According to a recent SEC filing (see page 14), Medidata Solutions Inc., a provider of cloud-based solutions for clinical research in life sciences, acquired the Medidata.com domain name for USD $600,000 in the first quarter of 2019. According to Archive.org, the domain name used to redirect to Medidata.ch, operated by a Swiss company.
In the past month, one of the most controversial topics in the domain name world has been the proposal by ICANN to permit unlimited fee increases for .ORG domain names, compared to the current generous allowance of 10% annual fee increases (far above inflation). My own submission in the public comment period can be read in a prior blog post.
Yesterday, PIR, the registry operator, wrote an open letter to the .ORG community that can be summarized in 2 words, “trust us.” That is insufficient. Organizations have a tendency to change their minds, especially when it serves their interests. What matters is what’s
in the contracts, as what is allowed to happen often does happen. Continue reading “Ten Year Renewal In Advance of Domain Name Fee Increases Is Inadequate Protection”
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
ICANN, in an affront to free speech and due process, has threatened to restrict my participation on important domain name policy issues, and I think it’s crucial that these topics be brought before the public for debate. Continue reading “ICANN Threatens to Restrict Participation Rights of critic George Kirikos”
I have launched this new blog today at FreeSpeech.com, in order to better educate the public about domain names, internet governance, ICANN, free speech, and other topics. Continue reading “Hello, World!”