ICANN ICANN Email List Archives


<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>

Violation of ICANN's Core Values

  • To: <biz-tld-agreement@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Violation of ICANN's Core Values
  • From: "Michael H. Berkens, ESQ." <mike@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2006 15:13:14 -0400

To the ICANN Board,

The proposed TLD Registry Renewal Contracts you are considering for the
.info, .biz, and .org registry should be rejected under your own stated
"core values" and principles.

The follows are some of ICAAN own "core values" that would violate if it
approved the proposed contracts:

In performing its mission, ICANN adheres to these core values and

Preserve and enhance the operational stability, reliability, security, and
global interoperability of the Internet.  What could be more unstable to the
internet and all internet sites and businesses than being under constant
threat of having your domain and internet business seized by the registry
and sold off to the highest bidder.  The more successful your online
business becomes the more lightly is it will be seized and sold.  The
constant threat of loss of your domain and online presence, at the whim of
the registry, can only severely impact the stability and security of the
internet.  The approval of these contracts will lead to years of litigation
during which commerce will be negatively and substantially impacted due the
uncertainty of whether domain names will be seized and sold off by the
registry.  In essence ICANN will make the internet into a third world
country where people will be scared to invest, unwilling to risk the lightly
hood of seizure of their property and investment by the government (in this
case the registry, who is being given dictatorial governmental seizure power
by ICANN).  This one decision can turn the internet from what is now the
most fertile ground for new ideas and innovation into a paralyzed quagmire
of uncertainty filled with horror stories of lost investment and business.

Not only will "for profit" business be negatively and substantially impacted
by these proposed contracts,  but non-profit organization using the .org
registry will be subject to having their domains seized and sold on the open
market.  Can you image any good from the American cancer society having
their domain cancer.org taken by the registry and sold off to the highest
bidder, very possibly to a for profit concern or a company that may seek to
frequently capture donations meant for the charity.  Redcross.org, Give.org,
charity.org and thousands of more non-profit charitable organizations will
have to face the choice of having their domain seized by the registry and
sold for the sole benefit of the registry or spending substantial funds
contributed to them for their charitable activities to the registry to renew
their domain.  These charitable organizations will certainly file litigation
of their own against the registry and ICANN.  ICANN will therefore be placed
in a position of defending its decision which could result in the American
Red Cross losing its domain.  (Should make for some interesting public
relations for ICANN)

The litigation that will result in from the approval of these proposed
contracts will add to the instability and loss of confidence that businesses
and users have in the internet.

In the event ICANN approves the proposed contracts, its will have violated
one of its "core values".

Respect the creativity and innovation made possible by the Internet by
limiting ICANN's activities to those matters within ICANN's mission
requiring or significantly benefiting from global coordination.  These
proposed contracts will have a chilling effect on the development and
investment into internet business and activities.  With business and
organization faced with seizure and loss of their domain and thereby their
business, companies and individuals will be less inclined to invest in
internet businesses and site development.  Since removing the maximum
pricing is not necessary to having a registry entering into a contract, this
amounts to a gift from ICANN to registry of millions of dollars a year at
the expense of its customers.  In the event ICANN approves the proposed
contracts, it will have violated one its "core values".

Promote international participation at all levels of decision-making and
policy-making.  It appears that the posted responses to the proposed
contracts are running 99.999% in opposition.  The only support the proposed
contracts received is from the .com and .net registry which would make
additional tens or hundreds of millions of dollars a year, if such a plan
was approved for their registry, at the end of their current contract.  If
ICANN approves these contracts despite the overwhelming and substantial
opposition it will have failed to take into account the participation of
such opposition and therefore will have violated one of its "core values".

Introduce and promote competition in the registration of domain names where
practicable and beneficial.  The proposed contracts accomplish the opposite.
They would clearly violate U.S. anti-trust laws which prohibit
anti-competitive behavior and
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unfair_business_practices> unfair business
practices which hurt businesses or consumers or both, or generally violate
standards of ethical behavior.  Clearly all business operating with any
.info, .biz or .org would, at best hurt by this proposal and at worst put
out of business by this proposal.  Clearly all charitable organizations will
negatively affected by the proposed contracts which clear violates almost
everyone perception of ethical behavior.

Promote and sustain a competitive environment.  Once again these contracts
have not been open up to bid by other companies who would provide the same
service at a lower price and without the removal of the pricing limits.   It
also for al practical purposes guarantees the renewal of these contracts to
the current registries without any competitive bidding.  (See the posted
response from godaddy.com) There is no competition when contracts are
granted in a no-bid, no review fashion.  In the event ICANN approves the
proposed contracts ICANN will have violated one its "core values".

Employ open and transparent policy-making mechanisms that promote
well-informed, technically sound decisions.  The proposed contracts would
per se, violate this stated value.  The decision to award no bid contracts,
which only benefit one party, is by its terms is the opposite of making
"well-informed...sound decisions".  The decision making is neither opened
nor transparent.  In fact it is been closed to all other parties and cloaked
in secrecy.  In the event ICANN approves the proposed contracts, ICANN will
have violated one of its "core values".

Make allocation and assignment decisions by applying documented policies
neutrally and objectively.  These proposed contracts clearly can and will
only benefit one party, namely the registry.  Consumers, business, domain
owners, potential domain owners, will all be negatively effected.  Even
registrars who will see greatly reduced amounts of registrations due to the
threat of seizure will suffer. Charitable organizations will suffer as well
as the people they seek to help.  Under the proposed contracts the fee paid
to ICANN by the registry will be fixed and not impacted in any way by the
elimination of the maximum rate. Therefore ICANN cannot benefit from
removing the maximum rate.  However in the litigation sure to follow ICANN
will have to expend a substantial amount of its funds to defend the
decision.  As a non-profit organization ICANN cannot possible defend the
expenditure of such funds with no possible benefit to itself or to any party
other than the registry.    These proposed contracts are clearly not neutral
or objective.   In the event ICANN approves the proposed contracts, ICANN
will have violated one its "core values".

Act with a speed that is responsive to the needs of the Internet but obtain
informed input from those most affected as part of the decision-making
process.  The people most effected by these proposed contracts, namely the
domain holders and site operators (the ones who actually fund ICANN through
the payment of ICANN fees) have posted there opposition to these proposed
agreements.  In the event ICANN approves such contracts in light of the
overwhelming opposition to the contracts by the parties most affected by
this decision, ICANN will have violated one of its "core values".

ICANN as a non-profit organization needs to follow its core value statement.
It cannot award monopolistic contracts which violate its own stated values
to simply add to the profitability of one party to the contract to the
serious detriment of all other parties. 

Very truly yours,

Michael H. Berkens, Esq.


Worldwide Media, Inc.

<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Cookies Policy