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NetSol and ICANN Sued over Domain Tasting
February 26, 2008 7:21 AM   Subscribe

Ars Technica is reporting that, "A class-action lawsuit has been launched against domain registrar Network Solutions and ICANN over the controversial practice of domain tasting. The suit was initiated on behalf of Chris McElroy, a search engine optimization specialist who goes by the handle NameCritic. McElroy has long been an extremely vocal critic of ICANN and is a regular participant on the organization's mailing lists." Users everywhere, likely including a number of MeFites, rejoice. More: Network World article, Press Release, Network Solutions defense of the practice, ICANN comments on the practice.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow (12 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
The lesson? Don't mess with Kibbutz
posted by Kibbutz at 7:25 AM on February 26, 2008


I use Instant Domain Search to find free domain names. It actually searches as you type and they claim not to record your searches. I've never had a problem with it (I think they use their own DB rather then doing whois queries every time you type a letter)

They even offer https so you can search without anyone sniffing your traffic (It looks like they just added that in the past few days, since I don't remember seeing that before).

I can't believe people are still searching one name at a time and using VeriSign to do it. I also can't believe people still use VeriSign. I purchased my first domain name in... looks like January 2001 and I used register.com (which also sucks, but not as bad)
posted by delmoi at 7:41 AM on February 26, 2008 [6 favorites]


I have such little sympathy for people who are in the 'business' of buying and selling massive numbers of domains. Isn't this just one kind of scammer fighting a turf war with another kind of scammer?
posted by bbuda at 8:02 AM on February 26, 2008


Isn't this just one kind of scammer fighting a turf war with another kind of scammer?

What makes you think they are buying massive numbers of domains? If they were, why would they be using VeriSign, or typing in test names one by one?

It sounds like the people getting screwed here are everyday people wanting buy domain names for projects or ideas.
posted by delmoi at 8:05 AM on February 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


bbuda writes "I have such little sympathy for people who are in the 'business' of buying and selling massive numbers of domains."

What about the rest of us? Network Solutions' practices aren't helping me, either.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:11 AM on February 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's a pity there's no way to scrub the whole damn system of latent domain names (and I've got a few myself). I don't let go of mine for fear of a squatter snatching them up.

Pushing the cost back up to the ~$100 level might make a lot of domain squatting uneconomic, but it's hardly an ideal solution.
posted by Leon at 8:12 AM on February 26, 2008


Some claim domain name registries such as VeriSign and the Public Interest Registry have turned a blind eye to the practice as it has dramatically increased the number of registrations secured and renewed. However, this claim is inconsistent with proposals by registries to introduce measures that would reduce or eliminate the practice.[2]

Naivete, thy name is Wikipedia.
posted by doctor_negative at 8:15 AM on February 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I believe SEO is properly pronounced asS-E-Ole
posted by srboisvert at 9:08 AM on February 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


Leon- I think the way it works now is: you can buy a domain name, but if you want it refunded within a few days, you get a full refund. As long as that rule is in effect, domain tasting can be done on a scale proportional to the liquid assets of the registrars, in perpetuity. But if you got rid of that rule, registrars would stop getting their money back, and the scale at which it could be practiced would go down sharply over time.

I know that as soon as that rule is revoked (if it ever is), I'm going to write a script that sends out domain name requests for random well-formatted strings 24/7, and I would encourage others to run such a script as well.
posted by Jpfed at 9:15 AM on February 26, 2008


ICANN vs an SEO specialist? I don't know who to not root for.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 10:37 AM on February 26, 2008 [2 favorites]


i_am_joe's_spleen: "ICANN vs an SEO specialist? I don't know who to not root for."

Here's hoping for mutual annihilation.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:38 PM on February 26, 2008


@delmoi: Yes, I use a local database to do the searches. The https feature has been there a while, but I hadn't promoted it till I saw that it didn't take up too many resources. Thanks for for the plug!
posted by hartshorne at 11:15 AM on February 27, 2008


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