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:
— George Kirikos (@GeorgeKirikos) April 24, 2019
Nat Cohen wrote an excellent article explaining why ICANN’s proposal is so unjustified, and I highly recommend reading it.
ICANN also proposed imposing the Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) dispute resolution procedure, which was created for new gTLDs, attempting to impose it on legacy TLDs. I discussed why this was a bad idea in a debate on a prior blog post, especially given that the RPM PDP Working Group is currently reviewing the efficacy of that policy. A central question in that review is determining whether or not it should become a consensus policy that would be mandatory for all gTLDs (including legacy TLDs like .com, .net, and .org), yet ICANN staff is attempting to impose the URS in a top-down manner, undermining the bottom-up policy development model which requires hearing from all affected stakeholders.
I hope that you will take a few moments to submit comments of your own on the proposed agreements. You might want to read the previously submitted comments before submitting your own. If your time is limited, the Internet Commerce Association created a tool to make submissions easier. If you do not speak up, and these proposed contracts are adopted, it is almost certain that Verisign will leverage their adoption as precedent to further increase their fees for .com and .net domain names.