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

  • To: ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Re: [ga] The Future of Domain Registry Pricing, if left uncapped
  • From: George Kirikos <gkirikos@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2006 11:33:33 -0700 (PDT)
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--- Veni Markovski <veni@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
> At 07:13 AM 09.8.2006 '?.'  -0700, George Kirikos wrote:
> >--- Veni Markovski <veni@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > > >Was ICANN lying to the court that price caps are considered
> > > >pro-competitve? Or were they telling the truth?
> > >
> > > Again, questions which result in you expecting an ICANN position,
> > > should be addressed to the President, or the Chair.
> >
> >Nice try at not answering. :) If you did answer, it would destroy
> your
> >argument, that is why you prefer to pretend you're not allowed to
> >answer.
> Dear George,
> I don't pretend, and I don't say I am not allowed to answer. Again - 
> a good example of how you are using my words to fit your ideas. I am 
> afraid, that's a wrong approach.
> >That's because there is no way to wiggle around the question and
> >explain how ICANN can say in court that caps are pro-competitive,
> but
> >then introduce contracts that eliminate caps. Either caps are
> >pro-competitive, or they are not pro-competitive.
> But that's your question, and you are free to address it to ICANN. 
> Have you done so?
> >It's very simple. Choosing not to answer is an
> >admission
> You wish it's simple. Fact is that you are speculating on what 
> someone has said somewhere, and you continue not asking this someone 
> what exactly they said (if you can't read it on your own), or 
> misinterprete what you read. And in any case, the response you are 
> getting does not fit your goals, that's why you prefer to ignore it, 
> and start a discussion with me, and asking me what I think. That is, 
> to say, you move the conversation from the real topic, to a fake one,
> created by you.

Hardly. ICANN is on the record saying in court that price caps are
pro-competitive in a single source supplier environment. One can go
read the court documents oneself, to see if it was pulled out of
context, or is a "fake topic" or is a misrepresentation or
misinterpretation. And, they are also on the record of posting on their
website .biz/info/org contracts which they've negotiated that lift all
price caps. These are undeniable facts. Twomey and Jeffreys have been
written to in the past, and they calculatingly do not respond. Why
don't you ask them again, and post their responses, to demonstrate that
they do wish to answer....
> >NSI is still charging $35 because they can get away with it due to
> >automatic rebilling, unwillingless to lose bundled services
> >(email/hosting), inertia etc.
> Excuse me, but what's your background? How many experience in the 
> Internet industry you have, and in what capacity? I have a reason to 
> ask you thi.

You wanted to nominate me to the Board? Thanks for thinking of me,
you're a true friend, but.....

If you really do want to know...  Undergraduate degree in economics and
commerce (dual specialist, minor in physics although I took the
specialist level courses), M.A. in Economics (all the Ph.D. courses
finished, but no dissertation as I got very distracted by business; one
day I hope to go back and get the dissertation done, for purely
personal reasons -- wouldn't make me earn any more money than I make
now). Published articles in a couple of journals, see:

http://www.powerfinance.com/convexity/ [RISK Magazine]
http://www.mgmt.utoronto.ca/~kan/research.htm [Biases in Evaluating
Trading Strategies]

[articles that have been cited by others, if one searches Google
Scholar or the web or citation indexes; indeed, my convexity adjustment
on interest rate futures contracts is considered the "standard
approach" now for traders; I considered it too minor to turn it into a
dissertation, though --- I have higher personal standards of

Winner of national and provincial scholarships (e.g. SSHRC Doctoral
Fellowship) and other academic awards. Did you want me to send you my
highschool or kindergarten report cards...they're all good.  :)

I've been using the internet since before there was a WWW. And
computers back when the Commodore Pet (4K model) was introduced, and
was being used for "enrichment" for talented students in grade 7 who
got to go to nearby colleges to use them. Back when there were 300 baud
and 1200 baud modems, and dial up BBSes, and gateways to Usenet,
Fidonet, etc. Back before folks were even using floppy disks regularly,
but cassettes. I'm not as old as Vint, though. :) I do remember punch
cards, however (never used them personally, but I still might have a
stash of them).

I've been a domain registrant since the late 1990's. My financial
software company has had dozens of large financial institutions (banks,
mutual funds, government) as clients (although I've transitioned almost
entirely out of that business and into web publishing). Owner of
successful websites which serve millions of users per year.  A Tucows
reseller, although at present mostly for my own domain names. Active on
all the important domain registrant message boards (DNForum,
DomainState, etc.). Contributor of stories to ICANNWatch, CircleID.
Active participant in the WLS debate (which drew me into ICANN circles
in the first place), and subsequent ICANN issues. Current member of the
Business Constituency (although I speak only for myself and my company,
not for anyone else) due to my web publishing interests. If you check
the different types of BC members,  I have a "Category 1" company:


which gives you a "floor" on my income (i.e. it's higher than Category
3). Yes, there are successful people on the GA list, many far more
successful than myself who lurk. We know business, a lot better than
many of the Board members. And we haven't forgotten our roots, and
still look out for our smaller brothers and sisters.

I take no money for consulting on domain issues or representing other
companies in matters (I am entirely independent and self-supporting
through my businesses). I've turned down offers. :) See a recent
transcript of a Tucows online chat:


whether my credentials and technical background are ok. (and comments
by Tucows CEO at 13:10:54).

Oh, and I was at the forefront, ahead of the curve, on the SiteFinder
debate (see www.verisignsucks.com, mobilizing the forces of good
against the forces of darkness). I was against it and urging ICANN to
pre-emptively stop it, even before it had launched. Where were you back
then? If SiteFinder never launched, we wouldn't have your new bad
contracts as there wouldn't have been the lawsuit.


That was on September 9, 2003. SiteFinder didn't launch until September


And, others had expressed similar concerns back when Neustar Wildcarded
.biz and .us earlier in 2003. 


I guess we don't know what we're doing, but ICANN board members know
better --- keep repeating that to yourself, and maybe you'll convince
yourself of it, when documented facts and timelines say otherwise.
Admit it, you were all asleep at the wheel, and now we are all paying
the price for your incompetence. A multibillion dollar price.

I've also mastered time-zone math:


which is important for those international ICANN endeavours. Obviously
there are some on the Board who have not.....

Maybe one day when I'm a has-been, I'll run for the Board. ;) Please
don't nominate me yet, though, as I'm not interested at this time. I
have a lot more to accomplish in the real world, instead of the
make-believe ICANN universe.

Notice you won't even answer whether you agree that price caps are
pro-competitive, lol. Whereas I answered your question.
> >Your veni.com is registered with NSI. If
> >you try to transfer your domain to another registrar, watch what
> >happens -- they will send you offers to lower the price of renewals.
> :)
> Have you tried that? I happen to be admin contact - for historic 
> reasons (people in Bulgaria didn't have a credit card, I did) - to 
> more domains at NS. I've moved quite a lot of them to Tucows. Don't 
> remember ever having a problem, or getting offers as you say. I 
> wonder why... Perhaps because they have not consulted with you?!

Probably because you don't read the transfer emails or the transfer
screens (I do, as I acquire domains registered at NSI and immediately
transfer them to Tucows). They don't prevent people from leaving, but
they do try to keep them by lowering the price. They're less aggressive
these days, though, than in the past.

> >Price does matter.
> Really? So, do you drive accorss the city to buy cheaper gas?

I'm smart enough not to own a car. :) I do use www.pricegrabber.com or
other tools to save money, though, on the purchases I make. I also keep
a RSS feed of www.redflagdeals.com. A penny saved is worth *2* pennies
earned when one is in the highest tax brackets. I take my lessons from
Warren Buffett, who knows the value of not overpaying for stuff, and
living frugally. 

> >No it's not irrelevant. It's entirely relevant, because it destroys
> >your argument. GoDaddy is twice the size of NSI, and started from 0.
> >They've gained that market share largely due to price.
> Can you quote some source for that conclusion? Survey, business 
> analysis, etc.?

Common sense. It's a fact that GoDaddy is twice the size of NSI.


Name Intelligence can verify this. Read the customer comments on
GoDaddy's blogs. Read the domain name message boards about people
wanting $6.95 eNom reseller accounts. Read ICANN's own statements,
about how industry average prices have declined. Go ask the Registrar's
Constituency and individual  registrars whether price is important.
Bring back a list to me of the ones that are for price increases by
registries -- I suspect that list will be nearly empty.

You've brought up NSI repeatedly. But, did you take note of what the
CEO of Network Solutions said to the US Government regarding the .com
deal, which you voted for:


"Kicking off the side opposing the deal was Network Solutions CEO Champ
Mitchell, who said that the .com deal "shocks the conscience."

Shocks the conscience. Yet, you had no problems voting for it. Fancy
> >Very few people
> >actively "choose" NSI -- they're at the default legacy registrar for
> >historical reasons, and due to things like rebilling, or lack of
> >technical expertise at moving their domains to other registrars, or
> not
> >wanting to lose bundled services like e-mail or webhosting, and
> often
> >due to FUD, scare tactics that if they switch from NSI something bad
> >might happen.
> Can you quote some source for this statement? Or these are your
> observations?

Observations of myself and many others. 

> > > > > George, why today there are companies that charge more than
> the $
> > > 6?
> > > > > Will they increase their prices, if VeriSign increased their
> > > price,
> > > > > or they will keep the price, and lower their profit? You care
> > > about
> > > > > registrants, you say. I do, too. But for the normal
> registrants,
> > > not
> > > > > for the commercial ones. You say you care about registrants,
> but
> > > do
> > > > > you believe they will be influenced by price increase? Or by
> new
> > > > > TLDs? Why not use the ccTLDs?
> > > >
> > > >Your "solution" is for people who already have established their
> > > >presence on the internet is to switch to a different TLD, or a
> > > ccTLD?
> > >
> > > Will you be nice enough to point me how did you reach from my
> words
> > > to your conclusions? I somehow don't see the link. And I think
> it's
> > > not on purpose that you've made it on your own.
> >
> >Sure, I'd be happy to point out how. You wrote "Why not  use the
> >ccTLDs?"
> I wrote something more. You can, but you should not quote only parts 
> of what one says. You should know by now quite well that rule. Read 
> everything, from the beginning, read my statements at the Board, and 
> then come back here.
> >amount, money that they could spend on other goods and services.
> We're
> >talking billions of dollars in aggregate,
> No, I am talking about probably 7 % of $ 6.

You see this as a 42 cent issue, whereas it's a multibillion dollar
issue.  Re-read what Champ Mitchell said. It "shocks the conscience".
Maybe you should have talked to Champ Mitchell before you voted.

> >haha And you respond by asking a "leading question"!! :) I ask
> >questions that you can't wiggle out of, that are very direct and
> >precise. That's why you prefer not to answer them directly, or at
> all.
> That's typical of your questions. You ask me something that you 
> should ask the CEO and the Chair. Then you make a point why I don't 
> respond to you. Well, here's a simple answer: I respond to questions 
> which are addressed to me. If you ask me something about ISOC, I will
> not respond, and will point you to Lynn St. Amour. There is some 
> order in questions, and there's some order in answers.
> >P.S. Did someone at ICANN suggest that registrants eat cake, while
> you
> >were feasting on lobster, caviar and filet mignon?
> Actually someone alredy suggested that I should not be responding to 
> you (based on history, I guess). But fact is I am not responding to 
> you. I just can't let such statements remain unanswered. So I am 
> rathter responding to the other people on the list, than to you.
> And you surely have noticed that my response to you is quite 
> different from my response to Karl, for example.

Advice from Chuck, or Jeff or other people who've unwittingly made
themselves and their companies look foolish after answering a question
poorly, and not thinking through the ramifications of their answers?
Karl's a pussycat. I'm a lion. :) I can understand your desire to not
be embarrassed at having to explain ICANN's bad decisions, decisions
that you helped approve. When you're tired of the little leagues, and
are ready to graduate to the majors, my questions will still be there.
Take a look at the history of questions other folks asked about
SiteFinder, WLS, etc., and see who brought them up first. ;) The
questions don't disappear just because you won't answer them coming
from me. 


George Kirikos

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