Removal of Price Controls
I would like to comment on the proposed removal of price controls for the new gTLDs.
Given that existing registry agreements state that ICANN cannot apply inequitable policies to the registries, the logical conclusion must be that if the new gTLDs have no pricing controls, the existing registries will apply to have pricing controls removed also, and ICANN will be in no position to deny them.
Tiered pricing schemes have the potential to render the Internet untenable. It is not unthinkable that the registry could charge hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars for the renewal of a domain, just like the .TV registrar already does today. If the registry should decide to charge a renewal based on the intrinsic value of the domain, or the value of the business that uses that domain, they will effectively hold that business to ransom. Threatening to take away a business's domain and therefore the livelihood of its owner, employees and their families, unless they pay a large amount of money is nothing short of holding them hostage. Worse still, ICANN, the 'police' in this situation, are contractually bound to turn a blind eye.
By buying a domain, sometimes at enormous expense, businesses have placed their trust in ICANN and the respective registries. This proposal threatens to destroy that trust and do immeasurable harm to business and the Internet as a whole. I strongly advise ICANN to revise this proposal and continue to enforce strict, and specifically non-tiered, price controls in the existing TLDs.
Thank you,Chris Beach.