[Comments-org-renewal-18mar19] Comment regarding renewal of .org registry agreement

Michael Ellars michael.ellars at gmail.com
Mon Apr 22 17:20:38 UTC 2019

Thank you for this opportunity to provide comments on the registry renewal
agreement. I have one comment in regards to the "pricing protections"
supposedly offered for current registrants. I believe this summary is

The summary of provisions "materially different from the current .org
agreement" includes the following statement regarding renewal pricing
referenced to Section 2.10:

"Protections for existing registrants will remain in place, ..."

However, Section 2.10 does not appear to include pricing protections for
existing registrants in any meaningful way, at least not in the sense that
the phrase "protections for existing registrants" can be reasonably
interpreted by a layman.

Section 2.10(b) notes, "Registry Operator shall offer registrars the option
to obtain domain name registration renewals at the current price (i.e., the
price in place prior to any noticed increase) for periods of one (1) to ten
(10) years at the discretion of the registrar, but no greater than ten (10)
years." At first blush, this clause appears to grant pricing protection,
but it only applies to the prices a registrar (not registrant) pays to the
Registry Operator (not registrar). It may be implied that such a price lock
would be passed down from the registrar to the registrants, but there is no
requirement to do so. (And from a practical standpoint, is there any reason
why a registrar would not want to lock in current rates for the maximum ten
years allowed? Have rates ever gone down?)

In addition, Section 2.10(c) notes, "For the purposes of determining
Renewal Pricing, the price for each domain registration renewal must be
identical to the price of all other domain name registration renewal in
place at the time of such renewal, ..." Thus, the registrar is prohibited
from offering current registrants a different renewal price than new
registrants. There may be some kind of price guarantee established by
Section 2.10(b), but it cannot be used to offer current registrants
discounted renewals by Section 2.10(c).

Taken together, these two clauses appear to provide *at best* a one-time
renewal option for current registrants at current rates, but only if the
registrar decides to do so. This hardly seems like "protections for current
registrants" and more like specious palliation for current registrants.
Pricing protections "at the discretion of the registrar" are not really
pricing protections, especially when they are required to be uniformly
applied to *all* registrants.

Thank you again for this opportunity to provide comments on the registry
renewal agreement.


Michael Ellars
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