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ICANN Meeting on Registry Contracts: Date MOVED UP! (Was 9/13, now 9/7)

ICANN Strategy: 1st a dearth of public issue notice, now shortened hearing date



9:34 pm on Aug 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

<Moderator Note: The initial history of the contract revision issue, including the lack of public awareness of the significant contract changes, can be found here. [webmasterworld.com]

First, we should appreciate the hard work of everyone who got the word out, did the legwork and wrote letters before Monday's 5:00 p.m. deadline at ICANN.

Now, it's on to Stage 2: Writing our elected officials.

This will pertain manly to U.S. webmasters, so webmasters outside the U.S. may wish to start a separate thread. It'll keep things better organized, and minimize fighting words between those who disagree on who should oversee ICANN. ;-)

We have more time to compose our thoughts this time around, but still not a whole lot of time. I am still compiling the list of contacts and useful information and hope to post that soon. I would think that we want to get letters and eMails in to the elected officials no later than September 7th, to give them time to study the issue and put some pressure on ICANN before their September 13th meeting.

I think it is important that we get our wording right, too. I think that quality will matter more than quantity. While a big bag of mail on an elected officials desk may impress, if the content is not of high quality, it will likely earn the equivalent of Google's duplicate content penalty. ;-)

So, let's make sure we understand things correctly, and that we word our responses appropriately. Please feel free to correct anyone, including myself, that gives mistaken or incorrect information. My only motivation is to get ICANN to change these agreements, and I will gladly defer to those more knowledgeable than myself.

Aside from writing our elected officials, anyone know of anything else we should be doing? I still think getting the word out in general is still a good idea.

[edited by: ccDan at 9:35 pm (utc) on Aug. 31, 2006]

[edited by: Webwork at 9:06 pm (utc) on Sep. 5, 2006]


3:46 pm on Sep 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Better to write to the USDOJ Antitrust Division:


While ICANN might ignore politicians, it's hard to ignore the Department of Justice, unless you are very stupid.


3:37 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The September 13th Board meeting date has been pushed up to September 7th:


7 September 2006
Special Meeting of the Board

Proposed Approval of Global IPv6 Policy Recommendation
Update on US DOC Discussions
Review of Public Comments and Discussion of proposed .BIZ, .INFO, and .ORG Registry Agreements


8:00 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Unless the date was moved up because ICANN has had a change of heart, due to the public outcry about the proposed contract changes, then moving the date up - effectively shortening time time for the public outcry to gain further traction - is a sign that something is rotten somewhere. The light has been turned on and there are only so many ways to scurry for cover. One is to hasten to do the dirty deed and then posture that it's a fait accompli, a thing that is already done so there is nothing else to do about it.

Pity ICANN if the outcome of the expedited meeting is to do what they apparently planned to do all along: Sign the contracts.

I've yet to see the record of data and other facts that was "extensively considered and discussed" anywhere. How does one comment about a process that is so entirely non-transparent, despite the plain language of their by-laws calling for transparency.

Why the rush?

Public input? Public comment? Public responsiveness?

September 7th will speak volumes.

Let's see if any of the 3 registries speaks publicly to the issue of the outcry. Silence on their part will also speak volumes.

[edited by: Webwork at 8:04 pm (utc) on Sep. 5, 2006]


8:35 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Is there any guidline out there for writing to the DOJ antitrust division?


8:51 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

What's with the hostility? There's no indication that the board will be voting on the contracts at the next meeting, or even during any of their several September meetings. The agreements, themselves, are still in the draft stages.

Is your issue with PIR/Afilias/NeuStar? Did you want someone else to manage those TLDs?

ccDan: Please reiterate your position and please note the documents/positions you are in disagreement with.


8:52 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Probably best not to create a "template" for US DOJ complaints -- individually submitted and different ones likely have more impact than cut/paste jobs.

As for the date being moved up, SUPPOSEDLY it is due to IPv6 policy timelines:


but, it's not going to surprise me if they use the opportunity to approve the proposed contracts before others can react.


10:15 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Okay ... it looks like the issue that's sticking in the craw is the "variable pricing" section of the new agreement drafts.

Is that it? That's what the DoJ should be contacted about?

The "suicide" Mr. Cerf was referring to is the same "suicide" that is a feature of any competitive marketplace: Where an individual vendor prices themselves out of business.

Registrar A decides that sex.org should cost $1billion.
Registrar B decides to offer it for $14.95.

Market forces dictate that Registrar B will get the business, because Registrar A is living in a fantasy world. (Only .biz, .info and .org tlds are POSSIBLY affected ... the agreements are still in draft form.)

<edit>Note that ICANN, PIR, and the other registrar management groups are NOT the ones who will be setting prices ... the individual registrars will be. That means GoDaddy, Register.com and the others. There won't be any problem finding a less-expensive registration fee. There certainly will not be ONLY one registrar handling any tld. If there is collusion, then THAT is where a lawsuit should be focused, not on the group that gave the final OK to the possibility of market forces acting on registration fee pricing.</edit>

For those of you who are of the belief that ICANN is shifting its meeting schedule around to keep you from being heard, please remember that the public comment period officially expired on August 28, 2006, not today, in order for the public comments (y'all made some comments, right?) to be compiled, prepared and distributed to the Board members in time for the early September meeting (telephonic). If anything, bumping up the meeting date will be a hardship for ICANN staffers, not for any of us ... our comments went out a week ago, at the latest.

Lastly, ICANN's volunteer Board reviews, discusses and makes decisions based on a lot of information. Most of the information comes from the GNSO and is then filtered through ICANN staffers before it is presented to ICANN's Board. I don't think I've heard any complaints about ICANN that couldn't be attributed to the GNSO, frankly. If the GNSO fails to consider public commentary before submitting their recommendations to ICANN's Board, what do you want the Board to do ... run out and get a bunch more comments during their 1-2 hours phone conferences?

Let's try and keep this productive, instead of issuing calls to the DoJ to institute anti-trust proceedings (for ... what? Not enough registrars?) against an organization chosen by the DoC. Use the ICANN forums and contact info to express yourself. Just, please, explore the idea that ICANN's Board is probably not the source of your irritation, regardless of what the media and several posters in these forums say.

[edited by: StupidScript at 10:24 pm (utc) on Sep. 5, 2006]


10:21 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

So are there provisions in place to ensure reliable, no-hassle transfers from Registrar A to Registrar B (or C or D or E...) when you find out that Registrar A intends to charge an exorbitant amount for renewing one of your existing domain registrations?


10:24 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You bet. A registrar can lose their accreditation if they don't follow them.


10:36 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

StupidScript - your suggestion that "all you have to do is transfer your domain from (expensive) Register A to (cheap) Register B" is just plain wrong.

In the scenario contemplated by the proposed agreements it will be the registry, not the registrar, setting the variable price.

The fact that StupidScript holds this mistaken belief is proof of how misinformed or uniformed and badly informed the public is about the import and impact of the proposed changes. If a WebmasterWorld member fails to grasp what's going on then what about the other 10 million domain registrants, who are even less clued in?

Go take a look at how .tv works. It's not the individual registrars setting the price of .tv domains, nor do they set the renewal fee. It's the central registry. There is NO competitive pricing for .tv domains. IF the .tv registry pegs the price for Widgets.biz at $15,000.00 then every registrar starts with that price basis.

Get it? Register A $15,000 to renew. Register B $15,000 to renew. Register Z $15,000 to renew. All set in place by the central registry.

Read the contracts and then go visit .tv.

[edited by: Webwork at 11:57 pm (utc) on Sep. 5, 2006]


11:33 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

<Removed off topic material>

Re Variable Fee Structure:
From the .BIZ DRAFT Agreement (the other 2 share this text):

"3.1 (d)(iii) Registry Services. Registry Services are, for purposes of this Agreement, defined as the following: (a) those services that are both (i) operations of the registry critical to the following tasks: the receipt of data from registrars concerning registrations of domain names and name servers; provision to registrars of status information relating to the zone servers for the TLD; dissemination of TLD zone files; operation of the registry zone servers; and dissemination of contact and other information concerning domain name server registrations in the TLD as required by this Agreement; and (ii) provided by the Registry Operator for the .biz registry as of the Effective Date as set forth on Appendix 9; (b) other products or services that the Registry Operator is required to provide because of the establishment of a Consensus Policy (as defined in Section 3.1(b) above); (c) any other products or services that only a registry operator is capable of providing, by reason of its designation as the registry operator; and (d) material changes to any Registry Service within the scope of (a), (b) or (c) above."

I'll try, again: The registration fee associated with obtaining or perpetuating domain "ownership" is set by the registrars. It's never been set by the registry service providers, and these three new DRAFT agreements do not change that.

This is intended to address an inequity in the current system where registrars were able to demand access to unlimited registry services provided by the gTLD managers at a flat rate, resulting in overburdening of some management sectors with no additional resources available to the manager to compensate. The registrars will be paying the money to the managers to address this. We won't be paying the money to the registrars. There may be some trickle-down effect, but rest assured that the day of the $15,000 domain registration will not be ushered in by the potential adoption of this DRAFT agreement.

I do agree with Webwork, though: "how misinformed and uniformed and how badly informed the public is" is definitely coming into play. If only we could get these issues onto the nightly news ... hmmm. Absent that, the onus is on each of us to be vigilant and to seek out avenues for discussion, of which this thread (and its predecessors) is a fine example.

[edited by: StupidScript at 11:41 pm (utc) on Sep. 5, 2006]

[edited by: Webwork at 11:51 pm (utc) on Sep. 5, 2006]
[edit reason] Keeping focus [/edit]


11:41 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

StupidScript, here's what ICANN says: [icann.org]

Lifting of Price Controls on Registry Services. Following extensive consideration and discussion, each of the proposed new .BIZ, .INFO and .ORG registry agreements provide for the lifting of price controls formerly imposed on the pricing of registry services. However, in order to protect incumbent domain name registrants and allow time for planning by those in the registry and registrar communities, the form of registry-registrar agreement proposed with each of the new registry agreements requires six months advance notice by the registry operator of any price increase in registry services. This is consistent with the notice period required under the registry-registrar agreement implemented with the 2005 .NET registry agreement, and the registry-registrar agreement included with the proposed new .COM registry agreement.

Notice the part about "protect incumbent name registrants"? Protect from what? Why is that in there? I'd say it's an obvious, if weak, protection from price abuse. To deny the import of that clause "protect incumbent name registrants" is to call 900 people stupid, Stupid. ;)

Actually, I don't think you are calling all of us stupid. I think what you are saying is "trust us". I think you are saying "We won't use that power". "Maybe and maybe not" is the best response I can come up with. What happens when the management or control of the registry falls into more profit driven hands and minds? Nooooo . . that will never happen. CraigsList will never sell out to Ebay . . Open source will never be co-opted by industry . . Pluto will always be a planet . . and so it goes.

The indisputable fact is that when the registry sets the base price for domains, with its monopoly power, there will be nowhere to turn "for a better deal". If there is domain discriminatory power - setting a price "by domain name" - then every registrar will have to charge at least that price.

It's reality StupidScript, only you're not getting it, no matter how hard you try. I'd say it's more an issue of disbelief than stupidity. Your head just can't get itself around what is being contemplated . . but it is beyond being wontemplated. ICANN wrote the contract. Believe.

"Protect incumbent name holders" means exactly what it says: We, ICANN, in order to protect incumbent domain holders from REGISTRY sticker shock, will require THE REGISTRY OPERATOR (not REGISTRAR) to give six months advance notice.

There will be nowhere to run, hide or get a better deal when the sticker shock originates FROM THE REGISTRY.

Sorry you're not getting any clearer about this StupidScript but it is what is it and some 900+ people expressed their dismay at ICANN.


[edited by: Webwork at 4:59 am (utc) on Sep. 6, 2006]


11:55 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


StupidScript, you don't seem to understand that the registries set wholesale prices for registrars. With unlimited pricing power as allowed in the proposed contracts, nothing would prevent the registries from setting the wholesale renewal price on a domain-by-domain basis. Even ICANN's Chairman has confirmed this interpretation (after he consulted with ICANN's General Counsel and external counsel), see the prior discussion at:


Thus, sex.biz/info/org's renewal price could be set at $1 million/yr. All the registry has to do is give 6 month's notice, and continue to allow renewal at the old price ($6/yr) for up to 10 years from the present. But, after 10 years (assuming the registrant renewed for the max), the registrant would not be able to avoid the price increase, even by switching registrars, as the WHOLESALE price would be the same for all registrars. The retail price to registrants would be a markup from the wholesale cost (e.g. GoDaddy might charge $1 million + $2, whereas NSI might charge $1 million + $35, or whatever).

[edited by: Webwork at 12:01 am (utc) on Sep. 6, 2006]
[edit reason] Keeping focus. Please start a separate thread to address ICANN action on other issue [/edit]


12:14 am on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Webwork: Yeah, I've been keeping up with it. As Chairman of the Board of the LA Chapter of ISOC, I have participated in many discussions about these issues with clarification from ICANN staffers and Board members including Vint Cerf. I stand by my (our) interpretation.

I simply don't see how y'all can think that this will lead to the kind of abuse you describe. I really don't. $15,000 domain registration fees because one gTLD management group somehow made the insane decision that one particular domain name could bring that amount? As Mr. Cerf said: "Suicidal". You can bet that management group's contract would expire shortly after the 120-day out clause went into effect.

BTW, Webwork, it's "Mr. Script", if you won't use the whole nick. We're not quite on a first-name basis, yet. ;)

And, GeorgeK: The prices for registry services that we are talking about are set by the registry service providers and are paid by the registrars. What the service providers did not have the flexibility to do, before these agreements were drafted, was to receive more than the flat rate charged a registrar on a per-domain basis regardless of how many subdomains needed to be managed.

If you are a domain-holder for a single-level domain, you will be paying the going rate for a simple registration, just like now.

If, however, you are the holder of a domain with many, many subdomains, then the registrar may be asked by the registry management group for that gTLD to pay more for that particular domain, because it takes more resources to manage than a typical domain. And in that you are correct: The costs being charged to the registrar will more than likely be passed to the owner of the multi-level domain. It's a resources management thing.

The multi-level domain holders are the ones who will need the advance notice when a service provider will be increasing their fees to the registrar to manage that particular domain and its subdomains. Depending on how much the registrar likes that particular domain holder's business, they may or may not pass on the cost.

An honest dollar for honest work.


1:24 am on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If folks would find it helpful, here is a summary of several links to information on this subject. The confusion between monopoly pricing power at the Registry level (only one entity per extension) vs. competitive pricing at the Registrar level (multiple competing entities) crops up often... even among people who are generally Internet savvy. The following readings should clarify this distinction -- as well as outline some of the key economic and legal issues involved. I have not posted here often. If any of what I have posted is inappropriate given the rules of this forum, I would ask the moderators please pardon this and modify the post appropriately. Thanks.


Memorandom of Understanding Between The U.S. Department of Commerce and ICANN:
> [ntia.doc.gov ]

(June, 2006)
Proposed agreements (ICANN Registry contracts) for .BIZ, .INFO, and .ORG:
> [icann.org ]
> [icann.org ]
> [icann.org ]

(July 31, 2006)
Karl Auerbach comments on ICANN and Presumptive Renewal
> [url]cavebear.com/cbblog-archives/000263.html[/url]

(July - August, 2006)
ICANN's main menu page for comments on proposed .BIZ, .INFO AND .ORG gTLD Registry Agreements:
> [icann.org ]
Comments on the agreements during the period for public comments:
> [forum.icann.org ]
> [forum.icann.org ]
> [forum.icann.org ]

(August 3, 2006)
ICANN Policy Development. GNSO Prelim Task Force Report: Contractual Conditions: TLDs:
> [gnso.icann.org ]

(August 22, 2006)
Early in-depth post by George Kirikos:
> [forum.icann.org ]
Early in-depth post by Frank Schilling:
> [forum.icann.org ]

(August 23, 2006)
More early posts by Kirikos:
> [forum.icann.org ]
> [forum.icann.org ]
Circle ID article on Contracts by George Kirikos
> [circleid.com ]
Early short, but powerful, post:
> [forum.icann.org ]

(August 24, 2006)
Network Solutions opposes renewal at this time:
> [forum.icann.org ]
Satire on the subject:
> [forum.icann.org ]

(August 25, 2006)
Some highlighted comments out of many hundred:
> [forum.icann.org ]
> [forum.icann.org ]
> [forum.icann.org ]
GoDaddy opposes agreements:
> [forum.icann.org ]
Economic perspective on effects on wealth redistribution and health of TLDs:
> [forum.icann.org ] (disclosure: mine)

(August 26, 2006)
UK News: Tiered pricing coming to top-level domain names?
> [lse.co.uk ]
Effect of Trademark Value on Domain Specific Pricing?
> [forum.icann.org ] (disclosure: mine)

(August 27, 2006)
.COM Registry (VeriSign) supports agreements without price caps:
> [forum.icann.org ]

(August 28, 2006)
.JOBS Registry supports agreements:
> [forum.icann.org ]
One of only a handful of posts (see Registries .COM and .JOBs above) in support of tiered pricing:
> [forum.icann.org ]
Intellectual Property Constituency comments on agreements (concern about IP issues):
> [forum.icann.org ]
> [forum.icann.org ]
Comments on economic effects of agreements:
> [forum.icann.org ]
Comments from IREIT to ICANN Regarding Proposed GTLD Registry Agreements
> [internetreit.com ]
WebmasterWorld runs an "action alert" on the subject:
> [webmasterworld.com ]
Comments on relationship of agreement to ICANN "core values":
> [forum.icann.org ]
Blog -- "Domain name madness":
> [url]kenmccarthy.blogs.com/ken_mccarthy/2006/08/domain_name_mad.html[/url]

(August 29, 2006)
IREIT Press Release on the subject:
> [biz.yahoo.com ]

(August 30, 2006)
Michael Palage proposes compromise contract terms for tiered pricing.
> [circleid.com ]

(August 31, 2006)
Ongoing discussion of proposed contract structure and negotiations:
> [gnso.icann.org ]
> [gnso.icann.org ]

(September 5, 2006)
ICANN Board meeting to discuss this moved forward from Sept. 13th to Sept. 7th
> [icann.org ]
Petition to Members of Congress concerning contracts
> [BadForBusiness.org ]

[edited by: DomeBase at 1:26 am (utc) on Sep. 6, 2006]

[edited by: Webwork at 4:39 am (utc) on Sep. 6, 2006]
[edit reason] Nice work Domey :) - Delinked individual blogs [/edit]


1:27 am on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

DomeBase ... DUDE! I'm going to check out every darn link, you madman! I hope the mods keep this one up for awhile. (I love fact-filled posts! :) )


3:53 am on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

If, however, you are the holder of a domain with many, many subdomains, then the registrar may be asked by the registry management group for that gTLD to pay more for that particular domain, because it takes more resources to manage than a typical domain. And in that you are correct: The costs being charged to the registrar will more than likely be passed to the owner of the multi-level domain. It's a resources management thing.

So, basically you admit that I'm correct, that registries DO have the power to price discriminate, on any basis they choose. You name one method, but it's a slippery slope before it extends to other areas.

Furthermore, you mentioned you're "Chairman of the Board of the LA Chapter of ISOC". You have a direct conflict of interest, as ISOC (who operates .org via PIR) receives a large portion of its budget from the "surplus" generated by the .org registry.

If one views the ISOC budget in 2003, their annual expenses were $2.3 million, vs. $1.7 million in 2002.

[isoc.org...] (page 31 of the PDF)

Fast forward to 2005 (I couldn't find anything for 2006):


Total expenses = $4.9 million.

Of their $5.177 million in revenues, $3.4 million came from the ".org surplus". That's straight out of the pocket of .org domain holders.

Vint Cerf, of course, was the founding president of ISOC:


Fellow ICANN Board member Veni Markovski is founder of ISOC Bulgaria and on the current worldwide ISOC board:


So, you can understand, with such a high percentage of the Internet Society's budget coming from operation of .org why they would want "presumptive renewal". Otherwise, when the current contract expires, they'd have to compete against other charitable organizations that would want to operate .org, putting the $3.4 million/yr ".org surplus" (notice it's a "surplus", not a "profit" -- political correctness....) at risk. And, with the elimination of price controls, they can generate even larger surpluses on the back of domain registrants.


4:00 am on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Late breaking, amazingly thorough, opposition to these contracts from no less than the ISPCP Constituency.


What is truly stunning is the breadth of the opposition -- including the IP Constituency and now the ISPCP Constituency.


4:10 am on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

BTW, the part above regarding "many subdomains" is entirely misleading.

If, however, you are the holder of a domain with many, many subdomains, then the registrar may be asked by the registry management group for that gTLD to pay more for that particular domain, because it takes more resources to manage than a typical domain. And in that you are correct: The costs being charged to the registrar will more than likely be passed to the owner of the multi-level domain. It's a resources management thing.

When a domain is resolved, e.g. abc.example.org, the resolution works from right to left.

The root servers give the person the nameservers for the operator of the .org registry (i.e. PIR). Then, the .org registry returns the nameservers for example.org. At that point, the .org registry's job is done.

Then, any and all subdomains of example.org, including abc.example.org, www.example.org, kfgjhd.example.org, and so on, are handled by the nameservers of example.org, and don't query the registry operator of .org. Thus, the part about "resource management" related to subdomains is entirely bogus, as the registry operator for .org DOESN'T manage the subdomain resources -- it's all handled by the nameservers of the domain itself (e.g. ns1.example.org and ns2.example.org).

A very active domain with only 1 subdomain, i.e. www.verybusysite.org (say www.redcross.org) can use up much more registry resources than another site with many subdomains that gets very few hits). Thus, you can see why the registry wants the DNS traffic data, so that they can charge successful websites more money!


5:39 am on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

About variable pricing , What I cannot understand is.....

Most of .org names were originally registered and owned by Non-profit organisations.

So will these organisations also have to pay more?

And will this trend not spread to other country code tlds like .co.uk or .us domains?


5:28 pm on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thank you for all the efforts being expended here...this is way outside of my knowledge and experience sphere.

DomeBase - thanks for this evening's light reading:-)


5:55 pm on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just found out about this... not so light reading :(


"Open Letter to ICANN Community from NeuLevel Regarding .BIZ Agreement, June 27, 2006 -- NeuLevel has issued an open letter to the ICANN Community about the recently renegotiated .BIZ agreement:

(unhighlighted direct quote)

“Specifically, we have negotiated terms that are consistent with contractual updates to recently concluded agreements, including presumptive renewal, elimination of fixed pricing, and a new fee structure. Presumptive renewal will help to secure NeuLevel’s long-term involvement and investment in the gTLD community and the DNS, and to help us compete fairly with other gTLD registry operators. We have increased our fees to ICANN in recognition of the key role registries must play in supporting ICANN’s operations and the important and challenging issues that lie ahead for the community.”


(condensed version)

“we have negotiated… elimination of fixed pricing and a new fee structure... We have increased our fees to ICANN”

[edited by: DomeBase at 5:57 pm (utc) on Sep. 6, 2006]


7:44 pm on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

"Open Letter to ICANN Community from NeuLevel Regarding .BIZ Agreement, June 27, 2006 -- NeuLevel has issued an open letter to the ICANN Community about the recently renegotiated .BIZ agreement:

Just in case anyone was not aware, NeuLevel is a subsidiary of NeuStar (discussed here:[webmasterworld.com ]

Below is some information about NeuLevel / NeuStar:

[neulevel.cn ]


8:11 pm on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Doing a search out of curiosity, I also found out that Melbourne IT holds the registration of the domain NeuDomains.com

Interesting because:

Melbourne IT signs up to 30% Shareholding in new .BIZ Registry
Melbourne IT, Ltd, 08/05/2001 by Melbourne IT, Ltd

(8 May 2001, Melbourne) Melbourne IT (ASX:MLB) a leading supplier of domain names and related services to the global market, announced today that it had completed negotiations with US telecommunications company NeuStar and signed a joint venture agreement which is unconditional. The agreement confirms the company's shareholding in the joint venture company NeuLevel Inc. established to offer registry services to the Internet, the first being to operate a registry for the new .biz Top Level Domain (TLD).

The above was taken from information at the Melbourne IT website here:
[corporate.melbourneit.com.au ]

NeuDomains.com is not yet a working published site, however, there is the obvious intention that it will be?

I am FAR from an expert in this field but something smells really rotten here. I cannot put my finger (or nose) right where it is, but it's there!


10:42 pm on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

9/7 - date of the full moon and a lunar eclipse!


12:14 am on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I've spent the better part of the day trying to view this from a registrant perspective, instead of from the infrastructure perspective that I am accustomed to using.

Despite the assurances and plausible explanations I have received from ICANN over the past year leading up to the 3 gTLD agreements' current content, I do agree that the current phrasing of the price cap removal is disturbing. It seems like those who are negotiating and drafting these agreements are relying too much on narrow interpretations of the language contained in other documents (like the Consensus Policies) to provide the protections against abuse that are being called for in these forums. For example, reliance on the Security and Stability definitions of the Consensus Policies, as written, to provide identification and remedies for the kinds of potential pricing abuses being described here is insufficient.

Please note that Tuvalu's ownership and operation of the .TV TLD is unique, and is not under the same controls that PIR, NeuLevel and Afilias are subject to. I fervently hope that makes a difference.

Regarding NeuLevel's "press release", well, it ain't a done deal, yet, and they are simply engaging in a common negotiating tactic.

Rather than chime in with "No Variable Pricing", which is a carrot being offered to potential and existing registry operators to ensure their long-term commitment, just like the presumptive renewal clauses are (how can a registry operator commit long-term resources without some guarantee that those resources won't be wasted in the short-term?), I'm going to do what I can to help develop and integrate safeguards both into the draft agreements already on the table and into the Registry Services Evaluation process.

I appreciate the impassioned input from everyone in helping me to see things differently.

[Please note that my opinions should not be considered the official opinions of the Los Angeles Chapter of ISOC. They are strictly my own.]

PS: The next time you ask Mr. Cerf for verification of something like this, please also ask him WHY such a thing might be included, not just IF it has been.

[edited by: StupidScript at 12:16 am (utc) on Sep. 7, 2006]


1:20 am on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

BTW I do know about dotTV, Bill Gross and all of the other operators involved in .TV. The 15% ownership by the Kingdom of Tuvalu and their (near) complete lack of ... well ... citizens ... had a major impact on the nature of that ccTLDs management agreement. Everyone agreed that the only reason to have such a domain was for commercial purposes, not as a geographical designation. Remember it's existence for posterity ... we're not likely to see another such TLD.


5:34 am on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

ICANN ALAC (At Large Advisory Committee) comments

Some highlights of this post are below.
emphasis added

ICANN ALAC comments on proposed new registry contracts [forum.icann.org]

At Large Advisory Committee comments on the proposed new contracts for .ORG,
.BIZ, and .INFO.

The At Large Advisory Committee views the proposed contracts with great
concern, and believes that several of the proposed changes will have a
severe negative effect on the At Large community. We urge the Board to make
no changes to any of these contracts at this time.

4. Registries are, by all reports, profitable at the current capped price
and can and do make needed investments in infrastructure.
Indeed, the experience of the .net renewal strongly suggests that even at $3
there would be multiple well qualified candidates to run these three

5. The current system of fixed price caps has worked well for registries,
registrars, and most importantly for users since ICANN began. Removing
price caps would benefit registries at the expense of users. If registries
want to remove price caps, they need to show a community benefit that
outweighs the substantial costs imposed on users, which they have not done.

8. Periodic re-bidding serves as a stronger check on bad behavior than the
weak arbitration and mediation provisions within the contract.
The presumptive perpetual renewal should be dropped.


5:57 am on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

WolfLover said:

Melbourne IT signs up to 30% Shareholding in new .BIZ Registry

Australian IT said: (news page has ads on it, so I'm just going to quote some bits and pieces from it rather than posting a link)

Melbourne IT eyes lapsed domains
Ben Woodhead
AUGUST 23, 2006

Melbourne IT reported a jump in first half net earnings from $2.2 million a year ago to $7.1 million at June 30 2006.

The result was aided by the sale of the company's NeuLevel business. Excluding the NeuLevel contribution net profit lifted 21.8 per cent to $2.6 million.

So according to this news story, Melbourne IT has divested itself of their stake in NeuLevel.

Many thanks to webwork for his vocal opposition to the proposed .biz/.info/.org contracts and for moderating this forum. Cheers!

This 36 message thread spans 2 pages: 36

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