“Domain tasters” bitter as new fees put an end to their games

13 08 2009

Never ones to let a good deed go unpunished, scammers quickly learned to take advantage of a user-friendly policy that allowed a misregistered domain name—perhaps due to a typo—to be withdrawn at no cost. Scammers used this “Add Grace Period” to grab huge numbers of domains, throw up pages full of advertising, then withdraw the applications before the bill came due.

It was a practice known as “domain tasting,” and it gave the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) a bad case of indigestion. ICANN, which manages domain name assignments, ultimately responded by imposing penalties that would ensure any group that performed an excessive number of these premature withdrawals wound up with a substantial bill. In a report on the results of the new policy, released yesterday, ICANN announced that its actions have essentially eliminated the delicious art of domain tasting.

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