A website plans to launch a name-protection service in January 2001 that assists companies in registering, managing and back-ordering new or previously-owned internet domain names.
SnapNames.com will focus on four types of domain-name problems: accidental deletions by a registrar; cancellations due to owner failure to renew; cyberjacking, in which individuals reassign name rights to themselves and employee sabotage.
The company said it is working with six registrars: Tucows; BulkRegister, eNom; Dotster, NetNames and NamesDirect and that other registrars are supportive and will likely participate in some way.
"Registrars are particularly attuned to the daily barrage of fraudulent and accidental domain incidents," said Len Bayles, SnapNames' vice president of domain industry relations. "Our partnerships represent an industry effort to reduce the impact of domain-related catastrophes."
According to Bayles, the key part of the infrastructure mechanism is deep technological links to each registrar's proprietary system. "This will provide real-time monitoring of changes to domain records."
The company's Snap-Back feature provides domain owners with continuous monitoring of their domain name records, notifying them of any changes.
If a domain name is accidentally cancelled because the registrant neglected to send in domain renewal fees, or if accidentally deleted at the registrar or registry level, Snap-Back re-acquires the name on behalf of the subscriber and secures it with a one-year registration.
The service is priced at $35 per domain name for three years of continuous monitoring.
In addition SnapNames.com will offer their domain name customers the option of "back-ordering" a name that is already taken, or protecting any name that they have successfully obtained.
In early December, SnapNames.com obtained $1.73m in financing from partners, founders and angel investors. In the following weeks, SnapNames plans to announce additional partnerships including connections to new top-level domains to be announced shortly by ICANN.
"SnapNames' security features minimize the potential loss or misappropriation of domain names at a fraction of the cost of litigating their return from an unauthorized third party," said Michael Palage, co-Chairman of ICANN Working Group and Secretary of the Registrars Constituency.
"I believe SnapNames offers a suite of services whose time has come."
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