ICANN boss made questionable comments in Davos last month.
Internet Commerce Association has sent a letter (pdf) to ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé, following remarks Chehadé made at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos.
In a video interview with Huffington Post, Chehadé said:
The reality is, the more there are names, the less people will actually be hogging names in order to charge a lot for them. Because if somebody took your name on dot-x, you can go get another name on dot-y now.” and “We went from twenty-something top-level domains … to hundreds now… We think it will actually reduce cybersquatting eventually.
The remarks were widely rebuked. On this week’s Domain Sherpa Discussion, I noted that it seemed Chehadé went off message while trying to say that new TLDs deliver more consumer choice while not contributing to a meaningful increase in trademark infringing domain names.
ICA’s letter, penned by President Jeremiah Johnston, notes that people investing in domain names (i.e., hogging domains) are the ones footing the bill for ICANN’s massive growth and budget. ICA’s members represent about 10% of all registered domain names, and Johnston points out that this means they paid for about 20 of Chehadé’s 197 trips last year.
The notes that there is nothing wrong with domain name investing, and investors are merely setting a market price. Furthermore, new TLD companies are playing the same role as domain name investors in legacy TLDs, reserving thousands of domain names and setting high prices on the better ones. For the most part, it’s not the case that, if your desired domain is taken in .com, you can acquire it cheaply on a new TLD.
In fact, new TLD operators’ ability to charge whatever they want for new TLDs is probably why contention set auctions are going so high, further lining ICANN’s pockets.
The absence of pricing controls in new gTLDs has in fact shifted pricing discretion away from portfolio registrants and toward registry operators. In .com and other legacy gTLDs with low annual registration fees, domain investors price domains they offer for resale based upon their perceived market value. In the new gTLD program, the registries are pricing annual domain registration based upon on their perception of market value. In both instances, the marketplace is working.
The letter also questions Chehadé’s use of the word “cybersquatting” in the same breathe of “hogging” domain names, and seeks clarification on if he was tying domain name investing together with trademark infringement.
Thanks ICA. It is great that you stand up for domain owners rights!
Fadi was grossly misunderstood. Here’s what he meant to say: http://domaingang.com/domain-news/sputnik-news-interview-icann-ceo-fadi-chehade/
there was something in the ‘K’ street (Wash DC) news about homeland security wanting to label him a terrorist sympathizer but apparently someone from the white house intervened because his former pakistani terrorist contacts were no longer considered relevant and might interfere with giving away american control of the internet. and in other news… sports illustrated is now hiring FAT models. oh YUCK.
You are sick man I am surprised that Andrew did not delete your comment.
Domain Jealousy says
It’s interesting how he says “somebody took your name on dot-x, you can go get another name on dot-y now.”
TOOK YOUR DOMAIN. He is saying it’s your domain and not the registrant’s domain. As if it was taken from you. What a load of sh*t. First come first serve unless there is a trademark, otherwise f*ck-off.
It just goes to show his shallow, self-entitlement mentality.
It’s just sickening when somebody thinks that someone else’s property is theirs.
Pot calling the kettle ... says
He talks about “if someone has dot-x, you can now get dot-y”.
I wonder if his opinion would change if Icann had to compete with another global organization (using a parallel root) in creating new gtlds?
I also wonder how Icann would operate today if they didn’t have all of this new influx of cash ($1/2 billion?) over the past 2 yrs.
I 102% agree with “Domain Jealousy” pointing out about ICANN CEO saying that “took your domain” philosophy. What a load of crap. That ICANN CEO is making all kinds of excuses just to make it okay for them to continuously keep adding more TLDs so they can keep charging people for false sense of speculation. I wonder if Rod would talk like that.
Question is now that its been brought to the attention of the style of talk that ICANN CEO CHADDHI WALA says, is anyone going to actually do anything about that?
“domain investors price domains they offer for resale based upon their perceived market value… the marketplace is working.”
In an efficient marketplace it is buyers who set the price.
“In an efficient marketplace it is buyers who set the price.”
How so? Go ahead, set a price and I will turn it down unless it matches my asking price.
In an efficient market, the buyer wouldn’t have to match your arbitrary asking price, he would be able to buy at the price where he has just beaten other bidders.
But I agree with the ICA point that given their power to exploit premium names, new TLD registries are in the same boat as domain investors, and so the practices that were criticised are similar to ones that have been encouraged.
Location, location, location defines the price. One can always sell at reg fee, if they want. The intrinsic value of a domain is not defined by the number of offers it receives, or lack thereof.
Bottom line, it is not ‘ok’ for domain investors to sell a domain at the market price. But, it is ‘ok’ for Icann to sell a gtld at the market price using an auction platform.
Hear, hear! 😀
Recently, Carl Icahn purchase the FontaineBleu project on auction for about $107million, a project that had already $1.9B invested and $1B left to invest in completion. When asked about what he plans to do and when he plans to complete it, Carl Icahn indicated he plans to hold on to the asset until business conditions improve”.
Notice he said “plans to hold on to the asset”
OK… so…Now, if we here look at it, should we call Carl Icahn a real estate squatter, and if he at all owns the domain name, un-developed, does that mean he’s a squatter or does that mean he’s investing in domains or does that mean that he’s exempt from any accusation because he’s Carl Icahn?
Please let me know which applies to him so we can throw the books at him.. c’mon guys… c’mon… let’s throw the books at him… he’s a squatter.. right guys?
James Lozano says
I have to side with Chehade on this one, how can anyone in their right mind not consider owning thousands of domains names in which they have nothing to do with not ‘hogging’?!!!!! Big companies own hundreds of domain names for products that they actually sell.
From what I can see most of the domain investors are quick to criticize and call ‘squatters’ those who own many domains but are not in the ‘Domainers Circle’ but will not do the same to those who are in the CIRCLE.
If I own thousands of shares of Chevron (in which I have nothing to do with) consider ‘hogging’?
If I own for many years hundreds of building lots around a lake (in which I have no intentions of building my own home), is that consider ‘hogging’?
Have you seen the bigger piggies in their starched white shirts?
You will find the bigger piggies stirring up the dirt.
Always have clean shirts…
to play around in.
George Harrison nailed it.