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The Internet Businesses Networking

VeriSign Can Raise .net Prices in 2007 101

miller60 writes "ICANN is lifting restrictions on VeriSign's pricing of .net domains as of Jan. 1, 2007, eliminating a cap that dictated the amount VeriSign could charge registrars for each .net domain. The cap, now at $4.25 per name, expires at the end of 2006. The pricing details were not included in a draft contract published by ICANN prior to the bidding process, but negotiated after VeriSign prevailed in a controversial evaluation by Telcordia. VeriSign must give six months before any price change, allowing time to lock in current pricing with multi-year renewals."
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VeriSign Can Raise .net Prices in 2007

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  • Uh oh (Score:4, Funny)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Friday July 08, 2005 @02:55PM (#13016115)
    ICANN is lifting restrictions on VeriSign's pricing of .net

    Time to get your Passport account while it's cheap...
  • New price? (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    "The cap, now at $4.25 per name, expires at the end of 2006."

    So, the new price? Just tack a 4 infront of $4.25 and you have your answer.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      So how much is 4$4.25????
    • So, the new price? Just tack a 4 infront of $4.25 and you have your answer.

      And knowing Verisign, they will try just that. What I can't understand is .net/.com must be at least 30-50 million domain names. Multiply that by $4.25 and they can't operate a lousy couple of root servers? I would say there is lots of room for competition and too much dumb founded over paid management.

      Too bad ICANN is so riddled with special interests. I am resisting the term ICANN't. The logical thing to do is to allow 3 T

  • by davidwr ( 791652 )
    Management of top-level domains is a public trust, and fees should be regulated.

    If not regulated, then let anyone and everyone who do it. Oh wait, that would be too chaotic.

    --
    This may not be the first post but it's in the first 100.
    • Dude, if you don't like, start your own DNS structure. There's plenty of alt root domains out there. Really, though, I think the solution is for ICANN sell TLDs to anyone who wants them. Just make sure they charge enough to 1) cover all costs of running the root servers and 2) discourage people from registering every last letter in the alphabet. I would think that an annual registration in the realm of $500k ought to be sufficient. Or hell, open things up for auction starting at $100k/year for a 5 year
      • Dude, if you don't like, start your own DNS structure.

        Oh please. Do you have anthing practical to add to this discussion?

        I registered my own domain about 4 years ago so I'd never have to change my email address again; it happens to be a .net. Now I face what amounts to a retroactive price hike.

        It's stupid to allow ICANN to charge whatever the market will bear for an infrastructure service which costs very little to operate. Maybe we should open ICANN's position up to competitive bidding instead.

        • I registered my own domain about 4 years ago so I'd never have to change my email address again; it happens to be a .net. Now I face what amounts to a retroactive price hike.

          Speaking of nothing practical to add...

          How is this retroactive? You're not being asked to pay more for the last 4 years you were registered. You can lock in prices now with a longer term contract. You sign a 1 year contract every year for a .net domain, and lock in the price for that year. It's just like cell phone service, cable
        • Maybe we should open ICANN's position up to competitive bidding instead.

          Well, at least the Commerce Department has http://www.itweek.co.uk/itweek/news/2139482/keeps - root-domain-name [slashdot.org]">seen straight not to let the dolts at ICANN just do whatever the heck they want with the DNS.

          Funny how, as a charter ICANN community member I haven't heard from them in years.

          Anyway it's not hard to see why [slashdot.org] ICANN supports this. Follow the money, baby.
  • Ahh yes (Score:2, Funny)

    Because it costs so much to maintain TLD infrastructure. Hell, good thing they did this before VeriSign went broke!
    • IIRC, one of the proposals for .org a few years ago was planning to charge $2/year/domain, with prices going down over time. Of course this proposal was not chosen.
  • by mislam ( 755292 ) on Friday July 08, 2005 @02:58PM (#13016139) Homepage
    We as owners of .net domains we will be screwed soon. Question is what is ICANN getting out of it?
    • Cold hard somethingsomething: The mysterious step before "Profit!"...
    • ICANN is getting 75 cents per domain per year.
    • We as owners of .net domains we will be screwed soon. Question is what is ICANN getting out of it?

      Bribes.
    • Not entirely screwed; VeriSlime must give 6 months notice, during which time you can make long many-year registrations.

      If in several years time the cost of renewing the domains is too high, you can move to alternate TLDs, because you have enough time to do so.
      • Not entirely screwed; VeriSlime must give 6 months notice, during which time you can make long many-year registrations.

        So instead of facing an x% increase in future registrations, I can write a check now for 1000% of the current annual fee to lock in the price for a decade. How is that not getting screwed? <sarcasm>Yeah, Verisign must hate it when people pre-pay like that.</sarcasm>

        you can move to alternate TLDs, because you have enough time to do so.

        Yeah, and nothing says "third class"

        • Yeah, and nothing says "third class" better than a domain name that's not in .com or .net.

          I know what you mean! [slashdot.org]
        • It's not getting screwed because you're getting the same price as before. Or lower, since most registrars give you a discount for longer timeframes.

          Regardless of if you register 10 times for 1 year or 1 time for 10 years, what does it matter? You may be worse off price-wise registerring 10 times.

          Are you inferring that everything other than .net and .com are "third class" domain names? That'd be a mistake. For one thing, I merely suggested moving away from .net, not .com, so moving from .net to .com may be
          • It's not getting screwed because you're getting the same price as before.
            Would you like to offer me an interest-free loan?

            The value of $100 now is not the same as $10 for each of the next 10 years. Ever notice how a lump-sum lottery payout is only about half the advertized prize?

          • Regardless of if you register 10 times for 1 year or 1 time for 10 years, what does it matter?

            Boy, I'd love to be your landlord. How about instead of sending me the rent every month, you just send me the next 10 years' rent now?

            For one thing, I merely suggested moving away from .net, not .com, so moving from .net to .com may be all you need to do.

            Yeah, because there are just loads of people who registered .net addresses and just skipped .com. As far as I can tell, the only people who register .net d

        • Yeah, and nothing says "third class" better than a domain name that's not in .com or .net

          community sites can use .org

          in most countries its considered perfectly acceptable for companies to use names in the natoinal tld.

          the main people from whom i see there being no good alternative to .com are us buisnesses

          and btw i agree .info and .biz are shit.
  • Are usually staffed by some pretty decent folks, and verisign are the scum of the earth, and I can quickly see them pricing themselves out of the DNS market. People are realizing the power of a .com is like a rose... or was that... anyway, the smells like shit *confused*.

    Since the community of web developers is thankfully separated from the hyperventilating MOOCFA crowd (make our own crazy fly acronyms) (for an indepth reference, read this insightful [thebestpag...iverse.net] article) I can see that the google warriors of our time
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08, 2005 @03:05PM (#13016184)
    I am switching from .net to java NOW!!!

    Uhm, whaat? Never mind... Oops!
  • Uh-oh (Score:3, Funny)

    by iamdrscience ( 541136 ) <michaelmtripp@@@gmail...com> on Friday July 08, 2005 @03:05PM (#13016189) Homepage
    Sounds like bad news for Microsoft, who will use .net now?

    Oh wait, that .net? Okay, nevermind.
    • I believe that's the reason why MS chose the name '.net'... so they could tie it in with www.microsoft.net; in fact, for a while, that site DID lead to some page about their .net platform. Looks like they seriously jacked in that idea, though, and are left with a weirdly named platform.
  • by Kookus ( 653170 ) on Friday July 08, 2005 @03:05PM (#13016190) Journal
    I'm not understanding why they should be allowed to charge more. Does the registration business really follow the same dynamics that other businesses follow?
    Let's say the costs to maintain their business follow inflation, wouldn't they always be profitable on the ever increasing numbers of domains being registered? It's not like a buy once and you're set type of deal, you're locked into a service forever unless you're ready to part with your "name".
  • I'm Surprised... (Score:2, Redundant)

    by creimer ( 824291 )
    Why didn't Microsoft (owners of the .net platform) sued Verisign (owners of the .net domain registry) for trademark/copyright/whatever violations? Pure Evil vs. Impure Evil is every ambulance chaser's dream case.
    • Why didn't Microsoft (owners of the .net platform) sued Verisign (owners of the .net domain registry) for trademark/copyright/whatever violations? Pure Evil vs. Impure Evil is every ambulance chaser's dream case.

      Please, gee, take off your tinfoil hat and consider this:

      1) The .net TLD existed way before Microsoft's silly marketnym. If anyone could sue, it would be Verisign

      2) The .net TLD isn't a trademark anymore than a city name. If they had a registration software called ".net" or something however, th
      • Please, gee, take off your tinfoil hat and consider this:

        Maybe you need to find your funny bone. Or did the cliché take it already? :P
      • It's kinda funny. Laugh.

        Besides, .NET is always capitalized. I betcha if VeriSign started advertising ".NET domains" for sale, the Collective would throw a litigious fit.
  • Perhaps now would be a good time for me to consider switching to another top level domain? This is going to suck for people like me who run a Web site just for fun and not making any money off it.
  • How is this going to affect people like Dotster, etc.?

    I have a .com and a .net and I personally don't want to be forced into paying more indirectly because of Verisign.

    I'm curious as to why this is a big deal if it only affects their customers - they would just be pricing themselves out of existence. Or have I missed something as usual?
    • by Sawbones ( 176430 ) on Friday July 08, 2005 @03:18PM (#13016303)
      They're not raising their own prices, they're raising the price they sell domains to companies like Dotster. When you buy something through them you pay $9 (or whatever) per year, of which $4.25 goes to verisign since they need *some* money to run the physical infrastructure for handling all of the lookups. So for dotster to keep their $5 per domain profit margin they'll have to raise their rates by as much as whatever verisign increases their price by.
      • They're not raising their own prices, they're raising the price they sell domains to companies like Dotster. When you buy something through them you pay $9 (or whatever) per year, of which $4.25 goes to verisign since they need *some* money to run the physical infrastructure for handling all of the lookups. So for dotster to keep their $5 per domain profit margin they'll have to raise their rates by as much as whatever verisign increases their price by.

        Bah. I was not aware they were doing that. That'll
    • It affects all .net domains. Dotster is "buying" your domains from VeriSign and "reselling" them to you; they'll always add a markup on top of VeriSign's "wholesale" price.
    • Since the registrar (GoDaddy,Network Solutions, Dotster, etc) has to pay Verisign to register a .net domain, any price increase will be passed along by the registrar to the end comsumer registering the domain. Of course, this announcement only says that Verisign CAN raise prices in Jan, doesn't say they will. Although based on Verisign's past practices, I'd expect an annoucement on Jan 2nd that starts the 6 month grace period mentioned in the article.
  • Break the chains! (Score:3, Informative)

    by pongo000 ( 97357 ) on Friday July 08, 2005 @03:13PM (#13016258)
    Maybe now's the time to give serious consideration to long-standing alternative root servers like OpenNIC [unrated.net]. And the only way alternative roots will catch on is if individuals fed up with the greedy ways of domain registrars demand that their ISPs allow them port 53 access (or better yet, also include the alternative root zones with the ISP nameserver's own root zones).
    • If the US continues "hanging on" to parts of the Internet infrastructure, expect other governments to form cooperatives to clone these services and run them as they see fit.

      Certain contries *COUGH*China*COUGH* already do this for political reasons.

      By the way, the OpenNIC web site you cite is stale, as is the AlterNIC site it references.

      Hmm, maybe I should register nictranslator.org, and map www.somedomain.someextension in OpenNic to www.somedomain.someextension.opennic.nictranslato r .org
      so domains regis
    • the internet as we know it relies on UNIVERSAL names. who would wan't to put thier domain on a tld that could only be seen by a tiny fraction of users.

      even if the big 3 go up in price there are other tlds in the normal system and there is also the posisbility of taking a name at the next level down (care is needed there to make sure its administered by someone reputable though).
    • Supposing those become popular, all the old bullshit will return. I'd be able to register microsoft.opennic right now maybe, but once a large fraction of the world can resolve it, you can bet it would be sued away from me. Why bother?
    • It would be nice if OpenNIC would update their website so you had some idea that they've been doing something for the last two years.
      • Why? Because the world of DNS has radically changed in amazing and profound ways in two years? How old is bind 9?

        It's not like it takes a lot of activity to automate a DNS server. Nobody has to sit there and push buttons or something, just keep backups, spare equipment in a closet, bandwidth and power, and have someone with a pager to deal with any issues that come up.
        • "Why? Because the world of DNS has radically changed in amazing and profound ways in two years?" No, so you had some idea that they've been doing something for the last two years. It looks bad for an organization to not update their site, mmkay?
    • Well, if you look at the Wikipedia page about AlterNIC, an OpenNIC partner site, you learn just how much of a scam this really is.

      "AlterNIC was an alternative DNS root founded by Eugene Kashpureff. Kashpureff was arrested for wirefraud in November 1997, and as such AlterNIC is now defunct. AlterNIC.net is no longer associated with AlterNIC."
  • by CaptainTux ( 658655 ) <papillion@gmail.com> on Friday July 08, 2005 @03:16PM (#13016283) Homepage Journal
    I suppose I'm missing what the big deal is about this issue. I understand that Verisign has a lock on the .net TLD but the company is really no different than any other business: what they can get away with is directly regulated by what people are willing to pay. When Verisign sees the slowing down of .net registrations and the increased registrations of non Versign controld TLD's then they will either have to stand their ground and lose revenue or lower their prices.

    The decisions of what Verisign can charge and how long they can charge is are really up to YOU: the customer. Vote with your feet and start looking at some non Versign controlled TLD's!

    Anthony

    HELP AN OPEN SOURCE PROJECT:
    https://www.fundable.org/groupactions/groupaction. 2005-07-08.3911172488/ [fundable.org]

    • But why should anyone be forced to pick a suck-ass TLD just because Verisign has control over .com and .net? What site is Joe Consumer going to go to first, www.mybiz.com or www.mybiz.web? .com and .net are universially recognized and accepted. Verisign should lose it's monopoly on .net if they are going to be able to jack up prices, allow some competition, somehting they are afraid of.
    • by wfberg ( 24378 ) on Friday July 08, 2005 @03:45PM (#13016545)
      The decisions of what Verisign can charge and how long they can charge is are really up to YOU: the customer. Vote with your feet and start looking at some non Versign controlled TLD's!


      This works because there is absolutely no cost or inconvenience associeted with changing your internet address!

      People will magically assume that they should go to yourdomain.someobscurenonversigingTLDlikedotbizorp erhapsdotus in stead of yourdomain.net when you drop it (and when it's subsequently re-registered by a domain spammer or your competitor).

      Also, e-mail will magically be rerouted so you won't miss a single e-mail, and said domainspammers/competitors won't get mail meant for you on their mailserver (you know, like paypal password reset links and stuff).

      • by The Pim ( 140414 ) on Friday July 08, 2005 @04:02PM (#13016688)
        People will magically assume that they should go to yourdomain.someobscurenonversigingTLDlikedotbizorp erhapsdotus in stead of yourdomain.net when you drop it (and when it's subsequently re-registered by a domain spammer or your competitor).

        That's a good point that not many people bring up. Frankly, we should all be grateful to Verisign for employing their mind-control powers in such a magnanimous way. Imagine what they could do if they really were evil, as so many /.ers claim.

    • by uss_valiant ( 760602 ) on Friday July 08, 2005 @03:56PM (#13016639) Homepage
      I suppose I'm missing what the big deal is about this issue. I understand that Verisign has a lock on the .net TLD but the company is really no different than any other business: what they can get away with is directly regulated by what people are willing to pay.
      Nope, there's no alternative to Verisign if you need .net domains, it's a monopoly.
      Just think of all existing .net domains. A lot of websites are bound to their .net domain name. If Verisign decided to charge more and more for .net domains, you have the choice between losing a lot of bookmarks, your well known domain name, your page rank etc. and just paying what Verisign charges.
      Either let more than a single company manange and sell .net domains or regulate the price. Free marker vs. regulation. But don't give a single company the monopoly and let them charge whatever they want at the same time.
      The DNS is hierarchical, so the ICANN could decide that Verisign manages the .net server, but other companies can sell .net domains too, and the ICANN should then at least regulate what the other companies have to pay for the license to sell .net domains.
  • This is going to suck for people like me who run a Web site just for fun and not making any money off it.

    Relax man, it's not like they will be bumping the price to $50 per registration or anything. It's still a free-market economy and the free-market won't allow it.

  • by the_rajah ( 749499 ) * on Friday July 08, 2005 @03:17PM (#13016296) Homepage
    their representative is quoted as saying, "Because I CANN."
  • VeryLame (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Friday July 08, 2005 @03:37PM (#13016478) Homepage Journal
    It still blows my mind that VeriSign can hold a monopoly on these registrations, getting so much value out of the DNS system and Internet that everyone else operates without charging VeriSign. Without giving much back - and with notoriously bad customer service, and attempted coups in breaking the protocol, by offering their own proprietary promotional database of "what you were looking for", rather than failure responses. Monopoly sure is nice - they're printing money.
    • Hey, prices rising would be a good thing IMHO. Let's hope they raise to $100/yr minimum. Then people making legitimate use of a domain name and/or making even a small profit from the domain would be likely to keep it, but domain squatters' costs would rise through the roof. It's only a shame this can't happen for other TLDs, too.

      (Disclaimer: Yes, I've had lots of long arguments about this with people; I still happen to think it would be better than the current situation. I HATE domain squatters with a
      • Legitimate uses of a domain name includes lots that aren't profitable. Forcing "legitimate" to equal "profitable" would be a terrible blow to the economics of the Net that now make millions of computer screens a level playing field for big and little guys.

        Domain squatting is a clearly recognizable practice that should be illegal under the WTO that currently governs the "international trademark" type disputes over ownership of terms used in domain names. Squatters should be forced to turn domains over to ow
  • I actually think raising the price is a good idea. How much of a big deal is it to pay 49.95/yr for a domain, even for us who have their own domain at home ?

    I thought part of the reason that spammers can move so quickly is that domains are so cheap now.

    Just a random thought

    • $50 a year is a lot if you are just wanting a domain to run a personal website or play around with a server. Its not a lot if you are running a business(like spammers are). I'm sure most spammers make more than $50 a year.
      • Excellent point. Unless prices were raised to the point where only large corperations can afford the TLD's, you are not going to stop spammers from using that particular tld. $50/year is still not enough to deter a spammer from a common mispelling of a popular domain name or other such domains, however it is enough to stop some individuals from registering their name, or johnspics.net or what have you for personal use.

        I'd like to see a slight raise in costs of tld's, but some kind of policing or modera
    • What universe do you live in? In many parts of the world, $50 is a huge amount. Not every .net user lives in the United States or some equally rich country.
  • I read the stuff on the links, and it's not clear.

    Is this only for new or all domain names under their care? In other words, are they grandfathering in all the people who've renewed their domains past this date, or will they be charged more?
  • For the market that they are interested in keeping ( ie, big businesses ) a few bucks a year is nothing..

  • Shouldn't the cost of maintaining each domain name decline as they add more domains? Sure, they have some variable costs like salaries for staff, but the cost of server equipment is plummeting and their fixed costs should be diluted across an increasing number of domain names.
  • May be I am an ignorant, or an idiot. But why does Verisign manage domain names? Is it impossible for governments to do it, just like they issue license plates?
    • Federal governments can, and I believe many do, manage their Country-Code TLD, but what government do you propose to handle the main GTLDs like .com, .net, and .org?
  • by naelurec ( 552384 ) on Friday July 08, 2005 @04:52PM (#13017089) Homepage
    If the current rate to Verisign is $4.25 per domain and there are 5,324,213 [zooknic.com] registered .net domains as of January 16th.. thats $22,627,905. So exactly what is all this money used for?

    A few distributed dns servers and a (should be) highly automated system for managing domains and a handful of support people? That sure doesn't seem like $22m worth of expenses.. what else is it used for?
  • by baadger ( 764884 ) on Friday July 08, 2005 @05:33PM (#13017390)
    I suppose technically we geeks should be bitching about how the TLD's are rampantly mis-used..aren't .net domains supposed to be for ISP's, web hosting co's etc?

    Yes I have a .net domain too.
  • by karl.auerbach ( 157250 ) on Friday July 08, 2005 @08:29PM (#13018316) Homepage
    The money that goes to Verisign for every domain name for every year is more of a price floor than a price cap. ICANN has gifted unto Verisign for many years an amount of $6 per name per year without any regard to the actual cost to Verisign of providing the registry service or any inducement to reduce those costs.

    This has had the effect of sucking litterally hundreds of millions of dollars per year out of the pockets of domain name customers. Thank you ICANN.

    I voted against that contract (I was ICANN's board of directors until ICANN eliminated publicly elected directors) because it was a rip-off of domain name customers who were forced to pay this ICANN-imposed tax.

    Now ICANN has reduced the total sum of that tax by a bit, although ICANN has snuck in a $0.75 per name per year tax that goes directly to ICANN. Yet as far as I can tell there is no mechanism to induce Verisign to actually reduce its portion in 2007 (or before) - so it seems that we have yet another gift to Verisign to be paid for out of the pockets of internet users.

    One of ICANN's first acts after it came into existance was to arbitrarily require that domain name contracts be of 1 to 10 years in increments of one full year. That decision, a decision made with no public input whatsoever, makes it impossible for people to protect themselves against arbitrary price manipulations by registries in the future.

    If one were to actually look at the cost of providing domain name registratin services it becomes apparent that there is a fixed chunk - the cost of running a robust set of name servers and a back-end system to handle registrations - and a variable part. When amortized over millions of names, as we have in .net and .com, that fixed part is only a few cents per name per year.

    In other words, if ICANN required the monopoly registries to base their prices on the actual cost of providing services, the registry price could drop substantially below the values that ICANN has established. And, given that the cost of renewals is a large part of the variable costs, allowing customers to lock in for long periods would further reduce the price to the customer.

    The bottom line is this: ICANN acts as a meeting place for those who sell domain name products and the intellectual property industry. Those groups gather and decide (conspire?) to set prices, product specifications, rules (e.g. the privacy-busting "whois" and the trademark-friendly UDRP), and other aspects of the domain name business. Those groups also decide who may and who may not enter the domain name industry and under what terms. In other words, it is a combination in restraint of trade. Whether that combination violates US or other laws against restraint of commerce is an open question that deserves to be squarely asked and clearly answered.

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