2014-04-30

ICANN, New gTLD Domain Name Renewal Fees, Price Gouging

Domain Name Registrants beware: ICANN has let the new gTLD Registries run wild. For example, a new gTLD domain name Registry can essentially charge whatever it wants for domain name renewal fees. Isn't it interesting that none of the media nor ICANN nor Registrars have told you that! Fortunately for now, for domain name registrants, regular domain names like .com domain names still have renewal fees limited by the US Department of Commerce when it approved the last Verisign contract (registry for .com). However no one knows* what will happen after November 30, 2018, when the current Verisign contract ends, if the US gives up all oversight. If ICANN's track record with the new gTLD domain names is any indication, come late 2018, even .com domain name renewal fees may be subject to price gouging by the Registry and Registrars.

ICANN, under the influence of its insiders and special interests, made sure that the new gTLD domain names were not like .com domain names, when it came to renewal fees, or other Registry restrictions. Currently, known new gTLD domain name renewal fees run as high as $30,000 per year per domain name. That is not a typo, yes, $30,000 (US$). This is, apparently, what ICANN considers "innovation" and "enhancing competition and consumer choice."

ICANN is nowhere ready to be let loose and allowed to run around unsupervised. Proof of that is in ICANN's disastrous roll-out of the new gTLD domain names program. Unfortunately, this is not the only disaster ICANN has created or allowed. This is what happens when you have an immature organization dominated by insiders and special interests. Remember, ICANN purposefully excluded users and domain name registrants from representation in ICANN (unlike registrars and registries and affiliates which are overrepresented). Do not believe ICANN when it talks about multistakeholderism. That is just another word ICANN uses for letting the foxes guard the hen house.

Caveat Emptor!





*IANA Functions and Related Root Zone Management Transition Questions and Answers | NTIA: "Q. Are the legacy top level domains associated with U.S. Government (e.g., .mil., .gov, .edu) part of this transition? A. No, the operation of and responsibility for the three remaining legacy top level domains associated with the U.S. Government specifically .mil, .gov, and .edu are not impacted by this transition as they are not part of the IANA and related root zone management functions." -- no mention of what happens to other legacy top level domains like .com, .net and .org which have been protected from price-gouging only by action of the US Government  -- ICANN: Important Corrections To Inaccuracies and Misconceptions Regarding U.S. Announcement: "As we know under the the last Verisign contract it was the US Department of Commerce that stepped up at the last moment to stop the 4 out of 6 year rate increases of 7%."

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