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The Internet The Almighty Buck

ICANN Plans to Charge Fees to .net Domain Owners 388

museumpeace writes "ICANN, though it was soundly rebuffed for trying this in the past, is reported by CNET to be planning a $.75/ year fee to holders of .net domains and will look at fees for other TLD's next year. Is this taxation without representation? And where would this trend stop?"
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ICANN Plans to Charge Fees to .net Domain Owners

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  • by BobPaul ( 710574 ) * on Thursday December 16, 2004 @11:43PM (#11112651) Journal
    And where would this trend stop?

    It wouldn't stop. Not until ICANN became less of an independant organization and more of an elected body.
    • by yourexhalekiss ( 833943 ) <herp&derpstep,com> on Thursday December 16, 2004 @11:44PM (#11112663) Homepage
      Can anyone say "Boston Tea Party"?
      • by tiny69 ( 34486 ) on Friday December 17, 2004 @12:01AM (#11112777) Homepage Journal
        Can anyone say "Boston Tea Party"?
        Ummm, how do you plain on doing that? Throw your .net domain registration in Boston Harbor?
        • by Anonymous Coward
          I'd love to throw .NET into Boston Harbor.
        • I have a few ideas about how we might start.
        • all the ISP's throw an ICANN fuck off party and form their own DNS root servers.
          • by MikeFM ( 12491 ) on Friday December 17, 2004 @05:26AM (#11114107) Homepage Journal
            There've been plenty of efforts to make alternate root servers with a more democratic government as well as other useful features such as a better choice of tld's. The problem is to some degree ISP's but more it's the users. Users would be mad if they couldn't access the URL's they've came to know.

            To start such a revolution you'd need to get most popular websites to sign-on to the alternate root. Everything from Google to MSN would have to have an alt root address. I'd suggest working out a system by which companies could have their own tld - that might be enough to get many of them interested. If and could be valid names it might be of interest. If it was a democratic system where domain owners could vote on the admitance of new tld's and various other issues it might solve some of this ICANN abuse. It'd be nice to have a governing body that'd actually do something about domain squatting. Some non-profit free tld's would be nice too.
            • by Lehk228 ( 705449 ) on Friday December 17, 2004 @06:04AM (#11114277) Journal
              the way to make it work well would be to have the system pass to legacy tld's and root servers when pointing to a legacy URL, all new URL's should be unique from the old ones so users don't lose anything.
              • by MikeFM ( 12491 )
                That would work except for the fact that the ICANN has already proven that it doesn't respect alternate root servers at all. They've more than once implemented a new tld that was in use by a major alternate root.

                So, it could work, but the new root would have to have a policy of not accepting new tld's of the ICANN root if they clashed with an existing alt root and eventually would want to replace the current ICANN tld's or possibly, if the ICANN became willing, let the ICANN join the new root and then vote
        • stop buying .net domains (and have your current one redirect to some DOWN WITH ICANN website) and buy others that ICANN can't tax (i doubt they can tax for example, or .jp)? though, mailing your congressman is a less painful method. nuclear bombs dropped on ICANN headquarters always work too! (or an APC full of engineers in their base, unload them all, capture everything, sell everything, owned)
    • It wouldn't stop. Not until ICANN became less of an independant organization and more of an elected body.

      You mean kind of like the United States government? Yeah, those folks did a great job at representing the interests of its constituents. And in "Internet Time" it would only take a few weeks before the Internet was owned, operated, and taxed by corporate lobbyists.
    • by BitterOak ( 537666 ) on Friday December 17, 2004 @12:00AM (#11112771)
      Not until ICANN became less of an independant organization and more of an elected body.

      The danger of making them an elected body is with that mandate comes power. Right now the Internet is basically unregulated. There are certain conventions followed, and certain preferred root nameservers which the vast majority use, but there are basically no rules governing the use of the Internet. This has been a good thing. How many other technologies have transformed the world as rapidly as the Internet has?

      If we start building a political structure into the Internet, we will start to have laws and bureaucrats and innovation will suffer. Just look at just about any other areas where government has gotten involved. Soon we'll need licenses just to use the Internet.

      • How many other technologies have transformed the world as rapidly as the Internet has?

        • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Friday December 17, 2004 @01:20AM (#11113238)
          Indoor plumbing
          The electric light
          The telephone
          The jetliner
          The internal combustion engine

          I'd say any of those had had a MUCH more profound impact on most peoples lives then the internet has.
          • by manual_overide ( 134872 ) <> on Friday December 17, 2004 @01:30AM (#11113298) Homepage Journal

            Aside from Indoor plumbing, The electric light, The telephone, The jetliner, and The internal combustion engine, what have the Romans ever done for us?
          • Suprisingly, no one has mentioned the movable type printing press. It changed the flow of information in it's day much the same way the Internet has today.
      • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Friday December 17, 2004 @12:13AM (#11112853)
        Well ... more to the point, why should any other government care one whit who we elect as the "Internet's governing body"? Why wouldn't Iran elect an "Internet governing body"? I'm sure a number of their top clerics would be happy to serve on such a board. Not that it would matter much to anyone else. But the Internet already has many governing bodies (the IETF, the W3C, the old IANA, and others) most of whom are far more effective, useful and actually important than ICANN will ever be. But I agree: the Internet has evolved just fine without any kind of national or global "governance" and ideally should continue to do so. ICANN should simply be disbanded: honestly I don't see any real need for them.
      • by Planesdragon ( 210349 ) <slashdot@cPERIOD ... minus punct> on Friday December 17, 2004 @12:25AM (#11112939) Homepage Journal
        If we start building a political structure into the Internet, we will start to have laws and bureaucrats and innovation will suffer. Just look at just about any other areas where government has gotten involved. Soon we'll need licenses just to use the Internet.


        The internet was a government project for a LONG, LONG time, until it finally was decided to open it up to commercial enterprises.

        And let's not forget the interstate highway system, or the national power grid, or any of the other hundred items where the government's intervention no only is non-ornerous, but necessary for the whole thing to work at all.
        • I can appreciate the general point that some projects, especially common infrastructure, tends to require some aspect of governmental involvement. And the fact that the Internet was originally a US Government program is a good reality check. However, it's not all beer and skittles.

          And let's not forget the interstate highway system, or the national power grid, or any of the other hundred items where the government's intervention no only is non-ornerous, but necessary for the whole thing to work at all.

          • by nysus ( 162232 )
            Don't confuse the "nature of bureaucracies" with the nature of humans. We are imperfect. Every institution and everything we create is imperfect. Corporations are imperfect, unions are imperfect, civic organizations and organized religions are all imperfect.

            And when you come down to it, there's just no way to avoid a bureaurcarcy, whether public or private. What's the alternative? A one man dictator or a small body of all-powerful engineers who make all decisions about how the Internet should be run?
      • Soon we'll need licenses just to use the Internet.

        I think there was a story here a few years ago. Turns out that somebody already thought of that. The idea was to reduce the impact of viruses, spam, and other malware by making sure that only knowledgeable users can access the Internet.

        Of course, you and I know that whatever body provides those licenses will be run by bureaucrats and other idiots who will license lusers and keep licenses away from those "evil hackers" (like the ones who made up that Linux t

      • Could be a sign of aging....

        But it seems like there was a good old time when the porn people didn't splatter across every single usenet group. If there was some funding to _control_, repeat CONTROL, not censor, I would be for it: DOTsex, DOTviagra, DOTpenisextension, DOTNigerianIncomeOpportunity, etc.

        Look at amateur radio. You have to pass an exam. Decent equipment isn't cheap. There are intellectual, economic and regulatory hurdles to admission. And the crazies are relatively few and far between.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I noticed GoDaddy started charging the new $.25 ICANN fee that was initiated in November. Sheesh.


  • Great!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 16, 2004 @11:49PM (#11112700)
    I'm going to wait at least till the third warning to pay. That way they spend more on stamps than they get from me.
  • From the FA... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ZB Mowrey ( 756269 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @11:50PM (#11112705) Homepage Journal
    When the bidding to run .net is complete a few months from now, the winning bidder is expected to come up with an annual per-domain charge that's under $6. Even with the additional 75-cent fee imposed, ICANN estimates, consumers will pay less than they do today--though critics argue that domain name owners would save even more money if ICANN didn't levy a new tax.

    So how exactly does this cause anyone real grief?

    • by BobPaul ( 710574 ) *
      So how exactly does this cause anyone real grief?

      Well, they JUST added in 25-cents per year for most domains, and now they'll be adding in 75-cents for .net domains, and when .com, .biz, etc come up for bidding again, they'll probably add 75-cents in for each of those as well. Then perhaps we'll get another 50-cent blanket upcharge, making it $1.50 for .net, etc and 75-cents for everything else.

      Notice the trend?

      ICANN /ALREADY/ bids off domains the way the FCC bids off airwaves. So now they're setting a
      • Notice the trend?

        Yeah, renewing my domain name is going to be like looking at my phone bill. Tons of strange charges that make absolutely no sense.
      • Finally! (Score:5, Funny)

        by Joel from Sydney ( 828208 ) on Friday December 17, 2004 @01:11AM (#11113187)
        At last we can add in step two!

        1. Get self on ICANN board.
        2. Increase fees gradually so nobody notices. (formerly ???)
        3. Profit!
    • Others seem to have soundly thrashed you for gladly sucking down an increase after the fact without being asked, simply because the person charging the increase swears that you will pay less.

      I'll just add to that that I DONT WANT A SILLY NET DOMAIN, but some dirtbag [] with really bad ideas [] stole and squatted on my org name.

  • hey i was charged .25 cents a year Icann fee on my .com domain ah yesterday...ICANN needs to be elected though that much is clear.
  • Get a deal? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dourk ( 60585 )
    If I renew my .net domain now for another 10 years, can I save the whole $7.50?
  • We must find a way to do distributed DNS over p2p or something, DNS shouldn't require suck a massive centralisation...
    • you mean like this:
    • by DreadSpoon ( 653424 ) on Friday December 17, 2004 @12:56AM (#11113099) Journal
      You are confusing centralized management with centralized servers. P2P would decentralize the servers, and not solve the management problem - if anything, it would -cause- problems.

      I register Some guy on his server publishes to his IP. Which server has the correct IP? You need a way to verify authenticity. Maybe SSL certs? Oops, those are centralized under a small handful of companies... Maybe GPG keys? We can see how all the other web-of-trust security systems have just taken the 'net by storm...

      No, ICANN's purpose is to provide management of the namespace and make sure that someone can't just use FooCompany without having gone through a central source to do it. You can't have two FooCompany's in existance. (Aside from server hacking. Which, btw, becomes so, so much easier in a P2P resolution system.) The DNS system itself is already highly distributed in technical terms - a hierarchy where each level is distributed between several (or more) servers.

      You can't turn something like ICANN into a global shared responsibility. You need some real management. If you pull that management out of DNS, you just push it somewhere else - making all 'net traffic require SSL certs or GPG keys or somethign else, which is still going to require a central authority. (Sorry guys, even GPG will have central authority's, since 95% of users would much rather pay $100 to a company to sign their keys than have to track down, call, and meet in person with a handful of 'net uber-geeks to get keys signed, and have to do that over and over everytime they get a new key.)
  • by Vellmont ( 569020 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @11:59PM (#11112767) Homepage
    So .com already has a 25 cents charge, and .net is 3 times more expensive at 75 cents. Uhh.. why?
  • by LS ( 57954 ) on Friday December 17, 2004 @12:01AM (#11112773) Homepage
    There is no difference in requirements to purchase a .com, .net, or .org domain, so why should one have a different fee schedule from another?

    • RTFA. (Score:3, Informative)

      by ubernostrum ( 219442 )

      There is no difference in requirements to purchase a .com, .net, or .org domain, so why should one have a different fee schedule from another?

      They're introducing this because VeriSign's contract to administer .net runs out next year; they can take advantage of the bidding process for that contract to insert the fee. And they may do the same when the .com contract runs out in 2007.

    • There is no difference in requirements to purchase a .com, .net, or .org domain...

      Shhh! that's just the kind of bad idea you don't want the marketroids to get. Don't you know they would love their own little exclusive namespace that they could market as something "only responsible companies" can own and spam you from. Surely, most would cut a deal with vermin of their own kind so that they would pay "low prices" for such things and have everyone else subsidize it. Let's just ridicule such an idea as ".m

  • by 3seas ( 184403 ) on Friday December 17, 2004 @12:01AM (#11112774) Homepage Journal
    .... whats a penny, can't even buy a piece of gum right?

    6 + billion people would result in a few dollars in my pocket, but that's not really the point.

    The point is taxation without representation..

    internet tea party anyone?
    • Yes, it's not only the taxation without representation, it's the fact that it is - in fact - a large amount. Not to me, not to you, but to the recipient. How many .net domains are there? If there were a million that's $750,000... but I'm willing to bet there are a lot more.

      It's like stamps: a 2c fee in a billion stamps still equals a whole lotta money - but frankly you're getting a lot more from the stamps and postal agencies than you are from icann.

      I guess the big question is, who is going to stop them
    • by konekoniku ( 793686 ) on Friday December 17, 2004 @01:20AM (#11113233)
      oh yes, good idea. let's go storm a ship and toss .net domain names overboard. when you finally solve the metaphysics of it, let me know. on the larger point, this isn't exactly taxation without representation - icann is providing a service of sorts, and this is a fee for the service provided. it is a monopoly, yes, but to call this "taxation without representation" is ridiculous.
  • by FunWithHeadlines ( 644929 ) on Friday December 17, 2004 @12:01AM (#11112779) Homepage
    Hey, I deliberately picked Fun With Headlines .net [] instead of .com (though I got that too to avoid confusion, and auto-route back to .net), because I wanted to do what was right. I am not a company, just an individual. I am not making money off my jokes, so I am clearly not a .com in my book. I am a web site, and nothing more, so it made sense for me to be a .net even though I knew some people would get confused and assume .com.

    So why are they going to pick on us first? What's that about?

  • by saikou ( 211301 ) on Friday December 17, 2004 @12:05AM (#11112803) Homepage
    Those nice phone fees are where the legs of this fee grow from. The FCC line fee was introduced, and then increased under the same pretense -- "long distance rates will continue to fall, so even with increased FCC Line Fee you will see reduction of your overall bill". The hell it did.

    So... I guess once this fee is applied and nobody's bottom gets removed from the high and mighty chair over this, there will be a fee increase, then another fee (for the regulation and patent disputes, for example), and another one (to help public schools pay for their domain names) etc.
    All of those fees will be removed from the registrar's ads, so you'll see ".NET Domains for Only $5.95* " with fine print stating "Please note, additional fees and surcharges may apply" and final price will crawl up to $9 or more.

    Look at cell phones and regular land-line phones... That's where it's heading.
    • In the story it mentions that this could be a ploy by ICANN to get funds to keep control away from the ITU (remember that U.N. Org that wants control).

      I may hate ICANN and think they all need shot, but they're hell of a lot better then letting the ITU run things.
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday December 17, 2004 @07:13AM (#11114509) Homepage
      Great example....

      My telephone land line costs $23.00 a month.

      the bill I pay is $47.00 a month.

      that is $24.00 a month in FEES and TAXES. more than the price of the fricking phone line.

      Granted, this is because the phone company is being a gigantic ASSHAT and simply passing their costs of doing business on to the customer directly. It's equlivant of a place like BestBuy charging you the item's shipping cost at the register along with taxes and a stocking fee.

      do you think that people would shop at a store that when you bought that $99.00 memory stick they tack on $3.95 Stocking fee, $7.95 shipping fee, and another $5.95 Destination and Delivery fee?

      that is why when I buy a car I do not pay their "fees" they try to charge. I will bust a deal right there if they do not.

      any place that will lose a $17,000-$23,000 sale over $250 in "fees" is a place I do not want to buy my car at. (Yes, I pull this on them at the very end so they can not try and bullcrap like roll the "fees" into the price.

      If more consumers would put up a fight about it everywhere instead of rolling over like a good consumer doing what they are told things would be drastically different.

      but that is asking way too much of the american consumer.
      • do you think that people would shop at a store that when you bought that $99.00 memory stick they tack on $3.95 Stocking fee, $7.95 shipping fee, and another $5.95 Destination and Delivery fee?

        Holy crap, you have no idea how business works, do you? This is *exactly* what they do! They just do tell you. Hell, if they *didn't* pass those costs onto the consumer, they would lose money on every item sold! See, first, you have to realize that they didn't buy that memory stick for $99.00. They bought it
  • Support Open RCS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nmb3000 ( 741169 ) <> on Friday December 17, 2004 @12:15AM (#11112866) Journal
    This just give everybody who's concerned about ICANN's unchecked control even more reasons to learn about and support the Open Root Server Confederation [].

    The Internet needs to stay unregulated and as free as possible from the corporate mindset if it's going to stay in it's current shape. You can already see problems arising with corporations controlling so much of the public's interest in the Internet such as VeriSign's abusing their power by implementing programs like SiteFinder.

    It's reasons like these and ICANN's increasing little fees they charge that something needs to be done at some point and the sooner the better. I suppose the very nature of the Internet is a saving grace - if the current custodians fail the public then the network can always be restructured, if very slowly. There is more than one way millions of computers can be inter-connected.
    • Re:Support Open RCS (Score:3, Interesting)

      by j3110 ( 193209 )
      That's why it stops at .Net. ISP's can decide to dump domain registration altogether, and start their own. There should be no charge for ISP's because they generally cache DNS and save more bandwidth to root servers than they personally use. If anything, ICANN should be paying ISP's for their business.

      I think Open Root Server Confederation will actually gain some ground from this.

      The only thing that can strangle ISP's is really the IP thing because ICANN probably hits the backbones pretty hard. This i
  • by isa-kuruption ( 317695 ) <> on Friday December 17, 2004 @12:17AM (#11112878) Homepage
    ICANN only controls non-country TLDs. If you do not like the three quarters of a dollar tax, then move to a country TLD like .US.

    Also of interest, everyone here complains about how closely aligned ICANN is with the US gov't. Now, from what I can see, they want to charge you 75 cents a year (1/3 the price of a cup of coffee) so they can privately fund themselves. This leads to getting the gov't OUT of the DNS game and truly internaitonalizes it!
  • by jberkom ( 802463 ) on Friday December 17, 2004 @12:23AM (#11112929)
    ...just because THEYCANN.
  • Beh. Who cares? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Prof.Phreak ( 584152 ) on Friday December 17, 2004 @12:31AM (#11112977) Homepage
    Ignoring that ``they shouldn't be doing that'', etc., the question is: Who cares? I may sound like a troll, but who in the hell cares for $0.75??? I never understand people who try to save every single penny per domain---that's just stupid.

    If you have a website (that makes money, or not), then even a few hundreds of dollars won't make a difference---and $0.75 cents is certainly nothing to complain about. Just look at how much taxes you're paying on your cell phone per month.

    On the other hand, if you're in the business of hogging hundreds of domains in a hope of selling them... then I understand how a few bucks per domain can make a huge difference in that business model. But then I don't think those people should be in business in the first place.
    • Re:Beh. Who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Chandon Seldon ( 43083 ) on Friday December 17, 2004 @12:48AM (#11113054) Homepage
      It's more a political question. "Should ICANN be able to use its power to raise that much money? Money for what?"
    • Re:Beh. Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Twanfox ( 185252 ) on Friday December 17, 2004 @01:38AM (#11113335)
      I recently contested $35 in bank charges. I did so because the way their system was set up to operate I do not feel that I should have been charged that much for a computer shifting numbers. I contested about $7 on my phone bill for a call that I don't recall ever being capable of making (some 10-10-27500 bullshit). I've contested $3 on my phone bill when the phone company tried to charge me for 3 months past service (read: I already paid and filed the bills and the invoice for those months was done). Even had a company try to get me to sign up for $7 of basic cable to save $15 off my cable internet (good deal), and I may have done it, if I hadn't asked "is this off my current rate or whatever it is at now (I pay $46, current is $58)." It is of course off the current rate, so I would be paying more.

      Maybe you ask why I bothered. I mean, $35 was something, but $7? $3? That's hardly even enough money to go out and entertain myself for an evening. I do it on principle. I do it because I know the company expects me to blow it off and just pay it. I know that if they feel they can get away with that, then they will try on a regular basis. What happens when there's "just" another $3 charge on your phone bill a month? What happens when $3/month more doesn't satisfy them anymore? It goes up.

      I'm not in the game of getting cheated. I look over my bills and confirm that nothing stupid was added on. I won't let these companies get the feeling that they can just do whatever they want without checks for me. Yes, it may only be $.75, but it adds up, and it sets a bad precedent.

      What would it matter if you wound up spending $1000 more than you needed to in a year, all because there were some 1200 $.75 charges tacked on that shouldn't have? To me, that's where it matters most.
  • by EvilStein ( 414640 ) <(ten.pbp) (ta) (maps)> on Friday December 17, 2004 @12:31AM (#11112981)
    when domains were $100.

    See, a company I recently worked for had no qualms about registering 100 domains every other day for no other purpose than to use them for SPAM.

    If the domains were $100 each, I am pretty sure that they wouldn't be burning through domains like that.
  • Your new around here arn't you?
    Oh wait, your just an editor.

  • Is there any reason another group can't offer the service of redirecting a person to an IP address based on a set of words?

    If not, surely this will come to pass if ICANN gets to problematic with their own limitations.

  • Does anyone know what grants ICANN the right to essentially have a monopoly on the domain names? The internet is supposedly free and decentralized, and the article makes it clear that ICANN is not regulated by any government. In that case, how did they get to where they are? I admit that I don't really know what ICANN really does or provides, but it seems to me like someone else should be competing with them.
  • Clarification (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Decessus ( 835669 )
    A lot of this seems way over my head, so I want to make sure I understand everything correctly. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is a government run organization, correct? They control who gets the Top Level Domains (TLD). Currently, companies like GoDaddy and Verisigns ( I'm assuming ) bid on chunks of TLD's. Then those companies sell them individually as domains to people. Currently there is a $.25 charge on each domain name. When Verisign's contract bid ends in 2005,
  • I say fuck that noise! Please let me know what goods and services I will be receiving from ICANN that require this money. Anything? A keychain? TCB hat? A goddamn coffee mug? Nothing.

    As a result, I will be charging ICANN a monthly 7.50 'Blow Me' fee. Bitches.

    Fees and surcharges are the first sign that you should get your gun and start thinning the herd from the top down, because someone has decided you're easy pickin' and an easy money bitch. ICANN does not DO anything, except charge poor fucks like me and you for having a shitty website.

    Now mod me offtopic, you ICANN sniffing mod-whores. HAHAHA! Profanity is always uncalled for, and used by ruffians, and ner' do-wells, so eat it.

  • They're trying to get the money from the wrong people. There are a whole bunch of spammers out there that create a world of problems for ICANN and domain registrars; by registering so many garbage domains, using fake contact information, costing support desks tons of money as angry anti-spammers make sure that spammer's domains are nuked, etc. Maybe there's a way the money can be collected from spammers. Perhaps with some tougher contracts governing acceptable use of domains, giving ICANN recourse to sue t
  • This is the danger of having one controlling body over essentially the entire Internet.

    Perhaps people shouldn't have dismissed alternatives like PacificROOT in the past -- at least there'd be some competition to prevent these sorts of things.

    Looks like I'll be paring back my domains next year.
  • by Maljin Jolt ( 746064 ) on Friday December 17, 2004 @04:24AM (#11113918) Journal
    Is this taxation without representation? And where would this trend stop?

    It will never stop. Observing trends, taxation is increasing for long as past 4000 years. Next phase is Slashdot charging all Cowards $.03/year for keeping them Anonymous...

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"