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: Diversity can only be achieved if the cost of domain name ownership is low  ( 21267 )
IDOA.info - Internet Domain Owners Association
Registered User

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« : October 30, 2006, 06:21:06 PM »

October 30, 2006

Greetings to everyone at the first meeting of the Internet Governance
Forum, Geneva 2006.

To the Officers and Board Members of the IGF:

Could you please post this message on one of the IGF, Geneva Posting areas, and would the
Board of the IGF please present this information and address it before the Forum is over.
We cannot be there in person to present this important information ourselves, so we ask
that we be allowed to participate remotely, and have some official or Board Member of the
IGF address and present this issue to the Internet community at the Athens 2006 IGF.

We, the Internet Domain Owners Association, wish to participate
remotely in the Forum, and we wish to bring to the attention of the
participating members and nations, and indeed people everywhere, an
alarming situation that currently exists wherin ICANN and the
principal .com, .net, .biz, .info and .org Registries are fraudulently
colluding to force all current domain owners to accept never-ending
and very substantial price increases to renew their domains.

We are forming a California not-for-profit corporation for the express
purpose of fighting these price increases, which would increase the
cost to the consumer or owner of a domain from a current low cost
average of USD $10 a domain-year to more than USD $80 a domain-year in
30 years! [and then to more than $640 per year 30 years after that!]

We have formed to uphold the rights of domain owners everywhere, and
the primary right is to be treated lawfully and fairly, and not be
extorted as the current ICANN - Registry agreements propose to do. The
agreements currently being negotioted by ICANN and the Registries are
indeed extortionary as they pay no attention to the rights of the
domain owners. The agreements are also completely monopolistic and
anti-competitive (in violation of ICANN's charter) in that they grant
in effect a perpetually renewable monopoly to the current Registries.

When a person or a business or a group purchases a domain, and pays
USD $7.95 - $35.00 for a 1 year registration, that domain owner has
the right to pay that same amount every year indefinitely into the
future in order to continue owning that domain. Many domain owners put
substantial resources, including time, money and energy, into
designing, building, marketing and hosting a web site or web based
business. If we allow ICANN and the Registries to force price
increases, then only the rich
will eventually be able to afford to own domains, and ICANN and the
Registries will be committing fraud, breach of contract, extortion,
and engaging in unfair business practises against all current domain

We call your attention to this MOST IMPORTANT matter which threatens
to change the very nature of the Internet, and request that you inform
yourself of this pressing and crucial problem at our web site
www.IDOA.info. We hope that you will join us or help us fight these
unlawful price increases. We believe that it is important to keep the
annual price of a domain in the USD $10 and under range, as many
people around the world can afford to pay this amount to own a domain;
whereas if the cost increases to $100 a year, much of the global
population will not even try to own a domain and participate directly
in the Internet, as it would have become too expensive for them. We
would then have fewer voices, fewer new ideas, fewer opinions, less
diversity, less real communication and points of view expressed;
indeed, a poorer Internet, if domains become too expensive for the
average person to own and maintain.

The only reason why the Registries are trying to obtain price
increases approved by ICANN is because they want to make an even
greater profit than they already are, and the only reason why ICANN is
colluding with the Registries in these monopolistic and
anti-competitive agreements is because ICANN, also, wants more money
and ICANN is funded largely by the Registries. There is already a
great deal of profit in the business model of being a Registry and
ICANN has more than enough money for the limited task it has been
given, and even if you are one who wishes ICANN to expand, the
expansion must not come unlawfully, by breaching agreements made with
domain owners.

The individaul internet user, domain owner, and small business will be
hurt most if the forced price increases are approved by ICANN.
Additonally the Registrars volume of business will drop dramatically
if price increases are allowed to take place, and the Registrars are
very competitive, surviving on thin profit margins, and many of them
will be put out of business, causing further harm to the individual
domain owner or small business.

I am funding this association out of my own pocket, and I am not rich.
I seek others with similar concerns to be Directors and help direct and manage
the association. I would like to have personally presented this to the IGF,
Geneva 2006, however I cannot afford to. I believe that this group I
have founded needs to be expanded gloablly and therefore I ask all of
you at the IGF to consider forming an international group to protect
the rights of the domain owners - the little people - against the
might of the large corporate interests which are short-sighted and only
concerned with short-term profit. The Internet is too important to
allow it to be controlled by corporate interests; as the future of the
Internet promises virtually free communications, information,
education and all kinds of public and private services to all people
everywhere. This great common, beneficial future will only come about
if we keep the Internet as free and low cost, as widespread and as
diverse, as possible. If any of you would like to take this idea and
this group to the international level, please contact me. I can use your help.

Please educate yourself about this issue and help us keep the Internet
fair for the individual and small group or business.

Thank you for your time.

Best Regards,

Matt Hooker
Internet Domain Owners Association
P.O. Box 330267
San Francisco, CA 94133 USA
[email protected]
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