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The Internet

VeriSign/NSI Proposes Domain Name Wait Listing Service 164

David Harris writes: "Newsbytes and the folks over at have good stories about VeriSign's proposal to start a "Wait Listing Service" (WLS) that would allow consumers to buy domain names before they expire. As with anything that has to do with VeriSign/Network Solutions the "WLS" ain't all it cracked up to be and there is opposition from the ICANN community. I'm not sure I like the idea of auctioning off domains before they expire either." CD: To quote Don Marti: "DNS is a consensus reality."
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VeriSign/NSI Proposes Domain Name Wait Listing Service

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  • Side effects? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by atcroft ( 123896 ) on Monday January 14, 2002 @05:23AM (#2835390)
    Since you can transfer names between registrars, what happens if someone decides to buy one in this when someone else is legitimately trying to get it but doesn't want to use Verisign/NSI (V/NSI)?

    This also sounds a bit like it is aimed for those same who would try to sue anyone with a domain name containing even the same letters or digits as their trademark (even though there are only 36 of them total). Now, if you fail to renew on time, will they be able to grab your domain from under you, or will there be a "cooling off" period for domains before they can be taken over by the person purchasing them in this auction?

    I am sure these are only the tip of the iceberg, once this policy is considered. It seems to me that such a policy would require the application of thought, logic, and common sense, to try to minimize problems should it be implemented. (I know-my experience leads me to believe that such won't be applied either.)
  • by Sobrique ( 543255 ) on Monday January 14, 2002 @05:40AM (#2835416) Homepage
    Peer to peer DNS sounds like a fun idea (well I rather like it). The drawback is the arbitration of domain names (or whatever). I mean, if everyone is peers, then that means that multiple people can lay claim to a particular name.
    IMHO that's why the current system works well enough - it's a first come first served, and sue them if you don't like it, but at least I don't have to worry about my vanity domain being taken off me by someone else on the P2P network.
  • by mAsterdam ( 103457 ) on Monday January 14, 2002 @06:09AM (#2835459) Homepage
    They'll use a Sales Contract. They're binding, ya know.

    Wanna buy a piece of land on Ganymed?
    Don't think that is impossible.

    So the Q: what can they really put in their contract? What do V really deliver?
  • by billstewart ( 78916 ) on Monday January 14, 2002 @06:39AM (#2835501) Journal
    Over a decade and a half ago, the domainists tried to talk everybody into giving up the decentralized name system the UUCP network used and going to a centrally-coordinated hierarchical name system. "Foo" said some of us "Nobody'll give up the ability to go naming their computers whatever they feel like, or at least the 17 people who already named well-known machines 'frodo' or 'mozart' won't want to fight over who gets to keep the name, and besides, ihnp4!allegra!houxa!wcs is a fine naming convention, and Peter Honeyman's 'pathalias' tool is and excellent automated tool for finding paths if you don't already know them from reading email or Usenet messages."

    Much more eloquent things [] said Rob Pike [] and Peter [] Weinberger [].
    Also, SDSI [] by Ron Rivest and Butler Lampson touches on the same territory.

  • by dbaker ( 7409 ) <> on Monday January 14, 2002 @07:35AM (#2835564) Homepage
    The entire concept is absolutely absurd.

    Such a product (I'm uncomfortable calling it a 'feature') would encourage domain squatting and further pollute the available namespace.

    However, I'm not oblivious to the fact that it would be profitable for registrars that are involved. I miss the days of the non-profit Internic. With all of the 'progress,' I don't really see a single thing that's better about root management and domain registration today than it was in, say, 1994. In 8 years, all that we've done is create a handful of useless companies and waste a significant amount of money. That's without even mentioning the countless leeches (domain squatters) that are encouraged by this system.

    This is the wrong step to take for Internet DNS. Luckily, this is only a proposal and thus not much should be made of it. I'd be quite shocked if this made it much further, especially in the state that it's in.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2002 @07:48AM (#2835577)
    Verisign is making money off an option that it may not even be possible to exercise! In their proposal, they plan to take the $40 to waitlist a .com regardless of whether or not the name becomes free. So, for instance, they'll happily sell you on to the waitlist for "", even though you have no expectation of the name ever lapsing.

    It's something that would make stock brokers proud. It's an option that can never be exercised in many cases, yet Verisign would collect full face value. And that face value of $40 is way more than the $6 they get for actually registering a new name.

    I guess the theory is that "someone else bought it before, so you should pay us a lot for it this time around." Are there no limits to the intenet-ridiculous?
  • Re:Downward Spiral (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zerocool^ ( 112121 ) on Monday January 14, 2002 @08:34AM (#2835636) Homepage Journal
    It's time for the government to castrated NSI/Verisign.

    Then let's do something about it. Contact your local better business bureau [] and complain, citing specific examples of how they've screwed *you*. Make it professional and personal. The web hosting company I work for has already called the BBB (last week, actually) about Network Solutions on behalf of some of our clients, and the person handling the case sounded rather interested.

  • by kawaichan ( 527006 ) on Monday January 14, 2002 @08:41AM (#2835655) Homepage
    The main reason why this would probably work is the fact that this is to scare the s*** out of current domain name owners, let me explain.

    Let's say you are the owner of, you surely don't want someone to "steal" your domain if you have forgot to renew your domain. Remember they've just have an option to register the domain for 10 years? Seeing next to no one is going for that (god knows what happens to the net in 10 years). With ths waitlist thing, more people would probably go for a longer registratoin period because they don't want to lose their domain name.
  • by drsoran ( 979 ) on Monday January 14, 2002 @09:27AM (#2835757)
    You don't need to replace the DNS system. The DNS system works fine the way it is. The problem is the administration that controls the DNS database that gets pushed out to the root servers is corrupt. The answer is an international non-profit group that has no shareholders to please and isn't worried about making money to inflate their stock prices based on their monopoly. It's easy to do guys. You just need to convince the majority of DNS servers in the world that your root servers are the blessed ones and have them use your root.cache file instead of NSI's. Suddenly, overnight NSI and ICANN becomes completely irrelevent to the world. It's something that'll never happen of course because people are too reluctant (or lazy?) to change these days. We've become sloppy and let the corporate monopolies take over the one world that we still had a chance to mold to our liking. I guess in the end, Americans (and the majority of Internet users) are just a bunch of capitalist lap-dogs at heart. That really saddens me. We need to stir up enough grass-roots support to get people to at least use another common root system that doesn't overlap with NSI's in parallel and eventually just cut over to it completely.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 14, 2002 @09:44AM (#2835823)
    Exactly.. MONEY MONEY MONEY! I've had my eye on a domain name that expired back on April 15 2001. It has YET to be removed from their database and when I inquire, NSI suggests I sign-up for this new "first come first serve" registration queue.
    It was explained to me that for ONLY $45 (USD) you'd be placed in a queue to purchase the domain upon availability, through a third party company. Let me guess... the domain I'm looking at hasn't been removed in 10 months... but I bet if I pay this $45 to get in line, it will mysteriously be available?
  • by Tiroth ( 95112 ) on Monday January 14, 2002 @10:37AM (#2836005) Homepage
    A domain I wanted had been expired for about 8 months. I wrote to NetSol about 3 times, got a single reply that said that no information was available since I was not the registering party...DUH, the name was EXPIRED. There wasn't a re

    The day after I sent my third email the WHOIS information became unavailable, but I still couldn't register the name. The day after that a bulk domain reseller showed up in the WHOIS.

    Needless to say, I was pissed.
  • by ethereal ( 13958 ) on Monday January 14, 2002 @10:58AM (#2836087) Journal

    Bingo. It's ridiculous that they are setting this up to handle existing names that haven't expired yet, when there are names which have already been expired for one or two years which cannot be claimed due to various registrars' screwed-up policies.

    The whole name registration racket is in dire need of either total decentralization (to empower the customer) or else some real regulation to make sure that all registrars are playing by the same rules. Since I'm not too confident in ICANN's regulation so far, decentralization sounds like the way to go.

    Heck, I'd love to see the Commerce Department (or an international disinterested party (you know, like ICANN was supposed to be?)) take back over the actual database, and provide the same access to all registrars alike. As it is now, any one of NSI's bad business ideas are basically unstoppable without a significant court battle.

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