xxx.info, jobs.info and 1174 others remain inactive – .info Sunrise Pending Reallocation domain names

I got a question a few days ago about why Domain Tools reports 1174 .info domain names with Registrant: “Afilias Ltd / Sunrise Pending Reallocation”. Actually there were 1228 domains in this state but a few were reallocated. Domains like usa.info, vacation.info and shop.info are still pending reallocation. Will Afilias ever do something with these domains? But let’s start from the beginning.

Conducted from July to October 2001, the .info Sunrise Period was designed to enable qualified trademark owners to register a domain name corresponding to their trademark in advance of general registration. The requisite qualifications to participate in the Sunrise Period were established by Afilias (the .info registry) and publicly posted in advance of the Sunrise Period. This was the first time that a Sunrise Process had been used in connection with the launch of an open gTLD.

Due in part to a lack of a pre-verification mechanism with respect to Sunrise registrations, there were a substantial number of non-complaint registrations, i.e., registrations that were not based on valid current trademarks or service marks. Most of these non-compliant registrations were resolved in a predefined “Challenge” process. This process did not resolve all non-compliant registrations. Afilias, in consultation with ICANN and WIPO, undertook to resolve remaining non-compliant registrations.

Of the initial Sunrise registration totals (approximately 50,000 domain names), there were approximately 18,000 names that were deemed to be non-compliant as a result of the challenge process, and therefore subject to cancellation. In 2002, Afilias reallocated 16912 names in consultation with ICANN on a first-come, first-served basis. This was called Land Rush 2 (LR2).  Afilias released these 16912 .info domain names on July, 13nd 2002. However, there was a set of 1,400 domain names that were not subject to reallocation at that time because they were still in the challenge process or withheld from reallocation as they were the subject of litigation. After those challenges and disputes settled, Afilias wanted to reallocate them in an equitable manner in accordance with a process outlined in their proposal that was filed in with ICANN. Of course that was 6 years after LR2. In 2008 Afilias filed a registry services request called “Phased Equitable Reallocation of Non-Compliant .INFO Sunrise Domain Names” and this request was approved by the ICANN Board of Directors.

ICANN approval in May 2009 permitted Afillias to reallocate the .info domain names by Request for Proposals (RFP), auctions or on a first-come first-served process. Not included in the list of names to be reallocated were a number of country names that remained locked in accordance with ICANN Board Resolution 01-92. This resulted in a list of 1228 domains to be reallocated.

Afillias started the process in late 2009 and the deadline for RFP applications was 30 April 2010. Afilias published a list of 1231 .info domains that could be reallocated. That list included 3 duplicates so the final number was actually 1228 domains. Afilias was accepting proposals from parties that wished to register one or more of the domain names subject to the Program. Proposals would be evaluated on the manner in which the applicant proposes to enhance the .INFO brand through its use of the domain name(s). The RFP portion of the Sunrise redistribution program was designed to identify qualified applicants with the best potential and capabilities to maximize the development of a domain name of interest, and thereby enhance the .INFO brand.

All applicants were required to fill out the application form and pay a US$250 non-refundable Application Fee for each application. Afilias announced 97 domain names with successful RFP respondents in connection with its phased equitable reallocation of non-compliant Sunrise domain names. Any third party which believed that the selected applicant’s future registration and use of the domain name would constitute a bad faith registration and interfere with their right had to use the Challenge Rules which will be administered by an ICANN approved dispute provider. Only 52 of the 97 domain names were finally allocated. The others were probably challenged. Some of the 52 allocated domains are developed or redirect to developed website while some are still inactive and some are parked and for sale!

Developed: fishing.info, islam.info
Redirected: body.info, enom.info, paris.info
Inactive: weather.info, tourism.info, swiss.info
Parked and for sale: zaragoza.info, valencia.info, sevilla.info, girona.info, costabrava.info,
navarra.info

In their filling with ICANN, Afilias proposed to employ a variety of equitable reallocation mechanisms in three phases. Request for Proposals (RFP), auctions and on a first-come first-served process. After the RFPs Afilias was supposed to make all or a subset (as determined by Afilias) of such domain names available for purchase by auction employing one or more industry acknowledged auction providers. Then Afilias was supposed to release batches of the remaining .info domain names similar to the approach adopted by .MOBI in connection with their Premium Name process. That has still not happened despite Afilias stating in their ICANN filing (in the Timeline section) that it would like to release the remaining Sunrise names as soon as possible.

The list of the unallocated domains include current gTLDs like xxx.info and jobs.info as well as proposed new gTLDs such as shop.info, legal.info, games.info, mp3.info and bank.info.

It has been more than 11 years since the original Sunrise Period and 1176 top .info domain name remain unallocated. Afilias has inexcusably taken way too long…

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain name registration, management, UDRP consulting, website development and hosting. He has been online since 1995 and a domain investor since 2002. You can find him at Google+TwitterLinkedIn

Konstantinos Zournas – who has written 1839 posts on OnlineDomain.com.



3 thoughts on “xxx.info, jobs.info and 1174 others remain inactive – .info Sunrise Pending Reallocation domain names

  1. Pingback: .info Exclusive Go Daddy Auction – Update #1 | Online Domain

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