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Re: [ga] Vint on proposed .biz, .info and .org agreements

  • To: ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, revised-biz-info-org-agreements@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Re: [ga] Vint on proposed .biz, .info and .org agreements
  • From: George Kirikos <gkirikos@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2006 09:32:31 -0800 (PST)


--- Danny Younger <dannyyounger@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> source: 
> http://forum.icann.org/lists/pdp-pcceg-feb06/msg00370.html
> To: Council GNSO
> Subject: [council] Response from ICANN Board chair
> with regard to the proposed .biz, .info and .org
> agreements
> From: Chair, ICANN Board
> To:  GNSO Council


> Neither outcome should be a surprise.  I wished to
> write, however, to tell you that the Board (including
> me) consider input from the Council carefully.  A
> conclusion that differs from council member advice
> does not indicate the Board "ignored" the advice.  The
> Board receives inputs from many sources and these
> inputs are frequently conflicting in their character. 
> The Board is obligated to reach conclusions despite
> variations in the recommendations it receives.  If the
> Board conclusions differ from recommendations of the
> GNSO, it will be a consequence of considering all
> advice received including that of the GNSO Council.

Nice attempt to try to explain away ignoring the "bottom up" consensus
driven process.

Any decision to approve these flawed proposed contracts should leave no
doubt to anyone that the Board has been captured and no longer
represents the public interest. That was obvious to many given the
approval of the bad .com settlement with VeriSign, but approval of
these .biz/info/org contracts should leave no doubt to anyone else.

The registry contracts themselves leave open the possibility for a
tender process, at ICANN's sole discretion. See sectin 5.2 of the
existing .biz agreement, as an example:


"..... but the decision whether to accept the Renewal Proposal shall be
in ICANN's sole discretion."

"5.2.2. Only after the six-month period described in Subsection 5.2.1
may ICANN call for competing proposals from potential successor
registry operators for the Registry TLD."

"....but the choice from among competing proposals shall be in ICANN's
sole discretion."

A 10 year old could tell you that in order to get the best possible
deal, you don't just negotiate with one party. To get the best possible
deal, you need to shop around. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles could
have even told you this:

"And then she said -
'Just because you've become a young man now
There's still some things that you don't understand now
Before you ask some girl for her hand now
'Keep your freedom for as long as you can now'

My mama told me, 'You better shop around'


'Try to get yourself a bargain son'
'Don't be sold on the very first one'
A pretty girls come a dime a dozen
A try to find one who's gonna give ya true lovin'

It's basic common sense. How can you know whether you've gotten the
best possible deal, unless you know what the alternatives are? This is
a basic element of a negotiation, that you have to know what your
alternatives are, so that you can say "No deal."

I concur with the comments of Nat Cohen, who wrote:


" Unless the gTLD registry renewals are opened to competition among
providers, ICANN is operating in a vacuum as to what are the accurate
market rates for providing registry services."


"ICANN has no basis for stating that the price increases are justified
because ICANN is preventing the operation of market forces that most
outside observers expect would result in a DECREASE in the cost of
domain fees."

ICANN's Board is making a conscious CHOICE to not get market pricing
information by not holding a tender. They make a choice to put their
heads in the sand, should they accept these revised contracts. The
question should be, "Why?" This only serves to benefit the incumbent
registry operators, who are seeking to renew their contracts in
perpetuity at above market rates. This is counter to the public

For less than the cost of hiring an external "economic expert" (who may
or may not be unbiased), one could at *less expense* hold a public
tender for operation of these registries. Simply create a specification
(based on the existing contracts), and leave open price as the variable
by which prospective registry operators can submit bids. Pick the
lowest bid that meets the specs!  This is done thousands of times a day
for government and private sector contracts -- why is ICANN different,
and is deviating so markedly from established best business and
operational practices??

To close, I hope that ICANN's Board will be listening to Smokey
Robinson during their Board meeting:

'Before you take a girl and say, 'I do' now' (uh-huh)
'Make sure she's in love with-a you now' (uh-huh)
'Make sure that her love is true now' (uh-huh)
'I'd hate to see you feelin' sad and blue now'

My mama told me, 'You better shop around'
(Shop, shop around)

Uh-huh don't let the first one get you'
(Shop, shop around)
Oh no, cuz I don't wanna see her 'wich-you''
(Uh-huh, 'before you let 'em hold you tight'
A yeah-yeah 'make sure she's alright'

Uh-huh, 'before you let 'em take your hand my son'
'Understand my son'
'Be a man my son'
'I know you can my son'


George Kirikos

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