[NA-Discuss] Pre-registrations

Jothan Frakes jothan at gmail.com
Tue Jun 7 22:07:48 UTC 2011


I am going to peek out from the lurk balcony here and drop two pennies
into the orchestra pit...

In looking at two of the sites out there that are prominent
pre-registration sites for 201X new TLDs, United Domains and Pool,
neither are collecting money nor seem to be setting any expectations
about their service as to a person actually obtaining the domain name
that they're expressing interest in.

These objective criteria are how I rate if they are reasonable:
[X] No money is charged.
[X] No expectation of actual acquisition of a given domain name is set.
[X] The expectations and next steps are clearly and unambiguously stated.

It seems like the pre-registrations are largely demonstrative as
reasonably good empirical evidence for dispelling the New TLD haters'
oft worn argument of evidencing demand.

Those are two examples that are operating in the realm of reasonable
practice (at least by my reckoning), but I have the tenure in ICANN
land to recall the numerous opportunists that charged money and never
delivered back in 1999-2k-2k1 when the news of new TLDs started to
trickle out.  There were folks accepting registrations for money
against the 7 MOU names, many of which never appeared.  I think it is
unambiguous that such activity is clearly and objectively BAD.

Some bad actors accepted money and then were never able to deliver, or
shut their doors with no refunds.  The possibility exists in the
current round as well, although the universe of vying TLDs is only as
large at the moment as those that have announced publicly, until the
veil is lifted post application close.  It would be good to keep
clearly bad activity out of the new rounds where possible.

If there is an entity that has some compliance nexus with ICANN that
happens to do some form of clearly bad action here, some consequence
would be expected. MOST entities with some compliance nexus would not
seek to jeopardize it or know how to reasonably offer pre-registration

I would assert that most of the parties that would perpetrate
pre-registration scams are probably not within the compliance orbit of
ICANN, so really this is a consumer awareness thing.

It seems to me that some authority on new TLDs making available some
form of information about what the new TLD program is and is not would
also be helpful to aid a consumer about the facts and fictions should
they take the steps to research.  If that is ICANN or if it is the
regional At-Large, or some trusted source, I'd concur that brushing
the dust off the notices that Antony et al have posted here from
previous rounds might be a way for ICANN to help the community at
large who does not follow the processes to ensure that John or Jane Q.
Public are not suckered into a con.

That said, let's not make said messaging paint all pre-registration
activity with one broad brushstroke....  It should be done in a manner
that does not detract from the outreach on the actual new TLDs that
will be coming out, and not choke out any bona-fide efforts on behalf
of applicants from using expressions of interest or other means to
gauge how to best serve their customers, constituencies, communities

ok, there's 2 cents.


On Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 12:26 PM,  <ebw at abenaki.wabanaki.net> wrote:
> Michele,
> The difference between offering "pre-registration" before a registry
> contract exists, or has been applied for, or the parties involved in
> making the determination that the new gTLD program shall progress to
> implementation, and offering "pre-registration" when there is a
> contract is significant.
> Another significant difference is between the efforts of applicant
> projects to communicate ICANN's current plan of record, and their
> own plan of record, to the communities for which the eventual legal
> applicant of record will, in their application, if required by the
> application evaluation process (and so conditional upon the acts of
> others) claim support and/or offer services to, and communications
> by other parties not intending to become the eventual legal applicant
> of record.
> As you note, personal views color "pre-registration" and "expressions
> of interest" as useful terms. My point is not only is the example we
> have of "pre-registration" problematic, but a similar act, carried out
> by the NCBA or PunctCat in 2000 or 2004, for .coop and .cat, respectively,
> is also distinguishable, and less inherently problematic, as these were
> in the process of obtaining a contract right to create .coop and .cat.
> Eric
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