Comments to ICANN Proposed Amendments to Base New gTLD RA

After ICANN colluded in secret for 18 months with new gTLD registry operators, ICANN published for public comment Proposed Amendments to Base New gTLD Registry Agreement. Among other things, ICANN's Global Domains Division (GDD), headed by former ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade's crony Akram Atallah, proposed eliminating price increase transparency for new gTLD domain names, and allowing ICANN to grant discretionary fee waivers to new gTLD registry operators. Comments closed 20 Jul 2016 23:59 UTC. A total of 23 comments were filed, of which the first five below were particularly relevant for domain name registrants:
  1. Opposed to changes in contracts that reduce transparency of pricing, and that provide fee waivers to registries George Kirikos
  2. Re: Opposed to changes in contracts that reduce transparency of pricing, and that provide fee waivers to registries George Kirikos
  3. Business Constituency (BC) comment on Proposed New gTLD Registry Agreement Steve DelBianco
  4. Ratification Pending: ALAC Statement on the Proposed Amendments to Base New gTLD Registry Agreement ICANN At-Large Staff
  5. Comments from John Poole, Editor of DomainMondo.com, and domain name registrant 
  6. Proposal submitted by PointQuebec Normand Fortier
  7. Italian Comments Rita Forsi
  9. JPRS Comments - Proposed Amendments to Base New gTLD RA ENDO Atsushi
  10. European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online (eNACSO)_Comments_BaseRA Frinchi, Flaminia
  11. Comment on Proposed New gTLD RA Amendment Ried, Bill
  12. Comments from CORE Association CORE Association
  13. Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) comments on Proposed Amendments to Base New gTLD Registry Agreement Stephane Van Gelder
  14. Comments of India [GAC] Karine Perset
  15. Google Registry Comments - New gTLD RA Amendments Stephanie Duchesneau
  16. Proposed Amendments to Base New gTLD Registry Agreement Susan Payne
  17. BRG Comments - Proposed Amendments to Base New gTLD Registry Agreement 
  18. Comments on the proposed changes stated in section 1.7 of Spec 6 in the RA Bonnie Chun
  19. Comment from the Security and Stability Advisory Committee Julie Hedlund
  20. Comments Martin Joyal
  21. Comments Regarding Section 6.7 of the Proposed Registry Agreement Michael D. Palage
  22. Change to Registry Agreement Desiree
  23. IPC Comments on Proposed Amendments to the Base New gTLD Registry Agreement 
The full comment filed by the Editor of Domain Mondo is also available here (pdf), an excerpt:

"... September 30, 2016, is fast approaching, and ICANN management and staff, particularly at the “Global Domains Division” (GDD) seem ill-prepared--still engaging in unprofessional, incompetent, inept or opaque practices, as noted above and below, with hostility to the interests of the vast majority of domain name registrants worldwide .... Any waiver of registry operator fees in the arbitrary and sole discretion of ICANN management and staff is an open invitation to graft, corruption, and kick-back schemes reminiscent of the FIFA scandals. ICANN lacks a comprehensive and effective conflicts of interest and code of conduct applicable to every ICANN employee, and ICANN may have already engaged in questionable, if not illegal, behavior. See, e.g., How ICANN and ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé Evade Accountability ... Most new gTLDs are failing and this has already been acknowledged by many in the new gTLDs industry ... If a registry operator cannot afford the modest fees charged by ICANN, they should go out of business. If anything, ICANN should first eliminate (or reduce), all of the registrant domain name registration and renewal fees, before it even begins to think about “waiving” registry operator fees. There are plenty of fools in the world with $185,000 to throw away, ICANN’s new gTLDs program is living proof of that. Next time they may learn to conduct a little “due diligence” before “drinking the kool-aid.” ... ICANN has been weakened, and perhaps corrupted, by creating a separate Global Domains Division (GDD) during the tenure of former ICANN President & CEO Fadi Chehade. While it allowed Chehade, who admittedly didn’t understand the domain name industry, to appoint his crony, Akram Atallah, to the second-highest paid position at ICANN, thereby allowing Chehade to travel and dabble in geo-politics with the Brazilians and Chinese (and others), and also allowed him plenty of time to hang out and party in Davos, Switzerland, at meetings of the World Economic Forum (on ICANN’s dime), the global internet community has not been well-served by the GDD:
  • GDD’s “Contract Compliance,” staffed with Chehade’s cronies, has been called an “unmitigated disaster;” 
  • The GDD’s crowning achievement to date has been the “dot SUCKS” fiasco
  • Indicative of the ICANN community’s lack of trust and confidence in the GDD is the fact that the only major change to ICANN structure, in the IANA transition plan, is separating the IANA Department from the GDD, into a new separate corporation. 
"Hopefully the ICANN Board and new ICANN President & CEO, in the near future, will reorganize ICANN’s corporate and operational structure, and staffing, abolish the GDD completely (a GDD President is one too many “Presidents” for ICANN), and move “Contract Compliance” into a separate division or department that includes consumer trust and protection, as well as domain name registrants’ remedies and advocacy, reporting directly to the ICANN President & CEO, and the ICANN Board."

Next Steps: According to ICANN, "Following the conclusion of the public comment period, ICANN and the Working Group will consider the public comments, and submit the proposed final version of the amendments for Registry Operator approval (according to the process defined in Section 7.6) and approval by the ICANN Board of Directors. If these approvals are obtained, the amendment will become effective upon 60 days notice from ICANN to the Registry Operators."

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