[DNS] Domain red letter causes heartburn (Fairfax IT)

[DNS] Domain red letter causes heartburn (Fairfax IT)

From: <David.Goldstein§sbg.nic.at>
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2000 12:16:47 +0200
Hi all

A story from Fairfax IT and probably in the SMH and Age on the domain issue
recently discussed.


Domain red letter causes heartburn
Tuesday 8 August 2000

MELBOURNE IT says it is looking into a letter sent out to holders of com.au
domain names warning that their name could be deleted if they did not pay a
renewal fee.

One of Melbourne IT's com.au resellers, Internet Name Protection, has used
the national AUNIC Internet name database to find and contact domain name
holders whose registration is close to expiring.

But some competitors of the St Kilda Road company say the practice is
"poaching" and unfair and have called on Melbourne IT to intervene.

Internet Name Protection says it is providing a "public service" to name
holders who might otherwise forget to renew their domain names. 

Internet Name Protection is a business name of Open Your Mind Advertising. 

Director of Open Your Mind Advertising Sasha Sudakov said it had originally
looked for names that had expired, but was now notifying some name holders
ahead of time. He said the company also had a business registering new

Alastair Waddell, technical administrator at city ISP Legion Internet, said
he was concerned at Melbourne IT's attitude to the practice.

He said it was unacceptable that Melbourne IT's channel partners could step
in on his customers in that way. 

"Implicit in the request for the client to forward details for
re-registration (and "funds - urgently") is the implication that somehow
(the) `Internet name protection agency' is the agency able to rescue the
client from this non-existent crisis," Waddell said.

One person who paid for a renewal believing he was dealing direct with the
registrar says he wants his money back.

Don Cameron, manager of the Coolah Telecentre, a small New South Wales ISP
serving about 300 customers, said he believed the letter had come from
another of Melbourne IT's channel partners, Internet Names Australia.

Cameron said a subsequent attempt to contact Internet Name Protection at the
company's Melbourne office had received no response.

"Our interpretation of the invoice was that it came from Internet Names

Lee Sanders, a spokesman for com.au reseller and ISP Commerce Australia,
said that although it may be legal, it was ethically wrong to try to get
other reseller's customers in that way.

He said he had not lost any business to Internet Name Protection so far.

"The only customer to be contacted was fairly knowledgeable, being the owner
of a computer service business. They thought this was a bit dodgy and
contacted us," Sanders said.

A Melbourne IT spokesman said the issue was being investigated. 

Meanwhile, last Friday NetRegistry chief executive officer Larry Bloch
called for all ISPs upset by Internet Name Protection's actions to sign an
open letter to Melbourne IT chief executive Professor Peter Gerrand.

Bloch's letter, cross-posted on ISP industry listservers, accuses Melbourne
IT of inaction and of giving "implicit support" to Internet Name Protection.

"We believe domain owners are being given misleading and misrepresentative
information and are being overcharged as a result," Bloch wrote.

"This activity is damaging the business of (Melbourne IT's) existing channel
partners and is harming the reputation of the domain registration industry
and the Internet in Australia.

"In a relatively new industry such as the Internet, the legal system can
take some time to protect consumers and in this vacuum curbing irresponsible
business practices are the responsibility of industry leaders."

nic.at Internet Verwaltungs- und Betriebsgesellschaft m.b.H.
Jakob-Haringer-Straße 8
A-5020 Salzburg

Infos zur Domainverwaltung http://www.nic.at

Email: david.goldstein&#167;sbg.nic.at 
Tel.: +43 (662) 4669-0
Fax: +43 (662) 4669-29
In Oesterreich gebuehrenfrei:
Tel.: 0800 800 888-0
Fax: 0800 800 888-29
Received on Wed Aug 09 2000 - 18:17:33 UTC

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