ICANN Ends Bar on Registry/Registrar Integration
Date: Wednesday November 10 2010, @05:01AM
Topic: ICANN Does Good

ICANN has just resolved:

Resolved, (2010.11.05.02), the Board directs the CEO to include the following principles relating to registry-registrar cross-ownership in the forthcoming version of the Applicant Guidebook.

1. ICANN will not restrict cross-ownership between registries and registrars. Registry operators are defined as the registry operator and all other relevant parties relating to the registry services.

ICANN's announcement:

"In the absence of existing policy or new bottom-up policy recommendations, the Board saw no rationale for placing restrictions on cross-ownership;" said Peter Dengate Thrush, Chairman of the Board. "Any possible abuses can be better addressed by properly targeted mechanisms. Co-ownership rules are not an optimal technique in this area."

Some folks are very happy.

Lest you think all is well in ICANN land, or that we've gone soft, see A Non-profit Constituency? Or Trademark lawyers engaged in deceptive and confusing labeling? .

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by Louise on Wednesday November 10 2010, @10:32AM (#17011)
User #4835 Info
Hi, This is a great time to remember the fantastic letter submit to ICANN by Alexa A.S. Raad, former CEO of .ORG, The Public Interest Registry, authored by PIR, Neustar, and Afilias, September 2009:

The Registrant Pays the Check

Where this summary of points is laid out:

• Since its inception, it was clear that the vertical separation policy was serving consumer protection values that included – but went far beyond – competition.

• Eliminating the vertical separation restraints under the current top down process could result in significant delay in the newTLD round.

• Studies to date have not fully addressed how such a change would benefit consumers and registrants, nor have they included an analysis of the potential harm to domain name registrants of permitting registrars to operate as new gTLD registries while selling in their own string.

• The vertically integrated registry/registrar will create an environment that is ripe for “insider trading” opportunities using data that is commercially sensitive and available uniquely to the registry operator.

• Permitting vertically integrated registry/registrar operations will eliminate certain current penalties that discourage abusive practices.

• Registrars divided: “Right now, our industry has conflicts of interest and it is putting personal short-term gain ahead of long term commercial interests,’ says Joe White at the Gandi registrar.

• Since registry service providers or “backend” providers offer functionally equivalent services as registry operators, the application of existing policy to registry services providers is appropriate and necessary to effectuate the longstanding pro-competition and end user protection goals of the policy.

• ICANN need not delay the new TLD round on the basis of the vertical separation issue. ICANN can proceed by continuing the policy of separation for registry operators and registry service providers in the new round while the community, if necessary, launches a PDP that can appropriately address the fundamental economic and registrant impact issues on a parallel track.

Enjoy! :(
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