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Domain Tasting Is About To End

As is was outlined in DotSauce post today – ICANN may be about to put an end to the domain tasting as we know it. The positive outcome is perfectly outlined in the referenced post above. However, not all is so bright.

With latest talks about ICANN changing ownership from US Department of Commerce to some international body run by UN, folks at domain name monopoly may have decided to soften up just a bit.

What this means is there is a lot of controversy about how domain industry should be run. Local governments are going crazy at the idea that they can own a piece of internet. Most governments, like Germany, immediately think China’s Great Firewall. Russia wants Cyrillic domain names and no access to outside networks unless explicitly permitted by senior party member (just kidding). All this is impossible while core domain name servers are run by US. Well, generally speaking, US can abuse its power here, but so far I didn’t hear any of this happened. And IT people are very cranky all over the world.

But stopping domain name tasting has at least one more negative aspect, at least from my personal perspective. The expired domain lists are about to get a lot larger. Watch out!

Available Domain Names

According to Moniker, there are not that many domain names with words WebDesign before top-level zone available. Today I ran a search and here’s the list of available domain names:
WEBDESIGN.AC
WEBDESIGN.AERO
WEBDESIGN.BIZ.PL
WEBDESIGN.CLUB.TW
WEBDESIGN.COM.AG
WEBDESIGN.COM.KI
WEBDESIGN.COM.MU
WEBDESIGN.COM.NF
WEBDESIGN.COM.SC
WEBDESIGN.COM.VC
WEBDESIGN.EBIZ.TW
WEBDESIGN.GAME.TW
WEBDESIGN.GEN.IN
WEBDESIGN.IND.IN
WEBDESIGN.INFO.PL
WEBDESIGN.KI
WEBDESIGN.NET.AG
WEBDESIGN.NET.KI
WEBDESIGN.NET.MU
WEBDESIGN.NET.NF
WEBDESIGN.NET.SC
WEBDESIGN.NET.VC
WEBDESIGN.NF
WEBDESIGN.NOM.ES
WEBDESIGN.ORG.AG
WEBDESIGN.ORG.KI
WEBDESIGN.ORG.MU
WEBDESIGN.ORG.SC
WEBDESIGN.ORG.VC

As you can see, only two top level domain names left. Time to run!

Network Solution Saga Continues

After numerous confirmations of scam-like business practices, Network Solution is now looking into implementing a feature that will allow users to “lock” domain for 4 days, instead of doing this for them automatically. Ironically, this feature look just awfully familiar – just like “domain tasting”. With difference being that now anyone can lock the domain without even providing their contact info. Don’t even need to set up various fake registrars to grab and drop domains for tasting, just keep searching for it.

Another bad trick here is that since domain name would appear registered – there is a very good chance squatters may snipe it right the moment it will be released. And it is already very well known what it means. Some of my clients paid pretty large sums for their trademarked name – just to get it faster then through the lawsuit.

Interesting facts:

  • In 2000 Network Solutions was purchased by Verisign for $21 billion.
  • In 2007 they were purchased for $800 million.

My take? If you have domain names at Network Solutions – move them to someone not so dangerous. GoDaddy, Moniker or NameCheap (we use all three of them) look much better.