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How not to upgrade to a .com – ask ICANN

Kevin Murphy, August 18, 2011, Domain Policy

The domain name world can be confusing, and there’s no shortage of timewasters ready to bother ICANN with their relatively minor problems and disputes.
The latest is violin maker Zeta Music Systems, which went to the extraordinary lengths of initiating an ICANN Reconsideration Request to get its hands on a domain name it does not own.
Zeta currently hosts its web site at The equivalent .com – which Zeta wants – is owned by a now-defunct company that went by the same name.
Even though the company is apparently bust and the Whois is no longer accurate, it had a long-term registration that is not due to expire until November 2012.
In his Reconsideration Request (pdf), filed in June, Zeta president Michael Gende wrote:

ICANN would be doing no harm to the former Zeta by reassigning the domain to us now. However, ICANN’s inaction with regard to this issue is doing harm to our company as potential customers naturally go to the domain, and find nothing.

Individually handling second-level domain disputes is obviously none of ICANN’s business, and that’s exactly what Gende has been told (pdf) by its Board Governance Committee.
Reconsideration Requests are a rarely used, rarely successful review mechanism whereby ICANN’s decisions can be challenged if new information comes to light.
Gende’s is the first of 2011 and one of only four filed in the last five years.