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[registrars] Reply to your Request for Concerns about dotcom settlement from the Registrars

  • To: <vint@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [registrars] Reply to your Request for Concerns about dotcom settlement from the Registrars
  • From: "Bhavin Turakhia" <bhavin.t@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2005 21:33:45 +0530
  • Cc: <registrars@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <icann-board@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Sender: owner-registrars@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Thread-index: AcXza0Qb2tt3eegHS4a5lKtjjoqaKQ==

Dear Vint,

Please find below a response from the Registrars Constituency in reply to
your attached email. The statement below has been signed by 58 Registrars.
The statement was circulated amongst the members of the Registrar

Almost the entire majority of the Registrars who are members of the
Registrars Constituency have agreed that the below represents the primary
concerns of Registrars with regards to the dotcom settlement.

The below concerns are NOT in a specific order of priority. All of them are
very important to all Registrars, and all of them are points that we as
Registrars are against.

We all look forward to seeing you and the Board at Vancouver

Bhavin Turakhia
Chairman & CEO
Directi Group


We, the undersigned registrars, recommend against ICANN signing the proposed
.com Registry Agreement. The following reflects those issues that are of
foremost concern to registrars:
1.    New Registry Services 
The proposed .com contract locks ICANN and VeriSign in for three years on a
version of the consensus policy covering the standards and process for
consideration of new registry services.  The new registry services consensus
policy process that recently was approved by the ICANN board is untested,
and it is likely that the ICANN community will need to refine and improve it
after it is implemented.  A three year lock will unnecessarily handcuff
ICANN and the ICANN community.
We recommend the deletion of Sections 3.1(b)(v)(B) and 3.1(b)(v)(C), and
allowing the existing ICANN policy development and refinement process to be
used during the term of the agreement.
2.    Registry Agreement Renewal
According to its own Bylaws and the Memorandum of Understanding between
ICANN and the United States Department of Commerce, one of ICANN's core
missions is to promote competition.  We understand that the current .com
contract contains a "presumptive renewal" provision, which by its nature
hinders competition.  The proposed .com contract, however, goes much farther
than the existing contract by strengthening the presumptive renewal and
termination provisions on behalf of VeriSign, thereby making it virtually
impossible for VeriSign to lose the .com registry and impossible to reap the
benefits of competition.  VeriSign should be appointed as the administrator
of the .com registry, not its owner.
We recommend reverting from Section 4.2 of the proposed .com agreement to
the renewal terms of Section 25 of the current .com agreement, which
requires a six month review of a "Renewal Proposal" provided by VeriSign and
only under terms that are in "substantial conformity with the terms of
registry agreements between ICANN and operators of other open TLDs. . ."
ICANN also should strengthen the termination provisions currently contained
in Section 6.1 of the proposed agreement by using the relevant text from
Sections 16(B-E) of the current agreement.
3.    Registry Fees
The proposed .com contract would permit VeriSign to unilaterally raise
registration fees by 7% per year.  The existing .com contract and all gTLD
registry agreements (other than the .net agreement with VeriSign, which was
entered into without community input in violation of ICANN's Bylaws) require
the registries to cost-justify any price increases.  In an industry where
the economics suggest that fees should be going down when there is
competition, it is particularly troublesome and anti-competitive to grant a
monopolist or a single source provider the unilateral right to increase
costs without justification. Unfortunately, these fee increases would result
in cost increases to individual registrants.  We note that in the recent
competitive process for .net, VeriSign significantly lowered its registry
fees.  There is no reason for unilateral cost increases for the larger .com
We recommend that the Board delete the current text of Section 7.3(d)(ii)
and replace it with Section 22(A) of the current .com agreement requiring
VeriSign to justify and ICANN to approve any proposed fee increase.  If
there is a dispute between ICANN and VeriSign over a cost increase, ICANN
should have the right to seek competitive price proposals from other
registry operators to ensure that the ICANN community receives the benefits
of competition.
4.    New ICANN Fees
ICANN and VeriSign propose a new ICANN fee that would be assessed on
VeriSign and passed on to the registrars.  This fee would result in excess
of approximately $150 million dollars to ICANN, and would be an end run
around the existing ICANN budget approval process.  As proposed, ICANN staff
has removed an important check on the ICANN budget process. All ICANN fees
that impact registrants should be subject to the ICANN budget approval
process and should not only be the subject of negotiations between VeriSign
and ICANN.   
In addition to the changes suggested in number 3 above, we recommend the
removal of Sections 7.3(g-h) in the proposed contract.  Any transaction fees
that ICANN needs to collect from registrars (and hence registrants) should
be assessed through the current transaction fees charged by ICANN to
registrars and be subject to the existing budget approval process.
While we understand the desire to finalize the litigation, it should not be
done so without a sufficient review process nor at the expense of major
tenets of ICANN's mission.  In its current form, it is a bad settlement for
ICANN, the ICANN community, and the public-at-large. We, therefore, urge the
ICANN Board to take advantage of the six month review of a "Renewal
Proposal" contemplated in the existing .com agreement, which doesn't expire
until November 2007.  The Board should use this time to review the
complicated contracts in their entirety, have a public comment period
commensurate with the importance of the issue, and make the changes
necessary to improve the agreement.

Signatories to this Statement
Ace of Domains
Active 24
Blue Razor
CoolHandle Hosting
Domain Bank
Domain Contender
Domain Name Sales Inc
DomainPeople Inc
Domains Only
DomainSystems, Inc.
Melbourne IT
Moniker Online Services
Name Intelligence, Inc
NameScout Corp
NameStream.com, Inc
Network Soln
Register.it SpA
Spot Domain LLC
Total Registrations
Vivid domains
Wild West Domains
! #1 Host Kuwait, Inc
! #1 Host Malaysia, Inc.
! #1 Host United Kingdom, Inc
!!! $0 CostDomains
--- Begin Message ---
  • To: <bhavin.t@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject:
  • From: "Vint Cerf" <vint@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 18:44:53 +0530
  • Cc: <Tim.Cole@xxxxxxxxx>, <icann-board@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Thread-index: AcXl98wR9Lw/o3HTTFuhEmsX/zu3yA==
To:   bhavin.t@xxxxxxxxxxx 

Cc:   Tim.Cole@xxxxxxxxx




Dear Bhavin Turakhia:   


In an ongoing effort to support community dialogue and consultation
regarding the VeriSign settlement agreement, the Board is extending the
period for comment by requesting that the Registrar Constituency submit
concise, actionable comments regarding the settlement's effect on the
Registrar community.  Please email these comments to
<settlement-statements@xxxxxxxxx>, ideally prior to the ICANN Vancouver
meeting, so ICANN can use these comments as a basis for continued dialogue.
The Board invites the Registrar Constituency to discuss the settlement with
the Board during the ICANN Vancouver meeting and, additionally, will listen
to comments regarding the settlement during the Vancouver Public Forum.  The
Board has set aside time to meet with the Registrar Constituency in
Vancouver, and staff will follow-up to confirm the details.


The Board appreciates the comments and questions about the settlement posted
in ICANN's public forum and raised in meetings with staff since the
settlement was announced on 24 October.  Additional Q & A's (questions and
answers) will be posted on ICANN's website to address key issues raised and
support further dialogue and consultation.


We appreciate your constituency's efforts to assist the Board in determining
whether the proposed settlement agreement is in the best interests of the
entire Internet community.  We look forward to seeing you and your
colleagues in Vancouver.




Vint Cerf

Vinton G Cerf
Chief Internet Evangelist
Suite 384
13800 Coppermine Road
Herndon, VA 20171
+1 703 234-1823
+1 703-234-5822 (f)
www.google.com <http://www.google.com/> 

--- End Message ---

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