February 13, 2006

It's Time To Eliminate ICANN's "Add Grace" Period

The domain name industry has become a cesspool.  One of the sewers is ICANN's "Add Grace" policy.

Under this policy people, generally very sleazy people, can buy a name, have it go live, and if they don't like what happens, they can relinquish the name and get some or all of their money back.

This has created a business in which domain vultures snap up deleted or un-renewed domain names, slap up an advertisement-filled web page to see whether there is a worthwhile amount of residual traffic.  If not they take advantage of Add Grace and get their money back.

It's ICANN's way of subsidizing domain name churn and the underworld of people who want to make a buck off dead domain names.

Add Grace adds useless expense and complexity to the domain name registration systems - the sewer rats get away not paying, leaving the rest of us who buy names normally to pick up the costs.  And the net ends up littered with advertising-covered domain name zombies.

Add Grace is a useless wart.  Add Grace should be eliminated.

ICANN put it there, ICANN can remove it.

The new .com agreement, an agreement that is not yet approved, contains Add Grace.  ICANN can start by removing Add Grace from the proposed .com agreement.

I'm not sure when this bit of legerdemain crept out of RFC3519 into ICANN's agreements - I know that when we on the board were talking about grace periods we were only talking about a grace period to help folks who forgot to get their renewals in on time.

Posted by karl at February 13, 2006 1:02 PM