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Telepathy, Inc. opposes the proposed settlement

  • To: <revised-settlement@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Telepathy, Inc. opposes the proposed settlement
  • From: "Nat Cohen" <ncohen@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 19 Feb 2006 22:35:51 -0800

 

Telepathy Inc is a web development company with a large holding of generic
domains.  It owns a network of destination travel sites that partner with
state and local governments to further their missions and that help promote
numerous companies in the travel and hospitality industry.

 

Telepathy pays a significant amount in registration fees each year.  As a
business that will be forced to bear a share of the cost of the proposed
settlement, we wish to put on record our objection to the settlement.  

 

The reasons put forward in support of the settlement, in our view, are not
convincing and do not overcome the objections capably articulated by others
in this forum, especially by CFIT and by the group of eight registrars.

 

The benefits most commonly stated in favor of the proposed agreement are
that 1) it will enhance the security and the stability of the Internet
infrastructure; and 2) it will resolve the VeriSign lawsuit on fair and
reasonable terms.

 

The linkage between the security and stability of the Internet and
VeriSign's continued operation of the dot-com registry is unsupported.  No
evidence has been presented that selecting a company other than VeriSign to
run the dot-com registry will impair the security or the stability of the
internet infrastructure.  VeriSign's letter in support of the proposed
settlement states: "VeriSign's stewardship of the .com registry is critical
to a secure and reliable DNS, especially now when the security and stability
of

the Internet and DNS face new and increasing threats of attack and
increasing demands for reliability."  The proponents are the settlement play
on fears that the DNS infrastructure will become unstable if the proposed
settlement does not go through.  This strikes us as mere fear-mongering as
other companies have shown the ability to successfully operate TLD and ccTLD
registries.  It is our view that there are companies other than VerSign that
have the management strengths and technical expertise that, when combined
with the financial resources provided by registry fees from tens of millions
of dot-com domain registrations, would be sufficient to ensure the security
and stability of the Internet infrastructure. 

 

As others have noted, ICANN has a responsibility to act in the best interest
of the Internet community as a whole, and not solely in its own
institutional benefit.  This settlement plainly benefits ICANN and VeriSign,
and they can point to no credible evidence of any benefit to other members
of the Internet community.  The settlement, if permitted to go forward,
simply allows those parties to resolve their own dispute by shifting the
cost of the dispute onto others.  The second alleged benefit of the proposed
settlement, namely that the terms of the settlement are fair and reasonable,
upon even casual review is unsupported and without merit.

 

One of ICANN's core missions is to promote competition.  The proposed
settlement violates this core mission by granting VeriSign, as long as it
meets its obligations, a monopoly on the dot-com registry in perpetuity.
The benefits of opening the dot-com registry to competition are so numerous
and so well understood, that it is difficult for us to accept the
continuation of the VeriSign monopoly when no compelling reason is presented
in its support.  Opening the dot-com registry to a competitive process has
the potential to lead to an outcome that is better than that envisioned in
the proposed settlement.  As a result of a competitive process, it is
possible that a company more capable than VeriSign is selected to run the
registry, and at a lower cost.  At worst, at the end of the competitive
process ICANN determines that VeriSign is still the best company to run the
dot-com registry.  ICANN is accepting the worst-case scenario, and is
foreclosing the possibility of a better outcome.  This course of action is
inconsistent with an institution that has the best interests of the Internet
community at heart.

 

ICANN is proposing a settlement that does not provide benefits to the
Internet community as a whole, and indeed, runs counter to the best
interests of this community.  

Telepathy Inc. strongly objects to this proposed settlement.  We request
that ICANN resolve its dispute with VeriSign in a way that does not impose
an unnecessary tax on the Internet community as a whole, and in a way that
in the near future opens the operation of the dot-com registry to a
competitive proposal process.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Nat Cohen

President

Telepathy, Inc.

Washington, DC



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