October 31st, 2009
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
There is a category of opportunist who seeks to capitalize on innovation without crediting the inventor, who views unsuspecting and trusting Americans as a limitless supply of chumps, who take advantage of the public’s lack of legal expertise in legal agreements, which is hugely disadvantageous to the public, causing it to forfeit its rights and obligating it to unreasonable terms in favor of big business. Current events prove those determined to make a quick buck by any means a threat to the economy.
Verisign submit an application to ICANN for approval a process of bulk transfers of partial portfolios of DOT NET’s and DOT COM’s. The process was approved in August, only the amendment remains. The process requires agreement between only the Winning and the Losing Registrars, with no notification or ability to opt out or consent required of the Registrant. This process could affect large corporations with well-know domain names. Small users are the ones who depend on their domain names the most in this economy. Small users are least able financially to mount a resistance.
15 days’ notice violates ICANN’s mission to ensure competition. The Registrant has no choice where his domain winds up, only within the parameter of a 15 day notice from the Losing Registrar, once the transaction is complete! The Registrant may stay with the Losing Registrar if the Losing Registrar grants permission to the Registrant. If the Losing Registrar realizes a profit from selling sponsorship of the domain, why would he grant permission? ICANN says the Registrant may transfer from the Winning Registrar after the transfer is complete, but the fact is: valuable names wind up in the black hole of greedy Registrars’ list of disputed domains, which names are generally are lost forever to their original owners. Expirations falling within 30-60 days of a sale would also be prohibited from transferring prior.
ICANN hasn’t mentioned setting up a department for complaints of illegal transfers. Illegal transfers WILL be an issue.
15 days notice limits freedom of choice. When I first registered domains, I selected a Registrar based on research. Years ago, Go Daddy had a reputation of being the Registrar of choice to spammers, pornographers, and illegal gambling sites, so that Go Daddy sites were blocked by respectable entities. Today, Go Daddy has a reputation for passive security, many lost and stolen domains and burnt, disappointed customers. Go Daddy is a major contributor to Symantec’s list of top 100 malware sites. Go Daddy infringed on my website, No-Salt-Added. I sued. If I were transferred to Go Daddy, I wouldn’t be allowed to sue, since I would be subject to Go Daddy’s agreement.
This process is going to backfire. People will both lose enthusiasm for dot coms, and for “hanging a shingle” on the web. ICANN’s gTLD guidebook is vague about price increases of dot coms, so that transferred domain names are liable for price increase! Registrars have access to insider information about traffic and expiration dates – flagrantly offered for sale on Verisign’s website! – to target the most valuable domains. Predatory takeovers will be the norm. Many Registrants will lose their livelihood. There is no protection for Registrants. Transparency of ICANN is minimal on this amendment. ICANN didn’t include this topic for discussion in Seoul. ICANN quietly posted the announcement in hopes of sliding this huge policy change on an unsuspecting public.
Innovation will be stifled. The opportunity of improving the lives of struggling individuals will vanish. The internet was funded with taxpayer $$, but the taxpaying public are exploited instead of protected.
Please view the attached for proof.
Cc Vint Cerf, Honorable Al Gore, NTIA, USDOJ Anti Trust Division, US SEC, CA FTB
On the outside of the envelope, I wrote, “Alert: blemish to the Presidency”
- my questions to ICANN
- New gTLD Guidebook snippet
- Verisign Amendment, pdf file
- Underwriting the Sale of Shares of Equity in a Domain Name– Go Daddy Patent Application
- Protecting Domain Names from Undesired Transfer – Go Daddy Patent Application
- Inernet Profile Service for Registrars – stats on the profitability of YOUR domain!