Domain Name Industry Threatened

Phil Corwin, representing Internet Commerce Association, discusses threats to domainers at the SedPro conference in New York, noting several specific threats: Domain name classification as property versus a license; Registrar conflicts of interest; Trademark interests and Search engine conflicts of interest. Corwin concluded by saying the ICA’s future is uncertain. It raised about $300,000 in seed money from companies such as Sedo and iREIT, but Corwin says it needs at least $1M each year to be effective.Corwin also claimed many registrars are retaining the best expiring domain names, creating a conflict of interest. Further, he made a few claims about ICANN, these being ICANN is willing to sacrifice the domain industry’s interests for backroom deals, such as the VeriSign settlement; that ICANN is looking into becoming a private international organization to insulate itself from litigation; the variable pricing scheme that was floated during .org/.biz contract discussions could be a major threat although the article doesn’t go into detail; how ICANN and the supporting registry discussed .xxx and that with Vint Cerf leaving the ICANN board, a power struggle could develop.

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