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A new form of Domain name hijacking? Rg-finRejacking? or: ICANN's Brave New World of Tiered Pricing for Top Level Domain Names

  • To: George Kirikos <gkirikos@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: A new form of Domain name hijacking? Rg-finRejacking? or: ICANN's Brave New World of Tiered Pricing for Top Level Domain Names
  • From: Jeff Williams <jwkckid1@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2006 03:16:12 -0700

George and all former DNSO GA members or other interested stakeholders/users,

  Yes, such an imagining is horrific on several levels.  Could ICANN  be
proposing a new form of Domain name hijacking? Rg-finRejacking anyone?
Rg-finRejacking: Registrar/registry financial hijacking?

George Kirikos wrote:

> Imagine, you've built a great website, and are on top of the world due
> to all the incoming visitors and sales revenues. Your competitors envy
> you, as do your neighbours. Your online brand has become very valuable,
> and when people think of widgets, the first website that comes to mind
> is your site. Life is good.
> You open the mail, though, and see a renewal notice for your domain
> name that is $75,000/yr, instead of the $10/yr that you were used to.
> You call up your registrar, thinking "this must be a typo". But,
> instead, you are told, "due to the success and high value you are
> receiving from your domain, the renewal fee really is $75,000/yr."
> Sounds impossible and outlandish? Not so, if proposed new top-level
> domain contracts are approved by ICANN.
> http://www.circleid.com/posts/icann_tiered_pricing_tld_biz_info_org_domain/
> With parallels to the network neutrality debate, ICANN is set to
> approve new registry agreements for .biz, .info and .org that do not
> forbid differential/tiered pricing on a domain-by-domain basis. The
> public comment period ends on Monday.
> When ICANN's Board approved a highly controversial new .com agreement
> with VeriSign earlier in 2006
> http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/01/30/1736259
> (which thankfully the Department of Commerce has yet to approve) as
> settlement for the SiteFinder lawsuit, other registries wanted to get
> the same spoils that VeriSign received, including presumptive renewal
> http://www.cavebear.com/cbblog-archives/000263.html
> and the ability to raise domain prices. VeriSign's price increases for
> .com would be capped at 7% per year, though. These new proposed
> contracts leapfrog VeriSign, and shockingly propose to remove all
> pricing caps entirely. The only protection existing domain registrants
> would have is the 6-month notice period, and the ability to renew their
> domains at the old price for up to 10 years from the present.
> A loophole in the contract, which ICANN has confirmed exists would go
> even further and create an ominous scenario, though. It would not
> forbid registries from charging different renewal or registration
> prices on a tiered/differential domain-by-domain basis. This would be
> comparable to the .TV registry
> http://www.tv/
> pricing model. Thus, for example, the renewal fee for Sex.biz  could be
> raised to $100,000/yr, for movies.info $25,000/yr, for Google.org $1
> million/yr, and so on -- whatever would maximize the profits of
> registries.
> Registries have seen what DSL and cable companies are trying to do, to
> break network neutrality
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality
> and charge discriminatory prices to maximize their profits at the
> expense of website operators (for example, charge higher rates to
> Google or Yahoo or Microsoft, for access to their subscriber base,
> knowing that Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are very profitable).
> Registries are very shrewd, and these new contracts would not forbid
> them from discriminatory pricing to emulate what ISPs would like to do.
> If these flawed contracts are approved for .biz, .info, and .org, it
> would not be a huge leap to think that VeriSign might take advantage of
> the precedent, and attempt to achieve the same pricing power for .com
> and .net through future contractual negotiations with an ICANN that has
> routinely failed to protect domain registrants' interests.
> Network Solutions CEO Champ Mitchell said that the .com deal "shocks
> the conscience."
> http://www.thewhir.com/features/061206_Hearing_Held_Over_com_Dispute.cfm
> These new contracts are infinitely worse, and create dangerous new
> precedents. Read over the contracts and public comments yourself, and
> then tell ICANN whether these new changes are acceptable to you. The
> deadline for comments is Monday.
> Sincerely,
> George Kirikos
> http://www.kirikos.com/
> P.S. If anyone would like a copy of a nicely formatted version of the
> above, with proper HTML formatting of all links, for inclusion on your
> blog, etc., please email me.


Jeffrey A. Williams
Spokesman for INEGroup LLA. - (Over 134k members/stakeholders strong!)
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