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Proposed Terms

  • To: <biz-tld-agreement@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Proposed Terms
  • From: "Sean O'Brien" <sean@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 27 Aug 2006 16:44:32 -0400

Dear ICANN Board,

The proposed TLD Registry Renewal Contracts for .info, .biz, and .org domains 
are flawed in logic by allowing a registrar to set arbitrary rates without 
price caps at whatever the market will bear. This will drastically change the 
economics of an industry that is operating quite well currently.    With this 
new "Extortion Pricing" allowed, .org non-profits could find it nearly 
impossible to operate.  In addition, many .info sites are non-commercial and 
informational only, and could suffer drastically.  For example, let's say 
mortgages.info provides free high-quality information to web users worldwide 
regarding mortgages/loans.  What happens if registrars decide to charge 
mortgages.info $10,000 annually for their domain? The site could theoretically 
be informational only and not able to cover this cost.  In addition, if this 
prevents the site from operating, then we all have lost a valuable .info site 
in this example!

Many people have based their business and/or living around investing into 
domain names, with the expectation that pricing would be affordable and 
regulated.  By breaching this expectation, the decisions of millions of people 
were made under a false pretense, and everyone suffers, except registrars, who 
already make money selling & registering domains at current prices.  The 
incremental cost to a registrar to register/re-register a domain is virtually 
zero (maybe some server bandwidth for about 5 minutes, but it pales in 
comparison to the margin they make).  The gains (for registrars) are severely 
outweighed by the losses (for domain owners and web users around the world).

The new change basically provides a way for registrars to extort money from 
high profile domain owners.  In addition, it would serve as a negative force 
against economic growth.  Who would want to put up a website based on a domain 
that is subject to extortion like pricing?  If the entrepreneur becomes 
succesful someday, they could face extortion and suffer margin losses that are 
beyond control.  This is like the government charging property taxes based on 
the person's net worth who owns the property, rather than at a flat percentage 
rate to all people.  Imagine New York charged Donald Trump 50% property tax on 
his properties, because they are "prime real estate" (like prime domains are), 
and because they figured "he could and would" pay it.  This would cause 
absolute tyranny, and its virtually the same type of thing the new rules 
propose to allow.

Obviously if this occurs, any domain owner (including myself) with legitimate 
assets that face extortion like pricing would surely file lawsuits against 
ICANN and Registrar both, due to the injustice created by these proposed 
policies.  Please save us all a day in court and costly legal fees, and leave 
things the way they are.  Working.


Sean O'Brien
Managing Partner
Columbus Web Design

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