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Reply to Chuck Gomes's statement of support for proposed agreements

  • To: biz-tld-agreement@xxxxxxxxx, info-tld-agreement@xxxxxxxxx, org-tld-agreement@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Reply to Chuck Gomes's statement of support for proposed agreements
  • From: Andrew Moulden <andrew@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2006 10:05:50 +0100

To the ICANN BoD:

I wish to reply to Chuck Gomes's statements of support for each of the proposed agreements, as posted here:


As the wording of each of his three statements is identical, excepting the actual TLD - biz, info, org respectively - I will refer to his "statement" in the singular.

Of the many dozens of submissions posted over the past few days, since at least elements of the internet community awoke to the very real dangers that would be posed by the lifting of registry price caps, Mr Gomes's statement is the only one to voice unconditional support for the proposed agreements. Opposition has been widespread: Network Solutions (Jonathon Nevitt), GoDaddy (Tim Ruiz), CORE (Marcus Faure) and other registrars have expressed their deep concerns. Well-known figures such as Danny Younger, Jeff Williams and Karl Auerbach are strongly opposed. Many commercial and personal website operators, particularly those employing multiple and/or "prestigious" web domains, are clearly horrified at the prospect of price caps being lifted. But among them all, a lone voice - that of Verisign's Chuck Gomes - has expressed support.

In his submission, Mr Gomes plays the "security and stability" card. He says that these agreements will provide registries with the "incentives and flexibility to continue to invest in Internet infrastructure" - in other words, he is claiming that price rises would be for our own good, as if the registries are financially stretched to fulfil the technical requirements specified in their existing agreements - which is nonsense. This is nothing to do with Verisign's profitability or otherwise; of course not!

Mr Gomes also claims to be motivated by seeing that there is a "level playing field for all the registries" and states that each of these agreements "closely mirrors the model registry agreements that ICANN has already used or proposed" for other gTLDs. His phrase "closely mirrors" is at best a fudge, but even if his claim could be shown to be in some sense valid, it is tantamount to saying "you messed it up before, so you should mess it up again to ensure consistency".

These are the only two arguments that Mr Gomes advances. Considering possible vested interests (2012 being closer than ever!) I would urge the Board to contrast the quite remarkable weakness of Mr Gomes's arguments with the breadth and depth of opposition from so many other sections of the internet community.

Andrew Moulden

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