ICA Now Offering Less Expensive Individual Memberships

Participation in the Internet Commerce Association should be accessible and affordable to all who have an interest in joining.   The ICA is a member-led organization that advocates on behalf of the domain industry.   The greater the participation and involvement of members of the domain industry in the ICA, the more effective we can be.

With the aim of making the ICA more accessible to all members of the domain industry, during the “ICA Live” session at NamesCon the ICA announced a new membership level for Individual Members.   The Individual Membership level is $50 per month or $600 per year.   Those who wish to join as Individual Members can do so now  on the Join page of the ICA website  through either an annual or monthly PayPal subscription.

Individual members are full members of the ICA, receiving the same updates from ICA’s counsel, Phil Corwin, participating on the ICA mailing list, and eligible to vote for board positions.  The Individual Membership level is available only to individuals in their personal capacity, not to businesses.   The minimum membership contribution for businesses remains at $1,000 per year for a Bronze Membership.   Individual Memberships can be paid for through a business account, but it would be the individual, not the business, that would be a member of the ICA.

The learn more about the work of the ICA on your behalf, you can visit http://www.ica.domains to review the many policy positions we have taken, visit our Facebook page  or follow our Twitter feed.   You can also send any questions to info_ica@internetcommerce.org.

In conversations about ICA membership, we frequently heard that a membership level of around $500 per year was the right level for the person we were speaking with.   Investing in domains is cash intensive and the payout may be many years in the future.   Many domainers, even after years in the industry, are domain-rich but cash-poor and do not have surplus funds.   There are many others who are part of the domain industry who are not primarily domain investors – bloggers, brokers, consultants, service providers, etc. – who wish to participate as a member of the ICA but who don’t have as large a financial stake in protecting domain ownership rights as those with large portfolios.   By reducing the minimum contribution for membership, our aim is to remove an obstacle that may have prevented those who care about the issues we focus on and who wish to become involved from joining the ICA.

Our hope is that offering Individual Membership levels will attract many new members who will bring their energy and ideas to the ICA.   We are looking for members who are willing to give of their time and expertise to help staff Working Groups, to publicize the work of the ICA throughout the domain industry and to bring on their friends and colleagues as members of the ICA.

We have an ambitious agenda for 2016 and beyond – encompassing ICANN’s review of all protections for trademark owners in all gTLDs, including revisions to the UDRP.    We encourage you to explore whether joining the ICA is a worthwhile way to support your future in the industry.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. ICA would recruit more members if the fee were $50-$100 a year; your strength would be in numbers as opposed to financially limiting to the well-off.

    Another option: most organizations that I belong to offer a sliding scale membership (according to income) — for example, The Modern Language Association — with the idea that inviting young and less well-off members into the big tent plans for the future. Everyone enjoys full voting rights.

    Just an idea.

    • Hi Jen,

      Thanks for your comment. We have seriously considered an even lower membership level. We tried lower membership levels in the past and didn’t attract enough members to sustain our funding needs.

      So far we haven’t asked our members about their income levels. People and businesses give at a level that feels right to them.

      By and large, members contribute to support the advocacy work of the ICA, so they wish to give an amount that can make a meaningful impact.

      If we set the membership level too low, and all our current members drop to the lowest membership level, then unless we see an explosive growth in membership, which doesn’t seem realistic, we wouldn’t be able to maintain our current level of activities.

      We have not wanted to make a reckless move that could jeopardize the organization, yet we have steadily dropped the minimum membership levels over the past few years when we thought the additional support was present.

      Our hope is that a $50/mo level will be affordable even to those who do not consider themselves well-off.

      Thanks again for the comment and suggestions.



  2. They should have an option when you buy a domain to add.25 for ICA. Then everyone would contribute. Get registrars to participate and viola more$$.
    Individual memberships should be $99 with help from ICA if you are hit with a udrp.

    • It is easy to contribute to the ICA now. I don’t think as an industry we should rely on random domain registrants outside of the industry to fund the ICA. If you have a domain portfolio, there is nothing preventing you from contributing $.25 to the ICA per domain right now.

      I don’t see how the numbers work where the ICA can sustain its operations and contribute towards the costs of defending a UDRP at $99 per year.

    • “Help” as in
      “here is how and why you should respond to the udrp.”
      “Here are some response templates”
      “Here is the section with case history”
      should I go on?????
      Of course no one should expect actual help with the cost of an attorney but there are many ways they could help and a few are pointed out.
      Implementing ICA contributions as an option at the registry level when registering a domain is a no brainer for any registrar that would accept the idea.
      I went to the website and did not see any pointers on the items mentioned above…….

    • Steve – thanks for the good suggestion. One of our projects for this year is indeed to provide helpful information on the ICA website for responding to a UDRP.

  3. This new $50 per month contribution level is something I specifically asked Nat Cohen and Phil Corwin to implement at NamesCon, since I feel it can broaden participation in the ICA.

    Hopefully a bunch of domainers who’ve been sitting on the fence for many years, people who complain about UDRPs but haven’t known how to set about reforming the UDRP process, will now put 2 and 2 together and contribute to an organization that can really make a difference. That was me. Now, I’ve signed up as a contributor. If you can afford $50, please consider doing likewise.

    We as a community need more solidarity in the face of challenges, more teamwork and camaraderie, more discussion and implementation of common goals. Instead of the disorganized mess of individual profiteering and infighting that the domain industry mostly is, why not the organized assembly of cooperative businesses that the domain industry could be?

    The first sign of a mature, functional community appears when its members pool their resources for the common good. Organizations like the ICA are therefore a way for domainers like us to grow up, accept responsibility, and participate in discussions about policies (like UDRP) that affect us.

    Many of us can afford $50 – less than the cost of a single $69 backorder. If you can’t afford $50, even so, membership in the ICA is something you can aspire to. Consider it proof that you’ve really arrived as a domainer, that this business is something you’re invested in enough to advocate for.


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