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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Did Jeff Davies find a legal loophole? | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 143 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Truth, lies and registry/registrar responsibil
    by Anonymous on Tuesday December 31 2002, @10:15AM (#10784)
    How can there be a fair game when the refs and umps are also players?
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Truth, lies and registry/registrar responsibil
    by Anonymous on Tuesday December 31 2002, @10:31AM (#10786)
    Were ringers let in the game?
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Truth, lies and registry/registrar responsibil
    by Anonymous on Wednesday January 01 2003, @12:07AM (#10790)

    The trouble was that the very people (eg Afilias directors) you would expect to be protecting the process and its integrity (to safeguard honest customers) were themselves damaging the process, or (via their own Registrar companies) engaging in profitable activity regardless of whether the process was being adhered to. This was one of the weaknesses in the system : the fact that most of the Afilias Directors of the .info registry were themselves Registrars who could benefit from the Registry's lax implementation of the process and agreements.

    So for example, there was Govinda Leopold - Afilias Director and running 1st Domain net at the same time, applying in the Sunrise for hawaii.info, maui.info, and govinda.info

    If you take a look at the TM numbers supplied to support these applications, it's ludicrous:

    Hawaii.info: TM 44455555 from country: TN
    Maui.info: TM 3333345 from country: BN

    Furthermore her Registrar company also sponsored a person who applied through unaccountable Yahoo addresses from countries whose TM details they hoped might be hard to trace: Bangladesh, Yemen, Bulgaria, Bhutan, Malaysia, Libya, Dubai, Brunei, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Namibia - ...

    Oh, but it all made money for Govinda's company so screw the integrity of the process, even if Govinda IS also an Afilias director.

    These Trademarks were later shown to be non-existent, but at the time when I published their details at the Internet Challenge, I was even threatened by this person's attorney who claimed the Trademarks were genuine... WIPO later showed that did not seem to be the case.

    The problem was that the gamekeeper also appeared to be the poacher. When Hal Lubsen's colleagues at DomainBank (or Hal himself?) broke the Afilias rules with Lorenz's 93 domains, you would expect the "gamekeeper" (Afilias) to stop that piece of poaching by saying, no, these applications are ineligible, and we have landrush pre-registrants to protect, so we can't possibly allow these facially ineligible claims, what the fuck are you playing at?

    But then, Hal Lubsen was also the CEO of Afilias, and the "gamekeepers" not only went ahead and accepted the rule-breaking applications (zero data in all 4 mandatory TM datd fields) but also refused to cancel the registrations on the registrant's request to protect other customers in Landrush - because that would, of course, have potentially lost DomainBank their money.

    So as has been pointed out higher up in this thread of messages, the process and agreements were not only flawed in themselves, but were not properly policed, very probably because of the fundamental conflict of interest with "gamekeepers" and "poachers" having roles both in the Registry and at Registrar level. It was in the interests of the registrars for the Agreement to be very loosely implemented (or just plain ignored) but the Afilias directors who should have maintained the process WERE registrars. Afilias was, from the outset, a Registrars' cartel. The club existed and was set up to make money for the Registrars involved.

    The rules were "take it or leave it"... sometimes they just got in the way... the primary goal was making money from customers... if that meant SELLING the same name at Landrush 1, at Sunrise, and at Landrush 2... all so much the better.

    Richard Henderson

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Truth, lies and registry/registrar responsibil
    by Anonymous on Wednesday January 01 2003, @01:01AM (#10791)

    Read the rest of this comment...

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Truth, lies and registry/registrar responsibil
    by Anonymous on Wednesday January 01 2003, @01:18AM (#10792)

    And why did Afilias accept preposterous Sunrise applications even from Registrars they knew personally, like Donny Simonton of Intercosmos, who took one look at the Agreements and submitted these names in the Sunrise (all of which he claimed he had TMs for, and all of which were registered for him personally):

    Donny Simonton 404.info
    Donny Simonton asian.info
    Donny Simonton celebrity.info
    Donny Simonton cellular.info
    Donny Simonton cheerleaders.info
    Donny Simonton donny.info
    Donny Simonton fat.info
    Donny Simonton hardcore.info
    Donny Simonton jackpot.info
    Donny Simonton marijuana.info
    Donny Simonton roulette.info
    Donny Simonton sextoys.info
    Donny Simonton shit.info
    Donny Simonton spanking.info
    Donny Simonton teen.info
    Donny Simonton videopoker.info
    Donny Simonton voyeur.info

    Of course, in reality, Donny didn't have TMs for these - not even for Donny.info

    But what examples like these demonstrate is the systematic way the processes were abused, both byRegistry directors and also (as in this case) by the very Registrars the public were supposed to be able to trust. While registrars were selling pre-registrations to vulnerable landrush customers, some of them were also abusing the system themselves, submitting fraudulent applications.

    Did ICANN take any action against accredited registrars who acted inappropriately?

    These registrars remain accredited. They remain "in the club".

    And that was the weakness of the Afilias .info abomination : it was like a club. The Registry was owned by Registrars. The Registrars could make money out of abusing the system. The Agreements were ignored where necessary. The consumer was cannon fodder in all this.

    Their interests were not upheld.

    Their interests were not protected.

    The very Agreements which should have protected them were, in fact, abused from within the registry/registrar community...

    Richard Henderson

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Truth, lies and registry/registrar responsibil
    by Anonymous on Wednesday January 01 2003, @01:31AM (#10793)
    Take another Registrar - Wooho...

    Their executive Jonh Wb Lee submitted 42 fake trademark claims in his own name, which were later challenged and defeated (but by then the process had been shattered and consumers defrauded, once again in this case by the registrar community):

    Jonh Wb. Lee academy.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee africa.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee argentina.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee bag.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee bar.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee bill.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee brazil.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee building.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee catsndogs.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee certificate.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee cisco.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee columbia.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee cool.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee daerim.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee dhl.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee dogncat.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee ebiz.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee ecrm.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee etrade.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee finland.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee firewall.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee firm.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee gmat.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee hat.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee ibm.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee inews.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee jamaica.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee jewel.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee kimchee.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee northkorea.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee pga.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee philipine.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee pki.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee puppy.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee recruit.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee russia.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee singapore.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee sweden.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee swiss.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee tea.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee tobacco.info
    Jonh Wb. Lee tokyo.info

    As in the case of the 63 Sunrise names sponsored by Moshe Fogel's company, all with the same TM number and therefore both incredible and impossible, almost all these Wooho submissions had THE SAME TRADEMARK NUMBER!

    This was clear abuse of the process, and yet Wooho were prepared to submit these fakes on behalf of their own executive!

    As the TM was replicated it was transparent that fraud was taking place. Yet Wooho chose to ignore the purpose of the Sunrise. Afilias ignored it to, and went ahead an registered the names. And Landrush cutomers lost out because of this collaboration between Registrar and Registry (who were made up of Registrar friends in the industry anyway!)

    How can Afilias argue that their processes and Agreements were adequately upheld? How can Afilias deny that innocent customers lost out because of the abuse of process, the integral weakness of the process, and a betrayal of trust?

    Richard Henderson

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Truth, lies and registry/registrar responsibil
    by Anonymous on Wednesday January 01 2003, @01:44AM (#10794)

    Take the staggering case of Speednames, represented at the time on the Afilias Board of Directors by Mickey Beyer:

    They were responsible for the biggest Sunrise scam of them all. They charged IRO $500,000 to support the applications of Plankenstein : a staggering 4981 separate Trademark claims for 4981 domains, and as in the cases cited higher up this thread it was facially clear that these Trademarks were preposterous. They were nearly all dated with the year 1899.

    For a company represented on the Afilias Board, and therefore with a particular obligation to uphold the process so that ALL customers were treated fairly, to take the money for a deal which so obviously needed caution and rejection, seems wholly unacceptable.

    The process which should have been used to protect the general public and consumers worldwide was being systematically abused by people INSIDE that process.

    I exchanged very honest, open correspondence with Speednames after this all came to light. They admitted the names should have been rejected and deleted by Afilias.

    Once the scam became known to the public, they ASKED AFILIAS to immediately delete the names, in advance of the Landrush. AFILIAS REFUSED.

    Even though it was now public knowledge that the Agreement had been clearly abused in this, the most obvious case of abuse (and even Plankenstein went public to the press and admitted they were fakes)... nevertheless, Afilias refused to put these names back in the pot for the Landrush pre-registrants. Afilias UPHELD the abuse of their process, rather than protect the consumer.

    4981 fake Trademarks, submitted by a company on the Afilias Board, for half a million dollars profit, in total abuse of the Process supposed to protect people.

    Afilias, their Board, some of their own registrar companies, were part and parcel of an abuse of the Agreements, a failure (or refusal) to implement the process, and the consumer clearly lost out as a result of this abuse of process, and failure to uphold the process.

    Richard Henderson

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Truth, lies and registry/registrar responsibil
    by Anonymous on Wednesday January 01 2003, @02:04AM (#10795)

    Read the rest of this comment...

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Truth, lies and registry/registrar responsibil
    by Anonymous on Wednesday January 01 2003, @02:24AM (#10796)

    Read the rest of this comment...

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Truth, lies and registry/registrar responsibil
    by Anonymous on Wednesday January 01 2003, @02:36AM (#10797)

    Then there was the notorious case of Spy Productions, where the Registrar invited clients to make fake claims "with their eyes open", took their money, and then INVENTED the Trademark numbers himself... they weren't made up by the customer, the registrar put them in later himself... entirely made up numbers.

    In later correspondence on the ICANN Public Forums, he justified this by saying that he did it in his customer's best interests because the fraud was already going on, and HIS customers would lose out unless they joined in.

    This scam was notified to Afilias, and requests were made to cancel and delete the registrations to protect Landrush customers. Afilias created the opportunity for the scam, they had the right in their Agreement to cancel the names once they'd been notified they were fake, but they CHOSE NOT TO PROTECT Landrush customers.

    That was a conscious choice on the part of Afilias (along the same lines as the Lorenz domain's submitted by DomainBank).

    Afilias HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO PROTECT Landrush customers around the world, and Afilias's neglect of their interests was responsible for the failure of the process with regard to their legitimate Landrush interests.

    The Agreements state clearly that Afilias DID have the right and powers to delete those names, rather than delaying as they did, to the detriment of many landrush customers.

    In the case of Spy Productions, the invented numbers were clearly fake... One number - 137636599 - had been used as the Trademark number 44 times for completely different applications.

    Today, Spy Productions continue to trade. I don't personally seek the destruction of a man's living. Let them trade. But I blame ICANN and Afilias for presiding over corrupted processes, being able to intervene but declining to, and wholly failing customers worldwide.

    Richard Henderson

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Truth, lies and registry/registrar responsibil
    by Anonymous on Wednesday January 01 2003, @02:54AM (#10798)
    Then take a look at the case of the Afilias Director Philip Grabensee, who was happy to be named as Registrant for 100's of Sunrise applicants - and again WIPO demonstrated that fraud was carried out in his name.

    His argument was that he was acting for clients.

    My argument is that a person intimately involved in the industry should have made himself fully aware of the consequences of fraud, the cost to others, and should have shown discretion instead of just participating in a bandwagon which was out of control and a process which was fatally flawed.

    As an Afilias Director, he is part of the Board which may take on Jeff Davies in court.

    As a Sunrise applicant and participant, he may justifiably be challenged about the part he played.

    You look at Lubsen, at Fogel, and the fakes their associated registrar companies submitted for profit... you look at the range of fakes submitted by a third Afilias director Govinda Leopold through her company... you look at a fourth Afilias Director whose company was responsible for the 4981 Plankenstein fakes being sponsored for half a million dollars... and here, on the Afilias Board, is Philip Grabensee too... I would have hestitated to join that "esteemed" company myself...

    The one man of honour in all this was Robert Connelly, the Afilias Director who reigned his interests and described the process as "an abomination" which was harming consumers. He had the principle to put what was right before what was transparently NOT right...

    Of course, the Afilias "spin machine" soon set about re-casting him as a "malcontent"... the classic but crude technique of marginalising a critic.

    What we see in the .info release is a process which was wrong in the first place, which was exploited from inside and outside the Afilias Boardroom, which was not defended properly even in its flawed state, and which through negligence, fraud, and incompetence resulted in loss to innocent consumers.

    Richard Henderson

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Truth, lies and registry/registrar responsibil
    by Anonymous on Wednesday January 01 2003, @03:27AM (#10799)
    A sixth Afilias Director appeared to have done more or less similar to his fellow Director Govinda Leopold.

    Just as Govinda claimed Govinda.info and turned out not to have a valid TM, so Eric Schaetzlein claimed Eric.info but in the end lost it as well. It was put back in the second Landrush. The same thing happened to another name he claimed - Webstart.info

    As well as being an Afilias Director, Eric is part of Schlund registrars

    What appears to me is a process which was subject to abuse, being supposedly policed and upheld by people who in their other guises as registrars in too many cases abused the process themselves.

    However Eric explains his role, the accumulative impression given by so many incidents is (in my opinion) of a Registry that neglected its responsibility to all consumers and its responsibility to protect the agreements and mechanisms upon which other people trusted and made financial decisions.

    This neglect could be usefully explored in a court of law.

    Richard Henderson

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Truth, lies and registry/registrar responsibil
    by Anonymous on Wednesday January 01 2003, @03:44AM (#10800)

    Read the rest of this comment...

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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