I oppose Amendment 3 to the .COM Registry Agreement

Update 2020-03-28

If you’re just stumbling upon this now, the deadline has passed.

“The Public Comment forum generated significant input… The vast majority (95 percent) of the comments expressed concern… After careful consideration of the comments, and several discussions with the ICANN Board, the ICANN org President and CEO has decided to execute Amendment 3 and the LOI with Verisign as was proposed for Public Comment.”

You can read the full decision here.

ICANN is the governing body for the Internet’s domain name system. They are responsible for enabling and achieving “broad representation of the global Internet community”. Over the past few years they have proven to be shady, if not downright corrupt.

Last year, ICANN lifted price caps for the .org TLD then allowed its sale to a private equity firm. This year, they’re coming for .com.

This post by Namecheap does a great job covering the issue at hand. I won’t waste time rehashing it here; read the article!

I’m writing to call attention to the brief window until February 14, 2020 where public comments will be accepted. If you’ve read the article and think this is important, consider submitting a comment.

Below is my public comment. Please feel free to use or repurpose anything I’ve written in your own response.

From: Riley Shaw <email redacted>
To: comments-com-amendment-3-03jan20@icann.org
Subject: I oppose Amendment 3 to the .COM Registry Agreement
Mon, Feb 10, 2020 at 3:54 PM


I am a professional software developer. I have spent most of my career working for nonprofits and small businesses.

I am troubled by the pricing amendments in your new agreement with Verisign. The annual cost for .COM domain registrants is currently within reach for individuals, which is essential for the health and democracy of the Internet. With Amendment 3, Verisign will be able to price out individuals. This will have a direct and immediate negative impact on Internet users.

Earlier this month, I was forced to let a project expire due to an unexpected price increase. I was running the project for a small community completely out of my own pocket. I poured dozens of hours into the project and community. The domain, prompts.club, increased in cost between 2019 and 2020 from ~$10 / year to ~$450 / year. I was forced to let the project die.

I realize that .club is under different ownership, but I hope you can see the relevance.

The changes in pricing model proposed in Amendment 3 will negatively affect artists, independent developers, small businesses, and people using the Internet for anything other than profit generation. It will stifle creativity and access across the Internet.

I imagine you’re getting a flood of similar letters right now. Please consider the input of Internet users in this huge decision.

Riley Shaw