[Comments-biz-renewal-03apr19] Stop the .BIZ price increase and URS!

Konstantinos Zournas zournas at gmail.com
Mon May 13 15:45:13 UTC 2019


Stop the .BIZ price increase and URS!

I am a .biz registrant and I strongly oppose uncapped price increases in
.biz domains and the introduction of URS.

Shame on you ICANN for even suggesting a comment period for such despicable
changes to the legacy extensions: .org (PIR), .biz (Neustar), .info
(Afilias) and .asia (DotAsia Organisation Ltd. and Afilias).

How does ICANN justifies these huge price increases on domain names that
cost less than $1 to maintain and operate?

Shame and disgust on the privileged registries that have made millions over
the past few years from us all. Us all the domain name registrants that
come from all over the world.

"Legacy" TLDs, such as .org .net .com .biz .info and .asia, have absolutely
nothing in common with all new gTLDs. Legacy extensions were created 15 to
30 years before the new gtlds and are essentially a monopoly on the
internet. All 1000+ new gtlds represent less than 5% of all domains. The
10+ legacy tlds have the other 95% of the market share.

Neustar, PIR and Afilias did not create these extensions as it happened
with the New gTLDs and they certainly did not or currently have any
competition.

New gTLDs companies paid millions in auctions to get the rights of these
extensions.

What would happen if the legacy TLDs were put up for auction with today’s
capped price increases? Other companies would pay millions to have the
privilege of being one of the respective extension operator.

Popular New gtld extensions were auctioned of for millions while the legacy
extensions were simply awarded to be operated by the respective registries.
Verisign paid $135 million for the rights of .web domains. How much do you
think the .com registry would be auctioned today? Even if .com prices were
set at $3 or $5 the high bidder registry would probably end up paying
billions.

These legacy extensions were NOT created by Neustar, PIR, Afilias or
Verisign. The extensions existed before these companies and will exist
after these companies. These are not their extensions. They are our
extensions. And by our I am talking about the registrants around the world.
And some people in the US this they own the extensions. They don’t. The
legacy extensions belong to the whole world.

ICANN should stop catering to the big registries and pay more attention to
protect the owners of .biz domain names. The registries have made billions
of dollars over the past 20 years. The registries are already operating a
ridiculously high profit margin (65%-70% or even higher) that are not met
in any other industry.

The Verisign .com monopoly reported last week a huge operating margin that
was 65.4 percent for the first quarter of 2019. Instead of being grateful
for this gift that it is being given all the legacy registries are asking
for domain name price increases. It is time that all legacy contracts are
put up for grabs for a more competitive prices. The .com extension can be
operated for maybe $2 or $3 per domain and companies would pay millions to
have the privilege to operate the extension at this level. Same with .asia
domains.

Companies would easily pay a couple of billion to operate the .com at $5
per domain for the next 6 years. Or they could easily pay 500 million to
operate the .com registry at $3 per domain for the next 6 years. Yet ICANN
strangely allows this Verisign, Afilias, PIR and Neustar greed and
arrogance. It makes you think what "organization" ICANN has become over the
past few years...

Instead of price increases with should be having price decreases on all
legacy extensions including .biz domains.

New domain extensions charge any price they want and they have been a
disaster so far. Registries are suddenly increasing registration and
renewal fees of up to 3,000%!!!! Lots of people are complaining because of
this and this has already been very bad for the domain name industry’s
reputation.

.BIz has the right to raise prices 10% every year that already too much and
well above the current inflation. Allowing huge price increases from one
year to the next could ruin .biz for everybody.

The .biz registry or any other legacy extension operator must not be
allowed to raise prices are they wish. These domain names belong to the
whole world and not just these 4-5 registry companies. They are only paid
to be the administrative operator and nothing more. And the current price
is well above what the current price for a new gtld backend is. New gtlds
backend registries are charging $1 per domain or less. These are companies
like Afilias, PIR and Neustar that are now getting paid $10+ from us the
world domain name registrants and yet they want a lot more. And ICANN is
surprisingly willing to give them whatever they want instead of doing their
job that is to protect the registrants.

Increasing .biza and other legacy tld prices will be a disaster. What
happens if prices go to $100 per domain or $1,000 per domain? This is about
the whole effect this will have on the global. How is such a huge price
increase justified?

An increase of all legacy domains (lets say about 200 million of legacy
domains) from $10 to $100 per year would mean that an extra 180 BILLION
dollars will go to just 4 companies over the next 10 years. 4 US companies.
How is this justified?

All these domain name registrants now pay about 20 billion over 10 years.

They will have to pay 200 BILLION dollars at $100!!! Or 2 trillion at
$1,000 per domain!

Greece's gross domestic product is about 200 billion per year. We would
love to take over these extensions and run a few servers around the world.
This is free money.

Companies have already paid for the rights of their .biz, .org, .info or
.com domains.

Any price increase would effectively mean that Neustar, Afilias, Verisign
or PIR would cease our domains and make us pay rent on them. This is domain
name confiscation!!!

Before you know it your company or personal .biz domain will cost $200 or
$3,000 per year or $10,000 per year depending on what Neustar decides that
you have to pay them depending on the domain name.

They will essentially confiscate our domains (that we either bought years
ago or even paid thousands or millions to purchase) and make us pay them
rent on them.

At this point new gtld prices are held down because of the capped legacy
TLDs prices. If legacy domain prices get to $200 per domain per year then
all domains will cost $200 or more. Or $1,000 or more.

There is little competition in all domain names as Neustar, Verisign, PIR
and Afilias are basically monopolies. They have a 95% market share. It only
takes these 4 companies and soon all domain names could cost $200 or $500
or more.

Practically these large companies are attempting to steal all our land and
homes and rent them back to us. Domain names are our land and homes on the
internet. This attempt is only possible with the help of ICANN and their
executives that hide behind a non-profit organization while making millions
in salaries and while NOT protecting the domain name registrants.

We are now paying an administrative fee to these companies. An
administrative is pretty much set in competitive world. New gtlds are
paying $1 or less per domain. But there is no competition in these
registries. They are essentially monopolies that will be able to charge us
whatever they want if ICANN allows them to have no price caps.

Anything above $2 or $3 per year is already too expensive for the backend
registries that Verisign, PIR, Afilias and Neustar truly are.

Finally .BIZ domains don’t need the URS. There have been a lot of bad
decisions under the UDRP from the unregulated UDRP providers. The URS is
even worse.

Konstantinos Zournas
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