ICANN Calls For Feedback On Domain Tasting - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Software // Information Management
07:02 PM
Connect Directly

ICANN Calls For Feedback On Domain Tasting

In June, ICANN report issued a report that identified several possible consequences of domain tasting, including the destabilization of the domain name system.

Domain tasting, the controversial practice of buying Internet domains and returning those that fail to generate type-in traffic before the registration bill comes due, has proven to be enormously profitable at scale.

On Friday, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers and Names (ICANN), the organization that oversees the Domain Name System, asked the Internet community for input about domain tasting, raising the possibility that domain speculation might someday be curtailed.

Domain tasting has been debated for several years. A letter in March 2006 from Edward G. Viltz, president and CEO of the Public Interest Registry (PIR), which manages the .org domain, urged ICANN to look into the effect of domain tasting on Internet stability and security.

In June, ICANN report issued a report that identified several possible consequences of domain tasting: the destabilization of the domain name system, the creation of consumer confusion, increased costs and burdens on "legitimate registrants," and the facilitation of trademark abuse and criminal activity.

Domain tasting represents the vast majority of Internet domain registrations. It exists because domain registration contracts in seven top-level domains (.biz, .com, .info, .name, .net, .org, and .pro) allow a grace period, typically five days, for the return of a registered domain at no charge.

Originally instituted to allow registrants to avoid liability for mistakes made when registering a domain name, the grace period has become a way for registrants to capitalize on the mistakes made by users of the Internet. Typos, it turns out, generate a lot of traffic, as do correctly entered generic words typed into Web browser address bars as domains.

During the grace period, domain tasters are able to evaluate newly registered domains for potential ad revenue. That potential is realized when visitors arrive, either by intentionally typing the domain into their Web browser address bar or by doing so accidentally with a typo, and then click on pay-per-click ads. Domain tasters keep the ones that generate more income than the domain registration cost and return the others without paying anything.

In January 2007, the top ten registrars engaged in domain tasting accounted for 95% of all deleted .com and .net domain names, according to VeriSign. These registrars deleted 45,450,897 domain names out of 47,824,131 total deletes.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Flash Poll