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RE: [bc-gnso] Draft BC position Regsitry Registrar Separation

  • To: Philip Sheppard <philip.sheppard@xxxxxx>, "'BC gnso'" <bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: RE: [bc-gnso] Draft BC position Regsitry Registrar Separation
  • From: Phil Corwin <pcorwin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 18:03:28 -0400

Comments and suggested language changes--

The term "domain names" at line 31 should be changed to "gTLD registries" -- 
that seems to be what the sentence is getting at, that the BC has supported a 
cautious expansion by ICANN of gTLDs (domain names expand on their own at 
existing gTLDs in response to market demand).

Letting new gTLD registries sell DNs through affiliated registrars until a 
100,000 threshold is crossed does not seem like a sound basis for easing 
separation. Such factors as whether a new gTLD is intended for a single 
entity's internal use (e.g., .acmecorp) or has high security standards and does 
not make domains available to the general public (e.g., .bank)seem much more 
relevant. Also, a 100,000 cap that triggers termination of new registrations 
through an affiliated registrar might lead to the gTLD's adoption of such cap 
as a maximum to create artificial scarcity and drive up registration prices at 
a particularly popular or desirable gTLD (e.g., .sport). If separation is to be 
eased it seems there are far sounder ways to do so that than letting a new 
registry have the exclusive right to sell the first 100k, and presumably most 
desirable, DNs.

Generally in agreement that the burden of proof is on those advocating a 
relaxation of registry-registrar separation, and suggest that line 72 be 
amended so that "and no significant adverse effects" is inserted after "new 
competitive benefits".

At line 92, question whether the term "third parties" is sufficiently specific 
and allows for limited legitimate exceptions to the overall maintenance of 

And at line 101, suggest that the term "internal use" be better fleshed out so 
we all understand what that means.

Finally, while we don't object to the BC taking a position on this important 
economic aspect of new gTLDs, we would hope that others could be addressed as 
well -- especially domain pricing at new gTLDs. We are not advocating ICANN 
regulation of pricing with imposed caps, as we don't think that new gTLDs with 
negligible market power will abuse their pricing of standard registrations and 
renewals. However, we do strongly advocate that the BC come out in opposition 
to permitting differential pricing -- that is, a registry operator charging one 
domain more than another for renewal based on its market success. This would 
permit registries to tax the success of individual websites which we believe is 
entirely inappropriate -- registries provide secure database services to 
registrants and we see no reason why there should be any price differential 
between registrants at a given gTLD. 

We hope the BC will give serious consideration to taking a stand on this 
matter. Thank you for your consideration.

Philip S. Corwin 
Butera & Andrews 
1301 Pennsylvania Ave., NW 
Suite 500 
Washington, DC 20004

202-347-6875 (office) 

202-347-6876 (fax)

202-255-6172 (cell)

"Luck is the residue of design." -- Branch Rickey

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:owner-bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of 
Philip Sheppard
Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 5:54 AM
To: 'BC gnso'
Subject: [bc-gnso] Draft BC position Regsitry Registrar Separation

I return from a holiday refreshed and revived and read with interest and not a
little disappointment the interesting dialogue on list on R&R separation,
tainted with some unfortunate tonality. Nevertheless, it seemed that the
majority of participants favoured the continuation of R&R separation making
valid arguments about competition, the likelihood of dominance, and the
uncertainty of the current threshold proposal. 

This is to my mind exactly the issue on which the BC should have a position and
I attach a draft for discussion and subsequent voting.
I have tried to capture the key arguments I read on the previous list
discussions and hope I have captured the factual background correctly. Do let me
know if clarifications are needed.

Please note today as the start of the usual 14 day discussion period ending
August 24 after which we will conduct a vote on this or an amended position.
If you have proposals for amendment please do not submit a redline but refer to
the line numbering in the text of an e-mail and suggest the nature of the change
you propose. This process makes iterations and consistency easier to manage.


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