Return to Proposed Revisions to NSI Agreements Forum - Message Thread - FAQ

Username: A. Moulden
Date/Time: Mon, March 5, 2001 at 8:58 AM GMT (Mon, March 5, 2001 at 11:58 AM BT)
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows 98
Score: 5
Subject: Promoting competition / Broad representation / Bottom-up consensus


In the words of ICANN/VeriSign's joint summary statement on the proposed agreements:

"The existing ICANN-NSI Registry Agreement (covering the .com, .net, registries) provides (in Section 23) that the Agreement will expire on 10 November 2003, unless NSI (now VeriSign) separates legal ownership of its Registry Services business from its registrar business within 18 months of the signing of the agreement, or May 10, 2001. If that separation occurs within the meaning of Section 23, the Registry Agreement is automatically extended for an additional four years, or until 10 November 2007."

Now, section 31 of the same agreement states:

"No amendment, supplement, or modification of this Agreement or any provision hereof shall be binding unless executed in writing by both parties."

Clearly the new agreement is - from VeriSign's perspective - a collosal improvement on the old. While it does not guarantee retention by VeriSign of the Registry function for .com beyond 2007, it does give them "a presumption favoring renewal of VeriSign's right to operate the .com registry (but only pursuant to a Registry Agreement that conforms to the standards of other registry agreements in existence at the time) if VeriSign meets the standards set forth in the amended Agreement".

It is therefore obvious why VeriSign support this agreement. The primary political questions here revolve around ICANN's motives.

Extract from ICANN's "mission statement":

"ICANN is dedicated to ... promoting competition; to achieving broad representation of global Internet communities; and to developing policy through private-sector, bottom-up, consensus-based means."

Taking these three elements in turn:

Promoting Competition:
I cannot square this with the proposed granting to VeriSign of preferred status for the .com Registry beyond 2007.

Broad Representation of Global Internet Communities:
I cannot square this with the already obvious lack of favor for this proposal outside of ICANN/VeriSign circles.

Developing Policy through Private-Sector, Bottom-Up, Consensus-Based Means:
Contracts are a result of policy. I cannot square this statement with the complete lack of any public discussion on any of the salient issues prior to the publication of the proposed contracts.

Andrew Moulden


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