In the words of ICANN/VeriSign's joint summary statement on the proposed agreements:
existing ICANN-NSI Registry Agreement (covering the .com, .net, and.org 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."
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".
is therefore obvious why VeriSign support this agreement. The primary political questions
here revolve around ICANN's motives.
Extract from ICANN's "mission statement":
is dedicated to ... promoting competition; to achieving broad representation of global
Internet communities; and to developing policy through private-sector, bottom-up,
Taking these three elements in turn:
cannot square this with the proposed granting to VeriSign of preferred status for
the .com Registry beyond 2007.
Broad Representation of Global Internet Communities:
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,
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.