ICANN approves VeriSign Wait Listing Service trial


The Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has issued a resolution authorizing VeriSign to offer a 12-month trial of a Wait Listing Service (WLS). The resolution is based on a proposal presented by VeriSign's Global Registry Services to ICANN, requesting amendments to the registry agreements for the '.com' and '.net' generic top-level domains.

According to the proposal, the WLS will allow interested domain name seekers to purchase a subscription linked to a currently registered '.com' or '.net' domain name. Once the registration is deleted and becomes available, the name will be registered to the subscriber. Initially, only one subscription will be accepted per domain name. During the trial period, subscribers will not be allowed to transfer subscriptions from one registrar to another.

The ICANN resolution sets out various conditions that must be observed in the interests of fairness and transparency. These include (i) a six-month grace period so that owners who have inadvertently let their domain names expire can retrieve them, and (ii) a mechanism whereby existing domain name holders will be notified that a WLS subscription has been placed on the name.

An in-depth evaluation of the suitability of the WLS to solve the existing problems surrounding domain name registration will occur after the trial period has expired.

Raquel Martins, Simmons & Simmons, London

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