ICANN cuts out domain tasting scam

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ICANN cuts out domain tasting scam

Quick registration loophole shut.

Internet domain name registry ICANN says the practice of "domain tasting" has been virtually eliminated.

"Domain tasting" exploits a loophole in registration laws that allowed a web site to be registered for five days without payment.

Millions of URLs were being registered and tested with online advertisements and those with the highest click-through rates after five days were kept.

A report released by ICANN estimates that at one point last year more than 99 percent of all new registrations were "tasters."

A combination of new methods of online advertising and advanced automated systems for registering and then dropping domain names saw the practice boom.

Now if a company registers and then returns more than a certain number or percentage of domains each month, they are charged for each additional registration above that amount.

As a result domain tasting becomes increasingly expensive the more a company engages in the practice for what may be speculative reasons.

The study says that since the changes there has been a 99.7 percent decline in domain tasting across all registries.

ICANN chief executive Rod Beckstrom said the change shows the power of the internet community working together.

"The problem was identified and then a solution produced that has effectively seen the death of domain tasting in less than a year. In this case the study into tasting was prompted by representatives of the user community in ICANN, known as the At-Large community," he said.

At its peak, the practice saw millions of dot-com domains registered and returned in one month alone.

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