[bc-gnso] gTLD Registry Price Increase - Proposed Changes in new DAG

George Kirikos icann at leap.com
Mon Oct 5 16:52:22 UTC 2009


On Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 11:22 AM, Michael D. Palage wrote:
> Under the current unsponsored registry agreements, registries are required
> to provide registrants six months notice prior to raising price. This six
> month notice/safeguard was first proposed in connection the .COM registry
> agreement.

Yes, but those registries (.com/net/org/biz/info) have price caps in
place, in addition to the notice requirements.

> which I think we need to raise with staff. First, can ICANN staff point to
> the community comments that they reference in connection with initial/new
> registrations. I was not aware of these comments and could not find any
> reference to them after conducting a quick search this morning. However,
> given the sheer volume of public comments it is possible that I missed this
> comment(s). Does anyone else recall this proposed change; George this is an
> issue which you always closely.

I read through all the comments too, and don't recall anyone
specifically making that proposed change. I can't speak for staff, but
they might have seen that as a way of balancing the registries who
want unrestricted pricing, and the public who wants price caps. But,
as you suggested, I think they're making this up as they go along, and
are saying "here's what we came up with" rather than actually
following the community's input.

> Second, can anyone point to the basis for staff’s proposed change in
> connection with existing registration pricing. Given that this safeguard was
> a hot topic in connection with the .COM registry agreement, I think it would
> benefit the community to have a broader discussion on this topic, and to
> understand the underlying basis of ICANN Staff recommendation.  Is this
> something that the broader membership agrees with?

I've long advocated that registry services should be tendered via a
competitive process for fixed periods of time to the lowest cost
provider that meets the terms of the tender, as nearly every
government contract is handled. That's what the NTIA/DOC/DOJ meant by
"competition", not this perverted concept that ICANN has pushed
forward over the objections of the public that 10,000 new gTLDs will
"compete" with .com --- they simply won't, they simply attract new
wanna-be monopolists, many of whom would be in it for a quick buck, to
gouge consumers through defensive registrations, cause consumer
confusion, etc..

That being said, the additional language that:

"[Registry Operator shall offer all domain registration renewals at
the same price, unless the registrant agrees to a higher price at the
time of the initial registration of the domain name following clear
and conspicuous disclosure of such renewal price by Registry

which for some reason was added in square brackets, would be a step
towards protection for registrants. However the language needs to be
tightened up even further (e.g. handling of transfers, and other
tricks registries would try, such as intentionally forcing domains to
be deleted for "alleged" abuse, in order to resell the name to a
higher bidder).

The need for hard caps is evident, though, as I can think of several
ways around the current language already. A simple cap of twice the
.com registry fees leaves ample room for real registry operators,
while eliminating much of the potential for abuse of registrants.


George Kirikos

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