ICANN ‘s all set to move forward to completely do away with domain tasting. Domain tasters are frequently accused of taking advantage of loopholes in the registration process and mint millions out of it, without actually paying anything for it. They pull this stunt by amassing a large number of domain names they think the customers are looking for.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), now wants to effectively end domain tasting and in lieu of that start charging an annual ICANN fee on registrar domain registrations.
“Domain tasting has been an issue for the Internet community and ICANN is offering this proposal as a way to stop tasting,…Charging the ICANN fee as soon as a domain name is registered would close the loophole used by tasters to test a domain name’s profitability for free.” said Dr Paul Twomey, ICANN’s President and CEO.
The statistics by themselves portray the state of affairs as dismal, and tasting has seen an exponential growth since 2004. “In January 2007, the top 10 domain tasters accounted for 95% of all deleted .com and .net domain names — or 45,450,897 domain names out of 47,824,131 total deletes,” ICANN estimates.
ICANN domain tasting entails “the use of the Add Grace Period to test the profitability of a domain name registration. The AGP is a five-day period following the initial registration of a domain name when the registration may be deleted and a credit can be issued to a registrar.”
One of the ways to eliminate this kind of exploitation being talked by ICANN is to not to refund the charges levied by ICANN on a domain transaction. It is hoped that this practice would curb and control misuse of domain tasting in large numbers.
While it sounds like a good move to achieve the objective, there are a couple of questions hovering in the minds of folks, such as if a customer makes a mistake in registering, would there be some kind of a support provided to the customer?
Further, wouldn’t it lead to a hike in prices to register a domain, etc. Since, the move is still in the proposal stage answers to all the questions might not be evident. While the move seems to be in the right direction, it now on remains to be seen, how the proposal actually gets implemented and how it overcomes various questions being raised at it?
While ICANN is there to protect the interests of the industry, it might not be fair to classify all webhosting companies under the same head. Perhaps, the answer lies in self-regulation by webhosting service providers. Candid Webhosting for sometime now, with the objective of providing friendly and customized solutions to the clients.