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  1. #1
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    .com prices could double, ICANN doubles their fees
    I am writing this letter to all of you personally because it is time for all of you to stand up for a cause. Some of you might be aware that ICANN and Verisign recently announced a proposed settlement of their pending litigation (Verisign had sued ICANN a few years ago and that lawsuit is pending). We believe this settlement is unfair, unjust, inappropriate and would be blasphemous to the Internet community and to your Business.

    Some Highlights of the settlement


    The settlement agreement allows Verisign to increase the price of .com domain names to every Registrar by 7% every year. Currently Verisign charges all Registrars $6 for every domain name. The new settlement agreement however allows them to increase prices to all of us without any cost justification. They can simply increase the price by 7% EACH year.


    This means they could double the price in 10 years. Naturally any increase in price would mean all Registrars would have to increase their prices to you. This would reduce your sales and reduce your potential to sell other Products.


    In this settlement proposal ICANN is giving Verisign the chance to make more than 2 Billion Dollars extra over the next 10 years. This may by far be the most expensive settlement proposal the world has witnessed.


    This 2 Billion Dollars is coming out of your / your customers pockets.


    The new settlement agreement also doubles the ICANN fees charged to Registrars. Currently Registrars pay 25 cents per domain name to ICANN. The new agreement will make that 50 cents. This again means all Registrars will further increase what they charge all of you for dotCom Domain Names.


    The new settlement agreement has a perpetual presumptive renewal clause. This means that Verisign will permanently hold on to the dotCom Registry. There will never be any competitive bid for it, except in a very remote circumstance. Verisign now gets the right to a perpetual monopoly. This means that they are free to do whatever they want with dotCom, without fear of competition. Prices therefore will never reduce.



    The entire settlement documents are posted online at http://www.icann.org/tlds/agreement...-agreements.htm

    The part with regards to pricing is in Section 7.3 of http://www.icann.org/tlds/agreement...ent-22sep05.pdf

    What can you do?

    This settlement agreement will be signed very soon unless the ICANN Board is convinced otherwise. You all represent the voice of the various Domain Name Consumers worldwide. All of you should send your comments about this settlement and how it will affect your business.

    Send your comments to settlement-comments@icann.org

    Keep the following points in mind before sending your comments:


    Put in your company name, and specify how long you have been in business, and how you represent the voices of hundreds and thousands of Customers in your specific region.


    You may specify how any increase in the dotCom domain name prices will affect your business.


    Readup existing comments by other people at http://forum.icann.org/lists/settlement-comments/. Your comments can be similar to the ones already posted. More number of comments about the same issue from different people across different countries would clearly show that everyone is concerned about the same issue.



    Feel free also to forward this email to your Customers and Resellers and urge them to individually post comments as to how this would impact their respective Business.

    Why ICANN should not sign this Settlement?

    ICANN itself has stated publicly that it is more likely to win the lawsuit than lose it. There is no reason for it to sell out the Internet to settle this litigation when there is a greater chance of it winning the lawsuit anyways.


    The outcome does not provide benefits to the Internet community that both ICANN and Verisign were intended to serve.


    The ICANN staff are proposing to provide Verisign the ability to increase their prices by 7% annually. Everywhere around the world prices for domain names and web services are reducing. There is no reason for ICANN to grant an increase in the prices.


    ICANN is supposed to act as an administrator of the Internet on behalf of the Internet community. This proposed settlement however benefits ICANN and Verisign at the cost of the community.


    It is important at a time like this for you to stand up and make yourself heard. The Internet should not belong to any one organization. Any changes affect millions of businesses worldwide. It would be unfair if any such changes are made without consensus from the community as a whole.

    Regards,
    Bhavin Turakhia
    Founder, Chairman & CEO
    Directi

  2. #2
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    Also send you comments to your congressman and senator if in the US. You will find a letter already created on the links below.

    http://cfit.info/

    http://www.cfit.info/lobby.html

    My reasons for opposition which I posted and this is just a few of them.

    Verisign has shown over the years and continues to show that it has no
    other objective but to increase it's bottom line and bend the rules.

    1. From the WLS proposal which was an attemt to monopolize the expired
    domain market and the only reason it was put to rest is the more
    profitable proposal CLS which is full of flaws.

    2. It's Sitefinder "service' which was nothing but an attemt to profit
    from the millions of misguided people and at the expense of the
    advertisers who would have been paying for it.

    3. The looking the other way with its hand out while 1 million plus
    domains a day are being registered "tasted" for traffic and dumped.

    4. Allowing registrars to bend the rules on the redemption period.

    5. Allowing registrars to allow names not to be deleted and keeping
    those names in the previous owners name while that registrar profits
    from its traffic.

    6. The proposed settlement for which they get to do all of the above and
    charge more for it without answering to anyone including you (ICANN).

    Sincerely,

    John Jeffers
    Concerned Internet Citizen

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Snib's Avatar
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    Who knows, maybe if domains were more expensive we'd see fewer junk domains. I think it's a little too easy to start a throw-away site and litter the internet with spam. Maybe this can help reduce spam and pull in more serious webmasters.

    - Scott
    Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all transgressions.

  4. #4
    Member Chocolate_Chicken's Avatar
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    So now the cost of owning a domain may skyrocket to, like, four cents per day?

    Not sure if many folks are going to get worked up about this.

  5. #5
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    It'll be an incentive to *use* some of the 100+ domains I own, I guess.

    Bad news for domain speculators, bad news for those people who create junk portals from expired domains. I might have to consider letting some other people use the ones I've been hordeing.

    Hmm.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  6. #6
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    It's not about price.

    It's about a non-profit oraginzaton which already has the world spotlight on them doubling their fee with no review of their budget.

    Handing Verisign the keys to the .com namespace from here to eternity to do as they wish and answer to noone. Thats basicly what the contract is. They could care less if everyone dropped their names. They can just utilize the traffic from it to earn money for themselves.

    With this they can reintroduce sitefinder which caused a huge uproar.

    CLS which you might think is a good thing now but wait until it makes the job of catching names a whole lot easier for those with the cash. Your chances of getting a good .com name ever again will pretty much be gone without paying a huge sum either in the auction or from another party.

    They are allowing those with the cash as it is now to register and dump names without traffic within the 5 day return. To the tune of 1,000,000+ a day.

    They are allowing registrars to wharehouse names. Which is against the policy. To explain further registrars are using the redemption period to check traffic on names. Those that have traffic and turn a profit they are not letting expire. In alot of cases the registrar is keeping the name in the previous owners name while they earn money from it.

    Doubles the amount registrars have to pay to be accredited. This in turn will reduce registrars who already work on slim profit margins and in alot of cases lose money.
    Last edited by NameTycoon; November 26th, 2005 at 04:47 PM.

  7. #7
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    NameTycoon brings up good points. I wouldn't mind the money if they just promised to stop with the crap.

    Just think - you have a site chetfsuperbargains.com - it is a an affiliate site just for bargains on blue widgets. Verisign could take any unused typo for that domain, and put up their own ads for blue widgets, causing a negative effect on my site.

    The failed dns capture bs is my main issue.

    Chet

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chetf
    NameTycoon brings up good points. I wouldn't mind the money if they just promised to stop with the crap.

    Just think - you have a site chetfsuperbargains.com - it is a an affiliate site just for bargains on blue widgets. Verisign could take any unused typo for that domain, and put up their own ads for blue widgets, causing a negative effect on my site.

    The failed dns capture bs is my main issue.

    Chet
    And to get on those pages you would have to pay. And/Or the alternative of having your competition pay and probably pay more than you.

  9. #9
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  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Sure beats $35/year, IMHO.
    Michael Coley
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  11. #11
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    If the 7% was the only concern I wouldn't be concerned either. Here's an article which better describes the issues at hand rather than focusing on just the 7% increase.

    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/051129/icann...uits.html?.v=3

  12. #12
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Ben Edelman wrote a great article about how Verisign could easily act to stop truckloads of Internet fraud:
    http://www.benedelman.org/news/020305-1.html

    Versign has done nothing.

    And by not acting, they're knowingly assisting all kinds of Internet creeps spread and monetize.

    I don't want someone like that to be the name police, regardless of the price.

  13. #13
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    I bought a .info domain the other day. It cost me $2.88 for a year - so it shows how cheaply these things can be sold for.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  14. #14
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    The other issues are disturbing.

    But, I think not caring about the 7% itself may be shortsighted. It's not expensive YET, but just like with interest, after a few years of compounding, it can get very substantial!
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  15. #15
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    If they price themselves out of the market, an alternate market will rise up. I just don't see it as an issue.
    Michael Coley
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  16. #16
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    The 7% increase is only one small issue. In fact they could care less if everyone dropped their .com names because they have realized they can make more off of the traffic from the names than the $6 anyway. Which would land on parking pages which would either be paid links by you and/or your competitor. If you don't want this to happen you have to register all of your typo combinations. Either way Verisign is going to make money off of you.

    It also allows them to collect and sell traffic data of ALL .com domains including yours.

    They will also get 10% off of all domains that expire and are backordered. This contract essentially stands to make them BILLIONS of extra income a year all from managing a public registry which other companies said they would do for less. And all in the name of settling a lawsuit they most likely would have lost to begin with.
    Last edited by NameTycoon; December 1st, 2005 at 12:58 AM.

  17. #17
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Remember Sitefinder... the ultimate cybersquatting tool. Verisign should never have been allowed to keep anything after that scandal.
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  18. #18
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    If they price themselves out of the market, an alternate market will rise up. I just don't see it as an issue.
    When there's competition, this is true. When there's not, not.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    If they price themselves out of the market, an alternate market will rise up. I just don't see it as an issue.
    No. This contract allows no alternate, that is the issue.

  20. #20
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    While there's no competition now, if they price themselves too high, that can change. Contracts can change. Laws can change.

    I still don't see a problem. Ten years ago, you had to pay $70 for two years of registration. There were no alternatives. Now, there are tons of places that are $5 to $10 per year. If that doubled to $10 to $20 per year in 10 years (which is possible, but certainly not guaranteed), that's still half of what many of us paid for our first domains.
    Michael Coley
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  21. #21
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    so that domainname.com resolves to the same ip/website for us both, one entity needs to control internet names...

    so if you mean breaking up that control into multiple entities so that there's competition, yes, it's possible, but i'm not sure it's desireable given what the different parties would do to "compete" with each other...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    While there's no competition now, if they price themselves too high, that can change. Contracts can change. Laws can change.

    I still don't see a problem. Ten years ago, you had to pay $70 for two years of registration. There were no alternatives. Now, there are tons of places that are $5 to $10 per year. If that doubled to $10 to $20 per year in 10 years (which is possible, but certainly not guaranteed), that's still half of what many of us paid for our first domains.
    Again. No. It can't. That is what this agreement is for, to make this binding for many years where no competition can happen.

    This is not competition for retail registering of names, but for controlling that extension in its entirety, it is a very different beast. So far no group has lost control of that extension before their agreement was up, and actually simply, no one has ever lost control. So the asses at .us can do thing like let you use a domain for 3 years and then take it away because the name offends them. This gives complete control of .com to a company who has previously abused that control and has made no agreement to not go back to abusing that control again.

    I really think you, and others who are blowing this off, should read up more on what is being discussed here, people are confusing the retail market of domains with the underlying structure that controls that market.

    Chet

  23. #23
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    Yeah. I think its about more than simply the cost of a domain.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by chetf
    This is not competition for retail registering of names, but for controlling that extension in its entirety, it is a very different beast. ... I really think you, and others who are blowing this off, should read up more on what is being discussed here, people are confusing the retail market of domains with the underlying structure that controls that market.
    I realize that you're talking about a single company that provides domains to the registrars and that there are other issues besides just the price increases, but I still don't think it's an issue. If the get too egregious, the same people who said they could do what they're now allowed to do can say that they're not allowed to do it any more.

    If my business model relied on getting thousands of domains at $5 each or getting expired domains, I might be concerned. But it doesn't. I have fewer than 100 domains and could get by with less than a dozen. Even if the prices went to $100/year, I would let some expire, but it wouldn't make more than a very, very minor impact on my business.
    Michael Coley
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  25. #25
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    Well I am blue in the face, so I will stop.

    But I encourage everyone to continue reading on the subject so they can see the issue is much, much, much bigger than the retail cost of domains. I have even said that is a non-issue for me, because for that, the market will continue to control the price. It is about the underlying fundemental way dns and .com namespace works and that there are zero provisisions in the contract to rebuke it for improper behavoir - because they define no improper behavoir even though ICANN has already publicly gotten in a fight with them over their manipulation of the underlying DNS. But now that is just forgotten...

    How can how .com namespace be handled not be a big issue to people is beyond me. This is like owning a store and not caring that all doors are now controlled by one company for 10 years with no restrictions on how they handle your door, if it opens or closes. Could you see going to your store, and seeing competitors ads placed on every single window, every single door right up to your own door? That is essentially what they did previously, and what they are according to this agreement, allowed to do again.

    And that is just part of it.

    chet

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