[NA-Discuss] "Chicken and Egg" Problem

Garth Bruen at Knujon.com gbruen at knujon.com
Mon Apr 2 16:27:51 UTC 2012

(Apologies for list cross-posts)


Recent discussions with ICANN compliance have revealed what appears to be a 
new standard (or perhaps it was always the standard) for triggering 
Registrar contract obligations. According to compliance, certain contract 
obligations (like posting of policies, terms, pricing and WHOIS) cannot be 
enforced until the Registrar actually sponsors domain names.

This came up because several new Registrars did not appear to have these 
basic components on their websites (some had no website at all). Compliance 
stated the obligations could not be enforced because the Registrars in 
question had no domains yet.

In my view this presents a number of problems. The first is that Registrars 
should demonstrate their ability and willingness to provide required 
services before sponsoring domain names. The second is that it would seem a 
Registrar could be non-transparent to their first customer, hence 
"chicken-and-egg."  Signing of the contract should the trigger these 
requirements not the presence of domain names.

One additional problem is a little more complex. A Registrar called 
Nameescape.com LLC has no operational website, this has been the case for 
several years and possibly since they were accredited. This Registrar is a 
Moniker shell company, who already has 109 superfluous accreditations. At 
one point the cartels would at least attempt to appear independent, now it 
seems there is no long even a pretense and accreditations can simply become 
"placeholders." This isn't a simple problem since these additional 
accreditations allow Moniker to add $436,000 to ICANN's coffers each year, 
and now it appears they don't have to pretend to actually want to sell 
domain names. It's something to think about as we continue to discuss COI.

Thanks, Garth


Garth Bruen
gbruen at knujon.com

The Death of the Internet: How It May Happen and How It Can Be Stopped, 
Linkedin Group: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1870205
Blog: http://www.circleid.com/members/3296/
Twitter: @Knujon

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