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Pay Attention: Proposed .COM agreement would affect more than just prices!

Labeled as legal in Domain Industry News, started by GeorgeK, Feb 14, 2020

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  1. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Leap.com PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Hi folks,

    Most people didn't read the entire proposed agreement, so they've not delved into some critical changes. I just submitted my detailed comments, see:

    https://freespeech.com/2020/02/14/c...ed-amendment-3-to-the-com-registry-agreement/

    and I would draw your attention to point #11, namely the proposed changes in section 2.7(b) of the RAA agreement. Take a look at the blue text on page 50, which adds new text allowing Verisign to cancel/transfer domains:

    That's all brand new language that doesn't exist currently, and for good reason, because "any government" means governments like Russia, Iran, Turkey, North Korea, etc. would be allowed to make orders that Verisign would obey!

    Or, a banana republic could simply pass a law saying all dictionary word, 2-letter, 3-letter and other valuable dot-coms now belong to the treasury of that banana republic, transferring billions of dollars of assets to that country.

    Obviously, this is not desirable, but that's the effect of these sloppy contracts. Folks need to wake up and comment on more than just price. See the entire comment I submitted for all the other points I found (and there are probably other important points made by others that are buried in the 8,000+ comments which ICANN staff will not document in their summary, just like they didn't point out that in the .ORG comments that I mentioned private equity ).
     
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  2. Welberch

    Welberch Restricted (50-70%)

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    Class action litigation is a way to go.
     
  3. henrypcyeung

    henrypcyeung Established Member

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    I think you think too much... Every company, including Verisign, should ensure compliance with laws and regulations of government or authority where they do business. A Country A's citizen should obey Country B's laws if he does business in Country B. Internet is a global matter that cannot be controlled by one government. When Government A wants to pass a law saying all valuable domains belong to its assets, other governments must voice out and stop Government A.

    Also, I don't understand why governments need all valuable domains. They want to pass a law and then sell the valuable domains to the public or other governments? Or they just want the domains for collections? A government should more prefer to pass a law to say all houses, lands or all money belong to it?

    I DISAGREE THE .COM PRICE INCREMENT!
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  4. Mister Funsky

    Mister Funsky Top Contributor VIP

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    It is something I did not spot...thanks for pointing it out. This should worry the big boy(s) registrars unless they are complicit.
     
  5. xynames

    xynames XYNames.com PRO VIP

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    It’s fine to be concerned but that verbiage refers to a valid (“legal”) order from a government where some treaty validates the order, it does not mean what GeorgeK implies. Concentrate on the price change worrying about that particular change is unfounded.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
  6. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    I realized, from ICA points made, that there were other issues than simply the price increase, but had not picked up on the wording that @GeorgeK points out. I will leave it to legal minds to properly interpret it, but at least at face value, it does seem potentially concerning. Just as an example, what if a country decreed that no domain name could include that country name, would that legal order be respected? The whole who has authority is such a thorny issue.

    Bob
     
  7. CDM

    CDM Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I believe this to be the more pertinent line that warrants highlighting ...

    I agree it is likely not much of a danger that some government could declare "all your 3L.com are belong to us now". But I see the possible ramifications as potentially much more insidious. The real danger of the changes in a proposal like this is that it sets up a precedent whereby governments have more control of the internet, which means more power to censor, like the proverbial camel getting more of its nose under the tent, or the frog in the pot of water as it's temperature is being slowly turned up.

    Recall what was going on a year or two ago with former UK prime minister Theresa May proposed plans for a more government regulated internet ...
    With that in mind in regard to the ICANN proposal, people should not necessarily be as worried about what laws exist today, as those that might exist tomorrow, since as governments grow larger and are granted more power they tend to become more draconian.

    Currently, authorities like the FBI and ICE have the power to seize domains, as has most recently been described the other day on DomainGang, for illegal activities such as money laundering, drug or sex trafficking. However one can easily imagine a number of possible future scenarios, particularly as regards their desire to limit speech and free inquiry ...

    For one, recall the Gab.com controversy wherein the website hosting provider dropped Gab's service due to what was deemed by many to be hate speech. This was a privately held company saying, look we don't agree with what you're doing, so we choose to deny you our service. Now image instead if it's a government (any government) who decides what is to be considered 'hate speech' and is able to reach across political borders in order to seize domains of those it deems guilty of violating whatever laws it has passed.

    Suppose you are a Canadian (or even a non-Canadian) who is publishing content to criticize the Canadian government's new laws around the use of preferred pronouns, and the whole gender identity debate, that I believe is now considered as part of a new law to be some form of hate speech or hate crime if you use it in a context the law does not support. Could the Canadian government then exert it's power over Verisign to have your domain shut down?

    Or, say you are a Chinese citizen or even an American journalist trying to break news about the Chinese government's alleged complicity in trying to downplay or cover-up some aspect of the emerging corona virus, as I have recently seen alleged. China has long been known as the 'Great Firewall' for it's severe censorship of information within their own borders, but what if as a result of this new regulation they had the power to issue injunctions against people outside of China to have their domain cancelled.

    It's also now true that the largest social media and internet platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, et. al., have been de-platforming and shadow-banning content providers that don't fit with certain ideological narratives and agendas, and those content providers having lost huge subscriber bases on these platforms are being forced to fall back on their own websites as the only vehicle by which to have their content published. Suppose even their own websites too would be threatened. I imagine some of you, for example, may not like or agree with Alex Jones and Infowars, but imagine if tomorrow you visited the site and saw "this domain has been seized" merely because he said something the government (or some special interest group) says is dangerous or does not agree with. Welcome to the USSA.

    That in my opinion would be the real concern with this particular wording, and fitting it into the larger context of other recently proposed laws and regulations tailored around regulating the internet to censor and curtail free speech.
     
  8. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Leap.com PRO VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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  9. CDM

    CDM Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Weasels. They wait until the last moment to submit before comments close, so no one has time to respond with an objective point by point criticism of their comment.
     
  10. CDM

    CDM Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Is there a link to the threaded .html version of this comment on the comments index page? I can't seem to find it.
     
  11. Sutruk

    Sutruk Top Contributor VIP

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    I have read the Verisign pdf letter, and I have to say that I am amazed (worried) about the level of the language they use. If that's the level of Verisign, that's to worry about.

    Complaining because the registration of domains related to the Coronavirus, complaining about Namecheap, I mean... this is the level of Verisign?!

    It is really disturbing that Verisign complaints because the Registars have informed their customers, the .com domain users, about the price increase intent.

    They literally refer to it as "a campaign efforts to flood the comment period"!!! I mean, really!?? So informing the .com customers of what is going to happen, for Verisign is to "launch a coordinated campaign"!!!

    Of course, they would like better to not inform nobody about their price increase, right?

    Another point, when they explain why they want to increase the price, for "strengthen security, stability and resiliency of the Domain Name System", I bet they didn't inform about their more than $500 Million yearly net income, for operating a monopoly that other companies would be more than happy to opearte for way less than $7,85 per domain.

    They get more than $500M yearly operating the monopoly of the .com registry, the most popular domain tld, with no competence, and they are complaining about domain buyers!?

    And last, but not least, they complain that the comments where from domain "speculators"!!!
    I have read a lot of comments, and I can say that the 95% of them are from people owning just 1 or few domains, people running their .com website. And I am very generous saying that 5% where from domainers.

    If domainers are "speculators" for Verising, what are they!? running a monopoly and becoming richer year after year!?

    Come on man!! Let's do a public and fair bidding for the .com Registry, and I bet you that the winning company would be more than happy to run the .com registry for less than $5, and with "strengthen security, stability and resiliency of the Domain Name System" included!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  12. HappyW

    HappyW Collector VIP

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    Domain name transactions will not violate the laws of any country. Each transaction is a third-party transaction, which is traceable, and tens of millions of super sales are more easily regulated by the market and industry. In short, the government has no right to interfere with normal corporate transactions. The government has .GOV, they don't need .COM, and Verisign will become a tool for them to collect taxes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  13. Lox

    Lox _____ VIP Gold Account

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  14. BrandCollectors.com

    BrandCollectors.com Restricted (DM)

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    so any updates?
     
  15. manpreet

    manpreet Top Contributor VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Thanks for sharing.
     
  16. Indianad

    Indianad Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    Thanks for the information(y)
     

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