November 17, 2006

Six Years Of ICANN Delay And Unjustified Retention of $2,000,000

It was six years ago this month, in year 2000, when ICANN accepted nearly $2,400,000 to review 47 applications for new TLDs.

ICANN approved seven of those 47 applications in an infamous, clearly biased beauty contest that was so overtly unfair that one very well qualified applicant with an innovative idea was rejected because one ICANN board member could not pronounce the sequence of characters as a word!

Among the seven winners were several who are now asking ICANN for a change to their contracts.  ICANN's Board meets next week to consider these changes.

I would hope that ICANN postpones these decisions.  For how long?  Until ICANN deals with the remaining applicants who have been waiting for 6 very long years and watching their $50,000 (each) application fees rot away.

Those other 40 were not rejected, in fact they have been often reassured that their applications remain pending.  And when I looked at ICANN's finances I did not see that this $2,000,000 was in a contingent fund or was being treated as anything other than permanent, non-refundable income.

If those 40 applications - and the $2,000,000 in application fees - are not still alive than ICANN has lied and taken their money under false pretenses.  And ICANN would not do that.

Fairness and justice requires that ICANN not amend the contracts of any the seven lucky winners until ICANN squarely and fairly deals with 40 applicants who have been waiting all of these years - or ICANN admits that it lead them on, took their money, and returns that money, with substantial interest (remember year 2000 was still within the .com boom) and an apology.

By-the-way, this kind of delay is ICANN standard operating procedure - I filed a request with ICANN for independent review in that same year - ICANN has never honored its obligation to deal with it.  And ICANN has been stringing Ed Hasbrouck along for years.

The ICANN process reminds me of something and someone - John Ehrlichman, an adviser to Richard Nixon, whose method of dealing with people who raised troublesome issues was to ignore them and leave them "twisting, slowly, slowly in the wind".

Posted by karl at November 17, 2006 12:09 AM