[AFRI-Discuss] ICANN-related News Items

ICANN At Large Staff staff at alac.icann.org
Thu Mar 8 15:35:54 EST 2007

I thought many of you would be interested in one or more of these  
news snippets:

1. ICANN locks down at-risk Registerfly domains
ICANN planned to sue Registerfly.com on 6 March according to Computer  
Business Review Online, “saying the company is putting its customers'  
estimated 2 million domain names at risk.” The article notes “in an  
unprecedented move, ICANN has persuaded the four major generic top- 
level domain registries to lock down all Registerfly's customers'  
domains for a month, so they cannot expire and then be hijacked by  
speculators or domain traffic monetization firms.” With a letter to  
Registerfly last Friday from ICANN noting “Registerfly is refusing to  
hand over data about its customers' domains, as required by its  
registrar accreditation agreement, and that it will enforce the  
contract in court by filing suit on Tuesday.” The article also notes  
that as ICANN has not been able to get its hands on the registration  
data, they have got VeriSign, NeuStar and Afilias “to lock all  
pending-expiration Registerfly domains into a ‘Server-Delete- 
Prohibited’ status.”

2. When Domain Names Bite Back
This story on The Motley Fool gives a background on the RegisterFly  
“debacle” from an investor’s point of view, looking back as far as  
the dot-com crash where VeriSign's Network Solutions and Register.com  
were Wall Street darlings”. The article claims “Before the debacle at  
Registerfly, the industry was coming back into favour” with investors  
with GoDaddy looking at going public this year. The article concludes  
“The Registerfly story may still have a happy ending, but the clock  
on existing annual registrations keeps ticking. Whether the site  
cleans up its act, is sold off to a rival registrar, or finds ICANN  
in a more hands-on role, the industry's reputation is at stake. And  
consumer faith is on the line. In the name of domains, let's hope  
this nascent industry gets it right.”

3. Porn Industry Against New XXX Domain
The Free Speech Coalition released a news release petitioning for  
help in opposing the .xxx TLD proposal. The Free Speech Coalition is  
the adult entertainment industry’s professional organisation. Genelle  
Belmas, professor of communications law, who argued in her  
dissertation in favour of a xxx TLD says, “The side that does not  
like pornography argues that if you give it its own domain you're  
legitimizing the porn. And the pornographers don't like it because  
they say it 'ghettoizes' the porn." The Executive Director of the FSC  
is quoted as saying what the adult industry refers to as  
"ghettoizing," is "making adult entertainment an easy target for anti- 
industry extremists and government intrusion." Other concerns are the  
cost of registering domain names ($60/year/domain) and that the TLD  
could be made “mandatory and subject to trans-Internet filtering that  
could effectively eliminate much of the adult content currently  
available on the Web."
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