Jeff Gabriel: “Join the ICA”

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Jeff Gabriel, founder of Saw.com, posted a video to discuss why he thinks domain investors should join the Internet Commerce Association (ICA). The ICA recently announced a lower membership tier, which costs $300/year. Saw.com is a Bronze-level member of the ICA.

In the video, Jeff discussed some of the ICA’s recent activities. I did not hear Jeff discuss this, but I still think one of the biggest wins for the ICA was its successful advocacy to discredit the retroactive bad faith theory many complainants referenced in UDRP proceedings.

Here’s Jeff’s appeal to domain investors:

7 COMMENTS

  1. I won’t join the ICA as I won’t comply with this ridiculous sentence in their Code of Conduct: “A member shall not register domains with the intent to profit from a recent tragedy.”

    So it’s alright for GoDaddy to list numerous bird-flu-pandemic domains, which will only have value if there is a bird-flu pandemic, for sale at NameFind – but it would not be alright to register such a domain after a bird-flu pandemic begins?

    Seems hypocritical to me. I know the industry doesn’t want to be criticized by the media, but buying a domain – any domain – and putting it up for sale in and of itself hurts no one. And putting a for-profit website on such a domain also in and of itself hurts no one.

  2. Elliot,

    There are a lot of choices when it comes to non profits we should support, but I think if you are serious about being part of our industry you should be a part of it. They have accomplished so much with so little. What they have done, continued to do and will do in regards to UDRP is extremely important and worth it’s own day in the sun. Maybe that will be video two! I simply wanted the world to know that this group was able to directly and indirectly help so many great causes. Obviously protecting our livelihood, but helping countless non profits and small businesses along the way.

    As I said and I’ll say it again. Join the ICA!

  3. It would be nice to join, donate and be a member of something that advocates for policy I’m behind but I have a few issues with Jeff Gabriel’s pitch here and the ICA:

    1. I really detest the fake math. We have far too much of this stretching of claims in the media that we have to keep calling it out. For Jeff to say “[The ICA has] helped countless non-profits save tens of thousands of dollars per year on registration fees alone” is much more that a stretch, it’s deceiving.

    Most non-profits have a single .org and while it’s nice that they may save $10 per year (IF the .org price avoided being doubled), it’s not the same as Jeff’s claim. For him to support the claim by using the YMCA as an example, with its 5000+ .org domains (which is interesting and I didn’t know), obviously this isn’t representative of “countless other non-profits”.

    The pitch should be made on fact, true value and benefits – not outliers.

    2. The ICA seems like it’s mainly funded/supported/founded by the original .com folks. These folks seem fully against new domains and in many cases they seem to be trying to undermine the pockets of success that currently exist with the new Gs.

    I know that we’re all looking out for our own self interests but to undermine every piece of positive new domain news is disingenuous and unethical for folks who are “leading” the industry. This isn’t the ICA itself but it’s the main (founding?) members of their org. People representing the industry shouldn’t be simultaneously manipulating the industry by manipulating positive news around the new Gs.

    Like I said I want to be a part of an org like this that embraces all developments on the web and a big part of that is the new domains. In time I think the ICA has to transition to embracing the new Gs if it is to remain relevant. I’m not saying the ICA has to go out there and promote the new Gs but it should be unbiased and fair.

    • You can’t accurately say an activity is “unethical,” imo, you can only say it’s “unethical to me” because who’s going to have the last word on what’s ethical and what isn’t? There are no absolute moral principles and believing there are and saying you know what they are is conceited bragging, imo, and only serves to make the people criticized defensive (though it may help in gaining followers:) You can say an activity is unethical or illegal in the sense that it violates this rule or that law, but does that make it immoral (with “unethical” often used as a synonym for “immoral,” as in your comment)? Rules and laws are always experimental, imo, to the extent they are decided on by people who are imperfect.

      • Jon like the analysis. This is all commentary so subjective, and I guess ethics along with facts can be debated. People believe alternative facts and live with alternative ethics…

        You don’t see anything questionable with the statement:
        “[The ICA has] helped countless non-profits save tens of thousands of dollars per year on registration fees alone”

        For me that’s a lie. Because I can count them. 1. The YMCA. Any others who have more than 5000 .org domain names? And are you having any trouble counting them?

  4. ”2. The ICA seems like it’s mainly funded/supported/founded by the original .com folks. These folks seem fully against new domains and in many cases they seem to be trying to undermine the pockets of success that currently exist with the new Gs.”

    This. Unfortunately. Case in point is Booking.com Amicus Brief which from the registrant perspective is great if you hold one word generics, not so great (bad) if you don’t.

    The ICA should have a 20 year perspective atleast on these kinds of issues. The current one, atleast with Booking, is an short term exit plan for veterans IMO.

    Don’t know about new G:s, don’t care much.

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