[At-Large] ICANN financials

Karl Auerbach karl at cavebear.com
Thu Apr 14 03:54:07 UTC 2011

On 04/13/2011 08:32 PM, Jorge Amodio wrote:
> The name of the game is "Collect as much as you can and distribute
> among friends and supporters".
> Non-profit charitable corporation ?

And, amazingly enough, some people though Verisign was being generous 
when they kicked in $500,000 to "sponsor" the San Francisco ICANN 
meeting last month.

Let's see, if you let me take $700,000,000 from the community of 
internet users, and I give you $500,000 - or 1/1400th - 0.07% - of the 
amount you've let me take from the public - then is that generosity, a 
paltry token in ICANN's tin cup, or something else of a much darker nature?

The amount of that registry fee is grounded nothing more than the 
assertion - an assertion made without supporting evidence - that 
Verisign needs that 7% registration fee every year in order to cover 
costs.  (Similar gifts are made to the other registries.)

There are reasons to believe that the actual costs are a tiny portion - 
pennies on the dollar - of the registry fees that ICANN allows.

Has ICANN ever bothered to ask, much less demand, what the registry 
costs really are?


Why not?

One reason is that everybody who has a say is happy as a clam - the 
registries make lots of $$, ICANN gets lots of bennies from the registry 
community, governments don't mind, registrars have learned to quietly 
eat registry fee increases, and the intellectual property protection 
industry doesn't care if someone else also makes money - the only one 
who takes it on the chin is the community of internet users.  And in 
ICANN they are virtually without voice and thus do not matter.

In the area of registry fees the community of internet users is a 
"stakeholder" only in that a stake has been driven through our 
collective wallet.


More information about the At-Large mailing list