ICANN Takes a Lick at Domain Tasting by Larry Seltzer

Opinion: Larry Seltzer writing his regular column in eWeek says, “Most people who hear about domain tasting are immediately horrified and ask why ‘they’ don’t stop it. But ICANN has more studying to do, and others find it in their own interest.”Larry describes domain tasting, and goes on to note that PIR “became concerned enough about tasting to ask ICANN for permission to charge a 5 cent excess deletion fee for registrars performing deletions in the AGP in excess of 90 percent of registrations.” The new PIR policy only went into action in June, so as Larry notes, it’s too early to see if it’s working or not.Larry has previously called for a “restocking fee for abusers”, however he’s been advised this isn’t possible under the current agreement with VeriSign. Larry begs to differ as he can’t find anything to rule it out. But Patrick Jones from ICANN disagrees.Larry’s article concludes, “The bottom line of my read on the subject is that it would be easy to do something about tasting if VeriSign were interested in doing so. Clearly it’s not. VeriSign obviously thinks that the cost to it of an enormous amount of adds and deletes in the registry is overwhelmed by the registry fees it gets.”If you’re interested in the domain tasting issue I recommend reading the report, but don’t get excited about the prompt action you’d expect it to trigger. That’s not the way ICANN works. After all, they’re the folks who created the mess that allowed domain tasting and ignored it for years. Already they’re spending inordinate amounts of time investigating things everyone knows to be true, effectively protecting the interests of people everyone knows are scammers.”For the full eWeek article, go to http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2167112,00.asp