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RE: [ga] The Future of Domain Registry Pricing, if left uncapped

  • To: "Neuman, Jeff" <Jeff.Neuman@xxxxxxxxxx>, ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: RE: [ga] The Future of Domain Registry Pricing, if left uncapped
  • From: George Kirikos <gkirikos@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 8 Aug 2006 12:11:42 -0700 (PDT)
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  • In-reply-to: <C6402C6F0493AA4DBCB9E62F0911E1FC018856A2@stntexch06.cis.neustar.com>
  • Sender: owner-ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Hi Jeff,

--- "Neuman, Jeff" <Jeff.Neuman@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> With respect to .BIZ, while it is true that there are no contractual
> prohibitions in the new draft contracts on raising the pricing for
> .BIZ
> domain names (other than providing 6 months notice to registrars), we
> also operate in a real-world competitive market, where we are tying
> our
> best to compete with the .com/.net registry operator that controls
> 85%
> of the gTLD market and growing. Regardless of what you may believe,
> the
> reality is that VeriSign controls pricing for the entire industry.

I can understand the desire of the registries and even ICANN to have
some business certainty. However, instead of being a "win-win-win"
scenario whereby that business certainty is achieved ALONGSIDE
increased certainty for consumers (domain registrants), that certainty
as written into the current draft contracts is currently at the EXPENSE
of consumers. We have win-win-lose at present, as drafted. Registrants
have all the uncertainty -- their domains might cost substantially more
in the future, with the potential for unlimited price increases. All
that the General Counsel has said so far is that we have the 6 month
notice period, and the ability to renew our domains for 10 years to
protect us. Frankly, that's just not good enough. 

As a sign of good faith, would Neustar agree as a simple matter that
the draft contracts be amended to forbid differential pricing on a
domain-by-domain basis, i.e. to forbid .tv-style non-neutral and
discriminatory pricing? There are lots of other things wrong with the
contract, but that stands out as an egregious possibility the way the
current contract is written. It echoes the "net neutrality" debate
going on elsewhere. My interpretation of the current proposed contracts
is that you can raise the price to USD $1 billion/yr for Google.biz or
Sex.biz or Movies.biz if you wanted to, or any other arbitrary number,
and charge less for lower quality domains, by making Exhibit E (page
80) of the Appendix into a domain-by-domain pricing schedule:


So, is this something the registries are prepared to give on, that
there not be discrimination on a domain by domain basis? Or, are you
going to fight tooth and nail to keep nothing forbidden, and ask us to
"trust you", instead of to believe what's actually in the contract? As
we all know, whatever is not forbidden in the contract is allowed, so
it's important that basic things like this are enshrined in any new

I look forward to your reply, or to you ignoring the question (in which
case, we'll all know you want to keep nothing forbidden).


George Kirikos

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