[NA-Discuss] Request to have a Fast Track PDP initiated

Danny Younger dannyyounger at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 30 03:09:37 UTC 2010

Dear all,

Events that have transpired in the last few days attendant to the launch of .рф have made it clear to me that although we can't deal with the troubling issues that may arise with TLD launches in the ccTLD world, we do have the ability to act to protect the public interest within the gTLD sphere by way of a policy that would govern speculation in domain names by registrars.

By way of background, in the recent .рф ccTLD launch an ICANN accredited registrar, RU-Center, decided to register domain names in its own name on a priority basis and only then did it register other domain names.  Approximately 24,500 premium domains registered to RU-Center were then put up for auction. The Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) then stepped in, shut down the auctions and accused a number of registrars of collusion.

What can we learn from this?  Simply put... greed in the new TLD launch process can lead to abuse of the public trust, and measures need to be in place to ensure that the public is protected from the ICANN-accredited registrar community.

In our gTLD world, there is at the moment no ICANN policy whatsoever governing speculation in, or warehousing of, domains by registrars.  Registrars are able to game the system to their own ends however they see fit; this has to change.

The current RAA (section 3.7.9) states:  "Registrar shall abide by any ICANN adopted specifications or policies prohibiting or restricting warehousing of or speculation in domain names by registrars".

As there is no such policy or specification, I suggest that we initiate a PDP to have such a policy created, namely a policy that would state:

"No registrar, registrar affiliate, or reseller of registrar services shall engage in warehousing of or speculation in domain names." 

While I understand that the GNSO soon will broadly be looking at proposed amendments for the RAA, we all know that the GNSO process (if spread over the entirety of the RAA proposed amendments) can take years to arrive at a recommendation... yet with the imminent roll-out of hundreds of new gTLDs, we just don't have the luxury of waiting that long.

In my view, what is called for is a Fast Track PDP approach that would focus on a single policy recommendation that could be put in place before any new gTLD is launched.

I would ask the NARALO to bring this matter to the immediate attention of the ALAC.

Thanks for your consideration of this issue.

Danny Younger


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