[Comments-info-renewal-18mar19] Please rethink your overall strategy - service vs market TLD's [Plain text]

Pete Holzmann PeteH at OctopusEnt.us
Fri Apr 26 11:11:45 UTC 2019

I am one of the "ancient denizens" of the Internet, having created the
second private domain, 42nd overall domain (octopus.com)

I'm astounded that ICANN would even consider allowing for unrestrained
domain registration prices on the foundational TLD's of the 'net (COM, 
(Yes, I include BIZ and INFO because they were created to relieve name
pressure on COM/NET/ORG.)

Others have articulated this reasonably well, so I will just

I. While many new "vanity" TLD's do provide a competitive opportunity
for branding and naming (in a presumably competitive market), the same 
can NOT be said across the board. Why?

1) Any organization that wishes to own a "home" on the 'net is
   *required* to register a domain name. It is our online address.

2) Baseline domain names should be stable over time. It doesn't
   matter if...
   -- nonprofit (I have *.ORG, *.NET and other such domains)...
   -- for-profit (I have *.COM, *.US, etc) or even
   -- personal (I have *.US, *.INFO, etc)

   The result of variable pricing is obvious:
        **people MUST consider changing domain names
        **if their existing name becomes too costly over time.

   Result: Internet instability. 
           Old links no longer working. 
           Archives broken as a result...

3) We have NO alternatives if we want to remain viable and stable.
   (Because each TLD is operated by a single organization.)

   -- To retain an Internet address, I must pay whatever the
      underlying registrar charges.

II. Clearly, TLD domain registries are monopolies... 
       and should be regulated as such.

  -- In fact, they should be viewed as a public service
      -- ICANN should contract with whoever will provide:
         ** best TLD service
         ** at lowest cost!

  -- Over time, I expect prices to *decrease*, not increase.

  -- Over time, I expect improved ability to retain existing domain
     registrations at *lower* cost, with *improved* ability to work
     around any renewal hiccups.

  -- Stewardship of foundational TLD's should be in the hands of
     dedicated *service* entities, committed to serving well at minimum

III. Increased prices, and reduced stability...
     ... are marks of FAILURE, not  effective competition!

This is an aside, yet important:

  -- Many libraries are now eliminating most "overdue" fines, noting that
     they do not accomplish the desired goal.
     -- Communicating with the borrower accomplishes much more
     -- Charging the cost of a lost book accomplishes the
        cost-recovery purpose
  -- The same is true in domain renewal.
     -- The goal should NOT be forcing domain owners to lose domains!
     -- Registrars could provide long and increasing-over-time grace
        periods for renewal for domains
     -- It costs nothing to retain an inactive domain in the database!

What I observe today is the opposite: 
  -- Squatters easily steal existing domain names, and 
  -- hold them hostage hoping to gain a windfall. That's unethical.

  (Example: due to a serious medical event, I failed to renew a domain
on time. I was hospitalized, then recovering... Only a month later, it 
would cost me $3,000 to purchase from a squatter. I can't afford that, so 
I changed the name, costing me significant hassle, and destabilizing any 
links to my web site.)

IV. Suggestion: TWO baseline agreements are needed

* ICANN should recognize the difference between registry-as-service
  and registry-as-marketplace

* Long-existing TLD's, that have existed for decades, should be
  recognized as public trust "service"rather than "marketplace"

* Service TLD rules aimed at stability would be helpful
   -- Minimum registration of multiple years
   -- Ability to register for more than a decade at low cost (this
      helps everyone concerned!)
* Service TLD's could also have certain restrictions similar to what is
  provided with geographic TLD's (eg .US)
   -- Associated with a named individual or entity

Bottom line: 
   ** ICANN, will you do the right thing and
   ** stand up for the public interest?

Many blessings as you work through these challenges,

Pete Holzmann
PeteH at OctopusEnt.us
719 - 785 - 0120

More information about the Comments-info-renewal-18mar19 mailing list