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Re: [ga] Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 15:53:53 -0500

William please take time out to read my concept and then read it again.

You are a welcome source but, time may or may not be running short.

William X Walsh wrote:

> Everyone in this discussion should take a time out and read this one,
> and then read it again.
> Wednesday, Wednesday, January 09, 2002, 1:28:19 PM, Elliot Noss wrote:
> > I wanted to take a bit of a "clean-sheet" approach to this discussion as the
> > points I wish to communicate cut across a number of different threads on a
> > number of different lists.
> > There are really four topics I wish to raise as follows:
> > - Who has the "right" to deal with expired/expiring names?
> > - The mixing in this discussion of two seperate issues, registry load and
> > the allocation of expired/expiring names;
> > - The inefficiency that results from any flat-price solution;
> > - A way forward.
> > Who has the "right" to expired/expiring names?
> > -----------------------------------------------
> > This is an issue that creates an interesting sub-text to this entire
> > discussion, yet has not been fully examined. There are three potential
> > claimants for this right and three possible states for these names.
> > Claimants include registrants, registry and registrars. States include
> > unexpired, expired in the grace period and expired o/s the grace period.
> > There are two things that are clear. First, that no one party is clearly
> > entitled to stake a claim. Registrars are limited by the terms of 3.7.5 of
> > the RAA which require that names be put back in the pool if not renewed. The
> > registry is limited by its role as monopoly technical supplier and by the
> > Registry agreement which entitles it to a fee for the services it is
> > contracted to perform and confers upon it no property rights beyond that.
> > Registrants are limited by a number of practical issues including their
> > limited rights in a name and their diffuse nature.
> > What is clear to me is that this IS NOT a function of a registrars terms of
> > service, nor is it an inherent right contained in the registry agreement.
> > At the same time we must keep our eye on the fact that the role of
> > registrars and registry is, most purely, to efficiently administer the
> > allocation and provisioning of domain names. This means that the best
> > approach is the one that puts names into the hands of those who would put
> > them to the most use. Names in the hands of those who most desire them will
> > lead to a fuller utilization of the Internet, more value for users and more
> > revenue for registrars and registries.
> > This point should not be seen as at odds with an egalitarian (as opposed to
> > equitable) view of domain names and first-come-first-served ("FCFS"), but I
> > realize this is a point that would be the subject of much debate. What is
> > interesting today is that we are at a unique time and place in the history
> > of the DNS which makes this less contentious. We have one extremely mature
> > namespace in .com/.net/.org. It is almost certain to be the largest
> > namespace throughout the lifecycle of the current DNS. It also has a
> > secondary market that is more evolved than any other will ever be. We also
> > have the recent introduction of new gTLDs that provide a fresh supply of
> > names. This means any solution effected can be tailored to the current
> > circumstance.
> > We must also remember that there are two groups of registrants that we must
> > consider, current registrants and potential registrants. They have distinct
> > interests. Current registrants have rights around their existing names, both
> > in terms of security from losing a name through inadvertance and in excess
> > economic value. Potential registrants benefit from being able to efficiently
> > obtain names that are currently owned. With the introduction of new gTLDs
> > potential registrants have, and will continue to have more and better
> > alternatives. The maximum value in the secondary market exists right now,
> > today.
> > At the end of the day the competing claims of registries and registrars are
> > likely subordinate to those of registrants. Accordingly, any solution should
> > start with this underpinning.
> > Registry load and the allocation of expired/expiring names
> > -----------------------------------------------------------
> > It has been noted by a number of people in this debate, and has been my
> > position for many months, that the issues of registry load and the the
> > allocation of expired/expiring names are being mixed together unnecessarily.
> > I wish to add my voice to the chorus saying that these issues are related
> > only remotely, almost accidentally. There have been a number of very good
> > suggestions as to simple steps the registry could take to lessen the load.
> > There are a couple additional points worth noting here. First, the current
> > solution is no longer broken. While I am not a fan of the status quo, the
> > registry has weathered the storm and there seems to currently be no
> > appreciable impact on our day-to-day business (which was not the case a
> > short time ago). An additional measure or two (a modified check command,
> > additional, transparent compliance, all names dropping in real time and a
> > published drop list are the easiest and most effective IMHO) would make this
> > a non-issue.
> > It is worth noting my personal dealings with the registry on the question of
> > load have been positive and I was impressed with their genuine desire to
> > solve the issues at hand.
> > This last point leads me to feel comfortable that these issues are not being
> > presented as being directly connected and can be dealt with seperately. I
> > would, of course, love to hear Chuck confirm this.
> > The Inefficiency of flat pricing
> > ---------------------------------
> > The current market for domain names is characterized by flat-priced supply
> > and variable-priced demand. I do not take a politial position on this, I
> > merely note it as observation. This market inefficiency (again observation
> > not position) has lead to the existance of a robust secondary market. It has
> > also lead to a significant amount of the current CNO namespace sitting
> > unused.
> > I have strong reservations about any solution geared at the expiring market
> > that magnifies that inefficiency. By definition it leaves money on the table
> > and leaves demand unfulfilled at the same time. The worst of both worlds.
> > Ideally we could find a solution that was able to create a robust, efficient
> > secondary market which would benefit registrars and the registry, but if
> > done properly would most benefit registrants.
> > A suggested way forward
> > ------------------------
> > Unfortunately, for me, the existing WLS proposal is not acceptable. The
> > inefficiencies are large and the economics are miles away from either fair
> > or realistic. With significantly re-worked economics it could be an
> > acceptable interim step, but I am not sure we need an interim step,
> > especially given the decoupling of the registry load issue.
> > It seems to me there is a way forward that addresses all of the above
> > issues. I would suggest two important modifications to the existing Peter
> > Girard proposal. An unlimited bidding period and the bulk of the fees going
> > to existing registrants rather than registrars.
> > All names should be available to "bid" on at any time. A "bid" by a
> > prospective registrant would require an administrative fee collected by a
> > registrar, shared with registry and would be available for acceptance by the
> > existing registrant at any time. A sucessful transaction would lead to a fee
> > to both registry and registrars. An example:
> > - Potential registrant places a bid of $150 on abcd.com and for doing so
> > pays a non-refundable administrative fee to registrar x of $10 and in turn
> > registrar pays registry $5;
> > - Original registrant is made aware of his ability to "transfer" the name
> > and any unexpired term to a potential registrant for $120;
> > - If original registrant decides to accept he contacts the existing
> > registrar of record and informs him of his desire;
> > - If the registrars are different the $30 transaction fee is split 1/3 each,
> > if the same than the split is equal between registrar and registry;
> > - The fee would be a % of bid, capped at a relatively low number ($30?).
> > To be clear, this is described in very brief terms and would need
> > significant rounding out as well as a champion so please work the principals
> > not the specifics.
> > This solution would provide significant benefits to everyone involved in
> > both an equitable and palatable fashion. It would also keep both registrars
> > and registries in their role of market makers not market participants and
> > would create a level of efficiency that would lead to increased revenues,
> > increased registrant satisfaction and, perhaps most importantly, maximized
> > use of the namespace.
> > The original administrative fee would/should act so as to deter nearly all
> > wasteful behaviour. Technically, it need be no more complicated than an
> > interface between the SRS and EBay's open APIs (full credit here to Joyce
> > Lin in Montevideo, if only we would have listened to you then!). It could be
> > completely done by the registry, by the registry with technical partners,
> > Peter could do it, or it could be put out to a completely new tender
> > process. I know we would love to build it (but to be clear we are not
> > throwing our hat in the ring whatsoever). I know perhaps fifty people
> > reading this message would love to build it. That kind of excites me,
> > thinking of all of the extremely capable people who could nail this
> > technically. Innovation would abound if we let it.
> > The single largest beneficiary would be the registry. Ok by me. The largest
> > cumulative benefit would accrue to registrants. Again, that works for me. I
> > think this would be an absolutely elegant outcome for everyone.
> > Regards
> > Elliot Noss
> > Tucows inc.
> > 416-538-5494
> > --
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> --
> Best regards,
> William X Walsh <william@wxsoft.info>
> --
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