Criticism and suggestions for improvement are welcome.
The election for the GA representative to the NC Transfer Task Force, began on Thursday 3 January 2002, and will end on Thursday 10 January 2002. The candidates are Dan Steinberg, Eric Dierker, and Jeff Williams. Details on the vote are available from [www.dnso.org].
The call for endorsement for the election of the GA Chair and Alternate Chair closed on Friday, 04 January 2002. The vote began Saturday 5 January 2002, and will end on 12 January 2002. The candidates are Kristy McKee, Thomas Roessler, Alexander Svensson, and Eric Dierker. Details on the vote are available from [www.dnso.org].
(i) .org divestiture. Jeff Williams forwarded a draft (version 5.2, from Jan 4, 2002) of the Task Force’s report on the .org divestiture [www.dnso.org]. Marc Schneiders (the GA’s representative to this task force) followed up, noting that it’s not clear whether the draft posted is the final version, but that it was posted to the NCDNHC list. He noted that he believes that the key points he stands for are “quite well represented in the text”, and that he’s happy with it. [www.dnso.org]
There was little discussion on this text. It should, however, be noted that the .org divestiture TF is currently the subject of active discussions on the names council list, see various threads at [www.dnso.org].
(iv) Deleted domain name handling. On December 30, 2001, a PDF document circulated on the registrars constituency mailing list detailed plans on a waiting list service. [www.lextext.com], [www.dnso.org].
The proposal goes like this (from Verisign’s document): “WLS is a service whereby potential registrants (‘subscribers’) through their selected, participating registrar, may purchase a subscription tied to a domain name currently registered. [...] All current processes would remain unchanged with one exception. A domain name registration that is subscribed to on WLS will be registered to the subscriber when the current domain name registration is deleted through normal operational procedures. Initially, a domain name registration could only have one subscription pending at a time.”
Note, in particular, that according to this proposal the registrar would still be the only one who does business with registrants directly. This includes the process of fulfilling a subscription: When this process is done, the domain in question will be registered for the (now former) subscriber through the registrar which was used to place the subscription.
Pricing at the registrar level is at US $ 40 (wholesale) for a one-year subscription.
Feedback on the proposal is expected from the registrars’ constituency by January 18, 2002.
The proposal provoked ample, and sometimes heated, discussions on the GA list, which is still going on.
The discussion included fears that the deal may already be done (which was denied by Ross Rader “if the registrars have anything to do with it”). Ross also pointed to a message discussing the proposal which he sent to the registrars list [www.dnso.org].
Some (WX Walsh, DP Farrar) doubted that the proposal may have any benefit for the internet community as a whole, as opposed to Verisign’s stakeholders. To this, Chuck Gomes of Verisign responded that requests for a wait list service have been there since 1996.
Bret Fausett noted that putting the service at the registry level would mean an improvement to registrants: You’d just buy one subscription through your favorite registrar, and you’d be guaranteed that you get a domain name if and when it lapses. With a purely registrar-based system, you’d pay various services, and that just for improving the chance that you may get the domain when it’s dropped. [www.dnso.org], [www.dnso.org].
In a message forwarded by WXW from some other list (the registrars list?), George Kirikos elaborates on various points of criticism on the proposal. In particular, George asks why Verisign registry has not implemented any of the simple technical fixes proposed earlier. Suggestions include “rate-limiting connections, pushing out lists of candidate drop names, and returning richer error codes”. He also lists “numerous competing firms and registrars attempting to register expired domains, using the existing fair and transparent system” (besides Snapnames). [www.dnso.org]
In a follow-up, Chuck Gomes points out that “every registrar would have equal opportunity to participate or not participate”. George Kirikos replies that his problem is “leveraging the monopoly power of the registry, to enter a ‘new business’, which puts existing market participants out of business”.
Finally, Ross Rader has forwarded an alternative proposal from the icann-deletes mailing list. The proposal from Afternic.com, called Registry Re-circulation System, basically boils down to an auction of expired domain names during a finite amount of time after they have been dropped. [www.dnso.org]