Network Solutions could be in a lot of hot water for papering the house with their .XYZ domain name to thousands of their domain owners. What ‘papering the house’ means is the giving away large amounts of tickets to increase audience numbers in hopes to create a positive word-of-mouth that was suffering from lackluster ticket sales. This is quite often done in the music, sports and entertainment industry. And what Network Solutions did was similar, in the fact that they gave away to some of their .com domain owners the same-term domain name in .XYZ without their knowledge or approval to hopefully boost interest in the .XYZ domain. It is speculated that Network Solutions did this because the registration figures for their .XYZ domains lower than expected and was most likely hoping that increasing their rankings, which this action pushed it to #4, and would create more interest of the .XYZ to potential domain name buyers.
Now two of the biggest questions out there is: 1) whether a class action lawsuit will be brought against Network Solutions for violating its Registry Agreement with ICANN and 2) how will ICANN handle this violation? Some experts are saying that Network Solution violated the terms of The Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) with ICANN by requiring their clients to directly inform them that they did not want the .XYZ domain name added to their account instead of them asking the client if they wanted it. ICANN will have to make a decision on investigating and holding Network Solutions accountable for this possible RAA rule violation. In addition to a potential ICANN investigation, Network Solutions could also find itself in hot water by having a class-action lawsuit filed by those clients that paid for the .XYX domain name when Network Solutions just gave the .XYZ domain name to other clients for free. This would be history repeating itself for Network Solutions since they were previously sued in a class-action lawsuit back in 2008 for other unfair domain name policy practices.
A class-action lawsuit is a complex process that should be handled by experienced domain name attorneys that are also highly knowledgeable with handling class action lawsuits and internet law. If you need more information about this situation or a similar domain name matter, contact one of the domain name attorneys at Traverse Legal.