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Re: [ga] Fictitious Registrars, Racketeering & ICANN

  • To: Hugh Dierker <hdierker2204@xxxxxxxxx>, ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Re: [ga] Fictitious Registrars, Racketeering & ICANN
  • From: Danny Younger <dannyyounger@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2006 05:36:56 -0800 (PST)
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  • Sender: owner-ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Bruce Tonkin on the registrars list states:
"During October 2005, there was a total of 43,228,923
.com names under management (up from 42,541,300 in the
previous month), however in that
single month 20,580,207 .com names were deleted.  I
would presume that most of the 20 million deletions
occurred during the 5 day add-grace period. It is also
interesting to note that some registrars have many
more deletions than they have names under management."

What we are witnessing is registrar collaboration with
the domain monetizing industry at an unprecedented
scale.  Domains are being tested for their traffic
potential by these registrars, and domains that have a
high traffic potential (such as those that are
typosquatting on trademarked names) are then being
registered.  When coupled with 
parking-page-semantic-association techniques used by
firms such as hitfarm.com and others, these parked
domains given rise to automated trademark
infringement, cybersquatting and service mark
counterfeiting as illustrated in the commentary
provided by Transamerica's Bruce McDonald.  See

Bruce McDonald has stated:  "If it is determined that
concealment and deception involving the true ownership
of Internet domain names is the ordinary course of
business of ICANN-accredited registrars who
have colluded to misappropriate and counterfeit the
names, trademarks and service marks of other parties
in their registration and use of Internet domain
names, then it is Transamerica?s position that such
conduct represents the predicate act for a pattern of
illegal business activity within the meaning of the
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations
("RICO") provisions of the Organized Crime Control Act
of 1970, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-1968 (1982)."
Bruce has raised some serious questions that warrant
straight-forward answers:

1.  Are registrars speculating in domain names?  Do we
need a policy to address such speculation?
2.  Are registrars directly involved in cybersquatting
3.  Are registrars utilizing anonymizing services to
conceal their role in cybersquatting activities?
4.  Are registrars guilty of colluding to
misappropriate and counterfeit the names, trademarks
and service marks of other parties in their

The domain monetizing industry is fast becoming a
billion dollar enterprise.  If this industry is
responsible for promoting cybersquatting on a massive
scale, then ICANN as coordinator of the DNS must take
some action against to deal with this threat (all the
moreso if its own registrar community is implicated).

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