Do domain name owners care if VeriSign can drastically increase .com prices? Apparently not.
ICANN has released new details about its proposed registry agreement and added a line-by-line comparison to previous registry agreements. These agreements dictate the terms that registries such as VeriSign (NASDAQ: VRSN) must follow as they run top level domains. You can see details of the new information on ICANN’s web site.
As written before on Domain Name Wire along with several other domain news sites, the new agreement includes a ticking time bomb that could lead to drastically higher wholesale prices for .com domain registrations. Essentially the new agreements would not include pricing controls and instead just require registries to list their fees transparently online. This could be applied to existing registry agreements, such as the one VeriSign has to manage .com and .net.
What does this mean for you? When it comes time to renew one of your prized domains, you could see a renewal fee of $1,000, $10,000, or more.
As George Kirikos and others alerted domainers about this problem, I assumed people would take action. After all, all you have to do to comment on the proposed registry agreement is to send a simple email to gtld-transition [at] icann.org.
In the past month, fewer than 20 people have posted a comment about this issue in the module 5 comments on ICANN’s web site. Frank Schilling took the time out of his day to write a well thought out opposition to the changes. A handful have also posted comments to the main comments section on ICANN.
But not many other people have done so. It’s shocking that so few people have commented, and can lead me to only one conclusion: domain owners don’t care. It amazes me that people spend so much time complaining about 7% annual .com price hikes but won’t spend five minutes to express opposition to potential 7000% price hikes.
Am I wrong? Prove it to me by posting a thoughtful comment on ICANN’s web site today. Again, all you have to do is send an email with your comment to gtld-transition [at] icann.org.
The deadline for commenting has been extended to December 15, 2008.