ICANN released its second draft of guide book for the New gTLD’s today.
As one of the most knowledgeable people on ICANN matters, George Kirikos points out on on his post on Circleid.com:
“”There continue to be no price caps in place to protect registrants (see section 2.9). “””This is a backdoor way of allowing existing registry operators (e.g. com/net/org/biz/info) to get unlimited pricing power for existing domain names through .tv-style tiered pricing. Obviously ICANN is only listening to registry operators and prospective registry operators, given they’ve even lowered fees for registry operators (see Section 6.1)””
“”Note that price controls were a major source of comments by the public (see page 121-123).””
“”In particular, Neustar (operator of .biz) is on record (see page 123) stating they want elimination of price caps for .biz under the “equitable treatment” clause of existing registry agreements if other registries get it:””
“””Any material changes for the newer, no-price capped TLDs regarding vertical separation and equal access in general must be applied to NeuStar – this is required under the .biz Registry Agreement and ICANN’s Bylaws”””
“”If you are an existing registrant, and Neustar suddenly decides to raise the renewal price to of an existing domain to $1 million/year, that will definitely affect you, and is not something where “competitive forces” are at play.””
“”If VeriSign asked for $1 billion/year as a renewal fee for Google.com, Yahoo.com, or Microsoft.com, there is nothing in the contracts to protect domain name registrants.””
“”Similarly if PIR (the .org registry) wanted to raise the renewal price of Redcross.org to $10 million/yr, or Sex.org to $100 million/yr, or other “elite” domains to any price level they desire, there is simply no language to protect registrants.”””
“”””This demonstrates conclusively that ICANN is simply out of touch with the public interest and knowingly favours the interests of registry operators, to the detriment of consumers.”
It is time for the DOJ to take decisive measures now to prevent further damage through ICANN’s utter disregard for the public interest. “””
Mr. Kirikos knows his stuff.
I haven’t had the chance to even start review the hundreds of pages of material on this second draft, but it is very disturbing the ICANN has failed to address the numerous comments objecting to the lifting of price caps on domains, which is clearly unfair to the holders of the 177 million domain names that VeriSign reported on yesterday.
Let’s be clear here.
Even if you couldn’t care less about the new gTLD’s, this process can and will open the door for all existing registries, VeriSign for .com and .net’s, Neustar for .biz, PIR for .org’s to set any renewal price on any domain that you own.
The better your domain the higher the renewal fees will be.
This has the potential to be the biggest issue and threat for every domain holder.
I will go through the guide later today and have additional thoughts and comments, but for now I’m joing Mr. Kirikos and ringing the alarm.
Wake up people.