Look it up, don’t make it up

“You can look it up” is a phrase popularized either by the humorist James Thurber or the humorous Casey Stengel, but it remains good advice, especially for some of the many who have had something to say about Vox Populi Registry.

What has been said has not always been accurate and unnecessarily so. In each case, as you might guess from the opening anecdote, they could have looked it up.

First, there is the matter of who and where we are. Here is what the Boston Business Journal said:

“Vox Populi is a subsidiary of Canadian-based Momentous Corp., which acquired the .sucks domain name for $3 million last year.”

Uh-uh. Vox Populi is a Cayman Islands company and Momentous Barbados (not Momentous Canada) was its initial investor. You can see the full picture right here: http://www.iana.org/domains/root/db/sucks.html

As for the right to operate the registry, that was granted when the other two companies that had applied withdrew as a result of a private auction among the three of us.

Admittedly, that is one thing you can’t look up. The specifics of the auction price, by the terms of the auction, cannot be made public. The $3 million was someone’s guess that has taken on a life of its own.

Second, there is the notion that the registry’s Market Premium and Registry Premium lists are comprised of trademarks cadged from the Trademark Clearinghouse.

Just one look at how the TMCH operates will allay any concerns. No registry has access to the list of marks, only confirmation that when one seeks to register, it has the bona fides. Here is what the TMCH says about that: http://www.trademark-clearinghouse.com/content/what-trademark-clearinghouse

Third, there is a notion that the same domain name is available to different kinds of registrants at different recommended prices. Here is how Gary McIlraith, chief executive of NetNames, expressed it in supporting his company’s request of the European Commission to take a look:

“This differentiation in price for the same domain, which is determined by whether you are a brand holder or an individual, has created an uneven playing field.”

We have tried to make it clear, from the day we launched Sunrise, that this is not the case. Just take a look at the products page at the registry’s website, https://www.registry.sucks/products Different names may have different suggested prices, but not for different registrants.

Unless, fourth, you conflate our search for a partner to operate a consumer advocate subsidy program which is also often misrepresented as being an offering of the registry. Here is how the Vancouver Sun said it:

“Starting next fall, Vox Populi will be offering dot-sucks domains to consumers who want to host a forum discussion website, with the domain holders offered a free, hosted website. The company expects the price for consumers will drop below $10 US.”

Whether a registration is subsidized, the price to the registrar and registry is unaffected. That is the nature of a subsidy. Neither is the program to be offered by the registry. We are talking to a number of free speech advocates and domain name companies to find the right partner.

When we do, likely sometime in the Fall, we will make sure that the information is clear and available so that, well, you can look it up.