ICANN charges forth on domain tasting
The free ride, aka the five-day Add Grace Period (AGP) for buying and returning a domain for a refund, came to an end at the latest ICANN meeting.
Judging by the minutes taken during the ICANN discussion of domain tasting, the organization had a tough time finding a balance between thwarting abusers of the system without unduly harming those who want to register and use a domain long-term.
Of the available solutions, ICANN opted to withdraw a long-standing waiver in place related to the practice of domain deletion:
…the Board believes that the withdrawal of ICANN’s waiver of ICANN’s on-refundable transaction fee to the deletion of names within the AGP will ubstantially end the practice of abusing the AGP;
Up until domain tasters escalated their activity in earnest in 2005, a minimal amount of domain deleting took place. The number of tasted domains skyrocketed into the tens of millions in short order, with hordes of sites tossed online, advertising pasted on them, and allowed to run to find an audience. Those that did not perform were tossed back into the pool for a full refund.
The problem with ICANN’s solution is it may be ineffective against well-financed domain tasters. A return fee may be the cost of doing business, one that simply becomes part of the accounting process without having an impact on the activity.