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WEB HOSTING NEWS

The Latest ICANN-VeriSign Agreement: Too Little, Too Late?
By: Terri Wells
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    2006-02-08

    Table of Contents:
  • The Latest ICANN-VeriSign Agreement: Too Little, Too Late?
  • Revisions to the Agreement
  • Not Enough Concessions
  • Responses to the Revised Agreement

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    The Latest ICANN-VeriSign Agreement: Too Little, Too Late? - Responses to the Revised Agreement


    (Page 4 of 4 )

    If anyone from ICANN has been reading the comments on the revised agreement, I fervently hope for their own sake that they have been wearing flameproof armor. Danny Younger, for example, describes VeriSign and ICANN as a pair of wolves that have colluded to fleece the sheep. “The first wolf wants to make even more money and seeks to be granted a herd of sheep in perpetuity. The second wolf fears being crippled by ongoing litigation and being damaged further by negative PR campaigns. They collude. The first wolf gets what it wants, and the second wolf gets what it needs. The sheep gets abused.”

    A comment by another person suggests a “novel idea”: “How about not using the lawsuit…as a negotiation tool in a new contract. They should HAVE to compete for renewal…If they wish to have a role in the domain aftermarket how about they compete with everyone else instead of using this contract to weasel their way into BILLIONS of free money every year.”

    John Jeffers comments that granting a monopoly over the expired domain market to VeriSign will put him out of business and repeats what everyone except VeriSign and ICANN seems to want to see in the contract: “No presumptive renewal clause. No price increase. No selling of traffic data. No monopoly over the expired domain market.”

    George Kirikos submitted a well thought out comment under the heading “Lipstick on a pig doesn’t make me want to kiss it.” He argues that competitive bidding for the .com registry would have lowered the wholesale cost of .com domains by more than half – yet ICANN seems to think it’s a “victory for consumers when there’s no cost reduction at all, but instead an average price INCREASE per year of 4.7%...”

    Kirikos also performs a very effective dissection of the language involving the sale of traffic data. He notes that it “specifically permits access to data on ‘non existent domain names’ for ‘promoting the sale of domain names.’ In other words, if example.com is getting a lot of type-in traffic, and is unregistered, VeriSign could sell that data, thereby promoting low-cost cybersquatting (since a large percentage of those types of names are TM infringements…”

    There are other issues with the revised agreement that I don’t have the space to discuss in detail here. For example, there is a technical portion of the proposed contract that looks like a service level agreement between VeriSign and ICANN. It specifies performance standards for VeriSign, but does not seem to specify any penalties should VeriSign fail to meet those standards.

    I suggest you visit ICANN’s website and check out the revised agreement for yourself. Weigh in with your comments. As a web host, and quite possibly a registrar, you definitely have a right to make yourself heard when it comes to the future of the Internet. ICANN and VeriSign can’t afford the political cost of remaining deaf to those who use their services.


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