[CPWG] Further Revised Draft Statement on .ORG Renewal

George Kirikos icann at leap.com
Tue Apr 30 11:51:47 UTC 2019

For the record, I disagree with the statement that Greg prepared, and
it doesn't reflect my views (which I linked to in an earlier post). It
doesn't even reflect the views expressed by many non-profits who made
public comments, including NPR and other high profile ones:


or the Non-Commercial Stakeholders:


If folks wanted to send a letter, they should have sent it in an
individual capacity, rather than pretend that this statement is
reflective of the views of billions of internet users. Given the
overwhelming opposition already expressed in the public comments to
date, Greg's statement is more indicative of capture of the At-Large,
rather than anything that could reasonably reflect what users think of
these contracts.

ISOC/PIR is just one of many non-profits, and its mission is no better
than any other. Every organization has unlimited wants, but needs to
work within a reasonable budget. ISOC/PIR doesn't own .org, and
shouldn't pretend it does via unlimited "rent" or taxes payable to it.
They'll always be able to spend as much money as they can take in. As
I noted in my own comments, nothing would stop ISOC/PIR from selling
out to private equity, who could then take the heat for huge price
increases, while ISOC/PIR walks away with an enormous multi-billion
dollar endowment fund.

The statement that "many At-Large Structures are also ISOC Chapters"
is consistent with a conflict of interest and capture, rather than
being reflective of ordinary users.

The base agreement for new gTLDs is different from that of legacy
gTLDs for good reason, and should not be adopted by legacy gTLDs which
predate ICANN itself, and whose registrants do not agree with
unlimited fee increases. That's changing the rules in the middle of
the game (whereas registrants of new gTLDs knew all along the risks
they take registering with new gTLDs, where the registry essentially
"owns" that TLD).

The letter quotes Jonathan Zuck's statement about the "desirability"
of higher prices almost verbatim, but hasn't done the same for others
in the CPWG. Higher prices are not desirable in any way, except by
some twisted logic that makes no economic sense (my own personal
background is in economics and finance). New entrants always knew that
legacy gTLDs had capped prices, before they entered the space.
Furthermore, competition generally leads to *lower* prices, not higher

Attempting to argue that capped fees contribute to confusion, phising,
fraud and abuse is truly a stretch.  The most abused TLDs are the new
gTLDs, not the legacy ones, e.g. see:


If one wants to target phishing, fraud and other abuses, one needs to
actually *target* it using effective tools. Raising prices for
*everyone* is not an effective tool, as it has more collateral damage
than actual benefits. If 1%, for example, of domains are engaged in
abused, it makes no sense to raise costs on 100% of registrants. One
wants to raise costs only on those engaged in abuse (e.g. through high
penalties for abuse, like jailtime, fines, etc.). Raising prices for
*everyone* simply enriches the registry, at the expense of the public.

Pretending that an "economic study" will be helpful is absurd, as
ICANN has in the past commissioned "experts" who simply regurgitated
whatever ICANN wanted them to say. Recall that these so-called
"experts" (the Carlton report, etc.) were used to justify the new gTLD
program in the first place, which has been a failure. Here's a comment
from K. Claffy, which talked about those reports:


which also referenced my scathing comments about them at the time
(which proved prescient). She concluded her comments with:

"Similar to my observations of what's happening in the security and
stability discussion of root scaling, ICANN's behavior looks like it's
trying to buy rubberstamps of its current plans from commercial
consultants, rather than foster what is needed in the long term: a
coherent field of objective, peer-reviewed technical, policy, and
economic research on Internet naming and numbering, and incentivized
data-sharing to support such research."

The ICANN contracts do not have any mechanism to "undo" the changes.
Once the caps are removed, that genie cannot be put back in the
bottle. One should do an economic study *before* lifting any price
caps, rather than doing them after the horse has left the barn, and
after the damage has already been done.

What "problem" is this contract actually trying to solve? If it's not
broken (and legacy gTLDs are successful, obviously), one should stick
with the status quo. If new gTLDs are the "broken" thing, they can be
fixed directly (by adding fee caps, just like the successful legacy
gTLDs, or making other changes).

In conclusion, Greg, Jonathan, and others should have simply submitted
their own personal comments, rather than try to suggest that this
statement is reflective of billions of users.


George Kirikos

On Tue, Apr 30, 2019 at 2:14 AM Greg Shatan <greg at isoc-ny.org> wrote:
> All,
> I am attaching another, further revised draft public comment on the .ORG renewal, after sifting through the various recent conversations on the list.   I will try to circulate a redline in the morning, New York time, but can't right now.
> I thought about including something on UA, but for .ORG and in the absence of proposed language, I did not see the obvious hook in this statement to bring that concept in.
> Best regards,
> Greg
> Greg Shatan
> greg at isoc-ny.org
> President, ISOC-NY
> "The Internet is for everyone"
> _______________________________________________
> CPWG mailing list
> CPWG at icann.org
> https://mm.icann.org/mailman/listinfo/cpwg

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