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RE: [registrars] ICANN Task Force on Funding Update

While the $1.00 fee seemed to make a lot of sense when it was first
proposed, it has become a lightning rod for politicians and critics of
ICANN.  There seems to be strong consensus within ICANN that the $1.00 fee
is no longer desirable.  Also, from my time on Capitol Hill, congressmen and
senators will have a field day if the "per domain name" charge comes back

Richard Forman
President &  CEO
Register.com, Inc.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Info Avenue [mailto:iamarketing@InfoAve.Net]
> Sent: Friday, September 24, 1999 2:50 PM
> To: Amadeu Abril i Abril; rforman@register.com
> Cc: registrars@dnso.org
> Subject: 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.
> Thoughts?
> Thanks.
> 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
> paritcipation.
> >
> >> 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,
> >
> >Amadeu
> >
> >