Advisory Concerning Regland Litigation
ICANN has seen reports that Regland, Inc. has filed a lawsuit against ICANN in state court in Texas. The lawsuit complains about ICANN's statements concerning Regland's business practices in taking money for "pre-registrations" in proposed top-level domains (TLDs) that do not exist, have not yet been approved by ICANN, and may never be available on the Internet. Regland's claims are utterly baseless and ICANN regards the lawsuit as frivolous.
ICANN believes that it is entirely appropriate to alert the public that no TLDs have been selected and that no company — including Regland — is yet authorized to be selling domain names in new TLDs. These statements are entirely true and are designed to caution consumers who may be mislead into believing that they have actually registered a name in a TLD that does not yet exist.
On 29 September, ICANN's primary advisory body on domain name issues — the Names Council of ICANN's Domain Name Supporting Organization — issued a statement warning consumers that "it is premature for companies to offer pre-registration services for domain names in speculative new TLDs. To date, no new TLDs have been selected and there is no guarantee that any particular organization will be authorized to take registrations for any particular TLD. The registration of names in new TLDs will be done on a fair basis, and the practice of pre-registration should not be encouraged."