[Comments-com-amendment-3-03jan20] Proposed Amendment 3 to the .COM Registry Agreement

John ethicaldesign at googlemail.com
Mon Feb 10 23:53:14 UTC 2020


Hi,

I am against the proposed price increases to .com domain names as I feel 
this will negatively impact individuals and emerging or small 
businesses, tipping the (once much more level) playing field towards 
established and larger entities and corporations (for whom such price 
increases are insignificant and helpfully serve to remove low level and 
first mover competition for them).

This is quite sad since the web once provided an historically unusual 
diversity and equality of opportunity that I considered a significant  
aspect of its underlying spirit (along with openness, freedom of 
speech/ideas, and co-operation). Something that slips away from us as it 
becomes increasingly centralised and under control of large commercial 
quasi-monopolies.

I was under the impression that ICANN governed the domain name system in 
the public interest, and had become a central piece of the modern 
internet largely by being perceived as a well governed non-profit 
organization. It seems that by allowing the increase of prices beyond 
that which is necessary to fulfil the provision of .com, it will 
ultimately lose ICANN good will (or I should say a more good will, since 
people are still smarting from the way .org was managed recently).

Amongst the more tech savvy there are already alternative decentralised 
systems emerging, so I guess there is that. It would seem unlikely that 
they will gain traction and overtake the current centralised and 
increasingly commercialised approaches, but then again - many said that 
about the free software movement and open source and look how that 
turned out online.

The current rate of $7.85 already appears more than justified since 
other registries claim they can offer the same service for much less, 
estimating the management of the registry to cost between $2.50 to $2.90 
per domain name per year. As processing power, storage and bandwidth 
increases dramatically and becomes cheaper with the passing years, 
prices for providing the service appear to be heading in the other 
direction at some pace.

This seems contrary to what I would expect to happen in what is 
purported to be a capitalist system. It leads one to wonder why that is 
the case.

Perhaps decentralisation and deregulation, the removal of ICANNs 
non-profit status, and increased competition in service provision is on 
the horizon. Or for an emerging alternative to take it's place. ICANNs 
recent handling of the .org domain and this recent .com proposal appears 
to be providing some fuel to the fire in the bellies of those trying to 
push in that direction.

It will be interesting to see how things work out in the long run.

Best wishes

John Barker


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