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ICANN OKs Tiered Pricing for .org/.biz/.info 182

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the net-worth dept.
wayne writes "As reported on CircleID, Vint Cerf has confirmed that ICANN's new contracts for the .org/.biz/.info domain prices can be tiered, so that google.biz could cost $1 million per year, while sex.biz could cost $100,000/year. This is very similar to how the .tv TLD already works. The domain registrar could also could also use pricing for political purposes, claiming that pricing sex.biz high would be to 'protect the children,' while icann.org could be priced at $1/year. Verisign's contract for .com and .net have recently been renewed, so those domains are safe for now, but I'm sure they would want similar treatment."
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ICANN OKs Tiered Pricing for .org/.biz/.info

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  • by Antony-Kyre (807195) on Friday August 25, 2006 @05:49AM (#15976659)
    Shouldn't these be non-profit, or at the most, low-profit? Shouldn't ICANN only be charging enough to keep themselves running as is? How much are they going to be making off this? Is this kind of thing really necessary?
    • by Scarblac (122480) <slashdot@gerlich.nl> on Friday August 25, 2006 @06:42AM (#15976796) Homepage
      Yes, but they can simply raise the CEO's pay to stay nonprofit.
      • ICANN needs to publically itemize each and every thing they spend money on. This includes all expenses and any monetary comepensation they pay themselves. They need to readjust the cost of registering domains so they don't go over this, or at most, don't go over 110% of this. 100% of the cost, plus 10% as a safety buffer, a rainy day type thing.
        • What would stop someone from transfering their tier-priced/abused domain to another registrar?

        • by rs79 (71822)
          "ICANN needs to publically itemize each and every thing they spend money on."

          As if.

          Karl Aurbach was elected as a director of the corporation and he had to sue icann [google.com] just to be able to se the books.

          This might be considered a little unusual in a normal organization. Usually directors have access to the corporations accounting to know what's going on. Even more weird for an organization like icann that keeps blathering on about being "open and transparent".
      • by rs79 (71822)
        "Yes, but they can simply raise the CEO's pay to stay nonprofit."

        The non-profit org scam is just disgusting. For profit corporations are accountable to their shareholders which is a nice control mechanism.

        Non-profits with memebers can sometimes be ok.

        If you look carfully you'll see the USG's original intention up formation of icann was that it be a membership organization.

        You'll notice there are still no members.

        The reason for this is they do not want members to sue the corporation and change policy. Under
    • by Stellian (673475)

      How much are they going to be making off this? Is this kind of thing really necessary?

      Yes, it really is necessary. That domain name has a real market value, the only question is, who is making the money: ICANN who can hopefully use them to enhance the infrastructure of the Internet, or some domain squatter who can use them to buy himself a new Ferrari.
      To late for the biz TLD tho, it's so infested with spammers and scammers that you don't miss anything by blocking it completely.

      • The problem lies with the definition. Once a tiered pricing thing is in place, how easy would it be for ICANN to keep constantly changing the rules? Also, why should ICANN make a profit off of this, or offset the cost of domains for everyone else?

        dot-biz is so infested with spammers and scammers? I don't think tiered pricing would solve this. People who spam and perform scams are always going to find a way around. The victims and attempted-victims need to contact the proper authorities to report people who
        • by Bostik (92589) on Friday August 25, 2006 @08:45AM (#15977236)

          Once a tiered pricing thing is in place, how easy would it be for ICANN to keep constantly changing the rules?

          Such as require renewable domain names to go through a competetive bidding process? ICANN wouldn't even need to monitor or assess the potential market value the domain names - the bidders would do this on their own and ICANN could just reap the profits.

          So if the rules are subject to change, this will be likely abused and will eventually take on a nasty tone.

          • by Megane (129182)

            Such as require renewable domain names to go through a competetive bidding process? ICANN wouldn't even need to monitor or assess the potential market value the domain names - the bidders would do this on their own and ICANN could just reap the profits.

            I'm more worried about what happens to .org if you do this. Imagine if you decide to start outbidding <orgyouhate>.org, forcing them to spend more and more money on their domain name. Imagine, for instance, if it was George Soros doing this to a sma

          • bad idea, one important design idea of domain names is they are supposed to be permanent (or as close to permanent as is reasonable) identifiers.

            allowing a rich player to extort away a domain name from its long time user by outbidding them on registration fees would bring cahos to the net.

            lets not replace an annoyance (cybersquatting) with something that will totally destroy the integrity of the naming system by allowing anyone to steal anyone elses name by paying a registration body more than the names own
          • ICANN wouldn't be reaping profits. Verisign et al would be.

            So the "ICANN SUXX0RZZ!!!" troop biatches, pisses and moans about the monopoly of the original Internic, so we got NetSol's effective monopoly of .com/.net, then they biatch about that, so we start bringing market forces to the domain registries. This is just another step down that path. No big surprise.
      • by interiot (50685)
        The highway running by my house has real market value too, but that doesn't mean it's right for me to put a roadblock up and start charging money. What benefit is ICANN performing in exchange for these increased prices? None? Okay, then it's not a market issue.
      • by Pharmboy (216950)
        That domain name has a real market value

        But the questions are: value to who, and who gets to profit from it? If I had the foresight to register "buy.com" many years ago, and someone wanted to give me $1 million, but the registrar wanted the same amount to reup it, then my investment or foresight would be for nothing, and the registrar is simply profiteering off my "risk".

        There is plenty of squatting and such going on, but I would rather leave it to the courts and marketplace than a handful of registrars wh
        • Would this work?

          There is a domain not registered. Someone registers it to cybersquat. This person plans on reselling it later on for a huge profit. However, let us introduce a new rule. A $30 additional fee aimed at preventing cybersquatting. 10 years after the initial registration date, whoever the current owner is will get this fee reimbursed.
          • by rs79 (71822)
            "Would this work?

            There is a domain not registered. Someone registers it to cybersquat. This person plans on reselling it later on for a huge profit. However, let us introduce a new rule. A $30 additional fee aimed at preventing cybersquatting. 10 years"


            No.

            Some registrars have a "prepay for 100 years" policy.

            Next.

      • by grimwell (141031)
        ICANN who can hopefully use them to enhance the infrastructure of the Internet

        I think you are confused about what ICANN actually does and who actually builds network infrastructure and what the internet actually is.

        From ICANN's website [icann.org]:
        The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is an internationally organized, non-profit corporation that has responsibility for Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation, protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-Lev
      • by rs79 (71822)
        "Yes, it really is necessary. That domain name has a real market value, the only question is, who is making the money: ICANN who can hopefully use them to enhance the infrastructure of the Internet"

        Can't happen. Icann has a narrow charter to "coordinate names and numbers". While I'd love them to give me a grant to pay me for doing my tropical fish websites that probbaly isn't appropriate either.

        The "real market value" stuff is only appealing until your own domain is seen as valuable.

        Keep in mind the domain
    • by rs79 (71822)
      "Shouldn't these be non-profit"

      Nah.

      In 1986 the relevant RFC said so but even then it wasn't exactly law and right out of the gate people ignored it. Right or wrong? That's a personal interpretation and there is not 100% consensus on this.

      Netsol tried very hard to enforce .net registrations for year to be complient and what happened was people who really wanted one that didn't deserve one were persistance enough to get one while people who did actually deserve one had to jump through hoops and experience all
  • by zzg (14390) on Friday August 25, 2006 @05:49AM (#15976660)
    The word google meant nothing (I know there are other views). And now some other organization should cash in? What are googles options here?
    1. Pay and redirecto to google.com
    2. Don't pay, someone else will, can google then sue for trademark infringement?
    • by Don_dumb (927108) on Friday August 25, 2006 @06:27AM (#15976757)
      I guess one of the benefits are that as the domain would cost so much more, it is more difficult from someone to cybersit. No average joe can stump up $1m (or however much) to grab google.biz, just in order to get them to payup for the site (and it makes it less profitable to do anyway).
      My biggest concern is that ICANN knows that Google et al are going to buy the google name for every TLD simply to prevent confusion and domain squatting, so what is to stop ICANN just making a new TLD every couple of years and then charging through the nose for the right to take a name on that TLD? it would be like a license to print money. I never think that the regulator should also be the body that profits from that system it regulates.
      • by ceejayoz (567949)
        No average joe can stump up $1m (or however much) to grab google.biz, just in order to get them to payup for the site (and it makes it less profitable to do anyway).

        No average joe can stump up $1m (or however much) to grab googlesucks.com, either.
      • My biggest concern is that ICANN knows that Google et al are going to buy the google name for every TLD simply to prevent confusion and domain squatting, so what is to stop ICANN just making a new TLD every couple of years and then charging through the nose for the right to take a name on that TLD?

        If it helps, the amount they can charge will be limited to Google's expected legal expenses for going after domain squatters for trademark infringement. Most of the time, that just means having the legal team (whi

      • by rs79 (71822)
        "My biggest concern is that ICANN knows that Google et al are going to buy the google name for every TLD simply to prevent confusion and domain squatting, so what is to stop ICANN just making a new TLD every couple of years and then charging through the nose for the right to take a name on that TLD? "

        The great irony of all this is that 10 years ago the grey hairs were afraid the "alternative TLD" people wuold do exaclty this and formed ICANN with the backing of the trademark people who they managed to FUD t
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      3. use their massive storage and databases of cached websites, create their own protocol to access said websites, sell cheaply/give away domains on their new protocol, thus inticing people wishing to set up sites to use their protocol instead, thus inticing people to use their procols because they have more content, and crush their opressor.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by jdcool88 (954991)
      I can't believe nobody simply checked. http://www.google.biz/ [google.biz] redirects, as does http://www.google.info/ [google.info], but http://www.google.org/ [google.org] is a page about the philanthropic arm of Google (it's still owned by Google).

      Of course a company like Google would take pains to protect their brand name. It'd be stupid to think otherwise.
    • by asuffield (111848)

      The word google meant nothing (I know there are other views). And now some other organization should cash in? What are googles options here?

      If the registrar starts discriminating based on the word used, instead of blindly passing everything through, then google can make a case against the registrar for trademark infringement - because the registrar is explicitly selling a mark owned by google. They will not necessarily win the case, but they should have a fair chance.

      This was probably a stupid move by the r

  • by legoburner (702695) on Friday August 25, 2006 @05:49AM (#15976661) Homepage Journal
    Vint said it would be "suicide" for a registry to do it, because there'd be the 6-month notice period to raise prices and the ability for registrants to renew for up to 10 years at "old prices", that supposedly "protects" registrants. Personally, as a business, my time horizon is a lot longer than 10 years

    Let the .info/.biz/.org landrush.... begin!
  • ICANN'T strike again (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Why would they permit this? Icann.org current registration expires in 2011, however if PIR act now we can have poetic justice by 2017 when the icann.org domain renewal costs $15billion/y.

    Come on PIR, Icann't object to tasting their own dog food ;-)
  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Friday August 25, 2006 @06:02AM (#15976701)
    Either the domain registrars will make the money or domain squatters will. Choose.

    Personally I reckon they should auction names rather than selling them at a flat rate.

     
    • by Eivind (15695) <eivindorama@gmail.com> on Friday August 25, 2006 @06:35AM (#15976780) Homepage
      Yeah. But the registrars are the ultimate squatters:

      The effectively squat *ALL* of the TLD that they administer, and run -ZERO- risk of investing in domains that they are then unable to sell, aswell as -ZERO- risk of being convicted for abusing others trademarks etc.

      • I noticed this thread, and thought for a second (sorry, I know, Slashdotters don't do that) and here's how I figure:
        Since there are a limited number of domains (especially useful ones), and it was originally a publically funded system to create the DNS system, we should auction off domains like we do wireless bandwidth: the funds will go to pay for the DNS system, and computer infrastructure projects for the poorest 10% or so of the populace, or something similar (since it was our funds creating the system, we get to do this. And maybe stuff like this will give some incentive for basic research.)

        Registrars get to do what they do because they are licensed to do so by a public body. Bad idea - we all know what kind of incentive that government contractors have for efficiency. So move the system to someone with incentives. Contract the entire thing out for 1% of the net proceeds, (after hosting costs) with a quality assurance audit/financial penalty, and let the money roll in. If the bid winner wants to subcontract registrars, they can. Let the market decide.
        • That's a great idea... IF YOU WANT THE INTERNET TO BECOME JUST MORE OF WHAT WE HAVE ON TV.

          That's what you get when you auction everything off to the highest bidder. The already rich companies own everything, and noone else gets a chance.

    • utter bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ender Ryan (79406) on Friday August 25, 2006 @09:26AM (#15977482) Journal
      Traditional economics doesn't come into play when corrupt organizations worm their way into a position that gives them a right to practically print money.

    • Personally I reckon they should auction names rather than selling them at a flat rate.
      for initial sales maybe and maybe renewals could be locked to the auction price but there is no way there should be an auction at renewal time.

      domain name changes are very painfull for all involved and allowing anyone with the money to force someone else to undergo one on a whim is simply unacceptable and would tear apart the largely hobbyist structure of the net.

  • What's the justification on this?

    They are cashing in on the efforts of successful companies without any hard work of their own. It takes just as long to register one domain as another, and yet the apparent worth will be altered to fit the pockets of the current owners as to maximise revenue. This is naked greed and nothing else.

    • It has nothing to do with right or wrong, it only has to do with supply and demand, if it isn't worth it to them, then they won't pay.

       
      • by NMerriam (15122)
        It has nothing to do with right or wrong, it only has to do with supply and demand, if it isn't worth it to them, then they won't pay.

        It has nothing to do with supply and demand, it has to do with monopoly control of the domain system. The whole point is that the registrar has been given free reign to charge any amount they like, and the customers have no choice but to pay or lose their domain. The reason google.* is a valuable domain name is because Google, Inc gave it value, not because the registrar did
        • by Colin Smith (2679)
          What monopoly? Are you trying to say there is just one top level domain?

          There's now likely to be high demand for the name google, so it's value is high.

          As I said. Supply and demand. If Google don't like it they can bugger off and use another top level domain instead.

           
          • by NMerriam (15122)
            What monopoly? Are you trying to say there is just one top level domain?

            I'm trying to say there's only one registrar you can buy the domain from. If they can dictate prices for no reason whatsoever, then yes, they're a monopoly, and the domain name system was designed to be run by a monopoly, so there isn't anything wrong with that so long as ICANN does their job and regulates it.

            There's now likely to be high demand for the name google, so it's value is high.

            Um, no, there wouldnt be high demand, since anyon
    • Keys to Success (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Crash Culligan (227354) on Friday August 25, 2006 @06:21AM (#15976745) Journal
      What's the justification on this?

      Because they can! They own the TLDs uncontested, they can charge whatever they think the market will bear for service that had been decently regulated until that time.

      Pretty much the same thing threatens net neutrality: because they can claim to be a part of it, telcos have a justification to charge for cross-traffic. It flies in the face of the equal-peerage internet that was the original intent, but there it is.

      They are cashing in on the efforts of successful companies without any hard work of their own.

      So? That's what makes their plan so brilliant. Companies are always seeking to increase profits and eliminate costs, to the point where they can spend nothing and do nothing but rake in the dough and brainstorm how to rake in more dough. It's morally bankrupt and ethically bereft, but as long as the actions are legal, such things are of little concern to the successful modern businessman.

      • And everything to do with economics. Money never has. It's simply a commodity which allows the exchanging value between two parties. You are particularly naive to try to attribute morals or ethics to money.

        If you don't want to pay the price, if you object, then bugger off elsewhere you'll fine cheaper domain names. It's how markets work.

         
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by $RANDOMLUSER (804576)
      For the same reason that an acre of land in Beverly Hills California costs more than an acre in Jock Itch Wyoming. Location, location, location.

      Seriously, only the top-tier Google/HP/IBM domains are going to bother with registering some of the variants. Hell, even HP can't be bothered with registering "hp.biz".
  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by onion2k (203094) on Friday August 25, 2006 @06:09AM (#15976720) Homepage
    I can see two reasons for doing this:

    1. To push the price of unregistered domains up .. fair enough, if the registrar wants to 'auction' domains they should be able to, but as the article states they'd never get any real money from it because of the 6 month notice period. If the site then becomes popular over the 10 year period then it's effectively just..

    2. ..ransoming companies running sites on already popular domains such as gamesindustry.biz into paying a lot in 10 years time because they're successful today.

    Doesn't sound like a good idea to me. Besides, the registrar doesn't actually do any more work registering sex.org than registering IwantApurpleMonkey.biz .. so they're just cashing in on percieved value. I suppose it depends on whether you consider your money is going toward paying for the domain name itself like a physical product, or going toward paying for the service of registering a domain name. I'm in the latter group .. I don't see it as 'buying' the domain, just paying for access to the registry.
    • Besides, the registrar doesn't actually do any more work registering sex.org than registering IwantApurpleMonkey.biz...

      The DNS servers are put under more load by more popular domains. While I wouldn't agree with Registrars being able to invent their own prices, it seems no more unreasonable to charge per DNS lookup than an ISP charging for bandwidth used.

      • Re:Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by speculatrix (678524) on Friday August 25, 2006 @07:25AM (#15976905)
        icann control the root nameservers, which carry a pointer to e.g. the name server which hosts google.com's DNS

        very popular sites like google will have their DNS cached almost everywhere, meaning very little actual traffic hitting the root nameservers - there will probably be MORE traffic from typo'd non-existent lookups than real ones.

        • icann control the root nameservers...

          You've been misinformed [wikipedia.org].

          That's not really the point though. My point was that no-matter who runs which bits of DNS, somehow it has to get paid for. If your DNS entry is cached all around the world then you're relying on those caching servers for the response time of your system. If your site has a massive volume of traffic, surely it makes sense to charge more for that. Your point of billing is with the registrar, so that's where you pay. An optimistic flipside cou

          • by iCEBaLM (34905)
            That's not really the point though. My point was that no-matter who runs which bits of DNS, somehow it has to get paid for. If your DNS entry is cached all around the world then you're relying on those caching servers for the response time of your system. If your site has a massive volume of traffic, surely it makes sense to charge more for that.

            Cached all around the world at end users ISPs, who already get paid by the end users to get access to these high volume sites.

            Your point of billing is with the regi
            • The problem is that because of the nature of DNS caching these high volume sites put less strain on the root servers than a lot of low volume ones.

              Less strain on the root servers, more strain on the caching servers. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

              It shows.

              Haha... I'd like to know how. My business unit is independent from DNS. If we don't make money we get chopped just like anyone else.

              When was the last round of layoffs at Verisign? Why do these fat cats need more money for nothing?

              The

      • by rs79 (71822)
        "The DNS servers are put under more load by more popular domains. While I wouldn't agree with Registrars being able to invent their own prices, it seems no more unreasonable to charge per DNS lookup than an ISP charging for bandwidth used."

        We're talking a penny versus a thirteent millionth of a cent here for a name that is essentially free to create.
    • The majority, most of the people out there see it as ownership of the name, or at least the right to use it.

       
  • by BlueCoder (223005) on Friday August 25, 2006 @06:15AM (#15976732)
    There isn't anything to prevent a register from taxing the hell out of any website that gets popular. This ammounts to extortion by registers not being banned. The internet community will not stand for it and the offical DNS servers will cease to be recognized as such. Instead ICANN will be religated to it's own TLD. This can both be done at a user and register level. www.slashdot.org.icann It's how TLD DNS should work, with mapping to whom you recognize as the authority.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      And who is going to run this?
    • by rs79 (71822)
      "The internet community will not stand for it"

      Ironically the theory behind icann is it is supposed to recognize consensus in the internet community and codify policy based on it.

      How many .org domain owners were asked if they approved of this?

      You'll be told it's too expensive to do this. I submit:

      % dig mbz.org txt

      ; <<>> DiG 9.3.0 <<>> mbz.org txt
      ;; global options: printcmd
      ;; Got answer:
      ;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 24636
      ;; flags: qr rd ra; QU

  • Net Neutrality (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dachannien (617929) on Friday August 25, 2006 @06:21AM (#15976746)
    This is essentially network non-neutrality in other clothing. Registrants would be charged based on content or popularity, rather than by the actual level of resources provided by the registrar that are consumed by the registrant.

    The only thing that makes traditional network non-neutrality more insidious is that the companies trying to impose non-neutrality want to do so because they have a product in competition with the companies they want to charge out the nose for access.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      Registrants would be charged based on content or popularity, rather than by the actual level of resources provided by the registrar that are consumed by the registrant.

      Actually, here, you could make the case that the more popular a domain is, the more load it causes on the TLD servers. How many hits a day do you think the servers get for fredspersonalwebsite.com, and how many hits does the server take, serving up the address for google.com? Should fred's rates be raised, when google is causing more load o

      • I'll take DNS caching for $200, Alex. I don't think Google should be taking the blame [bind9.net] for the additional load.

      • by rs79 (71822)
        "Should fred's rates be raised, when google is causing more load on the servers?"

        No.

        There aren't THAT many really popular servers so it all evens out in the wash. DNS has been around for twenty years now.

        You might notice there's been no hue and cry about the cost of running DNS servers to date.

        Don't fix what aint broken. Try to ignore other peoples cash-grabs.

  • Alternate DNS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 25, 2006 @06:50AM (#15976820)
    What a load of shite! Why should someone with lots of money pay for the same service that someone with little money can get? Sounds like the idea of someone that wants to get rich off someone elses work without having to work hard themselves. Pay rises all round for everyone at ICANN?

    I can see the death of ICANN as a result, with the governments of the world uniting to create an alternate DNS and making whan ICANN does irrelevant forever.

    ok, maybe not. But I can dream can't I? How do I get a job at ICANN?

    • Google has the brightest people and the technology.

      Could Google redesign DNS and move it to a more neutral platform? I'm sure they could.

      If Google handles this right, Google becomes the new center for DNS and ICANN is abandoned when they start ratcheting up the prices.

      At the very least the threat from Google keeps ICANN from changing their pricing structure.
  • by spectrokid (660550) on Friday August 25, 2006 @06:51AM (#15976823) Homepage
    Look at license plates. You want "STALLION" on the back of your car, you pay extra. Fair 'nough. Problem is there seems to be a competition in money making schemes. Just look at the use of international characters. If you register citib ä nk.com, what the fuck are you going to use that for? Skandinavian characters should only be allowed in scandinavian TLD's. Period. And if the Danes allow spelling ø as oe then føbar.dk and foebar.dk should point to the same IP adress. ALWAYS. Any other behaviour is misguiding the public as part of a grab-the-money-and-run scheme. If you have "google" in your adres, you claim to be part of Google. Google paid for its own name, and nobady else should make money on that.
  • by elronxenu (117773) on Friday August 25, 2006 @07:06AM (#15976863) Homepage

    So now ICANN has legalised domain name extortion.

    What the hell happened to the fundamentals of a domain name representing a company or organisation, or even an individual?

    • by Pecisk (688001)
      They were thrown out when CIOs saw first light of new flashy money from domain selling business.

      Money defeats everything.
  • by x-vere (956928) on Friday August 25, 2006 @07:32AM (#15976925) Homepage
    ...Registrars are. How about that. ICANN decides that registrars can exploit their power to shape the content of the web or make the more successful pay more for their domain. How arrogant and bold. My bet is that these three TLD's are a test bed to see how well the public receives this crap. If it goes without much outcry, then they'll throw in the big dog domains .com and .net. This type of behavior shouldn't go unpunished.
  • by Cytlid (95255) on Friday August 25, 2006 @07:38AM (#15976942)
    $.05 USD if I like you (category 1).

      $1000 USD if I don't (category 2).

      If my post gets popular, my price for reading this post will jump to $100 in category 1 and $10,000 in category 2.
  • by transami (202700) on Friday August 25, 2006 @07:50AM (#15976988) Homepage
    Can anyone say "Monopoly?" How about "AntiTrust"? Do those terms apply to such an organization?
  • Excuse my french here, but wtf?!?

    It's time for Google to put their 'information available to everyone' and 'do no evil' mantra to work here. Build some DNS infrastructure, and start their own DNS system ending in .google, or maybe .fuckicann.

  • My impression is that there's multiple registrars that can sell all domains, and you can freely transfer ownership between them. So say you owned pussy.org with Network Solutions and they suddenly got bought out by Jerry Fallwell and he decides to charge 1 billion dollars/year for pussy.org because he hates uhh... cats. What's to prevent you from transfering the domain over the goDaddy before the domain expires? They then charge you the same $12 a year (or whatever they normally charge)? Unless all the
    • My impression is that there's multiple registrars that can sell all domains, and you can freely transfer ownership between them.

      No, there's a key distinction here between a registry and a registrar. The registry is a master list of an entire top-level domain, and is administered by one and only one organization; in the case of .com, .net, .org, etc. the authority to do so comes via exclusive contract with ICANN. A registrar is basically a service provider; in return for the price of the domain plus a

  • by gorrepati (866378) on Friday August 25, 2006 @08:38AM (#15977198) Homepage
    Looks like lot of wrong people out there are in power, and are out to extort money. What has the world come to? First there was internet as tubes comic strip, then there was somebody who came up with a brilliant plan of charging for e-mails (supposedly to prevent scam! duh!!) and now ICANN wants to charge these insane amounts of money...

    These incompetents dont see how to make money by innovation and thus they resort to bullying.
    Taxing businesses unnecessarily is the surest way to kill the market place.
  • So, should the board in charge of zoning for a particular city be able to charge certain people more for licenses because of the name of their companies? I'm pretty damn sure we'd see every corporation active today screaming fire if something like that came up. Seems to me that we're heading in completely the wrong direction when it comes to regulation and business interacting with technology; everyone with money and power is trying to exploit the inexperience of various legislative bodies when it comes to
  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Friday August 25, 2006 @08:52AM (#15977264)
    One nice thing is that we can always create an alternate DNS-like service if we get too pissed off at ICANN. Not that it would be easy, but we're not entirely held hostage.

    We could do any of the following:

    A) Create a parallel infrastructure that uses DNS still, but that has an alternate set of servers.

    B) Do something similar to what TinyUrl does: Hang our own infrastrucutre off of the current one. For instance, we register just one name such as z.com, then all names in the replacement service end in ".z.com"

    C) In the most extreme case, we add new name resolution APIs to the popular operating systems, permitting us to go with a name resolution system that has a significantly different structure than DNS does.
  • by dave-tx (684169) * <df19808+slashdot&gmail,com> on Friday August 25, 2006 @08:59AM (#15977325)

    OK, so if I'm reading this correctly....If my current registrar wanted to, they could decide to charge me $1000/year to renew forbis.org, my "vanity" domain name. Assuming no collusion between registrars, I would then be compelled to shop for a different registrar, one of which would likely want to offer me a low price, comparable to what I'm currently paying, knowing that it's basically free money for them.

    As annoying as this seems to me, it seems like the only hassle for a non-profit like myself who has no incentive to keep the domain name (other than the fact that it is my name) would be in shopping registrars for a better price. My current registrar may want to try to price-gouge me in hopes that I don't know enough to find a new registrar, but a competing registrar would be more likely to try to attract my business.

    Is this about right? Am I missing something here?

    • by doon (23278) on Friday August 25, 2006 @11:21AM (#15978552) Homepage
      This is at the registry level, not the registrar level. So the the .org registry deceded that forbis.org was worth $40k per year, I believe your only recourse would be to get forbis.someOtherTLDThatDoesntDoTieredPricing.

      But From the article

      Vint said it would be "suicide" for a registry to do it, because there'd be the 6-month notice period to raise prices and the ability for registrants to renew for up to 10 years at "old prices", that supposedly "protects" registrants.

      So even if they where going to jack your registration fee, you could still get it for 10 years at 2006 prices.
    • by ceejayoz (567949)
      Someone already pointed out that this is at the registry level and not the registrar level, but even if it were a registry level thing, have you ever tried to get a domain name away from Verisign? Last time I had to transfer away from them, they told me they lock domains against transfer in the last 90 days of their validity period. All they'd have to do is raise your renewal price to the $1000 (or whatever) 89 days before you're supposed to renew and you're stuck.
  • Slippery Slope (Score:3, Insightful)

    by grapeape (137008) <mpope7&kc,rr,com> on Friday August 25, 2006 @09:36AM (#15977590) Homepage
    With all the fuss over "Net Neutrality" how in the heck does ICANN think they can do something like this? First they screwed over the small registrars through rate increases and vote weighing, then they dropped the .xxx from the last agenda (something pretty much everyone in the world wanted with the exception of bush and friends), Then the IANA contract renewal without so much as discussion, and there have already many decisions made favoring big business and less than neutral positions. Its really past time for ICANN reform or dismissal. So ICANN can regluate the internet but who regulates ICANN? ICANN should be replaced with an ELECTED international governing body.
  • by coyote-san (38515) on Friday August 25, 2006 @09:50AM (#15977710)
    Domains can be priced due to political reasons? The example given is sex.com (which points out to just how far into the weeds this country has gotten).

    What about the political parties? What's to keep a registrar from saying Republican domains can be registered for $10/year, but Democrat domains will cost $100/year? We might think that no shareholders would stand for this, but rogue corporate management is no longer rare. (They have to have annual meetings? Sure, on the second week in January in Fargo, North Dakota, and stockholder questions will only be accepted for two hours. Answers not guaranteed.)

    That might be too naked, but you could easily have subtle biases. The two major parties get "preferred rates" since they buy so many domains. Third-parties and upstart challengers get higher rates. BushSucks type sites get the highest rates. Subtle, but real, pressure against change.
  • by MasterOfMagic (151058) on Friday August 25, 2006 @12:09PM (#15979042) Journal
    The title for this article is misleading. The article says that the contract that ICANN signed does not prohibit tiered pricing, but nowhere in the article does it say that this will be implemented by Verisign or other registries. So let's cool down for a second and act rationally. The article is basically the author thinking out loud about what this could lead to, not what is certain to happen.
  • The biggest problem with this idea is that the value of the domain name will be dependent on how much the website is worth that is using it. Since they can change the price year to year.

    How much was the domain name flickr worth a few years ago, or how about digg, or youtube. Not very much in the setup they are talking about. But take a misspelled domain, and make the site worth millions (billions?) and now you can use extortion to the site owners to pay large amounts of money for the
  • I would have no problem with it if it was implemented in an entirely technical way with no human interaction...

    If domains were priced based on the number of times information about that domain was requested from the registrar in the prior year, it would make the popular domains cost more and the vast majority of domains cost less. There would have to be fraud measures put in place, of course...such as counting only requests from hosts with a valid reverse DNS entry and limiting the number of counted reques
  • I was the author of the CircleID article, and had submitted a slightly less technical version on Slashdot on Wednesday evening. It got rejected within 10 minutes. :) But, thankfully one can't keep a newsworthy story down, and there's coverage all over the place now. Please do post your comments to the official ICANN comments archive [icann.org]. ICANN will send you an email to authenticate your email address, so you'll need to click the link in that email for it to be confirmed (otherwise, your comments won't show up
  • I keep hoping that one of the domains will have tiered pricing based on desirability of the name.

    By this, I mean charging a premium price for:

    Short domain names
    Dictionary words
    Other desirable factors (no numbers, no punctuation, etc.?)

    I often wonder why the powers that be do not put a premium price on the "good" domains. You don't need to learn combinatorial theory in order to see that the very short domain names (3 letters, etc.) are few and far between, and in high demand.

    For instance:

    1-letter names = No

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