.COM Domain Names price will increase due to ICANN-Verisign Settlemen sign now

I am writing this letter to all of you personally because it is time for all of you to stand up for a cause. Some of you might be aware that ICANN and Verisign recently announced a proposed settlement of their pending litigation (Verisign had sued ICANN a few years ago and that lawsuit is pending). We believe this settlement is unfair, unjust, inappropriate and would be blasphemous to the Internet community and to your Business.

Some Highlights of the settlement

1. The settlement agreement allows Verisign to increase the price of .com domain names to every Registrar by 7\% every year. Currently Verisign charges all Registrars $6 for every domain name. The new settlement agreement however allows them to increase prices to all of us without any cost justification. They can simply increase the price by 7\% EACH year.

2. This means they could double the price in 10 years. Naturally any increase in price would mean all Registrars would have to increase their prices to you. This would reduce your sales and reduce your potential to sell other Products.

2. In this settlement proposal ICANN is giving Verisign the chance to make more than 2 Billion Dollars extra over the next 10 years. This may by far be the most expensive settlement proposal the world has witnessed.

3. This 2 Billion Dollars is coming out of your / your customers pockets.

4. The new settlement agreement also doubles the ICANN fees charged to Registrars. Currently Registrars pay 25 cents per domain name to ICANN. The new agreement will make that 50 cents. This again means all Registrars will further increase what they charge all of you for dotCom Domain Names.

5. The new settlement agreement has a perpetual presumptive renewal clause. This means that Verisign will permanently hold on to the dotCom Registry. There will never be any competitive bid for it, except in a very remote circumstance. Verisign now gets the right to a perpetual monopoly. This means that they are free to do whatever they want with dotCom, without fear of competition. Prices therefore will never reduce.

The entire settlement documents are posted online at http://www.icann.org/tlds/agreements/verisign/settlement-agreements.htm

The part with regards to pricing is in Section 7.3 of http://www.icann.org/tlds/agreements/verisign/com-registry-agreement-22sep05.pdf

What can you do?

This settlement agreement will be signed very soon unless the ICANN Board is convinced otherwise. You all represent the voice of the various Domain Name Consumers worldwide. All of you should send your comments about this settlement and how it will affect your business.

Send your comments to [email protected]

Keep the following points in mind before sending your comments:

1. Put in your company name, and specify how long you have been in business, and how you represent the voices of hundreds and thousands of Customers in your specific region.

2. You may specify how any increase in the dotCom domain name prices will affect your business.

3. Readup existing comments by other people at http://forum.icann.org/lists/settlement-comments/. Your comments can be similar to the ones already posted. More number of comments about the same issue from different people across different countries would clearly show that everyone is concerned about the same issue

Why ICANN should not sign this Settlement?

1. ICANN itself has stated publicly that it is more likely to win the lawsuit than lose it. There is no reason for it to sell out the Internet to settle this litigation when there is a greater chance of it winning the lawsuit anyways.

2. The outcome does not provide benefits to the Internet community that both ICANN and Verisign were intended to serve.

3. The ICANN staff are proposing to provide Verisign the ability to increase their prices by 7\% annually. Everywhere around the world prices for domain names and web services are reducing. There is no reason for ICANN to grant an increase in the prices.

4. ICANN is supposed to act as an administrator of the Internet on behalf of the Internet community. This proposed settlement however benefits ICANN and Verisign at the cost of the community

It is important at a time like this for you to stand up and make yourself heard. The Internet should not belong to any one organization. Any changes affect millions of businesses worldwide. It would be unfair if any such changes are made without consensus from the community as a whole.

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