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Public Comment Period Now Open for Domain Tasting Motion

7 May 2008

The GNSO Council has approved by super majority vote a motion to discourage use of the current “add grace period” (AGP), during which domains can be returned within five days without cost, for “domain tasting” purposes. The motion, which is pending for Board action, would prohibit any gTLD operator that has implemented an “add grace period” (AGP) from offering a refund to a registrar for any domain name deleted during the AGP that exceeds 10% of its net new registrations during that month, or fifty domain names, whichever is greater. An exemption could be granted based on extraordinary circumstances, as detailed in the motion.

“Domain Tasting” refers to a situation where an entity registers a domain name and then tests to see if the name has sufficient traffic to provide more income than the annual registration fee (usually through pay-per-click advertising). If the name is profitable, it is kept. If not, the AGP is used to return the domain at no cost to the registrant. Recently, there has been a significant increase in the number of domain names registered and returned within the AGP.

In October 2007, the GNSO Council launched a policy development process (PDP) on domain tasting and produced an Initial Report for public comment that outlined the possible actions to be taken, and the arguments for and against such actions. Public comments were incorporated into a draft Final Report (posted 8 February) for GNSO Council review and action.

The public is invited to submit comments until 23:59 UTC 21 May 2008 before final consideration by the Board.

Full public comment period link: http://www.icann.org/public_comment/public-comment-200805.html#dt-motion-21may08