My comments to ICANN opposing proposed .org, .info, .biz and .asia contract renewals

Below is a (slightly reformatted) version of the comments I submitted to ICANN today regarding the proposed .org, info, .biz and .asia contract renewals. The deadline for comments on the .org and .info contracts is just a few hours away (longer deadline for .biz and .asia), so hopefully they inspire others to submit comments, if they’ve not already done so.

Submitted by: George Kirikos
Company: Leap of Faith Financial Services Inc.
Websitehttp://www.leap.com/
Date: April 29, 2019

We write to oppose the proposed contract renewals posted by ICANN for the .org, .info, .biz and .asia contracts, as posted for public comments at:

https://www.icann.org/public-comments/org-renewal-2019-03-18-en
https://www.icann.org/public-comments/info-renewal-2019-03-18-en
https://www.icann.org/public-comments/biz-renewal-2019-04-03-en
https://www.icann.org/public-comments/asia-renewal-2019-03-27-en

While our arguments are focused on the .org TLD, to the extent that
the contractual terms are similar for the other TLDs, we repeat the
same comments for .info, .biz and .org. Indeed, while the majority of
the thousands of public comments to date have focused on .org, ICANN
should read those comments as also applying to .info, .biz and .org,
even if the submitters did not explicitly submit their comments to all
4 email addresses.

Continue reading “My comments to ICANN opposing proposed .org, .info, .biz and .asia contract renewals”

Should ICANN staff be fired over the outrageous .org, .info, .biz and .asia proposed registry contracts?

ICANN staff put forth outrageous proposals for the renewal of the .org, .biz, .info and .asia contracts, which are now open for public comment (with the first deadline being April 29, 2019). ICANN is proposing allowing unlimited fee increases for .org domain names, which currently are allowed to increase a maximum of 10% annually. That 10% annual cap of fee increases came about after the huge public outcry that ensued in 2006 when a comparable proposal to eliminate price caps was made, and successfully opposed by the public. It seems that ICANN did not learn from history.

More than 100 comments have been submitted so far regarding the .org contract renewal, with most of them vehemently opposed to the potential for unlimited fee increases.

Should ICANN staff be held accountable for such outrageously one-sided contracts?  Please vote in the poll below on Twitter:

Continue reading “Should ICANN staff be fired over the outrageous .org, .info, .biz and .asia proposed registry contracts?”

Double Standards in the Application of the ICANN Expected Standards of Behavior – Part 5

In this series, I examine past behavior at ICANN, contrasting it with the Expected Standards of Behavior (ESOB), and ask you to decide for yourself whether it has been applied equally to everyone, or instead is applied selectively to achieve different results when different people are involved.

Philip S. Corwin is Policy Counsel at Verisign (the dot-com registry operator), and one of the co-chairs in the RPM PDP working group that is chartered to review the UDRP, URS and other rights protection mechanisms.

On October 23, 2018, Mr. Corwin sent a bizarre email to the RPM PDP working group mailing list in his “capacity as co-chair” rebuking me
for using the term “wish lists”. Continue reading “Double Standards in the Application of the ICANN Expected Standards of Behavior – Part 5”

Prometheum.com domain name changed hands for $71,842

According to a recent SEC filing (see page 30), blockchain company Prometheum acquired the Prometheum.com domain name in October 2018 for USD $71,842.

Once charted by DNJournal, it would become the 99th highest reported domain name transaction for 2018.

 

Double Standards in the Application of the ICANN Expected Standards of Behavior – Part 4

In this series, I examine past behavior at ICANN, contrasting it with the Expected Standards of Behavior (ESOB), and ask you to decide for yourself whether it has been applied equally to everyone, or instead is applied selectively to achieve different results when different people are involved.

Gregory S. Shatan is an attorney at Moses & Singer LLP. He claims
that that the ESOB are “bedrock principles of ICANN participation” and
does his “best to abide by them”.

On August 31, 2017, within the Adobe Connect chat, Mr. Shatan
introduced the “Jane, you ignorant slut” meme into the conversation:

Continue reading “Double Standards in the Application of the ICANN Expected Standards of Behavior – Part 4”

Impact of the URS and Unlimited Fee Increases for Registrants in .ORG, .INFO, .BIZ and .ASIA

I had the pleasure of having a discussion today with several members of the ICANN At-Large community, regarding the proposed contracts for .ORG, .INFO, .BIZ and .ASIA that are now out for public comment. Glenn McKnight, Jonathan Zuck and Eduardo Diaz participated, along with myself, and it was recorded (see YouTube recording below; best to fast forward to 1:40 into the recording, to get to the true beginning of the discussions). I hope you find it educational, and will comment on these proposed contracts. I’ll have more to say about these contracts as we get closer to the deadline for comments later this month.

There’s also an audio MP3 recording of our discussion.

Double Standards in the Application of the ICANN Expected Standards of Behavior – Part 3

In this series, I examine past behavior at ICANN, contrasting it with the Expected Standards of Behavior (ESOB), and ask you to decide for yourself whether it has been applied equally to everyone, or instead is applied selectively to achieve different results when different people are involved.

Gregory S. Shatan is an attorney at Moses & Singer LLP. He claims that the ESOB are “bedrock principles of ICANN participation” and does his “best to abide by them”. Continue reading “Double Standards in the Application of the ICANN Expected Standards of Behavior – Part 3”

Double Standards in the Application of the ICANN Expected Standards of Behavior – Part 2

In this series, I examine past behavior at ICANN, contrasting it with the  Expected Standards of Behavior (ESOB), and ask you to decide for yourself whether it has been applied equally to everyone, or instead is applied selectively to achieve different results when different people are involved.

Recall that ICANN General Counsel John Jeffrey has claimed that there is “zero tolerance” for conduct in violation of the ESOB. The preamble to the ESOB makes it clear that it should apply to ICANN staff.

Those who take part in ICANN multi-stakeholder process, including Board, staff and all those involved in Supporting Organization and Advisory Committee councils, undertake to:

Fadi Chehade, in his position as CEO of ICANN at the time, disrespected a segment of domain name registrants in 2015, accusing them of “hogging” domain names, and equating them to cybersquatters.

Continue reading “Double Standards in the Application of the ICANN Expected Standards of Behavior – Part 2”

Double Standards in the Application of the ICANN Expected Standards of Behavior – Part 1

In a prior blog post, I documented how the ICANN Expected Standards of Behavior (ESOB) document is merely an aspirational statement, and not binding. As the ICANN Ombudsman Herb Waye has stated “it’s not a rule with sanction or penalty to it.

However, let’s pretend for a moment that it is binding. Has it been applied consistently and equally?

Continue reading “Double Standards in the Application of the ICANN Expected Standards of Behavior – Part 1”

Update: My participation rights have now been eliminated at ICANN working groups

Just to followup on the earlier blog post of today, I received the following email from Keith Drazek (GNSO Council Chair),

Dear Mr. Kirikos,

Receipt of your letter is acknowledged.

We note and regret that you have elected to not accept and agree to abide by ICANN’s Expected Standards of Behavior (ESOB).

As such, per the notice provided in the Council Leadership Team’s letter of 29 March, you will be placed in observer status in the RPM PDP WG and any other GNSO-related forum until such time we receive the necessary communication confirming acceptance of the ESOB, or until such time the ICANN Ombuds rules that you may return to member status following any appeal.

Sincerely,

Keith Drazek
GNSO Chair (on behalf of the GNSO Council Leadership Team)

So, unless I “bend the knee” and “swear an oath of fealty” (or unless the ICANN Ombudsman says I can return), I’m forever banished. Is that reasonable and proportionate?

And, this affects participation for all working groups (not just the RPM PDP), even though there’s no issue in the IGO PDP!