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Friday, 22 February, 2002, 12:40 GMT
Queue again for .biz domains
Statue of Justice
A lawsuit is holding up the awarding of some .biz domains
Legal action has forced the owner of the .biz domain to change the way it hands out popular net names.

Thousands of generic .biz domains were frozen last year following the filing of a lawsuit alleging that the allocation process was an illegal lottery.

Those who applied for one of the disputed names have had their fees refunded and are being asked to submit another application for the desired names.

The closing date for the resubmitted applications is 4 March.

International lottery

In June last year .biz owner Neulevel started taking applications for the new net name.

To discourage speculators, who sometimes use custom-written software to make multiple applications, Neulevel levied a nominal fee on all submissions.

Neulevel was planning to choose randomly between applicants for popular generic .biz domains, such as

Many of the registrars that sell the .biz domains on Neulevel's behalf advised customers to make multiple applications in an attempt to improve their chances of getting one of the popular names.

The whole process was stalled by a lawsuit filed by Arizona DJ David Smiley, who applied for the and domains.

He alleged that the random allocation amounted to an illegal lottery.

The lawsuit forced Neulevel to freeze the processing of 39,000 .biz domains wanted by more than one customer until the case was heard.

Pick a process

"Rather than wait years for the litigation to end Neulevel has decided to adopt a different sort of application," said Ken Sorrie, founder of registrar Internetters which sells .biz domains on Neulevel's behalf.

Instead of randomly picking one of the applicants for the popular domains, Neulevel is using a "round robin" method.

Under this system Neulevel shuffles the names of its 65 registrars, picks one and then deals with the request at the top of that reseller's list of applicants.

If the .biz domain being applied for is free, that applicant is awarded the name.

However, if the domain has already been taken then the application is discarded and no alternative application is picked from that registrar's queue.

Instead that registrar effectively "misses a turn" and the selection system moves on to the next registrar's queue.

The closing date for the disputed .biz domains is 4 March.

Mr Sorrie said that to boost the chances of its customers getting their coveted .biz domain, it is not accepting more than one application for each domain.

He urged anyone applying for a generic name to use a registrar accredited by Neulevel to ensure their application goes straight into the round robin queue.

Applications via other registrars could be aggregated and then passed in bulk to accredited registrars and may end up a long way down the application queue, said Mr Sorrie.

See also:

25 May 01 | Sci/Tech
Prepare to do .bizness
29 Sep 01 | Sci/Tech
Internet ranges in new domains
10 Apr 01 | Sci/Tech
Net name chaos grows
17 Dec 01 | Sci/Tech
The net gets a new .name
11 Jan 02 | Sci/Tech
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