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Variable Domain Pricing

  • To: gtld-guide@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Variable Domain Pricing
  • From: Michael@xxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 01:58:02 -0800

To whom this may concern,

I believe the public needs to better understand what is being proposed
in Variable Domain Pricing. ICANN is an extension of the internet public.
It has an obligation to public, domain owners and businesses alike in allowing
the free growth of the web and the creativeness that must follow.

ICANN is becoming much more that this in the fact that how it
determines the use of domain names could eventually impede the web's
growth in immeasurable ways. I experienced this in 1995 with the
retroactive charging of domain names which had been free for over 10
year prior. Many owners of premium domain names let these
registrations lapse in principle because they deemed these fees unfair,
unethical and abusive. We understood that Network Solutions was the
solution for ICANN in managing and administrating the .com.net.org
registry but the pricing of $100 per domain name was perplexing for
such a young internet and an undue burden for those trying to find
their niche and create a business in uncharted waters.

This gave NetSol/Verisign immense power and wealth. So much so that
within a couple of years they were worth many billions of dollars.
Luckily there was a public and government outcry to reduce these overly abusive
fees of domain land. ICANN should have lead the charge in reigning in
this abuse but they did not.

Should we 13 years later worry that an unfair charging
apparatus is in the works again? Variable Domain Pricing as described by
Kurt Pritz in his Q&A session in Cario has me and many others worried.

Is it not ICANN charter to help support the growth and definition of the
internet for the public? The public does not need control but protection
it seems from those that want to enslave it for profitable gain beyond
what most can cope with. We need to help the newcomers as well as the
founding members of the web to have as free and open a marketplace as
can be made available. Allowing the introduction of open charging fees
that could be anything the registrar deems appropriate is a recipe for
disaster. AS an example, .TV would have stood a much greater chance at 
succeeding if
not for the incredibly high registration fees for their premium names.
This was not good for the public, nor the domain owner. The public was
denied a domain name that was stunted in it's growth from the start.

Do not follow .TV's variable domain pricing scheme. Define to the
public what is fair for both the registrar and future domain owner. We
need a creative public "en mass" to have the tools it needs to build out the
internet. It is still at such a young and fragile stage.

Michael Castello
Castello Cities Internet Network, Inc.

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