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RE: Lawsuit on ICANN (was: Re: A few words on VeriSign's sitefinder)

  • From: Michael Froomkin - U.Miami School of Law
  • Date: Thu Feb 26 20:09:36 2004

The lawsuit is not premature to the extent that 

1. VRSN were told (however justly) to cease and desist Site Finder 1.0 or
else face consequences.

2. VRSN  were told they couldn't implement the "Consolidate" service
without making other concessions [according to the complaint the service
allowed registrants to buy fractions of a year registrations to top up
existing ones so that a whole portfolio would come due on the same day --
a useful feature].

3. ICANN hasn't implemented the parts of the contracts that call
for review panels in cases of disputes.

4. VRSN are looking for leverage to force a favorable outcome in Rome on
WLS or on the forthcoming Sitefinder 2.0 as part of settlement
negotiations if any.

Not, I hasten to add, that I support Sitefinder or WLS (although I think I
like "consolidate").  But what I like isn't the issue.  Even if having
ICANN win some of these is a short-run gain for usability of the Internet,
making ICANN's approval required for every ancillary service or change in
business model of every registry is a serious long-term drag on the
evolution of the Internet.  Although, like all regulatory compliance work,
it would generate serious lawyers' fees....

On Thu, 26 Feb 2004, David Schwartz wrote:

> 	By the way, do we even know what we're talking about? Specifically, has
> VeriSign produced a set of specifications for exactly what SiteFinder is and
> does?
> 	For example, is it guaranteed to return the same A record for all
> unregistered domains? Is it guaranteed that that A record will not change?
> 	Until VeriSign produces a technical specification for what it is they
> intend to do, they cannot expect other people to opine about what effects
> their changes will have. VeriSign has not yet even started the notification
> and analysis period.
> 	Isn't VeriSign's lawsuit premature? I mean, ICANN has not yet said no to
> any specific technical proposal from VeriSign, at least as far as I know. Is
> VeriSign arguing that they should be able to do whatever they want with the
> root DNS, with no advance notice to anyone?
> 	DS

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