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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    Watchdogs Danny Younger Tilts at VeriSign Windmill
    posted by michael on Tuesday March 04 2003, @02:34PM

    Over on the GA list, Danny Younger gets his teeth into one of the more comic pieces of ICANN contracting. VeriSign took ICANN to the cleaners during contract negotiations. Among other things, ICANN neglected to prevent VeriSign from selling its registrar and buying another, and ICANN neglected to contract for the distribution .org multi-year payments when VRSN handed over the long-term liabilities of maintainging the database. And, VeriSign made the unenforceable and clearly meaningless promise to spend vast sums on "research, development, and infrastructure improvements to the .com, .net, and .org Registries". Mr. Younger connects this to the current WHOIS debate....

    Here's what Mr. Younger had to say:
    Re: http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic/nc-whois/Arc00/doc00091.doc


    With regard to your initial draft of the issues paper on WHOIS Searchability, I note that while you have referenced the RAA, you have overlooked citing Appendix W of the .com Registry Agreement:

    1. Centralized Whois

    Registry Operator shall develop and deploy a centralized Whois for the .com, .net, and .org TLDs if mandated by ICANN insofar as reasonably feasible, particularly in view of Registry Operator's dependence on cooperation of third parties.

    2. Research, Development and Infrastructure Improvements

    During the period between the Effective Date of this Agreement and December 31, 2010, Registry Operator agrees to expend a minimum of US$200,000,000 for research, development, and infrastructure improvements to the .com, .net, and .org Registries (the "Improvements"). The intent of the Improvements is to increase the efficiency and stability of the .com, .net and .org Registries. Registry Operator shall ensure that a substantial portion of expenditures for the Improvements occurs prior to November 10, 2007. Registry Operator shall provide ICANN with an annual report on this research and development activity.

    Registry Operator agrees that one of the early goals of the Improvements is to design and develop a Universal Whois Service that will allow public access and effective use of Whois across all Registries and all TLDs. Registry Operator shall commence research and development of the Universal Whois Service no later than December 31, 2001. Registry Operator shall, insofar as is reasonably possible in view of Registry Operator's dependence on the cooperation of third parties, strive to achieve significant progress in implementing the Universal Whois Service by December 31, 2002.

    Registry Operator further agrees that if it successfully designs and develops the Universal Whois Service it will (a) make the Application Program Interfaces necessary to produce software which can efficiently deploy and use the Universal Whois Service available to applications developers on an open, non-proprietary, standards-based and royalty-free basis, and (b) make the Universal Whois Service available at a standardized reasonable fee to be negotiated with ICANN.


    On a related note, I would ask why VeriSign is charging registrars for provision of the RGP service if VeriSign has already contractually agreed to commit $200,000,000 for infrastructure improvements? Why should registrars (and in turn registrants) have to absorb these charges?

    Best regards,
    -- Danny --

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      Related Links  
  • VeriSign/NSI
  • Danny Younger, former GA Chair
  • http://www.dnso.org/clubpublic /nc-whois/Arc00/doc00091.doc
  • took ICANN to the cleaners
  • promise
  • connects this
  • More on Watchdogs
  • Also by michael
    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Danny Younger Tilts at VeriSign Windmill | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 3 comments | Search Discussion
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    by RFassett on Wednesday March 05 2003, @08:43AM (#11269)
    User #3226 Info | http://www.enum.info
    who negotiated and agreed to a cap of $6 with no out? This little "it's a feature not a bug" has slammed the door on TLD expansion, in my opinion. Two years or so later, who has won and who has lost from this "contract negotiation"?

    http://finance.yahoo.com/qs=VRSN&d=c&k=c1&a=v&p=s& t=2y&l=on&z=m&q=l

    I am not a shareholder of VRSN, but taken "to the cleaners" might be a description one would use when price caps are willingly agreed to by negotiation rather than regulation. ICANN is not a regulator, so it says, and not being formally challenged to this day as being one as far as I have seen.

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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