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    ICANN Confirms: New gTLD Contracts Permit .tv style pricing | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 8 comments | Search Discussion
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    ICANN Negotiations -- A Play In Three Acts
    by GeorgeK on Thursday August 24 2006, @12:46PM (#16876)
    User #3191 Info | http://www.kirikos.com/
    [I wrote the following for the GA list, discussing how ICANN negotiates.]

    ICANN Negotiations -- A Play In Three Acts


    I think Vint underestimates the determination of registries to engage in discriminatory pricing. If it is supposedly "suicide", why negotiate a power into a contract that one does not intend to use? If it's a power one would never use, it means it is costless to remove that term from the contract.

    It's a simple negotiation.

    "Registry: We would *never* do that.
    ICANN: Great. Let's write it out of the contract.
    Registry: Done."

    Instead, we see something like the following, one might imagine:

    ACT I: A fancy restaurant overlooking a beautiful harbour, lunchtime.

    Registry: We would *never* do *that*.
    ICANN: Great. Let's write it out of the contract.
    Registry: (silence)
    (more silence)
    (the sound of crickets is heard chirping in the distant mountains)
    ICANN: Sorry, I must have mumbled? Did you hear me? Let's write it out of the contract.
    Registry: Hmmm, I'm not sure I'm authorized to do that, today.
    (a bead of sweat rolls down his temple)
    ICANN: But you just said you'd *never* do *that*?
    Registry: Yes, you are *absolutely* correct. We did just *say* we would *never* do that.
    (winks) I am glad ICANN is listening to us.
    ICANN: So, are we ready to write it out of the contract?
    Registry: Let's not be too hasty. The contract might be perfect just the way it is. We wouldn't want to meddle with perfection, would we?
    ICANN: I think we all agree, we would not want to meddle with perfection.
    Registry: Great.
    ICANN: So, we're not going to write it out of the contract?
    Registry: I never said that. Maybe we can discuss this over dinner. We all want to do the right thing. (smiles)
    ICANN: Of course, we all want to do the right thing. (smiles) (pauses) That is ICANN's mission!
    Registry: Yes, it is. You are absolutely correct. I'm glad we are discussing this. It demonstrates that ICANN is listening. The public doesn't appreciate how well ICANN is listening!
    ICANN: Thank you. We are always listening. We're happy that you agree that we are listening. You've been so supportive publicly, saying that we are listening. So, you're never going to do *that* right?
    Registry: We've always *said* we would never do *that*.
    ICANN: So, just to be clear. It will never happen or be introduced. Do I have that correctly?
    Registry: Doing that would be suicide! A registry who did that would lose the trust of the public! How can you ask us whether it will happen? (sits forward in seat, glaring)
    ICANN: If it was suicide, it would be true, it could never happen. (slumps back in chair)
    Registry: I am glad you are listening to us. You make so many logical points. It's a pleasure negotiating with you. (wink)
    ICANN: Thank you. (blushes) So, it's impossible that *it* will happen, then?
    Registry: We have *said* it repeatedly, we would *never* do that. You know, *anything* is possible. Martians might show up tomorrow, the planet could explode, quantum uncertainty,....
    ICANN: I'm glad you remembered I studied science! We know each other so well, having spent so much time together. (smiles)
    Registry: Yes, and how is the family?
    ICANN: They're great, thank you for asking. (blushes) But, getting back to the contract, you don't think it needs to have a new term added?
    Registry: We never said that. We are open to a long-term fruitful partnership with ICANN, and will always do the right thing.
    ICANN: Maybe we should study this issue further?
    Registry: That's a great idea! But, rest assured, I think we agree, we will always do the right thing. I think you can safely tell people, without further study, it would be suicide and registries will always do the right thing. We are willing to go on the record on that point!
    ICANN: So, we can tell people, it would be *suicide*? But, it would still be possible, right?
    Registry: Anything is possible. You can tell people, it would be *suicide*.

    ICANN responds to George: "It would be suicide for a registry to do that."

    Act II: One year later.....ballroom of a five star hotel

    Shareholder at Registry annual meeting: I'm proud that our management has increased its profits by 500% in the past year, through the introduction of tiered domain name pricing. They all deserve a raise!
    Registry Management: You are all so kind. *beaming* I have said it so many times before, but I'll say it again. We will always do the right thing *for our shareholders*.

    Act III: ICANN Meeting with Registry, at ICANN HQ

    ICANN: We're taking a lot of heat from domain registrants and the public now that you raised prices so much, and introduced tiered pricing. We have to do something! (look of desperation in eyes) You betrayed us, and said it would never happen!
    Registry: I distinctly remember saying that anything is possible.
    ICANN: We have to do something!!
    Registry: We have a contract. Period. We expect ICANN will respect what's in the contract. Don't make me bring this up with our lawyers. We feel we are solid on this point.
    ICANN: Yes, but you told us you would *never* do *that*!!!!! (jumps up and down)
    Registry: Have a seat. You're making me nervous. Have a drink. (fills glass). You are absolutely correct, we *did* say that. But, circumstances change. What's important is that we have a contract. We have a fiduciary duty to our shareholders to do the right thing to maximize shareholder value.
    ICANN: THE RIGHT THING??!!?? THE RIGHT THING?? (hyperventilating)
    Registry: We have always said, we will do the right thing.
    ICANN: What are we going to do!!!!!
    Registry: Well, we *could* always open up the contract for modifications. We see some possible improvements. We think a win-win might be possible. We don't *have* to do this, but ICANN is our partner, and we believe in a long and fruitful relationship.
    ICANN: (breathing a sigh of relief) So, you're going to stop doing *that*?
    Registry: No, we never said that. We have a contract. That item is non-negotiable. But, perhaps we can find other areas of improvement.
    ICANN: Yes! I'm glad you are willing to offer us that olive branch.
    Registry: You're like a member of the family to us. You are important. We will do the right thing.
    ICANN: Whew. I knew you were a good guy.
    Registry: I am glad that ICANN is listening to our concerns, and values our relationship.
    ICANN: We are always listening. That's part of our mission!
    Registry: Yes, and you fulfill that mission with EXCELLENCE. You are a star!
    ICANN: You are so kind. (blushes)
    Registry: I figure we can spend a few months working on amending the contract. Let's target the end of July, for a final draft. That'll give you time for summer holidays to relax.
    ICANN: That sounds great. You know I have family, and appreciate the time off in August.
    Registry: Yes, we know each other so well. You are almost a part of my family. (wink)
    ICANN: And we'll let the public have a comment period in August, and be ready to make a recommendation to our distinguished Board in September.
    Registry: Yes, we can't leave out the public comment period. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, this registry appreciates that ICANN is listening, and will take into account the views of the Public.
    ICANN: That is our mission!
    (Curtain Closes)

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    Re:ICANN Negotiations -- A Play In Three Acts
    by Russ on Thursday August 24 2006, @06:11PM (#16877)
    User #4419 Info
    That's pretty good, George...not sure I want you to continue the Act because it might turn out to be a horror story.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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