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[ga] Compiled WLS Questions

[The list has been sent to VeriSign Global Registry Services]

Compilation of questions from the DNSO General Assembly
about the proposed Waiting List Service for domain names

Registry load issues

1. CIRA, the registry for dot-ca, was able to manage 100-times
    scalability when it released expired names recently for re-registration
    (see http://www.cira.ca/news-releases/63.html ). Given that this
    non-profit registry did not require a wait-list system, nor a
    surcharge, what are the technical flaws in Verisign systems that
    prevent a similar system as CIRA?

2. Why has Verisign refused to implement various technical fixes to
    reduce registry load issues, including "rate-limiting" technology and
    "extended response codes"?

3. When does VGRS plan to solve her problems; the increased load on VGRS
    systems, as mentioned in Montevideo, Uraguay in September 2001.

4. a) Verisign has highlighted that there are 80-100 million domain
    "checks" per day. What is the number of checks per day on average,
    broken down by each of the accredited registrars?
    b) Which of the above registrars are performing these checks on
    behalf of SnapNames?

Legal issues

5. Can Verisign (registry) assure the community that registrars
    offering this service on a world-wide basis are not going to face
    legal problems?  In an earlier message (*) sent to the registrars'
    list, Jim Archer raises some questions on this, arguing that
    offering WLS subscriptions may be considered commodity trading.  If
    such problems exist even in some (possibly obscure) jurisdictions,
    this would introduce an unfair national bias into the system.
    (*) <http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic/registrars/Arc01/msg01852.html>

6. If the WLS is deemed to be illegal (due to anti-trust law, and/or
    relevant Commodity Futures law), will Verisign/ICANN indemnify affected
    resellers, registrants and other market participants from all
    liability, legal costs, and implementation costs associated with the
    1-year test?

7. On what (contractual) grounds does VGRS propose the WLS, instead of
    letting this part of the markt be a free operating system?
    Where does VGRS base the sale of WLS upon, considering that it is her
    contractual duty to return domains to the pool after 45 days, in which 
    there would be nothing to sell

8. When does VGRS propose to settle with ICANN on a delete agreement pursuant
    to 3.7.5 of the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA).

9. Does this WLS not constitute a seperate contract between ICANN and VGRS
    and as such, should an open "bid" period to allow other to "bid" for a
    likewise system not be entertained?

Prices, payment and costs

10.a) What is Verisign's proposed wholesale price for a variant of WLS
    with zero (0) exchanges?
    b) What are Verisign's proposed wholesale prices for a variant of
    WLS with a two-stage  mechanism, where the WLS holder is charged $X for
    their place in queue, and then and additional $Y if and only if the
    domain is deleted, with no exchanges? (i.e. tell us X and Y)

11.What besides "willingness of the market" is the base for the extremely
    high price of WLS? When will VGRS deliver a cost-based analyses to all
    constituencies to determine a "fair" price for such services, if they
    should be started?

12.How does the WLS system handle credit-card chargebacks by
    registrants (and the associated chargeback fees) who fail to acquire a

13.a) How much is Snapnames being paid per reservation? Why?
    b) What are the relevant patent-pending registration numbers for any
    intellectual property that is involved in the creation of the WLS, in
    particular the "Parallel Registry" technology?

Test success criteria

14.a) What are the success criteria that Verisign/ICANN intend to use
    at the end of the 1-year WLS testing period (these should be specified
    ex-ante, not ex-post)?
    b) Do those criteria take into account the existing competitive
    landscape that exists in the market?
    c) If so, what market measurements has Verisign/ICANN made of the
    current competitive landscape (NameWinner, eNom, AWRegistry,
    ExpireFish, SnapNames, NicGenie, IARegistry, Signature Domains, and
    other competitors), to serve as the basis for a comparison?
    d) Under what metrics will the WLS test be considered a failure?

15.At: http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic/ga/Arc09/msg00081.html Chuck
    Gomes wrote "The value to the Internet community therefore seems rather
    obvious to me. But, if there is none as you suggest, then the service
    will be a failure.  On the other hand, if there is demand and hence
    value, it will succeed.  The level of success will depend on how much
    demand and value there is.  The best way to test it is to let the
    market prove it one way or other."
    There currently exists a competitive market in the automotive industry
    (as there is for the expired domain names industry). If it was replaced
    by a single monopolistic seller for a 1-year test period, cars would
    undoubtedly still be bought, as there is a intrinsic demand for cars
    themselves. How does Verisign/ICANN intend to differentiate the demand
    for WLS from the demand for the expired names themselves, when there
    would be no alternative mechanism for securing those expired names for
    which there is a basic demand already that is being satisfied in the

16.Has Verisign considered implementing a 1-year test on the dot-TV
    and dot-CC TLDs, instead of on dot-COM and dot-NET? Why wouldn't a test
    on those two TLDs suffice, if it's merely a "test"? (rationale: a test
    on dot-TV and dot-CC would not impact the existing competitive deleted
    domains industry, and would also provide the further advantage of
    comparison between the two alternative markets on the same time-scale)

Abusive speculation

17. What is the definition of "abusive speculation"? In particular, do
    any of the 55 examples from the SnapNames Hot 100 referenced at:
    constitute "abusive speculation"? (As of this writing,
    the Hot 100 list on SnapNames' website is apparently no longer
    available, although the mirror is available)


18.a) Will existing holders of SnapNames SnapBacks be grandfathered
    into the WLS?
    b) If not, what are the proposed Sunrise and Landrush mechanisms
    for the WLS?

19.Since WLS subscriptions purchased in the final month of the "test"
    will continue be honoured, doesn't this mean that the impact of this
    "test" on the deleted domains market will be for 2 years and not merely
    1 year?

Consensus process

20.a) Under what metrics does Verisign plan to decide that there is a
    stakeholders "consensus" for bringing forth this proposal to ICANN? In
    particular, what level and nature of opposition must exist to abandon
    the proposal?
    b) Under what conditions do counter-proposals by other stakeholders
    receive attention as viable alternatives to WLS?
    c) Why is the "Status Quo" proposal not an option? (it seems to
    have greater support and consensus at this time than the WLS) If it has
    greater support than the WLS, why is the "Status Quo" not the best

WLS implementation

21.a) Will the WHOIS information for the WLS subscription holder be
    made public?
    b) If not, why not?

22.a) If a name is deleted "in error", does it go back to the original
    b) What are the exact conditions that constitute a deletion "in

23.Will WLS subscriptions be refused on names that expire after the
    end of the WLS subscription?

Secondary market

24.How will WLS enhance competition and innovation in the deleted
    domain industry, when it will reduce the number of available business
    models that presently exist in the marketplace?

25.Which of the existing business models that are active in the
    deleted domains market (eNom, SnapNames, NameWinner, NicGenie,
    Signature Domains, IARegistry, AWRegistry, ExpireFish, and others) are
    inappropriate and/or violations of their respective registrar

26.How does VGRS respond to the fact that WLS will put a number of operators
    in a likewise service based on free market principles out of business?

Bulk deletions

27.Will the process of BULK deletion remain in place?

28.Verisign has not had a batch deletion in about 4 weeks. Have batch
    deletions been suspended pending the resolution of the WLS proposal?

This list has been compiled from questions asked by members of the
DNSO General Assembly list.

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