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Competition Between Registrants, or Between Registrars - Which is It?

  • To: "stratplan-2010@xxxxxxxxx" <stratplan-2010@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Competition Between Registrants, or Between Registrars - Which is It?
  • From: "Louise Timmons" <ltimmons@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 03 Dec 2009 02:18:55 -0500

The question is very simple: which party does ICANN commit to promoting competition: the Registrars (eNom, Go Daddy, Moniker), which would benefit the registrants, or the Registrants (us), which would benefit the Registrars?

ICANN's Core Values (http://www.icann.org/en/general/bylaws.htm): include:

"6. Introducing and promoting competition in the registration of domain names where practicable and beneficial in the public interest."

Could ICANN be any more vague in using the term, "competition in the registration?" Mirriam Webster Com & Econ definition of competition is:

The effort of two or more parties, acting independently, to secure the custom of a third party by offering more favorable terms."

This is the competition Democracy and Capitalism was founded on! Registrars should be forced to compete for MY "custom!" Considerations in selecting a Registrar are:

1. Is the Registrar a major domain name server for Symantec's list of top 100 biggest malware contributors?

2. How about Symantec's list of top 5000?

3. Size: will I get the individual attention I need? Maybe I would register with a smaller Registrar.

4. Policy on selling shares or partial equity, or selling sponsorships of my domain - do I want to select a Registrar which will sell me out to a different Registrar which will offer it a profit to transfer my domain name away?

5. Customer satisfaction - check Better Business Bureau ratingl online feedback, etc.

All of the above are features which would weigh in my decision in Registrar selection. This is a competition I would expect ICANN to foster.

But if ICANN means competition AMONG Registrants for domains, such as for new domain extensions, this will benefit the Registrars, not Registrants [us], or end user. It would beg the questions: is ICANN's purpose to aid big business over the end user? How would that foster innovation? Where would the end user's protections come in?

ICANN approved Verisign's BTAPPA process for dot-COMs and dot-NETs (see http://www.icann.com/en/announcements/announcement-16oct09-en.htm ), which allows speculation of domains among Registrars - not related to de-accreditation or going out of business of Registrars = that is covered by bulk transfer under Part B of the Policy on Transfer of Registrations Between Registrars implemented by ICANN), so it seems obvious ICANN is interested in promoting competition among REGISTRANTS to the benefit of REGISTRARS, not the other way. With only a 15-day window to opt out of transfer - but if your domain is recently purchased, transferred, or set to expire within 30 days you are stuck! - how would it be otherwise?

ICANN is enabling exploitation of the little guy, the end user, the Registrant.

Considering the approval of Verisign's process, ICANN should immediately set caps on transferred domains, and spell out that protection in behalf of Registrants, for the trust, security, and progress of the internet.

Louise Timmons
(562) 494-2518

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