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ICANN Moves To Disable Domain Tasting 137

Posted by kdawson
from the not-before-time dept.
jehnx writes "Following Google's crackdown on 'domain tasters', ICANN has voted unanimously to eliminate the free period that many domain buyers have been taking advantage of. At the same meeting they also discussed Network Solutions' front running but took no action on it."
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ICANN Moves To Disable Domain Tasting

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  • by tritonman (998572) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @09:18AM (#22233392)
    Yea I think they are full of crap. I tried this myself, I searched on network solutions for some random domain name like, it said it was available, then I decided that I would maybe go with (we do have freedom of choice right?) and it said the domain was unavailable, it was registered by network solutions. This is most certainly abuse of power.
  • by Aladrin (926209) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @09:23AM (#22233422)
    I RTFA. Their main concern was Domain Tasting, but Domain Kiting would be attacked by the same action they took, so it doesn't matter.
  • by badfish99 (826052) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @09:28AM (#22233464)
    So the solution is simply to do your searches on if you're going to buy from them, and not to go to at all.

    Although: if ICANN eliminate the free tasting period, so that it costs network solutions some money for each domain they "protect from domain tasters" in this way, it would surely be fun to go to and do a few hundred more searches for random domain names.
  • by bleh-of-the-huns (17740) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @09:29AM (#22233468)
    Is the fact that last night I was searching for a sprayfoam insulation company in maryland (using google), and the very first link that came up, was a domain taster domain registered 3 days prior to yesterday, that only had ads and click through sites on it...

    It was most annoying, but the fact it came up as the first link, means google really should do soemthing about sites abusing the ranking systems and not just people abusing the adsense program.
  • cyber squatters (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tusaki (252769) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @09:40AM (#22233550)
    Its a good move, but im still waiting to see some more action against domain squatters. It is so infuriating to have a good idea for a website, only to have 99% of the possible/good domain names being taken and being part of some advertizement network. And I just refuse to pay them.

    Ofcourse, in economic terms, it would probably be worth it in the long run if you have a very good idea to pay some extra for the better domain name. But its like paying for "protection" money because the alternative is worse...
  • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @09:42AM (#22233556) Homepage Journal

    Why they continue to neglect the opportunity to do so is beyond me.
    Well, as they always say, follow the money.

    If pacnames, yesnic and mouzz are getting kickbacks from the criminals, maybe they are sending a cut to ICANN.
  • by Comboman (895500) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @10:17AM (#22233848)
    It is so infuriating to have a good idea for a website, only to have 99% of the possible/good domain names being taken and being part of some advertizement network.

    If you have a good idea for a website, pick a unique, memorable name, not an obvious one. Who's the number one auction site; or eBay? Who's the number one on-line bookseller; or Amazon? What is an ebay anyway? What does a river in Brazil have to do with books? Nothing, it doesn't matter, most people are going to find your website through Google anyway rather than typing in a URL.

  • by ps236 (965675) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @10:20AM (#22233876)
    Why have domain tasting at all?

    How many people really make a mistake? If you buy something from your local shop and then decide you didn't want it after all, the shop has no obligation to give you your money back - especially if they suspect you have used it (eg if it's clothes, a camera etc)

    A domain costs virtually nothing to register, and they're not vital for people to live. So, if you screw up and register the wrong domain, tough, it's your fault, not the registrar's, not the rest of the world's. You should have to pay for it.

    If GoDaddy are helping spammers by giving them 51 million free domains to use in spam, then I have no sympathy with them!

  • by IBBoard (1128019) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @10:29AM (#22233978) Homepage who (according to Wikipedia) have 55.1 million domain names registered a year of which 51.5 million are canceled and refunded

    As you said, they can't do that any more so they'd have either 55 million domains registered with 0 cancels, or 3.5 million domains registered for legitimate reasons and 51.5 million domains that weren't registered because the registeree couldn't get a temporary freebie.

    If ICANN drops this grace period and domain tasters drop away (possible if unlikely) that leaves with 51.5 million domains at $10 per domain (or $515 million) in revenue flow that just dried up. That's a lot of money to just disappear from your business finances.

    It's also a lot of revenue to be relying on when a good proportion of it will be from suspect activities (spammers/squatters) who could be restricted by decisions such as this at any moment.

    At the end of the day if GoDaddy vanishes then it's no big loss. All the smaller registrars will survive without the 'ill gotten gains' money and registrars will continue. It happens with .uk domains, so it can happen with .coms.'s FAQ page [] doesn't even have any reference to returning a domain.
  • by jafiwam (310805) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @10:54AM (#22234192) Homepage Journal
    In other words, most of their registrations comes from SCAMMING, and if not illegal but unethical activities.

    And you want me to have SYMPATHY for them?

    How bout this, fuck you, and fuck GoDaddy. The only thing they ever did right was hire that chick with the big tits for the SuperBowl commercials.
  • good move (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @11:24AM (#22234472) Homepage Journal
    One step back from the wrong direction they've been heading for years.

    Or can anyone here name me one not-advertisement-related reason for "domain tasting"? The only use I've ever read about is registering the domain and checking if you get enough hits on it to run your ads with enough profit, before you commit yourself.

  • by macdaddy (38372) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @11:54AM (#22234788) Homepage Journal
    While I think this is great I have another gripe that I wish ICANN would address. We resell domains to our ISP customers. We had one expire yesterday which isn't that uncommon of an occurrence. We had sent the customer an email alerting to the impending expiration and they never acted and the domain expired. As expected they noticed the problem the next morning and now it's a big deal; they were no longer receiving email from their customers and email was mission critical to them (interesting considering that they couldn't be bothered to read an email from their Internet provider). We renewed the domain at about 11am. I told them that it would probably be about half a day before the NS change was pushed to the root servers and the cached records expired on their customers' NSs. This morning it is still apparently a problem. I checked one of our NSs and sure enough it still had the registrar's temporary NSs instead of the NSs we use for customer zones. I queried a few NSs of other providers and they had the right info. I flushed my cache and the records fixed themselves. My earlier dig that showed the wrong NSs also showed two TTL counters. At the time the counter on the NSs was at just under 14hrs. The other was just under 48hrs. The registrar apparently set the TTL value on the domain to somewhere between 24 and 72 hours.

    The significance of this may not be obvious to everyone so let me explain. The TTL (Time To Live) value is part of the SOA (Start of Authority) in a DNS zone file. The TTL value is how the administrator of the authoritative NS tells the client's DNS resolver to cache the DNS responses. Ie, if I lookup the MX for and the TTL is 300 then I will cache that response for 5 minutes and I'll use that cached response for any subsequent queries until the TTL expires. I won't bug you or waste your bandwidth until then. It's a way of reducing load on the authoritative NSs and keep from wasting bandwidth across the Internet for redundant queries (think of a caching HTTP proxy).

    The effect of the registrar's taking this step manifests itself when the domain gets renewed. The domain is renewed as soon as service is interrupted and the problem is discovered. The registrar submits updates to Verisign for the COM zone file twice a day. Depending on when the domain was renewed with respect to when the registrar sends the updates as well as the SOA values (that control caching) dictate how long it will be before the domain is functional again. The registrar, Spirit Domains, chose to set the TTL to something between 24 and 72 hours. That's 1-3 days for the math challenged among us. That's absurdly long. I contend that most renewals of expired domains happen within 1-12 hours of the expiration for domains that are actually used. Why any registrar would choose to use a TTL longer than an hour or two is beyond me. I can understand the concern of the load this would put on their NSs. The answer is simple though. For the first day set the TTL to 1hr. On the second day set the TTL to 6 hours. On day 3 set it to 12 hours. On day 7 set it to whatever you want. 98% of expired domains that are going to be renewed would surely be done within 3 days. That would keep the MTTR for the function of the domain down to a reasonable level. 24-72hrs is not a reasonable level.

    I called Spirit Domains to chew on them earlier this morning. The guy I spoke with said that he didn't know why that TTL value was chosen but that it was what they always used. He said it was definitely between 24 and 72 hours. That's horse shit. On top of that, in the temp zone they created also had a MX record. It was the MX record that had the extra high TTL of +48hrs. Even if the NS records expired in 24 hours the MX records would have still been cached and would have still been pointed at Spirit Domains SMTP blackhole:

    In short I would like to see ICANN address the problem of what registrars put in their expired domain zone files. The TTLs should be kept low and increment slowly. Their should not be a MX record under any circumstances.

  • by SnapShot (171582) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @12:25PM (#22235134)
    I understand your anecdote, but considering that a domain name only costs $9 I'm still on the side of banning the practice.

    ICANN says it pretty eloquently:

    Whereas, it is apparent that the AGP is being used for purposes for which it
    was not intended;

    Whereas, abuse of the AGP is, in the opinion of the majority of respondents
    whose statements were collected by the GNSO Ad Hoc Group on Domain Name
    Tasting (4 October 2007 report), producing disadvantages in the form of
    consumer confusion and potential fraud that outweigh the benefits of the

    In other words, your experience has become the exception (by a factor of millions) not the rule and a few bad apples have ruined it for the rest of us.
  • by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @12:47PM (#22235400)

    Couldn't you just do a DNS request to see if a domain is taken?

    Yes. IIRC, Network Solutions would not snipe the results of whois lookups/DNS failed lookups of domains, only the domains that you searched for as the first step of registering it.

    I actually see nothing wrong with letting a company reserve a domain for a short period of time to allow the transaction process to complete or allow the choice of several domains to be elevated. But 1 hour would work for that.

  • by modecx (130548) on Wednesday January 30, 2008 @01:59PM (#22236372)
    So? Let the company buy them for real. You're telling me that a company with an earnest marketing department, which might be trying as many a few dozen domain names can't afford to keep them for at least a year--at the pittance of $10 bucks a pop? Bullshit.

Those who can, do; those who can't, simulate.