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VeriSign Increases Domain Name Pricing

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the because-it-can dept.

The Almighty Buck 94

BillGatesLoveChild writes "CNET reports VeriSign has made its move, increasing domain name prices by 7%. From October 15 2007, .com domains will now cost $6.42 (up from $6) and .net domains $3.85 per annum. ICANN had previously voted to support the increase. Despite annual income of $323.4M from .com domain names alone, VeriSign claims it needs the increase to provide "a high level of security and reliability for .com." This increase comes in the face of complaints by customers, registrars and senators alike that VeriSign is abusing its ICANN monopoly. Yet the furrowed brows and promises of senators of investigations have come to nothing, even though the only people seemingly in favor of the monopoly are ICANN and VeriSign. With complaints about the pair running back to 2002, what can we the public do to get our elected representatives to take the great domain name ripoff seriously?"

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94 comments

Voting Power (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633085)

Yet the furrowed brows and promises of senators of investigations have come to nothing, even though the only people seemingly in favor of the monopoly are ICANN and VeriSign.
Kind of reminds me of much ado about Exxonmobil. Say, whatever happened with those congressional hearings about an $8 billion dollar profit for a single quarter? Well, it turns out that over the past 25 years oil companies paid more than $2.2 trillion in taxes (adjusted for inflation). That is more than three times what they earned in profits during the same period.

This sounds a lot like the same thing, we have one company roughly running some kind of monopoly on something we all kind of take for granted but I'm sure the government and government organizations like ICANN see some pretty big tax kickbacks from Verisign. If another player were to enter the market and *gasp* actually turn it into a competition market, then these taxes might be questioned, challenged & lost! And the consumer might end up spending $2 a year instead of $6! Personally, I think the major companies are the consumers and since I don't ever see myself owning more than one domain name unless I start a company, I don't care.

With complaints about the pair running back to 2002, what can we the public do to get our elected representatives to take the great domain name ripoff seriously?
First off, don't call it a 'ripoff' because that makes it sound like $6 would break you. And if you're earning minimum wage in America, that's probably not the case. Instead, press this to your elected officials as a monopoly. And when they put on the show and get all huffy, actually make sure they follow through with it! If they don't, write about it and keep bitching. I think the problem is that not a lot of people own a domain that they have to register, I'm sure the vast majority are owned by companies or businesses and that means less votes. So it's kind of a lost cause because the politicians know that this way A) earns their government money and B) doesn't matter to many voters. But if you could get the elderly to care about this, that would all be null & void because there is no voting power like the aging baby boomers :-)

Re:Voting Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18633149)

"Well, it turns out that over the past 25 years oil companies paid more than $2.2 trillion in taxes (adjusted for inflation). That is more than three times what they earned in profits during the same period."

Oil companies don't own the oil, they own the rights to pump it from a countries land. So yes they pay a lot of tax, but really its the purchase price of the oil from a country they buy it from.

It's a ripoff in this case because competition was offered which would have driven the price down, but ICANN chose instead to renew with a company that had previously had to sue. In this case the increase is EVERY YEAR, so this is just the beginning and it's also not restricted to 7%, they can add any extra charges ICANN decides to make to it. So ICANN has a conflict of interest in the deal too.

Re:Voting Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18633197)

First off, don't call it a 'ripoff' because that makes it sound like $6 would break you.

I am all for ICANN charging $100 a domain name. For the good of the infrastructure. Why? Because a lot of the bad side of the internet, spam, malware, phishing, etc., grows out of the ready availability of inexpensive domain names. If a typosquatter gets about 10 visits a MONTH, that site pays for itself in a year. As a result, there's tons of cruft out there. Domain name squatters can register tens of thousands of sites on an impulse because if they can hold 2 of them hostage for a few thousand a piece, its a profit. Sure, its harder to put up you COMPANYSUCKS.COM site. I don't care, most companies register that themselves these days. If you care enough to put up a website, the cost of a couple dinners out is nothing.

Re:Voting Power (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633449)

It's important to mention that according to current methods of managing domains, you can essentially hold the domain on loan for I think 14 days with no charge. Because of that, of course spammers have no qualm asking to test drive a million new domain names every day. Of those, 999,995 will probably be returned.

Re:Voting Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18638459)

Actually, its 30 days. The squatters actually own their own registrar. They sign up thousands of domains, see which ones draw the desired 10 hits (break-even) and return the under performers. My old company used to monitor the process, it was stupefying...

Re:Voting Power (1)

Magic5Ball (188725) | more than 7 years ago | (#18640793)

Almost any measure which dings domain tasters and related phisers without hurting legitimate business or regular citizens is a good thing.

I would even go as far as requiring initial registrations of 5 years or so at a total cost of $40 to squish some of the harmful spamming/phising activities based on the relative ease of obtaining domain names.

Re:Voting Power (0, Offtopic)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633317)

Kind of reminds me of much ado about Exxonmobil. Say, whatever happened with those congressional hearings about an $8 billion dollar profit for a single quarter? Well, it turns out that over the past 25 years oil companies paid more than $2.2 trillion in taxes (adjusted for inflation). That is more than three times what they earned in profits during the same period.
What your misleading example fails to factor in are the 'other costs'. How many trillions of tax dollars have we spent providing 'security'/'defense' for the oil industry, billions propping up corrupt governments so these oil companies can access the resource, thousands of lives lost, etc. Talk about a corporate subsidy. None of those trillions have been paid for by oil companies as a cost of their product, so the free market has not factored that in. Hell, we haven't even paid for it, our children and grandchildren will be paying for it. If the price of oil truly reflected these costs and subsidies, other alternative products would be more attractive in the market.

Re:Voting Power (1, Insightful)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633555)

Well, it turns out that over the past 25 years oil companies paid more than $2.2 trillion in taxes (adjusted for inflation). That is more than three times what they earned in profits during the same period.

And by "paid," you mean, "passed along to consumers without benefit of KY."

Corporations exist to pass costs to customers and profits to the owners. The American public has paid $2.2 trillion so that the Exxonmobil fatcats could walk away with gold in their pockets. Similarly, the American public's getting shafted here so that Verisign execs can have an extra car in their garages.

Re:Voting Power (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18634461)

I think some consumers actually like using oil, though.

Re:Voting Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18643487)

u r an idiot.

Re:Voting Power (2, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633767)

Well, it turns out that over the past 25 years oil companies paid more than $2.2 trillion in taxes (adjusted for inflation). That is more than three times what they earned in profits during the same period.
Source?

Also, gross profit? Net profit? US profit? Worldwide?

Keep in mind that corporations are taxed differently than individuals, hugely profitable ones more so.

Never mind the indirect subsidies the oil industry gets, as well as the indirect costs born by the public (pollution, etc) that aren't factored into the oil companies' P&Ls.

Re:Voting Power (0)

Silverstrike (170889) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633831)

Wow, I think we all need to go back to Economics 101.

To address all the quotes like this one:

'ripoff' because that makes it sound like $6 would break you.
Claiming that because its $0.42, and that's not a lot unless we're a big company, so we shouldn't care. That's just downright wrong and foolish.

Remember, domain names are the base unit of property on the internet. The blocks on which EVERYTHING rests. Therefore, increasing costs there causes that cost to trickle down to EVERYTHING else. Imagine that since the prices are going up 7%, that EVERYTHING being sold or offered via the web went up 7%.

Of course, that's hyperbole, but you get the idea. Remember, you do buy goods and services from those big companies, and they have to pass down their costs to their consumers, ie: you.

Where would your outrage be then? Pretty damn loud, I think.

Re:Voting Power (2, Interesting)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18634025)

You're making no sense. Sure, a company's web presence rests on their domain name, but the cost doesn't scale with the size of the business. It's such a drop in the ocean. You should be much more worried about the cost of paper clips, as it's likely to have a much higher impact on a company's bottom line.

Re:Voting Power (1)

Silverstrike (170889) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635983)

Why is that? You're assuming that a company has only one domain, whereas they have hundreds/thousands of paperclips?

There are currently, roughly, 65 Million registered domains. A 7% increase in the cost of those domains implies that Verisign is going to rake in an extra $4.5 million per year. Where, exactly, do you think that money is going to come from?

Listen, I'm not arguing that we're all going to be out on the street next year because of an increase like this. I'm just saying its not "just an extra $0.42, who cares", like all the other posts had said.

Re:Voting Power (1)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636315)

That's $4.5 million off every .com and .net in the world. This is supposed to trickle down noticeably?

The average consumer isn't going to lose even a penny over this.

Re:Voting Power (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#18643541)

If a company has hundreds/thousands of domain names, they're probably a pagerank farm or a domain squatter. Perhaps the extra expense will allow someone else (who can justify spending the extra $0.42) to use it for a legitimate purpose.

Re:Voting Power (2, Insightful)

sholden (12227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18634137)

Remember, domain names are the base unit of property on the internet. The blocks on which EVERYTHING rests. Therefore, increasing costs there causes that cost to trickle down to EVERYTHING else. Imagine that since the prices are going up 7%, that EVERYTHING being sold or offered via the web went up 7%.

I suspect you're the one in need of an Economics 101 refresher. It's a fixed cost and hence doesn't affect "EVERYTHING", is is amortised across everything.

Because Amazon has to pay an extra 7% on their $10 domain registration doesn't mean that the price of a $7000 camera at amazon also goes up 7%. It means it goes up ($0.70 / TOTAL_SALES_AT_AMAZON) * 7000 which I'm going to go out on a limb and say rounds to $0.00.

Re:Voting Power (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635091)

Because Amazon has to pay an extra 7% on their $10 domain registration doesn't mean that the price of a $7000 camera at amazon also goes up 7%. It means it goes up ($0.70 / TOTAL_SALES_AT_AMAZON) * 7000 which I'm going to go out on a limb and say rounds to $0.00.

On the other hand, Amazon could use this matter as an excuse to rise the price of everything 7%, trusting that the average American is not smart enough to recognize the bullshit, and therefore increase its profit margins.

Re:Voting Power (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#18643561)

Amazon could use Hillary Clinton's vagina as an excuse to raise the price of everything 7%. What's your point?

Re:Voting Power (1)

Silverstrike (170889) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635937)

Of course, that's hyperbole


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hyperbole/ [reference.com]

I knew I was exaggerating; I admitted it in my post. It still goes to the point though, that a 7% raise in the cost of a such a base unit of a economy has fair and wide-reaching effects.

Re:Voting Power (1)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636357)

Please demonstrate how domain names are a "base unit" in our economy. The price of kumquats probably has as much effect on prices as a sub-$1 change in domain prices does.

Re:Voting Power (1)

sholden (12227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18638595)

The point is it isn't a base unit - it's a fixed cost. A fuel price increase, or an electricity price increase would have the affect you mention - though of course an X% rise in the component cost will only cause a N*X% increase in final price, where N is the proportion of the total cost the component makes up. For domain name costs N is 0 is my argument.

Re:Voting Power (1)

smidgie82 (1078041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18634267)

The price of things on the internet is only weakly related to the cost of domain names. I pay more per MONTH for web hosting than I pay for domain registration for the YEAR, and for sites that need greater bandwidth, guaranteed uptime, redundant links, redundant domain servers, multiple file servers, etc. the ratio is skewed significantly more. More than likely, most consumers and companies will never notice the difference. It's the cost of doing business.

Re:Voting Power (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 7 years ago | (#18634341)

Whoever modded this insightful is either a total fool, or was able to discern the very dry humour in it but wanted to reward the poster with karma.

Re:Voting Power (1)

qazwart (261667) | more than 7 years ago | (#18634901)

> Kind of reminds me of much ado about Exxonmobil. Say,
> whatever happened with those congressional hearings
> about an $8 billion dollar profit for a single quarter?
> Well, it turns out that over the past 25 years oil companies
> paid more than $2.2 trillion in taxes (adjusted for inflation).
> That is more than three times what they earned in profits during
> the same period.

Wow! It sounds like ExxonMobil is on the verge of bankruptcy! That is, if they are really paying more in taxes than they generate in revenue. And, this has been going on for over 25 years. Better start selling that oil stock before these poor corporations go under.

No wonder no one ever became rich in the oil industry.

Re:Voting Power (1)

eyewhin (944625) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635187)

They paid three times more in taxes than thay made in profit during the same timeframe? GWB, is that you trying to pull a fast one on us AGAIN?

David

Same Script. Different Actors. (1)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18641071)

Currently GoDaddy is charging $6.95 at the moment for new domains, but $6 of that is going to VeriSign. One of these has a government monopoly. The other doesn't and has to price competitively, yet manages to run a profitable business out of it.

The Ripoff is that this cozy deal adds up to $340M a year just for the .com names. A few posters say $6 a year isn't much, so we should stop complaining. Personally I'd rather have that money in my pocket than VeriSigns. If those posters don't think $6 is nothing, I'll gladly bill them an additional $6 per domain name for my "BGLC Internet Oversight Authority". Cough up. (I have to wonder about people who take the time to comment on Slashdot that they they *LIKE* paying VeriSign fees.)

It took years to break the Network Solutions Monopoly. Why did it take so long? Because Network Solutions were owned by SAIC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_Applications_ International_Corporation [wikipedia.org] run by a Who's Who of retired Government Insiders, who had no problems convincing current Government Insiders to let them introduce a $100 fee right after takeover. http://www.metrotimes.com/news/stories/news/18/21/ LstArk.html [metrotimes.com]

Politicians play this game. They'll frown, bang the desk and promise investigations. After the hearing they'll frown some more and deliver voter-empathic sound bites. It all makes great theater and makes them look great. But once the camera is turned off it's same old, same old. Politicians, who could have the power, could stop pretty much anything tomorrow. They let their buddies milk money out of the public for as long as possible, and transition to the next scam before the heat gets too hot. We smile and take it. If they're lucky the worst that happens is we throw our hands up in the air and say 'Well, watchya going to do anyway?' And it works.

Ripoff? (4, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633131)

Come on, I remember paying $100 bucks a year for a domain. Boohhooo.. 50 cents..

Cry me a river.

This is ONLY a concern to the people interested in owning thousands of names.
Personally we should go back to $100 with a money pot that reinvest $90 of that to infrastructure or something of the sort.

Re:Ripoff? (5, Interesting)

AchiIIe (974900) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633167)

> This is ONLY a concern to the people interested in owning thousands of names.

I agree. This increase will not harm people like you and me who own one or two domain names. It will however harm people who buy domains in bulk and do not make use of them. Even worse they try to sell them to you at much higher prices.

The bottom line: This increase is good for consumers, bad for domain sharks.

Re:Ripoff? (2, Insightful)

adickerson0 (884626) | more than 7 years ago | (#18634457)

I would like to see something progressive...
1-5 domains at $5 each
5-20 domains at $50 for each above 5
20-80 domains at $500 for each above 20
80-320 domains at $5,000 for each above 80
320-1280 domains at $50,000 for each above 320
1280+ domains at $500,000 for each above 1280

I don't know the exact numbers but I think this illustrates the point.

Re:Ripoff? (1)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 7 years ago | (#18634753)

Genius ... I like your idea! Domain squatting is out of control right now. I'd guess that 90% of domains are held by squatters.

Re:Ripoff? (1)

This Is Ridiculous (234241) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636893)

Congratulations, you've just created another reason to falsify your domain registration info. Try tracking down those spammers now that they're registering their 100,000 domains under 20,000 different fake identities.

Re:Ripoff? (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18634557)

Word up. This must really be pissing off the domain squatters. They must be one of Verisign's largest sources of income. But they're entirely at the mercy of Verisign's policies. Some accountants at Verisign undoubtedly calculated 7% as the marginal number; any more and some squatters will drop out or drop their most unlikely domains.

Domain squatting is an utterly vile practice, and anything that drives even a few of them out of business is OK by me.

(It also pisses off the spammers, and it's neck-and-neck who I hate more.)

Re:Ripoff? (1)

Asztal_ (914605) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635351)

Seven percent is just the maximum amount Verisign is allowed to increase prices by every year. See http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/29/19 53214 [slashdot.org] .

Re:Ripoff? (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635451)

Which means they'll be raising prices by 7% every year, raising prices higher and higher on the squatters. Fine by me. I can afford $.42 for the half-dozen domains I run. Let them multiply it by 10,000.

Re:Ripoff? (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635955)

"This must really be pissing off the domain squatters."

Why?

They buy domains for $6 and as long as each name makes more than $6 they're happy. Now each domain
has to make 40 cents more.

Man. I bet they're all out of business overnight. Not.

Re:Ripoff? (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18637017)

I don't have any details of how their money works, but I suspect that they sell only a tiny fraction of the domains they seize. That's part of the reason negotiations with them begin in the $500 range; they have to make up for the years the domain took to sell and the number of domains that they'll never sell.

So each domain they sell has to sell not for $.40 additional, but more like 7% of the $500 starting negotiation, or $35, which makes it that much more likely somebody will just get a different name.

They're never going to go out of business entirely, but if even one of them goes home tonight feeling like a miserable abject failure, I consider it a pretty good day.

Re:Ripoff? (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18634615)

I agree. This increase will not harm people like you and me who own one or two domain names. It will however harm people who buy domains in bulk and do not make use of them.

Oh sure, that's a convenient position to take. First, they came for the domainsquatters, and I did not speak up, because I was not a domainsquatter. Then they came for the ...

Hm, guess that doesn't scale.

Re:Ripoff? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633171)

Personally we should go back to $100 with a money pot that reinvest $90 of that to infrastructure or something of the sort.

Problem is that the money rarely goes where you think it's going. Too many people find ways to dip their hands into any revenue stream.

Re:Ripoff? (3, Interesting)

rs79 (71822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633351)

"Personally we should go back to $100 with a money pot that reinvest $90 of that to infrastructure or something of the sort.

Problem is that the money rarely goes where you think it's going. Too many people find ways to dip their hands into any revenue stream."


Ah yes, the intellectual infrastruture fund.

Back when the NSF directed netsol to begin charging for domains (to be more clear, the NSF set the price, not netsol) one third of that $100 was set aside in a fund for "intellectual infrastructure". What is that? People. It was specifically meant to "keep the IETF process pure" - it was meant for workshops, paying for people to attend technical meetings that coiuld not otherwise afford to go and the like.

My source for this was NSF staffer Don Mitchell whose name you'll find on the early NSF/Netsol contracts.

People from all over the world paid into this fund for years.

What happened to it? As a result of lobbying the early ICANN wonks got congress to give it to their pet projects - internet2 which was of benefet only to US universities.

So lets not do that again shall we?

Re:Ripoff? (1)

Dara Hazeghi (1076823) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633175)

Exactly. The only people I know of that this will impact are domain squatters and spammers who try to buy as many (misspelled) variations on a domain name as possible. This price increase should actually help the internet.

Re:Ripoff? (3, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633243)

I have a couple of domains, and when I first registered them NetSol was the only option. So I pay my $34.95 a year for each of them, and I haven't had any problems of any kind in the ten years or so I've had them. No real reason to switch, and saving thirty or forty bucks a year wasn't worth the effort. I've had friends who saved some money with JumpDomain and RegisterFly, although in both cases they wish they hadn't.

Re:Ripoff? (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633415)

"So I pay my $34.95 a year for each of them, and I haven't had any problems of any kind in the ten years or so I've had them."

Same here.

I have maybe a dozen domains, most of which I've had for over a decade. I leave one or two at netsol and the rest are at 3 or 4 of the largest registrars. The netsol ones are the only ones I've never had trouble with.

I'm going to have to waste a few hours today unfucking a problem with enom that cannot be addressed with their website that is a 5 minute process to fix with netsol. What's your time worth? I dunno about you but the $10-$15 I saved by using enom just went out the window.

Re:Ripoff? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633607)

I dunno about you but the $10-$15 I saved by using enom just went out the window.

Pretty much says it all.

Re:Ripoff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18633583)

I moved my domains from netsol to godaddy and never looked back. They have a nice web interface for DNS administration too, and its like, $9 / yr. And easy to move to.

Re:Ripoff? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18642303)

Oh sure ... but then again, a lot of other registrars looked good, but some of them screwed over a lot of their customers. Just goes to show how much ICANN "accreditation" means to the average domain owner. I have no particular love for Network Solutions, but like I said I haven't had any problems with my domains. If it ain't broke don't fix it, I suppose.

Network Solutions != VeriSign (1)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18642129)

Sure, but Network Solutions != VeriSign

VeriSign sold them off. They're now an independent registrar and here's what your favorite registrar said about VeriSign. From the Article:

"I have no objection to VeriSign's continuing to run the .com registry," said W.G. Mitchell, CEO of Network Solutions (which split from VeriSign in 2003). "What I do have is an objection to it being done in a manner that gives a perpetual monopoly to a company with unregulated price increases."

Re:Ripoff? (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633837)

Well .50 isn't going to kill the squatters. A significant price increase might. I hate arguing FOR price increase. But its rare when you have an unlimited commodity like domains that you want to limit for the good of the community. Only way to create such limits is though controlled pricing.

Re:Ripoff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18635757)

Ripoff?

When I originally bought my co.uk domain name for my company site it was £173 UK for one year, which at today's exchange rate is about $340.

And you are calling $6 a rippoff? /sheesh

Monopoly or not, domain name prices have come down a shed-load since then.

And, funnily enough, the amount of domain squatters has increased at about the same rate...

Re:Ripoff? (1)

marvinglenn (195135) | more than 7 years ago | (#18637793)

This is ONLY a concern to the people interested in owning thousands of names.
Personally we should go back to $100 with a money pot that reinvest $90 of that to infrastructure or something of the sort.

Going to $100/yr registration will not necessarily bring in more money. It would very likely get rid of most true domain squatters, but many of those squatters are actually domain kiters [wikipedia.org] . Kiting is a problem that is not solved by upping the cost, it's solved by changing the terms on the 5-day grace period in paying for domains.

To add to my point of $100/yr (or any increased amount) yearly registration costs not necessarily bring in more money, consider that as the cost goes up, the number of people purchasing goes down. At some point, the revenue (number of people purchasing times the cost) will be on a downward slope. The point of maximum revenue is usually not where the cost is at its maximum.

To complicate the equation, with less domains registered, there's less cost in servicing the registered domains. But even if there was only one domain registered, the cost does not approach zero. The incremental cost or each extra domain is usually less that the previous domain. This the cost of running DNS spread across the totalitly of domains registered (operation cost per registration) should naturally go down as more domains are added.

There _is_ a problem with squatters and kiters, but I don't believe the biggest problem it creates is with serving DNS for all these domains.

Re:Ripoff? (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#18639569)

It doesn't need to bring in more money though.. But the general idea is that excess money should go somewhere.

Kitters aren't a HUGE problem as I'm sure there are limits to how often you can do it per domain. And if they eventually buy it to turn it into a permanent page... Whatever..

Honestly ... (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633133)

With complaints about the pair running back to 2002, what can we the public do to get our elected representatives to take the great domain name ripoff seriously?

Honestly, probably not much. We live in the decade of the Bush Administration, Halliburton, Iraq, the Patriot Act ... a load of crap that is so massive that DNS probably isn't even on the radar for our "elected misrepresentatives" even assuming they understand it or grasp the significance of it. Congress has become rather disconnected from the public it nominally serves, and Verisign and ICANN aren't even remotely in touch with anything resembling reality. That whole "SiteFinder" episode showed very clearly how far out in left field Verisign's upper management is standing.

Re:Honestly ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18633249)

With complaints about the pair running back to 2002, what can we the public do to get our elected representatives to take the great domain name ripoff seriously? Honestly, probably not much. We live in the decade of the Bush Administration, Halliburton, Iraq, the Patriot Act ..
How could you have possibly forgotten to mention Karl Rove...You must be reading from an old copy of the talking points memo.

What signifigence? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633445)

Remind me again the significance of a 50 cent increase in domain names?

I'd vote against any representative that decided to waste any time on this.

Re:What signifigence? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633673)

Well, how much does it cost to run the root servers? It would be nice if Verisign were required to justify their increases in terms of dollars spent, rather than just a cavalier "we need the money to make your domains more secure." What the hell does that mean, anyway?

They are, after all, managing a public resource of global proportions. So some accountability would be in order. And no I didn't read the fucking article.

Re:What signifigence? (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18637253)

Why? Does your company pay you just enough for you to eat? I you get a bonus, do they demand you to prove your cost of food went up or that you had a kid or something increasing your expenses?

Re:What signifigence? (1)

ahodgson (74077) | more than 7 years ago | (#18645963)

They would if I had a monopoly on providing the service.

Re:Honestly ... (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633493)

Honestly, probably not much. We live in the decade of the Bush Administration, Halliburton, Iraq, the Patriot Act ...
... the incessant repetition of Democratic Party talking points on Slashdot ...

Re:Honestly ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633633)

I know, and I'm a Republican anyway. Well, used to be ... it's getting harder and harder to identify with what passes for Republicanism anymore, at least in Washington. But my point is just that there's a lot of other crap occupying the tiny minds in Congress, and that there probably isn't enough mental wattage left to deal with anything else.

Re:Honestly ... (1)

rewinn (647614) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633639)

>incessant repetition of Democratic Party talking points on Slashdot

Well, to be honest, the top post started it by talking about ExxonMobil ... which AFAIK does not do domain names.

Re:Honestly ... (1)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635485)

Boo ho, this is a far cry from what .com used to cost. I just jack the domain names up a few bucks. Only people 50 cent increases are gona impact are domain name squatters. I say lets get the pricing up to $25-$35 for a domain. We'll see squatters start dropping like flies.

Re:Honestly ... (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636343)

You whippersnappers have it easy nowadays! Back in my day, we had to remember server IP addresses and their phone numbers, and we liked it!

Priorities (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18633271)

It never ceases to amaze me what will stir outrage in some people. Now we're looking at an extra $.42 per year. Wow. Lose a third of your pay in taxes (or more if you add in sales tax, fees, etc) and no one complains. A domain name goes up $.42 per year and the world comes to an end. I work for a small ISP here in NYC and even business people will whine about $20 per month extra for an Internet connection based upon multiple T-1s yet they have no problem spending $3,500 or more per month for their rent. This despite the fact that they called us because their DSL is down for three days.

A friend once mentioned that it is easier for people to pay indirect costs no matter how much they are than to fathom a direct cost. Maybe it's just this aspect of mental laziness that is the cause. Or possibly it is an excuse to vent or a combination of both.

I wish domains were more expensive (5, Insightful)

muszek (882567) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633301)

Try finding a decent domain name these days. Everything's taken and a vast majority of registered domains are parked. I wish domains would cost like $50 or $100 per year. The extra cash could go to charity.

I was hosting my friend's site for 2 or 3 years. Completely irrelevant domain name (htskrotownik.org) which will never be of any use to anyone. It got PageRank 1 (could be 2 before). Anyways, he abandoned the site and didn't renew the domain. It was picked up in no time after it was back on the market and is happily parked ever since.

My domain (1)

dj245 (732906) | more than 7 years ago | (#18640227)

Every variation of my name was parked when I tried to register a domain. I find this ridiculous since it isn't a particularly common name. Nevermind the fact that my name wouldn't have made a very good domain anyway. I eventually settled on Rogertheshrubber.net. The email is lovely. I still haven't decided what to do with the website yet.

Won't stop squatting (1)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18642569)

Squatting sucks, but I don't think Verisign are doing this as a move against squatters. They'd didn't even *try* and use that excuse. They said they need the extra cash to "improve security and reliability".

The real reason: It's a fair bet they did it because they can. Extra money. No loss of business. Compliant Politicians. Docile Public. Why not go for the gold?

This isn't going to drive a single squatter out of business. 7% increase in registry prices? Buddy of mine bought a 3 letter .com domain for a five figure sum. "Cost of doing business" he said, and he's profitable to boot.

Another thing: most of the "squatters" are the registrars themselves. They don't have to pay when they register the domain. There is a grace period of something like 5 days, so they register thousands upon thousands. They're those thinnish google ad pages you see when you mistype a domain. After 5 days, they yank them and reissue them. Here's Godaddy complaining about it (maybe because he didn't think of it first) but if ICANN cared about squatting or anything else, surely they wouldn't allow this?

http://www.bobparsons.com/MayKiting.html [bobparsons.com]

BTW It's not the 42c. It's the $6 already that's the ripoff. For $340M *p.a* from .com alone, must be enough in there for a new server farm every year and then some. For-profit monopolies suck for consumers.

iPhone batteries "die in 40 minutes" (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18633391)

iPhone batteries "die in 40 minutes"

Apple fanboys kill the messenger

By Nick Farrell: Friday 06 April 2007, 07:14

APPLE FANBOYS have really been going for hack John C Dvorak after one of his sources in Cingular told him the iPhone's batteries lasted just 40 minutes.
During Episode 93 of the spodcast this Week in Tech (TWiT)Dvorak said he received information from "a guy at Cingular who's testing the product." The unnamed, male Cingular employee told Dvorak "there's lots of issues" with the iPhone.

Dvorak said that the iPhone was blighted with not having a removable battery, so "you run 20 minutes and you're using up half the battery power. You get 40 minutes total talk time. And the interface fouls up constantly."

The Cingular geezer or geezerette asked Dvorak not to tell anyone. OK it is a "man in the pub told me" style story, but it does not mean that there is no truth behind it. Certainly it is an odd thing to make up.

But the fan boys are up in arms about the comment and every where the story appears on the interweb there is a diatribe from at least three fanboys about how unreliable Dvorak is as a reporter.

One post said that Dvorak had a background in news and was therefore not qualified to write about technical stuff. Others sited a 1991 prediction he made that didn't come true.

One poster said that if Steve Jobs said that 40 minutes on the phone was long enough to speak to someone that must be OK and he would curtail his usage immediately. Another added that if people used their phones longer than 40 minutes there must be something wrong with them.

More here: http://www.twit.tv/93 [www.twit.tv] [www.twit.tv]

Until you can... (1)

doit3d (936293) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633411)

...contribute more money towards political influence, never expect any change. Money buys you anything in the political arena.

I'm not trying to be a troll, just factual as to how it works here in the US as well as many other places around the world. I bet I just flushed all my karma with this comment anyway, but it needed to be said.

Get over it. (2, Insightful)

Eevee (535658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633541)

Time to go for a flamebait moderation.

Just shut up and get over it.

This is the first price increase since 1999, at less than the rate of inflation, over a bit of pocket change. 42 cents? I've likely got a hundred times that in loose pennies scattered around the house. If you've got a domain and it's not worth an extra four dimes and two pennies, then drop it because it wasn't worth jack in the first place. There are things worth complaining about and this isn't one of them.

Re:Get over it. (2, Insightful)

Intron (870560) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633921)

Why should the price go up? Every cost in the computer industry is going down. Look at $/GB of storage or $/MIPS CPU or $/MBPS network, for examples. Also, have you ever heard of economies of scale? As the number of domains skyrockets, the cost per domain to administer should be falling through the floor.

The problem with monopolies is that they have no incentive to become more efficient.

Re:Get over it. (1)

8-bitDesigner (980672) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635679)

Well, if the price raise ($0.42) is lower than the inflationary adjustment of $6 over 8 years, then, technically it did go down.

Re:Get over it. (1)

morganew (194299) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635689)

First, VeriSign doesn't administer domains, they are a Registry [wikipedia.org] . NetSol and GoDaddy are Registrars [wikipedia.org] , and they administer domains (the wiki is kinda weak on the explanations, but think of Registrars as middlemen). After Oct. 15, which is when the increase will take effect, the registry price for a .com name will be $6.42 and the registry price for a .net name will be $3.85. At present, Net Sol marks up domain names about 480 percent!

Second, the lower price of storage and CPUs have very little effect when juxtaposed against the gigantic growth in internet use, i.e. people pinging the root DNS server. And since the price is fixed, there has been no 'new' money to fix the growth of DDOS attacks on the DNS.

I'd feel a lot more sympathy of the registrars if they didn't already jack me and shove piles of ads in my face when I need to alter an IP addy, or send me misleading letters in the mail claiming to renew when in fact all they are doing is "slamming" me to a new registrar.

I think I can live with a 42 cent increase.

Re:Get over it. (3, Insightful)

Eevee (535658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635769)

Would you be happy if your salary went down as fast as the cost of computer equipment? I know I wouldn't be thrilled. The things involved in the registering of a domain where the costs have gone down (i.e., computers) are only a minor component; the things involved where the costs have gone up (i.e., rent, power, or people--not only salaries, but overhead costs like health insurance) are a major component.

As far as economies of scale, it works for some things, not for others. Buying coal by the bargeload is more cost-effective than by 50-pound sacks; however, help-desk costs theoretically scale pretty much with the number of customers. (Actually, I'd expect the amount of hand-holding required to go up slightly faster than the number of customers, as the tech-savy were the early adopters so the clueful-to-clueless ratio can only get worse...)

abuse of domain names, and sliding pricing (3, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633569)

what can we the public do to get our elected representatives to take the great domain name ripoff seriously

Stop buying domain names. 90% of the people (who aren't domain squatters) who have them, don't need them.

Seriously. It used to be that people used (gasp) hostnames under domain names, and subdirectories under those.

I know people who have three domain names for different kinds of personal websites; one domain name has their "video blog", another has their homepage, a third has their "buisness"(hobby.)

Realistically, there should be quotas- individuals aren't really the problem, but cap them at perhaps a dozen domains, globally. Corporations? Maybe a few dozen, tops.

Or, perhaps an exponential pricing curve based on the global number of domains you have registered; individuals won't need more than a couple for almost any reason I can think of, and companies which are making money using domain names can afford to pay quite a bit more.

DNS will be faster, domain name squatting will cease to be a problem, etc.

Re:abuse of domain names, and sliding pricing (2, Interesting)

qwijibo (101731) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633925)

You think the large scale domain squatters won't just register in the names of every homeless person they can find or make up? In your world, are these people honest, upstanding members of the community? I always found that they overlapped quite a bit with spammers and other con artists. Your plan sounds good on the surface, but would have no positive impact whatsoever if it were applied in reality.

However, you're right about subdomains, directories, etc. Why does every movie need to have its own domain? MoneyGrubber2TheSearchForMoreMoneyTheMovie.com could be movies.sony.com/MoneyGrubber2 just as easily, and it would add the parent company's brand into the link, which some marketing exec should be drooling over.

My personal favorite is having people tell me my domain isn't used because I don't have a web page with anything interesting to them. They email me at the domain to tell me that I'm not using it and they would like me to give it to them. The irony escapes them.

Re:abuse of domain names, and sliding pricing (1)

Skim123 (3322) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633953)

I know this would be hard to enforce, but one option that would make sense here is a sliding pricing scale. Namely, the first domain name is cheap - say, $6/year - but if you want a second one that one costs $10/year. A third is $18/year, a 4th at $25/year, and so on. So if you want 100 domain names that first one is still going to cost you $6/year, but the 100th one might be $200/year.

Re:abuse of domain names, and sliding pricing (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18634175)

The biggest single reason to buy a domain name is to get control over your own email. I got my own domain name and web host and the $10/year and $10/month is more than worth the flexibility of having email addresses that I can create and destroy at will. Whenever I sign up for a mailing list or ecommerce site, I create a new email address and forward it to my main one. If I start getting spam, I can delete that email address. I haven't found a solution as convenient anywhere else.

So the solution isn't for people to stop buying domains. The solution is to crack down on domain name squatters who buy hundreds of domains and then hold them for ransom.

Re:abuse of domain names, and sliding pricing (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18634489)

Something I've always wondered about: shouldn't it be easy to find large, established companies that are spamming? Just have some auditor make individual, one-use emails like that, sign up for a service, and then roast them when they violate the privacy policy?

Re:abuse of domain names, and sliding pricing (1)

gregmac (629064) | more than 7 years ago | (#18637091)

Sure, go ahead. But you'll be wasting your time.. most companies don't spam.

I've been doing what the GP suggested for a long long time now (6 years probably?). I actually have a subdomain with a catch-all that goes to my main address. It's nice because I literally don't have to do anything. I just sign up with eg, slashdot@subdomain.mydomain.com. In the past 6 years, any time I've needed to sign up somewhere, I do it with of these addresses. I've gotten absolutely no "spam" to any of those addresses. That's right, none. The only thing I get are mails from the company themselves - promotions and newsletters and crap like that. If it annoys me enough, or they send it often enough, I click the remove link and all is well.

I'm of course not just signing up for any websites, I am still a bit selective about it. I only sign up when I need to.. eg, forum registrations, registering to be able to download something I need (though I hate that, so only do it if I absolutely have to).

The other side of this, is I've never posted my "main" email address on any website, I only use it for personal communication. And yet, I get a couple hundred spams per day to that address. When I first got my current main email address (which was probably, 5 years ago I guess..?), I got no spam. In fact, I was happily using it for a few months with no spam. Then someone sent me an online greeting card. In the couple months following, there was a huge increase in spam, and since then, it's just gone up. It's no mystery, if you go to those sites, their privacy policies specifically state "any email address or pesronal information you provide to us can be used by us for whatever we want" - which includes selling to other people.

Note, I think you really need to use a subdomain to do it properly. When I first started doing it, I was redirecting *@mydomain.com to my personal mailbox.. that lasted for one day. I was getting email to people who were previously using that domain, spam to everyone, etc. These days with spammers blindly mailing info@ sales@ etc on top of anything else they can, it's not worthwhile.

Re:abuse of domain names, and sliding pricing (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636655)

Realistically, there should be quotas- individuals aren't really the problem, but cap them at perhaps a dozen domains, globally. Corporations? Maybe a few dozen, tops.



I have a simpler rule. Any entity with distinct legal personality is limited to registering one domain at the level immediately below any given TLD, unless the TLD belongs to the entity (so the US government can have as many .gov domains as it likes)—a similar limit might also be appropriate for many second level domains like .co.uk.

If they want more, then that's what subdomains are for.

The grass can't be greener on BOTH sides... (3, Insightful)

xENoLocO (773565) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633571)

You cant have it two ways... either the government takes control of it or they don't.

I vote they don't.

Re:The grass can't be greener on BOTH sides... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18633775)

You cant have it two ways... either the government takes control of it or they don't.

There are other options. All sorts of businesses are regulated.

Even when AT&T was a monopoly there were regulations.

Monopoly Money? (0, Redundant)

rewinn (647614) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633699)

If Verisign indeed holds a monopoly on its service, then all the free-market talk in the world doesn't apply. With respect to the customers of the monopoply, in practical terms, how do you distinguish the holder of a monopoly from a government?

When you control every property on the board, you can change whatever rent you want so long as the players keep rolling the dice

I thought.... (3, Insightful)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633715)

Yet the furrowed brows and promises of senators of investigations have come to nothing, even though the only people seemingly in favor of the monopoly are ICANN and VeriSign.

I thought we wanted the government to quit trying to legislate the internet; now it seems we want them to go after VeriSign and ICANN? Which is it, do we want the government meddling with the internet or not?

Re:I thought.... (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635603)

Mod parent up. You can't sit on the fence changing arguements on government interference with the internet depending on which way the wind blows.

Do Something While WeCANN (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18633777)

Whatever Americans do to rein in ICANN and its VeriSign profit charity, we have to do it quick, before ICANN moves to Switzerland [slashdot.org] to avoid US control a la Halliburton.

YouCANNt (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636057)

The US government has been adamant for a decade that control of the legacy names and numbers will always be on US soil.

I would stake your life and mine that it will always be that way. They've funded it from the beginning and are never going to relinquish control to a bunch of furriners.

For better or worse it's predictable and there are worse things than the US congress as oversight which is the way it works now (ICANN --> DoC --> congress).

Re:YouCANNt (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18639493)

If ICANN offshores to Switzerland, I bet the US government won't do anything to stop them. Then it will be too late. ICANN is already part of the outgoing Republicy system to cede control of the Net to WIPO and GATT. Maybe incoming Democrats will stop them, but they've got other priorities.

I've never liked ICANN, and don't trust it to stay under US control. People like Esther Dyson are too sneaky and plugged into a multinational network that cares about the US only as a money donor.

this is nothing compared to GoDaddy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18634863)

I'd rather more scrutiny be paid to GoDaddy's practice of retaining expired domains and auctioning them off to the highest bidder, rather than following the RULES, which is that the domain should be released after the expiry period, available on a first come, first serve basis.

Up! Up! (1)

porneL (674499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18635775)

I think that is should cost much more to buy a new domain name.
It would harm spammers registering throw-away domains for each "marketing campaign".

Re:Up! Up! (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636173)

I think that is should cost much more to buy a new domain name. It would harm spammers registering throw-away domains for each "marketing campaign".
Rubbish !

Considering that half the spam I get appears to come from my own domain through spoofing (and there is no reason to suspect the other 50% are genuine either), I don't think increasing the cost of domains will make any difference.

As I only pay around $10/year for my domains, and the current $ - £ exchange rate is ludicrously in my favour, I think I'll come down on the "Don't care" side of the fence. I drink more than my domains yearly cost every saturday night.

Re:Up! Up! (1)

porneL (674499) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636403)

Spammers need domains for hosting spamvertised websites. Not only e-mail is spammed with them, but also blogs/forums and search engines.
If domains were more expensive, banning of them would be more effective.

No change for doman investors (1)

Tolvor (579446) | more than 7 years ago | (#18636063)

This may put a crimp on domain speculators, but not on domain investors. Investors that are holding large collections of domain names will either register ahead of the price increase for multiple years, or will simply factor it into their bottom line. If someone watches the backorder lists, and does the necessary research, checks the domain's history carefully, verifies the links to the domain, double checks the rank of the domain on the search engine, and buys the non-trademarked, ex-domain of someone who really shouldn't have let it go, do you really think 50 cents is going to make a difference? Wise investors put pressure on ex-holder to recoup the investment, or use the domain/website to make money for themselves.

Domain speculators buy domains without doing research. Speculators buying domains like Y2Q-X.COM, S239.BIZ, ANNA-NICOLE-(insert something here).COM, (someUS2008politicalcandidate).US will be hurt by this. People are buying domain names will be hurt on this price increase. Speculators buy domains by the hundreds hoping for one or two big sales, and I wish them well.

This won't affect people who have a small number of domains. The assertation that it'll allow people to get the parked domain names that they want is not true. The "good" domain names have been held for many years, and a small increase in price is not going to cause them to be released. Business that hold variations of thier domain names as part of their business aren't going to release them, it's a minor line item on a business expense sheet (websites are expensive, design is expensive, SEO is expensive, pay-per-click is very expensive, domain names are CHEAP), so those domains still won't be available. People that are holding ego-domains so that they can use the emails with it (johnsmith@super-mega-ultra-proven-problem-solver. com) on their resume will never release it, as it gives them too much pleasure to use it, and won't release it with the price increase.

So little changes with the price increase.

The funny thing about this is there is an ad above the article advertising GoDaddy domain names for $6.95. Hurry! Y2Q-X.COM is still available!!

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