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Re: [ga] Verisign rushes to roll out typo-squatting system on Monday

  • To: Dan Steinberg <synthesis@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [ga] Verisign rushes to roll out typo-squatting system on Monday
  • From: Karl Auerbach <karl@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2003 23:01:09 -0700 (PDT)
  • Cc: George Kirikos <gkirikos@xxxxxxxxx>, <ga@xxxxxxxx>, <discuss-list@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • In-reply-to: <3F65452E.40904@videotron.ca>
  • Reply-to: Karl Auerbach <karl@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Sender: owner-ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

> >"gTLD Registry operators WILL return NXDOMAIN for ALL DNS queries for
> >which there is not a REGISTERED domain name."

> what existing technical standards are you suggesting are being broken by 
> the "abusive monopolist" ?

Well, if queries for unregistered domains are returning records, those
records have TTL (time to live) values.

And if someone comes along and registers that name, the usability of that
name is contaminated for at least the duration of that TTL, usually

The typical TTLs used these days run from a few days to weeks - the value 
is set by the registry - .com is running, I believe, with a TTL of about 
48 hours.

Now this means that a buyer of a domain name contract may find that he/she 
has bought tarnished goods, particularly if the prior records have had the 
effect of leading web clients to a registrar/registry picked address 
during the period of the client's registration.

This is sort of like buying a new car and discovering that the dealer had
been using the car before the sale and that the dealer then defers
delivery for a few days and uses those days to put on a few hundred
additional miles.

There seem to be multiple remedies - the first is to ban the practice.  
The second is to have the registrar or registry forefit damages to the
customers.  The minimal measure of these damages should be 2/365ths
(representing the two days occupied by the TTL) - let's round it up to 1%
- of the yearly registration fee.  A better measure is based on lost
opportunity costs caused by the inability of a new registrant to come up
to speed with a fully usable new domain registration due to the seller's
ill behaviour.  Another measure, and I see no reason why these different
measures can not be cumulative, is the value of the benefit that this
practice gives to the registries/registrars.

There is no doubt in my own mind that any registry/registrar that sells
domain name contracts to unwitting buyers for names that have been used by
the registry or registrar during the period of non registration is
engaging in a deceptive business practices.  Whether my opinion on this is 
merely my own opinion or something of greater weight is a question that 
will have to be answered in the light of specific facts and specific 
parties in specific jurisdictions.


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