[At-Large] Sonoma Valley Hospital loses 3-letter domain name to hijackers

Karl Auerbach karl at cavebear.com
Fri Aug 23 18:51:25 UTC 2019

On 8/23/19 11:25 AM, bzs at theworld.com wrote:
> On August 23, 2019 at 08:32 karl at cavebear.com (Karl Auerbach) wrote:
>   > One has to wonder - why is it still ICANN policy to limit domain name contract
>   > terms to a maximum of ten years?
> It doesn't sound like the problem was an expired domain name but
> reading the articles details are sketchy.
> Multi-year fees can get a little tricky in terms of accounting and
> liability.

I agree, the case that started this thread may not have anything to do 
with registration periods.  But that doesn't mean that ICANN's ten year 
maximum term is arbitrary and capricious.  I was around when it happened 
and it was quit literally pulled out of thin air with no discussion, no 
rationale, no nothing - the best word is "fiat".  So why not revisit 
that decision?

Sure, yearly billing can be a nuisance at both ends.  But as they say in 
housing: Why rent when you can own?   ;-)

Why not pay up for the full term at the start?  Wanna buy 100 year 
registration, then pay the 100 year fee?

And I would mention that the service that one gets for that registration 
fee is what?  The *non* deletion of a record (amounting to an almost 
negligible amount of storage) and the operation of some highly amortized 
servers (and an almost negligible amount of bandwidth for any given 
name.)  That aggregates to at most a few cents per name per year - for 
which registries are getting a fiat ICANN permitted monopoly registry 
fee amount that gives rise to profits-over-costs on the order of 
10,000%.  In other words, a 100 year registration ought to have an up 
front-cost that is not much different than a ten year registration.

It is fully possible to register domain names on the basis of service 
costs, rental for a period of years.  For instance in my hypothetical 
.ewe registry names are sold for a small fee - and represented by a 
digital certificate, a kind of bearer instrument (and thus no Whois) and 
no expiration - and revenue is obtained via services for things like 
updating name server records - https://cavebear.com/eweregistry/

(By-the-way, there is, or was, a blockchain based "namecoin" that uses 
the blockchain notion of "exactly one instance" to create a token that 
represents control of a domain name.  The name coin is used as proof of 
control over that name, not as a form of money.)


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