Yesterday afternoon, Nat Cohen explained why the Internet Commerce Association (ICA) adopted a lower tier for individual memberships. I had not attended the ICA event at NamesCon in Las Vegas, and this was the first time I had learned about the lower cost to join the ICA.
After reading Nat’s article, I signed up to join the ICA and paid the $600 membership fee. Now that I am once again a member of the ICA, I want to share the reasons why I decided to join on behalf of my company, Top Notch Domains, LLC.
The main reason is that I think the ICA does important work on behalf of domain name owners, especially people who own portfolios of domain names. When there are issues that pose threats to domain owners, Phil Corwin, the ICA’s counsel, takes action to protect the interests of domain owners. I understand that sometimes involves lobbying and it sometimes involves spreading the news about something that could be harmful to our business. I think this is important work done on behalf of all of us, and it costs quite a bit of money to do.
I understand that a lot of people may be of the opinion that the biggest players in the space should bear the main burden of supporting the ICA. They seem to have the most to lose in the event of an adverse legal decision or a proposed law that could impact domain holdings. While I do think these bigger players would likely take their own actions, not all of them support the ICA. I think the ICA does meaningful work, and I think the “smaller” people in this business should consider supporting the ICA. I have always thought the ICA was helpful to people like myself, and I am going to support the organization as a member.
Another reason I joined is so that I can stay informed of issues that may impact my business. As a blogger in the domain space, I generally hear about major issues that are brewing, but now I will have a better look at what may be coming and what can be done. This can help me share information with others in the business and may give me the opportunity to take further action if necessary.
My membership fee may be a drop in the bucket compared to the largest members, but I want to be involved. It is important for me to support an organization that is looking after the interests of people who own domain portfolios and those who own domain names as investments. I understand that I am responsible for managing my company’s business and IP risks, and that isn’t something I expect the ICA to do on my behalf. However, there are always outside organizations that would be happy to see domain owners have less rights, and the ICA helps the domain name industry.
I am happy to be a member of the ICA, and it’s something that people who make a living in the domain name industry should consider.