Monday, December 20, 2004

ICANN's at it again

My thoughts are pretty well known by now on ICANN's proposals to limit access to Whois database information on Internet site ownership.

Now comes word from Cnet's chief political correspondent, Declan McCullagh, that ICANN has plans in the works to charge domain name owners an additional 75 cents a year, starting with .net.

The 75-cent fee announcement was buried in a dense chunk of legalese on page 12 of a document titled a "draft RFP"--ICANN didn't exactly draft a press release. Similarly, how many .com, .net and .org domain name owners know about ICANN's 25-cent annual domain fee that snuck in earlier this year? Adding the 75-cent levy brings ICANN's take to an even $1.
It doesn't sound like much, but as McCullagh notes, there's nothing to keep ICANN from upping the fee in the future, and the domain name registries have been largely silent.

It seems to me there needs to be a better way to publicize ICANN's largely clubby actions. The Internet has become too great a force to leave notification on such issues the way it is -- largely buried in ICANNs voluminous documents and legalese.

Thanks to Rafat Ali's Paid Content for the pointer.


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