ICANN's Anti-Domain-Tasting Plan Could Deter Scammers

Washingtonpost.com, Thursday, January 31, 2008 1:30 PM
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The domain-tasting issue (or the practice of domain registrars giving buyers a five-day window to renege on keeping a particular Web site) has seemingly come to a head. Shortly after details of Google's plans to ban Web sites that are less than five days old from participating in its AdSense program went public, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced a proposal that could end the practice altogether.

Right now, the domainer's trade association levies an additional 20-cent surcharge on every domain that's registered--a fee that's refunded if the buyer fails to actually claim the site after the grace period. Under the new proposal, ICANN wouldn't dole out any more refunds--which on a small scale doesn't seem like much.

But for scammers seeking to profit from domain tasting by purchasing thousands of sites at a time (and rigging them to generate ad revenue during the grace period), the cost may be a huge deterrent. As per Brian Krebs' article, under the new rules, a taster who buys 100,000 domains and keeps only one would see his or her cost jump from the price of just that one (usually less than $20) to $20,000.

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