Domain Manage

Wait list, auctions and lotteries

Discussion in 'Nominet General Information' started by Whois-Search, Nov 3, 2007.

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  1. Whois-Search United Kingdom

    Whois-Search Well-Known Member

    Dec 2004
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    You might have seen this on the PAB agenda for the next meeting (7th November):

    I believe this is the paper here:

    I would be interested to know what Acorn members think about this proposal.

    My individual opinion is that:

    1. This is a policy issue and not a operational issue as suggested by the paper. Any proposal should go to full public consultation and then operational changes can be implemented.

    Therefore I do not agree that Nominet alone should do any of the following:

    As I believe every member/registrar should be treated the same and have the same amount of lookups/rules stated in a clear policy:

    For Nominet to start playing with the limits e.g. give Pipex an extra 500,000 lookups would create an even greater uneven playing field. I believe a Schlund subsidiary is already dropcatching therefore how can Nominet give 1and1 more lookups for public use only?

    2. As for the standalone responses e.g. auctions, waitlists or lotteries:

    Option 1 - a first come first serve slot system
    Option 2 - a lottery system for every expired domain
    Option 3 - an auction system

    In my opinion there are serious problems with all three of these options:

    Option 1 - would of course allow for someone to backorder everything? Even though this would be the least profit making option for Nominet.

    Option 2 - will lead to a "linked tickets" problem with people getting their friends and family to backorder names (just as "linked tags" is a problem now). Also there could be possible disputes over the fairness of the lottery e.g. if the same people keep getting the names. In addition to this a lottery comes under the Gambling Act 2005?
    Finally lets say Nominet sold 100 tickets for each name at £10 each - that's £1000 per name dropping?

    Option 3 - considering names like are sold for 87k in Sedo auctions this really would be going down the Verisign WLS/CLS route which itself failed. I believe Nominet could not justify doing this. Nominet could however allow the registrars to auction off expired domain names just as in dot com

    3. Over night Nominet will shut down the businesses of UK public dropcatchers:

    Drop Catcher (CHC) -
    Domain Recover (BBONLINE) -
    Drop Names (DROPNAMES) -
    Backorder (BACKORDER) -
    Caught (BOWLER) -
    Netserve (NETSERVECONSULT) -
    Hey (HEY) -
    Domain Monster (MONSTER) -
    Droppings (HUBBARD-MEDIA) -
    Why Think (KNOWALL) -

    Many of these services have hundreds of customers.

    Then there are the 'private' dropcatchers who have a large amount of voting rights:

    TagNames Limited 18,217
    Centraserve Ltd 21,055
    Really Useful Domains Limited 10,332
    Big Advertising Ltd 11,078
    Nokta Internet Teknolojileri Sanayi 33,495

    These are extremely wealthy individuals not only can I seen them acting together in legal action but using their voting rights. I can also see OFT and monopoly mergers commission complaints being put in.

    Then you have to remember the names these people catch usually end up on auction sites like or parked with Yahoo/Google etc. What will happen when these companies start losing money?

    Also it is important to remember what happened between registrars like Dotster (Namewinner) and ICANN/Verisign over the Wait-Listing Service:

    Letter from Philip L. Sbarbaro to Joe Sims VeriSign 16 October 2002 VGRS Wait-Listing Service
    Letter from Charles Gomes to Dan Halloran VeriSign 28 May 2003 VGRS Wait-Listing Service
    Letter from Paul Twomey to Charles Gomes VeriSign 4 September 2003 VGRS Wait-Listing Service
    Message from Registrars to Paul Twomey Registrars 3 December 2003 Wait-List Service
    Letter from Registrars to Paul Twomey Registrars 12 December 2003 Wait-List Service
    Letter from Newman & Newman to Paul Twomey Registrars 17 February 2004 Wait-List Service
    Letter from John Jeffrey to Rusty Lewis VeriSign 26 January 2004 Wait-List Service
    Letter from Keven E. Brannon to Stuart Lynn Dotster 9 September 2002
    Letter from Keven E. Brannon to Stuart Lynn Dotster, Inc. 30 October 2002
    Letter from Keven E. Brannon to Paul Twomey Dotster, Inc. 9 April 2003
    Message from Louis Touton to Kevin E. Brannon Dotster, Inc. 23 June 2003
    Message from Keven E. Brannon to Louis Touton Dotster, Inc. 25 June 2003

    4. Legally it will open a can of worms:

    How can Nominet sell "backorders" on trademarked names? If Nominet had some kind of waiting list sun-rise period for trademark holders why don't they do it for normal registrations? Doesn't the DRS already take care of drop caught trademarked names?

    How can Nominet sell "backorders" on registered domains with no chance of dropping? Nominet would have to only allow backorders when a domain name is in the suspended status?

    5. Domainers will still be the ones that can work out what's dropping?

    To work out the date of a domain drops you have to:
    - Find a domain using the whois/DAC that is in SUSPENDED status.
    - Then you have to add 99 days to the "Renewal date" if the domain name is registered to a tag.
    - You add 91 days if the domain name is detagged and or registered directly to Nominet.

    Unless Nominet produces tools like and or produces drop lists ordinary registrants won't know whats dropping?

    Domainers will also still use the DAC to scan a large amount of domains:

    Therefore it doesn't solve the problem and dropcatchers will be just become Waiting Listers!

    6. Why get rid of the first come first model?

    Apart from Verisign I can't think of another domain name registry that has or has proposed a waiting list service. Therefore why should Nominet be any different from any other CCTLD?

    I would like Nominet to explore other methods of cancelling domain names like the DENIC Transit policy:

    Disclaimer: I am a Nominet PAB member and I used to run however I continue to reserve the right to express my opinion under 2.7 of PAB the code of conduct. I also do NOT speak/represent domainers or the PAB as a whole. I am also open to the idea of a waiting list as I can see how it benefits stakeholders (increases the chances of getting a name they want) and all registrars (through extra sales of backorders). I have also read the papers from 2003 on the subject:
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. monaghan United Kingdom

    monaghan Moderator Staff Member

    May 2007
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    Will you be at the meeting?

    Surely if Nominet want to level the playing field, then they need to prevent abuse from multiple DAC users, simply giving bigger companies a bigger quota of lookups is not leveling, it's increasing the potential for abuse.

    Also, if they are really concerned, then why not publish when something will be released (to the nearest 15 mins) keeping the same rate limits, we have to poll the DAC all day for something that may not be deleted until late in the day, this has to be a huge waste of everyone's resources. The "Big" companies could then utilise their DAC allocation for retail purchase rather than drop catching.

    If the changes did close down dropcatchers, then it would not impact us that much as I'm only doing it more out of technical interest than revenue generation, however it is unfair to allow Nominet to close down the business of other companies who are using published systems simply because Nominet decide that they are using them too well.

    Could write much more, but I think you can get where I'm going with this.
  4. retired_member16

    retired_member16 Banned

    Apr 2005
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    However, the majority of posters on this board dont have the facility to catch and so must be delighted that the DC system is possibly to be overhauled?
  5. monaghan United Kingdom

    monaghan Moderator Staff Member

    May 2007
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    It's not that difficult to write something to catch names, you're only stuffing a string of text into an IP port, then reading a string of text in reply and if necessary sending an email to register the domain :)

    If there's money to be made, then I can't see that it will increase the average Joe's chance of getting a domain name. Those who invest in whatever system Nominet decide on will want a share of their investment back and the best domains will still continue to be caught by a small few who will continue to sell them on a high prices.

    Working on a level playing field is the best option for whose who can't or don't drop catch, then there will be more "little guys" getting the names. Anyone who can buck the current system will find a way to make their cash on whatever system Nominet replace the current systems with, so don't hold your breath expecting a shed load of decent domains for low cost. The only people to get richer out of this will be Nominet if they decide to auction deleted domains, Joe public will still pay the market value of the domain whether it's to Nominet, Sedo or John Smith's Dropcatcher's Ltd.
  6. retired_member16

    retired_member16 Banned

    Apr 2005
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    Maybe, Maybe not. If Nom decide on a free - stick an applicaton in an envelope system - then all non catchers benefit.
  7. SecNam

    SecNam Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 2004
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    yes but why is nominet trying to make a monopoly out of ? why havent other busines started up in competition with nominet. i understand they want to level the playing field but it isnt as they contol 100% of the systems.
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