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Re: [registrars] ICANN Task Force on Funding Update

Greetings, Fellow Registrars: 

While I have to agree that the political ramifications of the $1 per domain
name were substantial at one time, I think we should reconsider dismissing
that as a possible funding source for ICANN.

The only reason the $1 became such a political nightmare is because NSI's
lobbying group was successful in gaining the ear of certain congresspeople
and media outlets and convincing them that ICANN was this big, bad ugly
taxation monster out to consume whatever it could. In reality, everyone who
knew the real situation thought the $1 per domain name was MORE than fair
and quite frankly prudent.

We need to consider seriously, as a group, standing up and supporting that
$1 per name charge now because ICANN needs it and it's not too much to ask
of the consumer. 

After the most recent congressional hearings (when NSI finally felt a
little of the heat) and the highly publicized monetary bailout of ICANN
through donations, I think the public became more aware of the true nature
of ICANN and re-thought its position on the $1 charge. I think most people
now know that $1 per domain name is not an arbitrary tax afterall but a
necessary fee, and that ICANN is actually working for the good of consumers
not against them.

Before we dismiss it, let's rethink the $1 charge. It's fair, it's
reasonable and ICANN needs it to survive.


Jeff Shrewsbury
Info Avenue Internet Services

At 06:13 PM 9/24/99 +0200, Amadeu Abril i Abril wrote:
>Richard Forman wrote:
>> Fellow Registrars,
>> As some of you may know, ICANN has created a task force on funding to
>> review ICANN's sources of revenue and to recommend to the Board how to
>> fund ICANN going forward.
>Thanks for the update, Rich. See some brief comments beow.
>> On a personal note, I believe that a variable cost allocation method
>> (e.g., $1 fee per domain name) will continue to promote the taxation
>> debate.  This is not just a US issue.  The European Union will not stand
>> for anything that smells like a tax. Therefore, I am strongly in favor
>> of finding a solution to the ICANN funding debate.
>Also in a personal basis, I  think that the $1 per domain was the best
>"inerim" solution avaliable. To be sure, the European Union has never
>contested it, nor the European registrars to my knowledge. But it has
>been killed by the political moves we all know, and perhaps this
>debate is out of date. Just be aware that most of us are willing to
>keep that sytem as long as we can't find anything better. 
>> Specific issues that are now on the table include:
>> A) Should all ICANN constituencies contribute to the ICANN budget?
>Not only all consituencies, but indeed all three SOs. In fact ASO is
>very likely to start contirbuitons relatively soon (both RIPE NCC and
>APNIC have long time ago decided those contributions, even the amount.
>Only ARIN is unclear about it). For PSO things might be different as
>they are not basd on eqully formal insitutions (specially IETF) and,
>taking into account their special nature they could contribute less
>than both ASO and DNSO.
>The principle is equitable participation, not necessarily eqaul
>> B) What % of the overall cost should gTLD registrars absorb?
>No idea yet(for one thing, I feel that the budget is a little bit too
>high......). Again, the question is more about been equitble than
>equal. My sense (with no further developemnts troprovide) is that
>perhaps the "supply side" /the curent infraestructure in offering
>domain name rregistration services, that is the gTLD rregitry(ies);
>ccTLD registries and the gTLD registrars) should provide at leasdt
>half of the DNSOfunding, while the "demand side" (the other
>consituencies, should privide the rest.
>I said at leaet. Up to two thirds would also be ligical, fiven the
>structure of the DNS and the possibility to spread the costs
>downstream /yes I know: you smell taxes here... ;-))
>> C) Of that %, should individual registrar contributions be flat or
>> tiered?  If tiered, what are the boundaries?
>The simnpler the better. Either we have flat contirbutions or based on
>registrations. Other systems would be perahps too complicated, and
>certainly not fairer.
>> D) Are there other sources of funding that should be considered?
>Donations and other less-than-transparent mechansims should not be
>used if possible. Contributions by particpants. Those with an stake
>and wanting a voice need to fund the structure. I would not favour
>other systems.
>We llok forward to your preliminary proposals and thank you for
>keeping us informed.
>Best regards,