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Tiered Pricing, Presumptive Renewal

  • To: <vint@xxxxxxxxxx>, <jeffrey@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Tiered Pricing, Presumptive Renewal
  • From: "Chris Sawyer/Charlie Summers" <maxrbt0204@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2006 09:29:09 -0700

As Mr. Frank Schilling has expressed the opinions I hold superlatively, I am 
including his comments below; please read them carefully and understand they 
represent entirely my views on this important matter. ICANN clearly needs to 
remind itself its function is to represent the Internet _users,_ not the 
private interests of certain registrars.

Sincerely,

Charles Summers, III
kinescope.org, bobedwards.info, others



The combination of “presumptive renewal” and the “lifting of price controls on 
registry services” is incredibly dangerous.

Imagine buying a home, taking on a large mortgage, remodeling, moving in, only 
to be informed 6 months later that your property taxes will go up 10,000% with 
no better services offered by local government. The government doesn’t care if 
you can’t pay your tax/mortgage because they don’t really want you to pay your 
tax… they want you to abandon your home so they can take your property and 
resell it to a higher payer for more money, pocketing the difference 
themselves, leaving you with nothing.

This agreement as written leaves the door open to exactly that type of 
scenario. Domain registrants accustomed to paying $8 or $10 may suddenly be 
faced with a bill for $500.00 per name year or more because their name is 
desired by more than one party. Profitable sites such as Google.biz could get 
renewal bills of $100,000 per year.. or 1 million per year. The registry 
doesn’t care—if the registrant fails to renew the name they can offer a domain 
parking service to monetize latent traffic from the former registrant’s 
activity.

A registry changing the rules in the sandbox, usurping the rights of the 
registrants it was meant to serve, creating fiefdoms in the name of profit for 
the registry operator.. The scenarios just described are wide open for 
implementation if this agreement passes unchanged.

It is troubling that in 2006 ICANN still consistently fails to take into 
account the mercantilist instincts of its for-profit registry partners. This 
agreement should never have made it to this comment phase as written. ICANN’s 
time horizon is much shorter sighted than the registry operator. It is 
profoundly troubling that no-one at ICANN has thought to build the simplest of 
safeguards to protect small business people and end users from the wholesale 
change in pricing structure, left open in these agreements.

I urge ICANN to reject this agreement as written, to modify the salient points 
relating to price control in order to provide certainty and assurance for the 
registrants of this name-space.

Registry operators would be well served to model the successful registries. The 
largest most thriving name-spaces are those with consistent, predictable and 
moderate pricing. Where registrants of all kinds can grow their businesses 
without the heavy-hand of intervention or price manipulation. Namespaces are 
remarkably similar to “countries” in that those that foster low taxes, liberty 
and opportunity for all, are those that attract the best, brightest; and 
ultimately thrive to the envy of others.


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