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Re: [bc-gnso] RE: Important--Registry Registrar Separation issue

  • To: BC gnso <bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [bc-gnso] RE: Important--Registry Registrar Separation issue
  • From: George Kirikos <icann@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 5 Aug 2009 00:25:46 -0400


On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 6:51 PM, Mike Rodenbaugh wrote:
> George, your ranting and accusations are outrageous.  They really do not

What some folks term a 'rant' others might describe as relevant informed debate.

> My firm and I do not have a direct financial interest in this issue, or any
> policy issue around newTLDs, even if I only were a 'wannabe registry
> operator'.  My and my firm's interests in the issues have been disclosed
> long ago, and are fairly minimal in relation to my overall business -- far
> from causing a conflict of interest that could hinder my elected duties or
> participation as a BC member.  Rodenbaugh Law is not going to apply for any
> newTLDs for itself, and neither am I.

Here are the exact and relevant words in your statement of interest:


"I currently advise a for-profit entity in a business venture that
will apply for a new gTLD when ICANN opens the domain space in 2009,
and I am personally engaged in a second for-profit business venture
that intends to apply for another new gTLD through that ICANN process.
 I may consult on other, similar projects in the future."

As folks in the BC are aware, you're a Category 3 member with revenues
below 500,000 Euros. The application fee alone for a new gTLD would be
six-figures, and the annual ongoing registry costs (ICANN fees,
operational fees, etc.) and revenues would obviously, in comparison to
your current revenues, be significant. In your own words, it is a
"for-profit business venture."

> The BC did argue that the new TLD rollout should be delayed until legitimate
> economic studies were done, and until better anti-abuse mechanisms are in
> place.  Obviously, ICANN has a different view than you and I as to whether
> their studies were adequate or legitimate, but they have been done.

It's the duty of the officers of the BC to continue to argue that view
forcefully, as many members have done so in their continued public
comments, as have other members from other constituencies (such as the
IP constituency). You seem to be taking the position now that those
economic studies "have been done." I suggest you take a poll of the BC
on this topic, before jumping to that conclusion (a conclusion that I
know many BC members do not agree with). It's a view that perhaps
people that want to rush forward with new TLDs would take, like those
in the registry constituency ---- oh that's right, just like folks who
intend to apply for new for-profit TLDs or are doing consulting in
that realm.

> .mobi, .asia, etc. exemplify how there is nothing wrong with registries
> withholding valuable domain names from landrush.  I understand that domain
> investors (including many ICANN accredited registrars) naturally would want
> the ability to buy up valuable domains for their businesses, as quickly and
> cheaply as possible.  But auctions are more fair than landrush for the most
> coveted domains, and new registries should be able to maximize the value of
> their generic names.  Generally that ought to benefit all of the registrants
> and registrars of that registry, and the broader community.

If you're implying that my company has interest in .mobi, .asia or any
new TLD names, that couldn't be further from the truth. My company has
registered exactly zero .biz/mobi/asia/tel/pro/etc. domains, and only
a single .info domain (which was a defensive registration as we owned
the com/net/org already).

While auctions might arguably be a "more fair" allocation mechanism
than first-come first serve for a landrush/sunrise, there is no good
reason that the registry operator should receive a penny of it. They
obviously did nothing to create any value for those "most coveted
domains" -- that value is intrinsic. It should be allocated to the
public, to attempt to offset the costs imposed on society of these new
gTLDs, as previously discussed by such people as Tim Berners-Lee in
his paper:


> Other than cybersquatting and abuse, I see nothing of concern generally with
> newTLDs, and many likely benefits.  You and a few others can keep arguing
> against them, but new TLDs are most likely going to come next year anyway.

We shall see. It's funny that you describe it as "me and a few
others", as when you actually count the number of comments, it is my
company that is in the majority, not the minority, that opposes the
free-for-all introduction of new gTLDs. It is my company that stands
beside and supports the DOC/DOJ/NTIA in their thoughtful comments and
well-reasoned position.

> Meanwhile you please should stop wasting everyone's time with your
> repetitive rants.  The BC and ICANN have heard your positions, and are
> obviously not persuaded.  Repetition is not going help persuade anyone.

As mentioned earlier, some people who disagree with informative
content call it a "rant" in order to attempt to silence a speaker.
Healthy debate is what the BC is supposed to be all about. Indeed, it
should be the role of the officers to encourage vigorous debate,
instead of attempting to censor it.

I think it's you that appears to have a problem with your view of the
world. As noted by Phil Corwin:


your description of the opposition to the IRT/URS/IP Clearinghouse as
"unfounded (and sometimes ridiculous" was far from reasonable or well
informed commentary. Yet, it's been a week and the Newsletter remains
on the BC website with no amendment reflecting that those are your
personal opinions and not those of the BC (which has never voted on
the IRT), or amendment to reflect more balanced views. Indeed, no
response whatsoever on this mailing list on the topic.

> The point of this discussion was to debate important rules, if any, that
> will govern these new TLD business ventures.  Many members are interested in
> that debate, to much greater degree than the ranting of one member,
> rehashing old refuted arguments and making frivolous accusations.  So, back
> to the discussion about registry-registrar separation, as hopefully others
> have substantive comments please?

As you can see, I am engaged in debate, and you don't get to
unilaterally decide who can debate and who cannot. According to our


"The BC applies a priority system to issues.
1 - top priority, active engagement, BC position papers track and
update an issue as needed
2 - medium priority, occasional BC position papers to set principles
3 - low priority, may be a hot ICANN issue, but has low impact on
business users, unlikely to even write a BC paper."

Now, for wannabe TLD operators, registry-registrar separation might be
a "top priority" as it would impact the profitability of their
for-profit business ventures if registrars we allowed to compete
against them. However, I think for most real BC members that don't
have aspirations in new TLDs (i.e. go back to your comment of October
1, 2008), this is a "low priority" #3 rank issue. It would seem
Marilyn has taken the same position in her post of a few hours ago in
reply to your post.

I think for most business registrants, price caps are a far more
important topic, the fact that ICANN has re-opened the issue of tiered
pricing which was supposed to have been settled several years ago.
That should be a priority #1 topic for comment/study, not a sideshow
that is mainly of interest to new TLD registry operators/applicants
and registrars. There can be little "stability" if a registry operator
can simply raise the renewal price of one's domain name from $7/yr to
$10 million/yr or any other arbitrary figure. Switching costs are
enormous for all businesses, yet ICANN has failed to study the topic.
I think most BC members are in agreement with me on this, and I'll
start a separate topic/thread to directly poll the BC's views on this.


George Kirikos

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