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    VeriSign and the "myth" of "presumptive renewal" | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 14 comments | Search Discussion
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    Section 4.2 is an abomination
    by GeorgeK on Friday October 28 2005, @07:47AM (#16363)
    User #3191 Info | http://www.kirikos.com/
    It looks like the title of the article got cut-off -- it should be "VeriSign and the "myth" of "presumptive renewal".

    Normally one would have expected certain parts of the contract to be "boilerplate". The timebomb in Section 4.2 might have not been noticed by people initially for that reason, as one wouldn't expect it to have been so abominable.

    The first sentence of section 4.2, that "This Agreement shall be renewed upon the expiration of the term set forth in Section 4.1 above and each later term, unless the following has occurred" is a RECURSIVE one, due to the words "and each later term", thus turning a seemingly innocuous section into a perpetual monopoly for VeriSign.

    And just to make sure VeriSign's grip on .com is tightened, later in Section 4.2 it says that the terms of the renewed contract should generally be the same as other gTLDs, EXCEPT in the areas of "the price of Registry Services; the standards for the consideration of proposed Registry Services, including the definitions of Security and Stability and the standards applied by ICANN in the consideration process; the terms or conditions for the renewal or termination of this Agreement; ICANN’s obligations to Registry Operator under Section 3.2 (a), (b), and (c); the limitations on Consensus Policies or Temporary Specifications or Policies; the definition of Registry Services; or the terms of Section 7.3".

    So, read that again -- future hands are tied as to price (no public tender to benefit consumers, in other words). The RENEWAL CONDITIONS can't be negotiated -- they're set in stone, to give VeriSign the perpetual monopoly. The definition of "Registry services" is set in stone too. And so on.

    It's antithetical to the mission of promoting competition to be locked in to a single supplier for .com, forever. No contract should ever be signed that would allow an external supplier perpetual renewal rights.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    No, the agreement is perpetual
    by KarlAuerbach on Friday October 28 2005, @08:51AM (#16366)
    User #3243 Info | http://www.cavebear.com/
    I believe that you misread the year 2001 agreement - it is perpetual and was known to be when adopted.

    That section 25 you cite causes the "expiration date" to be reset so that the whole cycle begins anew on each iteration. You need to read the whole section 25, including that last part about re-incoporating section 25 into subsequent agreements. And also look at the definition of "expiration date".

    When the board adopted that contract (I voted against it) I remember that the board's belief was that it is perpetual - I noted this fact in my
    April 2 entry to the "decision diary"
    [cavebear.com] that I maintained and published when I was on the board -

    The real winner in all of this process is ICANN's money-consuming law firm and, presumably, the senior partner at that firm (who thus usually gets a cut at the firm's revenues from ICANN), the person who created ICANN and who also privately created the 2001 contract with verisign.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
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