Pool.com Launches 'Open Listing Service' to Support
Registrar-Based Re-Sale, Auctioning of Internet Domain Names
OTTAWA, Ontario--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 7, 2004--
Open API, Terms Provide Improved Intellectual Property Protection, Equal Access,
Market-Based Auction Pricing and Robust Back-End Technology
Pool.com, a leading provider of Web domain name backordering services, today
announced a new "Open Listing Service" (OLS) to provide ICANN-accredited
registrars of any size and any registrant the opportunity to sell or buy
domains for the highest value and with the best rights protection in a
competitive, open-market, open-architecture environment. The OLS is a
technology platform and set of market services that support the resale,
auctioning and re-registration of domain name addresses.
Pool.com helped create and then lead the backordering business that now
generates about $60 million a year in revenue. Much like real estate, Web
addresses have become important parts of a company's investment portfolio. But
unlike real estate, where resale value has long been well understood, it took
companies like Pool.com to establish the secondary domain name market. And now,
according to the company, registrars and domain name holders want to play more
of a role.
"We are moving from solely being a customer-facing backordering services company
to one providing an open, back-end technology platform," said Taryn Naidu,
general manager, Pool.com. "We are offering registrars of any size a
centralized location to list their domains for sale and the ability to develop
their own, unique interface for their customers."
The OLS breaks new ground in the vibrant backordering business. But not only
does the new service meet the needs of an increasingly sophisticated market, it
is in sharp contrast to proprietary solutions likely to be offered by the
"When Network Solutions announced a month ago it would retain expired domain
names and not release them into the open market, it sought to impose a system
that will unfairly extend the value of the near-monopoly it enjoys over '.com'
addresses," Naidu said. Network Solutions is owned in part by VeriSign, the
sole ICANN-appointed registry for the ".com" top level domain (TLD) address.
The OLS is designed to maximize domain name holder value, while encouraging
similar levels of rights protection and transparency afforded by practices such
as the Redemption Grace Period and Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution
Process instituted over the years by ICANN and such groups as WIPO, the World
Intellectual Property Organization.
From a legal standpoint, the news from Network Solutions is another attempt by
VeriSign and its affiliates to undermine a free market. The unilateral change
in policy was one of a number of reasons Pool.com, along with 99 other
plaintiffs, sued VeriSign last month for damages in excess of $150 million.
The lawsuit and the launch of the Pool.com OLS are separate matters moving down
the same path, said Naidu. "If ICANN had said 'no' as it should have to
VeriSign's anti-competitive actions, the suit would not be necessary. But, in
fact, on September 21, the organization issued an advisory that seemed to
endorse the move." Naidu based his opinion on ICANN saying that Network
Solutions needed only to modify its registrant agreement to qualify as consent
In contrast, the Pool.com OLS builds back in consumer protections that the
Network Solutions' plan will eliminate.
"Right now, there is a redemption grace period (RGP) that gives trademark and
TLD rights holders the opportunity to maintain a Web address that may expire,"
Naidu said. "The Pool.com OLS will encourage participating registrars to commit
to a 30-day hold on re-sale and thereby emulate the protections afforded by the
Naidu added that such an approach respects the trademark and copyright laws that
could be undercut by the Network Solutions proposal.
Pool.com is currently in discussion with a number of registrars who recognize
the value of an open alternative. The company said that as registrars join the
OLS, it will generate the kind of productive network effect seen on the
"A monopoly position cannot withstand the power of innovation," Naidu said. "The
OLS gives every registrar the opportunity to deliver real value for its
customers and its shareholders without any loss of control."
Pool.com is a leading company in the domain name backordering and secondary
market sales. It offers a complete set of acquisition, direct and auction
sales, domain security and DNS management as well as the technology to create
it. Headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Pool.com is a member of the
Momentous.ca family of online enterprises, providing customers with
high-quality, high-value online services. The OLS API is available at
www.pool.com; questions can be directed to OLS@Pool.com.
Zeno Group for Pool.com
John Berard, 415-845-4388