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Re: [ga] Verisign proceeds with WLS, despite opposition


On Sat, 23 Mar 2002, George Kirikos wrote:

> Hello,
> As most know, the DNSO GA and the RC (registrars) were overwhelmingly
> against the WLS proposal.

I had posted a PDF of the registrars response to the WLS, below is the
response reformatted in text.


                    Registrar Constituency (RC)
                         Position Paper
                      Regarding the proposed
                     Wait Listing Service (WLS)
                          March 16, 2002

The RC opposes the revised WLS proposal in its current form.  The
concerns are as follows:

  1) Price.

    a. The price has not been justified on a cost plus a reasonable
       profit, or any other, basis.

    b.	The proposed WLS subscription price combined with the $6
        registration price continues to be too high.  It effectively
        multiplies the total registry price on the most attractive
        deleted names about 6-fold.  The effect is to undermine
        competitive registrars and raise the cost of registration for

  2) Competition
     a.	WLS reduces competition by substituting a single model for the
        many and varied current registrar business models for
        re-registering deleted names for consumers.  WLS pre-empts all
        other models.  The current system imposes nearly no
        restriction as to business model offered to consumers.

  3) Equal Access

     a.	The existing system allows each registrar equal access to
        re-registering deleted names.  The WLS system limits
        re-registration to the holder of the WLS subscription. (THIS

     b.	With WLS, registrars with larger databanks of deleted names
    	(e.g., the VeriSign registrar, which has a large legacy of
    	expiring names) would have an advantage over smaller
    	registrars due to the fact that the larger registrars would be
    	able to offer many more WLS subscriptions with a guaranteed
    	chance of "ripening" (because only the registrar-of-record
    	would know that it is about to issue a delete on a particular
    	name).  In contrast, other registrars would have to offer the
    	same WLS subscription at a much higher risk.  This fact
    	effectively unbalances the equal access to re-registering any
    	deleted name that exists today.

   4) Transparency
      a. VeriSign runs the primary registry, the largest registrar,
         and the subscription service. As long as the same company is
         operating this vertically powerful chain of companies, it may
         be possible for it to shift domain names from the $6.00
         registry to the $41.00 WLS.  In fact, only the registry would
         know all of the WLS subscriptions and the timing for deleting
         names.  Such information could beabused by its registrar.
         Considering that there is a history "some of it still
         unresolved" of VeriSign not deleting expired names, and the
         fact that a WLS subscription will be allowed for names that
         are past expiration, the RC is doubly concerned that
         VeriSign's operating the WLS provides new opportunities for
         domain name hoarding.  The current system provides sufficient
         transparency to ensure that one registrar is not advantaged
         relative to another.  The current system provides less
         incentive for a registrar to not delete names that are more
         than 45 days past expiration.  The expectation of a pending
         WLS system release provides incentive for registrars to hold
         names past expiration.  VeriSign effectively bears no cost,
         and has the most to gain in extra WLS fees, for it's holding
         of expired names.  VeriSign registrar has dramatically
         decreased the number of names it would routinely delete and
         increased the number of names it holds more than 45 days
         passed expiration.

   5) Grandfathering of Current Subscriptions

      a. The WLS proposal states that current Snapbacks would be
         grandfathered into the system.  In other words, the registry
         would respect and effectively make whole those consumers that
         had used a SnapNames approach to obtaining a registered
         domain name.  It is unfair to favor one secondary market
         provider above others.  A number of entities, including
         domain name auction brokers and registrars, have offered
         consumers the opportunity to place orders on registered
         names.  All of these should receive equal treatment  meaning
         a grandfathering into any WLS system.

  While the RC continues to oppose the WLS in its current form, and
  believes that denying its introduction would be reasonable, it
  recognizes the need for a permanent solution to the apparent problem
  of deleted names not being released or being released in a manner
  that undermines other registry functions.  Therefore, the RC
  welcomes the Names Council's consideration of alternate ideas for
  addressing these issues, many of which have been discussed by the RC

  By a vote in the Registrars constituency the following registrars
  are Signatories of this document.

   Dotster           CORE*                      DotRegistrar
   Intercosmos       Total Registrations*       007Names
   InterDomain       Registry at Info Avenue*   All West*
   Emarkmonitor*     Enom                       000Domains.com
   Gandi             Registration Technologies  Interdomain
   Nominalia*        000Domains                 TuCows
   Active ISP

   * Previous RC members with non-paid memberships as of 3/8/02

The following resolution was passed by the ICANN-DNSO Registrars
Constituency on March 10th 2002.

   Whereas, VeriSign GRS has presented a proposal to create a "Wait
   Listing Service" (hereinafter referred to as "WLS"), and

   Whereas the Registrars Constituency has both the right and the
   responsibility to adopt and express its position on proposals by
   registries to introduce new services, and

   Whereas many members of the Constituency have a variety of
   significant concerns about this proposal as currently drafted, and

   Whereas the Constituency as a body through the adoption of this
   resolution wishes to oppose the implementation of WLS, and

   Whereas the Constituency believes that the denial of permission by
   ICANN for the introduction of WLS would be reasonable, and

   Whereas ICANN, through its contract with VeriSign GRS, may withhold
   permission for the introduction of a new registry services provided
   that this permission is not withheld unreasonably, be it therefore

   Resolved that the DNSO Registrars Constituency opposes the
   implementation of WLS, and be it further

   Resolved that this opposition be the official position of this
   Constituency until such time as this position is revised by vote of
   the Constituency, and be it further

   Resolved that the DNSO Registrars Constituency urges ICANN to
   withhold permission for the implementation of WLS, and be it

   Resolved that the Executive Committee of the Registrar Constituency
   is directed to communicate this position to VeriSign GRS, to ICANN
   and to any other interested parties.

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