[registrars] Issues with Verisign Waiting List proposal
I also have concerns with respect to
- ethical issues associated with the WLS proposal
- Verisign's proposed pricing.
Regarding ethics: the WLS has the potential to become a
practically compulsory monopoly service, i.e. one where the
consumer has no choice but to take it. The system must be
designed to minimise such an effect. It is not ethical to
twist the consumer's arm, using the domain speculators as
a threat against a consumer who has paid for the domain.
A prudent domain holder may want to enter the waiting list
with its own name, possibly via another registrar.
However, to do that the registrant is obliged to take the
service immediately, or somebody else might grab the WLS
position. If that happens, the registrant has no other choice
but to add extra domain-years and have still no protection
against accidental deletion. Consequently, a grace period or
a sunrise period are not enough. The registered domain holder
must be able to jump to the first WLS position (i.e.g ahead
of earlier subcribers other than the holder) at any time during
the validity of the domain. That of course is more difficult
in the case of a thin registry, but it can be done if the
current whois output is picked up and archived whenever a
WLS transaction is made.
Regarding price: I also think that 40 dollars per 1-year WLS
subscription by far exceeds the costs and any reasonable
profit margin. That being said, a certain price level may be
needed to discourage speculative or abusive usage of the WLS.
There is no reason why Verisign should pocket the difference
between the "cost plus resonable profit margin" and equilibrium
price. If indeed the price to the registrar is to be 40 dollars,
then 34 should go to somewhere else and be used for the
community at large. The remaining 6 dollars should also be the
registry fee for the one additional year if the domain were
deleted and the WLS were triggered.