An anonymous reader writes "For years, domain squatters have exploited an ICANN loophole: whenever a domain name is registered, ICANN collects a 20-cent fee from the registrar. To allow for non-paying customers, the registrar can return it five days later for a full refund. The loophole has let unscrupulous registrars constantly create and refund domain-squatting websites, selling 'what you need when you need it' advertising. The problem has grown so bad that every month the world's top three domain squatters, all located in Miami with the same address and represented by the same lawyer, recycle 11 million domain names. After years of complaints, ICANN has finally begun moving on the problem. On April 17 ICANN's Generic Names Supporting Organization voted to make the ICANN 20-cent fee non-refundable. If the ICANN board ratifies this position in June, those top three squatters will be getting a monthly bill for $2.2M. News of the ICANN changes has been applauded by legitimate Internet businesses, tired of having to choose nonsense names because all the good ones have been squatted. ICANN has published an analysis of the economics of ending domain squatting."
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