[Politech] Weekly column: With new fees, ICANN's partying like it's 1999

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Thu Jan 06 2005 - 06:46:48 PST


ICANN partying like it's 1999
December 20, 2004, 4:00 AM PT
By Declan McCullagh

It's been five years since Internet users had to worry about paying an 
extra $1 or so annual fee--akin to a tax--for each .com, .net or .org 
domain name they own.

Now the international organization that oversees domain names has 
rediscovered the idea. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and 
Numbers (ICANN) believes it needs a fatter budget funded by domain name 
fees--and plans to start charging domain name owners in a process that 
will begin next year.

Starting sometime in 2005, owners of .net domain names will have to pay 
a 75-cent additional annual fee to ICANN. There's nothing stopping ICANN 
from upping the levy in the future, and its executives have indicated 
that other top-level domains will be targeted as well.

Before deciding to play tax collector, though, ICANN should consider 
what happened back in 1999 that caused it to concoct and then abandon 
the idea.

[...remainder snipped...]
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