[At-Large] Auction Proceeds - where we are and what you can help

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Sun May 14 16:08:01 UTC 2017

On 14 May 2017 at 07:48, Kan Kaili <kankaili at gmail.com> wrote:

> First of all, I do not want to exclude other ways of spending the auction
> revenue, but only to use part of the funds for refund to applicants.

​We're mixing things in a way that isn't helpful.

ICANN accounting has separated the gTLD program out, so there is already an
understanding of what the fees in excess of expenses are. It is reasonable
to advocate for a refund from that that amount.

This email thread regards the disboursement of funds from auction proceeds,
which is a completely separate source of funds and not at all related to
the delivery of the gTLD expansion program. By its very nature it is above
and beyond the official monies collected for administration of the

> However, for those applicants who applied for new gTLDs for REAL usages,
> ICANN clearly over-charged them.  This is not ICANN's fault, but ICANN's
> original calculation of costs was too high without considering the auction
> revenue which happened beyond expectation.  Thus, we OWE them a refund.

​OK. Who is the arbiter of "real" usages?

> Therefore, as ICANN's original purpose of the new gTLD program was to
> facilitate usage of new domain names, refunding those who paid the hefty
> $175K for real usage of new gTLDs would only be natural.  In addition, if
> ICANN's refund is proportional to the real usage of domain names but
> excluds those being parked, it could motivate registries/registrars to
> discourage domain parking in the future.

​An interesting notion. But the industry, which comprises more than half of
ICANN's policy-making body and financially benefits from speculation, would
aggressively resist any such attempt. Also keep in mind that since ICANN's
source of income is domain sales, a reduction in speculative domains
financially damages ICANN itself. So ICANN as an institution will also
oppose any move to reduce domain speculation.​

> Furthermore, it is already recognized that the new gTLD program also has
> its down-sides.

​It is recognized by some stakeholders. As I suggested above, the domain
industry and ICANN itself will vigorously resist any acknowledgement that
there is significant negative impact to gTLD expansion. Just look at the
pushback you receive in the CCT-RT from ICANN staff.​

> One of those is trademark holders are often forced to spend money to
> "defensively register" domain names in new gTLDs, with some of the costs
> substantial.  Thus, using some of the auction revenue to subsidize those
> who suffered from this new gTLD program would also be reasonable.

​This is an interesting concept, but in practice absolutely impossible to
implement. Such a subsidy might be interpreted as not only recognition of
harm but also a recognition of liability.​ As such, ICANN's fairly paranoid
legal staff would never let this idea get any traction.


- Evan​
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://atlarge-lists.icann.org/pipermail/at-large/attachments/20170514/c1f8d1ec/attachment.html>

More information about the At-Large mailing list