[Comments-org-renewal-18mar19] Abandon the unjustifiable changes to domain name pricing in the domain registry agreement

Daniel Eisener deisener at gmail.com
Thu Apr 25 21:50:41 UTC 2019

The Public Interest Registry provides no substantive service to the
registrant that could justify allowing them to set arbitrary prices for the
reservation of domain names.  Domain name pricing shouldn't be able to be
set arbitrarily for *any* TLD, so "to ensure parity with the gTLD
agreements" is *not* an acceptable justification.  If parity with the gTLD
agreements is desirable, then those agreements should be changed to bring
them in line with the much more sensible pricing controls on .org.

The structure of the domain name system has ensured that the registries
must be monopolies.  While there are valid technical reasons for this, it
is obviously open to outrageous abuse.  ICANN's decision to place limits on
pricing increases to limit this abuse was the correct choice, and
abandoning those limits can only benefit corrupt officers of unscrupulous
companies who would abuse the system for their personal gain.  If the
Public Interest Registry wants to raise prices beyond what is necessary to
provide* the actual service they're supposed to provide*--that is, a
monopoly on the assignation of names under the .org TLD--they should
present their case to registrants, and let *us* decide whether it's worth
paying more for.  Paying $10,000 a year for a .org domain name so that a
company officer can give themselves a higher salary, or so the company can
engage in unspecified "advocacy work," is not an appealing prospect.  And
to anyone who thinks, "that's silly, why would anyone charge $10,000 for a
domain name," ask yourself, "why not?  If they have a monopoly on the
service, what do they have to lose?"

The only way it would be acceptable for PIR to be able to set prices
arbitrarily would be if ICANN abandoned its current model of allowing each
TLD to be controlled by a single monopoly, and instead allow multiple
registries per domain name.  Then, PIR could compete with other companies
to provide the best service and price to potential registrants.  This would
be a much less efficient system, however, and not in the public interest.
The current system is much better, and should be maintained, even if it
means Jonathan Nevett can't give himself a raise.
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