Language of new applicant guidebook disqualifies two large domain name registrars.
If you read the spirit of the rules related to new top level domain names, domain name registrars eNom and Go Daddy are still disqualified from applying for their own top level domain names.
In the latest draft ICANN tweaked the language regarding applicants for new TLDs who have been found guilty of cybersquatting, but not enough to let these two companies off the hook.
The guidebook reads:
In the absence of exceptional circumstances, applications from any entity with or including any Individual Applicants with confirmed convictions of the types listed in (a) – (m) below will be automatically disqualified from the program…
has been involved in of a pattern of adverse, final decisions indicating that the applicant or individual named in the application was engaged in cybersquatting as defined in the UDRP, ACPA, or other equivalent legislation, or was engaged in reverse domain name hijacking under the UDRP or bad faith or reckless disregard under the ACPA or other equivalent legislation. Three or more such decisions with one occurring in the last four years will generally be considered to constitute a pattern.
The new language in the latest guidebook notes that decisions must be “final”. It also adds language regarding people who are guilty of reverse domain name hijacking.
But eNom and Go Daddy both have three or more “final” UDRP losses with at least one in the past four years.
Now, technically there are ways around this. For both registrars the domains that got them in trouble were actually owned by affiliate or subsidiary companies. There’s also a bit of wiggle room in the language, such as “generally be considered” and “in the absence of exceptional circumstances”.
As I’ve commented before, I don’t think it’s right to apply this arbitrary standard of cybersquatting retroactively. And I can’t see ICANN denying an otherwise good application from either of these domain registrars.