Internet agency fights naming loophole

The internet's key oversight agency is taking a preliminary step toward combating domain name tasting, the online equivalent of buying expensive clothes on a charge card only to return them for a full refund after wearing them to a party, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said entrepreneurs have been taking advantage of a five-day grace period to sample domain names, keeping the relative few that might generate advertising revenues and dropping the rest before paying.

The grace period was originally designed to rectify legitimate mistakes, such as registrants mistyping the domain name they are about to buy.

But with automation and a burgeoning online advertising market, entrepreneurs generated big bucks exploiting the policy to test hoards of names, the Associated Press report said.

The practice ties up millions of domain names at any given time, making it more difficult for legitimate individuals and businesses to get a desirable name, the report added.

In a draft report issued this week, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) outlined key issues for a committee to study further and craft recommendations, the report said.

A final report is due after a public comment period closes Jan. 28, the report further said.