[Comments-com-amendment-3-03jan20] Proposed Amendment 3 to the .COM Registry Agreement
ethicaldesign at googlemail.com
Mon Feb 10 23:53:14 UTC 2020
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
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
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.
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