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Follow the money

  • To: <domain-tasting-motion@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Follow the money
  • From: Jack Avilar <jack_avilar@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2008 15:14:53 -0600

When I see changes come through ICANN, for the most part, they appear
to be for the good of the internet as a whole. I wish I could say this
about the Domain Tasting motion being pushed through currently. I
believe that when looking at these types of decisions, one must
consider the money. Following the money in this case, came up with very
ironic findings.

It appears that the largest shifts economically
in this process are to those that are campaigning the hardest to curb
tasting. If tasting is curbed, there will be nearly 48 Million domains
per month that are not tasted , and therefore do not resolve. When a
user types these domains in to their browser, they will be redirected
by either their OEM software from the manufacturer (e.g. Gateway and
Dell comes loaded with a default search engine that they monetize) ,
their ISP (Verizon with 8 Million Users, TWC’s ISP unit RoadRunner with
7.7 Million Users, Cox with their 3.6 Million Users, and Charter with
their 2.6 Million Users are directed to a page monetizing the
unpurchased domain ), or via toolbar from Yahoo and Google ( Estimated
to be over 100 Million toolbar users using software to capture DNS
Errors and redirect them to pages that are almost identical to the
parked pages that are complained about) . This represents a shift in
revenue generation from Domain Names (previously tasted, in event of
passage of this policy it will come from the capture of DNS errors)
owned by many smaller companies practicing fair competition, to only a
few behemoth corporations acting in a near monopoly. This appears in
direct opposition to ICANN’s tenets.

One of the major crusaders
towards this end is Mike Rodenbaugh. He happens to consult for Yahoo,
who monetizes the majority of the ISP’s error pages. It would appear he
is less interested with his personal concerns about the security and
stability of the internet, and more concerned with a good return on
Yahoo’s investment in his services.

Now that is an ironic path when you follow the money.
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