[At-Large] R: Fwd: [] Final Issue Report on New gTLD Subsequent Procedures

Roberto Gaetano roberto_gaetano at hotmail.com
Thu Dec 10 10:41:08 UTC 2015

I remember the early discussions on the ICANN Board about the introduction
of new TLDs.
When discussing the risk of failure of the new TLDs, I said that I did not
understand where was the problem: we could, for instance, have a .lousy TLD,
with names sold at a bargain price, but no guarantee of continuity, and a
.perfect TLD with a different profile, but at a higher price. And the
consumer will choose, knowing the risk and advantages in either case.
To a certain extent, this is what is happening now - for sure there are TLDs
that face a higher risk of failure than others - and in the medium term
prices will adjust to this.

> -----Messaggio originale-----
> Da: at-large-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org [mailto:at-large-
> bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org] Per conto di Karl Auerbach
> Inviato: giovedì 10 dicembre 2015 10:56
> A: at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org
> Oggetto: Re: [At-Large] Fwd: [] Final Issue Report on New gTLD Subsequent
> Procedures
> On 12/9/15 11:31 PM, Avri Doria wrote:
> > On 09-Dec-15 17:56, Christopher Wilkinson wrote:
> >> More generally, TLD policy should protect the Registrant. Apparently
> is not part of the new gTLD deal. Or is it?
> > To an extent.  ...
> I very much agree with Avri's positions here.
> ICANN was not constructed to be a consumer protection agency.  It was
> constructed to assure stability - in fact in the beginning the word
> was always pre-pended to "stability".  Stability is not permanency.  A DNS
> is stable if it doesn't wobble within time frames measured in weeks and
> months.  But "stability" of anything related to the internet does not
> to terms measured by unbounded numbers of years.
> Now it is true, and remains true, that ICANN denies third party
> rights to registrants.  Thus domain name registrants have no legal
standing to
> compel TLD operators to meet existing ICANN established standards of
> operational quality.  That is something that would be very valuable and
> be easy to put into place but which ICANN has resisted for its entire
> existence.  If anything should be fixed, it is that.
> The question should be: "How much larger do we want ICANN's already large
> footprint to become?"
> ICANN's regulatory footprint is already large and heavy.
> ICANN required TLD applicants to set aside a full three years of operating
> costs - that was something I have not seen in any other area of business,
> even businesses that involve human health and safety.  That cost was an
> enormous burden to applicants, and prevented many people and groups to
> refrain from even bothering to apply for a TLD.  Isn't three years of
> operations "stable"? Should it be ten years, fifty years, a century?
> And ICANN already requires the new TLD operators to have hired backup
> operators on hot standby.  That added no small amount of initial cost and
> creates a significant operational overhead cost.
> Much of what is being proposed strikes me as a revival of centralized
> year style planning, but this time for the internet.  I can't say that
that kind of
> centralized planning has had a great history of success.  And success is
> particularly unlikely for something that is so rapidly changing and
evolving as
> the internet.
> I remember back in the early 1970's when we were playing with packet
> switched networks that the telephone companies were raising the roofs
> claiming that we were playing with fire, that we would destroy the wonder-
> of-the-world which was the national and international telephone network.
> They were right; we did, eventually.  But it was not the economic disaster
> that was predicted.
> ICANN can not be, and ought not to be, a guarantor of anything more than
> the technical quality of upper tier DNS operations.  To do more risks
> strangling the golden goose of the internet or, more likely, sending the
> elsewhere.
> The example of VW's cheating on emissions was raised as some sort of
> analogy to ICANN.  I do not see that analogy.  In the VW case, express
> statements were made to governments and buyers that vehicles would
> meet certain emission, power, and mileage numbers. Explicit promises to
> buyers were knowingly and intentionally broken - or in the words of the
> there was a misstatement of material facts upon which people relied to
> detriment - in a word, fraud.  In most places fraud is unlawful and those
> harmed can bring actions to recover their losses.  And when really bad,
> can rise to the criminal level and those responsible be punished.
> No such promises are made by either ICANN nor TLD sellers beyond that TLD
> operations will meet certain minimum ICANN established requirements.  And
> no one has said that those requirements are not being met.
> ICANN's own long term requirement for many TLDs that domain names
> registrations be limited to no more than ten years undercuts arguments
> domain name buyers some how believe that acquisition of domain names is
> something with permanency similar to a common law fee simple absolute
> right in real property.  Even the word "registration" rather than
> tends to suggest impermanence.
> I believe that some of the new TLD offerings did make it part of their
> business plans to provide very long term guarantees.  But if I remember
> correctly, those offerings were orders of magnitude more expensive per
> year than the more routine TLD offerings.  In other words, consumers have
> options to purchase long term guarantees by choosing those TLDs that make
> such warranties.
> If one pushes ICANN to be a consumer protection agency than domain name
> prices will be forced to significantly rise.  Consider how much it would
cost to
> acquire an business continuation insurance policy. The actuaries will
crank the
> numbers in order to maintain 100% continuity for an indefinite period in
> face of even unforeseeable risks and come up with a whopping dollar
> number that will strangle DNS innovation or drive people to do what has
> always been possible but always been dismissed because the existing system
> runs very well: competing DNS systems outside of the ICANN realm.
> But if one looks at an even longer time scale - say ten years - it is
> very clear that DNS names - which includes all TLDs - are slowly
submerging to
> become internal internet machinery and not really of much interest to
> Things like Facebook and Twitter handles and URL's (which don't need to
> contain domain names at all) are becoming the names and addresses of the
> internet.  In that future *all* TLDs are at risk of loosing revenue
> ICANN is already bloated to the degree that one fears that it is at risk
> just one thin wafer (that's a Monty Python reference). There is not much
> that is funny when one begins to compare ICANN's staff size and budgets to
> that of the ITU (especially if one plots the growth of those numbers of
> body over time and asks "when will they intersect?")
>          --karl--
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