[At-Large] [GTLD-WG] Registrars: The new travel agents? (was Re: Amazon, Google And Others Going After Generics)

Beau Brendler beaubrendler at earthlink.net
Fri Jun 15 21:50:03 UTC 2012

something of an interesting discussion on this growing here:


-----Original Message-----
>From: Evan Leibovitch <evan at telly.org>
>Sent: Jun 15, 2012 4:08 PM
>To: Bret Fausett <bfausett at internet.law.pro>
>Cc: At-Large GTLD WG List <gtld-wg at atlarge-lists.icann.org>, At-Large Worldwide <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
>Subject: Re: [At-Large] [GTLD-WG] Registrars: The new travel agents? (was Re: Amazon, Google And Others Going After Generics)
>On 15 June 2012 15:10, Bret Fausett <bfausett at internet.law.pro> wrote:
>> If Amazon makes domain names available under .SMILE, it will own all the
>> second-level registrations. This certainly makes whois accuracy easy.
>> Amazon will be your one point of contact for everything. I certainly expect
>> that this will make life easier for law enforcement. If Amazon decides to
>> make .SMILE names available to its users, they will use them solely at
>> Amazon's pleasure under Amazon's terms of service.
>So why is this suddenly a problem because it is Amazon behind it?
>I had heard numerous complaints from people that purchased a hosting
>service that came with a "free" domain name -- only to find out later that
>ownership of the domain remained with the hosting company and wouldn't be
>ported to any other hosting service. You were beholden to that hosting
>company, that owned the name and allowed its use it only so long as you
>hosted with them. If you left for another hosting service, they would not
>only hang onto the domain but had the potential to offer it to a competitor
>of yours who hosted with them. All nicely legit, buried in the
>click-through Terms and Conditions.
>There are other, murkier instances in which a web developer does the name
>registration and holds the client hostage to it, trying to have a job for
>life (or big payout).
>I see the scenario you paint above as no different, except that the
>awareness that the domain doesn't belong to you between is known up-front.
>As for "easier for law enforcement", I see that as simply a
>negatively-tainted euphemism for "more transparent".
>I would argue that highly distributed assets like we have under the current
>> registration model provide more power and long-term stability to users who
>> want to have ownership interests in their Internet assets.
>Well, yes, compared to *one* scenario painted by just one of the
>applications. But arguably the status quo serves the needs of those who
>crave such power, and the new models may serve those who don't. In any
>case, I'm concerned by any blanket warnings about the newcomers based on
>one extreme example.
>So now we may have a more diverse group of registration spaces, with highly
>> distributed open models competing with single-registrant, highly controlled
>> models.
>... and hybrids of the two, which I see coming from the likes of Microsoft
>and Google and perhaps others yet-unknown. Let's not describe the whole
>field in terms of its two extremes.
>> But the new model is like trading home ownership for a tenancy in an
>> apartment building.
>As stated above, there are already examples of "domain tenancy" under the
>status quo, most notably in name/hosting bundles, and they have existed
>without concern by ICANN or the industry. So I'm not sure why there's
>suddenly concern about that now.
>> Nevertheless, I hope you, and the rest of the ALAC, give the newcomers the
>> same scrutiny you give to the applicants from the registration industry.
>Well, the newcomers have the goodwill advantage of not having shouted us
>down at meetings, blocked policies advancing the public interest, or
>refused members of the public entry into ICANN-funded meetings and "open"
>negotiations. In this respect, a clean slate is probably a benefit.
>Having said that, I don't expect that At-Large and ALAC will stop serving
>the public interest just because of the new entrants.
>- Evan
>At-Large mailing list
>At-Large at atlarge-lists.icann.org
>At-Large Official Site: http://atlarge.icann.org

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