Issue 195 | May 10, 2004
New Weapons in the War Against Cybersquatting

During its March 6, 2004 annual board meeting in Rome, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ("ICANN") approved VeriSign's request to conduct a 12-month trial of a new wait-listing service for ".com" and ".net" domain names. However, under ICANN's Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Department of Commerce, the government must still approve the service, and several competing registrars have sued ICANN and Verisign over what they view as an unfair monopoly. ICANN is also fighting an antitrust lawsuit by Verisign over its proposed "SiteFinder" redirection service which would have sent mistyped domain names to VeriSign's search site.

While that dust settles, Verisign’s Network Solutions subsidiary is continuing to offer "Pre-Orders" for its "Next Registration Rights" wait-listing service at https://www.nextregistrationrights.com/backorder.sn for $39 per year, per domain name. However, there is no guarantee that pre-orders will result in obtaining a Next Registration Rights subscription because only one back order is allowed for each domain name on a first-come, fist-served basis. But, if you do get the wait-listing for a domain name, and the domain name becomes available during your subscription, then the registration is yours, along with a 1-year registration that is included in the yearly fee. Subscribers can change their desired domain names at any time during their subscription and there is no limit to the number of times that the desired domain name can be modified. Existing wait-listing service subscriptions can also be searched at https://www.nextregistrationrights.com/search_results.jsp.

What's driving this push for domain name wait-listing services, you ask? Expiredtraffic.com, an Internet development company that markets its service to "professional domain speculators," and others, may have just the answer:

Expired traffic is all about making good on someone else's hard work, time, money and traffic. If someone gave you the keys to an abandoned 16-acre estate with a 10,000 square foot mansion, you'd keep it, right? I know I would. Expired traffic works on the same premise--finders keepers, losers weepers.

Of course, the best way to avoid becoming such a loser-weeper is simply to make sure that your clients' name registrations get renewed. In fact, many registrars are now offering automatic renewal and transfer prevention services that help prevent the most-common domain name management errors. For more information on the latest techniques for domain name registration, recovery, and management, including domain name portfolio audits, contact the author of this issue of the "APLF Updates," Bill Heinze (bill.heinze@tkhr.com), at Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley LLP in Atlanta, Georgia USA.

The information contained in this email is provided for informational purposes only and does not represent legal advice. Neither the APLF nor the author intends to create an attorney client relationship by providing this information to you through this message.

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