications, in breach of Afilias rules, and then Lubsen failed to cancel those applications when Lorenz pointed out the rule breach and requested them deleted!
Lubsen's company kept the money, even though they *knew* they were not entitled under Afilias rules to carry out that transaction!
For Lubsen, the Afilias CEO, to then attempt to pursue Davies, seems very ironical to me. I repeat, Davies was perfectly within his rights to challenge the suspect Sunrise names at WIPO. Afilias were the ones who then granted him the registration and unlocked his names. They were also the ones who were changing and making up the rules as they went along.
As well as Lubsen's failure to delete the profitable Domainbank applications, allowing DomainBank to take the profit even though they were abusing the Afilias process, there were other Afilias breaches of the rules.
Speednames (represented on the Afilias Board throughout this period) made in the region of $500,000 for submitting the 4981 fake applications of Plankenstein, even though these were visibly fake with recurring 1899 trademarks. Speednames were aware that they were fakes and claim they drew this to Afilias's attention, but again Afilias would not delete the names, so Speednames were left with a profit from the breach of the rules.
There was also the involvement of Philip Grabensee, the Afilias director, named as registrant in scores of fake Sunrise applications "for his clients". Again, Afilias just went ahead and registered these fake applications.
Do not forget, either Govinda Leopold, the Afilias director who submitted fake trademark numbers for hawaii.info and maui.info, and also did the same with govinda.info
THESE events (and over 10,000 others) were the background to a shambles which Afilias and ICANN had allowed to happen through either mismanagement, inept Agreements, or deliberate "laissez-faire" policy.
ICANN were asked to intervene in these situations but chose to ignore a number of key appeals. They appear to have chosen what their Registrar Liaison officer Dan Halloran later called a "laissez faire" kind of approach.
And yet Afilias were indicted by "one honest man" on their Board : Bob Connelly resigned his interests with Afilias. He said he found the abandonment of consumers unacceptable and described the Afilias launch as "an abomination".
So this was the context (and the corruption?) of the Sunrise process and its Challenges. The rules were ignored. The rules were altered. Afilias first decided to grant Davies the registration of the names granted him by WIPO. Then they retrospectively changed their minds.
What business does either ICANN or Afilias have, enforcing a Trademark policy on domain names anyway, and does that not infringe upon other's fair trading rights? Did ICANN have a legal power to interfere with business in this way, in the context of their narrow technical mission? Who granted them such a specific power, with regard to the Sunrise policy?
The really mistaken assumption is over the nature of domain names. These are simply strings of letters or numbers, acting as numbers in an internet telephone directory. They are NOT trademarks. It was wrong of ICANN and Afilias to treat them as such, and "lock out" millions of people all over the world, in granting the domain names to a Trademark holder.
Indeed, the bigger issue here was not the "locking out" of Jeff Davies' domains, but the "locking out" of millions of ordinary internet users who were not able to participate in the distribution of the DNS on the "fair and equitable" terms cited in ICANN's fundamental mandate.
250 days after writing to Dan Halloran on serious issues including some of these -and there are clear, concerning unanswered questions - he has still not even done me the courtesy of acknowledging my mail. Indeed he has himself used the term "laissez faire" of the ICANN approach. They have watched over the shambles of the Afilias "abomination" (as defined by one of Afilias's own directors). They have chosen to preside over the "locking" of names from the general public who *should* have had a fair and equal right to use such names.
I personally would like to see all this (and many of these specific cases) aired in court in detail. If ICANN and Afilias want to take Jeff Davies to court (after Afilias themselves registered the names in question for Davies, granted him an extra year's registration, and unlocked his names) then they should expect to have to answer a whole range of questions concerning their competency, their transparency, their abuses, their policies...
Hal Lubsen has never tried to deny that DomainBank made a profit from the Lorenz case, and that as Afilias CEO he refused Lorenz's proposal that the names should be deleted and the applications cancelled. Indeed DomainBank subsequently pursued Lorenz for the completion of his payment for that transaction, even though the transaction itself only went ahead because DomainBank broke the Afilias rules.
Dan Halloran has never responded to my requests for answers to many of these questions.
I doubt if a court would be satisfied with this failure to engage. I doubt whether a court would allow them to be so "laissez faire".