If it were a reasonable cost I don't see why not however could you ever see that happening in the near future...say 10-15 years?
What would be a reasonable cost? 1,000/10,000/100,000 ... Choose your own currency!
The current rental system works well, is affordable by all, very easy to manage and is a legitimate business tax deductible expense (for me anyway), and as Webwork suggests, ICANN members NEED this rental income for their lavish lifestyles.
Thank you all for your replies, great to be a part of these forums, and I hear what you are saying about ICANN. Still, I think with a little forward thinking on ICANN's/the TLD owner's part, .COMs, .NETs et al could easily be made available for permanent ownership by registrants. Could a company such as Verisign take this upon themselves to do without ICANN's say so, for example? I assume reasonable starting prices would be from a few thousand dollars, depending on the TLD. I'm also aware of ICANN's 'dot anything' approach to the web, which IMO, is how the web should have started out - but the prices they are charging for such TLDs is very steep. Anyway, I thought ICANN was an organization, not a corporate firm? If they are furnishing themselves with lavish lifestyles on the back of the web, surely this is not right? Is this also true of other internet organizational bodies such as W3C? If this is the case, why not a renewed interest/surge for the creation and deployment of alt root servers (and other clever workarounds) to counteract the actions/dictations of ICANN? It would be great to hear opinions from any of you on this matter...
You are right, under the current/traditional way of doing things David. I was thinking more of alternate approaches to making this possible - more emphasis on the interested party's responsibility for maintenance and delivery, empowering them with virtual TLD owner/registrar rights over the domains they own. If they can be shown that they have the capability, I see why this could not be made a reality. gTLD/ccTLD owners and registrars could make some ready cash for "permanent registrant ownership" and still remain vital, to my mind.
I don't see the point of permanent ownership. I mean, you can register what up to ten years out now and the existing domain owner always has the rights. I don't know about you, but I've acquired a lot of good domains over the years from companies that went out of business. If permanent ownership had been an option, those domains would be locked up forever because they were already paid for.
I think it would also lead to a lot more domain scams... fly by night registrars (or resellers of registrars) would promise "lifetime" registrations to people at a high price but then just do a regular registration like we do now and be long gone before the unsuspecting domain registrant realizes they've been swindled when they get a renewal notice.