Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Spam

Domain Tasting "Officially Dead" Thanks To Cancellation Policy 102

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the plenty-of-other-shady-practices-left dept.
Ars Technica is reporting that domain tasting has been all but eradicated now that the full penalty for excessive cancellations has taken effect. "In 2008, ICANN decided to act. It allowed domain registrars to withdraw as many as 10 percent of their total registrations; they would face penalties for anything above that. Initially, ICANN adopted a budget that included a charge of $0.20 for each withdrawal above the limit, which was in effect from June 2008 to July of this year. Later, it adopted an official policy that raised the penalty to $6.75, the cost of a .org registration; that took effect in July 2009. The results have been dramatic. Even under the low-cost budget provisions, domain withdrawals during the grace period dropped to 16 percent of what they had been prior to its adoption. Once the heavy penalties took hold, the withdrawal rate dropped to under half a percent."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Domain Tasting "Officially Dead" Thanks To Cancellation Policy

Comments Filter:
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Friday August 14, 2009 @01:08PM (#29068619) Journal
    So the semi-legitimate use you can dig up is that companies want to buy up bundles of DNs and drop ads there to see if type-in traffic or google searches can make them enough bank to warrant keeping it up. Personally, sounds like a get rich quick scheme providing nothing -- maybe even negative confusion -- to society and should therefore be discouraged.

    Next you got domain kiting. Where a jerk "tastes" under one registrar and then cancels five days later and "tastes" under another an then cancels five days later and then "tastes" under yet another registrar ... do we see where this is going? Again, free DN registration, stupid that this should even have a term even stupider that it works for people with a lot of patience aiming to save $12/year.

    And what's left? Domain Name Front Running like our friend Network Solutions [slashdot.org]? Remind me again what sound logic caused domain name tasting [slashdot.org] to be introduced in the first place?

    Lastly, after reading the short report, I'm lead to believe that we're still allowing 10% AGP deletes. My question is simple: Given the above reasons for domain tasting, why allow it at all? I mean everyone's spinning this move in a positive light except for scam artists and con men. So why not just seal the deal and make it "Officially Officially Dead" in a policy?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 14, 2009 @01:14PM (#29068719)

      There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. I say we take off and nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by interkin3tic (1469267)

        If it's all dead, the only thing left to do is sort through it's pockets for loose change.

      • It's "dust off and nuke the site from orbit".

      • by RockDoctor (15477)

        take off and nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

        The whole point of nuking the site from orbit is that you reduce to zero (not "very low" but "zero") the possibility of your organism getting off the planet. The nuking from orbit needs to be done by a vessel that hasn't landed (or even entered the atmosphere and the nuking needs to vaporise all surface-to-orbit capable ships on the ground as well as all organisms capable of learning how to build one. It's the only way to be "sure", rather than "

    • by Ex-Linux-Fanboy (1311235) on Friday August 14, 2009 @01:33PM (#29068989) Homepage Journal
      I think the thinking is that it allows people to get refunds if they made a typo during the domain registration process.
      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday August 14, 2009 @01:56PM (#29069249) Journal
        That's easy - you can have a refund on any domain as long as you request it within n days and you don't set up valid DNS records for that domain during that period. If you set up working DNS entries then you're using the domain so you should be charged for it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nametaken (610866)

          "Setting up DNS records" is (in some ways) vague and is relatively hard to enforce.

          What they have now apparently accomplishes its goal. Best I can tell there's no problem left to be solved.

          • "Setting up DNS records" is (in some ways) vague and is relatively hard to enforce.

            Not at all. Every day during the grace period, ICANN (or whoever) does an automated DNS query on the new domain until either the grace period ends or it gets a response showing that the domain exists. In the latter case, a note is made on the domain's record that DNS records have been set up. If you back out during the grace period, you get a refund if and only if that note doesn't exist.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by coryking (104614) *

              Yeah, but for every registrar I've ever used the DNS records are set up the second you purchase the domain.

              • If you're using a combination registrar and hosting service, of course they will. If, however, you're expected to set up your own hosting and so on, they probably don't. Good point, though, in any case.
                • by Phroggy (441)

                  If you're using a combination registrar and hosting service, of course they will. If, however, you're expected to set up your own hosting and so on, they probably don't. Good point, though, in any case.

                  Generally the registrar will set up DNS hosting on their servers by default, with "www" pointing to one of their web servers showing an ad-laden "parking" page, regardless of what you intend to change it to in 15 minutes.

                  • Sounds like a good reason not to use this registrar then. The one I use doesn't configure any DNS entries until you've gone to the DNS control panel and added some (they only support MX, A, TXT and CN entries, but they let you change the SOA record to point to your own DNS server if you want to use it instead).
                  • by cduffy (652)

                    Generally the registrar will set up DNS hosting on their servers by default, with "www" pointing to one of their web servers showing an ad-laden "parking" page, regardless of what you intend to change it to in 15 minutes.

                    I don't doubt that it's common, but that's a pretty evil practice (abusive, even -- that domain is their customer's property; how is it their business to put anything there?). I use NearlyFreeSpeech [nearlyfreespeech.net], and they don't do anything of that sort.

          • by Reziac (43301) *

            Also, my hosting provider does it automagically -- I register a domain and 5 minutes later it's ready to go. So while the principle sounds good, it's not entirely feasible, unless absolutely no one uses a host that is also a registrar that does this instantly-working-domain thing with no customer intervention whatever. (BTW this is one reason I love my provider -- saves me a lot of nuisance.)

        • by mysidia (191772)

          Why don't we instead say, you can HAVE IT, provided you pay for a different registration in its place.

          You can register 10 domains and cancel them all, and get refunds, as long as you register and pay for 10 domains, and keep all 10 for 30 days.

          Your refund gets performed at the end of the 30 day period, after you bought all 10 replacements.

          • by dlgeek (1065796)
            That's what the spammers do, keep a website up for 10 days to collect the idiots, then move on to the next domain.
        • by Ihmhi (1206036)

          But what if you buy a domain from a registrar? A lot of them just set it up for you. So if I buy a domain from Company X (and they set up DNS very quickly as usual - normally within 24 hours as I've seen), and I change my mind... I don't think a refund is coming my way anytime soon.

      • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Friday August 14, 2009 @02:01PM (#29069309) Journal

        I think the thinking is that it allows people to get refunds if they made a typo during the domain registration process.

        So what you're telling me is that the process for making an error in your form is to delete everything and start over? You're telling me that they do this instead of having you submit a request to have it changed? Am I the only one that thinks it would be easier to make a form for requesting changes to your account?

        People are human, people err. But it benefits everyone involved if you just fix the mistake when you notice it. The registrar retains your business and you get the domain you wanted. No big deal. But it stops scammers from allocating 300 domains and keeping 3 of them to squat on or whatever they want to do. They should be stuck with 300 domains they have to pay for.

        • by rickb928 (945187)

          A change request. Ingenious. Feh.

          How about charging for the mistake? After all, it was my mistake, not the registrar's...

          • by dgatwood (11270)

            Just require them to extend the domain by one year in order to change the domain to a different name after the first 72 hours. It solves the tasting abuse problem equally well, but does so without causing an equally obnoxious "I'm throwing money away for something that should be an automated process and thus should cost nothing" problem.

      • If a person makes a typo during the domain registration process, then let them fix it ... DURING the domain registration process. The person enters the domain name they want on the first page of the form, and has to confirm on each of the next two or three pages that yes, this is the domain name they want, spelled the way they want. Making a typo once on a form is understandable. Making that same typo five times? Not so much.
        • by dgatwood (11270)

          Show me a registrar where you have to type it in more than once. After the first page, you're just reading the name, not typing it again.

          Besides, people who made mistakes the first time will likely not notice those mistakes on a reread, either. This is particularly true for people who are dyslexic.

      • by Jave1in (1071792)
        If the domain name you choose is so easy to typo that you registered it incorrectly, wouldn't it make sense to redirect the mistyped domain to the real one? I'd think your potential user base might make the same mistake.
      • by antic (29198)

        Domain names are an incredibly cheap part of setting up a business. Typo should be tough luck, or you have 30 minutes to catch it and adjust.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Daniel_Staal (609844)

      Because there may be actual reasons for people to want to immediately cancel a domain? (Heck, enough people make typos in forms...)

      There is probably enough legitimate demand for this service to support something like 5% or so, maybe even the current 10%. Sure, we want to strongly discourage it, but actually disallowing it would be going further than we need to.

      • If it's only for mistyped domain names, they could offer a free "rename domain" during that period (i.e. you give up your mis-typed domain name in exchange for the correctly typed one). That way you always have to pay for a domain you ordered, but still can correct any typos you made without additional cost.

        • by mal3 (59208)

          And what if the domain name you wanted wasn't actually available?

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by natehoy (1608657)

            Then you accept you've made a mistake, pay your $5-15, and move on. Stop buying lattes at StarDucks for a week and pocket the difference.

            The instant a "money back" UNDO button goes into place, someone will just go back to tasting again. A well-intentioned system to allow people to avoid the consequences of their mistakes has allowed significant abuses of the system for the rest of us.

            And by "rest of us", I will freely admit that I have acquired a couple of incorrect domain names in the past. Recently I g

        • by sfbiker (1118091)

          And what keeps you from tasting, changing the spelling, then retasting? I want "Yhoo.com". No wait, no hits to that one, I meant to type "Yaho.com". Sorry, another typo, I really want "Yhaoo.com". "ayhoo.com"? "yaaho.com"?

          If you're going to set an arbitrary limit on how many times you can change the spelling before you get charged, why not just set a different arbitrary limit that tells the registrar how many deletes he can have before he gets penalized. Then he is free to set any rename/delete policy he w

      • I'd guess the percentage of legitimate demand is far less than 10% of domain registrations, probably far less than 1% (seeing as how the current legitimate+illegitimate percentage is 0.3%) But it doesn't matter much - 10% was low enough to kill off the vast majority of the remaining domain tasters, while high enough that people weren't going to argue and whine about how unreasonably strict it was. It means that the registrars who were friendly to the domain-tasting business can't afford to push that stuf

      • by ultranova (717540)

        Because there may be actual reasons for people to want to immediately cancel a domain? (Heck, enough people make typos in forms...)

        Well then, perhaps the lack of such ability would provide these people with some incentive to learn to spell correctly, or at least proofread what they've typed. That's hardly a bad thing, based on the barely legible garbage they post on Slashdot.

        Besides, we aren't talking about anyone's life savings here.

    • by linhares (1241614)
      Solutions beyond ICANN don't seem easy. Say Google, Yahoo, & other advertisers would decide to also fight against this. I know that Google, and suspect that Yahoo also, punish pages with bare minimum, or copied content, and lots of CLICK NOW SMALL PENIS GUY! They could of course pagerank=0 OTHER, real websites that had the same ad providers these scammers use. But obviously that is not a solution they would touch; because of anti-trust issues. But perhaps they could lobby for legislation allowing
      • by Talderas (1212466)

        You -want- to believe grandma is legitimately clicking on those ads? You -want- to lump her in with small penis guy?

        Disturbing.

      • by xaxa (988988) on Friday August 14, 2009 @02:41PM (#29069851)

        Say Google [...] pagerank=0 OTHER, real websites that had the same ad providers these scammers use.

        You seem to be assuming Google "do no evil"; I'm afraid you're a few years out of date:

        http://www.google.com/domainpark/ [google.com]

      • by rickb928 (945187)

        "it should be criminal to create a webpage stealing feeds from others "

        What?

        We can't even seem to criminalize ads that say "A Phoenix mom discovers the one rule to lose weight" when there was NEVER a Phoenix mom, NEVER a mom who discovered a rule to lose weight, and NEVER a mom who lost weight involved IN ANY WAY with the ad campaign. Pure, made-up BS. Apparently not criminal.

        Surely republishing feed links can't be criminal - you're not even replicating the content, just advertising for them. You're bene

    • why allow it at all?

      I think by limiting how many a registrar can change, this encorages registrars to use it for legitimate purposes, such as mis-typed names (if those really happen). Rather than cater to non-customers, they may only make the revocation available to paying customers who aren't really tasting.

      I'd suggest a lower threshold like 1%, but it maybe this helps weed out illegitimate (scammer-friendly) registrars because they don't have enough real registrations to make their 10% account for
  • by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Friday August 14, 2009 @01:12PM (#29068691)
    What was the purpose of "domain testing" anyway??
    • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary&yahoo,com> on Friday August 14, 2009 @01:19PM (#29068787) Journal

      What was the purpose of "domain testing" anyway??

      Obviously, some domains have gone bad, like milk left out too long. You don't want to drink the whole thing, so, um, you taste a little bit of it? To see if it's gone sour? Maybe we could replace it with domain smelling, or domain giving it to your wife to see if she spits it out?

    • by linhares (1241614) on Friday August 14, 2009 @01:21PM (#29068833)

      What was the purpose of "domain testing" anyway??

      Money, young grasshopper. Money. From TFA:

      Never ones to let a good deed go unpunished, scammers quickly learned to take advantage of a user-friendly policy that allowed a misregistered domain name--perhaps due to a typo--to be withdrawn at no cost. Scammers used this "Add Grace Period" to grab huge numbers of domains, throw up pages full of advertising, then withdraw the applications before the bill came due. It was a practice known as "domain tasting," and it gave the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) a bad case of indigestion.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by drougie (36782)

      Registering a bunch of domains to see if any are already getting enough traffic to generate enough revenue to make hanging onto the domain worth it or canceling it before the bill comes. Aggressive typo-cybersquatting, a lot of it. Here. [wikipedia.org]

      • by theskipper (461997) on Friday August 14, 2009 @01:58PM (#29069265)

        To be clear, a large portion of tasting involved picking up bulk names from the pending delete list. Money was made from domains that might have residual traffic after the delete. Park the domain for a few days then see if the adsense/affiliate revenue outweighed the annual fee. If not, drop it and get the refund.

        So typos would be a subset; not every tasted domain would be a typo.

        • by GooberToo (74388)

          Not to mention squatting. A lot of scumbags go to the delete list, snag them as quickly as possible, return it as a typo just before the allowed period is over, and then turn around and snag it again. They effectively were fraudulently squatting domain names without ever paying for them. Then when you needed your domain, back, they'd charge you a huge fee understanding its cheaper to pay their illegal extortion then it is to hire a lawyer who likely wouldn't understand the situation in the first place.

          A lar

    • by v1 (525388) on Friday August 14, 2009 @01:27PM (#29068915) Homepage Journal

      What was the purpose of "domain testing" anyway??

      The cited reason, though dubious, was to for example, register your business under a dozen variations of domain names, wait a few weeks or a month, let things hit the search engines etc, and see which one or two get you the most traffic, register those few, and cancel the rest.

      The reality of course, due to low and nonexistent abuse provisions, was that the domain squatters moved in en masse and tasted a few hundred thousand domains a month each, on a rotating basis, causing every reasonable unregistered domain name to be perpetually under taste by a squatter, that would be more than happy to sell you the domain for a few hundred or few thousand dollars.

      I see this as a good thing for several reasons. Firstly, domain squatters need to die anyway and another nail in their coffin is fine by me. Secondly, I am tired of mistyping a url or poking around with probables looking for something, only to land on "what I need, when I need it." That about makes me want to vomit at this point. Before this enforcement, practically ANY domain name you could enter in was either taken and had content possibly in your interest, (10%) or was under taste. (90%) Now we can start seeing our browser's domain-not-found page once in awhile again.

      But then again now we will experience the return of those "helpful DNS redirections" from microsoft and your local ISP.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I find it hard to believe that any legitimate business couldn't afford to register even a hundred variations on domain names, and pay the full year in an attempt to test whether they get hits.
    • Tasting, not testing.

      Say you got to Registrar A and ask them if example.com is available, and how much it is. Finding it available and being dissatisfied with the price, you go to Registrar B and ask the same, only to be told that the domain is owned by, guess who? Registrar A, who bought the domain because they knew you were interested. Now, you must buy from them or forgo the name. Registrar A would hold onto ownership until the last possible moment they could get a refund.
      • OK, then ask for a similar domain name at registrar A. If you like the price, correct yourself before registering ("sorry, I didn't mean exemple.com, I meant example.com") If you don't like the price, repeat with registrar B.

    • by gmack (197796)
      Allowing refunds if you screw up and buy the wrong domain. Once again proving that on the internet no good deed goes unpunished.
  • Oh how true ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by neonprimetime (528653) on Friday August 14, 2009 @01:13PM (#29068713) Homepage
    One of the unfortunate aspects of networked computing is that the cost of antisocial behaviors is so small
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday August 14, 2009 @01:19PM (#29068791) Journal
      If only all those people working on a way to deliver a punch to the face over TCP/IP could get their act together...
      • by NotWithABang (1570431) on Friday August 14, 2009 @01:39PM (#29069053)
        I've been working on this protocol for a long time and, just to update you, we have it working via UDP but discovered it to be essentialy useless since, as we all know, UDP is connectionless and a punch to the face is a complete waste when no connection is made.

        The difficulties in implementing the protocol over TCP seem to be in the fact that the receiver of the "Punch-To-The-Face" packets (PTTFs) must first ACKnowledge the connection attempt before it will be received and, in most cases, they simply refuse the connection.

        We're currently researching spoofing methods that may disguise the PTTFs until after the connection is made. However, current attempts to make a Punch To The Face look like a Hug From A Friend or Sex With A Girl have been unsuccessful.
        • But, if it ever does work, one could use botnets to launch DAKE (Distributed Ass Kicking Extraordinare) attacks on people. Mmm.
        • However, current attempts to make a Punch To The Face look like a Hug From A Friend or Sex With A Girl have been unsuccessful.

          It's not like anyone here would know how to ACK those connection attempts anyway.

        • We're currently researching spoofing methods that may disguise the PTTFs until after the connection is made. However, current attempts to make a Punch To The Face look like a Hug From A Friend or Sex With A Girl have been unsuccessful.

          I think I've found your problem, outlined in bold above. Perhaps try "Click Here To Start Star Trek Trivia Contest" might work better?

    • by Clover_Kicker (20761) <clover_kicker@yahoo.com> on Friday August 14, 2009 @01:46PM (#29069119)

      One of the unfortunate aspects of networked computing is that the cost of antisocial behaviors is so small

      I disagree, you JACKASS!

  • Sudden? Not quite. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sootman (158191) on Friday August 14, 2009 @01:15PM (#29068733) Homepage Journal

    We need a new tag: "eventualoutbreakofcommonsense"

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jeffshoaf (611794) *

      We need a new tag: "eventualoutbreakofcommonsense"

      Unfortunately, those happen far too seldomly to warrant a tag.

      • True, but eventually we will have more of them happening, hence the need for the tag NOW!
        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          True, but eventually we will have more of them happening, hence the need for the tag NOW!

          tag: suddenneedforeventualoutbreakofcommonsense

        • by srealm (157581)

          You forget, Apathy/Procrastination is a virtue. Just look at some common idioms such as "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it" and "Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow". Or my personal favorite ... "Fuck it!"

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by MarbleMunkey (1495379)
            My personal favorite is a modification of one of your examples:

            "Why put of until tomorrow what you can put off indefinitely"
    • by Dirtside (91468)
      More like "partialoutbreakofcommonsense".
  • by digid (259751)

    because your ISP is tasting all the domains you visit through their DNS. Can they not sell a list of the most popular misspelled domain names? I was alarmed the other day when I mistyped a nonexistant domain and comcast's domain helper came up.

    http://www.comcastvoices.com/2009/07/domain-helper-service-here-to-help-you.html [comcastvoices.com]

    • by kamakazi (74641)

      It seems to me you either mistyped an existing domain, or correctly typed a nonexistant domain, unless of course you actually meant to type a different nonexistant domain :-)

      • by digid (259751)

        I actually typed www.google.co There is no google domain in the .co TLD since the .co TLD doesn't exist. But comcast didn't mind returning me a page full of ads asking me if I mistyped www.google.com

  • by Animats (122034) on Friday August 14, 2009 @01:59PM (#29069281) Homepage

    The next step is to enforce ICANN rule 4.2.5 [icann.org] to prohibit registrars from warehousing or speculating in domains.

  • by lalena (1221394) on Friday August 14, 2009 @02:56PM (#29070073) Homepage
    Besides the domain tasters, does anyone actually know how to get their money back for a domain? I've used several registrars, and I've never seen a link or a mention in a FAQ that I could get my money back if I make a typo. I'm sure it's in there, but just buried under mountains of fine print. For $10, it's my guess that most people figure it was their mistake and pay again. Only the shady people know about the policy.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by GravityStar (1209738)

      No you can't. All sales are final.

      The shady people were the registrar's /themselves/.

      • by Luthair (847766)
        I think it was more that the shady people typically also held large numbers of domains (ie, those they found tasty) so had special accounts.
        • by jakebw (1282240)
          Also, I believe that tasting was supposed to allow the registrar to recover money in the event of a credit card charge-back or non-paying customer.
    • by tit0.c (245434)

      Moniker (my registrar of choice) allowed users to delete and get refunded (minus a very small fee) domains right from the control panel. I used this myself a couple of times in the past 4 years. One was a typo and another one was a client that had second thoughts about a domain I registered for his company.

      Very handy.Moniker rocks.

  • Wikipedia says:
    "Domain tasting should not be confused with domain kiting, which is the process of deleting a domain name during the five-day grace period and immediately re-registering it for another five-day period. This process is repeated any number of times with the end result of having the domain registered without ever actually paying for it."

    So I guess that's dead, too?

  • I found a domain I wanted two and a half months ago, and promptly bought it. I then looked for an economical hosting agency and arranged to move the domain - no go! I have to wait 60 days before I can move it! I have waited the sixty days, and put in a transfer request. After a while, I get an email asking if I requested the transfer. If so, do nothing - your transfer will be initiated after a 72 hours (+++) wait. The transfer will take between 7 and 14 days! This in the 21st century, on the INTERNET. I st
    • You should be able to change the DNS settings for the domain to have it point where you want.
      A client of mine does that with NetSol. As long as they own the IP addresses they enter, everything works. I put in a wildcard DNS entry pointing to a 404 'are you lost' page for them to keep bad dns queries from landing on NetSol's ad page.

Ever notice that even the busiest people are never too busy to tell you just how busy they are?

Working...