[Politech] ICANN and Verisign settle lawsuits, Verisign gets .com forever [econ]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Mon Oct 24 2005 - 22:41:15 PDT

Some background from the archives:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: ICANN and Verisign settle lawsuits, Verisign gets .COM forever
Date: 24 Oct 2005 23:31:30 -0400
From: John L <johnl@private>
To: David Farber <dave@private>, Declan McCullagh <declan@private>
CC: ALAC <alac@private>

A most interestesting announcement appeared on the ICANN web site today.

It says that ICANN and Verisign have agreed to settle all pending
lawsuits, and there's a new .COM agreement, all tentative but if history
is any guide, there's no way short of DOC action that's going to stop it.

The good news is that Verisign has agreed not to make unilateral changes
like Sitefinder.  They have to give prior notice to ICANN for any material
change in the operation of the registry, and if ICANN has any concerns
there's a lengthy process full of expert panels and Consensus and the like
to decide whether they can do it.  They agree to treat all registrars the
same, not to own more than 15% of any registrar, and a long laundry list
of things to prevent favoritism.

In the settlement agreement, Verisign also agrees to

   reiterate its support for ICANN as the appropriate technical
   coordination body for the DNS, in particular with respect to
   Internet domain names, IP address numbers, root server system
   management functions, and protocol parameter and port numbers.
   VeriSign also agrees that it will continue to be an advocate
   for the private sector solution to the coordination of
   Internet names and addresses, including (without limitation) that
   VeriSign will advocate ICANN's appropriate role in that process.

or to put it in practical terms, they'll lobby for ICANN at WSIS, which is
good news for ICANN if not necessarily for the world at large.

The bad news is that the new .COM agreement gives the .COM registry to
Verisign until 2012, with automatic renewals forever unless they go
bankrupt or materially breach the agreement.  The registry fee, now $6,
can increase 7% per year.  The ICANN fee, currently 25 cents, jumps to 37
cents on 1 Jan, to 45 cents on 1 Jul, and 50 cents on 1 July 2007, the
revenue to be used for a list of virtuous causes including anything ICANN
wants to use it for.  I guess this means I don't have to worry about
flying coach to ICANN meetings.

The press release and links to all the documnets are at

John Levine, johnl@private, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for 
Information Superhighwayman wanna-be, http://iecc.com/johnl, Mayor
"I dropped the toothpaste", said Tom, crestfallenly.
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