Msg#: 3783448 posted 2:12 pm on Nov 10, 2008 (gmt 0)
ICANN has posted draft contracts for new gTLDs [icann.org]. These contracts contain a Trojan horse that could radically alter pricing of domains in existing gTLDs like .com.
In particular, the draft contracts remove price controls from domain names. According to the draft of new Generic Top-level Domains (gTLD) contracts for Section 7.3 [icann.org]:
Price controls have been removed for 2008 in favor of the transparent pricing model outlined above.
Existing gTLD contracts have an "equal treatment" clause, though, that permits registry operators to copy terms that are accepted by ICANN in other gTLDs. Section 3.2.b) of the .com registry agreement [icann.org] states:
ICANN shall not apply standards, policies, procedures or practices arbitrarily, unjustifiably, or inequitably and shall not single out Registry Operator for disparate treatment unless justified by substantial and reasonable cause.
Thus, existing gTLDs like .com which do have price controls would be able to have those price controls removed if the draft contracts for new gTLDs are adopted as-is.
This would re-open the issue of tiered pricing for domains [webmasterworld.com] that the registry operators lost 2 years ago due to public outcry, when .biz/info/org attempted to remove pricing limits from their contracts. I urge everyone who does not want .tv style pricing in .com or other gTLDs, where the renewal price of any domain can be set unilaterally by the registry operator based on the quality of the domain, to voice their concerns [icann.org] while the public comment period is still open. Once again, ICANN has not been representing the needs of registrants when they produce these sloppy draft contracts that threaten existing domain registrants with unlimited price increases.