[bc-gnso] RE: Important--Registry Registrar Separation issue

Michael Ward mward at parked.com
Fri Jul 31 18:33:40 UTC 2009


>From my perspective, I don't think that there is unanimous position within
the BC constituency on this issue to be able to comment on it at this time.

Mike R. -- you stated that you have been asked to see if the BC has a view
on this.  Was that individual who asked you part of the BC or somebody else?

Somewhat interesting that at this stage, over 1 month after the site
referenced below was launched, there are only 25 people who have stated on
the site that they 'support the letter'. Just an observation.


Michael Ward

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-bc-gnso at icann.org [mailto:owner-bc-gnso at icann.org] On Behalf Of
Michael D. Palage
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2009 1:56 PM
To: 'Mike O'Connor'; 'BC gnso'
Subject: RE: [bc-gnso] RE: Important--Regsitry Registrar Separation issue


Not to sound like an attorney but please read the ICANN proposal "fine
print". Under the current proposal a Registrar would be able to register up
to 100,000 in a TLD in which they or an affiliate were the registry
operator. Do you want to take a bet on what percentage of those 100,000 with
be premium generics?

"With a limited exception, a registrar should not sell domain services of an
affiliated registry. This limit is set to a certain threshold, in this
model, 100,000 domain names. (The registrar may continue to manage its
existing base of registrations once the threshold is met)" See

Best regards,


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-bc-gnso at icann.org [mailto:owner-bc-gnso at icann.org] On Behalf Of
Mike O'Connor
Sent: Friday, July 31, 2009 1:22 PM
To: BC gnso
Subject: Re: [bc-gnso] RE: Important--Regsitry Registrar Separation issue

hi all,

i don't feel very strongly about this.  times have changed from the  
days when there was one monopoly provider being broken up.  now there  
are lots of strong/capable entities that have the income statement,  
technical expertise and customer-facing capabilities to run registrars  
and registries.

so i'm not sure we need to throw our collective body on the tracks in  
the way of that train.  especially when they're saying that a  
registrar can't be a registry for the same TLD.

my 2 cents,


On Jul 30, 2009, at 3:43 PM, Mike Rodenbaugh wrote:

> I sent this around about five weeks ago, and other than George I do  
> not
> believe anyone has commented.  I have been asked if the BC has a  
> view on
> this issue.  It seems like a big issue with respect to new TLDs, and  
> could
> be retroapplied to existing TLDs.  Does anyone else care?
> My view is that the proponents of the change (abolishing the  
> longstanding
> rule of separation) ought to have a fairly heavy burden to prove the  
> need
> for the change.  I have not seen a very good case for it, and think  
> the
> www.registryregistrarseparation.org website presents a compelling case
> against it.  I also am bothered that Staff seemed to unilaterally
> incorporate such a radical change into the Draft Applicant Guidebook,
> without any formal direction to do so.  So I hope they change it  
> back in the
> next iteration, due in September.  If the BC is fairly unanimous on  
> this
> issue, then I would like us to make comments to that effect very soon.
> Please let me know what you think.
> I summarized the factual situation in a recent blog post on  
> NameSmash.com:
> ICANN was formed eleven years ago, when the .com 'monopoly' was broken
> apart.
> At that time, Network Solutions was the sole registry and registrar  
> of gTLD
> domain names.  ICANN created the system we have today, where  
> registrants
> place orders with ICANN-accredited registrars, who in turn place the  
> orders
> with ICANN-contracted TLD registries, many of which use the back-end
> services of third party registry operators.  It was thought that  
> this system
> would increase competition for the suppliers of domain names, and  
> thus lower
> prices for registrants.  It is hard to argue that this has not held  
> true,
> insofar as the price of .com domain names has dropped dramatically  
> in that
> time (but is now allowed to rise again by 7% almost every year,  
> under the
> 2006 agreement between ICANN and VeriSign).
> To ensure this structure held, ICANN restricted registries from  
> acquiring
> directly or indirectly a substantial percentage of any registrar, so
> VeriSign cannot buy a controlling interest in GoDaddy, for example.   
> Some of
> the largest registrars have become registry operators which also  
> register
> those TLD names to the public.  For example GoDaddy provides the  
> registry
> for country-code .me (so Montenegro makes the rules, not ICANN).   
> Other
> large registrars, such as Network Solutions and eNom, now are  
> pressing ICANN
> to eliminate the restrictions on registry-registrar cross ownership  
> of gTLD
> registries, so that those registrars can compete as registry  
> businesses,
> sell new gTLD domains directly to the public, and sell them to all  
> other
> ICANN accredited registrars as well.
> Existing registry operators, such as NeuStar (.biz), Public Interest
> Registry (.org) and others, are in support of any entity becoming a  
> registry
> or registry operator, so long as that entity does not distribute  
> domain
> names in the same TLD that they operate as a registry.  They are  
> fighting
> this new proposal on the basis that registrars have a substantial  
> head start
> in marketing domain names to the public, and thus can offer prime
> distribution opportunities to new registries.  These registries and  
> registry
> operators argue that allowing cross ownership would put them at a
> competitive disadvantage in convincing new TLD operators to use their
> back-end services.
> On the other hand, some large registrars argue that no registrar or  
> registry
> business -- other than VeriSign with .com and .net -- has any  
> 'market power'
> which can be exploited for anti-competitive purposes, and thus they  
> ought
> not be regulated by cross-ownership restrictions.  They note that,  
> absent
> proven 'market power', it is in consumers' interests to allow
> cross-ownership because it will bring operational efficiencies and  
> lower
> prices to the marketplace.  The registries counter that a number  
> registrars
> do in fact have market power in deciding which TLDs to promote, and  
> how.
> They argue that a registrar that owns a registry will choose to  
> promote its
> own cross-owned TLDs over any non-affiliated TLD, thereby actually  
> reducing
> competition.
> A public comment forum concerning antitrust experts' reports on this  
> issue
> has recently closed,
> http://forum.icann.org/lists/competition-pricing-final/, and ICANN  
> staff is
> expected to make recommendations which then will be subject to further
> public debate and comment before the next iteration of the new TLD  
> Applicant
> Guidebook, expected in late September.
> Mike Rodenbaugh
> Rodenbaugh Law
> 548 Market Street
> San Francisco, CA  94104
> +1.415.738.8087
> www.rodenbaugh.com
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Mike Rodenbaugh [mailto:mike at rodenbaugh.com]
> Sent: Saturday, June 20, 2009 12:39 AM
> To: bc-gnso at icann.org
> Subject: FW: Important--Regsitry Registrar Separation issue
> FYI the site at www.registryregistrarseparation.org.  I know this  
> issue is
> of serious concern to many members.
> Adam Palmer and Jeff Neuman have agree to present briefly and take  
> questions
> at our BC meeting on Tuesday.
> All comments welcome, and it would be wonderful if a member or two  
> wanted to
> lead the BC thinking and engagement on this issue.
> Thanks,
> Mike
> Mike Rodenbaugh
> Rodenbaugh Law
> 548 Market Street
> San Francisco, CA  94104
> +1.415.738.8087
> www.rodenbaugh.com
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Adam Palmer [mailto:APalmer at pir.org]
> Sent: Friday, June 19, 2009 5:51 PM
> To: Adam Palmer
> Subject: Important--Regsitry Registrar Separation issue
> All,
> Please see the below site on registry/registrar cross ownership.   
> ICANN will
> also be having a panel on this on Monday.  Strong vocal support is  
> welcome
> both on the website and at the ICANN Monday panel meeting.
> Please forward this site link to anyone else that might support our  
> concerns
> on this issue.
> Let me know if any questions.
> Thanks,
> Adam Palmer
> Link:    http://www.registryregistrarseparation.org/supporters

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