RE: [ga] Revised WLS Proposal
Here's the revised proposal:
Wait Listing Service
Revised by VeriSign Global Registry Services
January 28, 2002
Preface to the Revised Version
This document is a revision to VeriSign Global Registry Services (VGRS)
Wait Listing Service (WLS) proposal sent to the DNSO Registrars
Constituency on December 30, 2001. In this revision VGRS has tried to
respond as much as possible to feedback received from registrars and
other interested parties. To make it easier for registrars and others
to identify where changes were made, the Word version that accompanies
the text proposal shows major content changes in italic font.
With the submission of the initial proposal on December 30, VGRS
suggested that discussion of the proposal first occur with registrars
because they would be one of the most significantly impacted parties if
the WLS was implemented. The plan at the time was to open up the
discussion to other gTLD registries and other DNSO constituencies after
time was allowed for discussion between VGRS and registrars. Our intent
was not to limit input by others but rather to make the feedback process
more manageable. Some good feedback has already been received from
other constituencies and individuals interested in this issue and it is
With the changes made in this document, VGRS is again requesting
feedback from the Registrars Constituency, in particular regarding the
revisions made in this document. VGRS is also formally asking for
feedback from any other DNSO constituencies, the DNSO General Assembly,
and other interested parties, including other registries. The purpose
of the requests for feedback is to assist VGRS in making an informed
decisionabout whether and how to proceed with its proposal for the WLS.
Procedures for Asking Questions and Providing Feedback
VGRS recognizes that processes and procedures for fostering discussion
and obtaining feedback from members of the Internet community are still
relatively undeveloped in the DNSO and the community at-large. With
that in mind, we would like to attempt to add some structure to the WLS
discussion that we believe will make it easier to answer questions, to
organize feedback received and to quantify that feedback in a way that
leads to results that are based on objective analysis rather than
subjective, unfairly biased or unsubstantiated opinions. We believe
that the guidelines below will facilitate these objectives and make the
process more manageable for all parties.
As a registry business, we are of course concerned that our business
needs be met and that the concerns of our customers (registrars) be
heard and addressed as possible. At the same time, we believe that the
needs of end-users (registrants and prospective registrants) are of the
utmost importance with regard to domain name services. Consequently, we
suggest that, in the end, after the feedback is received, that the
highest priority should be to objectively evaluate the WLS in light of
the ultimate beneficiary, domain name consumers. It is our hope that
the guidelines below will allow that to happen.
1. Questions and feedback should be consolidated by each
organization wishing to ask questions and/or provide feedback.
Organizations may include DNSO Constituencies, the DNSO General
Assembly, or other groups of interested parties that are formally or
informally organized. For individuals who wish to contribute who are
not part of a larger group, it is requested that they provide their
input through one of the DNSO Constituencies or the DNSO General
2. In the case of groups of people not associated with DNSO
organizations, please provide the following information with your
o A brief explanation of what your interest is in the proposed WLS
o Objective data regarding the size of your group
o A brief characterization of the members of your group (e.g.,
domain name registrants, intellectual property owners, intellectual
property associations, etc.)
o A statement of the general purpose or mission of your group.
3. Every group submitting questions and/or feedback must provide a
point of contact and email address that VGRS may use for communicating
with the group.
4. Deadline for questions: February 8, 2002
o Questions consolidated as requested in item 1 above and
applicable information requested in item 2 above should be sent to Chuck
Gomes, VP of Policy and Compliance for VGRS at firstname.lastname@example.org..
5. Deadline for VGRS responses to questions: February 15, 2002 .
6. Deadline for final feedback: March 1, 2002
o Final feedback consolidated as requested in item 1 above and
applicable information as requested in item 2 above should be sent to
Chuck Gomes, VP of Policy and Compliance for VGRS at
o To assist VGRS in evaluating feedback, please provide the
following objective data:
§ What is the nature of the members of your group (e.g.,
individuals, registrars, registries, trade organizations, etc.)?
§ What is the total size of your membership?[chuck—INEGroup has
§ How many members of your group participated in the WLS feedback
process leading up to the final feedback provided?
§ How many members who contributed to the WLS feedback you
provided to VGRS are involved or planning to be involved in the process
of directly or indirectly using the VGRS batch delete system for
registering just-deleted names?
§ What efforts did your group make to reach out to members of your
group who did not participate in the WLS discussion process?
o In preparing feedback to the revised proposal, it is
important to remember that the proposal is not submitted as a permanent
offering but rather a 12-month trial. Although based on the information
it has seen to date VGRS believes that there is more than enough
evidence to support consumer demand for such a service and that the best
way to offer such a service from a consumer point of view is to offer it
at the registry level, we also recognize that there is still
considerable debate about some issues. A 12-month trial period will
allow time to get empirical answers to questions that have been raised.
o Constructive suggestions for improving the proposed WLS offering
are encouraged and welcomed. Statements of opposition are also welcome
but should be accompanied with briefly stated reasons.
7. Target for VGRS decision regarding the WLS proposal: March 8,
o VGRS will attempt to evaluate the feedback received not later
than March 8, 2002 and, if it is decided to consider proceeding with the
offering, will submit a final pricing proposal to ICANN for its approval
per the requirements of Appendix G of the ICANN-VeriSign registry
Please note that a complementary paper was prepared by VGRS titled
‘Justification for a Registry-based Wait Listing Service.’ The purpose
of the paper is four-fold:
1. To provide a brief overview of the VGRS proposed WLS for .com
and .net second-level domain names.
2. To provide members of the Internet community a high level
overview of the current situation with regard to registering previously
registered .com, .net and .org second-level domain names
3. To highlight what VGRS sees as the advantages of the WLS
4. To provide responses to some of the criticism that has been
presented to date in opposition to a Registry-based Wait Listing
Summary of Major Revisions
Here is a summary of the major changes made with this revision:
§ An introductory explanation was added at the beginning of the
§ The maximum number of times a subscriber would be allowed to
transfer a subscription to a different name was changed from three to
five (see Section 2.a.vii).
§ The proposed 15-day Registry Hold period has been omitted from
this document. Although the proposal has merit in addressing several
problems that have arisen, including inadvertently deleted names, it is
a distinct idea and VGRS believes that it is best considered separately.
§ Specific key milestone dates were changed to TBD in Section 3.
§ Possible terms were suggested for the Signed Service Agreement
in Section 4.a based on feedback received from the DNSO Intellectual
§ The original billing and fee structure was replaced with a new
one in Section 5.
§ A companion paper titled ‘Justification for a Registry-based
Wait Listing Service’ was issued at the same time as this revised
In response to a formal request by Rick Wesson on behalf of the
Registrar Constituency, VeriSign, Inc. is providing this paper to
describe its proposed Domain Name Wait Listing Service (WLS).
Specifically, the proposed WLS is intended to provide both (1) a new,
streamlined business opportunity for the entire registrar community, and
(2) some measure of relief in dealing with the “deleted domains” issue.
VeriSign believes that introduction of WLS will benefit all interested
constituencies (e.g., registries, registrars, resellers, intellectual
property owners and domain name registrants). To that end, we address
the following topics in this paper:
· High-level mechanics of how the WLS will be delivered and
· WLS implementation milestones and go-live requirements for
· Billing model;
· Effects on interested parties; and,
· Market potential and rationale.
Pursuant to a license from SnapNames of its Parallel RegistryTM
technology, VeriSign, Inc., through its VeriSign Global Registry
Services (“VGRS”) division, is prepared to offer the WLS to VGRS’s
ICANN-accredited registrar channel. VGRS anticipates that it would
offer WLS for a one-year test, beginning at a date to be determined.
Results would be compiled during the last two months of the test and
provided to ICANN.
Accordingly, VeriSign solicits constructive feedback from all members of
the Registrar Constituency as well as other DNSO constituencies, the
DNSO General Assembly and other interested parties in the Internet
community. We have reserved time with our engineering and operations
staff during the February and March timeframe to move this project
forward. Due to this time schedule, we request that feedback regarding
the revised proposal be received by March 1, 2002, so that we will have
time to compile, evaluate, and respond to comments. Questions and
comments should be consolidated as requested at the beginning of this
document and directed to Chuck Gomes (email@example.com).
2. Service Overview and Mechanics
WLS is a service whereby potential registrants (hereinafter referred to
as “subscriber(s)”), through their selected, participating registrar,
may purchase a subscription tied to a domain name currently registered.
Only ICANN-accredited registrars would be able to offer the subscription
service for .com and .net domain name registrations. WLS subscriptions
for the .org TLD would not be available during the one-year test period.
Registrars would have the opportunity to decide whether or not to allow
their resellers to offer the service. Registrars would perform all
subscription transactions directly with VGRS, using an interface
separate from the Shared Registration System (SRS). The VeriSign
Registry Registrar Protocol (RRP) would not be used in the
implementation of WLS. All current processes would remain unchanged
with one exception. A domain name registration that is subscribed to on
WLS will be registered to the subscriber when the current domain name
registration is deleted through normal operational procedures.
Initially, a domain name registration could only have one (1)
subscription pending at a time. If demand exists, a deeper subscription
queue could be considered for a future phase of WLS. The processes for
placing and fulfilling subscription(s) would be as follows:
a. Process for subscribing to WLS:
· Only in the event that a domain name is already registered
within the SRS, the registrar checks the WLS to see if a subscription
already exists for that domain name.
1. Note: Only two scenarios will prevent a registrar in good
standing from being able to submit a subscription. The first is if a
subscription already exists for a specific domain name. The second is
if the selected domain name registration does not already exist within
the SRS database.
· If the domain name is not already subscribed to in WLS, then the
registrar submits a subscription for that name to WLS.
· NOTE: The subscription submitted to WLS by the registrar is the
same data (minus nameserver information) that registrars currently
submit to "ADD" new .com and .net domain names. WLS collects no
subscriber data and, as today, VGRS will have no direct contact with a
subscriber. The subscriber stays the registrar’s customer. The
subscription registrar will add nameserver data after the selected
domain name is actually registered in the registry for the registrar on
behalf of the subscriber.
· WLS notifies the SRS that the domain name is on the subscription
list. The SRS identifies the name in the SRS database as being a
· WLS notifies the registrar of the successful subscription.
· The subscription registrar notifies the subscriber of the
· NOTE: The subscription is tied to a single domain name at any
point in time. However, over the life of the one-year subscription
period, the subscriber can change the domain name tied to the
subscription up to a maximum of five times.
· After the last day of each calendar month, VGRS will send each
registrar an invoice for all subscriptions successfully submitted during
the previous month. For further information on the billing model and
specific pricing, see Section 5 of this paper.
b. Process for subscription fulfillment:
· A domain name is deleted through the normal course of operation
(e.g., registrar submits a delete request).
· NOTE: Any deletion grace period, as applicable, will still
· The SRS processes the deletion and checks to see if the deleted
name is on WLS.
· If the name is on WLS, the name is automatically "added" to the
SRS database using the registration data supplied by the subscription
registrar at the time the subscription was made.
· At this time, the registrar’s VGRS account is debited $6 for the
domain name registration fee. All other regular business rules
affecting registration of domain names will apply at this time.
· VGRS then notifies the subscription registrar of the
· The subscription registrar modifies the registration record to
include nameserver data and updates its WHOIS database in accordance
with the registrar’s responsibilities under the current
Registry-Registrar Agreement and ICANN Accreditation Agreement.
· The subscription registrar notifies the subscriber of the
successful registration. The “subscriber” is now a registrant.
· The subscription will be cleared from WLS and a new subscription
can be placed for the domain name by any registrar.
c. Subscription Renewals: At the time a subscriber submits an
application for a subscription, it can choose whether or not to have the
subscription auto-renew at the end of its term. If the subscriber does
not choose auto-renewal at the initial subscription period, then it may
still choose that feature at any time during its term. If it never
chooses auto-renewal, the subscription will automatically terminate (be
deleted) when the one-year term expires. All renewal terms are for one
d. Subscription Transfers: In an effort to keep the one-year test
as simple as possible, VGRS does not plan to allow subscribers to
transfer subscriptions from one registrar to another registrar, as can
be done with domain name registrations today.
e. Subscription Cancellations: A subscriber may cancel a
subscription at any time by submitting, through its registrar of record,
a “delete” request through the WLS. Please note that subscription fees
f. Subscription Disputes: The Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy
(“UDRP”) would not apply to subscriptions within the WLS, as the domain
names associated with subscriptions would not actually be registered.
As the UDRP only applies to registered domain names, a party wishing to
dispute a domain name associated with a subscription would wait until
after the domain name is actually registered to employ the provisions of
g. Conclusion of 12-Month Trial: VGRS assumes the following:
· Subscriptions continuing beyond the end of the trial period
would continue to be serviced by VGRS and registrars.
· Registrars, ICANN and VGRS will mutually develop evaluation
criteria for the 12-month trial.
3. Key Milestones (for ramping and going live)
As stated earlier, VeriSign will remain poised to move the WLS project
forward to implementation.
a. Software Development Kit (SDK) available to Registrars – TBD:
The SDK will enable the registrar to develop an EPP API to connect to
WLS. All of the items outlined below are needed for development. Also
included are actual Java binaries and build codes, which, if used,
provide the registrar with a completed Java-based EPP API that can be
used to connect to the WLS with minimal development work
i) Framework overview;
ii) Interfaces class diagrams;
iii) EPP mappings;
iv) Java binaries and build code - this will allow registrars to
build a working WLS EPP Java API by using the build codes;
v) Open source code; and,
vi) Implementation examples.
b. Implementation materials available to Registrars – TBD
i) Registrar Reference Manual – guide to all EPP commands, Ramp-up
Processes, OT&E, Accounts Receivable, Registrar tool, and FAQs;
ii) Quick start ramp up guide – necessary steps to become a
certified registrar; and,
iii) OTE Acceptance Criteria (registrar testing document) – the
technical test a registrar must pass.
c. Marketing materials available to Registrars – TBD
i) HTML Content – content for registrars to post on their web sites
and incorporate into their domain name check and/or purchase flow
promoting the benefits of WLS;
ii) Detailed Product Description – a PDF- or HTML-based document
that provides the complete details (e.g., how it works, limitations,
risks, etc.) of WLS that potential subscribers can access from the above
iii) Email content – content for registrars to send to current and
prospective subscribers, communicating the availability and value of
d. Operation Test and Evaluation Launch (OT&E) –a + 30 days. The
OT&E will be available to registrars for development testing and
certification. The OT&E period will continue from a + 30 days
throughout the trial.
e. Production Launch – d + 60 days. All registrars that have
successfully completed OT&E testing will go live at the same time on the
Production Launch date. Other registrars will go live as they are OT&E
4. Registrar Go-Live Requirements
a. Signed Service Agreement; and,
§ Details of the WLS Service Agreement will be provided at a later
§ VGRS suggests that terms of the WLS Service Agreement should
include requirements for registrars to:
o Verify previously submitted subscriber contact data at the time
a WLS subscription is converted into a domain name registration to
ensure that contact information is accurate
o Take reasonable measures to ensure that a domain name
registration that is cancelled as the result of a UDRP proceeding will
not be awarded to the wait list subscriber for that domain name unless
the subscriber is the UDRP complainant, thereby avoiding undermining the
integrity of the UDRP process
o Keep the identity of wait list subscribers confidential except
as required by law enforcement agencies.
b. OT&E Certification.
5. Billing Model and Fee Structure
VGRS will follow a wholesale billing model. Specifically, VGRS will
charge registrars for each subscription at the time the subscription is
placed. The registrars would be responsible for promoting/retailing WLS
to its resellers and customers. Registrars are free to set a
competitive retail price for this service.
VGRS envisions setting the uniform wholesale price between VGRS and
registrars as follows:
§ $35 (lowered from $40)
§ To incentivize registrars to properly educate subscribers about
the costs, risks and benefits of the WLS, VGRS will pay a rebate to
registrars for each subscription registered during a calendar quarter
during which registrars demonstrate they have made reasonable efforts to
fulfill this objective.
§ Rebates will be paid to all qualifying registrars as follows,
regardless of a registrar’s individual volume:
o For each subscription registered up to the first 250,000
o For each subscription registered after the first 250,000
§ Rebates will be paid 60 days after the end of the applicable
§ VGRS, registrars and ICANN will agree to what constitutes
reasonable efforts to qualify for this rebate.
This rebate price break point has been chosen for the following primary
· VGRS must recoup costs associated with securing and maintaining
partners and licenses to offer WLS.
· VGRS must recoup its costs of developing, implementing, and
maintaining the technology and resulting WLS.
· VGRS envisions making a reasonable profit on providing the
· As further detailed in the market rationale section below, a
service similar but inferior to WLS currently retails for $69. The rate
of uptake on the service by registrars and subscribers is increasing
even at this current $69 retail price. We envision that the customers
would be willing to pay a higher price for a greater success rate (100%)
offered by VGRS’s WLS as compared to the current estimated success rate
of 70%. When a domain name registration is deleted within the SRS, WLS
· VGRS believes that because the WLS could provide a new avenue
for speculators, the price point should be set high enough so as not to
encourage abusive speculation of WLS subscriptions.
· Starting off with a higher price point allows VGRS to have
better chances of recovering development and implementation costs should
overall subscription volume be low and/or should the service not be
continued beyond the 12-month trial period.
· Because VGRS has no direct contact with potential registrants or
potential WLS subscribers, it must rely on registrars to effectively
educate end-users of the service. Giving rebates is a way that VGRS can
encourage that consumers are well informed about the service they might
**NOTE: Unlike the scenario registrars are familiar with in registering
domain names, the WLS will not debit a registrar’s VGRS credit balance
as subscriptions are entered into the WLS. However, the service
agreement between VGRS and each registrar will provide for the current
registrar payment security vehicle to be used by VGRS to recover lost
funds in the unlikely event of a registrar payment default related to
6. Effects on Interested Parties
a. Effect on registries:
i) New service to offer to registrars.
ii) New revenue stream that would support the investment costs.
iii) Reduction in system usage for constant checks for the target
name once a WLS subscription is placed.
iv) Elimination of many desired domain name registrations from the
speculator market so that the current excessive demand on operational
resources is reduced and system access is maintained at a much more
b. Effect on registrars:
i) New service to offer to customers.
ii) New revenue stream.
iii) Reduction of registrar system usage for constant checks once a
subscription is placed.
iv) Ensures a fair playing field / equivalent access for all
registrars, regardless of their market or technological advantage.
c. Effect on resellers. All effects on registrars could flow down
d. Effect on registrants:
i) Current domain name registrations would not be affected in any
way. A registrant could remain the registrant of its domain name
indefinitely so long as it continues to meet the requirements of its
ii) A WLS subscription would only kick in when a name is finally
iii) A registrant’s “rights” to its registered domain name
registration service would not be affected in any way.
iv) Registrants may still transfer or otherwise make their
registered domain names available in the secondary market (i.e.,
“auctions,” person to person transactions, etc.).
v) No restrictions on registrants placing a subscription on their
own domain name registrations if they wish.
vi) Subscriptions would be processed on a first-come, first-served
e. Effect on intellectual property owners:
i) Same effect as on registrants, as above
ii) No negative effect on IP owners.
iii) Provides a low cost alternative to the current UDRP or other
dispute mechanisms for IP owners who choose to wait out a current domain
name registration. This could be likely in the event that a domain name
registrant is not using a current registration in commerce or for other
7. Market Potential and Rationale
As the primary market for domain name registrations in all Top-Level
Domains (TLDs) approaches maturity, commercial market participants
(i.e., registries, registrars, and resellers) are evaluating ways to
continue commercial viability and growth in their core businesses.
Adding services complementary to domain name registration services,
which would be available to all ICANN-accredited registrars and which
would meet consumer (i.e., registrant) demand, is one important way to
accomplish these goals.
Historically, and as is evident by the current number of domain name
“checks” processed at the registry level each and every day (roughly
80-100 million checks per day, or over 95% of all transactions per day),
registrants clearly have been and continue to look for ways to “get in
line” for a domain name when it becomes available. Moreover, the rate
of increase for “check” commands continues to grow each and every month.
Many interested parties, including applicants, wish to monitor current
domain name registrations for various reasons (e.g., trademark concerns)
without having to continually query registrar and registry systems or to
monitor outdated WHOIS information. Due to system constraints and
desired efficiencies through out the registration system, all parties
could benefit from this new, ordered approach to handling “recycled”
domain name registrations, which does not favor speculators and robotic
systems. VGRS believes WLS will address these needs and market demands
of both industry and consumers.
Such a service is currently offered by a private industry player,
SnapNames, albeit with a much lower efficacy rate than that expected if
WLS is offered by VGRS. Nonetheless, SnapNames’ success thus far,
coupled with other demand indicators, speaks to a large applicant market
awaiting WLS. VGRS believes that it is reasonable to assume that the
industry could see an initial penetration of at least five (5%) for WLS
across the base of the current domain name registration market. This
rather large market offers a substantial up-side opportunity for
registrars and resellers and provides a clearly defined, easy to use
service for consumers.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeff Williams [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2002 8:37 PM
> To: Gomes, Chuck
> Cc: 'email@example.com'
> Subject: Re: [ga] Revised WLS Proposal
> Chuck and all assembly members,
> Chuck, is there a HTML format for this Revised WLS proposal?
> Or even a Text version? If so, could you send it in either of those
> two formats, or provide a pointer/URL?
> Gomes, Chuck wrote:
> > Part 184.108.40.206 Type: Plain Text (text/plain)
> > Encoding: 7bit
> Jeffrey A. Williams
> Spokesman for INEGroup - (Over 121k members/stakeholdes strong!)
> CEO/DIR. Internet Network Eng/SR. Java/CORBA Development Eng.
> Information Network Eng. Group. INEG. INC.
> E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
> Contact Number: 972-244-3801 or 214-244-4827
> Address: 5 East Kirkwood Blvd. Grapevine Texas 75208