[Comments-biz-renewal-03apr19] Proposed Renewal of .biz Registry Agreement

Christian K. Nordtømme christian at papaya.no
Mon Apr 29 16:31:39 UTC 2019

I write to oppose the removal of price caps on the .biz and .org TLDs.

It is important not to change the meaning and expectations surrounding
legacy Top Level Domains. Their historical availability and affordability
are integral to the democratic spirit of the Internet, and they carry a
certain meaning. A promise, so to speak. Other TLDs are not as attractive
and do not carry the same democratic promise.

Allowing PIR to set arbitrary price hikes erects new boundaries to entry
around previously accessible domains. It is one more step, in a long series
of steps, toward allowing big players with deep pockets to squeeze out
smaller actors from the market place, and making the web less democratic.

You might think that there are plenty of other TLDs than .biz and .org for
people who want to register their domains, so this doesn't limit people's
freedom much. That's not true. Admittedly, there is an infinite number of
possible domains available online, but the number of *practical* and
*memorable* URLs on *recognizable *and* trusted* TLDs is quite limited.

It would be as if we let the market decide who gets access to public parks.
It would probably get expensive to visit Central Park or Yellowstone quite
soon. And while nature is vast, and there are other parks where ordinary
people can go, *they are not the same*, and they don't hold the same place
or meaning in our culture. Similarly with .biz, .org, and other legacy
gTLDs – they are unique.

This is particularly worrying as there is no real competition to counteract
the upward price pressures. Instead you are privileging a single
organization or company, like PIR, with the right to charge whatever they
want for something that is essentially a public asset. That is
unacceptable, and something I would otherwise only expect from corrupt
banana republics.

Please reconsider.

Christian K. Nordtømme

PAPAYA design & marketing

715 Carroll Street

Brooklyn, NY 11215, USA
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