GoDaddy: “Let your voice be heard”

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GoDaddy sent a warning email to a group of its customers about the potential for price increases on .com domain names that were authorized by ICANN. A comment period is now underway for people to share their feedback about the proposed changes allowing Verisign to increase the wholesale price of .com domain names, and several domain registrars have proactively contacted their customers to encourage them to submit comments to ICANN about this.

My understanding is that GoDaddy sent the email below to its Premier Services customers. This group is primarily made up of domain investors, but there are other businesses with large domain name portfolios that are in this group of customers. Obviously, the businesses with the largest portfolios of .com domain names under management are those that will be impacted the most by price increases.

The comment period ends on Friday, so now is the time to participate. For those who don’t know exactly what to say, the ICA has a helpful tool to help submit comments to ICANN.

ICANN has proposed changes that could significantly impact you and your business.

Let your voice be heard.

As a large domain portfolio holder, ICANN has proposed changes that could significantly impact you and your business.

ICANN has proposed an amendment to the .COM registry agreement between itself and Verisign. The proposal would allow Verisign to increase the price of .COM by up to 7% every year for the next 4 years.

Since 2018, we have been actively working to raise awareness around this issue, including when GoDaddy testified before Congress in July 2018. Even now, we’re continuing to have discussions, but ultimately, we are one company. Now is the time for ICANN to hear your voice.

Please take a few minutes to let ICANN know how allowing this increase will impact you in the years to come. The public comment period is open until February 14th. To be heard, use ICANN’s form to submit your personalized comments.

We value your business and vow to keep advocating on your behalf.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Also go to Whitehouse.gov and send a email to President Trump. President Trump has more power than you know. ICANN is a ripoff. President Trump has the power to shut down ICANN. Do not let ICANN steal your money.

  2. Things to highlight during the comment period, folks:

    1. Legacy TLDs are a *public trust*. They are not “owned” by anyone or anything, not even ICANN.

    2. As has been so well pointed out by others before, there is no justification for continual price increases, and if there was any concern about maximizing value for the world, competitive bidding for managing .com would already have resulted in FAR lower prices to begin with.

    3. Ergo, .com is not supposed to be treated like a license to print money for greedy corporations at the expense of the entire world.

    4. And this one most “domainers” can’t relate to, but it’s true:

    Having and using *many* domains is NOT just what “domainers” do. It is also the legitimate business model of end users who do things that way, as well as even just for business-necessary defensive registration. It’s certainly what I do as an end user first by a mile, domain investor/occasional seller only second. A distant second in fact.

    5. Regardless of #4 even: the price of even 1 single domain makes a difference to the world in terms of equality and affordability of opportunity. It can either be conducive to or DISINCENTIVISE the very kind of innovation and societal benefit that exists in the world through publishing and entrepreneurship. The idea that “a business owner won’t care about going from $15 to $30” and remarks to that affect are nothing but nonsense with regard to the big picture. It’s not just about people who already are in business or are publishing.

    • I am a Premier Services customer, although I do not have a large portfolio, and I did not receive the email. One of my buddies is also a Premier Services customer, but he does have a large portfolio, and he did receive it. So it would seem that they only sent it to people with portfolios above a certain size.

      I doubt this email will help at all, people with large portfolios are already well aware of the issue. GoDaddy had a chance to reach people outside of the domain industry but didn’t step up. Very disappointing.

      On a related note Name.com sent out an email to customers about 10 minutes after GoDaddy did. Although I’m not sure how many they sent it to.

      • I did not receive it either. I heard that one was sent and asked GoDaddy for the email and audience. I figured they may be sending the email in waves, but since I have not yet received it, I probably do not have enough names to meet that threshold.

        When NameBright first sent their email, I did not receive it either, but I received it the next day.

      • I wish GoDaddy would more widely distribute this though.

        I would guess they don’t want to email all customers about something like this for a number of reasons:

        1 – Every email they send causes a certain number of customers to drop off their marketing email list (unsubscribes), so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to lose subs on a non-marketing email.

        2 – They may think this is already a done deal so why get people angry over something that is inevitable.

        3 – All registrars will have to raise prices, so customers who shop around will not find better pricing.

        4 – The general public is apathetic and won’t care about small price increases on the few domain names they have.

        5 – People don’t understand what ICANN is or does, so an email like this would confuse people and lead to many call center calls, requiring additional training for CS team on short notice.

        • “3 – All registrars will have to raise prices, so customers who shop around will not find better pricing.”

          Oddly, that’s not entirely true.

          The real problem for registrars with this sort of thing is the problem of rounding.

          Figure, if you are advertising .com domain registrations for $9.99 and the wholesale price of .com kicks up by five cents, then you don’t go to $10.04. You either stay at $9.99 and eat the nickel, or you go to the next round figure that your marketing department can live with.

          Some registrars have dealt with the rounding problem in the past by breaking out the $.25 ICANN fee component and putting it as a charge in the checkout cart, like those mysterious add-ons you see like the “convenience fee” for event tickets, or the various items on a telephone service bill. That’s enough to advertise a round figure price, charge a different amount, and at least have an argument if someone runs off to the FTC about your advertising.

          So maybe we’ll see something like the “Registry price adjustment fee” tacked on to deal with incremental price increases, but the point is that how registrars deal with pricing will differ among registrars. If you have a large number of bulk customers then, sure, a price like $8.74 makes sense to people who doing the math over a thousand names. If you are running a television commercial directed at a mass audience, then you would like to figure out how to legitimately advertise a price like $9.99.

  3. Too much?

    Concerning: .com Price Increase Opposition

    I voice my opposition to your very existence in terms of the way that it is being organized, operated upon, and managed in a biased method by individuals that seemingly have too many connective compromises as it relates to their positioning assignments and the duties they are entrusted to uphold.

    The naked and transparent weaponization of this organization and platform is in fact seen by those who exist both in and outside of the operating realities that you take for granted. The special fund assignments, luxurious participation benefits, unscrupulous transitional planning, and mechanisms by which you work to achieve your long term objectives are on the wrong side of positive transformation. It should force intelligent reflection on exactly why past actions of the US Department of Commerce and its respective leadership chose to follow the path they did for oversight relinquishment. I would also bring attention to the notable absence of resistance and public opposition from some of the key leaders in this sector.

    There is no glory in the intentional creation and manufacturing of additional burden to the millions of people who have been subjected to rely on the internal ethics and integrity of your management. Compounded by the fact that the subject Party that would benefit most from price increases was but an extension of critical infrastructure assurance in the first place, operating outside of transparent inclusion for free and open market participation. They cannot and should not be integrated into your organizational actions to produce added liquidity that is ultimately then distributed to a select few individuals.

    The handling alone of many of the facets related to thousands of new registry creations should bring further light onto your management competencies. Specifically your inability to forecast the need for any form of protective guidelines regarding recommended price increase thresholds as the most basic consumer protection mechanism. Or to rationally anticipate what free reign of operation would do in stimulating literally millions of new domain creations each year – issued at free or low cost to private users – who would then utilize them in wholesale fashion to grossly expand an already unprecedented rate of hostile attacks that can achieve outbounds as high as 15 billion individual spam attacks daily.

    This adds to a long and growing list of egregious deficiencies being coordinated under your watch.

    Including changes by which you would directly protect and limit the responsibilities of active registrars, especially those involved in the routine provision of domain privacy services to the worst of repeat offenders. Your actions illogically increased response times in the fight against denial-of-service and spoofing attacks being deployed against responsible business owners. They also extend and compound the rate of effectiveness for mass coordinated attacks that would utilize web addresses as an active delivery method. Your management and decisions made there would reduce the actions registrars are required to take, at the same time you drive more mandatory privacy allowances.

    In a world where every second of delay counts, your continued policy actions reveal a great many things as it relates to where your priorities rest. Your leadership direction has in turn also handicapped many of the world’s intelligence services to react quickly and swiftly against digital threats. This impact of gross oversight and managerial negligence leads to millions of dollars of compounded damages against a global productivity basis every hour of every day. Yet your priority looks to satisfy shareholders, long term colleagues, and even direct friendships as you would serve to let profiteering further damage small business owners, hobbyists, collectors, and the millions of individuals who have freely participated together to build one of the greatest resources and collectives in human history. Shame on you.

    If you really feel the need to experiment with social engineering constructs, may I recommend two concepts for you that can be easily employed for short, mid, and long term improvements.

    1. Eliminate privacy services all together, as they serve little functional use accept to protect against mass spam and attack campaigns by abusers. Transparency of ownership details will in turn lead to more efficient options to greatly reduce the level of spam attacks already in existence. The concept of transparency is already being addressed and implemented as a logical baseline for many social media platforms, as in some cases millions of false accounts have already been identified and deleted. Transparency to reduce harmful activities should be the minimum standard and expectation that we set for ourselves digitally, especially in our efforts to marginalize and help prevent billions of attempts of fraud, phishing, spoofing, and the harmful delivery of many levels of threats and viral distributions that happen each and every day. The alternative is to see fraud-centered spam grow to the point of needing more radical solutions to contain it.

    The Internet has been weaponized by a small handful of bad actors, who recognize that sending 10-15 billion threatening emails a day is reducing our ability to tackle real problems that exist. It impacts us emotionally, reduces productivity, elevates stress and anxiety, products a steady drip of individuals that reflect an image of theft and corruption, and unfortunately aids to diminish (and bury!) the real encouragements, messages, and connections we should be reviewing.

    An option for highly outspoken opponents who have the right to demand for privacy freedom, and feel that open transparency in itself is something they cannot support: make it available to them with two-step authentication for initial setup. The objective here is to cut down the millions of attempts made every minute to defraud others, and ultimately a high ratio of success is better than spending precious moments focused on enhancing Verisign liquidity. Innovation and creativity will open much greater doors in the long run than lobbyist influence.

    2. The second not-so-radical approach that should be implemented immediately as a point of logical common sense: run a simple deep index across every domain registration that exists. It is a number, it is a simple exercise, and one that can be coordinated with basic keyword overlays as well as secondary link extractions to build models that are directly being used (by the millions) as delivery agents to threaten online users in this world.

    In plain terms: if there are roughly 400 million domain names in existence, you can identify 25 million of them within a month that are being used illegally to harm our world at the costs of billions of dollars in gross productivity losses every week. Identify them. Double authenticate the nefarious purposes of their use. Delete them.

    Then take a look at the small number of registrars who are at large used as facilitation points to conduct this harmful activity, and how ICANN’s policy adjustments have actually compounded the rate of abusive users online, not detracted from them.

    If I had two other points I would share:

    1. If Verisign is in trouble and needs the boost, have one of our super billionaires write a check for 115 million domains x the increase proposal, place it in a trust, and let it pay out over the proposed implementation period as an offset to help 80 million people who trusted smart policy makers.

    2. Then ask the major email platforms out there to spend some of their vast gross riches and fortunes to invest into instant, accessible, and intelligent methods to counter fraud and corruption being implemented almost in majority through their singular email provisions. There is no reason that spoofed emails (by the millions daily!) leading back to active Gmail addresses should ever exist longer than 30 seconds from reporting. I don’t care who’s uncle died and left them a fortune.

    Robert Davis | twitter.com/Intelliname

  4. Yes, Frank at Uni made the right move….he def has a feel for timing

    unfortunately, this past yr i went on a .com buying spree…

    this will certainly eat into the roi of domain investors with large .com portfolios

    c’est capitalism

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