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Re: [names] New gTLDs

At 12:19 PM 9/24/99 , Mike Roberts wrote:
>Let's see if I've got this right.  Jay objected to my 
>saying to a reporter last January that there weren't
>going to be any more monopoly grants of gTLD's.
>For the record, I repeated my prior assertion and 
>said that ICANN and the government saw the solution
>space for gTLD's as requiring some formula for robust
>Jay responds by saying he's going out of business and
>that the problem is one of business models and control.
> > 
> > This one topic is probably the most important,
> > and most divisive, in the entire DNS debate.
> > It is a question of business models, and it 
> > speaks to the very essence of what this fight 
> > is about -- control.
> > 
>Then Jay goes on to say that the problem is that
>I personally have made such a decision and that
>I claimed consensus for it - which no where appears
>in my note from yesterday - which indeed says that
>the assertion is based on the model for ICANN
>contained in the white paper and in the restrictions
>on corporate behavior contained in the antitrust 
> > 
> > Yet, it appears that Mike has already made
> > his decision.  And once again, it is based
> > upon some nebulous declaration of community
> > consensus.
> > 
> > So, in closing, I challenge Mike to document
> > his claims that the question of Business models
> > has been decided, by documenting both public
> > comments, and the actual decision making 
> > process.
> > 
> > Until he does this, his claims remain nothing 
> > more than smoke and mirrors.
>If Jay thinks that the language of the white paper
>and the language of the antitrust laws is smoke and 
>mirrors, he's certainly entitled to that view, but 
>I doubt it is widely shared.

More smoke and mirrors!

Here's the relevant section from the U.S. Government's
Green Paper, the pre-cursor to the White Paper:


     There appears to be strong consensus that, at least at this time,
domain name

[[Page 8829]]

registration--the registrar function--should be competitive. There is
disagreement, however, over the wisdom of promoting competition at the
registry level.
     Some have made a strong case for establishing a market-driven
registry system. Competition among registries would allow registrants
to choose among TLDs rather than face a single option. Competing TLDs
would seek to heighten their efficiency, lower their prices, and
provide additional value-added services. Investments in registries
could be recouped through branding and marketing. The efficiency,
convenience, and service levels associated with the assignment of names
could ultimately differ from one TLD registry to another. Without these
types of market pressures, they argue, registries will have very little
incentive to innovate.
     Others feel strongly, however, that if multiple registries are to
exist, they should be undertaken on a not-for-profit basis. They argue
that lack of portability among registries (that is, the fact that users
cannot change registries without adjusting at least part of their
domain name string) could create lock-in problems and harm consumers.
For example, a registry could induce users to register in a top-level
domain by charging very low prices initially and then raise prices
dramatically, knowing that name holders will be reluctant to risk
established business by moving to a different top-level domain.
     We concede that switching costs and lock-in could produce the
scenario described above. On the other hand, we believe that market
mechanisms may well discourage this type of behavior. On balance, we
believe that consumers will benefit from competition among market
oriented registries, and we thus support limited experimentation with
competing registries during the transition to private sector
administration of the domain name system.

And here is a detailed discussion of the merit,
AND LEGALITY, for competitive registries by the
Federal Trade Commission.  I respectfully suggest 
that the FTC has quite a bit more experience in 
these matters than the unelected board and 
president of ICANN!


>In notes to this list, in statements elsewhere, and in
>actions taken at meetings, ICANN has made it abundantly
>clear that the Board considers the future of the gTLD
>namespace to be an important question on which community
>views will be carefully solicited and thoughtfully
>considered before any policy actions are proposed. If
>Jay is interested in being part of the solution to this
>complex set of issues, he has plenty of opportunity to 
>participate in the process.

Sure, Jay, your invited to comment.

And as long as you agree with *us*, 
we'll incorporate your comments into 
*our* "consensus" document ;-)


>- Mike
> > IMHO & FWIW!
> > 
> > Jay.
> > 
> > 
> > >At 06:30 PM 9/23/99 , Jay Fenello wrote:
> > >>At 04:19 PM 9/23/99 , Mike Roberts wrote:
> > >> >Yes, it's true, the solution space for new gTLD's doesn't include
> > >> >any more grants of monopoly windfall profits.
> > >> >
> > >> >But that doesn't have anything to do with me or with ICANN.
> > >> >
> > >> >It's against the law.
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>Funny, that.
> > >>
> > >>I wonder why Ira Magaziner, President Clinton's
> > >>technology czar, proposed a solution that was
> > >>"against the law" (aka The Green Paper)!
> > >>
> > >>Let's face it Mike, no amount of "spin" will
> > >>change the facts -- you have a pre-ordained
> > >>agenda, you have no interest in living up to
> > >>the lofty goals of the White Paper, and your
> > >>organization is a sham.
> > >>
> > >>Jay.
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> >The government essentially admitted it made a mistake, or rather
> > >> >the government admitted that good intentions had gone awry in
> > >> >the case of its cooperative agreement with NSI, when it placed
> > >> >so much emphasis on "robust competition" as a major DNS
> > >> >goal in the white paper, and when it negotiated the new competition
> > >> >provisions of Amendment 11 with NSI in the summer of 1998.
> > >> >
> > >> >If NSI had achieved its market dominance on any other basis than
> > >> >that of a government contractor, it would have had serious antitrust
> > >> >problems a long time ago.
> > >> >
> > >> >The governmental may be slow, and it may be methodical, but it
> > >> >doesn't usually make the same mistake twice.
> > >> >
> > >> >I applaud the Nesson proposal.  We need creative new ideas for
> > >> >dealing with a very complex subject, and especially ones that
> > >> >also meet the goals for the DNS set out in the White Paper.
> > >> >
> > >> >- Mike
> >